Choose your Caribbean or Latin American Wedding Destination

This post is sponsored by Marriott and JW Resorts on behalf of BrideClick, LLC, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Some friends of ours recently announced they’re having a destination wedding and it got me thinking of all a big day in the tropics has to offer! I can so easily imagine it – clear waters, sunny skies, cool cocktails, white sands, and that feeling that there’s no place in the world you’d rather be! It’s fun for you as the bride and your guests — what’s not to love about destination weddings?


The difficulty is really choosing where to have a destination wedding, isn’t it?

The details are pretty straight forward — tropical flowers, a welcome bag and, well, you decide: shoes or no shoes? That’s the beauty, right?

Right! The beauty is knowing you can slip away to someplace picture perfect like Aruba or a little wild like Cancun and volia! Your dream wedding and dreamy honeymoon are all rolled into one, waiting for you to enjoy it — get that? Enjoy it, not stress it!

So then, where is YOUR perfect destination wedding destination? The Caribbean or Latin America? The Grand Cayman or Curacao? Well, the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) collection represents 8 Marriott and JW Resorts properties in 7 beautiful Caribbean and Mexico Destinations, and, CALA has provided this fun Matrimony Quiz to help you decide which resort is right for you!

I love the fact that they’ve taken into account little details like no passport necessary? Or if you like the casino scene.

Take the quiz and let me know — where’s your dream destination wedding?

Are you planning a destination wedding? 

What’s your ideal destination for a wedding away from home? 

Image credits: Deep Blue Photography / Max Wagner via Martha Stewart Weddings / Embie Events on Etsy  / Blue Sky Weddings / Leslie Castle Photography via Jet Fete

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Fit Bride, Cherie // Work Hard & Register Often

CHERIE-3No matter where you are in your wedding planning adventure you should probably be following the motto, work hard and register often! I know plenty of brides and grooms feel estranged to the whole deal of asking for tons of items they have only daydreamed of having in their homes. Well brides, have no fear (or feelings of selfishness), registering is apart of the process!

To make things a little less overwhelming here’s some tips for registering the right way!

registry graphic

Don’t go overboard: 

One of the first pieces of advice we received was register for less. While stores like Macy’s and Dillards will encourage a set number of items to have available, remember that the less you have the more likely you are to receive what you actually registered for.

In my opinion, waffle makers are cool but trendy dishes are cooler!

Change your mind (sooner rather than later):

While it may seem a bit too proactive to register right after engagement, it’s actually a smart move. Lee and I registered at Macy’s a mere month post engagement. Early? Sure. Yet, now we have the opportunity to change our mind and edit the list as much as we need to before invites are sent out. Keep up with your online accounts for registries to allow yourself easy access to items you love!

IMG_7375Remember — make sure you’re having fun!

One store, two store, three!

Lee and I are registered at five different stores; each with their own unique purpose in mind. Having a good variation in your registry is a smart move for guests that live near and far.

Keep a list.

Cups, mixers, napkin rings…. me oh my! Keeping a list of items you want/have already registered for guarantees a smooth registering process without the added confusion. (If you’re totally lost on what you should be shopping for check out my post on the best wedding planner for your money.) Not only does it keep a running list of things to do, but comes with the perfect list for items you should register for as newlyweds!


Appreciate what you get, the rest isn’t going anywhere! 

While L. and I may be newbies on all this gift receiving, we are already aware of the fact that we won’t receive everything we register for. Price, store selection, and seasonal availability will result in a few returned items AND missing items. No big dealio – be ready to figure out what you’d be willing to purchase yourselves just in case.

Remember: gifts are awesome and something to be thankful for, but be sure to express that thanks post-nuptials!

PS: Cute thank you’s like these are a sweet gesture to shout out your gratitude for your guests.

Minted Thank You Notes Image from Minted

Don’t run away just yet!

I bet you thought I’d forget the work hard part of our new motto!

Nope, to remind you to stay fit and active throughout the planning I’m leaving you with three workout resources that I use on a weekly basis! Keeping things varied keeps your body moving and your brain relaxed. One is even for hire as an ONLINE trainer. No excuses there ladies! Check out Glisten Fit, Blogilates, or my Pinterest Board for workouts!


So remember, do your time in the gym, and then spend the day with your man and that special scanning gun!

What’s your registry strategy? 




A Runners Engagement in Lynchburg: Stephen & Suki

I love receiving unique engagement photos (I mean, hello!) and especially those that tie into what the couple loves, how they met, or a healthy hobby they share. Such is the case with Stephen and Suki, who decided to capture their engagement at a place they love, doing what they love – jogging a familiar trail! These two are seriously adorable and they don’t need fancy clothes, props, or anything else to be able to see the love they so obviously share! Congrats guys!

Jogging_Engagement_Jae Studios

A note from the couple’s photographer, Jae Studios:

We selected downtown Lynchburg for their engagement session in order to mirror their first date, which was dinner at Waterstone Pizza, meandering through Blackwater Creek Trail, and visiting the Lynchburg Community Market!

They met on a weekend scuba diving certification trip a couple of years back and their meeting sparked Stephen to get in touch with Suki just a week or so after. I guess you could say that the rest is history! Stephen and Suki are very active! Since they run frequently on the trail system, it was a great backdrop for their first outfit choice! Stephen is in the Army Reserves and stays fit, and Suki was a college cross country/track team athlete and currently coaches high school cross country as well.

Jogging_Engagement_Jae StudiosJogging_Engagement_Jae StudiosJogging_Engagement_Jae Studios
Jogging_Engagement_Jae Studios

Jogging_Engagement_Jae Studios
Jogging_Engagement_Jae Studios

Jogging_Engagement_Jae Studios

Jogging_Engagement_Jae StudiosJogging_Engagement_Jae Studios Jogging_Engagement_Jae StudiosJae Studios via TwoBrightLights.

Thanks for sharing your sweet photos with us, Stephen and Suki!

Would you consider recreating your first date for engagement photos?

How about incorporating something you both enjoy? 

Fit Mom, Karlye // Kids & Sports

Fit-Mom-MonikerDo you guys remember how active you were as a kid?

I grew up in the country and we played outside all.the.time. All the kids in the neighborhood would get together and play basketball, softball, and hide’n go seek. We rode bikes, went rollerblading, and pretended to be professional gymnasts as we flipped through the air. We were always running, always moving. Well, times have changed and so has my location. Living so close to a city during a time when child abductions and assaults are constantly in the news, I definitely don’t feel comfortable allowing Dev to run around unsupervised with the neighborhood kids like I did when I was little. We also don’t have a backyard because we live in an apartment, so while I’m cooking or doing things around the house, he’s usually sitting on his butt watching Netflix. Luckily, we do have several parks within walking distance that we often visit when we get home at the end of the day. But with the change in seasons and the days getting shorter, we won’t be able to do that much longer. And that’s where sports come in!

Although I played outside a lot as a small kid, as I got older, I spent most of my time hanging out with my friends indoors. I always wished that my mom would have put me in sports when I was younger so that I would have been more athletic during my pre-teen and teen years. With childhood obesity becoming more and more of a problem in America and kids playing less and less outside, I think it’s that much more important for me to expose Devin to different sports. Our town has a soccer league that Devin has participated in for a couple years now. It’s not anything too serious for his age group, but it allows him to get in some great exercise on Saturdays. Recently, I also signed him up for flag football and basketball after school. These are more like little clubs that meet one day a week—football on Wednesdays and basketball on Fridays. The clubs are offered twice a year and meet for 10 classes each semester, so it’s not a huge commitment. I like that he’ll learn how to play two new sports and he has a reason to be more active throughout the week. He’s really excited about these clubs and even expressed some interest in trying out karate next semester!

Aside from keeping our kids active, sports also teach them values and life lessons that stay with them as they grow into responsible adults. Discipline, teamwork, and good sportsmanship are just a few of these values I’m happy Devin has already started to learn through soccer. #proudmom

I can’t wait to see what else he learns through his new activities!

Did you play sports as a kid?

If so, what do you think the benefits were?

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How to Use the MyFitnessPal App to Track Macros & Lose Weight

Hey friends! Happy Monday!

I’ve been meaning to share this post for awhile!

You might remember my mention of an 8-week weight loss challenge I did with friends this summer. I shared how successful it was, and personally, how it was one of the first challenges I’ve ever stuck with till the very end!

Why was this challenge a success?

The number one reason I believe I was successful is because I started tracking my macronutrients using MyFitnessPal.

Macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fats. They are the nutrients that compose the various foods we eat. Obviously, not all foods are created equal; some have a lot of carbohydrates and others a lot of protein; some foods have no protein or carbohydrates at all.


I first heard of “counting macros,” on Instagram. I stumbled on a company that provides macro breakdowns, meal plans, and support for body builders, CrossFitters, and other people looking to improve their nutrition profile. It was an expensive service but I told Aaron about it because I was intrigued. He was too so we decided to employ the technique ourselves and test it out.

Second reason I was successful is because I someone (Aaron) doing this with me!

We both got on the If it Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) website and punched out information into the calculator – activity level, body mass index, and our goals: weight loss, aggressive weight loss, or maintain. From that I got a nutrition profile or suggested breakdown of exactly how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat I should aim to consume each day.

The nutrition breakdown I received seemed very reasonable to me. My breakdown is about 1,600 calories with 100 grams of carbs, 150 grams of protein and 62 grams of fat. It’s low carb but not carb-free (you can chose a carb-free approach if you want) and I like that fact that it doesn’t eliminate anything from my diet. I struggle with restrictive diets (such as paleo) because I think they’re hard to maintain long-term. I love Greek yogurt and every once in a while you’re gonna have a “bad” food like pizza or cake. We all do it!

What I like about counting macros is that you CAN have those foods as long as you track them and anything else accordingly.

The only real surprising aspect of my nutrition profile was the amount of recommended protein: 150 grams! That was a huge change to my usual eating habits but one I think has really paid off!

At first, meeting my macros seemed impossible! So. much. protein. Haha. But, I’ve gotten a lot better at it. I drink a lot more protein shakes now; I almost always have one within 30 minutes of working out and I use a scoop in a half now instead of just one scoop.

Of course, consuming more protein means I have to pay attention to the protein I’m consuming. For awhile we used the CytoSport Chocolate 100% Whey Protein (sold at Costco and DELICIOUS when blended with a frozen banana!) but recently we’ve started to experiment with pea and vegan protein.


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