Simple Drink Recipe For Overall Health

Lemon-Cucumber-Juice

As your wedding approaches, you are going to start to really take care of yourself. Whether it’s regularly getting your nails done, roots touched up every 4-6 weeks or trips to the tanning salon, you will begin to pay attention to all the beauty details that are going to prepare you for your big day. This kind of stuff takes time; it’s not an overnight project. (Brides – take this time to really honor yourself and spend the couple extra bucks to get yourself feeling and looking great!) Along with the cosmetic details, you should be concerned with your nutrition and what you are putting in your body. We all know how hard it is to cut out the junk food, especially when you are overwhelmed and stressed with planning your wedding. The junk you eat, along with the stress you feel, will lead to bloating, breakouts and irritability. It’s unfair! BUT there’s a little recipe that I personally use every night before I go to sleep that makes me wake up feeling light, airy and positive. My skin has shown significant improvement, so much so that I actually changed my makeup routine to some tinted BB cream and an extremely light foundation– something I never thought I would do. I worked my butt off to be in the best shape possible for my wedding, and though I felt the best I’ve ever felt, I really wish I knew this recipe before my wedding! Okay, enough talking, here are the goods.

So for this recipe, you will need a blender. I’m not a blender snob (sorry to the Vitamix cult) any old blender will do just fine – as long as it actually blends your ingredients. Personally, I use the NutriBullet. $99 and it emulsifies all ingredients and you can drink right from the blending cup. It comes with a couple lids for either storing or drinking – and the clean up? One minute max! This isn’t meant to be an infomercial for the NutriBullet so really, anything you have will be fine.

This recipe has FOUR ingredients. And I promise you probably already have most in your fridge. Cucumber, Lemon, Ginger and Water (optional: coconut water). That’s it. What you’re going to want to do is cut up half of the cucumber (skin on) and store the rest for your next drink. Peel skin and cut a nice chunk of ginger (about ½ inch). Throw these ingredients in your blender (woah, don’t turn it on just yet). Next, juice one whole lemon right into the blender. Then, add your water/coconut water until your ingredients are submerged. Lastly, turn your blender on and watch the pretty green potion of health come to life! And that’s it – you now have a drink FULL of vitamins, nutrients and minerals to get you looking and feeling your best. This drink works best when consumed at night before bed – just trust me. I guarantee you will wake up feeling incredible.

Now, why do these ingredients have an impact on our overall well-being? It’s simple: they all posses components that are beneficial to our health.

 

Cucumber. They are made up of a whopping 96 % water so they are sure to keep you hydrated. They are known for flushing out toxins in your body and they aid in weight loss! Cucumbers also supply your skin with minerals such as magnesium, potassium and silicon. And that indigestion you feel? Say bye-bye because cucumbers come to the rescue.
Lemon. Known to boost your immune system, lemons are one of nature’s gifts to the world. They can be used for many things, such as natural cleaning agents and beauty practices, but the consumption is the most advantageous way to reap the benefits of this fruit.  Lemons balance your PH, improve circulation, aid in indigestion and detoxify your body. (Tip: every morning I enjoy a hot cup of lemon water. I encourage you to research the benefits in that alone).
Ginger. Ginger is insane in the membrane. No seriously… It reduces inflammation of the mucus membrane which eases the soreness in your throat from coughing. A natural pain reliever, ginger helps with menstrual cramps and muscle aches. It assists with indigestion (are we noticing a pattern yet?) and inflammation. Ginger eases stomach discomfort, nausea, headaches, toothaches and stuffy nose. It also has been known as the “cancer fighter”! Is there anything that this root cannot do? This is absolutely a staple to have in your diet.

Coconut Water. If you decide to use coconut water, please make sure you are purchasing one with no flavor or added sugar. (I like the Trader Joes brand made with Aloe). Coconut water has many health benefits as well! It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, boost energy and aid in weight loss.  It is known to keep your extremely hydrated, though there is much back-and-forth with the question of it being more hydrating than regular water. My thoughts on this: choose whichever you’d like! They are both great options.

 

There you have it, a quick, simple recipe that will allow you to feel and look great! Remember, what we put into our body is certainly a reflection of what we see on the outside. Take care of yourself! You will thank me later. Cheers!
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Confessions of a Budget Bride: What I Would have Done Differently

Let me start by saying I absolutely loved my wedding and loved the planning process. It was so much fun, I actually didn’t mind the fact it was my second time around.  I loved the DIY projects, and I still look at my album to this day impressed with how well we put it together for very little money compared to what most couples pay. However, being a second wedding for both my husband and I – and with kids and household expenses already in the mix – we were extra budget conscious  and were dedicated to maximizing every dollar, so there were some details we didn’t pay much attention to assuming they would end up costing us in the end.  Our biggest concerns were that our family and friends were present and they had great food and an open bar. Everything else we’d figure out.  I think we did a pretty good job, but I won’t say there weren’t a few regrets that I recognize now in hindsight. Even on a tight budget, there are some details worth spending a little extra attention on.

julia wedding 2Not having ceremony music. We were having a quick, non-religious ceremony at the venue where our reception was also being held, so we didn’t see the need for any music to walk down the aisle to. The result was an awkward and silent walk to the front of the room that we still talk about years later. The solution? If you’re trying to save money, it may not be in the budget to hire live music for even just the ceremony, but my advice here would be play something. Anything. Even having an iPod with your song of choice playing is better than nothing.  Odds are good that wherever you’re getting married, they have have a PA system, and the event coordinator there can easily help you start and stop any music.

julia weddingNot having a rehearsal. We’d already been through this once each, so what’s the big mystery, right??? Plus our bridal party was really just made up of our kids who were going to join us at the alter to participate in a meaningful sand ceremony to represent our blended family, so a rehearsal seemed unnecessary and just another potential expense if we needed to pay for a rehearsal dinner afterward. The result was it was sloppy and uncoordinated and it looked more my kids were playing at a sand art station at a festival. The solution? ALWAYS REHEARSE. Even if it’s just a small, simple, quick wedding, the rehearsal will ensure a chance to work out the bugs and will help with a smooth ceremony.

hashtagNot having a wedding hashtag! This is perhaps my biggest regret, but I blame it on timing, as we were married a little ahead of the wedding hashtag explosion. I would have loved to “crowd share” photos and capture the various points of view of all my guests, and this would have been a perfect way to get a more comprehensive collection of memories for our once-in-a-lifetime event. The solution? Even if crowd sharing photos doesn’t appeal to you, think about some of the other options to help capture the memories, such as an onsite photo booth, or even having a Polaroid camera for guests to take photos of each other and sign them in lieu of a guest book. These additions help to get guests more involved and will leave you with more photos to look back on for years to come.

julia wedding 3Not hiring a professional photographer. Yes, we did have family help out tremendously, and don’t get me wrong, we got amazing shots that I absolutely love my family for. But it put pressure on my family to “work” the wedding instead of enjoy themselves. However, I know all too well that photographers can be pricey. The solution? Shave some of the dollars off of other expenses to find the funds for a photog. Perhaps go for a cheaper venue. You can also do some research and find some photographers that are just starting their businesses and would be willing to give you a great price to help build their portfolio. Don’t be afraid of their lack of experience; they make up for it in enthusiasm, motivation to please their client, and all their focus will be on you.

Everyone is Getting Married

bride envy

.. is on the lips of every woman in her twenties. How do I know that? Because I am one of them. If your weekends are full of bridal showers and bachelorette parties, you might be in your twenties. If your paydays are spent budgeting for wedding related gifts and activities, you might be in your twenties. If your social interactions are spent talking about all the upcoming weddings, you might be in your twenties. It’s like some messed up Jeff Foxworthy skit, only it’s not a joke. Whether you are married, engaged, dating or single, here’s some things to keep in mind as you buckle-up for wedding season.

Bridal Shower

How you feel: “Yet another bridal shower invitation and the ONLY day of the month that I’m free. Now I have to go on the registry, find a decent gift and figure out what I’m going to wear.”

What to do: Though it might be an inconvenience for you, try to remember this is an important time for your bride. You don’t always need to purchase a gift off of the registry. Pick up a card, write a nice note, throw in a check and you’re done. Your attendance to the event is half the battle and though you may not get a chance to have a full conversation with your bride, she will always remember you were there. Just think of it as a couple hours with free food and hopefully mimosa’s. And then there’s the hour of gift opening. There’s only so much oooh-ing and aaah-ing you can do so seriously… mimosas. Did I mention mimosas? MIMOSAS.

Bachelorette Party

How you feel: “There’s no way I can afford a long weekend in Mexico. Besides, I can’t take any more time off of work!”

What to do: If it’s truly not in your budget to attend the bachelorette party, don’t sweat it! Plan a local get together in honor of your bride and coordinate with the other women who were unable to make the trip. Here’s an example of what you might say to your bride: “I heard it was in the plans to go to Mexico for your bachelorette party – that sounds like so much fun! Unfortunately, it’s just not in my budget to make that trip this year. I will be sad to be missing out, however, I really wanted to plan something local so I can help celebrate your last days as a bachelorette. I know you’re busy with the wedding, but give me a couple dates that you’re free and I’ll coordinate with the other girls.” This will show your friend that though you are unable to attend her event, you are making a genuine effort to celebrate with her.

Now with the bridal shower and bachelorette party out of the way, you can enjoy the wedding! Grab a cocktail and celebrate your bride finally saying “I do.” Phew, now it’s time to relax. That is until the next save-the-date comes in the mail!

Why We Love The Bachelor, Despite the Sheer Lunacy of the Concept.

why we love the bachelorTo call the notion of twenty-six young women vying competitively for one bachelor’s affection (over the course of a six-week romp in front of millions, with the goal of achieving one of the most sacred institutions we know as humans) insane is an understatement. And yet we love the Bachelor…unapologetically love to love the bachelor. In fact, lovers of this franchise have all but formed their own nation in unity (wait, actually they’ve done that… #bachelornation.) But let’s be honest with ourselves; it’s an unrealistic concept with highly-predictive outcomes and overall the same show season after season. As the 20th season of the franchise comes to a close, let us reflect: just what is it about The Bachelor that has us treating our Monday nights as sacredly as a day of sabbath?

The Bachelor is America’s season-long stay in the Fantasy Suite. Let’s face it, romance isn’t what it used to be. (And frankly, my husband blames easy access to internet porn for a number of reasons for the decline of chivalry in males, and he’s probably right.) But The Bachelor lets us forget about that for a couple hours every week, and we get to live vicariously through perfect women who get to go on perfect dates with the perfect guy. I mean, my husband’s no slouch, but he’s never surprised me with private access to a Major League Baseball stadium, and I can’t remember the last time Kevin Hart and Ice Cube picked us up in a convertible to chauffeur us around on a date. It’s all very unrealistic, but aren’t most fantasies?

Because when relationships are new, they’re the most exciting. You know…those butterflies you get from your first kiss…and The Bachelor gives us that times a dozen, and then all over again season after season. It’s like The Bachelor franchise is our spouse and he’s keeping things fresh and interesting year after year…instead of just shouting from the couch for you to pick the restaurant once every couple of months and leaving the door open when he pees. Our Monday night husband knows how to keep the romance alive.

They know to throw in some crazy. I’m sure the producers realized they had Bachelor gold during Season 20 the first time Olivia unhinged her adorable muppet jaw, and then again when she cried to Ben about her cankles just moments after he announced the tragic death of close family friends in a fiery plane crash. Okay, ABC, we know what you’re up to. The “crazy” keeps the story interesting, it keeps the girls extra catty, and adds a layer of drama that is necessary to the success of the show. And it’s super predictable every season that there will be a couple of crazies in the house to mix it up. But as many jaw-dropping moments they bring on, (no pun intended, Olivia), the Bachelor Nation wouldn’t have it any other way.

It satiates our innate thirst for competition. Like any sports fan, the thrill is in the game, and that’s what The Bachelor brings to the table. And it becomes personal. So many women can easily find someone we relate to on the show, and then we find ourselves not just rooting for them, but turning into a mega fan, slathered in body paint, holding a “JoJo is #1” foam finger and screaming at the TV when Ben tells her he loves her. Yeah, it’s that intense. We wanna see these girls “win”…not just the bachelor’s heart…but also “the game”.

Finally, it’s the sense of community. It’s like knowing everyone else is watching The Bachelor is the equivalent of not having to drink alone. (On a related note, I’d like to see the consumption statistics for every Monday night once it hits wine o’clock on ABC.) The chatter alone in the Twitterverse has even prompted the necessity of a live, weekly recap show to air immediately following the already feature-length show, bringing our minimum time commitment to a ludicrous/glorious two plus hours every Monday night. But that’s how much we’re obsessed. With the amount of active conversation out there on social media, ABC program directors are 100% justified in carving out an entire chunk of primetime each week just so we can watch people react to what they just watched.

And what does this all boil down to? It leaves us wanting more. So, on this day after the final rose, us Bachelor fans now need to fill a pretty significant void until JoJo gets her chance to break some hearts of her own on the next season of The Bachelorette.

Luckily, Dancing with the Stars starts next week.

5 Thank You Card Tips Every Bride Should Know

thankyouThank You cards: The most dreaded wedding task. It means the celebration is over, similar to taking down Christmas decorations (or in my case, Halloween decorations). Although it is not as fun as say, cake tasting, you can still have a good time doing it! Here are some tips you will be sure to use when it comes time to check “Thank You cards” off of your list.

Thank You for EVERYTHING

Yes, you need to send a Thank You card after most wedding related events: Engagement party, Bridal Shower and Wedding. You even need to send a Thank You to your Aunt Edna for sending a $10 check and a butterscotch candy. If anyone sends a gift, puts time into helping you out, or simply attends your event – thank them! You will notice that the people around you are very generous as you are going through the engagement/wedding process. Always show your appreciation towards their thoughtfulness. 

Thank you for KEEPING IT SIMPLE

While you need to send out roughly a billion Thank You’s, remember to keep it simple. Yes, your friend wants to be appreciated for what they have done, but they also don’t want to read a novel. Try to remain simple yet personable. Be specific in what you are thanking them for and make sure you are thanking them for not only the gift, but for their attendance on your special day. You can’t go wrong with slipping in a little “It was fun dancing with you at our wedding!” It reminds your reader of what a great day it was.

Thank you for YOUR HELP

Don’t be afraid to ask your new spouse for help when it comes time to write the Thank You cards for your wedding. Have him do his side of the family! I mean, you planned the whole thing and wrote all the other cards, right? Last time I checked, his hand isn’t broken (if it is, just ignore this). You both are a team now. We know there’s no “I” in “Team”, but there is an “I” in “Writer’s Cramp” so seriously… delegate! And don’t forget to say thanks!

Thank you for NOTHING

Please, under any circumstances, do not send out a picture of you and your new spouse with the words “Thank You” radiating across, without any personal note. This type of generic card comes off as cold and unappreciative. I know you just used up most, if not all, of your creative energy in planning the wedding, but you have to harvest some of it for your Thank You cards. Don’t get me wrong, the pictures are adorable, but add a little note on the back to show your sincere appreciation.

Thank you for BEING ON TIME

The rule is your cards should be sent out no later than three months after you say “I Do.” Don’t rush. Enjoy time with your new spouse as you slowly come off the wedding day high. You will know when it’s time to start writing them because it will be that weight sitting on your shoulders. Reflect on this crazy journey you have just completed and all you have to be thankful for. Pour a glass of wine, cuddle up with your husband and finish your very last wedding task.

 

 

7 Reasons Why You Should Say “I Do” to Social Media on Your Wedding Day

social media wedding servicesLots of couples are using hashtags and social media posts to broadcast their wedding day.  Not only is it a simple and brilliant way to get a personal and unique perspective of your big event, but there are a number of other reasons why brides and grooms should say “I do” to social media.  Here are seven:

  1. The photos and videos are through your guests’ eyes and in the moment. Unlike professional wedding photos, photos captured on a smart phone give a unique and candid perspective that makes a wonderful supplement to your wedding memories. Think about your favorite TV show, and how exciting it is to see the actors and actresses posting behind the scenes shots on Instagram. It adds a whole new dimension to your experience.
  1. You’ll get to relive moments you were too busy to see. With all the duties bestowed upon the bride and groom on the day of the event – like making sure to greet and thank each and every guest at the reception – it is incredibly easy to miss some of the fun moments. With social media, a bride and groom can catch up on whatever they may have missed after their wedding!
  1. It connects everyone. Having a hashtag and social media campaign for your wedding day brings your various guests together, helping them connect easily on Facebook or other platforms. It also connects you with friends and family that weren’t able to attend your event, allowing them the special experience of watching your event unfold from wherever they are.
  1. It gives you photo and video content you can see right away. The average wedding photographer takes months (that’s right, plural!) to give a couple their official wedding photos. Live posting to social media gives a couple instant wedding content to see and enjoy.
  1. Hashtags are awesome. Let’s face it, hashtags are cool. In fact, Millennials have fully embraced the use of hashtags to engage across various social media platforms. Having a custom hashtag to commemorate your wedding is not only a special personal touch, but it creates a level of engagement to a network beyond that of your wedding guests.
  1. You’ll be famous for the day. People love weddings. And by posting content on your special day, there’s no doubt your social network will be watching along from when you exchange vows to when you cut the cake.  By posting live throughout the event, you’ll get a taste of some celebrity and get then get to enjoy all the comments and likes after the event!
  1. You’ll have photos to start decorating your nest with! While you’re waiting for your professional photos, you’ll have some beautifully chic Instagram photos you can start to print and decorate your home with.