Tips For A Guilt-free Bridal Party

February 5, 2016

This post was sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts as part of a Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review

Hosting a small party for your bridesmaids and other bridal party members right after you’ve tried on your wedding dress (that I ordered roughly 18 months ago) is rarely a good idea. My wedding is about 12 weeks away; it’s going to take carrot sticks, water, and many miles on my bike to ensure that my dress fits properly.  I’m going to have to give up my cupcakes, but I could never give up my coffee. I decided I would try to to host a guilt-free bridal party with the help of Dunkin’ Donuts Vanilla Cupcake Flavored Coffee. I know I’m not the only person in my bridal party stressed over whether her dress will fit properly, so I tried to give everyone a few options. Here are a few tips for a guilt-free bridal party.

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DIY Wedding Calligraphy (Sort of)

January 20, 2016
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For your wedding day, there are lots of things you need to plan. You need to find a venue, look for a central coast wedding photographer, test out the caters, think of the theme… the list seems endless but this doesn’t mean you should forget about small touches you can add to make it even more special. For example, before the big day even happens you can set the tone with a “hand made” invitations.

I love a beautifully addressed envelope, but sadly, I no longer have the handwriting skills to do them myself. My wedding is about 4 months away, and we just finalized a date a few weeks ago. I’m trying desperately to finalize everything, and start all of my DIY projects. One of my projects is properly addressing my invitation envelopes. I wanted to learn to do calligraphy, but I don’t have enough time to perfect my skill to reliably address more than 50 envelopes. Several companies offer free addressing, but the price of save the date cards and invitations can be significantly more than their competitors. I own a very nice printer, courtesy of the HP Moms Panel. It’s the HP Envy 5660, which comes in very handy for lots of projects. Today I’m sharing a DIY wedding calligraphy idea to help you save time and money on addressing your invitations or save the date cards. buy lisinopril online no prescription

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Honeymoon Cruises: The Ultimate Post-Wedding Adventure

October 28, 2015

Weddings can take a lot of preparation, but when you’ve said your vows, signed the register and partied the night away at the reception, it’s time to go on a honeymoon. Cruises are an amazing way to spend the first few days or weeks with your new spouse; you’ll get to see more of the world, you’ll only have to unpack once and you’ll be in the lap of luxury on a floating palace on the high seas. There are a wide variety of southampton cruises available for varying budgets and level of adventure.

honeymoon cruises
Image by Traveloscopy used under Creative Commons License.

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In Search Of The Perfect Pout: Is Lip Augmentation Worth It? Restylane® Silk

August 25, 2015

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Restylane® Silk. However, the thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’ve never denied the fact that if I were given the opportunity, I would consider having “a little work done.” Many people believe that altering your body is vain, but I consider it an investment in myself. When I look in the mirror and I’m happy with what I see, that happiness trickles down to other aspects of my life. It boosts my self-esteem, my mood, and it can have an impact on how I get along with others. Have you ever looked in the mirror, picked yourself apart, and walked around in a bad mood the rest of the day?

Plus, it seems like almost everyone I know has had a few tweaks here and there. For example, one of my friends has recently had a few cosmetic procedures done to help her to feel more refreshed. Apparently, she spent a long time researching cosmetic surgery facilities like the Victorian Cosmetic Institute and reading through all the different types of procedures and related statistics until she found the best solutions for her needs. I have to say, although the results were incredibly subtle, my friend told me that she feels so much more confident. Ultimately, I suppose what I am trying to say is that if there is something that you want to change about your appearance, then as long as you do plenty of research, you can ensure that you are making the best choices for your needs.

While attending a conference in New York City, I was given the opportunity to attend a brunch hosted by Galderma to have Restylane® Silk administered by Dr. Marina Peredo of Skinfluence in Manhattan. Restylane Silk is an injectable form of hyaluronic acid that can be used to plump lips and improve fine lines around the mouth. Much to the dismay of several friends and family, I eagerly agreed to the lip augmentation procedure.
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I had heard good things and even saw someone at the event who said they had received a similar procedure at a denver skin care clinic and she looked great, I couldn’t really say no! If you experience any negative feedback from family and friends, just remember that it’s your body and you have the right to decide what makes you happy without being made to feel guilty.

Restylane® Silk

I have always been unhappy with my lips, and I’ll explain why. I have very large teeth, and they’re one of the first things people notice about me. When I smile, my top lip recedes to a mere line. I often have lipstick smeared across my front teeth, and I frequently adjust my smile in an effort to make my top lip appear larger. I wanted to experience what lip augmentation would look like on me before my wedding in a few months.

Here is a photo of what my smile looked like before the brunch:

before restylane silk

The actual procedure:

  • I had a brief consultation with Dr. Peredo. She and I discussed what I disliked about my smile and how I hoped to improve it.
  • She measured my face with a caliper and we discussed ratios, and how my face and lips compared to the “golden ratio.” I don’t have time to discuss this at length, but there are several great articles about face golden ratios if you search the internet. These measurements help set guidelines for what the practitioner will try to achieve with the injections. Some people might require injections in just the top or bottom lip, but others like myself, might get a small amount in each. She and I mutually agreed about how much Restylane Silk she intended to inject and where before the procedure began.
  • Her assistant applied a topical anesthetic which helped to temporarily numb my face in preparation for the injections. She allowed this to sit on my face for 10-15 minutes.

restylane application

  • Restylane® Silk Injectable Gel is the first and only FDA-approved product specifically designed for lip enhancement and the smoothing of wrinkles around the mouth in patients.
  • Dr. Peredo spread the injections throughout my top and bottom lips. She used a total of 1 cc of Restylane Silk. I could feel the injections, but they were no worse than getting injections during dental treatment. The discomfort was bearable. It only took a matter of minutes for her complete all of the injections.

restylane® silk

  • I noticed immediate results. My lips started to swell within an hour after the procedure, and I experienced bruising later that evening.
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restylane® silk

  • It took roughly 5 days for the bruising and swelling to completely subside.

I’m sharing a few photos so you have an idea of what you might expect. I had friends who experienced considerably less bruising and swelling, but your experience will depend upon how many injections you have, their location, and how your body responds to the injections and the Restylane Silk. Please don’t let these images deter you. I easily covered my bruising with a good concealer until the bruising subsided. I just want you to have reasonable expectations of what you might look like for the first few days following your procedure.

3 days post Restylane Silk injections

restylane silk

Here is my advice to anyone considering lip augmentation:

1. Don’t bargain shop. Any form of cosmetic augmentation is an investment. I understand being frugal, but cosmetic augmentation isn’t the kind of thing where you should try to save money; you shouldn’t treat your body like a drive-through experience. You might also require a second visit for minor adjustments.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your consultation. You should feel comfortable with your practitioner, and fully understand the procedure, including its potential risks and complications.

3. Ask to see some of the practitioner’s previous work. Many practitioners will have a portfolio of before and after photos to show you.

4. Ask them how many lip augmentation procedures they have performed while in practice and how frequently. Lip augmentation is truly an art, and skills with improve with practice. It’s important that your lips have balance and symmetry following your procedure.

5. Strictly follow the post-procedure advice from your practitioner. They should give you advice to help minimize bruising and swelling, and advise what over counter medication that you can take help with both.

Restylane Silk helped to boost my confidence and improve my smile. Having lip augmentation inspired me to improve other aspects of my life, including working toward losing the weight I gained this past winter and improving my overall health. Restylane Silk does not cause weight loss, but I was happier when I looked in the mirror and it encouraged me to work harder to make myself look and feel better. I made an investment in myself, and it had a cascading effect because I’m working hard to protect that investment.

restylane® silk

I would not hesitate to use Restylane Silk in the future, or to recommend it to family and friends. My experience was slightly different than most because I had my injections in front of a small audience, and I spent the following 3 days at a very public conference. Personally, I would advise trying the procedure roughly 6 weeks before a big event. Especially if you’re like me and you specifically want them before your wedding. This will give the swelling and bruising time to subside, and would allow you ample time to go back to your practitioner for any adjustments. Remember that you can go fuller later, but nothing will make them immediately smaller.
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Restylane Silk lasts roughly 6 months; some people will experience slightly shorter or longer results.

Have you ever considered lip augmentation? Had you heard of Restylane Silk before today?

Important Safety Information

Indications: The Restylane family of products includes Restylane®, RestylaneL®, Restylane® Silk, Restylane® Lyft with Lidocaine, and Perlane®. Restylane, RestylaneL, Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine, and Perlane are indicated for the correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds. Restylane and RestylaneL are indicated for mid-to-deep dermal implantation. Perlane and Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine are indicated for implantation into the deep dermis to superficial subcutis. Restylane Silk is indicated for submucosal implantation for lip augmentation and dermal implantation for correction of perioral rhytids in patients over the age of 21. Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine is also indicated for cheek augmentation and for the correction of age-related midface contour deficiencies in patients over the age of 21. Restylane and Restylane-L are also indicated for submucosal implantation for lip augmentation in patients over the age of 21.

Products in the Restylane family contain traces of gram-positive bacterial protein and are contraindicated for patients with allergies to such material or in patients with severe allergies that have required in-hospital treatment. These products should not be used by patients with bleeding disorders or by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Restylane and RestylaneL for lip enhancement and Restylane Silk should not be used by people under 22 years. RestylaneL, Restylane Silk and Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine should not be used by anyone with a known allergy to lidocaine. Products should not be injected anywhere except the dermis, superficial subcutis (Perlane and Restylane Lyft with Lidocaine only), or lip submucosa (Restylane, RestylaneL, and Restylane Silk only).

Use of products in the Restylane family at the site of skin sores, pimples, rashes, hives, cysts, or infection should be postponed until healing is complete. The most commonly observed side effects are swelling, redness, pain, bruising, headache, tenderness, and itching at the injection site. These are typically mild in severity and typically resolve in less than 7 days. Serious but rare side effects include delayed onset infections, recurrence of herpetic eruptions, and superficial necrosis at the injection site. Do not implant into blood vessels. Use with caution in patients recently treated with anticoagulant or platelet inhibitors to avoid bleeding and bruising.

The Restylane family of products is available only through a licensed practitioner. Complete Instructions for Use for Restylane, RestylaneL, Restylane Silk, and Perlane are available at Complete Instructions for Use for Restylane® Lyft with Lidocaine is available at

Wedding Fitness Tips From Women’s Health Next Fitness Star Finalist Jana Hare

July 8, 2015

It’s a special day on the blog; I rarely have guest writers, but today I’m sharing my space with Women’s Health Next Fitness Star finalist, Jana Hare. She’s sharing a few wedding fitness tips to help you look and feel your best on your wedding day (or any day). Her tips are very practical and suitable for almost any fitness level. Jana’s love of fitness, and helping others attain their fitness goals is apparent in her enthusiasm. Whether some of her advice includes visiting the gym regularly, doing daily exercises at home, eating healthier or using a fitness watch and accessories that can be found on sites like Mobile Mob to keep track of your progress, she had people’s best interest at heart when it comes to achieving their fitness goals.

If you are after someone as motivational and motivated as Jana to help you reach your fitness goals, click for more info. We could all do with a bit of help at times, especially when it comes to keeping fit. She’s also a Lexington, Kentucky resident, which only makes me more enthusiastic about sharing my site with her today.

Jana Hare
Photo Courtesy of Women’s Health

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The Search For The Perfect Grooms Gift

June 26, 2015

I’ve struggled with finding a unique wedding gift for Jeremy. I want something that he can cherish. I don’t believe gifts should be ridiculously expensive, but personally, I really appreciate it when someone puts serious thought into what I might like or enjoy. Jord Wood Watches contacted me asking if I would like to review one of their watches. I hadn’t seen anything like them previously. Do you know anyone that owns a wooden watch?

jord wood watches

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Pre-Wedding Weight Loss With Lean Cuisine®

June 15, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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Maintaing my weight as an adult has been a struggle; I played multiple sports throughout childhood and college that allowed me to eat whatever I wanted. Complications from childbirth and breastfeeding contributed to weight gain following the birth of my son. When I weaned him at 2 years old, I decided I had to lose the weight. I created a diet and exercise routine that included LEAN CUISINE® meals that helped me lose nearly 70 pounds.

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