Life Update

Good Morning friends!

Sorry for the little blogging break. I've been crazy busy with work, wedding things, life. I'm still here, just busy.

Here's a quicky update:

-We've had two amazing showers. One with some of my beautiful friends for a "stock the bar" wine tasting and one with my family and friends in Mississippi.

-We are officially in the double digits countdown to the wedding. 88 days to be exact.

- Stephen and I we have lost almost 60 pounds combined. We gained 10 of that back this weekend in Mississippi between butter, booze, and cotton candy. Let the workouts begin...

- I can't be in my apartment in the dark because I have seen the "Lights Out" commercial approximately 18,274,513,598,654 times. Seriously, do we have to watch it in between snap stories? I literally get home in the afternoon and turn on every light in the house. My fur-babies think I'm nuts.

-I had an actual temper tantrum about "The Bachelorette" being a cliffhanger last week. Sorry if you follow me on Twitter.

- I may be a little MIA this week. Work has just been tough lately and I'm behind on life. I will try my very best to at least squeeze in a post better than this one here and there.

What's new?? Anyone see the "Lights Out" movie yet?


Wedding Planning Wednesday: How to Create a Snapchat Geofilter

This week in wedding planning, I researched and purchased our Snapchat Geofilter and bought our Married AF shirts for the honeymoon. Thanks Taylor!

According to The Knot, at this point, I am supposed to be ordering invitations, having my hair and make-up trial, and signing up for dance lessons. So I clearly have my priorities in line...

Follow me on Snapchat @helenguyyay to see the ridiculous amounts of Geofilters I'm going to create for wedding related activities. I might be addicted. Get ready bachelorette party...

In case you need a Geofilter at your wedding, here's how you set it up:

1. Create your filter in a .png format. It needs to be 1080 wide x 1920 tall and optimized for the web. FYI: Snapchat doesn't allow hashtags or URLs in your filter.

2. Go to https://www.snapchat.com/on-demand 

3. Login with your Snapchat information.

4. Click "choose file" and upload your .png. Make sure you review the preview on the phone and you can see the checkered background.

5. When you like it, click "next."

6. Select your dates and times. Try to do it as soon as possible to make sure it gets approved in time for your event, but not too early because it won't let you. I'm too early for October. Right now it is only accepting filters until the first few weeks of August.

7. Click "next."

7. Find your location on the map and click "draw fence." Keep the fence right around your event space because it will affect your cost.

8. Click "next."

9. Name your Geofilter and enter payment information. Select "personal use" for filter type and double check your event information. 

10. Agree to the Terms of Service and submit!

Did you do a Geofilter for your wedding? What was your wedding hashtag?


Create an affordable home gym


I live in an apartment. We have a small gym in our complex, but it's by no means state-of-the-art. Plus if there are other people in there you have to wait until they are done. I like to work out at home, but I'm also a broke 20-something so my apartment gym isn't state-of-the-art either. It works though!

I've lost 20 pounds since we got engaged and most of that has been from working out at home. I alternate between work out videos, YouTube videos and Pinterest workouts.

Here's what I use in my home gym:

Resistance bands: I like to have a variety of bands based on the exercise I'm doing, but one is totally fine too. Anything is better than nothing.

Weights in various sizes: I use a set of 3 pounds and 8 pounds. I also have a 15 pound for tricep extensions. Weights are great, but if you're just starting out you can totally use heavy cans from your pantry.

Exercise ball: These are good for all kinds of exercises, and are pretty inexpensive. You can find them in the $9-12 range.

Ankle weights: I wear these when doing cardio videos or just walking around the house to burn a few extra calories.

I've included links to Amazon, but if you have a Sports Authority near you, go now! They are closing and having major sales. I bought three pairs of running shorts for $11 each over the weekend. Everything in the store was 40-60 percent off including the clothing racks and mannequins.

Do you work out at home? What exercise equipment do you have to have?


How to Prep for a Spray Tan

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySmooth #CollectiveBias
I have mentioned on more than one occasion that I am super pale. Like walk outside and burst into flames pale. Summer time for me means spray tans and self-tanners because I am physically incapable of getting any sun.

Unfortunately, this also means lots of prep work. It's no easy feat getting ready for a spray tan, but at this point in my life, I consider myself an expert. Here is how I prep for a spray tan:

Step 1: Wax any unwanted hair. 
I use Sally Hansen. I particularly like the Sally Hansen Wax Strip Kit for face to remove any blonde hairs that  might change color in the spray tan booth. It removes unwanted hair for up to 8 weeks. This product is awesome because it removes short and fine hair which is really hard to do. 

I also really like the Ouch-Relief Stripless Hard Wax Kit for unwanted hair in my bikini or underarm area. This kit is great because it comes with the Ouch-Relief Numbing Wipes which are really helpful, especially in that bikini area.

You can find Sally Hansen at most retailers. I (obviously) love Target, so I purchase my products there. They can be found in the women's shaving aisle. You can also check out all of the Sally Hansen waxing products here. And if you're new to home waxing here are some awesome videos and information.

Step 2: Exfoliate.

Exfoliating is so important in spray tanning. You have to remove any dead skin so that you have a smooth surface for the solution to stick.  I use a exfoliating scrub and a loofa or a nylon wash cloth all over my body, particularly around my ankles, knees, cleavage area and elbows.

Step 3: Avoid creams, lotions, deodorant.
On the day of your spray tan, avoid all lotion, deodorant, and cream based products. Make sure to use a non-oil soap if you shower before you go. Remove all make-up before you get in the booth. Basically you need to be completely product-free. You want the solution to stick to your skin, not your product.


Step 4: Paint a clear coat on your nails.
The salon will provide a lotion to coat your nails so they don't stain, but I like to take it one step further and paint a clear coat on my finger and toe nails. Funny story: I once was getting a pedicure and the women at the nail salon were talking very quickly back and forth to each other about my feet. Finally they asked if I had a fungus, and I had to explain my toe nails were yellow because of the spray tan. Needless to say, after that I don't like to risk and staining on my fingers and toes.

Step 5: Tie up your hair and use a hair net.
I have never gotten spray tan in my hair. I don't really want to find out what happens if you tan your hair. I'm assuming it washes right out, but since you can't shower for at least 8 hours, I don't want to risk it. Tie your hair up.

Step 6: Bring baggy dark clothes.
Stephen calls my post-tanning outfit my "hospital gown," but that's really what it looks like. A dark hospital gown. You need really dark, baggy clothes to wear home and lounge around in for the day while you wait for your tan to set. If you are getting your spray tan at night, it's ideal to wear whatever clothes you are going to sleep in home. I would also recommend buying a set of sheets for post-tanning nights because I have totally ruined a set before.

Do you have any spray tan or self-tanner horror stories?


The Best Things To Do In Helen, Ga.


Happy 5th of July! Raise your hand if you have to go to work today. I do... It's a bummer. 

I wish I could spend the whole weekend eating and drinking as much as I did this weekend, but I gained four pounds in three days and I just can't live my life like that. It was so fun.

We spent the weekend in Helen, Ga., a sweet little German-themed town in the North Georgia Mountains. I personally think it's one of the greatest towns in the world because my name is on EVERYTHING. Helen is a hard name to find on souvenir magnets, cups, keychains, you name it. In Helen though, it's on every souvenir item and them some. It's the best.

However, if you aren't running around finding your name on everything, here are some awesome things to do, see, and eat.

Tubing: If you're going to Helen, you have to make a trip to float down the Chattahoochee river. Unfortunately, it hadn't rained for awhile so the river was a smidge shallow. It wasn't exactly a relaxing ride down the Hooch, but an eventful one. We used Cool River Tubing. Their tubes were really big and had a bottom so you didn't drag your booty on the rocks.  ALSO, you DO NOT need a stick. They will charge you if you want one, and it doesn't help at all... Just hop up and walk.

Zip Lining: Sunburst Stables has an awesome zip lining course. It's 9 lines over lakes, through caves, and in between trees. Sunburst also has horseback riding, ATV tours, flyboarding and boating. The owners nickel and dime you a little, but the guides are so awesome you totally forget about that part.

Eat German food: If you're in a German-themed town, you have to sample German themed food. For dinner, I recommend Bodensee Restaurant. They have potato pancakes with apple sauce, schnitzel, goulash, and homemade bread and butter that is AMAZING. I had the grilled chicken with creamy mushroom sauce. It was to die for.
For breakfast, you have to try Hofer's of Helen Bakery and Café. They have German bread, breakfast and pastries. I had the bacon onion hash with homemade rolls which was incredible. Make sure to get a pastry to go. They have cream puffs the size of my head. You may need to share....

If you're looking for something besides German food, Pies and Pints Deli and Tavern is the place to go. They have the most amazing chicken bacon ranch pizza I've ever had, not to mention great beer specials. Stephen and I devoured this pizza in maybe 10 minutes...

Mini-golf: There are several mini-golf courses in the area, but Alpine Mini Golf is the best. We went after dinner one night. It's full of twinkly lights, love songs and cute places for photo opps. If you get a hole-in-one on hole 9, you win a free game. Stephen did it so we'll have to go back. Then they have a great ice cream parlor that offers a discount if you golf. 

Speaking of ice cream, you have to visit Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen. If you buy a pound of fudge, you get a half-pound free. The key lime pie fudge is delicious.

The nightlife scene is a little scarce, but we like to have a good time so we found it. Check out Karaoke at Paul's Margarita Deck. I got volunteered to sing Let It Go. It wasn't pretty...

Then after you make a fool of yourself, venture on over to Hayloft for some dancing. 

Shopping: A trip to Helen isn't complete without stopping at a few novelty shops at Alpine Village. In particular, you need to visit The Christmas Shoppe. Lots of fun ornaments, Christmas movies and decorations. You can't go wrong. Also, pull over and visit Alpine Village Kettle. It's the prettiest little cidery I ever did see. You also have to buy a bag of pecan brittle and a bottle of peach cider. Thank me later.

Have you ever been to Helen? What did you do for the 4th of July weekend?