Sunday, April 13, 2014

Get in the Groove and on the Move

You know the benefits of exercise. Staying active improves your physical, mental, and spiritual health. It can help you reduce stress, sleep better, and improve your mood, all important factors as you plan your wedding. But if you haven’t been exercising, starting a new routine can be hard. So how do you get yourself motivated to begin? Here are five ways you can motivate yourself to get moving:
1) Buddy Up: One of the best ways to start an exercise program is to invite someone to join you. Ask a relative, bridesmaid, or someone else you enjoy spending time with to be your exercise buddy. Each of you can motivate the other to beginning and sticking with a weekly regimen. It’s a lot more fun when you have a friend to go with and it gives you something to look forward to. It can also make it feel less like exercise and more like a social visit. 
2) Dance the Night Away: What better way to get in shape than to learn some dance moves for your wedding? And yes, dancing is a great workout. Grab your fiance and sign up for dance classes together! Whether you choose to learn the Waltz, Salsa, or Swing, not only will you be exercising, you will be able to show off your dance skills at your wedding. Now that’s pretty motivating!
3) The Earlier the Better: If you have control over the timing of your new exercise routine, choose to start earlier in the day.  Between work, life, and planning your wedding, by the end of the day, you’re probably pooped out. Exercising first thing in the morning, on the other hand, helps you reap the benefits of physical activity throughout the day. That may mean more energy, better ability to deal with stress, and improved mood. It also means you’ll be less likely to push it off because you’re too tired or busy.
4) Choose Your Activity Wisely: This may seem obvious, but pick a type of exercise you actually enjoy doing. Exercise is not limited to jogging or a gym. It can be a sport or activity you’ve always wanted to try or know you enjoyed in the past. From swimming and cycling to ice skating and basketball, there are countless activities to choose from that are beneficial for your health and fun to participate in. The more enjoyable the type of exercise, the better follow through you’ll have and the more motivated you will be.
5) Go Shopping: Who doesn’t like something new every once in a while? Here’s your chance to splurge a bit. Committed to going to the gym three times a week? Go ahead and buy new workout clothes or a pair of shoes. Taking on a new sport? Buy new roller blades, a tennis racket, or a swimsuit to help inspire you. Sometimes you just need to take that first step to get yourself into the groove of something new. Buying an item related to your sport shows your commitment and motivation. Plus, you have the added bonus of looking and feeling good with your new gear. And looking and feeling good usually means accomplishing more towards your success.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wedding Registry Tips

Thinking of getting your wedding registry started? Before you run off to your favorite store, you might want to consider the following:
1) Choices: It's always a good idea to have some choices and not be tied down to registering at one place only. Remember that not all department or specialty stores are located in every state. So having a few to choose from is helpful for guests. Same goes for prices of the items you're adding to your list. Everyone's budget and relationship to you is bit different and that can reflect in the amount they choose to gift. Having a wide selection of items, from inexpensive to expensive, allows everyone to find something suitable.
2) Considerations: Now that you've decided where to register, consider your circumstances before settling on the exact item you want. If you'll be living in a small apartment, with limited space, for example, you may not want to register for big kitchen appliances that will take up a lot of room. If you have a place to store gifts until you move into a bigger residence, then go for it; otherwise, things might start to feel cramped. Love having guests? Don't forget to register for ample serving pieces, hostess sets, and even extra sheets and blankets, if overnight guests are in the future.
3) Timing: The sooner you register the better. Not only is it good to get it out of the way, it helps set the pace for your guests. They can then purchase their gift to you when it's convenient for them. Plus, you can usually check on your registry and see what items are being bought. From there you can determine if you want to add some more items and in what price range.  Completing a checklist or at least jotting down some items for various rooms in your house, will save you time and help you register more quickly in the long run too.
4) Alternatives: Maybe you've been living together or already have all the home goods you need, what are your other options? If a traditional wedding registry doesn't seem to suit your situation, more and more alternatives pop up daily. From down payments for a house to bottled wine, there are registries to fit every couple's needs. Want to give back? Try the I Do Foundation, to register for a cause that guests can donate too. Can't afford your honeymoon? Create a honeymoon registry at The Honeymoon. Love handmade goods and crafts? Etsy has a registry too! You can create almost any registry you like nowadays! But it is a good idea to have at least one traditional registry that's not online. Some guests will want to go to a brick and mortar store to buy you a gift.
5) Have Fun: This is something both you and your groom can have fun doing. By registering for gifts, you are investing in your future life together. You'll both have ideas to add to each registry. Let it be less of a task and more of an experience. It's your wishlist. So have fun with it!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Renter's Insurance: Do Newlyweds Need It?

Always on the lookout for helpful information for newly married couples, so let's talk renter's insurance. Is it necessary? Okay, you're just married and have decided to rent a great new place to begin your life together. Sure you're thinking of the costs of moving and maybe buying some new furniture, but what about insurance?
Even if you're not a homeowner, you may want to strongly consider renter's insurance. Like most insurance policies, renter's insurance covers your property in the event that it gets damaged in a covered loss, such as theft or a fire. Covered property generally includes clothes, furniture, electronics, your computer, and even a hotel stay if you're displaced while any damage is being repaired at your apartment. All that adds up! Most policies also include liability insurance, which covers you if you're responsible for the injury of another person or if you damage someone else's property, regardless of where the incident occurred.
Doesn't the landlord's insurance cover this stuff? Nope! The landlord's policy covers structural damage of the building, their personal property, and damage due to negligence, not your personal belongings. It likely won't even cover you if you sustain a loss due to flooding; think: water backing up through the drains or sewers. That's right. If you live on the ground level, particularly, you may want to add flood insurance to your policy too. And if you live in areas that are prone to earthquakes or hurricanes, learn more about getting a separate  rider to cover damage from them, because it won't be included on your standard policy.
So how much is this going to cost, you may be wondering? According to the American Automobile Association, the average cost for a $30,000 renter's insurance policy is about $15.00 a month. That may also include up to $100,000 in liability insurance. You're more likely to get a better deal on the insurance if you buy multiple policies (e.g., car insurance and renter's insurance) through the same company too. Not a huge price to pay for the coverage you get and the peace of mind knowing you're covered.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

To Prank or Not to Prank on Your Wedding Day

April Fool's Day is here! With that in mind, let's turn the conversation to wedding day pranks. From ranking the first kiss to staged objections, there are many wedding day jokes, classic and not so classic. And regardless of whether or not the bride and groom have a good sense of humor, the question you need to ask is, "will this prank be a good idea or not?"
If you're a bride, groom, relative, or friend thinking about planning a wedding day joke, consider the following points:
1) Is the joke in good taste? You never want to embarrass anyone, be it your family, guests, or especially a future spouse. If there's even a remote chance of humiliation, steer clear of it. You don't want to do anything that could ever spoil a bride and groom's big day.
2) Couples spend thousands of dollars on their wedding. Don't carry out a prank that could potentially ruin this special day. Think, cake or other food getting on the bride's dress or damage to the reception area. It's inconsiderate and will likely cost you to clean it up.
3) The ceremony itself is a spiritual and meaningful experience. If you must pull a prank, wait until afterwards. Also, remember what some people might find humorous, others may not. Keep in mind traditional, cultural, or religious values. If family members do not find a joke amusing, it could create unnecessary drama or hardship for the bride and groom. No one wants to start off their marriage on the wrong foot with either side of the family. Save it for another time.
4) It's a good idea to let the bride or groom in on the secret, just to get their approval. With minimal details, you can see what their reaction might be. If a look of terror crosses their face, you may want to reconsider your decision or save it for the bachelor or bachelorette party or after the honeymoon. But even in those instances, don't do something that might have a lasting effects before the wedding, like using hair dye or markers.
5) After the honeymoon, newlyweds are getting back home and into the swing of married life, they may not want to spend hours unwrapping foil from their furniture or cleaning Jello out of their bathtub.
That's not to say there's no room for fun and games at a wedding. When taking the thoughts and feelings of everyone involved into consideration and if done in good taste, a wedding day prank could be funny and memorable. But it's always a good idea to have a back up plan and the ability to call it off, if the joke doesn't seem to be funny after all.