Slimmed Down for the Gown: A Bikini Series Review


If you’ve been following our Bridal Boot Camp series, you know that I tried the Tone It Up Bikini Series in order to lose weight and fit into my wedding dress again after 10 years. (More about that HERE.)

Here’s what I’ve learned about myself and my fitness along my journey.


Losing weight starts in the kitchen. Seriously. It’s all what you eat. I know that it sucks to hear that, because I love food, but I can honestly say that I lost over 30 pounds by just eating healthier. (I wasn’t great about following the workouts, but more on that later.) When you sign up for the bikini series, you get an email with a few healthy recipes, but I found most of my recipes on Pinterest. 🙂


Foods that you should expect to eat during the Bikini Series are all supposed to be lean, clean and green. No additives, no junk food and very little fat. Some of my favorite recipes are:
COCONUT KALE BEAUTY SMOOTHIE for a quick and easy breakfast!

TURKEY MEATBALLS with ZUCCHINI NOODLES is an awesome and easy dinner that can double as lunch the next day!!!

CHICKPEA SALAD SANDWICH is a delicious salad that I make at the beginning of every week and eat for lunch when I don’t have leftovers from dinner. (I mush the chickpeas a little more so that it’s more the texture of tuna salad.)

My favorite snacks are hard boiled eggs, protein bars, almonds with Craisins and even apples with natural peanut butter.

Tone It Up has a nutrition plan you can buy, but I didn’t use it. I found that I could find plenty of healthy recipes on my own. My recommendation is to skip the meal plan. It’s pricey and although I’m sure it’s helpful, I did just fine without it.


The workouts were AMAZING. Everyday there is a 10 to 15 minute workout to do. It’s quick and targeted so that each day you workout one muscle group. I looked forward to the daily workouts and enjoyed several of them.

Some of my favorite workouts were:





Overall, I enjoyed the Bikini Series. I love the online community on Instagram and felt both encouraged and inspired by the entire Tone It Up team. Checking in on Instagram helped hold me accountable and I think that I’ll continue to use my Instagram account for that purpose.

The food I ate, while not technically part of the “Tone It Up Nutrition Plan,” followed the same guidelines as the plan (lean, clean, green) and I never felt hungry or deprived. I drank alcohol, ate chocolate and pizza, and even had a piece of birthday cake. After eating clean for so long, I didn’t crave those bad foods and actually felt a little sick when I did indulge. I will definitely continue to eat this way, although I will probably start to eat larger portions when I reach my goal weight. (Still have 3 more pounds to go!) I don’t feel that buying the nutrition plan was necessary.

I plan on using the workouts in the future. Probably not everyday, but I like that I can find a quick workout when I need one. I learned that I REALLY enjoy Pilates and so I plan to continue Pilates classes while working in some chosen Tone It Up workouts here and there.


At the start of this journey, I was very excited and couldn’t wait to get started. As the program went on and the stress of life began to creep in, I would skip workouts and found it was hard to get started again. I hit plateaus, I gained a little and then would lose it again, I felt sore from the workouts and tired from all of the running I was doing. (I learned that I am NOT a runner.) But I kept going. If I messed up, I started again. I just picked up wherever I left off.

If you’re thinking about starting a new workout plan, I would HIGHLY recommend at least googling Tone It Up and trying some of their workouts. (There are a TON of free ones on YouTube.) I wouldn’t purchase the nutrition plan. I found a lot of information about the plan for free on the internet and I just ate mostly organic, clean foods.

After doing the Bikini Series (even with all of the cheat days and skipped workouts) I feel stronger, healthier and more confident. I’m ready for our ten year anniversary pictures, and I’m proud to say… THE DRESS FITS!!!

Get Ready, Get Set…


Drop those extra pounds with Castle Hall Creative’s Sara Metka in our Summer Bridal Boot Camp

Hi all! Sara here!

I am so excited to share with all of you the changes I’ve been making in my personal life.

How I Started My Tone-It-Up Weight Loss/ Get Fit Journey

About three months ago, I decided that I needed to make a change and start taking care of myself. I began by downloading a fitness app that helped me to track the amount of calories I was eating vs. how many I was burning through exercise. I’ve done that before and it was working alright, but it just felt so… mathy. HAHA!

I wanted working out to feel fun and I wanted to try new recipes that were as tasty as they were pretty.

Finding ToneItUp

I went on Instagram and quickly found @ToneItUp. It’s a nutrition plan designed by @KarenaDawn and @KatrinaaScott. They send daily workouts and weekly motivational newsletters with workouts, recipes and inspirational stories. I was hooked! After three months, I had lost 20 pounds!!

3 Months & 20 Lbs Down!

Now that I am down 20 pounds, I am motivated to share what I’ve learned and bring others along with me on this journey.

@ToneItUp is starting a new Bikini Series on April 24th and I AM SO READY!

It’s an eight week program that is FREE to join!
Just sign up on their website at and you’re IN!

Your fellow Castle Hall Creative Team (Pattie, Jamie and I) will be updating our Instagram accounts with recipes and workouts that we’ve done along the way and we’d love for you to join us!

Follow us on Instagram here: @CastleHallCreative @MermaidMesses @BriarRoseExpressions and on Facebook at CastleHallCreative.


Win this Beach,Please Decal!

Now for the fun part… A GIVEAWAY!!!!

In order to be prepared, everyone needs a cute water bottle to take into the gym. Gotta stay hydrated, right!?!

I’ve designed this decal with my beach body in mind. The suntan, the long, wavy hair, the totally defined abs…  Luke Bryan… Sorry, back to the GIVEAWAY!

If you’re dreaming of your beach body and want a decal to put on your yoga mat, water bottle, fitness journal, etc. Just share this post (don’t forget to tag us!) with the hashtag #TeamCHC on your social media and tell us where you’ll put the decal to keep you inspired. 

Then — if you’re up for the challenge, follow us and join us for the #tiubikiniseries!

What’s Next?

In my next post, I’ll show you what I’m doing to prepare for the Bikini Series and what you’ll need in order to follow along at home.

Beach, Please!