Archives for April 2021

April 26, 2021 - No Comments!

How to Get Body Confident for Your Wedding

You should feel your absolute best on your wedding day. If you are planning a wedding, you might be looking for ways to get fit and healthy so you can be confident for your special day. We teamed up with our friend, Jenn, Co-Owner and Instructor at Chrysalis Fitness + Wellness for her expertise. Today she is sharing some pro advice and 4 exercises so you can be body confident for your wedding!

Chrysalis fitness workout

Tip: Complete these exercises as a fun date with your partner to de-stress from wedding planning. Ready to kickstart your healthy lifestyle? Keep reading!

Jenn's Journey

I was super nervous before my wedding for so many reasons, but one of them was definitely because I was worried about standing in front of so many of my friends and family, being the center of attention, and having SO many photos taken. There are plenty of articles out there telling you how to get “in shape” for your wedding or how to lose weight for your wedding, if that’s what YOU want then great. But I think it’s far more important to feel confident on your wedding day, you should be able to stand tall on that altar and feel damn good about how you look no matter your size. 

The areas that helped me stand tall on my big day were the ones that worked my posture muscles and my core. Here are four Chrysalis Fitness + Wellness exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment (if you don’t have weights, 2 full wine bottles will do!). I suggest making a playlist of 4-6 of your favorite dance songs that will last about 15 minutes, do a little warm-up like jumping jacks or running in place, and then hit the mat for these exercises. I’ve given some recommendations for reps, but always listen to your body and if it wants less, take a break, if it wants more add some more reps!

I hope these exercises help you stand a little more body confident on your big day!

Congratulations!

Jenn - Co-Owner/Instructor of Chrysalis Fitness + Wellness

BACKDANCING OBLIQUE CURL LEG LIFT COMBO

This first exercise works your booty, your hamstrings, and your abs, it hits all parts of your core.

Tips: 

  • Avoid straining your neck when you curl your shoulder up. 
  • Keep your glutes engaged and your hips lifted by pressing down into your bottom heel. 
  • Slide your supporting arm wider to the side for more balance. 

Steps:

  1. Lie down onto your back
  2. Bend your knees and place your feet slightly forward of your knees
  3. Grip your seat, lift your hips, and pull your navel down
  4. Keep your upper back on the floor, only lift your seat, waist, and lower ribs off the floor
  5. Extend your left leg to straight and in line with your bottom leg
  6. Place your right hand behind your ear with your elbow bent out to the side
  7. Slowly lift your leg upward and simultaneously curl your right shoulder upward engaging your obliques
  8. Continue for 15 reps on the left leg, repeat on the other side. 

BENT ELBOW LIFTS KNEE DANCING COMBO

This body confident exercise works your chest, upper back, shoulder, core, and quads. 

Tips: 

  • Keep your neck long by only bringing your arms as narrow as your shoulders. Avoid “shoulder earrings” meaning, keep your shoulders drawn down away from your ears. 
  • Keep your glutes engaged and your abs drawn in, avoid hinging back too far causing your low back to arch. 
  • Press the tops of your feet down into the floor behind you, avoid curling your toes under as this can put stress on your knees. 
  • If you’re on a hard floor, use a folded towel or pillow under your knees. 
  1. Pick up a set of weights (2-5 lbs)
  2. Kneel down with your knees hip’s width apart or slightly wider and place your feet directly behind
  3. Squeeze your seat, bend slightly forward at your waist, and hinge slightly back from your knees to engage your quads. 
  4. Bend your elbows in half and draw your elbows slightly wider than your shoulder, elongate your neck by drawing your shoulders down. 
  5. Open your arms into a goal post position and simultaneously hinge back from your knees 2-3 inches engaging your quads more. 
  6. Return to your original position. Repeat for 20 reps. 

OBLIQUE PIKE CURL

This exercise works your abs and your upper quads.

Tips: 

  • Press down into the side of your supporting forearm to draw your shoulder away from your ear.  
  • If you have a sensitive hip, try placing a cushion under your glute. 
  • Bend your knees as much as you need. 
  • Keep the movement in your abs by exhaling sharply as you lift your legs.
  1. Sit down and rest onto your right glute, extend your legs diagonally down and forward
  2. Come down to your right forearm and draw your shoulder away from your ear
  3. Lift your left arm upward
  4. Keeping your knees slightly bent, pull your core in, and lift both legs upward on a diagonal as you draw your left arm down toward your shins. 
  5. Return your legs to the floor with control and your arm overhead. 
  6. Continue for 20 reps and repeat on the other side.

REVERSE PUSHUPS WITH LEG LIFTS

This exercise works your triceps, upper back and core.

Tips: 

  • Spread your fingertips wide apart to increase surface area and take pressure off of your wrists. 
  •  Squeeze your shoulder blades back and down to elongate your neck. 
  • If lifting your legs is too much, keep both feet on the floor. 
  1. Sit down on the floor with your feet about a foot and a half in front of you, hip’s width apart. 
  2. Place your hands on the floor with your fingertips facing toward your feet and slightly out on a diagonal. 
  3. Scoop your hips up lifting your seat off of the floor. 
  4. Draw your ribs back toward your inner arms and lengthen your neck by drawing your shoulders down.
  5. Bend your elbows directly back and simultaneously lift one knee toward your chest, repeat and switch legs. 
  6. Continue, alternating legs for 30 repetitions.

Looking for more exercises to feel body confident as a future newlywed? Use our code: CWCWKFREE to receive a week of free (yes free!) online all access with Chrysalis Fitness + Wellness! You will receive:

  • Access to both livestream classes and on-demand virtual platform! Livestream classes provide you with the "in-studio experience," you will receive live feedback which includes verbal corrections, motivation and modifications.
  • On-demand platform provides you with the flexibility to take class when it is convenient for you.
  • Access to full classes, mini workouts and how-to videos.

Your 1-week trial activates the date you purchase.

For more pre-wedding planning advice be sure to check out these self care tips for future newlyweds next!

Published by: Gabrielle Norton in Lifestyle

April 20, 2021 - No Comments!

How to Create Affordable DIY Napkin Rings

Let's face it. Purchasing new table decor for each season is expensive. Not to mention, you might want to refresh your table for dining table special occasions and parties. I set out to create affordable DIY napkin rings that are easy to make at home. The result was even better than I thought! Ready to create your own? Keep reading for all of the details.

How to create affordable DIY napkin rings

Supply List

  • Cardboard tube
  • Fabric
  • Pocket or Exacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

Pick up enough fabric and cardboard tube for the amount of napkin rings you are needing! My fabric & tube made enough for 6 napkin rings.

Step One: Cut the Fabric Tube

When you are picking up your fabric at your favorite craft store, be sure to ask them if you can have the paper tube! This is what you are going to be using for the actual napkin rings. Once you are home, be sure the fabric is completely off of the tube and set aside for later. Then, on a flat surface, you will want to start cutting the fabric tube. Don't worry about being perfect with this! With your pocket or Exacto knife, cut about an inch wide piece for each napkin ring. Cut as many napkin rings as you need for your table setting.

Step Two: Cut Your Fabric

Start cutting small strips of fabric for each tube. You want the fabric to be long enough to cover the entire napkin ring tube piece and wide enough to tuck under. This size will vary depending on your type of fabric and how you have cut your napkin rings from the fabric tube.

If you need a visual guide for this DIY Project, be sure to check our my YouTube video here:

Step Three: Wrap Your Napkin Rings

Now, this is where the pieces of that fabric tube start looking like napkin rings! Gather your fabric strips and napkin ring tubes. Start adding hot glue to your napkin rings rolling the strips of fabric around the tube as you go. Once the napkin ring is completely covered, cut any excess from the length. Glue the rest to the fabric width to cover the inside of the napkin ring.

And you are done! See how easy that was? These are such a sweet addition to any tablescape and are a fun DIY project. Get creative with this craft and make different colors and patterns.

Love this blog and want more tablescape inspiration? Be sure to check out this modern pink and green table design next!

Published by: Gabrielle Norton in Lifestyle

April 13, 2021 - No Comments!

The Best Yellow Themed Spring Wedding

We don't know about you, but the color yellow automatically puts a smile on our faces. This is such a versatile color to inspire the design for any wedding. Today we are sharing an indoor spring wedding with pops of bright yellow. We love the way the season was incorporated into the details of this day. Kristof & Becca are such a joyful color so we wanted to create a wedding aesthetic to match! Keep reading to gather inspiration from this yellow-themed spring wedding.

Bride and groom holding hands at spring wedding

Invitations & Florals

The invitation suite was kept super modern with minimal pops of yellow. The bright tone that the couple chose for the day is so refreshing without being overpowering.

For the bridal bouquet, Becca wanted to incorporate plenty of the yellow color. The addition of different texture florals added dimension to her beautiful bouquet. Then she opted for more romantic pastel tones including blush, lavender, and peach. Of course, no bouquet is complete without some fresh greenery!

Yellow wedding invitation design
Spring wedding bouquet with yellow flowers

The Ceremony

At Smoky Hollow Studio, we allow the industrial venue to shine. A modern wedding arch decorated with organic spring florals was the perfect amount of decor. The contrast of the natural design with the urban style venue was so stunning.

Bride and groom at spring wedding ceremony

Venue Details

How cool is this guest 'books' idea! Instead of having one traditional guest book, the couple added in a bit more personalization. They chose their favorite books that hold sentimental value in their relationship for guests to sign. That way, when they pick up any of the books in the future they can be reminded of their special day.

For the venue decor, a simple string art sign greeted guests to the day. After the ceremony, we transformed the wedding arch to a creative backdrop. Check out that marquee light sign!

Guest book stationery for wedding

Bride & Groom Photos

Kristof and Becca snuck away for bride and groom photos while guests mingled and enjoyed a cocktail hour. They got to adventure through the local city, capturing photos with different backdrops. Becca got to show off her floor length tulle veil. The bride and groom featured their favorite yellow color with their accessories.

Bride and groom with long veil

Table Decor

A simple way to transform any space is by adding in an abundance of fresh floral arrangements and greenery. Cascading garlands and hanging floral features brought this design together. We kept the place settings simple with a muted linen, modern black flatware, and a vintage style plate. For a bit more ambiance, we added romantic gold votives.

Wedding reception tables at Smoky Hollow Studios

Looking for more spring wedding inspiration? You will love this modern colorful wedding next!

Published by: Gabrielle Norton in Wedding

April 6, 2021 - No Comments!

Woodland Fall Elopement at Autumn Lane Estate in Maine

There really is nothing quite like an intimate elopement surrounded by nature. Today we are adventuring to Maine for the most dreamy woodsy elopement. This rustic boho design will surround you with the feeling of crisp autumn air with colorful fall tones and effortlessly romantic details.

Ready to escape to the forest with us? Keep reading to gather inspiration for your elopement vision!

Wedding Arch & Florals

This eco-friendly floral wedding arch seems to emerge from the ground, blending in perfectly with the fall surroundings. The florals were foraged locally in Maine, keeping the theme of the forest consistent. This is such a creative and sustainable way to honor the location of your elopement! The addition of dried textural elements like the seasonal leaves is so unique for this ceremony design.

The bridal bouquet was a continuation of the wedding arch following the colorful fall palette. A mix of warm marigold, burnt orange, deep reds, and blue tones brought pops of color to this elopement. If you are planning an outdoor wedding but want to include more colors, add in plenty of fresh florals to keep things inspired by nature!

Bride & Groom Attire

The bridal look was minimal and ethereal with a flowy floral length gown. For the bride's accessories, she wore dainty and modern jewelry pieces to complete her elopement look. The groom's muted blue suit was so chic, complementing the wedding florals.

The Barn & Lounge Decor

This sweet local barn at Autumn Lane Estate is the perfect Maine elopement location. It is a great spot for photography with a wooden backdrop and modern barn silhouette! Even with intimate elopements, adding a lounge area is a great way to extend your venue space. We added in a matching floral garland, a simple accent bench, and a vintage-inspired rug.

Table Design

How cute is this table design? We selected a two-tone wooden round table and chairs to place our fall decor. The cascading natural floral garland made a stunning centerpiece. We added organic-shaped plates layered between a real seasonal leaf to each place setting. The linen napkins and flatware remained simplistic to allow the place settings to shine.

The Cake

Let's talk about this beautiful cake! The minimal two-layered was decorated with sprigs of pampas grass and a piece of fresh fern with a few more fall florals at the base. We paired the cake with a simple wood cake stand. Of course, we couldn't resist having the bride capture a photo with the sweet treat!

Love this blog and want more intimate elopement inspiration? Check out this Joshua Tree desert elopement next!

Published by: Gabrielle Norton in Styled Shoot