Friday, December 3, 2010

Wedding/engagement dieting-aka I tried the master cleanse

Sooooo, everyone looks their best for all events relating to your wedding after all it is all about you and your fiance...So its no wonder brides are usually intent on getting in shape and loosing weight for events.

I took a chance and did the master cleanse this week, or well 1/3 of the master cleanse. (31/2 days not 10) Generally, I eat pretty healthy, but I LOVE food, I am a self-proclaimed foodie. So there was some weight to loose. I also have been working out around the clock, while my body is getting toned my tummy is still a little rotund. So on the suggestions of some friends who tried it I figured why not. I saw it as a chance for me to loose that "baby fat" that never seems to go away no matter how many diets and workouts I do.

With determination in mind I cleared out the fridge and cabinets of any temptation, because I am a snacker and had to stay strong!!!
The day before I ate light mostly raw foods to get my body prepped, it recommends doing all raw foods but  I cannot eat a salad without dressing.... That night I tried the salt flush (1 Qt of Water 2 Tbls of non-iodide salt)... it tasted worse then a dirty ocean and was hard to get down. It is suppose to make you go to the bathroom ASAP especially if you lie on your side. Uhhhhh I had no such luck, however I have a friend who did it too and it worked for her. I guess I just have a really a lot of junk in my stomach and colon. It said you could have drank laxative tea instead which would have been much more pleasant....

Day 1.
I got up pumped to try my new cleanse. I woke up and made the lemonade (10 oz water, 2 tbls fresh lemon, 2 tbls Maple Syrup Grade B, 1/10 Tsp Cayenne Pepper). The first sip was killer because you can feel the cayenne on your throat, it burns a little. However, after a while I got use to it, and actually enjoyed the taste.  They recommend drinking 6-8 drinks a day and making them as you go to get the best of the enzymes as opposed to keeping it made in the fridge. I drank 6 the first day. Today was tough I really wanted a crunch and felt a little lethargic. I also went to dinner with my fiance who was eating the most amazing looking burger and french fries on earth, maybe I was hallucinating....That night I got home and drank the laxative tea (all natural Get Regular by Yogi).

Day 2
Felt a little tired, this morning and went to the bathroom more then I'd like to share. By the afternoon however I felt great! I got on the scale and lost 2-3lbs. That night, I had to go to a Hanukkah party with yummy latkas so I prepped before hand. I actually drank more than day 1, 8 servings and brought a big nalgene of 3 1/2 servings to the party to help curb any temptation. It worked I starred down brownie cookies, pigs in blankets, and my favorite- caesar salad. Later that night I drank the laxative tea again.

Day 3 Homestretch!
Got up, went to the bathroom, and headed right to the gym I couldn't believe the energy I had. By now the routine was normal my body and mind were use to it I suppose. I even drank less today,  5 servings, which was odd but maybe my body was use to routine. Once again I drank the laxative tea.

Day 4 Last day
So I got up early this morning, earlier then usual and felt totally refreshed, did my now routine bathroom stop. I went to the gym did a full intense work out and felt great. I slowly went off the cleanse eating a simple egg white. Online it recommends  eating raw fruits and veggies, however the cleanse is suppose to last ten days and I was only doing three so I decided I could supplement if I took it easy.

I haven't gotten back on the scale but can see a  noticeable difference in my tummy & love handle area that I have literally been at war with for a decade. If it wasn't the weekend and I didn't have plans I would 100% continue the cleanse because I feel so good on it and am so use to the routine. What I will do, is maintain this by really watching what I eat. I have a feeling if I started downing ice cream and cheesesteaks the weight would come back on in no time. So thats something to think about I am looking at its as a starting point/jump-start to my new regimen of healthy living.

You can also drink as much herbal tea you want, I recommend Peppermint its good for your tummy if your having some aches from3 the lax tea. Also DRINK TONS OF WATER...

All in all I'd say it was a success if I do it again closer to the wedding I know to leave myself at least 5 days because I had no problem with the three except for my occasional whining about wanting something crunchy. ( I did have two pickles I'll admit it, but I couldn't resist) Knowing now the first day and a half are the most lethargic I would be able to plan better, and anticipate that. I would also recommend picking a time of the year when you don't have a lot of dinner plans, I felt like I was playing mental chess with the food in front of me versus my stomach and just had to say NO. However, I did have a really big feeling of pride that I didn't dive into half the foods around me I saw everyone eating.

I would also recommend the cooler and blue print cleanse, I have friends who have been successful on those. They are more pricey then the lemonade but apparently taste ok (some of the flavors).

Errr because I know the way of the world this is a Disclaimer- i am not an expert or a doctor nothing I say it confirmed by anyone but me and my friends who did it....

Little tip- dont do this the week before your wedding otherwise your dress will be huge.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Registering headaches...

I have to register for how many gifts?!?!

Rule 1 of registering- its your stuff that you and your fiancĂ© are going to live with so pick what YOU WANT! Lots of people want to give lots of opinions,  but guess what it doesn’t matter.

Diversify- I would suggest registering at few places, especially if you have guests from different areas. Not every city has a Bloomingdales or Crate and Barrel, and while our generation is computer literate, our grandparents’ generation is not. So, being able to go to the store is a good thing if you have a lot of elders invited, stores like Macy and Bed Bath and Beyond may be more universal. Plus they all run sales, which everyone would rather buy a gift on sale because hopefully it means they will get you something even nicer.   

Price point- Unless you are Prince William and Kate, there is no reason everything on your registries should be very expensive. While for wedding presents the pricier things may be bought, for your shower and engagement the gifts are not as expensive. There is actually an etiquette book that’s says engagement gifts are not necessary, I don’t know what I think of this but I am not an expert on etiquette. My motto is if you’re invited to something you should be bringing something even if its little, it’s the thought that counts.

China- Jury is out on this one. Some people say you have to register some say you don’t. This is up to you, if you are planning on hosting dinners China is smart. My theory is register for 12-14 settings, and add more  if its all bought before the wedding. (keep in mind the size of your family if small no need to add) If you pick a reasonable simple five-piece setting you can always add a funky charger or dessert plate. Remember you aren’t registering for your grandmother’s china so pick what you like…remember to ask if it is dishwasher safe, if you are lazy like me.

  • ·      Make sure they have a good return policy!!
  • ·      Check each stores return policies

o   Crate & Barrel- hands you a check if you ask them.
o   Williams and Sonoma DOES NOT give money back, they only give store credit!!!
o   Bloomingdales- will credit your Bloomingdales card, I have heard rumors if you wait and don't use the credit you get a check in the mail…
  • ·      You can go green to save the environment. 
  •     There is also a way to show everything on the registries has been bought or take them down if you are inundated with crap and just want money for the wedding. (it’s a recession money is more useful than mixing bowls)
  •      You also get a lot of great promos by registering with the bigger stores and can use the discounts on anything.
  •      Sell your fiance on the concept that he gets to use a gun to register. As we all know boys do not love to shop so any incentive to get him to focus for 2 hours is a good thing. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

had to share this...

This literally breaks my heart. Even better read the comments, some girls are out of their minds selfish and others completely generous. Nonetheless, I feel terrible for those brides, my advice try to beg stores to sell them samples or hit up davids bridal...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the art of wedding negotiating

Negotiating your wedding…

There are two different types of negotiations that go on for a wedding…Negotiation with your family and negotiation with vendors- we are talking about $$$ here, family negotiations could be an entire book.

There is NO REASON you should not try to negotiate everything about your wedding. Not only will it decrease your cost but it may also increase what is being offered too you…

Economics 101- the market is in the toilet, the wedding market included. While people are still getting married no doubt about that the trend is for smaller or less extravagant weddings. It’s a fact of life in 2010, people aren’t spending as much as they did, and believe me the vendors can feel it…

« Discuss pricing before you go, how much are you willing to pay for the venue and food (a rough figure of course).
« Sit down with the coordinator and give them the rough amount of people your having including a rough idea of types of food.
« Generally they are going to give you a folder of menus with prices… these are not the set prices my friends!!! Negotiate the prices. Get as low as you possibly can, then once they will not go any lower, ask them to throw in something: an extra station, more apps during cocktail hour, your cake, or Viennese table.
« Also, a way to get the price down it to marry on a Friday or Sunday, venues would be thrilled to have more than one wedding a weekend if they only have one room.
« Negotiation= lower price +more perks

« You can negotiate here too.
« Do your homework.
o   If you know people who used that photographer ask what they paid or around what they paid.
« Ask the photographer if they will not budge on the budget to throw in engagement shots or an extra album.
« It is also important you request the proofs, some may charge extra for this, get them to include it in your negotiation. *stay tuned for my photographer tip post.

« If you are giving free reign to the florist make sure you give them a budget.
« Negotiate here by saying you are going to get your linens or lighting through the venue (they generally have a package).  Florists get a commission for linens and lighting through you. So by threatening to take it on yourself they will likely cave and decrease the price they are giving you. Poker Bluff lesson of the day.

« You can negotiate the dress even if you are in a fancy store. Stick to what you had in mind for your budget and work from there.
« Try to get them to throw in the veil if they will not budge.
« A good shopping tip if your dress is over the budget- ask to by the sample and negotiate on that price.
o   Check out I just discovered the site and they have used dresses for sale including high end ones like Vera Wang and Monique llhulier 

« Bands generally aren’t going to negotiate the price.
« What you can do is get them to throw in the DJ.
« Also, if your band doesn’t generally play the cocktail hour try to get that thrown in when you discuss the contract.

Paying in Cash
If you can maybe offer cold hard cash…
« Why cash: tax tutorial 101 if someone is paid in cash they don’t have to report the entire amount so if your paying 5k in cash they can report 2500 and you save them tax money…
« If you are Tony Soprano offer cash for every vendor, you will probably have the sickest wedding in town at a reasonable price.

Rule for the day

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Does the date pick you or do you pick the date???

Sorry ladies you are not in the driver seat in this one unless you are 2 years out, or there is sentimental value to use a certain date and that will trump where the wedding will be.

Typically you narrow down what time of year you would like the wedding, ie seasons, a month if its busy one like June. Then you start calling and looking…this is a very tedious process unless you get lucky and love the first venue.

Things you should think about before you start looking at venues:
« How many people are we going to be?? Mention this to your in-laws as well. (yes I know numbers are scary when discussing outside your own family)
o    If you are going to be a circus aka over 300+ your options in cities (like philly) are limited. So try to have a rough number because that will narrow it down.
« Do you have to be married at the venue or another location?
o   If another location like a church is it close to or easy to get to from the venue.
« What kind of place do you want to get married in
o   Hotel, banquet hall, museum, estate, casino, back yard…there are so many you can literally do anything I bet strip clubs can be rented out.
« Food- this is 50% of the venue people!!! BAD FOOD=BAD MOODS, if your self diagnosed hypoglycemic your guests are gonna be cranky if the food sucks.
o   Do you have to bring in caterers?
o   If not how is the food suppose to be at the venue? DUH.
« Parking and entrance
o   Is it far walk?
o   Is there valet?

Unless you are over a year or more out, I would maybe say a year and half for the busy months, the venue is going to tell you what dates they have open.

Then how do you pick from that?  Is June 1st  better than June 8th? Hell, I have no idea.

Once you have a list of dates- START LOOKING AT BANDS ASAP.
No one wants to be at a wedding sitting on his or her tush the whole time. The point of a wedding is for everyone to have fun, so an up beat band or dj that’s going to get people up is crucial.  A lame band leader can also crush the excitement.... 

The thing is with bands is they can obviously only do one party a night so there is about 5 Saturdays a month they are available. The more popular bands are 100% going to be tougher and have some of those weekends if not all of those weekends booked.
Some may have websites, listen to them and if your interested call them and see what they have available amongst the dates the venue gave you. Then ask if they have a party in your area you can hear them at or if they do show cases. Its like WEDDING CRASHERS but with a purpose! Just dress like you fit in not like trailer trash.

Therefore simple math,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Once you've got it now what do you do?

Now that you have been proposed too, how do you go about caring for your ring…No I don't mean telling it how much you love it and showing it off...

First and foremost above all else- get your ring insured.  Chances are if your man is on top of things this is done before he gives it to you…. But just in case you are the organizer in the relationship this is what insuring the ring requires…
1.    Before you can get the ring insured you need it appraised. A replacement cost appraisal is what you should be looking for. A certified gemologist should do this.  The appraisal will verify the authenticity, design, quality, and value of the item.  The appraisal should be done by an independent appraiser and put in writing (about 3-5 pages).  The document will include pictures and diagrams of you jewelry as well as identifying characteristics etc.
2.    Once you get the jewelry appraised you can get it insured. There is a premium (about 1-3% per year based on the value, amount of coverage, personal claim history etc.)
This is way to detail oriented for me bottom line get it insured to CYA (cover you’re a**)

Sized: I am the worst with this and my friends can testify to it. Get your ring sized ASAP. You can either get it made smaller, put in a U-guard, or little stoppers. Remember, the colder it is the thinner your finger so don’t freak out when the temperature drops and all the sudden your ring is upside down.
« IMPORTANT- if you are dropping your ring off to get sized or fixed make sure they give you a signed document that they are taking it…
o   If they say they don’t do it, INSIST have them write it on the back of their business card if necessary; have them give a description of the ring and sign/date it…(inside trick, if you have not been told the size of your stone, which is not really an appropriate question to ask (equate to asking penis size)… this is when you get a free pass to ask your fiancĂ© because he would rather divulge his secrets then get scammed by a jeweler.)
o   Why is this important, because there are scam artists in the world and they can switch your diamond (its happened to a family member) Lets face it you’re not a diamond expert and unless you stare at your diamond 24-7 (this is likely in the first month of engagement) and your stone has very few flaws, there is no way you can be 100% sure you are given the exact stone back. If there is even a .0002 carat difference or non-matching inclusions, it is still a difference even to your untrained eye. THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM, the diamond will not match the one you have insured and appraised. SO if you go to sell it (or upgrade) you don’t have the same stone you purchased and none of your documents that certify the stone will match the one you are trying to sell…
o   BOTTOM LINE, insist they sign something and show you are not someone to mess around with. Don’t be weak when they say oh we would never do something like that etc. INSIST!

Cleaning tip from Mama…boil some hot water with a few squirts of fantastic or windex (don’t heavily inhale I imagine its not to healthy) soak the jewelry in the water for a few minutes a lot of dirt will come off in the water and a lot will be loosened when you take it out. One you take it out let it cool a lil bit (don’t burn yourself). Take an old soft toothbrush and spray the ring with the fantastic/windex use the toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies to get all the gunk off. Then rinse the ring when done. I do this for all my jewelry even my watch, just watch if your watch isn’t water proof or sturdy, don’t keep it in for as long as the diamonds. LEGAL NOTICE-I am not liable if you over boil your watch and it stops working. A good trick is if the band comes off the face you can clean the band separately in the water.

Please note this is a serious post because diamonds are serious. Yes they are super pretty and shiny, but they are an investment, and no one should fool around with their investments. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

pre-engagement cont....

This was a really fun post to write so I am just going to continue to rant....

Your parents saying things to you and him...I am not sure why it happens but I think that parents once you graduate college loose the luster of having you as a child, so they have a new focus GRANDCHILDREN.  No parents want to have grandkids late they want to be young, spry, and trendy ie our mothers will not be our bubbies. So they discretely mention grandchildren to you, then to your boyfriend. This is not the way to get yourself grandkids mom! HELLOOOO I don't have a ring and you just paid $$$$ for college and  grad school and all you can ask about is grandchildren? Were all those tutors and extracurricular activities you drove me too just for show???

  • First off, a kid is scarier then a ring. Costs more, is more delicate, talks/cries back, and = a hell of a lot more responsibility. 
  • Grandparents wanting to be great grandparents- another scary thing for both the girl and the guy.  HELLLLLO PRESSURE!!!

While you might be the princess in your house, guess what he is the prince in his.  
  • My mother always taught me be a "balebost" (yiddush for a good homemaker). This is crucial and so normal you should be doing it anyway I should not have to tell you...
    • clean up after yourself, always clear your plate...even if they have help do it yourself. You are capable.
    • offer to help when around the kitchen, even if you cannot cook you can still offer to set the table.
    • If you stay over their house one morning wake up and make them breakfast, scrambled eggs are no rocket science.
    • If there is a special event bring a desert or flowers etc. 
  • ALWAYS SAY THANK YOU!!!!! Even if dinner with them becomes a weekly thing, you thank them....
  • I am not remaking the wheel, but these little easy things aka MANNERS go a long way
  • It also shows you will be able to maintain the household when the time comes!
Last thing about rings per the comment on the previous post...
Traditionally, a guy has to ask your father for your hand...Now our dad's are not stupid. They see what we wear, the bags we carry, the cars we drive, if lucky or maybe not so lucky they see your credit card bills. Dads aren't dumb either, if they know you like the finer things in life they will know you want a nice ring..
  • Now, even if you father is not as into that stuff your dad still knows what a nice ring is.
    • Lets not forget by this point our father's will have had to celebrate 20 something birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or getting out of the dog house... the point is, THEY KNOW JEWELRY you better believe if they spoiled your mothers all these years they want to make sure their daughters will be taken care of the same way.

Also, its NOT ALL ABOUT SIZE LADIES, while size in the bedroom may be very important, the size of the diamond on your finger is not as important as other aspects of the stone....
The 4Cs of diamonds  Cut, Color, Clarity, Carats.  Color and Clarity are big time they are what drives up the cost of a diamond. 
  • A brilliant white diamond with very few inclusions (dark spots) at 1 carat could be worth a hell of a lot more than a 3 carat with a more off white color and a lot of inclusions. Not to mention the whiter the diamond the more its gonna sparkle and catch the eye of someone then the dull 3 carat. So remember, bigger is not always better. Quality over quantity 101...