Losing Weight Before Your Wedding

Losing Weight Before The Wedding

Are you engaged to be married?

I am sure you are super excited and immersed in your wedding planning already! After all, you have a lot on your plate; the venue, the guest list, food, music, flowers and so much more. And then there’s the dress! Possibly the most important part of the entire wedding, in a bride’s eyes. You will probably spend hours looking at and trying on all different wedding dresses until you find your dream wedding dress. You know, the one you have dreamed about since you were 12 years old? 😉

I know you’ll want to look your best!

You want to look and feel beautiful and confident as you walk down the aisle.  If you are like most brides to be, part of looking their absolute best includes losing a few pounds and looking amazing in their dream dress. Now, I first want to say that you should check with your doctor before starting any new fitness program. Also, this is not something you want to do if you are getting married in 2 weeks.  The ideal time frame is 6 months of more. You want to give yourself as much time as possible so that you aren’t stressing yourself or your health in any way. You need to be strong and healthy for your wedding too!

Just like your marriage will be, fitness is forever!

You should never look for fad diets or quick fixes like pills or weight loss aids. Instead, look at your health and fitness routine the same way you look at your future marriage; it’s forever! So, start making healthy changes. They say it takes 21 days to break a habit and 21 days to create a new one. If you start months before your wedding, you have plenty of time to make changes. The bonus is that these won’t be temporary changes, these are changes you will take with you for the rest of your life and you will be healthier and happier because of them. 

Set small goals – Don’t expect to lose 75 pounds in 6 months before your wedding. Set small goals like 1 – 2 pounds a week. For now, instead of focusing on the big picture, look at the smaller pictures and set goals that will help you make progress toward your bigger picture goals. 

Eat enough food – Don’t make the mistake that so many make and starve yourself. You will not lose weight faster and you will only do harm to yourself. You need to take in enough calories each day. I recommend downloading a free app that will help you count calories. There are many to choose from, just take your pick.

Move, move, move – Get off the couch and make time to exercise at least 4 or 5 times a week. Even if you take a brisk walk for 45 minutes each day, you don’t need a gym or fancy equipment. The most important thing is that you move your body!

Change your plate – The dinner plates that come in sets sold today are huge, you are probably eating bigger portions than you should be. Switch to smaller plates to automatically eat smaller portions. 

Cut it out – Cut out junk food. Food with no nutrients and lots of fat and sugar can be your downfall. Get them out of the house to avoid temptation. When you want something sweet go for fresh fruit or homemade ice pops made with fresh fruit juice. 

Say no to cocktail time – Or at least drink less. Alcoholic beverages like cocktails can pack a couple hundred calories in a single glass! Switch to having just 1 light beer or wine spritzer instead of a few mixed drinks. 

Clean up your diet – Eat foods high in protein like chicken or salmon. Bake or steam foods instead of frying. Look for lower calorie substitutes for high calorie favorites. Try spices to boost the flavor of your food instead of high calorie sauces. Cut down on bread, rice and pasta. 

Not enough time?

If you are getting married sooner and you don’t have months to lose weight, my advice is to begin to make these changes anyway. The sooner you start making good habits the sooner you will start losing weight. Other than that, invest in a quality piece of shape wear, LOVE yourself, EMBRACE your curves and WORK that dress!

What do you have to add?

Do you have any weight loss tips for the brides to be? Please share them with me in the comments below. 


Now It’s Easy To Find The Best Nursing Homes

Best nursing homes

Best nursing homes

22nd Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day 

May 27, 2015 is the 22nd annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day! The 2015 Theme is “If You Keep Moving…You’ll Keep Improving!” On this day 100,000 older adults will participate in activities at more than 1,000 locations throughout the U.S. to celebrate. The goal of this day is to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. National Senior Health & Fitness Day is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for older adults.


“My great Aunt has always been the life of the party. She loves to dance and have a great time. She is always dressed to the nines and is just a firecracker! A few years ago she started having some medical problems and it became more difficult for her to live on her own. The idea of  going to a Nursing Home can be a scary thought. My Aunt wasn’t ready to give up her independence and the things she enjoys. We were so pleased to find out that her living in a Nursing Home didn’t have to mean the end of her being such a vibrant independent woman. She has made close friends, participates in so many fun activities and she even has a gentleman friend in the Nursing Home. She is happy and in a safe place that is equipped to take care of her needs while still allowing her to live her life the way she likes. We couldn’t have asked for anything more!”

Sometimes you need medical care that can’t be taken care of at home or in a hospital. That doesn’t mean that you are ready to give up your life and doing all the things you love to do. Being in a Nursing Home doesn’t mean the end of life as you know it. You can continue to be happy and active while knowing that you are receiving necessary medical care and attention. 

Even though Nursing Homes usually get a bad rap, there are so many amazing ones out there. There are rehab centers that look and feel more like hotels than hospitals and give you more personalized therapy and attention than if you were in a hospital. It’s like a home away from home for many people. Finding a wonderful Nursing Home is possible and so is living a fulfilling live while you’re in one. Like my great Aunt, you can still be the life of the party!

If you are looking into finding the best Nursing Homes, this is where BestNursingHomes.com come in to the picture. This is an online site, provided free to the public by the Association of Skilled Nursing Providers.  BestNursingHomes.com list five-star nursing homes and rehabilitation centers rated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This means that right off the bat, you are only seeing the best Nursing Homes with the highest ratings. You get access to the listing with all of the information at your fingertips. It can make a tough decision a little bit easier for yourself and your family. 

What makes BestNursingHomes.com different from other sites?

    1. BestNursingHomes.com lists only the best sites. Anything on the list has been preapproved by Medicare as one of the top in the country.
    2. Nobody is trying to sell you anything. Best Nursing Homes is run by a nonprofit organization whose public mission is to make people aware of the good places to go. It’s a completely free list.
    3. You don’t have to enter any personal information. No one is going to contact you when you search the site. Once again, there is nobody trying to sell you anything, this is all free information for you to browse at your convenience. 
    4. You can contact the nursing homes directly. If you see an option that you like, simply call the facility or send an email using the contact form.
    5. You can see what the center looks like. For the facilities that have chosen upgraded listings, you can take a virtual tour of the building with slideshow photos and videos. 
    6. You can review what others’ experiences were like. Best Nursing Homes gets real, authentic reviews from real residents and family members.

Best Nursing Homes has been made possible by the generous donation of North American Health Care and its CEO, John Sorensen. John has made it his life’s work to serve the elderly population and has sponsored the development of BNH and donated it to the ASNP for use. “We are very grateful for the leadership of John Sorensen in the post-acute care industry,” said Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Association for Skilled Nursing Providers. “John is a leader in his field, a generous philanthropist, and a great example of someone who places serving the patient above anything else. We are proud to be associated with John and North American Health Care and grateful for his support to promote best practices in skilled nursing.”

If you need more info:

For more information about Best Nursing Homes or the Association of Skilled Nursing Providers, please contact Dr. Cook at amyc@bestnursinghomes.com or 949-813-0182.


Every Child Deserves To Smile

Operation Smile

Operation Smile

Operation Smile Saves Lives

“Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft. A child with a cleft has twice the odds of dying before their first birthday. Children with cleft conditions who survive may have difficulty eating, speaking, hearing or breathing properly. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can’t afford the surgeries they need to live a productive life.” – From Operation Smile

That’s where Operation Smile comes in. Operation Smile is an International Children’s Medical Charity that performs cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, and gives postoperative and ongoing medical therapies to children in low and middle income countries since 1982. They have performed over 220,000  surgeries since then. 

Operation Smile

Every Child Deserves To Smile

Operation Smile believes that every child deserves a chance to smile and to thrive. They have medical volunteers in over 80 countries willing to donate their time to help save children’s lives. You can donate to Operation Smile and help the cause. It only takes $240 to provide a cleft lip or cleft palate surgery and it can be done in only 45 minutes! Donations also help to train medical professionals and build awareness.

Did you know that when you rent college textbooks from Campus Book Rentals, they make a donation to Operation Smile for every book that is rented. This means that you can help make a difference in these children’s lives while saving money on college textbooks! You can also make a donation directly by clicking here

15 Inexpensive Easter Crafts

inexpensive easter crafts

15 Inexpensive Easter Crafts

15 Inexpensive Easter Crafts

You all know how much we love crafts and DIY projects in my house. So, for Easter I wanted to make some of my own decorations. I love to decorate for Easter but I don’t like to spend a lot of money on decorations, so I started looking online for some easy and inexpensive ways that I could decorate using Easter crafts. I found some awesome ideas and of course, I just had to share them with you. 

Here are 15 inexpensive Easter crafts for you!

DIY Easter Pinwheel Centerpiece

Easter Egg Decorating

Jellybean Prayer Easter Treat

Easter Door Decorations

Easy DIY Easter Egg Cups

Easter Table Decoration Under $5

Easy DIY Washi Tape Thread Spool Easter Carrots

Easter Bunny Canvas

DIY Felt Easter Egg

Sweater Sleeve Easter Cups

Easter Egg Door Hanger

These are great to do with your kids!

Easter Bunny Craft
Easter Painting

My Daughter’s Homemade Lip Balm

Fun Easter Crafts For Kids From Pinterest

Do you do crafts and make decorations for Easter? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to bookmark  your favorite craft ideas. 


5 Great Groomsmen Gifts (That They Will Actually Use!)








5 Great Groomsmen Gifts (That They Will Actually Use!)

5 Great Groomsmen Gifts

If you are having trouble choosing groomsmen gifts you came to the right place. You want to give your groomsmen gifts that they will actually use, not something that is going to get thrown in a drawer and forgotten about just days after your wedding. Putting a bit of thought into each gift, you can find something that will be perfect for all of your groomsmen.

Here are 5 great groomsmen gifts that they will actually use.

1.If you have a groomsman that is a high roller or just loves going to the casino, you can hit the jackpot by buying them a really nice Poker set that comes in a high quality wood box or a fancy casino set that incorporates a few different casino games. They will use it for years to come.
2.Maybe one of your groomsmen is a wine or beer connoisseur. Get them a subscription to a wine or beer of the month club for a year. You can give them a set of monogrammed beer mugs or wine glasses to go along with the subscription. Every month when that delivery comes, you will be thought of and your wedding will be remembered fondly.
3.Cuff links can make a great gift, but you don’t have to buy the same exact pair for each of your groomsmen. Try to choose a pair of cuff links that mean something or are personal. If your groomsman loves Superman movies, get him Superman cuff links. There are a very wide variety to choose from these days with everything from really classic and elegant ones to funny cartoon characters and superhero logos. Truly something for everyone!
4.The Spa is not just for women! Pamper your groomsmen with certificates for a spa day complete with massages. They will be in Heaven and will definitely enjoy this relaxing gift idea.
5.Engraved watches make a great groomsmen gift. Depending on the style of each groomsman in your wedding you can choose either a pocket watch or wrist watch. Have them engraved with a special quote and the date of your wedding for a timeless, elegant gift.
It might seem hard to choose gifts for the groomsmen in your wedding, but it doesn’t have to be. You can give really awesome gifts that your groomsmen will absolutely love. Use an idea from my 5 great groomsmen gifts that they will actually use and your gifts will be perfect!

5 Bridesmaid’s Gifts (That They Will Actually Love!)



5 Bridesmaid’s Gifts (That They Will Actually Love!)

bridesmaids gifts


When you are planning your wedding, you put a lot of thought into everything, especially who you are going to ask to be your bridesmaids. It should go without saying that you put just as much thought into choosing their gifts. We have all heard the horror stories of the ugly bridesmaids dress or a really cheesy gift that the bride gave the bridal party. Being a bridesmaid can be a lovely occasion or a nightmare. 

Make it a dream come true for your bridesmaids with these 5 bridesmaid’s gifts that they will actually love.

1. Every woman needs a little bit of self pampering sometimes. Give your bridesmaids a lovely gift that will allow them to pamper themselves after the big day is over. Make each set unique and customized to the bridesmaid it is for. A scented candle, bubble bath, lotion, bath pouf and body spray in each person’s favorite scent and colors makes a perfect gift that your bridesmaids will actually use and love. You can also add their favorite perfume and put it all together in a nice tote bag that you know they will use again and again.

2.Being a bridesmaid can be quite expensive. Between the dress, accessories, shoes and travel, it can be costly. One of the best gifts you can give your bridesmaids is to help with those expenses. Buy all or part of their outfit, pay for a hotel room or car rental or anything else you can do to ease some of the financial burden. You can then give each bridesmaid a small trinket or gift at the time of the wedding.
3. A piece of jewelry can be a perfect gift for your bridesmaids, but try stick to classic jewelry that has a special meaning to each of them. Put thought into each piece and select it with the recipient in mind. Don’t get anything too flashy (unless the bridesmaid loves flashy stuff, of course) because you want them to be able to wear it anytime for any occasion.
4.A year’s subscription to a box of the month club is an awesome gift that all of your bridesmaids will adore. Don’t subscribe to the same one for all of them, always make the gift as special and personal as you can. There are so many out there, you will have no problem choosing the perfect one for each bridesmaid and they will look forward to it coming in the mail each month.
5. Book them a spa facial, along with manicures, pedicures and their hair done the evening before the wedding. It’s a little bit of pampering that will have your bridesmaids looking and feeling their absolute best when they walk down the aisle for you. It’s also the perfect way to spend some time together, have a champagne toast and laugh, take lots of pictures and create memories of your last night as a single woman!
You can give everyone the same type of gift or you can give each bridesmaid something completely different, just keep in mind you want to stay in the same price range for all of them. If you aren’t sure what gift to give your bridesmaids use one or more of my 5 bridesmaids gifts that they will actually love and your gifts will be a hit!

Wedding Gift Ideas For The Couple That Has Everything


Wedding Gift Ideas For The Couple That Has Everything

So, you were invited to a wedding for the couple that has everything and you have absolutely no idea what to buy them. Well, you can stick to the registry and get them the same old things that everyone else is getting them or you can think outside the box and give them a gift that is as unique as they are. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few great wedding gift ideas for the couple that has everything.

They may already have a lovely home and everything they need to go in it but it doesn’t clean itself. You can arrange for a cleaning service to come in every other week for a couple of months. They will love not having to do the cleaning for the first couple of months of their marriage and they will think of you every time they sit back and relax in their spotless home. This gift is especially great for a couple with very busy schedules.

Subscription boxes are all the rage and it’s no wonder why. You can find a monthly subscription box for almost anything your heart desires. You can choose something traditional such as a fruit of the month type subscription or something more customized to their tastes. Candy, wine, beer, gourmet meals, juicing boxes, there is something for everyone. Decide which one you think they would enjoy and get them a year’s subscription. They will look forward to it every single month.

This next one will require some investigation on your part if you want to keep it a surprise. Find out where the couple is going on their honeymoon. Get as many details as possible about the destination and where they will be staying. Now, get online and research the area. Book a special event for them while on their honeymoon. It could be a fancy dinner in a local restaurant, a wine tasting at a vineyard, a romantic spa day or a special show. This gift takes some time and thought to put together but they will love it and enjoy it so much more than a toaster!

If you still can’t find the perfect wedding gift, go beyond giving them something material. Make a donation in their name to a charity they support or even name a star after them! Get creative, make it personal and I promise you will come up with a great wedding gift for the couple that has everything!

10 Wedding Favors That Your Guests Will Really Love


10 Wedding Favors That Your Guests Will Really Love

I have to admit, my favorite part of going to a wedding is getting to take home a wedding favor. I love wedding favors because they are a way to remember a very special day that you helped to celebrate with loved ones. They are a gift chosen by the bride and groom to thank you for sharing their wedding day with them. I have a collection of wedding favors that I have acquired over the years and I love them all, but the ones I really enjoy are those that I can use. Here are 10 wedding favors that your guests will really love!
1. Mini Cactus and Succulent plants are long lasting, easy to care for and can be placed on a windowsill or desk and enjoyed for a long time.
2. Homemade or rustic soaps packaged with a ribbon make a lovely wedding favor that can actually be used by your guests.
3. Scented candles can be put on display or burned and enjoyed by your guests over a period of time. 
4. Gourmet candy or cookies are a sweet gift that all your guests will love. A simple box or bag with a bow is all you need to present them.
5. Lip balm, travel sized hand sanitizer, lotion, mints and tissues in a small reusable bag are a great wedding favor that you can be sure your guests will use. 
6. Buy them a coffee! A $5 Starbucks gift card will be used and appreciated by everyone at your wedding. 
7. A recipe in a jar makes a great gift that will most definitely be used. Layer dry ingredients in a mason jar, cover lid with fabric, tie with a ribbon and add a gift tag with the recipe printed on one side and your names and wedding date on the other. 
8. Flip flops and sunglasses can make a great wedding favor for a beach wedding. Choose a gift based off of your wedding’s location or theme. 
9. A customized shot glass or wineglass along with a “nip” sized bottle of liquor or wine. Put the bottle in the glass and tie with a ribbon and gift tag. 
10. One of my favorite wedding favors ever was a bag of candy that I put together at the wedding’s candy buffet. Assorted bulk candies in large bowls with scoops to use to put the candy in the bags. Each guest takes a small favor bag and helps themselves. You can customize the colors to match your wedding colors or just go with a rainbow of candy colors. 
With a little bit of thought and creativity, you can choose wedding favors that will be a hit will all of your guests. If you aren’t sure where to start, take a look at my 10 wedding favors that your guests will really love!

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