Tips for Picking Your Wedding Venue

Today, I’m sharing a wonderful wedding planning infographic from my friends over at SimplyBridal.

I know when my husband and I planned our wedding, choosing and locking down the wedding venue was the number one choice we had to make. After all, how can you move forward with invites, decorations, floral arrangements, etc. until you know where and when you’re getting married?

I hope you and your honey find this infographic helpful when it comes to making the big decision of finding the prefect venue for your special day.

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 (Click the image for the full size version.)

For more helpful tips for choosing the right wedding venue for you, click here to read SimplyBridal’s post accompanying this awesome infographic.

Hask® Argan Oil & Keratin Protein Hair Product Reviews

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hask® and my blogger affiliation with BrandBacker. I was given free products to test in return for my honest opinions and feedback via my blog. All thoughts are my own and I’m very happy to share these products with my readers.

When the opportunity to test these hair products arose, I jumped at the chance! You see, Hask® beauty brand specializes in delivering unique, specialized, and intensive conditioning treatments to their consumers.

I live in Houston so the humidity is a constant on my hair. I can use all the moisturizing, frizz fighting help I can get. Plus, I do tend to use hot tools on my naturally curly hair to achieve my desired looks.

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I was sent an amazing product trial package including their Argan Oil line and Keratin Protein line. I tested their shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioner treatments, and shine oil. AND I AM SO IMPRESSED. Of all the hair products I’ve tried over the years, I can honestly say these are my favorite.

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The nourishing treatments left my locks moisturized, conditioned, and ready for any style. You can see in the pictures below where I styled curly (with a curling iron hot tool) as well as, straight with my flat iron.

Curly look with Hask® Keratin Protein products:

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 Straight look with Hask® Argan Oil products:

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From start to finish, shampoo to shine oil, these products truly impressed me.

The Argan shampoo and conditioner have this wonderfully intense orange smell that relaxes yet energizes you in the shower while your washing your hair. They absolutely smell amazing.

I left the conditioning treatment (hair mask) on for ten minutes and could instantly feel the difference as I was rinsing it out. These products seriously make my hair SO HAPPY.

In the last two years, since my brain stem surgery and having to shave the bottom half of my hair completely, my hair has been through some trauma. Remember when I wasn’t able to properly wash my hair during recovery for over a month after surgery? Yeah, YUCK.

These Hask® beauty products did wonders on my hair. Side note – I’m also so happy to start seeing my length growing out and getting back to normal. It’s taken quite some time and I’ve missed my long, long hair.

I supplement with fish oil which helps your nails, hair, and skin stay healthy and get stronger. Plus, getting to try these Hask® hair products – I think I’ve found a line of hair care products that I finally want to stick with. I’m a perpetual “tryer of new things” (beauty products, especially) but these two lines definitely have given me results I want to stick with!

I love the diversity because I’m fortunate enough to have hair that works with me to achieve different styles (most of the time).

I absolutely recommend giving Hask® beauty products a try if you’re looking for some really great conditioning treatments that achieve awesome results!

To learn more about all that Hask® has to offer you and your lovely head of hair, visit their website at: http://haskbeauty.com

This is a sponsored post powered by BrandBacker.

Valentine’s Day Manicure Ideas

Our favorite commercial holiday of love is right around the corner!

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Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, which makes me so happy because my husband and I can celebrate without having to wake up early for work the next morning. I’m so excited for this special day!

I’m a huge fan of love and being in love. While I know not everybody is in to the idea of Valentine’s Day, I sure am.

I waited 23 years for love to find me after all. My only valentines before my husband finally came along were my Dad and my dog. Haha! So I hope you can understand why Valentine’s Day is such a big deal to me.

So I tend to celebrate all week long!

For months leading up to 2.14.14, Pinterest has been a buzz with WONDERFUL ideas for Valentine’s Day for everything from crafty cute VDAY decorations to gifts for him, gifts for her and everything in between.

One of my favorites is all the Valentine’s Day manicure inspiration!

Here are my top 3 picks:

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I love getting my nails done. There’s just something that makes me feel SO good about myself with having nice hands and pretty nails that make me happy. Plus, it’s a great way for us girls to express ourselves and show off a bit of our unique personalities. Not to mention, what girly girl doesn’t love to go pamper herself with a relaxing massage and pedicure at the nail salon?

Here’s what I chose for my Valentine’s Day manicure:

A simple light pink Shellac gel manicure… love this shade!

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What nail polish looks do you like/love for Valentine’s Day?

Houston Beauty Spotlight: Serene Wax Boutique

[Disclosure: I received complimentary services and products for my honest review of this establishment and for featuring it on my blog. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

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Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting Serene Wax Boutique in Houston’s Westchase area. Newly opened and conveniently located off Westheimer at S Gessner near the Beltway, Serene Wax Boutique offers excellence in waxing and hair removal. And when I say excellence — I mean it!

I’m not a newbie when it comes to waxing and hair removal. As a dark haired Latina with Cuban roots, hair removal is just an unavoidable part of my beauty regimen.

Of the waxing places I’ve tried (yes, mostly chain establishments) – Serene is the best experience I’ve had for many, many reasons. I’m thrilled to be featuring them on my blog today!

First of all, the type of wax and products they use are far superior than what has been used on me before. They use a cream based type of wax along with cloth strips.. no double dipping or re-using of cloths. It’s all so very clean. My hubby can vouch, I have pretty high cleanliness standards. They passed with flying colors.

Secondly, I couldn’t believe the pain differences with the cream wax versus the hard wax that other places use. It was so much less! On a scale of 1-10, for me, it was about a 3 for my entire waxing session compared to the usual 6 or 7.

My esthetician, Jessica, who also happens to be one of the boutique’s owners was so lovely and knowledgeable on everything. She made the whole experience absolutely fantastic – telling me what she was doing, more about the products she was using, and sharing tips on how to get the most benefits from waxing. She also made it a point to get to know more about me – kept me talking and kept me at ease the entire time. She is so sweet and personable. Definitely, an A+ in customer service.

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Where do I even begin about how beautiful and posh this place is?

Literally, it looks like a couple of my Pinterest boards got together and dreamed up a relaxing, serene, and super cute salon. It definitely has a unique boutique feel and special charm that you won’t get at any chain waxing establishments.

As soon as I walked in, I knew I was there to get pampered and enjoy doing something good for myself. The decor definitely makes an impact.

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Serene Wax Boutique offers waxing services of all types: facial, body, bikini, and even options for men (back. chest. and stomach) — but what they specialize in is the Brazilian wax.

Brazilian waxing is serious business, so why not go to the experts? For such a delicate area, waxing needs to be done correctly and with extra care. For plenty of great information and everything you need to know about Brazilian waxes, check out the Serene Wax Boutique Blog.

Confidence is Beautiful.

In one of the waxing rooms, there’s a beautiful quote on the wall that says “If you are confident, you are beautiful.” I couldn’t agree more. Neither could my husband. There’s just something about a woman and her confidence that really stands out. It’s so sexy! My husband has told me before that’s one of the things that attracted him most to me when we first met and started dating – my confidence.

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When speaking with Jessica, one thing she said really stuck. She shared with me that many of her clients will come in and say they’re getting waxed because their significant other wants them to. Although, that extra encouragement may be needed for a first time waxer, Jessica’s goals are to help her clients feel as beautiful and confident as possible — for themselves.

It’s SO important for us as women to make it a point to take that extra time and put forth the effort to take care of ourselves. I can’t tell you how much it helps me – my health, my mind, my sanity –  to work out, eat right, and enjoy my regularly scheduled ME time.

I spent a year of my life, lost — not making it a point to take care of myself, not doing what makes me feel good about myself, and not keeping my health and happiness a priority. My confidence plummeted.

On September 13th, 2013 – I vowed to never ever let that happen again!

Ladies, I’m so happy to share this new Houston beauty gem with you.

I highly recommend giving Serene Wax Boutique a try the next time you need any pampering waxing services.

Get social with Serene Wax by following them on Twitter at @SereneWax and liking them on Facebook. Once they reach their first 500 likes, they’ll be celebrating with free brow waxing for a whole day for their patrons! So show some love by giving them a like and spreading the word. Also please visit their Yelp page for further customer reviews.

Weight Loss Wednesday: Week 19 – Weight Loss & Your Work Schedule

Well, the last two weeks have been busy busy busy! A wonderful life change has happened – I am working full-time again at a new job that I love! It’s taken me a little bit to settle into a routine but I’m absolutely appreciating it. Please excuse my lack of a WLW post last week, I was out-of-town on a business trip. I hope to keep up with the weekly posts but no worries if you don’t hear from me for a week or two! I’ll definitely be back. ;)

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So it’s Weigh In Wednesday!

As of this morning, I am down -56.4 lbs since beginning my weight loss journey on September 14th, 2013. It’s great to see my weight loss is finally back on track. The holidays slowed me down big time! That’s why I am SO excited about my new, normal schedule. Working full-time really helps me when it comes to my diet plan. I’m able to keep busy but get my snacks and meals in when I know it’s time to eat.

My normal daily eating schedule looks something like this:

  • 7 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 10 a.m. – Snack
  • 12 p.m. – Lunch
  • 3 pm. – Snack
  • 6:30 p.m. – Dinner

I’ve learned the hard way that in order to lose weight you MUST eat. For me, this schedule works great because I’m able to kick-start my metabolism in the morning (within 30 mins of waking up) and keep it running pretty smoothly throughout the day.

Meal planning is a must!

I make it a priority to make sure I plan my lunch every single day. Use a meal plan schedule so you grocery shop on Sunday and meal prep for the week ahead. This will make your life SO much easier.

I make sure to prepare protein for lunch (usually, shrimp or chicken), cut up veggies, and portion out fruit servings.

Full-time challenges

One of the hard things about working full-time again is making the time to work out regularly. I know many of us struggle with this because after a full day’s work, many of us just want to veg out on the couch. I’ve been taking it easy this past week but definitely plan to start incorporating more exercise time into my schedule. Just gotta do it!

Another one is water intake! I’m setting the goal to drink at least two bottles of water during my work day and keep very well hydrated. So important.

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What work related tips do you have for weight loss?

What helps you stay on track during your busy work week?

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