Friday, July 31, 2015

The Military Diet {Round 1}

At any given point in the year someone in my group of friends is on some sort of crash diet for some up coming event. I am not gonna lie, I have had my fair share of tries at various crash diets-one even landed me in the hospital...#embarrassing. Although we all want to preach being confident, it is very hard to find a female that is 100% comfortable in their skin. Either they think their nose is too big, hips too wide, etc. We also all want to "live a healthier life" and will go for a week or so eating salads/fruits and veggies and working out but, that usually tends to be a phase as well. 

Over the past few months, I have been hearing about 'the military diet'. I saw all of these stats of people loosing 3-10 pounds within 2 weeks. I am very much a "have to see it to believe it" type of person so with all of the diet nonsense, I typically don't try it out until someone I know has done it-cue Ashley

Back in May, Ashley posted her first 'review' if you will of the Military Diet. I was intrigued. Because we had so many trips/ visitors coming, J and I decided to wait until all of that was over to really try and get into a healthier regime. Also, since we are now engaged and the wedding planning is in full swing, the heat is on to get fit. 

So, what IS the military diet??
The military diet is a three day diet consisting of less that 1,000 calories per day. It is a fast way to loose up to 10 pounds a week. 

HA! 10 pounds a week? I'd like to hear how that will happen!
Well, since you asked, the average woman burns about 1800 calories a day, before going to the gym or doing any other form of exercise. The Military Diet provides under 1000 calories a day, so you’re going to lose weight if you follow it. A pound of fat is made of 3500 calories. To gain a pound of fat, you have to eat 3500 more calories than you burn. And to lose a pound of fat, you need to burn 3500 more calories than you eat. The Military Diet is designed to burn calories because you eat less than you burn for three days a week. in english: you are burning more calories than you are eating. 

So, what do you eat?!


So, how was it, really.
Ha, well you can ask Ashley, the first day, she asked me how it was going via twitter and I told her it was freakin' hard! Your body is used to eating well over 1,000 calories per day so when you shock it like this, it is hard. However, the second and third day were much easier. 

And your results?
I started on Thursday July 16 at 182 lbs (eek!)
On Monday July 20 I weighed in at 178 lbs. 

The creators of the diet suggest that on the four days off the diet, you stick to a 1,500 calorie diet. 

Although limiting yourself to 1,000 is not recommended by the Department of Health, I really enjoy this diet. I felt satisfied after each meal and have seen results. As I am not a doctor, I am not encouraging anyone to try this but I can say that it is working for me and I will continue to do it. I also just ordered a 14 day supply of the skinnyteaxtox that I will combine with this cycle. 

Per the website, this cycle of 3 days on 1,000 calories and four days on 1,500 calories can be repeated as many times until you have reached your goal weight: hot wedding bod here I come! 

Have you ever tried the military diet? What did you think??

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Boyfriend Chronicles {Pt. 6: The Boyfriend Take Over}



Hey dolls! I am having so much fun letting you into a little bit more of our lives! I feel like this couldn't really be called "The Boyfriend Chronicles" without hearing from the man himself so... I am going to turn it over to J for a little Q&A (haha that rhymed!)



Q: When did you and I meet? What was your first date?
A: We met in May of 2013 and our first date was at a sports bar by your old house. 

Q: What was your first thought when you met me?
A: I thought that you were very pretty and I was thankful that I hadn't been catfished. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about me?
A: Hmmm..probably how much you love me. 

Q: What is your least favorite thing about me?
A: Hmmmm...I don't know, I don't really think there is anything I don't like about you
Me: Can you just pick something?!
J: Ok, probably that you don't like Wing House

Q: What do you think of my blog?
A: I think it is pretty cool and I think it's awesome how many people you interact with and the free stuff is cool too.

Q:What is your favorite memory of us together?
A: Getting engaged at the Grand Canyon

Q: What are your pet names for me?
A: well I call you baby the most and... honey.

Q:Favorite thing to do together?
A: movie days!

Q: Is there anything you think my readers should know about you?
A: Just that I think I am the luckiest guy in the whole world to be engaged to you.
Me: awwwww


well, there ya have it, the man behind the blog and his many words! 






Monday, July 27, 2015

From Runge to Ricker: Wedding Inspiration {Pt. 4}


Pt. 2: Asking Your Bridesmaids and Little Ones
Pt. 3: Picking a Venue


So, we have asked our bridal party, picked a venue..now we need to figure out our vision!

Keeping in mind that our color scheme will be coral and gray with hints of a rich purple, here are my top pins for our big day! 

decor.


flowers.


 invites.


 littles.


what do you think?! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

From Runge to Ricker: Picking a Venue {Pt. 3}



Picking a venue is a crucial part of wedding planning for obvious reasons, it is where you will be having your big day! However, a lot...like a lot goes into picking a venue. Such as the number of people you will be having, the style you are going for, and what they offer. 

You wouldn't have a "classic" wedding in a barn or a "country chic" wedding in a beach cabana. 

The venue is also one of the more costly things to a wedding. When John and I were talking venues, we decided a couple of things. 1. we wanted to ceremony and venue to be the same place/on the same property. 2. we wanted a country club 3. we wanted an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception. 

Living in southern Florida, there is no shortage of country clubs which was good and bad for us. We had it narrowed down to 14 places.

We both kind of hard our hearts set on one specific place on the list but didn't want to miss out on what some of the others had to offer so we spent two days going from place to place. 

Throughout the days, we eliminated some of the places without going to them (The Hyatt, Yacht Club, Marina Jacks, Meadows, and The Founders Club). We also came prepared with a list of questions to ask each one. (Beware, there are A LOT)

Ceremony Venue 
Venue:           Phone Number:         Contact:

What dates are available in the month I’m considering?

What’s your weather contingency plan? 

How many guests can the location accommodate?

Can they waive or decrease the ceremony site fee if the reception is also held there?

What is the ceremony site fee?

Are there any music restrictions?

Are there any photography/videography restrictions?

Are candle lighting ceremonies allowed (such as unity candle ceremonies)?

Are there any restrictions regarding confetti tossing or bubbles?

Is there a set up fee for decorating?

What are the clean-up requirements? Is there a clean-up fee?

Is there a bridal suite or another area where the bridal party can get ready?

Is seating provided? Or do I need to rent chairs? And if so, what is the cost?

What time can my vendors start setting up on the day of the wedding? Is it possible to start the setup the day before? How early can deliveries be made?

Is an aisle runner provided? If not, how long of an aisle runner do we need?

Is there a canopy, arch, and linens available to use?

Is there a wedding coordinator provided?

What rental items are necessary?

Can I schedule a rehearsal? When can I schedule it?

How many hours will we have the site for the rehearsal?

Does the venue have liability insurance?

What is the payment / deposit policy?

What kinds of payment do they accept?

What is the cancellation / refund policy?


Reception Venue

How many people can this location accommodate?

How long will I have use of the event space(s) I reserve? Is there an overtime fee if I stay longer? Is there a minimum or maximum rental time?

Can I move things around and decorate to suit my purposes, or do I have to leave everything as is? Are there decoration guidelines/restrictions? Can I use real candles?
.
What time can my vendors start setting up on the day of the wedding? Is it possible to start the setup the day before? How early can deliveries be made? 

How much time will I have for decor setup? 

Does the venue provide assistance getting gifts or decor back to a designated car, hotel room, etc. after the event has concluded?

Is there an outdoor space where my guests can mingle?

Do you have an in-house caterer or a list of “preferred” caterers, or do I need to provide my own? Even if there is an in-house caterer, do I have the option of using an outside caterer instead?

If I hire my own caterer, are kitchen facilities available for them? NOTE: Caterers charge extra if they have to haul in refrigerators and stoves.

Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware and glassware provided, or will I have to rent them myself or get them through my caterer?

What is the food & beverage cost on a per-person basis? What is the tax and service charge?

Do you have a separate place for a cocktail hour while the bridal party takes photos?

Since we want to do a plated dinner, do you require assigned tables and seats or just 
tables?

Can we do a food tasting prior to finalizing our menu selection? If so, is there an additional charge?

Can I bring in a cake from an outside cake maker or must I use a cake made on the premises? 

Is there a cake-cutting fee? If I use a cake made on site is the fee waived? 

Do you provide special cake-cutting utensils?

Are there restrictions on what kind of music I can play, or a time by which the music must end? 

Can the venue accommodate a DJ or live band? 

Do you offer on-site coordination? If so, what services are included and is there an additional charge for them? 

Will the coordinator supervise day-of? How much assistance can I get with the setup/ decor?

Does the venue have liability insurance? 

Can I hire my own vendors or must I select from a preferred vendor list?

Do you have signage or other aids to direct guests to my event?

Who will be my main contact, can I meet them? How can I contact them?


To no surprise, we decided on the place that we both already hard our hearts set on: The Lakewood Ranch Country Club in Bradenton, Florida.
Literally this place is like a fairy tale complete with a Bridal Suite and Man Cave. I can not wait to marry the man of my dreams in the picture perfect place. #rickerpartyoftwo

Do you think I left anything out? What were you're qualifications for a wedding site?





Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Organizing Coffee&Glitter

Hi dolls! So when I first started C&G, I would have put money on it that I "had it all figured out" and that it wasn't that hard and to be fair, the concept of blogging is not hard however, to be "successful" and make friends while blogging, I feel like you have to put much more into it.

People do not account for the comments or questions they may get or the act of sponsorships/being sponsored. Blogging really can be a full time job. Anyways, when I first started, I was trying to take tips from other bloggers and google ideas of how to keep organized and I found that none of them worked for me so, I took things into my own hands and cam up with my own forms/sheets that work perfectly for myself and Coffee&Glitter!

1. Collab/Series Form: so, I am like an OCD planner and I like everything to be in order and just so. Yes, I can see how this may be extensive but, I like what I like. Basically, I make a rough draft of the general collab idea then preplan and schedule the dates for the posts and have a little synopsis of what will be talked about. 

2. The Up&Coming, due to how I plan my blog, I tend to schedule posts way in advance so, I like to have them all written down in a place other than online incase something comes up or whatever. I also like a paper copy incase I am out and need to get props or take pictures or something! The check marks are categories of W (written), P (pictures), S (scheduled) and L (live) which I check off as I go along.

3. The Series Sheet again, this is just a hard copy of how I schedule posts and the order. As the time goes on, I add dates as well.

4. finally, the Sponsorship Sheet. This sheet is pretty self explanatory. Basically, I use this sheet to keep track of how much I spend or earn on within the sponsor world. I like this sheet because it keeps me from spending too much or spending in the 'wrong' places. 



Do you organize your blog a specific way?

Monday, July 20, 2015

All The Moneys!

Money is such a powerful thing. 
It can cause fights. 
Create happiness.
Buy love.
Feed Me. 
Allow me to buy a few more purses...
It is pretty much king. 

We all have jobs and get paychecks (unless you are a super swanky financial accountant/planner person-which if you are, good for you!) but  always want extra money to spend frivolously on what we choose...or ya know an upcoming wedding. 

There are a few solutions to this dilemma...

1. Become a porn star  "mature film actor/actress"

2. Win the Mega Million dollar lottery

3. Suck it up, deal with it and make it work! 

seeing as how my dad wouldn't be too happy if I told him I was in the newest "adult film" and the most I have ever won playing scratch offs was $20, I will pick option 3

And here is what I do to save a little cash here and there:

1. budget. budget. budget.  sit down at the beginning of the month and budget how much you need for the essentials-starbucks and spontaneous target trips do NOT count!
our monthly budgets include:
-rent
-car payments
-electric
-cable
-water
-gas
-groceries**
-insurance
-cell phones

**before going grocery shopping, make a detailed list of everything you need and do not stray!**

2. make several stops. obviously pulling up to a super target and knocking out your grocery shopping, produce shopping and home goods shopping is most convenient and ideal but, it may not always be the most financial savvy way to go. I typically make three stops: publix, farmers market, bjs. Publix is great for getting all of our meats/dairy/etc. But, typically produce and home needs are more expensive there so, I go elsewhere.

3. shop the sales. Obviously, I love shopping. But I don't just love shopping for beauty and fashion items, I love all kinds of items. So, to help with this, I look for coupons and shop the sales. especially at the grocery store! If we see that chicken is on sale, we will grab a bunch and freeze it until we are ready to use. 

4. save your change. paying in cash helps you save money. a study was done that says "people are more likely to spend wiser when they are using cash over a card because they are able to physically, at the time of purchase, see their money dwindle down"-let me tell y'all..this is true! 

5. recycle. it good for the environment, and you can also make money off of it! Check to see if any companies in your area will pay for aluminum, plastic, or scrap metal.

6. limit food costs. I think it is a bit over zealous to restrict yourself from going out to eat for forever so, limit it to just once a week or every other week. 
7. Platos closet. this is literally my favorite store ever. Platos is a consignment store that will value your clothes and pay you cash for what they keep on the spot-they pay surprisingly well. I usually bring in two-four full sized garbage bags of items twice a year and have gotten anywhere between $180-$440. 

8. savings account. take $20-50 out of each paycheck and put it into your savings account. they key here is: once it is in your savings, do not even think about touching it!(unless it is an emergency-again, starbucks and target trips do not count)

9. if you haven't used it in 6 months, sell it! John and I recently made $1000 by selling stuff out of our storage unit. We had to run over there one day to grab something and while we were there, we looked at the items and agreed that most of it would probably never go in a house that we lived in. So, we took to facebook. Our city has "facebook swap shops" that are basically like an online yard sale. We took pictures of everything, posted it on the site, and waiting for replies! 

10. spending freeze.  spending freeze's are becoming a pretty big deal. basically, you set a budget for the month and that is it. you do not spend any more (unless for a serious emergency). 


These are a few easy but effective ways to quickly start saving money! 

What do you do to save? What is something you can not resist splurging for?

Friday, July 17, 2015

weekly recap

1. I feel like this year is flying by. it is i n s a n e  to me that it is already July! 
2. This month is literally flying by as well! However, a lot has been getting done so I guess I can't really complain. 

1. the biggest news of the week (which you probably know if you follow me on Instagram) is that I said YES to the dress! This past weekend, John's momma flew in to go dress shopping and to see our venue. We went to five different dress shops and I finally found the one so, my measurements were sent to AUSTRALIA! and come December, I should have the dress of my dreams! 
2. after John's momma left on Monday, Keegan and Same left Wednesday night. Having them here for 15 days was awesome. Unless you're new around here, you know family time makes my heart so full. On the bright side, his momma will be back at the end of August for more wedding shenanigans and we will be seeing his whole family again in October for a huge Disney trip! 
dinner on the last night
3. with having company for 15 days, we ate like crap. so, I decided that I was going to try my hand at the Military Diet as Ashley has been on and off of it and seemed to really like it. I am not going to lie, the first day was hard but it isn't too bad today. I will be doing a full blog post on it once I have done it a few times. 

4. in other wedding news, we did our first registry at Bed, Bath and Beyond-if any of y'all are looking for a good place to register, I highly recommend. a lot of their sets (dish sets/utensil sets/cookware sets/etc.) come with free gifts, coupons, or gift cards for you and the buyer (like, who would pass that up). They also have a post wedding shop day twice a year where you get 25% off anything you did not receive and extra coupons to use on top of that. We are also planning on registering at Target! 
While at BB&B, J bought us this adorable tervis set!  
5. finally, ICYMI, our wedding party is finalized! see how I asked my girls here. also, while lounging by the pool this weekend, be sure to catch up on these two ladies' blogs! 


well, that is all for now! we will be doing our Target registry this weekend then I will be designing our Save the Dates! What will you be up to?!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tips for Solo Travel


Traveling alone may seem like an insane thought to some. To be honest, when I was younger I probably would have never entertained the idea of going anywhere alone. Up until my past Eurotrip in May, I had only ever travelled with friends or family. I had been wanting to go back to Italy and France since the second I boarded the plane to go home last time.

As I have mentioned a few times, I took off the 2015 from work to finish school and travel so my schedule of availability to travel is a bit more flexible than my friends or families. I realized that if I just waited around for other’s schedules to open up, I would never see anything so I took the plunge and planned my first solo trip!

You can find recaps here and here.

I realized that I actually enjoy traveling alone. I was able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and on the time schedule and pace that worked best for me. I really tried to wake up early, pack my day full of activities then return back to the hotel late. For some of my friends/ family that wouldn’t have worked so, I am glad I was able to do what I wanted without compromising.

Anyways, while I was traveling alone, I came up with a few tips/tricks to maybe encourage you to take a solo journey!
  1. Don’t be worried/scared of what others will think. One of the things that crossed my mind before leaving was “what will other people think about me travelling/eating/touring along?” Let me just tell you, I didn’t short myself on any meals or experiences just because I was alone. I will say that I didn’t get any strange looks or comments and I really didn’t even feel uncomfortable. When sitting at a restaurant and people watching, I realized that everyone else was so engulfed in what they were doing that they didn’t even notice me.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings. A big thing about traveling alone is that you are on your own. There isn’t anyone else looking out for your belongings so, make sure that you are watching your bag at all times. Unfortunately in Europe, pick pocketing is a big issue so, you always need to be alert.
  3. If you feel unsafe, get out of the situation. I will be honest with you, I felt very safe in Paris and Venice. Rome on the other hand is notorious for sketchy characters. I am not saying this to steer you away from Rome because that would be stupid. Every city has its “bad” parts. What I am saying that you may not want to take the metro in Rome, as that is the hub of pickpocketing. Instead, maybe opt for walking or taking a bus. (Uber is also now in Rome!)
  4. Plan. Plan. Plan. When traveling solo, I think it is important to know where you are going. You can see my Venice itinerary here. I always leave myself time to do things that I may just see in passing or hear about last minute so nothing is set in stone but, it is more efficient than ditzing around or walking in circles.
  5. Be cautious. If you get mixed up or turned around and didn't pay the $300 for an overseas data plan for google maps, Ask! however, do not just go up to any rando on the side of the street. Go into a bank, restaurant, museum, etc. just someone who is 'official' and won't take advantage of a lost tourist. 
  6. Talk to people! In Venice I went on a Cicchetti tour, which was a three-hour food/wine tour in some local restaurants. Everyone in the group spoke English so as we were walking, the tour guide was asking where everyone was from. Shockingly enough, 4 of the other people in the group were also from Florida and 2 of them lived in my city!
  7. Enjoy it! Traveling is such an amazing thing. Seeing the way different people and cultures live will make you so rich.


Solo traveling can be a bit intimidating at first but, once you get over the thought of traveling alone, I think you will really enjoy it. I know I did!


Have you ever travelled alone? What did you think about it?


Monday, July 13, 2015

From Runge to Ricker: Asking My Bridesmaids&Little Ones {pt. 2}


Welcome back loves!

As you all probably know by now, I am engaged and I am still freaking out about it! Every girl dreams about their fantasy wedding from a young age and I was no exception. Ever since I was 12, I have known the colors I would want, the season, the style, etc. Literally 12 hours after J popped the question, we were staring at wedding planning binders on the shelf at a Barnes and Nobel in Glendale, AZ.

My first two priorities (after notifying everyone) were
1. a preliminary guest list so we could talk venues
2. our bridal party so I could start Etsy shop stalking cute things to buy all my girls.

In this day and age, I feel like brides can't just simply ask their sisters/friends to be their bridesmaids or maid of honor #thankspinterest. So, I decided to get crafty with it. Now, none of the girls I have chosen live close to me. One is in Massachusetts, the other in Washington, D.C/Tallahassee and the other in Ohio so, I knew that whatever I did would have to be sent away while I anxiously waited their responses.

I browsed through various Etsy shops and countless numbers of pins and came up with this:



Box: hobby lobby
Paints: hobby lobby
Letter Stickers: hobby lobby
Confetti Shreads: hobby lobby
Cardstock for Dress Cards: hobby lobby
Ribbon: Michaels
'Pearl': hobby lobby
Necklace with Box and Label: Dutch Pearl
Shirts: No Bull Women's Apparel

Ha, of course I couldn't just send these off and wait around for a text "yes" or a boring phone call SO, before sealing the boxes, I slid in a piece of paper that gave them instructions to "facetime the Bride before touching anything else in the box"
girl, don't kill me.

Sadly, this was the only reaction facetime I was able to screen shot as the others occurred as I was driving and over a very poor signal but, it's all good! They all replied with an excited "YES!"

Now, since the Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids all got something, we couldn't leave our littles out so, I stole borrowed Mary's idea of asking our Ring Bearer and Flower Girl with a ring pop!

We also found a Ring Bearer and Flower Girl book on Amazon so we got those for them as well to explain what their jobs are and to help them get even more excited! And finally, we also got them shirts.

Meet The Girls:


And The Littles:


Did you do something fun for your bridal party when asking? Have you seen any really cool ideas?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Life Lately.

happy fri-yay loves! it has been a while since i have done a life update/currently but there is so much going on lately that i figured, there was no better day than today! 

one of John's brothers (my future brother in law) is in  town with his girlfriend, Sam. They got here on the 1st and leave the 15th. It is pretty awesome having them stay with us! (yes, I am wearing clothes). 

July 2nd was Keegan's 17th birthday. we went to Kumo which is a hibachi grill near our house. Our chef gave us life and marital advice the whole time-it was grand. 

We've been spending lots of time playing tourist at various beaches-this is Siesta Key aka: the number one beach in America (insert sassy emoji girl here) 
no caption needed





I finished my bridesmaid/maid of honor gifts this week and sent them out yesterday! 



#datringdoe

We spent all day Wednesday on the water. It was simply fabulous. The fairer ones of us got a bit burned but it was a great day altogether. 

I John and I also locked in our wedding venue, a photographer, videographer, and DJ! We are taking our engagement pictures this afternoon AND, his momma flies in tomorrow morning to come dress shopping with my momma and I! #weddinggameonpoint 

What have you all been up to lately?!