The #BeUGals have taken on eating well and fitness trends to keep you on track to #bethebestU on your day. But, on top of the every day stresses of life, you are also planning a wedding {not an easy task}. Dealing with expectations and budget can cause your head to explode with unnecessary worry and then bridezilla may appear… uh oh! {Rein it in sista we hear U!} Breath.  It may seem like a simple task, but many of us forget to breath and while you’re focusing so hard on controlling the uncontrollable why not focus on what you are fortunate to be able to control? Breathing.  Enjoy your deep breaths and take note from these two amazing Chicago mental health professionals on how to maintain healthy mindset and ultimately #bethebestU.

We introduced you to Ann Marie, founder of Ohm.Chi.Ohm, in the Emerald Trend Alert. Ann Marie is a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher,  Akashic Records Practitioner,  Spiritual Counselor, Psychic/ Intuitive Healer and Energy Worker and so we have asked her to give you a few techniques to help you maintain your stress through the wedding planning process.

BE U: What causes stress to overwhelm us during the wedding process?
AM: Unfortunately, weddings can be synonymous with stress.  Before attempting to deal with stress, you must address where it initially comes from.  Stress is a product of expectation.  Expectations that were either placed by yourself or others from past, present and future moments. The expectations of how things are supposed to work out according to your mind, can be pretty harmful to not just your day but to your relationship as well.  And as I am sure that there are huge expectations for your event to go as planned, unfortunately it just doesn’t always happen that way.  Stress is contagious and needs to be nipped in the bud quickly so that nothing stands in the way of your day.

Be U: What tips would you suggest to help control stress?
AM: Let go and relax.
Your day should be about you and your partner.  There is no need for stress because in the end, it is a celebration honoring the two of you and the love you have for one another.  If you keep that in the forefront, you will see how magical your day can be. When you do choose to let go and relax, you will see that everything falls into place just as it should.  It is then, that you will be amazed by how beautiful life can be.  As an energy worker, I have found stress to be one of the main sources of negativity in life.  The saying “What you put out there, you get back” couldn’t be more true in this case.   When a client comes to me with issues regarding stress, I share with them a few of my favorite techniques.  Here is a breathing exercise to help lower your blood pressure in heated moments.

The Stress Reducing Breathing Exercise:
1) Relax your shoulders and straighten up your back.
2) Close your eyes or can keep open if in public. ;)
3) Open your mouth slightly
4) Let the top (not tip) of your tongue, touch the roof of your mouth
5) Take a deep breath in through your mouth breathing into your diaphragm
6) Hold for 3 seconds
7) Breath out slowly through your mouth while the top of your tongue is still touching the roof (Think of how you would breath if you were fogging a mirror)
8) Continue you to do this 9 more times

The Boundaries Exercise
This exercise helps with boundaries and actually blocks people from passing their negative juju onto you.  Do these to excercises together and it will work wonders!

 Here’s how to do it
 1) Relax your shoulders and straighten up your back
2) Cross your ankles. (It can be a little tricky if you are standing up so try and find a wall to lean on)
3) Take your right thumb and index finger and touch them to your left thumb and index finger.  (The other fingers can touch but just make sure those do)
4) Keep this pose for however long you want or until the person walks away
Note:  You can do either of these in private or public.  If you choose to do them in public, no worries, they are discreet enough where people wouldn’t ask what you were doing.
 For more tips and techniques from Ann Marie contact her by email at or follow her on twitter @ohmchiohm.

Rebecca Niziol, Certified Life Coach, and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner

While we have only met Rebecca a handful of times we are already convinced that she is one of Chicago’s best transplants from Texas {along with #BeUGal Rachy Rach- xo} Rebecca is multi-passionate yet singularly focused on helping people live the authentic life of their dreams. A life coach, yoga instructor, dancer, writer, event planning guru, and connection catalyst, she brings her positivity to whatever she does.

BeU: Why is it easy to let stress overwhelm us?
RN: Sometimes life is stressful. Okay, who am I kidding? Life is stressful A LOT OF THE TIME! Especially if you are trying to juggle a fast-paced job, committed relationship a healthy body, active social life and a wedding. Plans change, people don’t follow through on the things they are supposed to, workouts and precious hours of sleep are skipped. Inboxes are overflowing and schedules are jam-packed. Suddenly we find ourselves in one big ball of frazzled overwhelmed energy.

BW: How would you suggest to ease the stress?
RN: A 7 Day Stress Cleanse.
You already know you are not your best when you are stressed to the max. Yet, its so easy to fall into the land of stress over and over again. You’ve probably heard the phrase: “Where your attention goes energy flows.” It’s true. And the more you think about being stressed, well…. the more stress will find its way to you. If planning your wedding has caused doubt, worry, and fear to become the three friends you hang out the most with, you definitely should try our complimentary 7 Day Stress Cleanse. Clear out the limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns that keep you looped into stress, and start new healthy habits to create more time, energy, and freedom.

For more life tips by Rebecca visit her website or email her at

We hope that you take the time to utilize these tips above to de-stress and please, remember to breath during this amazing yet stressful time of wedding planning so you can be #thebestU.

Don’t worry about a thing, Cause every little thing gonna be all right” -Bob Marley


I was shopping for some summer fashions the other day and found myself drawn to anything and everything neon: bright costume jewelry, an amazing chartreuse laser-cut dress, strappy fuschia sandals and on and on. It got me thinking…how fun would neons be incorporated into a wedding!? I love the idea of juxtaposing them against a rustic backdrop like a barn or sleek white furniture and walls. Either way, the important part is to let the colors take center stage (after the bride of course!). I hope you like my inspirations and have some fun dressing yourself in brights.


{credits clockwise: 1. lipstick | 2. dip dye wedding dress | 3. J.Crew necklace | 4. Brian Atwood pumps | 5. strappy heels

6. DIY vases | 7. pink maxi dress | 8. Rebecca Minkoff bag | 9. yellow skirt | 10. table setting | 11. green skirt | 12. bouquet}

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“You may kiss your bride”–the moment that seals the deal on your “I do’s”, and one you surely don’t want to experience with a chapped pout! If the Chicago winter winds have left their mark on your kisser, you’ll want to read on. Maya P. Alluring Artistry strives to create a long-lasting look that will leave the bride feeling confident (and smooth and supple!) on her big day. Owner Maya Puentes has enhanced the art of painting on a pristine facial palette for the past 10 years. With a trusty Blistex in hand, we sought out an education on pout perfection from the beauty expert.

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Photography

Q. With winter starting to wreak havoc, many of us are facing the chapped lip conundrum. What is your best cure-all?

A. “MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE! Make sure that your lips are always well hydrated and are never left unprotected from the cold. Exfoliating is also a huge must, as it keeps your lips smooth by removing the dry skin.”

Q. With all eyes on the bride and subsequent photos that last a lifetime, how can a bride swap parched lips for a photo-friendly pout?

A. “Making sure to start a good moisturizing and exfoliating routine a few weeks prior to your wedding will help ensure that your lips are kissablly smooth the day of. One to three nights a week, I suggest exfoliating your lips with an edible and delicious DIY scrub.

DIY Lip Scrub

1tbsp oil (olive or coconut)

1 tbsp honey

2 packed tsp of brown or white sugar

Gently rub the mixture onto  lips in a circular motion for one to two minutes. When finished, wipe off scrub with a warm cloth, or even eat it if you wish! Follow it up with a very hydrating lip balm or Vaseline.

Photo Courtesy of Maya P. Alluring Artistry

Q. What are your favorite lip trends this season and going into spring?

A. “Crimson lips! There is something so sexy yet sophisticated about a red lip to me, so I am thrilled that it has found its place among the best beauty trends for the winter/spring seasons of 2013.

What is unique about this trend though is that we are seeing more of a matte or satin finish than the glossy or creamy look of the past. I suggest wearing more of a deep burgundy or berry hue for the winter and in the spring opting for a pink/coraly red.

If you already have your perfect shade of red in a creamy finish or you cannot find a matte hue you like, use a matching/similar shade of powder (think eye shadows or blush) and lightly press it over your already applied lipstick to achieve a great matte/satin finish!

Bonus: It makes your lipstick last longer! Also, ALWAYS be sure to apply a lip liner when wearing red lipstick to avoid bleeding!”

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Photography

Q. What go-to product do you suggest our Chicago beauties stock their make-up bags with?

A. “As far as lip balms go, my makeup bag must haves are Rosebud and Avon’s Dew Kiss. As for lipsticks, I am a huge fan of Inglot and Illamasqua. Both have beautifully rich and longs-lasting colors.”

To get a head start on your bridal glow and to perfect your big wedding look, book a pamper party! The Maya P. Alluring Artistry team will happily teach the ways of hair and makeup, a great option for a #Be-U-tifiyng bachelorette party. Need more flawless face know-how? Catch up on “Bring on Bridal Beauty” with an insider look at Puentes’ bag of tricks.

What color will you paint on to pucker up to your love with? Tweet us your favorite kissable colors @beuweddings.