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    Inspiring Pretty is a home for all the things in which women find beauty. From raising a family to planning a wedding to finding creative crafts and recipes and everything in between, we are here to share the things we love the most while beautifying your life as well. Read our site biography and our writer biographies in order to find out more about who we are!

The main reason that I (and most other women) love weddings is the romance. The beauty that comes with flowers, wedding dresses and centerpieces is an added bonus. The love between the man and woman who just vowed to spend their lives together is what we all want to see in photos, and it is what every bride wants to capture in her own wedding photos. A bride wants a gorgeous wedding cake, but more than anything else, she wants romantic photos from her wedding day that she can hang around the house, so that she can feel the excitement and love that was that day.

The perennial question is which poses for the bride and groom photo ideas should you use to capture this romance? We have shown you some sweet and gorgeous photo ideas before such as the blindfolded kiss, the groom’s first look, the secret hand-holding and more couple photo ideas. These photos capture the intimate moments between the bride and the groom during an otherwise busy and crowded day. Bride and groom photo ideas in this collection capture not only the romance of the day, but the wedding ambiance as well. If you are getting married in the fall, take advantage of the orange leaves falling around you. If you have a summer rainstorm on your big day, include it in your photos. That will not be forgotten by you or your guests. If you get married on the Fourth of July, then include sparklers or fireworks. If you got married in the woods on a sunny day or on the rooftop of hotel in the city at night, capture the ambiance in your wedding photos. Whatever is most unique or dear to your heart about your wedding day, include in your couples’ photos. It is the memory of that feeling that photos capture.

If you are stuck on what to do for your own bride and groom photo ideas, use these photos below for some inspiration.

bride-and-groom-alonebride-and-groomgroom-and-bride

For more wedding photo musts, check out:

the groom’s first look

the father of the bride’s first look

the blindfolded kiss before the ceremony

the bride’s something blue

the bride and groom holding hands before the ceremony

the first kiss as husband and wife

wedding photos with grandparents

the wedding ceremony recessional

the bridesmaids

the ring bearer and flower girl

the first dance

the bride and groom getting ready

Photos @ Style Me Pretty ~ The Wedding Chicks ~ Green Wedding Shoes ~ Bridal Guide ~ Ruffled ~ Pinterest


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It has been far too long since I posted a collection of awkward photos. We have loving posts for Mother’s Day, but motherhood is not always full of good times. There are moments that are exhausting, frightening and awkward that will only be funny in retrospect. After all, nobody is perfect and there are bound to be far more awkward moments than picture perfect moments. Fortunately, some of these moments have been captured on camera. Enjoy them with your mother and tell her thank you for taking care of you through the good moments and the awkward moments (although some of those may have been her fault). Happy Mother’s Day!

80s mom awkward family photoacid wash jeans momafro family portraitawkward family bathing suitsawkward family photoawkward family portraitawkward family portraitawkward halloween photoawkward mom poseawkward mother son photoawkward photo with momawkward sleeping babybad mom texting photobitten by donkeycat mom and daughter awkward family photocatch of the daycowgirl family portraitdancing family portraitface sharpie mom photofamily fight awkward family photofunny family photofunny family picturefunny motherhood photofunny toilet photokarate mommom and baby awkward family photomom and daugher feather photosmom and daughter portraitmom and daughter twins awkward family photomom on diving boardmom portraitnaked family portraitnewborn photo gone wrongpeeing baby portraitpotty training outsideunhappy mom & sonweird painting awkward family photo

You can blame the fashion trends, having a bad day or just the innate awkwardness that comes with growing up. Regardless of what is to blame, these photos are worth more than a thousand words and are fare more enjoyable than picture perfect moments. I hope you enjoyed these awkward photos for Mother’s Day as much as we did!

 

For more awkwardness, check out When Wedding Photos Go Wrong ( onetwothreefourfivesix, and seven) as well as our awkward engagement photosAwkward Thanksgiving Photos, When Easter Photos Go Wrong and  Bad Christmas Photos collections.

photos courtesy of the amazing site awkwardfamilyphotos.com


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We have three boys playing baseball this year. For the youngest, this is his first year and he is still learning the basics of the game in tee ball. He is also still determining whether or not he likes the game of baseball altogether. He loves to hit the ball (obviously) and when he catches it, he is ecstatic, but everything in between is what remains to be seen. There is a lot of waiting around, which can be hard for a young kid. It is no wonder why kids do somersaults and play tag during tee ball games.

However, he gets very excited watching professional baseball games, and I think that he will enjoy them even more now that he understands the basic rules and has experienced playing the game himself. He does not know who any of the professional Major League athletes are, but that does not stop him from getting excited about when there are contests involving them. I am glad that Rice Krispies Treats® offered to sponsor this post to spread awareness of a cool contest that they are hosting for the young baseball players out there.

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Cal Ripken, Jr. has teamed up with Rice Krispies® to offer Play Catch with Cal Online Instant Win Game. As, the name suggests, you enter your codes found in specially marked Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats® boxes online here to enter for a chance to play catch with Cal Ripken, Jr during the 2015 MLB All-Star Week. There are other prizes for the runner-ups as well including autographed baseballs and baseball gloves and baseballs.

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Sadly, specially marked boxes are not currently available at the stores near me, but I still wanted to spread the love for Rice Krispies®. You can enter codes online for a chance to win through July 1, 2015, so be on the lookout for the specially marked boxes in your stores! It was my turn to make goody bags for the kids on the baseball teams and I made sure to throw a Rice Krispies Treat® into each bag this week. It was nice to know that none of the treats that I gave them contained high fructose corn syrup.

The kids had fun and enjoyed the goody bags as expected. There are many games to go and I think there will soon be a fourth baseball player in the family.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats®


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Spring is here and that means new plants coming to life. My kids are used to getting seasonal fruits and veggies, because we have an orange tree, avocado tree and grapefruit tree in our backyard. By this time of year, though, their blooms are over, but the kids still like to get food straight from the backyard. So, they are excited when they get to choose what they get to grow in the backyard.

We have done lettuce, carrots and tomatoes in the past. So, this year with the sponsorship of Tree Top, we started discussing the plants that would be in this year’s garden. I asked them which new plants that they would like to grow and we checked out KidsGardening.org to jog their creativity.

Avery

If you do not know of this website, you should definitely check it out. It is full of ideas for plants, outdoor crafts and more to help you get you and your kids outside together. They are affiliated with Tree Top and for every purchase of Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches, Tree Top donates $1 to the website. I find it to be a worthy cause and until we get our own apple tree in the back yard, the Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches may be their best option, because they are made with pure fruit.
After perusing KidsGardening.org for some time and thinking over the plants that they have seen, here are the 5 plants they found most appealing:

  1. Allium Flowers: You may not know this plant by name, but you probably know of it. It is a flower with a very large stem (we have seen them 2-3 feet high) with a large, purple sphere of flowers sitting atop of it. They look fantastical, which makes kids love them. And it not often that plants in a family garden grow taller than the kids, so they will definitely appreciate these.
  2. Lavender: The kids wanted this for two reasons – 1.) They smell lovely and they want the backyard to smell nice all summer. 2.) They (or I should say their pollen) attracts butterflies. We do not get humming birds here as my parents do in Colorado, but we can get butterflies. If we do not, at least everything will smell lovely.
  3. Strawberries: They may be common, but kids love to run out to the garden every day and see if the sweet berries are ripe enough to eat yet. It never gets old.
  4. Pumpkins: They are really thinking ahead with this one. They want to grow the pumpkins that we carve, make into pie, bread, smoothies, pudding and more. It is not warm enough for these to be grown outside yet, but their seedlings can be started in planters inside where it is warmer.
  5. Beans: For some reason, kids are fascinated by beans. I personally think that it has to do with Jack and the Beanstalk, but regardless of why, I am happy that the kids are excited to plant plants.

The kids have already got a jump on this year’s planting with the bean plant. They are forgetful with the watering schedule, but they have improved. It is a bit of practice before we plant the actual garden. It is definitely going to be an eclectic, fragrant, tasty mix of plants. I am glad that gardening brings the kids together, excites them and holds their attention day after day as they reap the benefits of what they have sewn.

I just hope that this appreciation lasts.From the looks of it, this one will not tire of his beans or these pouches anytime soon. They do keep his hands mess-free while we water and add soil to the planter. And, they have a screw-on cap, so they are definitely a gardening-friendly snack. You can learn more about how Tree Top is helping kids through the Raising Good Apples campaign here.

RGA-LogoTo help our readers get a jumpstart on gardening, we are hosting a giveaway with Tree Top to give away a gardening set to one lucky reader! For a chance to win, enter via the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are you planning to plant this year in your planters or in your garden? Do your kids love any plants in particular?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tree Top.


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natural pcos cure

I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) a few years ago. I have been struggling with it and all of the problems associated with it before I was diagnosed. When you have PCOS, you are resistant to insulin and this causes problems in the functions of a woman’s body, which leads to elevated levels of estrogen and testosterone. Women with PCOS experience higher body weights, difficulty losing weight, Hirsutism, painless acne brittle hair, mood swings, fatigue, heavy periods, irregular periods among other things. If left untreated, women with PCOS also run the risk of infertility and they also have a higher risk of getting diabetes (which already runs in my family). There is no cure for PCOS and the effectiveness of prescribed treatments is debatable.

I have experienced all of the aforementioned symptoms. Fortunately, my case of PCOS is not severe enough to make weight loss impossible or to warrant a hysterectomy. I am fortunate in that regard, but there are women (some who are younger than I am), who are not so fortunate. Nonetheless, I have experienced the almost inability to grow my hair due brittleness. My hair sheds as though it has no nutrients whatsoever. I have also had great difficulty losing weight. There have been many times when I ate 1300 calories per day and exercised regularly and only lost 1/5 lb per week. Then, the second I ate sugar, I would gain that weight back plus another 1/2 lb. I get acne when my hormone levels are particularly out of whack, and because the acne is due to hormone levels, it is very painful and usually centers around my mouth. Periods are also very painful and irregular.

My doctor prescribed Metformin to treat my PCOS. I was very thankful for this after reading the stories of so many women whose doctors prescribed birth control instead of or in addition to Metformin in order to help balance out their hormones. They all mentioned additional weight gain on top of the excess weight due to PCOS and the absolute inability to lose it. Most women also said that the treatment was almost completely ineffective and that they would rather not take it at all. My experience with Metformin has been mostly neutral, but I only take one pill per day. Nonetheless, I still experience side effects from the drug. Muscle weakness and soreness along with fatigue definitely hinder my workouts, which make it even more difficult to lose weight. Overall, Metformin decreased my symptoms, but not by much, and it definitely was not enough to treat my PCOS. So, I turned to the internet to see how other women fared with PCOS and if there were any treatments that could help me.

After reading many forums and reading many stories of natural PCOS remissions or cures, I learned a few things

  1. I needed to eat foods low in the glycemic index
  2. I needed to eat a lot of vegetables
  3. I needed to exercise a lot more
  4. I did not need more medicine in order to treat my condition

So, I began making big changes. Most naturally-treated women recommended juicing. Many recommended only juicing, at least the beginning of the diet change. I was still in college, though, and I could neither afford a juicer nor get enough energy to go to class, pull all-nighters and workout from consuming only juice. I started small….

Many women on the PCOS forums advocated for leafy greens. My body was being denied vital nutrients that it needed in order to function properly. To fix this, I made green smoothies using spinach, kale, lettuce, cucumbers, celery and apple juice. I eventually starting adding carrots, bell peppers and sometimes ginger. I chose apple juice, because it is low in the glycemic index. I avoided other fruits in order to avoid adding sugar. I avoided bananas most of all, which are tempting to throw into smoothies, but are high on the glycemic index. The smoothies worked wonders for me. My symptoms decreased greatly, my energy increased significantly and over the course of about three months of regular exercise, I was able to lose approximately 20 lbs. I also could not believe how quickly my hormones were regulated with just vegetables. When I began drinking green smoothies, I had not had my period in three months. It began less than two hours after I drank my first green smoothie. My period then began occurring regularly thereafter. Again, my case of PCOS is not horribly severe, but it was bad enough to cause a lot of problems and a great deal of worry.

I used the green smoothie treatment everyday  for over a year. Over time, though, it became difficult for me to drink. The taste was not amazing and the sheer volume of pulpy smoothie produced became too difficult for me to choke down everyday. I eventually came to hate it, so I slowed down my intake to once every other day and then to twice a week, then once a week. Once I graduated from college and got caught up in work, I drank maybe one smoothie per week and had constant guilt in the back of my mind. Surely enough, my symptoms came back in full force. I had painful acne on my nose and around my mouth and I could not lose weight regardless of  how few calories I ate or how many times I worked out each week. Fortunately, my periods stayed relatively regular mostly due to the fact that I was not gaining weight.However, I knew something had to change.

Around that time, my sister had gotten a centrifugal juicer. I was so excited to try it – I could finally get all the veggies I need without the heavy, pulpy sludge that comes with a smoothie made in a blender. I would visit her often on the weekends and make a juice at least once per day. It helped mitigate the symptoms of my PCOS, but for some reason, it was not relieving my symptoms nearly as much as the green smoothie had done in the past. I had no idea what the problem was and I needed to find an alternative to the smoothie ASAP. So, I went to do research on the internet yet again.

I found that there two main types of juicers and that there were huge differences between the two. The first type, the centrifugal juicer, extracts juice by grinding the fruit or vegetable against a sharp surface and spins the juice away from the pulp through fast motion. This process is effective for large vegetables and fruits. The second type, the masticating juicer, basically chews the the food put in it and juice is squished out of it. This is effective for leafy plants. Wouldn’t you guess it – my sister had a centrifugal juicer, so I was not getting much of anything out of the leafy plants that I put into it, which was what I needed the most. That is why the green smoothie was a far more effective way to treat PCOS naturally, but it was not something my palate could stomach any longer.

Now that I was out of college and working, I could finally afford a juicer. After reading a few website, such as this one, I was fortunate enough to know exactly what my body needed. Juicing was highly recommended in the forums by women who had wanted to treat PCOS naturally for good reason. Due to the fact that the fiber is removed from the vegetables (it is in the heavy pulp), your body has less to process and therefore the nutrients go straight into your bloodstream for the greatest and most instant effect. So, I made an investment in a top-notch slow masticating juicer. I chose this one, because it prevented oxidation of the veggies and maintained their enzymes, so I could get the full nutritional benefits of the greens that I body sorely needed.

When I first bought the juicer, I kicked off the diet change, as recommended, by using a juicing diet. The results were phenomenal. My Hirsutism resided, my hair became stronger for the first time in years, I dropped weight without exercising and lost weight easily when I did exercise, my energy was at its highest in years and I was able to cut down my Metformin intake to only a few times per week, so I was able to lose the muscle weakness and soreness that was due to it.

My juicing recipe is:

  1. 1 or 2 celery stalks
  2. 1/2 or 1 red bell pepper (any bell pepper works)
  3. 1 large carrot
  4. 1/4 or 1/2 cucumber
  5. a handful of spinach
  6. a handful of kale
  7. a handful of lettuce (I like Romaine, Swiss Chard, Red Leaf or Green Oak Leaf. More ideas here)
  8. a 1 inch cube of ginger
  9. 1/4 lemon  (including peel)
  10. 1 apple

Once I felt that my body’s nutrition was stable again (after approximately two weeks), I started eating solid foods that were high in nutrients. I still juiced for at least one meal per day. Since I love the taste of the juice, though, it was easy for me to do. I still follow this diet and the benefits of it have not waned over time. Even if you do not have PCOS, this is a tasty way to get the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs with as little toll on your taste buds and digestion as possible.

Helpful hints for women with PCOS:

  1. Avoid sugar and starchy carbohydrates, because they will cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which will in turn raise your hormone levels.
  2. Use Stevia to sweeten things. It is ranked as a zero on the glycemic index.
  3. Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels. It can lower blood sugar spikes, which is greatly helpful for women with PCOS. Cinnamon regulate blood sugar by helping muscle absorb glucose.
  4. Avoid caffeine completely if possible. It stimulates hair growth, which only exacerbates Hirsutism.
  5. Avoid processed foods as much as possible and eat raw foods as often as possible. Although it is not fun (I miss quick, cheap dinners and snacks), your PCOS will lessen, which will make your happier. Plus, your body will just be healthier.
  6. If you get a masticating juicer, you can make cool things like natural ice cream, butters and salsas and customize them to fit with a diet that is friendly toward PCOS patients. Just some strawberries and a dab of Stevia makes a delicious ice cream that is low in calories, beneficial to your health and it does not hurt your PCOS.
  7. Losing excess weight (especially in the paunch of your belly) will help your body regulate its blood sugar levels a lot better and this will in turn regulate your hormone more efficiently. Exercise regularly and include plenty of cardio.
  8. Drink plenty of water. It keeps you from drinking bad things and it helps your body carry out digestion.

The greatest lesson that I have learned is – if you have a sickness or bodily issue, first ensure that your body is receiving all of the vitamins and nutrients that it needs and nothing that it does not need. If a proper diet does not fix your issue, then consider medicine and/or a visit to the doctor.

If you have any suggestions on how to treat PCOS naturally or if you have your own story of you treated your PCOS, tell me in the comment section below. I always love to hear tips and hear stories from other women!


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