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Yes, I know.  Fashion is not a usual topic for me.  I prefer hiding my body under layers of denim, or thick dress pants.  However, when you have a twin sister that starts dressing cooler than you do, you find yourself in need of stepping it up.  Oh, and losing 17 pounds and having no clothes that fit doesn’t help either when it comes to hiding behind my usuals.  But that’s for another post altogether.

After trying on a pair of my sisters LC Lauren Conrad leggings from Kohl’s, I knew I had to have them.  I’ll admit, the fabric is a bit thin, and I’m still getting used to wearing something so form fitting, so I’m struggling a bit with being self-conscious about it.  However, with a long tunic-style top covering all the areas I want covered (butt, thighs) I could see these leggings become a staple in my weekend/going out wardrobe.  Oh, and it got the mom stamp of approval, instead of a “hmmm, I don’t know about those.”  🙂

On Saturday, I got 2 pairs for only $9.99 each.  Online they are about $2 more, however, they are still a great deal.  While I have definitely been known to say that leggings should not be worn by people of “my size”,  the size of this particular pair is comfortable for those of us with larger lower bodies; most form-fitting items like this only serve to remind me of my big hips and thighs, but these do a pretty good job covering without making you feel like you’re totally exposed.  I’ve paired mine with a mock layer top very similar to this one.  The length of the top really seems to help balance it out.

While I’m certainly no shopping expert, these seemed like a pretty great deal, and are super comfortable to wear.  Anyone else find a great pair of leggings recently?  What do you pair yours with?

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Here’s a confession:  I’ve never had my hair or makeup done before.  Yes, it’s true.  At the tender age of 26, I’d never gone to a salon to have hair or makeup done for an event.  So, needless to say, choosing someone to take care of this on one of the most photographed days of my life was a big deal.  However, I’m happy to say I chose the best two ladies in the business!

I found My Cinderella’s Dream where else but TheKnot.com.  I got in touch with Mari who I liked right off the bat.  She provided all the information I needed in a timely fashion to make the best decision possible.  At the time, I wasn’t sure about makeup, and Mari never pressured me to add this as a service, which I appreciated.  Her prices were fair, and she wasn’t going to charge me a fee to come to The Madison Hotel to help us out!  Furthermore, her son went to Susquehanna, so it was pretty much a match made in heaven!

Getting my hair done and my makeup touched up!

I had my bridal trial with Mari in December.  She was so wonderful and patient with me.  I had just switched jobs, so I ended up having to reschedule my trial and had to leave early the day she came to get back to work, but Mari got the job done quickly, efficiently, and exactly how I imagined it!  By this time, I had decided to go with makeup, so I scheduled a makeup trial with her partner, Rita.  Rita did a great job listening to my fears that my makeup would look too heavy.  We had a great trial, and even later when I emailed Mari to ask if the eyes could be a bit lighter day of, Mari and Rita understood and were very accommodating.

The day of the wedding, we had a blast getting hair and makeup done!  I had booked a conference room at the hotel so we’d have lots of room.  Mari and Rita went right to work at 6:30 and we were all camera ready by around 9:15!  There were 8 of us that needed hair done, and I was the only one that had makeup.  I couldn’t believe how quick they worked!  All of my girls were very pleased with how things came out.  My mom even remarked that she’d never seen someone take a picture of a hairstyle and replicate it on someone’s hair.  All of my bridesmaids got compliments on how great their hair looked-even from the guys, who hardly notice that stuff!  Finally, everyone kept remarking on how natural my makeup looked, which was exactly what I had wanted!

Some great handiwork!

Mari and Rita and truly a dream to work with.  From the trial to the wedding day, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of ladies to help me and my girls look fantastic on my wedding day.  Thanks so much, Mari and Rita!

Well, friends, it has come to my attention that it’s crunch time.  I mean, it’s literally time to start getting serious about that pesky stomach of mine.  I had thought I was seeing some improvements when I first added Jillian Michaels into my rotation, but now it seems like it’s all gone downhill again…and so close to the wedding!

As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, I’m a loyal Glamour subscriber and have done their Body By Glamour program a few times.  In my most recent issue, I saw that they were now offering “Bikini Blast”, which is a program similar to Body By Glamour that offers 30 days of tips to get your abs in shape for bikini season.  Since I’ve had success with these programs in the past, I figured there was no time like the present to sign up and get the job done!

I’m only on Day 2, but so far my only complaint is that I couldn’t get today’s work out tips yesterday so I could begin them today.  Since I work out at 5:30 a.m., I like to maximize the time I have, and I don’t have time to log on to the computer or power up the IPhone and print the workout.  So, I’ll have to be a day behind with everything I guess!  Oh well…the price of beauty…

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  Thanks again to the ladies and men at Glamour for providing such useful and fun tools!

Vegetable goodness for your face!

As you’ve probably noticed from the products I do review, my skin is extremely important to me.  I’ve battled acne and acne scarring all my life, and continue to fight the battle despite being 25 years old.  (Shouldn’t it have gone away by now??)  A friend told me about the Yes to Carrots/Yes to Tomatoes brands, and a few months ago I decided to give the night cream a shot.

I first bought this product from Target around November.  Target is really the only retail location I can ever find them-I believe they sell exclusively to Target stores.  Since I bought this in the dead of winter, I was looking for something that would keep my skin moisturized at night without causing my pores to be too clogged.  C Through the Night promised to “boost the moisture level of the skin by promoting moisture retention.”  C Through The Night has organic carrot juice, cucumber juice, dead sea minerals, vitamin c, vitamin A, and pomegranate peel to protect the skin from free radicals.  It also has Ginkgo Bilboa Extract to detoxify and improve skin circulation.

One thing you should know about me is that I’m not much of an ingredient reader-that’s something I really have to convince myself to do more often when it comes to products for my skin.  In fact, I didn’t even realize C Through The Night had all that good stuff in it until I did some searching today for it.  Nonetheless, C Through The Night is a thick cream that actually goes on smooth and light.  I don’t feel like it takes awhile to dry, so I’m not afraid to put it on and then go right to sleep.

I do think that through the course of my use of the product my skin has improved greatly, having less breakouts and feeling a lot smoother overall.  I just bought my second bottle, so hopefully I’ll continue to see improvement!

Anyone else use the full product line?  Any benefit to using the face wash along with the night cream?  Better results?

I recently cancelled my subscription to Cosmopolitan magazine.  A sad day for me, as I’m pretty addicted to the world of girly magazines.  However, I just really didn’t find the content relevant to me in my engaged, 25 year old state.  Not that I can’t enjoy reading some of it, but it almost got to be too immature for me.

The one subscription I did keep was Glamour.  I’ve written about Glamour pretty consistently in this blog, and I have to say, I’m always impressed with their content and level of maturity.  I noticed the other day that they recently launched a section of their Web site devoted to weddings.

Way to go, Glamour.  Particularly on today’s post about being a better bride.  What an excellent idea for a series.  I absolutely hate blogs and sites that tout the “it’s all about you” mantra to brides.  It wouldn’t be a wedding without the groom!

Glamour can count on me for at least another year!

When was the last time you had a doctor’s checkup just because?  How about the last time you went to the doctor because you weren’t feeling well? That long ago? Yeah, I’m with you.

As women, we tend to not take time to take care of ourselves from a health perspective.  Sure, we schedule the usual annual appointments and dentist appointments (right??), but when it comes to actually not feeling well, most of us choose to just ignore our symptoms for various reasons.

Glamour recently highlighted this problem in its December issue, finding that emergency room visits among women younger than 45 are on their way up.  What does this mean?  This means that women like me and you are waiting until the last possible minute to take care of our health rather than being proactive.  And the results are scary.

So, why do women wait?  I know for me, it’s easier to bulk up on OTC medicine and binge on Theraflu than to take time off from work to make a doctors appointment.  Most women like me just don’t have time to schedule an appointment during the day, and can’t find a clinic that will take their health insurance that’s open after hours.  But, as the Glamour article pointed out, waiting until the last minute can make things worse than they really are.

With flu season at it’s highest, we need to take proactive measures this year to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and not ignoring serious symptoms.  Please carefully read the above article, and do your homework!  For me, half the battle is finding a doctor to go to that can accommodate my schedule.  If you research that information before you get sick, it might be easier to make that phone call.

Stay healthy, ladies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I read a very disturbing article the other day on Glamour’s Vitamin G blog.  The article spoke about a bride-to-be in the UK who died from heart failure due to a restrictive diet.  The goal of this diet?  To slim down for her wedding.

I get very upset when I read about women like this.  As I’m going through the wedding planning process, this story happened to hit home to me even more.  Why?  Because I know exactly where this woman was getting the idea in her head that she had to go to drastic measures to look great on her big day.  How? Because all brides are getting the same messaging.

The minute you change your Facebook status from “In a relationship” to “Engaged”, guess what kinds of ads begin popping up in your sidebar?  That’s right, wedding ads. The ad that I receive the most is one about doing a 30-day diet to lose weight specifically for your wedding.

When I went to one of the 3 dress stores I decided to visit, the first brochure handed to me was a brochure detailing a Bridal Boot Camp program meant to help brides lose weight quickly in anticipation for that fabulous dress that I had yet to find.  Had to wonder if this brochure was given to everyone, or just those that the store owner thought might need it.

As I’m browsing wedding Web sites, every single one has a section related to weight loss so you can “look your best on your most important day.”  In fact, on my “to-do list” today from Brides.com, I was informed that my priority for the month was to stick to a workout plan.  Thank you, Brides.com, for determining that my looking good is more important than any other wedding detail this month.

Fellow brides, the list goes on.  From the comments we, as brides, make to our family and friends (“Ohh, I’d love that piece of cake, but I have a wedding dress to squeeze into!”) to the messages sent to us from the media, the theme is all the same: You are currently not beautiful enough to walk down the aisle.  Your day will not be perfect unless you commit to dropping some pounds and toning up.

Yes, I know.  I’m taking this message to the extreme.  But, to be honest, the pressure to be a perfect bride in every sense does not end with the planning details.  It extends into every aspect of the wedding, right down to how you look in your photographs.  And what girl wouldn’t want to look her best?  My problem lies with the way this message is conveyed to all my fellow brides.  Let’s face it, we’re not seeing the same messages being sent to grooms, are we?  Yeah, didn’t think so.  We won’t even get into that one!

Here’s my favorite message:  “Slim down now with The Wedding Diet so you can look and feel your best in your dress.” First of all, why wouldn’t you have bought a dress you feel great in regardless of your size?  No one should have to deny themselves for months on end to fit into a dress that doesn’t feel right no matter what.  And let’s remember the whole point of the day:  you are celebrating your union to the person that has promised to love you until death do you part.  Not “unless she can’t lose weight.”  Not “only if she looks fantastic in her dress.”  The reality of it is, your fiance loves you regardless of how perfect you look on your wedding day.  He loves you when you first wake up in the morning, after you’ve worked out, after you’ve had a bad day….and he’s marrying YOU not the perfect camera-ready version of you.  And, the best part is, he decided this long before you popped in the Bridal Boot Camp DVD.

The messaging that we’re receiving that tells us we need to achieve a whole new level of perfection just to walk down the aisle is disheartening.  I hope that other brides remember that their future husbands love them as they are and want to see them happy on their wedding day, not thin beyond recognition or comfort.  By remembering that we are loved beyond our ability to look perfect in a dress, maybe we can prevent other men from having to suffer the tragedy of their future wives dying before they have a chance at marriage.

Loosing weight is a constant battle in my life.  For some reason, I can never get myself on a schedule where every day of the week I’m eating right and exercising.  Part of it is my fault for not doing more to manage my schedule so I can work out every night.  But I also have to be honest that it’s extremely unmotivating to gain and lose the same 5 pounds month after month.  You would think the idea of squeezing my buns into a wedding dress and taking millions of pictures would be motivation enough, but even that doesn’t hold up in the face of dining out and baking!

I’ve tried a lot of methods to track my progress:  I’ve been a member of Livestrong for awhile now, however, it’s something I have a hard time keeping up with on weekends when I’m not sitting in front of my computer all day! I downloaded their iPhone App, but at the time, it wasn’t synched with my online profile, which didn’t help.  A few years ago, I joined Body By Glamour, a free weight loss tracking system sponsored by Glamour Magazine.  I’m an avid reader of the magazine and am always impressed with their fitness and health tips.  When I completed the program for the first time a few years back, I even won a free workout DVD and ab ball!  Oh, and I managed to lose some weight, too.

So, I have enrolled again on Body By Glamour to see if I can stay motivated enough to manage to lose a few pounds before our wedding day, and to manage my weight overall.  I was happy to see some new features on the site to enhance user experience.  The interface was a lot more advanced, and even features some food options saved in the database, similar to Livestrong.  While the list of saved foods is not that long, I’m able to enter my own information by consulting Livestrong, ensuring I’m tracking calories properly.  Additionally, I like the Progress feature that shows if you hit your calorie “range” for the day.  I feel as if the range is much easier to use rather than seeing that hard number every day with no wiggle room.

Another great feature of Body By Glamour are the customized strength routines.  My main problem with a lot of weight routines is that they require fancy gym equipment or machines.  Seeing as I work out at my own home gym with free weights and a stability ball, those routines never last long with me.  The routines designed by Body By Glamour are challenging, but not to the point where I can’t do them at all.  And trust me, I can certainly feel it the next day!!  (Inner thighs are experiencing a beat down, currently!!)

While I’m sure I’ll continue to make mistakes (eating out on weekends is my biggest one so far!) I’m hopeful that using Body By Glamour again will help me keep things on track until our big day and beyond!  I would recommend the program to anyone looking to make some changes without the pressure of paying for an online program or having to eat frozen foods for the rest of your life!

Anyone else have any tried and true methods for weightloss and excersise?

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