What to Pack for a Destination Wedding?

When traveling out of the country for a destination wedding there is always excitement and fun to be had. Unlike most trips, when traveling for a wedding you do not need to plan all the activities as the wedding festivities are already set in stone. Since the key details are taken care of, your biggest worry is what to pack and what gift to get the bride and groom?


Here are some tips and ideas to help you pack for a destination wedding!

Hair & Makeup

Both of high importance to show up to the wedding in style. The best suggestion to limit clutter and space would be sample sizes! If you have any small sample sizes or toiletries now is the time to use them!

Instead of bringing your full makeup bag, take a quick trip to your local beauty store, like Sephora and ask for samples of your favorite items.

Manna Kadar Cosmetic’s newly launched Blushing Bride Bag ($59, shop here) is the perfect kit to pack for this exact instance! Must have items to complete your look in a pretty pink bag, feel free to toss in your hair items and other toiletries!


Emergency Kit

Every need a nail file while traveling? Take the Hollywood Fashion Secrets Kit (Shop here) with you for any and all emergencies. This set includes 14 items such as lint removing sheets, Hair Band, Blister Pad, Static Guard, Nail File and much more! All in a perfect little kit to even throw in your purse! 


Packing 101 Tip- Bring a garment bag when you pack your dresses to avoid wrinkles during travel!

High Heels without the Pain

Attending a wedding it is safe to assume you will spend a lot of time on your feet and on the dance floor. Be sure to pick out heels that can last you all night long. There is nothing worst then having to sit down for the second half of the wedding. First things first, do not wear brand new shoes! If you have new shoes be sure to wear them out several times before the wedding. Second, if you know your feet won’t be able to take the heels all night we have two options for you!

  1. Hollywood Fashion Tape has a few options for your comfort! Their Haute Feels (Shop Here) is a soothing foot spray to spay before the pain starts! It is effective and works in minutes but lasts for hours.
  2. Pack a pair of flats! Take a pair of Tieks by Gavrieli (Shop Here) for perfectly portable flats that fit in your little clutch. If need be, remove your heels and replace them with this comfortable flats!



Remember that if you forget something not to panic! You can most likely purchase something that the destination. Take advantage of the trip and reduce the stress. As long as you keep your cool there is always a way to make things work.



Skincare Prep before the Wedding!

We all want to look flawless for our wedding day, so make it a priority to start your beauty and skincare regimen early if you don’t already have a daily one. This shouldn’t be left to the last minute, the longer you have to correct any skin care issues you have, the better!

There are a couple options for to start off your wedding skincare routine, you can do some research or you can visit a professional and get their opinion. I would opt for the professional because you want the best results, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a relaxing facial? After your facial and your recommended routine, don’t drop the ball. Wash your face nightly and apply any serums to work on the issues you want to correct. Also, make sure to moisturize your skin, this is a stressful time so we want to get ahead of anything that can come up!


If you are looking for some products to kick off your wedding routine check out these:

Purifying Cleanser – This purifying cleanser will start off your routine by cleaning out any impurities and prepping your skin for the next step.

Firming Collagen Peptide Serum – This high potency, anti-aging, serum is ideal for soothing, firming, clarifying and hydrating all skin types.

Anti-Aging Eye Cream – The Anti-Aging Eye Cream is an active botanical complex cream designed to moisturize, protect and soothe the eye area.

Bio Active Day Cream with Oxygen- This light lotion clarifies, lightens, and disinfects the complexion as it kills acne bacteria below the surface of the skin.


Remember, don’t try new products the month of your wedding, we don’t want to risk any breakouts or allergic reactions to products!

Beauty, Balance & Medicine: How one Doctor Changed my Life

My weight loss journey has been anything but easy.  I thought I had the recipe: reduced calorie healthy meals + workouts = weight loss.  However, I didn’t realize that I was missing a crucial part of the equation, Dr. Alice (@alicenguyen.nd)- more specifically, targeted oral supplements and micro-nutrient intravenous therapy.

Part of the 360 Program that Stark Fitness (@starkirvine) offers is a mandatory visit with their in house, medical guru, Dr. Alice.  I didn’t realize how life changing this one visit would impact how I looked at food, fitness and overall health.  The key lies within doing an complete analysis of your health history, but more specifically, taking a closer look at what is going on with your body.  I did 3 blood tests: one for food allergies, the Vibrant America comprehensive lab panel review my overall well being, and the Micro-nutrient panel.  The results were astounding.

From my food allergy test, it revealed that I am highly allergic to whey, casein and dairy.  Although I didn’t show outward signs of intolerance such as hives or GI issues, I did notice never feeling quite “right” and took an inventory of how much of these items I was consuming on a regular basis.  What I learned what that by consuming these items, my body was constantly in an inflamed state, which made it 100x more difficult to lose weight.  Once I cut these items out of my diet, I immediately noticed my stomach was flatter and the results from all of the meal planning and gym sessions were finally beginning to show.

What was more disturbing were my results from the overall levels of my Vibrant America lab panel.  I had zero testosterone, which means it is almost impossible to build lean muscle mass and I was deficient in almost every other category.  But have no fear, Dr. Alice is here!  I was put on a regimen of vitamins to take on a daily basis to get my body back into balance, but what was more interesting was the IV Treatments that were available.  On a weekly basis, I was given and IV with a special “Vitamin Cocktail” to give my body everything it was deficient in.  I even mentioned to the doc that I was having excessive hair loss, one of the issues most postpartum moms deal with and Dr. Alice added Biotin, a vitamin that promotes nail & hair growth, right into my bag.


Thanks to Dr. Alice, my body is back in sync and on the right path to getting to hitting my weight loss goals.

Master your makeup trial and pick a MUA you trust

Ladies, you are engaged, your venue is decided, and your dress is chosen, now to the details: Hair and Makeup. It might seem daunting when you go on Pinterest and see all the options for looks but don’t let it overwhelm you! Choose a look that you are drawn to and that accentuates your natural beauty. To master your hair and makeup trial here are a few tips listed below to help you out!

Gourgeous bride studio interior photo

  1. Do your research. Not only on the looks you want but also the makeup artists and hair stylists. Ask your friends and family for people they trust or have used and when in doubt check out the wedding sites such as theknot.com where they have reviews. Once you have chosen your stylists to trial, make sure to print out photos of the looks you want, even if it seems redundant, print out 2-3 photos of each look you are drawn towards so that you can work with your artist to decide what will compliment your whole look!
  2. Take Notes. Often the makeup artist will give you a touch up bag but in case they don’t take notes during the trial of the colors and items they used so you can create your own touch up bag for the big day!
  3. Dress for Success. Wear a white shirt that has the same neckline or a similar neckline to your dress so you can visualize the whole look. You never know you might change your mind in the trial from an up-do to a wearing your hair down.
  4. Keep the party small. Try and go alone or with a trusted confidant, do not have too many people go so that you don’t lose the look or feel you want because of other people’s opinions.
  5. Take pics. Make sure you take pics at all angels and full length so you can get a full picture of what you will look like on your big day… oh and to show off how good you look 😉
  6. Don’t be afraid to make changes. Your makeup artist and hair stylist would rather you be happy than for you to leave and be unsure of your look. You can have them change it or schedule a follow up trial if you are unsure of anything. Remember this is your day, make sure to do what makes you feel special and not settle.

Good Luck Ladies! And make sure to share your experiences and any other tips you may have!

Essentials to pack for a Spa Day

Beauty never stops for Team Manna! Anywhere we go we always keep in mind the best ways to achieve a look for any occasion. Now when you think about a spa day, you would most likely dismiss all the beauty rules and simply enjoy yourself.

After our recent visit at the Glen Ivy Hot Springs we mastered the spa day beauty look while staying fully relaxed and rejuvenated.


Here are some key essentials we used throughout the day!


Since the facility is mainly outdoors, we wanted to ensure our skin is highly protected. We used this adorable travel size sunscreen from Neutrogena to get us through the day without getting a sunburn!

Glo Illuminator

As we wouldn’t encourage a full face of makeup for this occasion, we found that the Manna Kadar Cosmetics Glo Illuminator ($29, shop here) gave us that extra boost of beauty and confidence. Apply the Glo Illuminator on your face and body to give that luminous glow that will shine inside and out!

Jo Malone Travel Sized Cologne

The perfect mini spray to keep you feeling fresh! We love the Wood Sage & Sea Salt Scent for a fresh and beach like experience.


What are your favorite items to use while on a spa getaway?

More than Fitness at Stark! Manna Kadar talks about her ART Treatment with Dr. Justin

In all my 37 years, I had never been to the chiropractor.  I thought this was only for people who had back issues or neck problems.  Well, let me tell you how wrong I was about this.  At the recommendation from my team at Stark Fitness, I reluctantly went to visit with Dr. Justin.  I didn’t think there was much to do since I did not have any previous injuries and overall, I was a healthy person.

Little did I know what I had been missing out on all of these years.  I’m about to let you in on a little secret called ART. ART is a unique muscle therapy technique that can relieve any chronic or acute injury by working specifically on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and capsules that are involved. By feeling what is tight and weak, they can pinpoint the areas that need to be addressed to eliminate any pain quickly and efficiently. 

Dr. Justin worked on decompression in my lumbar spine, which most women need post-pregnancy after carrying a baby for so long and also works on ART Treatments for my glutes and cores, which sped up the “tightening and toning” process during weight loss.  This essentially aids on the postpartum fat loss process. 

One of the best parts is that Dr. Justin is housed within the Spark Fitness building for treatments before or after your workout and takes 10 minutes or less.

I can’t speak highly enough about Dr. Justin and how it has helped me in my weight loss journey.  This will certainly be incorporated as a part of my new health & wellness routine.

At Home Valentine’s Day Ideas

Making time for romance when you have children can be close to impossible! Especially with a toddler and new born on your hands. What do you do when you can’t leave the house for this romantic holiday? We came up with a list of perfect ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with your partner in crime.

Get cooking

Spend some time in the kitchen together and get your hands dirty with homemade pizza. Pizza may not be the ideal romantic meal, but you can pair it with a fresh salad and a bottle of wine, or two. To kick up the Valentine’s Day feel, make your pizza dough in the shape of a heart!

Set the mood

Dim the lights and surround yourselves with candles. Everything is more romantic by candlelight. You can even add soft music in the background.


At home spa night

Take it easy and distress from a crazy workweek and busy nights with the kids by treating yourselves to an at home spa night. Start the evening with a face mask, we recommend the Rose Face Mask by Fresh ($25, shop hereshop here). In efforts to keep the Valentine’s Day theme in motion, we selected this mask as it is infused with real rose petals! Before you call it a night take turns giving each other massages!


Wine & Paint night

Get crafty and open up a bottle of wine while you show your artistic side. This fun experience will also leave you with beautiful pieces of art to hang up. Even if it does not look like a work of art worthy to be framed you can save it as a memory and fun experience you shared with your loved one.

Watch a movie

Snuggle up and watch a movie. When was the last time you were able to sit down, relax and enjoy a movie from start to finish with no interruptions?

Rear view of couple watching television in living room hug