Beach-Bride Body: 5 Tips to Get in Shape Before Your Big Day

Five years ago, Nicole Glor resolved to get in shape for her wedding in Mexico. For her, that meant becoming a licensed fitness trainer. Luckily, you don’t have to go to that extreme. But with many destination gowns featuring lighter fabrics and slimmer silhouettes, you’ll still face more pressure to be in shape than the average bride — especially if you have a tropical ceremony. To prepare, pick up her new DVD, NikkiFitness Beach Bride ($19.99 at amazon.com), and follow these five tips.

1. Start off slowly, with achievable goals
Begin by walking for a half-hour five days a week; then up it to a 20-minute jog, etc. “Feel good about yourself; then move on to your next goal,” says Glor.

2. Change the way you eat
“Buy fruits, vegetables and whole-wheat pasta and bread,” she advises. “Include a lot of calcium and lean protein in your diet.”

3. Focus on the key areas Aim for triceps, inner and outer thighs, glutes and abs. “But you always want to work the opposing muscle, so that means you really have to work biceps, shoulders and back,” says Glor.

4. Multitask with cardio intervals
After establishing a consistent workout, intensify your routine by working muscles simultaneously, which saves time and strengthens your core. Break it up with cardio exercises that boost your metabolism and help you trim body fat.

5. Make it enjoyable 
Take a fitness class, and create an iPod playlist of songs that will pump you up and keep you moving. “It’s your workout, so you should have fun with it!”

Wedding Food Tips: Menu, Drink and Dessert Ideas

Stick to what’s local and fresh.“For island events, beef won’t be as good as seafood,” advises Tiffany Lanier of SunHorse Weddings in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. “Try the local specialties, and incorporate desserts using fresh local fruits.”

Offer food and drink stations. “Martini bars are extremely seductive,” says JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions in New York City, who recommends including flavors like green apple, chocolate, tiramisu and creamsicle. At another wedding, she arranged a creme brulee station complete with torches that made guests literally feel the heat.

Spotlight food aromas. “Food stations placed in different areas of the reception space add great smells to the room,” says Susan Southerland of Just Marry! in Orlando, Florida.

Serve finger foods. “I like having a basic collection of finger foods, like olives, cheeses and artisan bread, already on the tables when guests sit down to dinner so they have something to pick and pull at while they’re waiting for everyone else to get seated,” says San Francisco planner Alison Hotchkiss. “Anything you can break off or grab at makes for a fun interaction.”

Combine textures and flavors. “Mix things that are sweet with things that are savory, and crunchy items with creamy ones,” suggests Southerland.

Make food interactive. “Fondue can be very romantic,” says Los Angeles-based planner Beth Helmstetter.

Emulate a five-star restaurant. “My favorite type of meal is a wine and multicourse food pairing,” says Gregoli.

Make a sweet gesture. “I love having the bride create a specialty drink for the groom and the groom create a drink for the bride,” says Gregoli.

Reflect your settings. “At a chilly fall wedding, we had the idea to serve spiked hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows in Mason jars with graham-cracker rims,” remembers Hotchkiss. “So yummy and dangerous!” For a summertime event in Italy, Linda Pittelli of Eventful Designing in Los Angeles suggests fresh white-peach bellinis.

Serve an after-dinner cocktail. “Ports, cordials or even classic scotch on the rocks can add a bit of passion to the night,” says Helmstetter.

Keep guests guessing. “One of my favorite drinks is champagne with crushed herbs or strawberry puree,” says Southerland. “It’s a surprise for the senses.”

Article Credits: Destination Weddings

Colonial Williamsburg: Another great Venue!

I found another Venue to share with you.  Colonial in Wiliamsburg, VA

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A magical day for every budget.

You’ve dreamed of this day all your life. You’ve imagined it in your mind. Beautiful setting. Exquisite flowers. Delicious food. Eye-popping scenery.

The perfect day. The perfect wedding. You can have it all here. Colonial Williamsburg’s beautifully manicured gardens and charming surroundings provide unique wedding venues. You’ll be enchanted, and make plans to return again and again to relive your special day.

You can have your wedding or reception (or both!) in beautiful garden settings. Or, you might choose one of indoor rooms at the Williamsburg Inn or the Williamsburg Lodge where there’s a hint of our English roots with the Regency furnishings and the hand-made floor-length curtains. Or if you want a wedding like a celebrity, we are the official designated site for David Beam.

Whatever type of wedding you choose, our history of exceptional service, culture and excellence is the perfect ingredient for your perfect day.

Photo Credits and Article: Colonial Williamsburg  Visit Colonial

Honeymoons: Amazing (and Affordable) Boutique Hotels

Credits: Martha Stewart Weddings

It’s about time I revisited one of my favorite travel subjects: anything-but-cookie-cutter lodging for those of us who just can’t swing a $1,200—or even $500—a night rate. I love a hotel that’s gentle on your wallet, but also has you saying “Well, hello there” when you arrive because it’s just so dang cute/artsy/romantic. (In fact, I’m so into such spots that I’ve blogged about others here and here.) Below are three more great options run by people who obviously know a thing or two about style:

The Caribbean island of Anguilla (where you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to beach heaven) has got a pretty pricey rep, but the newly opened Anacaona Boutique Hotel (from $150) is a relative steal that’s a hop, skip, and jump from a mile-long stretch of sand. Each of the 27 rooms has a balcony on the outside and Frette linens and an iPod dock within.

For another take on the Caribbean, head down to Belize. The jetsetter’s destination of choice? Ambergris Caye, a 25-mile-long isle off the coast. There you’ll find sandy streets, long swatches of beach, and sumptuous seafood. The Blue Tang Inn (from $99) is a quaint escape with a sundeck and 14 casually cheery rooms.

About an hour north of Cabo San Lucas, the beach town of Todos Santos will hit the spot for those looking for that laid-back brand of sand, surf, and sun that Mexico dishes up so brilliantly. It’s the kind of place where surfers ride the waves and locals fish them. The 14-room Guaycura (from $195) is a sexy ode to the boutique hotel complete with a roof-top bar and Venetian-tiled pool in a revamped mid-nineteenth-century townhouse. It’s a helluva flight of fancy without the price tag to match.

Traveling Place Tag for Any Event

I found this article from Winter 2007, & thought it was a great idea.Traveling Place Tag

Help guests find their seats by offering personalized luggage tags that make a functional keepsake. Print labels with lines for name, address, and phone number onto card stock (use the insert that comes with the tags as a template). calligraphy guests’ names. Slip tag and decorative paper backing into the plastic cover. Loop cording through hole at top, and hang on chairs.

Photo Credits: Martha Stewart Weddings

Everything you need to know, to get away from it all

City Escapes

Revisiting Richmond Picasso and fine dining bring new energy to Virginia’s capital city.
New Theater in New York See shows starring Hollywood celebrities and life size horse puppets

Adventures & Activities

Greenbriar Casino Club Play golf or hit the slots
Dover Speedway Live your NASCAR dreams
Hersheypark Fun for all members of the family includes an amusement park, a zoo, gardens, and golf.
Bull-Ride Wyoming, Deleware Cowboy up at this two-day bull riding clinic

Food & Drink

Culpeper, VA Wineries Raise a glass to new spring vintages at three Virginia wineries.
Town House Restaurant Food & Wine’s Best New Chef John Shields heads up a Chilhowie, VA kitchen well worth the drive.

Outdoor Escapes

Blackwater Wildlife Refuge The return of migratory birds to Cambridge, MD is one sign that winter is over
Longwood Gardens A cozy B&B adjacent to a 134-acre wildflower preserve
Lewes Tulip Festival A flower lover’s paradise awaits in Lewes, Deleware.
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Reserve A cozy B&B adjacent to a 134-acre wildflower preserve.

Spas & Relaxation

Spas of Colonial Williamsburg Relax, tone up, and forget winter at one of the region’s best spas
North River Inn Guests love North River for its unhurried pace and low-key water sports
Inn of Silent Music Smyth Island has no cars, no noise, and no neighbors—unless you count the blue herons
The Inn at Willow Grove: Sink into Luxury This historic country inn has great food and beautiful rooms.

City Escapes

Revisiting Richmond Picasso and fine dining bring new energy to Virginia’s capital city.
New Theater in New York See shows starring Hollywood celebrities and life size horse puppets

Adventures & Activities

Greenbriar Casino Club Play golf or hit the slots
Dover Speedway Live your NASCAR dreams
Hersheypark Fun for all members of the family includes an amusement park, a zoo, gardens, and golf.
Bull-Ride Wyoming, Deleware Cowboy up at this two-day bull riding clinic

Food & Drink

Culpeper, VA Wineries Raise a glass to new spring vintages at three Virginia wineries.
Town House Restaurant Food & Wine’s Best New Chef John Shields heads up a Chilhowie, VA kitchen well worth the drive.

Outdoor Escapes

Blackwater Wildlife Refuge The return of migratory birds to Cambridge, MD is one sign that winter is over
Longwood Gardens A cozy B&B adjacent to a 134-acre wildflower preserve
Lewes Tulip Festival A flower lover’s paradise awaits in Lewes, Deleware.
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Reserve A cozy B&B adjacent to a 134-acre wildflower preserve.

Spas & Relaxation

Spas of Colonial Williamsburg Relax, tone up, and forget winter at one of the region’s best spas
North River Inn Guests love North River for its unhurried pace and low-key water sports
Inn of Silent Music Smyth Island has no cars, no noise, and no neighbors—unless you count the blue herons
The Inn at Willow Grove: Sink into Luxury This historic country inn has great food and beautiful rooms.

What to do in DC this weekend ? Here you go!

Friday, July 22
DANCE: Don’t miss the first night of this year’s Dance DC Festival, an annual showcase of musical traditions from around the world. The festivities kick off at noon with performances by Elizabeth Acevedo, Trinity, and Da Originalz at Woodrow Wilson Plaza. Afterward, stop by the Warner Theatre at 7 PM for a Marvin Gaye tribute featuring Eric Roberon, Miri Ben-Ari, and Levi Stephens. Free.

SHOPPING: Fans of Bethesda Row won’t want to miss their Summer Sidewalk Sale. Stores—including J. McLaughlin, City Sports, Georgetown Cupcake, Pink Palm, and Urban Chic—will be offering markdowns and specials through Saturday. Click here for the complete list of participating venues.

SIGNING: Dorothy Wickenden, Executive Editor of the New Yorker, will be discussing her bookNothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West at Politics and Prose. The story chronicles the journey of two young society women who trade lives of luxury for teaching jobs in Colorado—in 1916. Members can save 20 percent off at the signing. Free; 7 PM.

JEWELRY: Drop by M29 Lifestyle for an evening of Brazilian cocktails and jewelry. The Georgetown boutique just received a shipment of Sheila Fajl designs, and to celebrate they’re serving free caipirinhas to shoppers. 5 to 7 PM.

BEER: Save 25 percent on Chinatown Coffee’s entire beer menu at their Summer Beer Fest. Featured brews include Great Lakes Eliot Ness, Founders Porter, and Avery IPA. Plus, enjoy $2 cans of DC Brau. 5 to 9 PM.

Saturday, July 23
FESTIVAL: Bring the whole family to the 8th annual Asian Festival, a yearly celebration of Asian countries and cultures. Enjoy musical performances, cultural exhibitions, authentic Asian cuisine from more than 35 vendors, and retail shops galore. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Thai Tennis Organization, a nonprofit that provides tennis scholarships to young Thai and Asian players in the US. Free admission; Saturday: 10 AM to 10 PM, Sunday: 11 AM to 6 PM.

SMOOTHIES: It’s gonna be a scorcher this weekend, so be sure to drop by the Vienna Robeks Grand Opening (180 Maple Ave., Vienna, VA) for a free 12 oz smoothie. Customers can choose from Strawnana Berry or Mahalo Mango. Noon to 3 PM.

FITNESS: Laurent Amzallag, creator of the Yala Dance Workout Class, will be holding a free class at the Southwest Waterfront. Laurent’s workout has been featured on Oprah and in Elle Magazine.Check out a video of one of his Southwest Waterfront classes here. 9 AM.

SEAFOOD: DC Sail and Phillips Seafood are joining forces for tonight’s Bluecrabs N’ Bluegrassfundraiser. Chow down on a seafood feast, followed by the musical stylings of Human Country Jukebox. The spread includes large steamed crabs, jumbo steamed shrimp, fried chicken, salads, shortcake, and drinks. Proceeds will benefit DC Sale’s Youth Scholarship Fund, an organization that educates underprivileged youth about safe boating practices, environmental awareness, leadership development, and physical fitness. Tickets ($80 for the Crab Fest, $10 for the concert) can be purchased at the event Web site. Crab fest 5 to 8 PM; Concert 6 to 10 PM.

Sunday, July 24
FASHION: Fashionistas won’t want to miss the Fashion District’s Summer Mixer at Lamont Bishop Gallery. Enjoy live music and cocktails while perusing a trunk show from the ladies of Butler + Claypool. Free; Drinks are available for purchase. 1 to 7 PM.

FRINGE FESTIVAL: It’s your last chance to catch a show at this year’s Capital Fringe Festival. In the mood for some comedy? Foggerty’s Fairy is about an unconventional fairy who erases a lovestruck man’s memory (Noon at the Apothecary). Or maybe you’re looking for something a bit more serious? Crave poetically explores the darkest corners of romance (5:30 PM at Fort Fringe).Click here for a complete list of performances.

CIVIL WAR: Calling all history buffs! Commemorate the 150th year anniversary of the Civil War with a host of period-themed events during the Manassas Civil War Commemorative weekend. Enjoy historical tours, speakers, music, and, of course, re-enactments. Tickets can be purchased at the event Web site. 9 AM to 4 PM.