Monthly Archives: June 2010

Italia!

I just wanted to briefly update everyone on where I’m going to be for the next 10 days and why there will be no new posts. I’m traveling to Italy with my family for vacation! We’re traveling all over and I’m ecstatic to spend time with them in a totally new environment. I am also going to be doing some wedding shopping [looking for a dress!] so I will hopefully return with some magfnico’ news! Ciao good friends, I’ll have plenty of photos when I return!

Below are the cities I’ll be visiting!

Rome

Venice

Florence

Tuscany [in a little town called Orvieto]

I can’t wait!

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Have your cake & Eat it too!

One of my favorite parts of wedding planning, thus far, has been picking out our menu and sifting through thousands of cake designs. I’m not going to lie, I’m a fan of food and food will be a very big part of my very big day! Although there are so many really cool cake designs and flavors out there, I’ve found a *few * that actually leave me speechless. [And those who know me well know that is not an easy thing to do!] It’s just amazing how some bakers can create such a truely remarkable piece of edible art! [Please note, the colors below are not the colors that will be in my cake. Just purely design]

Three-tiered square wedding cake accented with funky green tiling and oversized green flowers.

Four-tiered white fondant wedding cake covered with green sugar-made leaves.

The non-traditional cake took an architectural, column shape and featured black flowering branches on a white background, a design characteristic of the fin de siecle era.

Each of the cake’s three tiers was topped with rich green orchids. Inside were layers of strawberry cream cake and haupia, a traditional Hawaiian coconut-flavored dessert.

Meg and Jim’s three-tiered, white fondant-frosted cake was decorated with brown fondant floral cutouts. The chocolate and raspberry confection sat atop a milk-glass cake stand, which the couple had bought on eBay.

This three-tiered round cake is covered in pale pink fondant and adorned with long green fondant stems, gum paste hot pink ranunculus, and tiny butterflies.   Photo By: James Worrell

I’m getting hungry just looking at them!

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Wedding Dress Workout

As I was searching my nutrition blog for some photos, I stumbled across this article. It’s so important I’m re-posting on this one blog! Enjoy!

Day 16: Establish a “wedding dress workout”

All photos above  courtesy of www.nzgirl.co.nz

Photo courtesy of www.inspirethebride.com

One of my greatest fears is that I will not be at my goal weight for my wedding. Of all days to need to look your best, your wedding day is at the top of the list. All of your family and friends will be there, your future husband will be saying I do to your body and not to mention thousands of professional photographs will be taken, which are not the world’s most forgiving camera angles. So if there’s never been more of a push to lose 20 pounds and get my goal body than now! I only have a year, folks, which will pass by much quicker than I think I’m ready for!  In order to get “wedding dress ready” I obviously need to first establish what type of dress I’m going to be wearing so I know what areas I need to focus on the most. Although I’m just newly engaged, I have been dress shopping for a bit longer [cough, a year, cough, cough] so I have a slight idea to what kind of shape and style I want on my big day.

 As of now, most of the dressed I’ve tried on, are strapless. AH! I’m not a strapless kind of girl. I don’t think I own a strapless dress or tube top, for good reasons. I used to be a swimmer, which means I have a strong upper body. It also means that I slightly resemble a linebacker in anything without straps or sleeves. I love football and linebackers play a very important role on a football field, they however, do not play a similar role down the aisle on my wedding day.

Although I can’t do much about the width of my shoulders, I can definitely do something about the toning in my arms and chest! Since most of those gowns are also very fitted down to the waist, I also need to really focus on my abs, making them as flat and toned as possible.  So after doing a bit of research, I found some great moves that I can do on top of my normal cardio-weight training routine, plus I can do them from the comfort of my own home! 

To get the toned triceps, biceps, and pectorals that I really need to look hot in my strapless gowns, I need to do these routines 3-4x a week.  [These workouts are all courtesy of www.theknot.com]

Bicep Curls
1. Standing with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, pull your tummy in and tuck your pelvis under. Hold a heavier pair of dumbbells down at your sides with your palms facing front.

2. Keeping your elbows at your sides, slowly curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders. Reverse direction and lower the dumbbells into starting position — avoid locking your elbows. Do 10 repetitions per set. Slow and steady wins the race here — you’ll get a bigger benefit from the exercise if you use concentrated, controlled movements. If you feel like you’re whipping the weights around to get them up, your dumbbells are too heavy. Downgrade to a smaller weight so you can move more comfortably.

Both photos courtesy of www.cosmogirl.com

Dumbbell Fly
1. Lie down with your knees bent and your feet firmly planted shoulder-width apart. Stretch out your arms on the floor so your body makes a T. Grasp a dumbbell in each outstretched hand, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Keep your palms facing up towards the ceiling.

2. Slowly raise the weights upward in a rounded arc (as if you were hugging a tree!), gently touching the dumbbells together at the top above your body. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower the weights back to their starting positions. Do 10 repetitions per set.

Photo courtesy of www.womansday.com

Tricep Dips
1. Sit normally on a sturdy, nonwheeled chair. Place your hands on the front edge of the seat (fingertips facing front) and your feet on the floor, hip-width apart and a little bit ahead of you. Slowly slide your bottom off the seat of the chair, keeping your hands where there are.

2. Keeping your arms close to your body, bend your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, allowing your rear end to descend past the edge of the chair. Using your arms to lift you, reverse direction and push yourself back up to the point at which your arms are straight. Work up to 15 dips per set.

Wedding Fitness & Health:  Tricep-dip on ball Works triceps and shoulders (A) Sit on a

Photo courtesy of www.brides.com

Tricep-dip on ball

Works triceps and shoulders

(A) Sit on a sturdy chair or bench, hands on edge of the chair. Extend legs and rest calves on ball.

(B) Bend elbows to slowly lower your body about 6 to 8 inches (if you go too far, you’ll place undue stress on your shoulders), with elbows pointed back and butt close to edge of chair. Slowly return to start, squeezing your triceps at the top of the move. Do one to two sets of
8 to 10 reps, working up to three sets of 12 reps.

Wedding Fitness & Health:  Two-way shoulder raise Works front and middle deltoids (

Photo courtesy of www.brides.com

Two-way shoulder raise

Works front and middle deltoids (shoulders)

(A) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, legs straight but not locked. Holding a set of dumbbells, arms to your sides with palms facing in and abs contracted, lift your arms up and out to shoulder height.

(B) Lower your arms, then lift them forward and up to shoulder height, turning your palms up, elbows slightly bent. Lower, turn your palms in, and repeat, from (A). Perform one to two sets of 10 to 12 reps, working up to three sets of 10 to 12 reps. When the 12th rep becomes easy, increase the weight by 2 or 3 pounds.

Wedding Fitness & Health:  Stationary inchworm Works deltoids, chest, triceps and

Photo courtesy of www.brides.com

Stationary inchworm

Works deltoids, chest, triceps and abdominals

(A) Stand with feet together, legs straight; don’t lock knees. Place hands on ground in front of feet.

(B) Slowly walk hands forward.

(C) Continue forward until you’re in a plank position. Slowly walk hands back to starting position (hands on ground in front of feet). Perform one set of 6 to 8 reps, working up
to one set of 12. For a more advanced move, add a push-up when you’re in the plank position.

Wedding Fitness & Health:  Tricep-dip with a kick Works triceps, shoulders, glutes and

Photo courtesy of www.brides.com

Tricep-dip with a kick

Works triceps, shoulders, glutes and abdominals

(A) Sit on a mat, with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on the ground with your fingers pointing toward your butt and your wrists aligned with your shoulders. Lift your butt off the ground so you’re in a bridge position, trying to keep knees, hips and shoulders in line.

(B) Bend your elbows and lower your hips as you lift your left leg, foot flexed, to a 45-degree angle from the floor.

(C) Straighten your arms, and lower your left leg back to hip height. Repeat steps (B) and (C) for half your reps, then switch legs. Perform one to two sets of 10 to 12 reps, working up to three sets
of 8 to 12 reps.

Wedding Fitness & Health:  Crunch with a twist Works shoulders, obliques and lower

Photo courtesy of www.brides.com

Crunch with a twist

Works shoulders, obliques and lower abdominals

(A) Sit on the ball and walk your feet forward, rolling the ball
so that it’s beneath your middle back. Keeping your feet flat
on the ground, hold a light dumbbell (3 pounds for beginner, 5 pounds for more advanced) vertically with your arms straight out in front of you about 45 degrees above your hips.

(B) With abs contracted, crunch up, twisting your torso to your left, then to your right, before lowering back down to starting position. Do one set of 8 to 12 reps, working up to two to three sets of 8 to 12 reps.

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My Floral Fixation.

I’m a flower fanatic, really. I always have a fresh bouquet in my house of assorted varieties and my fiance knows the true way to my heart is through a bouquet [and diamonds, but that’s beside the point]. Growing up, flowers were always my favorite part of the weddings I went to. I loved seeing the different kinds and colors in the centerpieces, on the cakes and in the bouquets. And like most girls, I fantasized about how the flowers were going to look at my wedding. Now that it’s time to put my floral fantasies to action, I’m seeing firsthand that this task is not as simple as I had once imagined. Either way, I’m in flower heaven and my fixation on florals has only intensified! Here are my top inspiration points. All photos are courtesy of The Knot.

Centerpieces

[note: just focus on the flowers, not the actual set up. My wedding will have different vases, centerpieces, etc.]

The couple collected over 100 pieces of vintage milk glass to hold peonies, ranunculus, and sweet peas. Pom-poms on the tables upped the fun factor.

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The hair conundrum

For all who know me, I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair. I don’t dry it, straighten it or curl it. I don’t use many hair products or crazy colors. It’s just simple, laid back and beachy most days out of the year. Well, my wedding isn’t most days, so I’m going to need to spice it up and add some pizazz.

I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I want my hair up or down for my wedding. I was dead set on having it down but the more photos I see of gorgeous updo’s, the more appealing the thought of my hair up becomes. I know my choice will depend on the neckline of my dress, but my day of hair dresser is curious to know what I’m leaning towards. So here are my top contenders for my hair down and my hair up.

Down

Simple and gorgeous. A very easy style. [Also, very me!]

 Hairstyle22a.jpg image by mazmail1977

I also really like this half up, half down style. Still simple but with a twist.

I love this style! It’s very romantic yet elegantly simple.

I love this style. It’s gorgeous and would look amazing with a strapless dress and a chunky necklace.

Up

I love the flower, I love the ringlets. I love this style!

I really love how the garland is weaved into her updo. It’s unique and playful!

The crown is a bit much, but I love the curls!

This is one of my favorite up do styles. A simple bun with a bridal twist! [See the small flower pin!]

So other recent brides and brides-to-be, which way should I go?

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Honeymoon shopping!

How tranquil does this look?

I know it’s a bit unorthodox to spend hours doing honeymoon research when I have, oh, I don’t know, an entire wedding left to plan? But, there is a method to my madness, you see. Although planning a wedding is a blast and a gratifying experience, it can be a bit stressful. What better way to relax [my mind and my body] than to daydream about the white sandy beaches and crystal blue water Elliot and I will be seeing everyday on our honeymoon? I’m sort of obsessed with vacations [taking them, planning them, the mere idea of them] so planning this portion of our nuptials is much less daunting.  I know many brides leave the honeymoon up to their honey, but I’m WAY to hands on for that. And with me being so obsessed with vacations, I want to get my hands dirty in choosing where we go.  See below for some top choices thus far.

Bora Bora

These photo’s don’t need explanation. The magnificent beauty of this place is just, remarkable. So why haven’t I booked the honeymoon yet or why am i not sitting there right now? Naturally beauty like this does not come cheap. This is one of the most expensive options we have, but by far, the most spectacular. I’ve found some great deals that include airfare, complimentary scuba, snorkeling and jet ski rental, as well as honeymoon perks [champagne, dinner by candlelight, etc.] This island sits next to Tahiti in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Fiji

Fiji is another one of those places that make my jaw drop with how gorgeous it is. I’m afraid if we go here I won’t return home! Much like Bora Bora, Fiji and its surrounding islands sit peacefully in the middle of the Southern Pacific Ocean, with Australia to its far left and Chile to its far right. I love how secluded the island is. It kind of makes you think it’s your own, private island! The only downfall I’ve found, thus far, is the same as Bora Bora: the price tag. However, as the summer approaches, so do the deals!

Sandals St. Lucia

You can not go wrong with the Caribbean, at least in my book. Beautiful beaches, beautiful weather, beautiful everything. What also makes the Caribbean so fantastic is how close it is to the states [well, in comparison to Bora Bora]. Sandals, who are known for their romance packages, offer a honeymoon bundle in St. Lucia that includes airfare, room and all food and drinks. You can also add a romance or luxury package for a few hundred dollars to ensure your honeymoon is amazingly luxurious. I am also easily wooed by all-inclusive deals. A honeymoon is meant to be a time that is worry-free, and what is more worry-free than not having to pay for anything out-of-pocket? [Well, almost nothing].

Europe & the Mediterranean

I’m praying on both hands that the unrest in Greece is settled by next year because I really want to go there! I’ve always heard such amazing things about Greece and it’s top on my list of places to visit. If things are still rocky, we do have a back up plan for this option: explore the Mediterranean coastline [Spain & Italy] or travel about in Europe [England, Spain, Germany]! Elliot is very keen to this option [he’s dying to go to England] so this might be what we chose. I’m still wedded to a secluded beach but I guess an excursion around Europe wouldn’t be too bad 🙂

Friends, recent brides and brides to be, what are your suggestions or pieces of advice?

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A truly beautiful inspiration…

This post is not about my wedding, well, directly. It’s about a wedding I was just recently at [and in] and the entire affair was such an incredible event and inspiration to me. This wasn’t just an ordinary wedding either. It was the wedding of my VERY best friend! I knew, from the moment she got engaged, it was going to be gorgeous. But I was just…blown away…with how amazing it looked. I can only hope mine is half as beautiful as hers. [And I’m 1/3 of the bride she was.] Here are a few snapshots of her special day. I’m so thankful to have spent it with her 🙂

Her hair was so pretty! I love the flower!

Me and her other amazing bridesmaids. I loved the simple black dresses.

Everyone dancing! [I loved her short reception dress!]

The happy couple at their first dance! [I’m stealing the bright shoes idea, just with a different bright color!]

I love how simple and elegant these chairs were!

Very cute table numbers!

Even though I’m making a weird face, I’m having a blast dancing into my announcement at the reception!

In the end, a wedding is  a night to celebrate your love and your future. So let loose, smile, laugh, cry and dance. It’s a party after all 🙂

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