Dress: “Dallas” by Ju.Lee Collection (photo by Photograffiti) | Shoes: Valentino | Lower left corner photo Alycia Creative | hair and decor inspiration via Pinterest]]>
The horse was actually trying to take the groom’s boutonniere!
The bride’s bouquet was made by Flowerstory and it was oh so beautiful – the perfect autumn romantic palette that complemented the amazing sunset that day!
Of course I need a picture with the bride!
Main lobby features many upcoming bridal trends for the new season.
Beautiful displays of new accessories.
Isn’t the LOVE metal blocks so adorable? The belt displayed on the left is lovely!
Booths of Ivy & Aster and Twigs and Honey
Of course there are runway shows of the latest bridal gowns – dresses by Eves of Milady.
I came across some charming hair accessories at the show! I love the reconstruction of Venice and Chantilly lace appliques with Swarovski crystals, pearls, and feathers. There are also lace headbands with ribbons – very feminine and vintage-inspired! It is a new take on the traditional hair pieces.
Another gown display at the main lobby.
Hanging out at the rooftop at the Peninsula Hotel with my long time fashion designer friend.
While walking around Mid Town, I passed by the Love monument…
And of course, how can I not stop by the amazing Time Square if I’m in New York City before the end of my trip?
Last week, I took a break from my usual bridal gown designer duties and traveled to Southern California to attend the Tastemakers wedding networking party hosted by the amazing Be Inspired PR team at the Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. The event was put together by a group of talented wedding professionals and I was utterly impressed! The Tastemakers network is one of the most exclusive groups of wedding professionals across the country and I feel so honored to be a part of it. It was inspiring to hear their stories and passion for the wedding business. I’m sure you’re curious what happened at the party so here are the highlights of the night!
How about a quick mani? The mani station was generously sponsored by Essie!
Cocktail bar by ONEHOPE Wine – the signature drink Sparkling Mojito was divine!
The social board is so creative! Every guest took a Polaroid (yes, you heard me – Polaroid) and wrote their social media names on their pictures to be placed on this board so we can reconnect online with each other even after the party!
The event decors were designed and made possible by Gather Events. How cute is the “CHEER” sign in the back of the cocktail bar? And all the fun furnitures were provided by Signature Party Rentals. I was absolutely in love with the white, navy, and gold theme! The navy stripe tablecloth totally stood out in the back. And the team handmade more than 6000 tassels for that night! Oh my!
And of course, I went back with a box of goodies. The swag box was full of surprises – Essie nail polishes, super soft jersey scarf, mixed CD, journal, custom note cards, and even a free wine offer from the event sponsors. I was certainly inspired and mesmerized that night! XO – Judy]]>
Our 2014 signature bridal collection is featured on Style Me Pretty California! To celebrate our launch, we are giving away a gorgeous two-layer Central Park wedding veil to one lucky SMP reader. Simply go to our collection website and comment on the SMP blog post letting us know which is your favorite style. One lucky winner will be picked on September 27, 2013.
To make it even more exciting, we’re also offering a 15% discount on all collection styles! Simply enter SMPLOVE at our Etsy store during checkout or mention this special code when you place the order. It’s a limited time offer (expires on November 1, 2013) so this discount won’t last long!
Workout Time! Are you ready?
As a fitness enthusiast, I’ve tried so many different types of workouts – running, kickboxing, body steps, weight training, circuit training, plyometric training, yoga, Surf Set, pilates, TRX… I think I might be considered a workout junkie to most people! Daily workout is really my lifestyle and I have a love/hate relationship with it. It is hard work (not going to lie) and painful sometimes but I love seeing the results (tight glutes, toned arms, flat abs.) In case you don’t know, the pain is where the change is happening. If you don’t feel it during your workout, you are not making any change. How ironic, isn’t it?
My friend and I participated in the 5K color run. If you enjoy outdoor activities, try signing up for a fun run with your friends. You will sweat a bucket and have a blast while doing it!
A common thinking is that as long as you are working out, you will be able to reach your weight-loss goals. As a bride, you are probably very eager to get as many pounds off as you can in a short period of time and exercising is a great way to help you achieve that. However, if you are not doing the exercises correctly, you are simply wasting your time and will only see mediocre results. When this happens, you lose interest and quit too soon before you see the major change. So in part 2 of Project Stunning, I want to share with you the 5 common workout mistakes that you should avoid so you can get the results that you want.
By all means this is not the complete list and you should always consult with a professional fitness trainer if you want to prevent injuries especially if you are just starting out. Having someone point out your mistakes at the spot is by far one of the most important parts of your lifestyle change. However, this list should help you get started on the right track!
Brought home my first 1/2 marathon metal last month (August 2013) at the Seawheeze half marathon in Vancouver.
1. You do the same workout over and over again.
We all have a tendency to do the same things that we like. When we go to our favorite restaurant, we usually order the exact same dish that we love or are familiar with. Most people don’t like to take risk, which is very understandable because we don’t know if we will like the new change.
But when it comes to working out, variety is really the spice of life. It is important to know that after a certain amount of time, you should change your workout routines. That means, if you are used to running very morning at 8am, try switching one or two of the days to a different type of exercise like kickboxing or circuit training. The problem with sticking to the exact same exercise is that your body will get used to it. When this happens, you will hit a plateau and lose the weight loss momentum.
How do you know that you’re hitting a plateau? You no longer feel the pain after your workout.
2. You don’t practice the right forms.
It is very common in the beginning of your weight-loss plan that you get overexcited and work out too hard too soon forgetting to pay attention to practicing the right forms. Remember that your body has a learning curve and it takes time to adjust to the change.
At my gym, I saw so many people doing lunges, squats, push-ups, and weights incorrectly. The interesting part is that some class instructors might not even point out their mistakes and would allow them to continue with their incorrect forms week after week. Why is it important to practice good forms? Not only will you get the result that you need but it is the best way to prevent injuries.
So, what should you do instead? Schedule some personal training sessions with a trainer and ask him and or her to correct your forms. Also, if you feel pain on your joints or spine (neck and lower back) during the workout, that is a definite red flag.
3. You skip warm up and cool down.
It is interesting how many people skip the warm up and cool down of their daily workouts. It is probably because they don’t see the importance or they are too eager to get into the high impact part of the workout. I was the same in the beginning too because there is limited time to work out each day so I want to maximize the time that I spend doing it (i.e. burning calories.)
But skipping these crucial steps of your workout can potentially do you more harm than good. The purpose of the warm up is to “wake up” your muscles by gradually pumping oxygen into your bloodstream to give the energy your muscles need during your workout. When your muscles are not awake, you can easily damage the tissues – not a smart idea. As for cool-down, you are stretching out the tired muscle tissues after an intense workout so it helps speed up the recovery process and reduce soreness the next day.
Most structured classes like kickboxing and circuit training will include a warm up and cool down. If you are working out on your own, there are some warm up and cool down ideas that you can try.
4. You are not focused while working out.
Yes, that’s right. Talking on the phone while working out on the treadmill is highly not recommended. As a woman, I have to admit that I love to multi-task. It runs in my blood and it’s hard to resist the urge to save the world everyday. Since you are making a commitment to a better you, you should focus on what you are doing instead of trying to tackle multiples things at once.
When you are distracted, you are not adding the intensity that you need to get your heart rate up. Maximizing your heart rate during your workout is the key to burning more calories! Your mental power is actually more powerful than your physical power. So, the next time that you hear your phone ring at the gym, simply let your voicemail answer for you.
5. You are sleep deprived.
What does sleep have to do with weight-loss? So if you only sleep 6 hours every night, why would that affect your weigh-loss plan? Surprising, sleep is the final factor to the weight-loss formula. When you’re sleep deprived, your muscles don’t have enough time to recover from your daily activities and adding on an intense workout during the day will only increase the chance of injury.
Not only does getting enough sleep every night helps you achieve your weight-loss goal, but it will also strengthen your health by reducing the risk of health-related issues like heart diseases. It is really true when people say “beauty sleep.”
Comment below and let me know if these tips help you!
Eating right takes up the majority of the credit to your weight-loss success. In fact, it is possible to lose your desired weight without working out. But, regular exercising boosts your metabolism so it speeds up the process of breaking down fat during and after your workouts to help you achieve your weight loss goal faster. There are really countless reasons why eating right and exercising go hand in hand but for the purpose of this post, I want to share the common eating mistakes that people make when they first start their new healthy lifestyle. I first got this post idea from Women’s Health Blog, so thank you Women’s Health.
Let’s start by saying that not all foods are created equal. We’ve grown to love eating starchy carbs like potatoes and pasta. Our bodies crave them and we enjoy eating them too but the biggest problem is, they are what nutritionists called “empty calories” because they provide very little nutritional values but are packed with calories. I considered them “bad deals” because you “pay” (calories-wise) such a high price and get very little back (nutrients) for your body. This is just one of the many examples of what NOT to eat (or eat them at a very sensible amount.)
If you’re starting a new healthy lifestyle (or weight-loss plan), let me first by giving you a pack in the back for taking the initiative to making a positive change! You should be proud of yourself for taking this big step to loving yourself. So many times, we forget to love or care for ourselves because we are so busy caring for others. But if you really think about it, loving / caring for ourselves is the basic foundation to loving and helping other people. When you’re physically and mentally strong, you will be able to do so much more for others. This is definitely one of the many life philosophies that I’ve learned in the past 8 years since I’ve committed to a healthy lifestyle from one of my favorite fitness gurus Jillian Michaels.
Now, I’d like to share some common eating mistakes to get you started on your journey. There are many to this list but instead of overwhelming and scaring you to start, I narrowed down the list to only 5 for now so you can take baby steps to achieving your goal of transitioning to a healthy lifestyle.
1. You don’t keep track of your daily food intake (i.e. calories)
When I first told family and friends that I have a daily calorie journal, half of them rolled their eyes. This is very understandable because I even found this practice bizarre when I first started doing it. But after 3 months of jotting down everything that I ate everyday (yes, a piece of candy counts too), I no longer question its validity. It works, love.lee’s. That was back in the days before apps and websites like myfitnesspal. I highly recommend that you either use fitness apps like myfitnesspal or do it the old-fashion way of writing down what you eat with calories. This holds you accountable for what you eat everyday and it ensures that you are not overeating. Before you start tracking, go to calorie counter to find out your target daily calorie intake. One side note, make sure that you input your food after each meal and don’t wait until the end of the day to do so. Why? Because if you accidently overeat during lunch, you still have time to adjust your dinner meal and still be able to stay within your limit.
2. You eat too much so-called “healthy” foods.
At the grocery stores, you see so many food packagings with labels like “low fat”, “natural”, “healthy”, blah, blah, blah. Yes, foods like avocados, nuts, and brown rice are good for you because they are rich in healthy fats and fiber but they are undoubtedly high in calories. So, if you are looking to shedding pounds, you need to either cut back dramatically on the proportion (keep it to one serving per meal) or completely eliminate these foods altogether (if you cannot eat only one serving) along with keeping tab on the total calories for that particular meal. To summarize, calories matter more when you’re trying to lose weight.
3. You skip breakfast
It’s a common misconception that skipping breakfast will help you lose weight faster. Wrong! From my personal experience, I find myself eating more later in the day with less energy when I do this, which validated what healthy weight-loss program says. Eating breakfast everyday trains your body to not go into starvation mode, which can cause you to eat more than you need when you finally have a meal. What if you don’t have an appetite in the morning? Try a non-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt with fresh fruits or a granola protein bar. My favorite is Richland Orchards Greek Yogurt bar because it contains a healthy level of protein and fibers and it actually tastes good!
4. You drink everything but water
One of the easiest and yet most challenging things to give up during the transition is eliminating alcohol, soda, and other sugary drinks. Yes, they somewhat help quench your thirst but they add unnecessary calories. When you’re trying to lose weight, every calorie counts and a typical 12 oz soda can is about 140 calories and it does not satisfy your hunger (and the same goes for alcohol.) Even diet drinks are questionable whether they are safe for your body or not. So, if you have trouble drinking water, try adding some fresh lemon / lime juice, cucumber slices, mint leaves, or even small pieces of fruits like berries and oranges. They look colorful and tasty without the calories and questionable substances.
5. You eat because you want to and not because you need to
Emotional eating is very common and very hard to fight back. (There are days when I just want that red velvet cream cheese cupcake!) Especially women, we tend be more stressed out than men because of our increase responsibilities from work, family, and friends (it’s in our nature to help other people.) To make it even more unfair, our bodies store fat quicker than men. Darn it… Having that said, we have to work harder to control what we put in our bodies and be particular selective about it because any excess sugar will turn into fat that will be parked in the “garage” (ahem, mid-section). What is a good way to tackle this? Before you reach for that chocolate bar, stop and think for a moment how you will need to run an extra hour in order to burn that off and whether you love it this much to “pay” the calorie price. Wait 15 minutes and see if you still have that in your mind. If so, go for a couple of pieces instead of the entire bar to satisfy your munchies. Many times, your body only needs a taste of the sweetness and necessarily the entire chocolate bar. Try it next time and see how your body reacts. You will be surprise what you think you want is not really what your body wants.
Changing your lifestyle is not an easy task. It requires a lot of work and many people give up too fast to see the results. It is not an overnight process and I find that if you take small steps in the beginning instead of dramatically changing your eating habit overnight, you will most likely be able to stick to the plan. Also, try announcing your new goal on Facebook so your friends and families can cheer you on during this tough transition.
Comment below and let me know if these tips help you!
A custom designed wedding dress created by me
As the Dress Genie, one of the most common requests that I hear from brides for their wedding dresses is to make them look skinnier. It is truly understandable that every bride wants to look strikingly gorgeous on the most important day of her life. Yes, the right dress can create the perception to make any women look slimmer but in reality, the ultimate solution is to lose the unwanted pounds. Definitely not what most brides want to hear.
I have been a fitness enthusiast for over 8 years now. I workout 5 – 6 times a week, completed Beachbody’s P90X, P90X2, and Insanity, just finished my first half marathon Seawheeze at Vancouver (and more to come,) and have been able to maintain the same size for the past 8 years so I do know a thing or two about health and fitness. It is also a passion of mine along with fashion and weddings to inspire other people to create their version of a healthy lifestyle.
Saturday morning run by the Santa Cruz shore
Healthy lifestyle is not about being a size 2. You don’t need to be a size 2 to look stunning. It is about maintaining a healthy weight (BMI) by eating right along with a regular, consistent exercising schedule. Looking stunning will simply be a happy side effect of it. In fact, it’s inevitable to look skinny when you live and breath healthy! When you are glowing with energy, you will look amazing in your dress so I always encourage my brides to eat healthy and exercise regularly when they come to me.
Most fitness experts don’t believe in diets because it is a phase or fad. Instead, you should consider your wedding as an opportunity to create a better lifestyle going forward if you haven’t already been doing it. Imagining how amazing you will look on your wedding day is a great motivation to start but the result will go far beyond your wedding – you will be physically and mentally happier with your life when you live with a healthy lifestyle. I personally owe this positive energy to carrying me through rough days.
I’m sure you’ve heard enough of the reasons why to eat right and exercise so there is no need for me to further convince you. Everybody knows it’s good idea to be healthy but the transitional process is where the breakdown happens. Like any kind of change, it is not easy. It requires self-discipline and perseverance but most importantly, a reason to change. This is why I think your wedding is probably one of the best motivations that any woman can find.
However, beware that there should be a set time frame on your weight loss program. Unless you have a spandex wedding dress, any dramatic size changes after you’ve placed the dress order will add extra alteration cost – not a smart plan. So, I always let my brides know the exact date when they must stop their dramatic weight-loss plan.
To help you get started on Project Stunning, I’m putting together a three-part series of weight loss tips based on my personal experience and from other professional fitness experts. Some of the tips come from Women’s Health Magazine but I highlighted the ones that I have personally tried and are successful. Not all tips may be helpful to you because everyone’s body is different. You will need to do some trial and error to determine the best combination of food and exercises to help you achieve that ideal lifestyle. But if you follow these tips as religiously as you can, you should see some concrete results within 6-8 weeks.
Of course, how successful your weight loss plan is depends highly on how committed you are to making it happen. How much do you want to look stunning on your wedding or any day after? Make a commitment and stick to it. It is my pleasure to share with you the tips. Read on, love.lee’s!]]>
Not only was this Ju.Lee Bridal’s first video but it was also my first ever video. I have to admit that I was little nervous before shooting but Oren was able to make me forget about the camera while shooting. I feel like this is my mini reality TV episode as well! What do you think? Did I do well? I hope you love it as much as I love it!]]>