CoolSculpting Will Help Me Fit in My Wedding Dress!

|
I recently went for my wedding dress fitting, and was utterly shocked when the thing was tight on me!!! It had only been a month since I got my dress fitted and I even had the seamstress let the bodice out an inch. Needless to say, I was devastated! The ladies working on the dress tried to soothe my nerves by saying that some brides tend to gain extra weight around their mid-section when it gets close to their wedding, due to stress. My wedding is still a couple months away so I decided to do some research on what I can do to get rid of that stubborn chub on my torso.

Lucky for me, I found out about CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting is a new non-invasive way to basically freeze away your fat cells. It works especially well on love handles and lower belly fat (which is perfect my minor situation). Okay, the freezing thing sounds scary, but CoolSculpting does not involve needles or surgery and is of no harm to your skin. This procedure is actually made for people who are already in shape and just looking for a way to get rid of those problem spots that tend to stick around even after living at the gym and forcing yourself to eat cardboard-flavored food.

After just one visit, you will see up to a 20% reduction in your tummy fat! There is no down time, you don't have to take pills, and your results stay as long as you continue to eat healthy and stay in shape. It really doesn't get much better than this. What's more, this procedure was actually developed by Harvard scientists, and I mean, who doesn't trust Harvard scientists?

If CoolSculpting sounds as awesome to you as it does to me, it's about to get better. They are having a contest right now called the 12 Week Challenge! You just sign up to enter to win two free CoolSculpting treatments valued at $1500 each. I'm definitely signing up, but I figured you deserve a chance to win too, so click here to enter the 12 Weeks Challenge. While you are registering to win, swing by the CoolSculpting Facebook page and learn more about the procedure! Thank me later for cluing you into this awesome fat freezing process!

This post is sponsored by www.CoolSculpting.com

Ready to Cruise

|
Guest post written by Pete Warley

The other day I was looking at one website after another trying to find good options for fixing up the house. I found some good options, and when the weather gets a little warmer, I am going to reach out to some of these places and get the house looking at good as it can be since I love to entertain. I live in very nice little suburban community, and I know I really shouldn't care too much...but I usually feel pressure to make sure that the house is looking as good as the other houses around mine. On another note, while I was looking for solutions, I came across some advertisements for Caribbean cruises. Wow...could you imagine?

I must say that taking a cruise would be an incredible way to bring in spring. I would go for a nice vacation, and when I come back, the weather would hopefully be much better. If that worked out, that would be a thing of beauty. I know it won't take much convincing to get my wife on board. If I can get her to say yes, I'm going to make the accommodations immediately. This could be my best idea yet!

The Amazing Winter

|
Guest post written by Leigh Sampson

To be perfectly honest, I really enjoy the winters here in Texas. During the summer, it can get so hot that my husband and I barely ever wish to leave the house. In fact, when we aren't out socializing with our friends, our recreational activities are mostly all inside! We enjoy our movies, video games, and playing with our pets. When winter rolls around, we actually make more attempts to get out and actually enjoy the outdoors. We do get out in the spring and summer, but it really can be too hot. I think we are both going to take advantage of the current weather conditions while they last.

Before summer rolls back around, we are planning to get a new cooling system installed. I ! don't think we could hold up without one. I read an HVAC ad online that simple read CLICK, and I found out about some local options. I think that we are going to go ahead and get a new system installed before summer comes around. That would definitely be the smart thing to do right now.

You're Gonna Love This...

|

Okay, so it's been a few days since my last post. I have been maxing out my credit card on car repairs and upkeep. As you have read before, I wrecked my car in the snow storm a few weeks ago which racked up $1,000 worth of damages. Okay, it could have been worse and I'm thankful I'm not hurt, but it is still irritating when you have to save every penny to afford the wedding of your dreams.

The insurance adjuster called me the day before I was supposed to get my beloved VW bug back and let me know that one of my tires was about to blow because it had a split in it. Upon further inspection, there were two more tires that were on their last legs. "Luckily" I had had one tired replaced last month after it split in two while I was at work. Needless to say, I knew it was an absolute necessity to replace these forlorn tires asap or I would have a lot bigger problems than finding the perfect sash for my bridesmaids dresses.

Ryan had to work today, so I ventured to the Discount Tire alone and dressed as business-like as I could so I wouldn't get gauged in the price department. ( I thought it was best to go in looking like I knew exactly what was going on and had a degree in tires...) Five hundred dollars later, I walked out with three brand new tires to add to the variety of other new pieces to my car that I "love".

Upon leaving the tire place I got in a "what the heck" kind of mood and decided if I was going to spend all of my credit card "money" on car repairs, I was going to do it right. I had been putting off getting my oil changed for, well....about 5 months. (I know, I know) The Valvoline Instant Oil Change was conveniently only two streets away so I pulled in before I changed my mind and spent oodles of money on a high mileage oil change. I was feeling responsible about my choice until the head mechanic asked me if I had my "adhoifnaoien" changed or had any problems with my "aodfinbe". (That's how I heard it anyway...) After he translated it to English, I realized he was telling me that I had the wrong kind of Coolant in my car. Apparently, I'm supposed to have electric orange coolant, instead of the electric yellow coolant that was in there now. Heck, if I knew it was color coded, I would have made the right decision in the first place. Colors are sort of my thing. He told me it would be approximately $90 to get my Coolant flushed. Without giving it a second thought, I squealed my brand new tires out of that money trap and headed home.

Feeling powerful and fancy in my now, half new car, I called Ryan (who was now home from work) and told him I would come pick him up to try out my new tires/oil. On our way to town, my car started doing "weird" things. Okay, maybe I should inform you that I recently got a letter from Volkswagen (my favorite place...) saying that there has been a recall on my model and that I needed to bring my car in to get the "whatever" replaced. Basically, my car is not talented in the switching gears department and everytime it changes from one gear to the next, the whole car jerks like it saw a ghost. It started out to be not that bad but now, it has progressed to the point of making the "accelerating" noise when I am stopped at red lights.

I know I should have gotten this problem fixed a long time ago when they sent me the notice, but with the snow days, hospitalizations and car-less/sick days that have made me miss work, I haven't really been in the position to take a day off to spend with the Volkswagen mechanics.

So that is where I've been the past few days and what I've been doing. Fun stuff obviously...Wait, I did have a wedding associated activity this weekend! I got to meet up with my beloved wedding planner and friend/deejay, Justin at Lillie Belle's to discuss where he would be set up and what he would need to bring. The meeting went wonderful and it was great to see an old friend. Until next time....

Cupcake Tower is a Go, Save-the-Dates are a No!

|
So, here is the latest on the journeys of me, the broke bride. We went to Gigi's Cupcakes this weekend to discuss prices, cupcakes, etc. for our wedding. The Gigi's employees weren't completely informative and helpful, but luckily their prices for cupcake towers will fit into our wedding budget! Yay! We don't really have to make another move on this aspect of the wedding until a few months before so we will file this topic away for now.

In other news, my broken car is currently being fixed. Final total? $1,000 on my credit card and $200 compliments of Progressive. Gee thanks car insurance...Needless to say, I immediately changed my deductible to much less than $1,000 after hearing this total. So much for having a wreck-free driving career. I'm just thankful I'm safe and am still able to walk down the aisle in September.

Moving on, hopefully, I will get to meet with my fabulous deejay this week to go over pricing and what equipment he will need to bring on the day of. We were supposed to meet last week but the same weather that claimed my car's wellness, also put an end to our meeting. I'll let you know what happens!

Finally, thank you so much for your opinions on my Save-the-Date dilemma. We have decided to nix these cards and save the money for things such as favors and car repairs...Donations are gladly accepted below :-) Have a great week everyone!




The Hits Just Keep on Coming...

|

So, so sooo much to blog about. The good AND the bad, unfortunately. Well, for starters, I'm getting a lot done with the wedding this week! I meet with GiGi's Cupcakes on Saturday to discuss my wedding cake/cupcake tower. We are wanting a cupcake tower instead of an actual wedding cake because:

#1. GiGi's Cupcakes are our all time faaave desert. I was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes out of NOWHERE (which sucks) so I haven't gotten to have these sugary treats as much as I would like here lately, but on my wedding day, I'm breaking the rules!

#2. Cupcakes just seem a lot easier for people to work with and we can have a few different flavors instead of one.

So we are pretty excited about meeting with them and seeing if we can afford their services. Also, we are meeting with our deejay this week at the venue to talk about where he will be set up and what kind of equipment he will need to bring. Originally we were thinking he could use the speakers and whatnot at the venue, but upon further investigation it turns out the speakers there suck (for lack of a better word).

Maybe, I should say we MIGHT be meeting with the deejay this week. As most of you know, a lot of the country is being tormented with snow showers and Tennessee is no exception. This is where I have to tell you about the bad news...Today, I wrecked my car. It will cost me AT LEAST $1000 to fix. This is thanks to the snow, btw. It started snowing quickly and accumulated even quicker. By the time I got home from work and turned on my street, the road was covered with dangerous whiteness. Well, needless to say, when I turned the wheel, my car did not turn with me and I skated across the road and hit the median. Frankly, I'm not sure what I'm going to do about getting my car fixed because I have no way to get to work and I definitely don't have $1,000 laying around to get my car fixed. The good part is that I am safe and I still have all of my limbs. That's all I really want to say about that right now because it is extremely upsetting on the wedding planning homefront.

Well, anyway, I'm hoping everything will work itself out and I'm hoping my car is safe because I had to leave it in a parking lot beside where I wrecked...

I'm always open for donations...especially now.




Are Wedding Nightmares Normal?

|
I'm not sure if this is a normal occurrence when planning a wedding or if I am just a kook. I have had nightmares before that related to my pending wedding day, but nothing like the one last night. Let me clue you in on what I was going through in dreamland:
Scene: My Wedding Day
Location: Some random house/hotel like dwelling that conveniently had a bar attached to it.
Everything was in place for the ceremony. I had my dress on and was prepared to walk down the aisle. Ryan was somewhere but I knew he was all suited up as well. My friends and family was there, some of which I haven't seen or been acquainted with in years. THEN, some mysterious person told me that plans had changed and I would have to wait three more months to have my wedding! In my dreamworld this was completely out of the question and i had it in my head that if I didn't get married THAT day, I wouldn't be able to get married at all.

Well, naturally, I was tormented in my dream. I even woke up panicking and stressed out. The dream kind of went on forever so I won't bore you on the random details. You are really only missing the part about the naked choir and my trip to the bar next door at 9am in the morning. Yeah, it was that kind of dream.

ANYWAY, is this normal? I mean, are these dreams going to ease up or do I need to get a prescription for Lunesta to get some decent shuteye? Anyone else had these wedding-mares?





To Save the Date or Not to Save the Date

|
After my much-anticipated meeting with my fabulous wedding planners, Janie and Allison, I have a decision to make. Ultimately, designing my wedding invites myself was a no-brainer since design is my career and my love. I had also decided to create coordinating Save the Dates that would warn my friends and family that the BIG day was near. It has been brought to my attention though that Save the Dates are not as popular or necessary as I once thought.

Apparently Save the Dates are more of a traditional aspect that a lot of young couples are deciding to opt out of. It's common to cut corners during wedding planning, especially for those of us who are funding the wedding ourselves. I'm just not sure if Save the Dates should be one of the corners that I cut. The money we spend on printing these date notices could definitely serve a purpose somewhere else, although designing these mementos would be fun and great for a wedding scrapbook. Eh, what do you guys think? Did you use Save the Dates? I'm horrible at making decisions...






Date Night with my Wedding Planner!

|
I'm going on a date with my wedding planner tomorrow and I'm SOOO pumped! It has been months and months since I have gotten to discuss my wants and must-haves to a professional. Ryan (the fiance) is a great listener, but he knows about as much about floral arrangements and centerpieces as I do about strength training and protein shakes. He will be tagging along on this Janie visit. Believe it or not, we are coming up with a lot of ideas together!

Our latest revelation was about the centerpieces. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I am basically making everything myself so I wanted to come up with a centerpiece idea that takes minimal skill and quick turn-over time. I won't give the entire plan away, but I will tell you this: it involves lots and lots of gum balls....Hot pink gum balls. Oh yeah!

Hopefully at this wedding planner date, we will come to some sort of conclusion about the caterer. I got an e-mail from Chef Joe (referred to me by Lillie Belle's, my venue) and let's just say, it was less than what I asked for. I'm not very picky when it comes to the wedding food. In fact, I would be okay with a few plates of cheese cubes and a box of Ritz. Unfortunately, my guests will probably want something more than buffet idea.

Anyway, I expressed my feelings about wedding food to the Chef Joe and explained to him that money is tight and food is unnecessary so give us the basics and light on the meat (I'm a vegetarian). A few days later I get a sprawl of a menu that provides me with ONE option for an "Appetizer Wedding" and about five options for huge meals that cost up to $35 a head! Not to mention, there was a wide variety of dead animal choices for each option.

I have yet to reply to that crazy and let him know if I like the menu or not. I don't even know what i would say...Try Again? You're Getting Warmer? No, no no, I don't have time for that. He will go unanswered until I have a talk with my saving grace, Janie.

Well, that's all for now folks! I've got to go pick out what to wear on my date! Support the cause of me getting hitched by donating below...






A decision has been made…

|
I have FINALLY found the PERFECT dresses for my ladies in waiting! For months and months, I have been scouring the web looking for what I had in mind for bridesmaid’s dresses. Originally I wanted to get really wild, and mildly sexy with this important ensemble but as time has passed, my ideas have evolved and I decided to tame it down a little.

Do you realize how hard it is to find a hot pink, tutu-style dress? Well, let me tell you, this is an impossible fete. UNTIL, I stumbled across this glorious satin ball gown that met all my needs. It is short, but not too short; sexy but not flaunty; and came in my beloved hot pink! What’s even better, it is only $89.99! After a little debate (okay, a lot of debate) I turned my back on my go-to color and opted for a simple black instead. Well, I didn’t COMPLETELY turn my back on the girly hue. I’m adding a hot pink sash around the waist of the dress so my bff’s don’t look like they are in a funeral march.

Unfortunately, I can't post a picture of the amazing bridesmaid dress on here because the website won't let me steal their picture. lol But here is the link to check it out. Believe it or not, having made that one final decision has made me feel a tad bit relieved. It feels nice. Oh, I almost forgot…things have worked out with my venue, Lillie Belle’s, and everything is back on track. I’ve claimed Janie and her assistant as my caretakers/wedding planners and I have a meeting with them next week to hammer down a DEFINITE meeting with my caterer and discuss the details of THE day. Things are looking up…

Well, everything but my wedding fund is looking up so feel free to donate…Talk to you soon!






Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend...Duh!

|
Although I have already received my gawgeous engagement ring from my hunky, I am still getting countless e-mails and whatnot from jewelry stores and engagement specials. (I'm really bad about unsubscribing from lists) As a woman, I am naturally drawn to shiny, beautiful things so every time I see these e-mails I am enticed to look through them and marvel at the glimmering glamour that are diamonds.

One website I recently stumble upon was Become.com. Now this site is your run-of-the-mill comparison shopping website. They have everything from big screen televisions to beautiful diamond rings. Apart from their many treasures, I was sucked into the diamond rings and that amazing prices they find! A 1.5 carat diamond cost upwards of $5,000 depending on the clarity. You can a 1.5 carat diamond ring, platinum, price around $2,000 or lower if you know how to search properly. If that is still too much for your budget, you can opt for a .50 carat diamond price of $99.00. How can you beat that? They really have something for every taste also. From blue diamonds to a 1.5 carat black diamond cost around $200 (like the one Big gave Carrie) can be found on Become.com.

You must go check it out for yourself and gaze at the brilliant stones! :-)

"Everything-Is-Going-Wrong!" Moments

|
Well, the New Year (aka my wedding year) is finally here and the stress of planning and paying for my wedding myself is starting to creep it's way into my psyche. You know you always see on wedding shows that as your wedding date moves slowly closer, more and more things start going wrong? Well, believe it or not, my "everything is going wrong" moments have already started and I have 8 months to go! Here is what's happened.

My beloved wedding venue, Lillie Belle's, has unfortunately been the cause for my stress and frustration. For starters, I have had to strangle a dolphin to try to get a meeting with the in-house caterer. I scheduled three meetings that were all cancelled on the caterers behalf. I like to think of myself as a rather easygoing gal so I let it go and decided to wait to schedule the meeting until this month since it was closer to my wedding date. A couple of weeks ago, I get a phone call from the owner (who is actually very kind and apologetic, but still...) telling me that they have decided to switch caterers to a man by the name of Chef Joe. The reason being, the original caterers (pause for suspense) were very hard to get in touch with! He preceded to brag on Chef Joe and promised and swore that the new caterer would be happy to meet with me anytime and would help me in any way he could.

Pleased with this new development, I immediately ran to my e-mail to schedule a taste-testing with Chef Joe. After searching on the Lillie Belle's website for some time, I couldn't find Chef Joe's contact e-mail anywhere (frustrating), so I e-mailed Bud who e-mailed me back promptly with the e-mail I needed. I automatically e-mailed Joe who replied shortly saying I needed to e-mail a girl named Sara. (Try to stay with me here...) I had no clue who Sara was so I asked Ole' Joe for her e-mail. He gave it to me and it turned out to be the in-house photographer's e-mail?! Now, why would I need to talk to the in-house photographer about the appetizers I want to serve?

At this point, I was a little exasperated and decided to e-mail my go-to lady, Janie, my wedding planner. If you look a few posts down, you will see that I met her at Lillie Belle's because she was their in-house wedding planner, which worked out perfectly because I was on the market for one. Upon our first meeting, she eased my mind completely and I referred to her as "the wind beneath my wings." THAT'S how relieved I was to have found a wedding planner that was 1.) Within my price range, 2.) Understood me and what I wanted, and 3.) Worked at my venue so she knew the ropes and people. I knew Janie would help me with the whole catering snafu. After I sent her an explanation e-mail about why I was in such distress, she responded with the WORST NEWS EVER!

Janie admitted that she no longer worked for Lillie Belle's......WHAT?! No one called me to inform me of this change. No one gave me a heads up to start looking for a new wedding planner. No one said "We've got your back, Ash. Don't Worry" (like Janie would have done). This was the point that I officially lost my cool.

I don't like confrontation and I don't like being mean, so my "heated" e-mail to the owner was probably not as harsh as it should have been. Hey, I'm a sweet southern belle! Thankfully, he quickly replied with many apologies taking the blame completely for my stress and worry. He said CHef Joe would be in contact with me, as well as the new coordinator, Summer.

This is kind of an open-ended story since nothing has really moved forward just yet with the catering meeting. I'm waiting on a reply from Chef Joe about a good time to meet.........
BUT I did talk to Summer and she seems very friendly but doesn't do NEAR the amount of things that Janie can do. So, I took matters into my own hands and told Janie I couldn't bear to lose her and well, she agreed to still be my wedding planner! Yay!

Hopefully all of my "everything is going wrong" moments are done now...yeah right! I'll let you know when I hear from the mysterious Chef Joe.

Donate to me affording the amazing Janie below. :-)