Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Sugar Ain’t So Sweet After All

Another problem with processed foods in that the main ingredient in most of this processed food is a whole lot of sugar. The typical American today consumes seven tablespoons of sugar a day in processed foods, more than half as much as thirty years ago.

Grocery store shelves are crammed with all sorts of foods that contain way too much sugar. Yeah, these foods—such as sugary snacks, refined grains, pizza, canned soup, fruit drinks, canned foods, and sweetened yogurt—might taste better than healthier choices…(no, not might taste better…most actually do).

But are the possible health risks of eating too much sugar really worth that moment of decadence.

For years, nutritional guidelines have focused on saturated fats and cholesterol, but perhaps this has been one huge mistake.

We have found that in order to meet consumer expectations as far as fat content, food companies have added more and more sugar in order to make their foods still taste good. Some of these foods get about 25 percent of their calories from added sugars.

In fact, at least forty percent of the money—more than $1 trillion annually—that we as Americans spend on  healthcare each year are spent treating diseases that are directly related to the overconsumption of sugar. The sugar epidemic in the United States has gotten to the point that the FDA has set an “official” recommendation that we should all be limiting our daily sugar intake to a no more than ten percent of our daily calories.

There are actually many health risks associated with eating too much added sugar. These include…

  • Cancer….Sugar is responsible for an estimated 500,000 cancer cases worldwide each year.
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Obesity

And remember, just because the ingredient list on any food item that you might be looking at doesn’t actually contain the word “sugar,” there may be tons of sugar in that product anyway.

Food manufacturers like to avoid the taboo word “sugar” by listing ingredients such as…

  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated Cane Sugar
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Lactose
  • Sucrose
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Getting Dressed, Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Vegan Hair and Skin Care Ideas for Using The Rest of Your Avocados

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Okay, so now we’ve covered about twenty different ways to incorporate avocados into your daily diet, the reasons why you should add avocados to your family grocery list, and the choosing and care of avocados…

But wait…that’s not all…

 

Avocados and Skin Care…Avocados are good for your skin. Avocados are rich in nutrients—such as fat-soluble vitamins monounsaturated fats, various minerals, and essential fatty acids.Avocados have been shown to improve both the health and tone of your skin, as well as  eliminate signs of premature aging. Avocados are especially great for skin that is dry, chapped or damaged.

Many cosmetic manufacturers add avocado to their products for this reason, but given the fact that the avocados that you can purchase from your local grocer or market are relatively cheap, cruelty free, and contain no added synthetic chemicals, why not use real avocados to enjoy the real benefits of using what might be nature’s best moisturizer.

 

 

Avocado Body Scrub…Avocados can be easily paired with many different ingredients to make a healthy body scrub at home. Most of the following scrub ideas can be used not only in the shower as a body scrub, but also as a scrub or mask for your face, depending on the consistency of the second ingredient.

Here are a few ideas…

Almonds….1C smooshed avocado, 1/4C ground almonds…great for dry skin

Coconut…1C smooshed avocado, 1/4C grated avocado…great for healing scars

Coffee…1C smooshed avocado, 3Tbsp coffee granules…great for getting rid of stretch mark

Honey…1/2C smooshed avocado, 1/4C honey…great for dry skin

Lime…1/2 smooshed avocado, juice of 1 lemon, 1tsp baking soda…great for getting rid of tan lines

Oats…1C smooshed avocado, 1C oats…great for acne

Salt…1/2 smooshed avocado, 4Tbsp rock salt….great for exfoliating

Sugar...1C smooshed avocado, 4tsp sugar, 1tsp olive oil…great for acne

Yogurt…1C smooshed avocado, 1C plain Greek yogurt, 1Tbsp salt…great for moisturizing

 

 

Avocados and Hair…Avocados are also great for nourishing dry and damaged hair. The following avocado hair mask include smoothing and moisturizing your locks without weighing down fine hair, adding shine, and restoring natural luster to your hair.

Avocado Hair Mask…1/2 smooshed avocado, 1 egg, 2 drops peppermint essential oil, 2Tbsp olive oil

 

Getting Healthy

Ten Tasteful Teas

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

Herbs have been used in medicine in southern and eastern Asia for thousands of years, and drinking herbal tea has many health benefits—settling your stomach, burning fat, curing a cold, relieving muscle tension and twitching, calming the stomach, and so many more…

But as far as we’re concerned in “upgrading” this part of our daily routine, tea can play an important role in helping you sleep, easing anxiety, and washing away the stress of a long and hectic day.

Decaffeinated tea can be an absolutely wonderful sleep aid to help you fight insomnia in a “all-natural” way. After all, tea is made simply by infusing dried, crushed leaves or herbs in hot water…can’t get much more simple and “all-natural” than that, right?

But there is such a wide range of tea brands and varieties that choosing which tea to actually buy can seem mind-boggling….almost like choosing coffee or your favorite donut at Dunkin’ Donuts…

So which ARE best teas to help you sleep and relax?

The following is a list of types of tea best suited for helping to ensure a better sleep.

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1.Banana Tea—Dr. Oz RecipeNot only will banana tea help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer, but bananas are rich in both potassium and magnesium, two minerals that can help your blood vessels and muscles relax.

 

2.  Catnip TeaCatnip Tea?! Really?! Before now I only thought that catnip was just fun to give your cats, but the organic compound nepetalactone that is found in catnip is actually used in medicine to treat many things, including insomnia.

  

3.  Chamomile TeaOf course you’d expect chamomile tea on this list…after all, it is one of the most common teas on the market. Apigenin, an active compound found in chamomile tea, has been to help relieve anxiety so that you can feel more calm and de-stress from a otherwise extremely stressful day. There is so much that could be said about chamomile, but chamomile is the “essential oil of the month” for April, so stay tuned for more about this..

4.  Lavender TeaUsually the first “natural” ingredient that I think of when thinking about ways to help relieve stress and calm down for the night is lavender, but I never knew that you could buy lavender tea…actually I’d never looked for it before…

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5. Lemon Balm TeaLemon balm is a herb commonly used to treat insomnia and to help with anxiety and stress. Lemon balm is often combined with other herbs, such as chamomile and valerian, to create a very powerful tea for insomniacs.

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  • 6.

6. Oat Straw Tea…Oat straw tea is made from the grassy stem part of the oat plant. Oat straw is considered a “nutrient dense” herb and is especially great for soothing the nervous system, helping to manage everyday stress, cleansing the liver and gallbladder, and supporting a healthy circulatory system.

  •  

7. Passion Flower TeaPassion flower tea is made from the leaves and vines of the passion plant, which is native to Mexico and Central America and was named “passion fruit” by  Spanish missionaries in Peru, who saw the flower’s design as being symbolic of the Passion of Christ. Passion flower tea contains many important nutrients—including vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium and antioxidants.

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8.  Peppermint Tea…Peppermint tea is the tea of choice whenever you are looking for something to help calm stomach problems such as indigestion before you go to bed.

  

9. St John’s Wort TeaSt John’s Wort is a popular natural anti-depressant that helps relieve anxiety and stress, two of the most common causes of insomnia. But before using St. John’s Wort, make sure that is safe for you to use, based on your current state of health and any other medications you are currently taking.

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10. Valerian TeaThere has been much debate as to the effectiveness of valerian and valerian tea, in helping people deal with insomnia and anxiety, even though people have been using the root of the valerian plant for its sedative properties for centuries.




Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Articles About Argan Oil…Argan Oil for Your Hair

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Sorry, but the last thing that I want to think about after taking my shower…especially since I take one as the very last thing of my day…is having to rifle through a dozen different products for my haircare and skincare needs…let’s keep things simple…

So I simply grab for a bottle of pure argan oil…and use it from head to toe…

I could even do that without my glasses on or my contacts in…which is a good thing because I am legally blind, right?!

Benefits of using Argan oil on your hair include…

  • improving the texture of your hair by making it softer, silkier and shinier
  • making your hair more manageable by helping to tame frizz and fly-aways
  • preventing and repairing protecting your hair from damage caused by the heat of hair dryers, curlers and flat irons…as well as pollution, chemicals and UV rays
  • promoting hair growth because of its vitamin E content
  • repairing split ends
  • stopping dandruff before it causes serious problems
  • moisturizing your hair because of its essential fatty acids content

Regular Use…Depending on the thickness, texture, condition and length of your hair, you may need anywhere from 1 drop to 3 drops. Getting the right amount may take some practice. Start with a drop (or for short hair a ½ drop may do) and warm in your palms before raking your fingers through your hair, paying special attention to your ends. Once complete, add a ½ drop to your fingertips and massage into your scalp. Rub any excess into your face, neck or hands.

Overnight Deep Conditioning Treatment...Using argan oil once a week as a deep conditioner for your hair will amplify its benefits even more. If you have dandruff or dry scalp, you should probably use this as an overnight treatment twice per week until the dandruff is gone.

Warm about seven drops in your hands. Massage into your hair, working from the scalp to the ends. Put on a shower cap. (Not only will this keep your pillowcase free from oil, but it will also help your body’s natural body heat, as retained in the shower cap, to help the oil work more efficiently.)

In the morning, wash your hair, rinsing until all residue is gone.

 

Getting Dressed

Vegan Dry Shampoos

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Dry shampoos are so convenient for stretching out those “Messy Hair, Don’t Care” days between actually washing your hair, saving money by stretching out the time between hair appointments, helping you get dressed on yet another manic Monday morning, and helping you look halfway decent after you just worked out.

Yet is dry shampoo worth sacrificing your planet-friendly, vegan values or your health? After all, choosing to use a vegan beauty products decreases your carbon footprint, water consumption, and energy consumption.

Obviously dry shampoo is to be used as a supplement to traditional shampoo, not a replacement. Dry shampoos cover impurities, but may not remove them.

A few brands of vegan dry shampoo are…


1. Acure Organics Dry Shampoo…

  1. Ingredients…vegan, sulfate free, paraben free and cruelty-free
  2. Price… $10
  3. Review…Makeup Alley


2.  Batiste Dry Shampoo, Clean, and Classic

  • Availability…Albertson’s, CVS, Walgreen’s, Target
  • Price…$6
  • Review…Makeup and Beauty


3. Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo 


4. Hair Dance Silky Touch Dry Shampoo Powder

  • Ingredients…100% Natural, Vegan, and Cruelty-Free…NO talc, parabens, baking soda, or phtalates
  • Price…$16.99

5.  Handmade Heroes Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo

  • Ingredients…bamboo charcoal, peppermint, eucalyptus, rice powder
  • Mission…to provide entirely vegan and cruelty-free products
  • Philosophy…products are handmade – no heavy machinery or chemicals are part of the manufacturing process
  • Price…$13
  • ReviewGuru


6.   Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Ingredients…USDA certified organic ingredients…totally plant-based formulation
  • Price...$32
  • Review…Girl Gone Green

7.  Skinnyskinny Rose and Black Pepper Organic Dry Shampoo

  • Availability…CVS, Walgreen’s
  • Ingredients…cornstarch, brown rice powder, white clay, horsetail powder, baking soda, orris root powder, rose & black pepper essential oils
  • Price…$32
  • Review…Indigo and Canary

8.  Zabana Essentials Dry Shampoo

  1. Available in three scents…Shimmery, a tropical coconut… Lavender Citrus Mint…Blood Orange Sage
  2. Ingredients…
  3. Mission…to provide a product that is not only affordable but friendly to all living things on the planet.
  4. Price…$13
  5. Review…The Plant Philosophy
Getting Healthy

14 Cruelty-Free Blogs to Help Get Out from Lifestyle-Change Fogs

   
First deciding to make the change to a different lifestyle-–whether it be cruelty-free beauty, veganism or vegetarian, mndful living, or even a minimalistic lifestyle—can be a bit overwhelming.

If our goal is to actually change our way of living, and not simply claim to have picked up on such lifestyles because they just happen to be the “latest and greatest trend,” it is important to find like-minded people as you journey along the path.

Cruelty free blogs are one great source to find such like-minded people as you journey along the path to cruelty-free beauty. 

Not only will blogs allow you to connect with others making that same journey, but cruelty-free blogs will help you find out whether your favorite beauty brands test on animals, discover the latest cruelty-free product releases, and exchange cruelty-free beauty tips and inspirations.

More and more bloggers today focus on cruelty-free cosmetics, animal rights, vegan lifestyle, being mindful about the products you choose on a daily basis, and anything and everything else related to that topic.

Below is a list of such blogs that I have recently started following on a daily basis.

I hope you will also find those blogs useful and inspiring as we move slowly, step-by step, towards having a better quality of life–one individual at a time, one product at a time..

*****

   
1.  A Life Cosmethic

Author…managed by two sisters – Carolyn and Sarah, and the story of their journey to find the best cruelty-free and ethical available “cosmethics”

Philosophy
……Combining “cosmetics” with “ethics” to create “cosmethics.”

Purpose
…to provide information to help readers choose, find and buy great cruelty-free and ethical cosmetic brands and products.

Topics covered
…everything cruelty-free–from baby products, through fragrances and make up, to cleaning products

      

    2. Coffee and Heels 

    Author…Sascha Camilli, a “fashion-obsessed” vegan who currently lives in London in 2011. In 2013 she was selected for the Marie Claire UK Inspire & Mentor Scheme and mentored to launch Vilda, the world’s first online vegan fashion magazine.She also manages public relations for PETA UK.


    Mission Statement…
    “I don’t write only for the vegan crowd, but for everyone who’s curious towards a more compassionate lifestyle. And if you think about it…coffee and heels are two of the things that we new vegans have to “tweak” to adapt to our new lifestyle is, well, the coffee (that has to have soy milk instead of cow’s milk) and the heels (that have to be faux leather). So there’s a thought to that.”

    Philosophy..
    .”Compassion is a true source of happiness” – Dalai Lama

    Topics covered…
    a personal diary infused with vegan fashion, cruelty-free beauty, yummy recipes and other adventures, plus travel diaries and my thoughts on everything from vegan chocolate cake to following your dreams.
      

    3.  Cruelty Free Kitty

    Author…Suzi

    Mission
    …to provide a complete, honest, and trustworthy resource about cruelty free brands and products

    Topics covered..
    probably the most accurate and up to date information 

      
    4.  Je T’aime by Hotashi
    Author…Hotashi, a Canadian
    Founded…2011

      Topics covered...cruelty-free beauty products available in Canada, her personal experience with living cruelty-free, the difficulties she faces and how she overcomes them.  
        

         5.  Logical Harmony

        Author…Tashina Combs

        Mission…to show that you can be animal-friendly without giving up anything

        Topics covered…vegan beauty, product reviews, and the promotion of a healthy and animal-friendly lifestyle.
          

        6. Lovely Witches

        1. Author…GemIma from South Wales, UK
        2. Purpose…to provide positive and encouraging place to find  recommendations for cruelty-free beauty products
        3. Topics covered…cruelty-free cosmetics, skin care, hair care and vegan products…switching to cruelty-free products 

          

        7. My Beauty Bunny

        Author…award-winning, Los Angeles-based beauty blogger Jen Mathews

        Founded…April 2009

        Mission…to find the best in beauty from companies who do not test on animals

        Topics covered…the absolute latest and newest cruelty-free beauty, hair, makeup and skincare products

          

        8.  Paint + Tofu

        Author…Kori

        Topics covered…vegan recipes and DIY projects

          

          9.  Phyrra

          Author…Courtney, a writer and a beauty addict
          Founded…2008

          Topics covered...cruelty-free products and brands, honest reviews, how-to’s, lifestyle tips, pale girl beauty, hooded eye makeup, cruelty free beauty, and vegan fashion
          Picture

            
          10.  The Little Foxes

          Author…Ashlee Piper

          Mission Statement…“I believe in living a conscious, compassionate, bold, passionate, fearless life with two primary goals: 1) Be happy and appreciative, and 2) Do things that help others (people, animals, this big spinning eco-system we live in) live better, rest easier, and flourish”

          Topics covered…vegan lifestyle blog featuring beauty, recipes, fashion, and cruelty-free beauty giveaways
            Picture

          11.  The Vegan Chickpea

          Author…Caitlin

          Mission Statement...I’m going to make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life.”-Elsie de Wolfe

          Topics covered...vegan beauty and fashion advice, what’s hot or not in the vegan community, inspirational and helpful product reviews, conscious consumerism, cruelty-free beauty, living a minimalistic, vegan lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy, active existence.

            

          12. The Vegan Taff

          Author…Kelly, a beauty obsessed vegan from Wales

            Topics covered…budget-friendly cruelty-free beauty products, reviews arranged by alphabetical order so that you can quickly find the product which you’re looking for
              

            13. Vegan Beauty Review

            Author…Sunny, who has been living a cruelty-free lifestyle since the year 2000…co-author of The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty which is filled with recipes for vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free makeup, skin and hair products
            Founded…the first vegan beauty blogger to hit the internet in 2007 
            Topics covered...the latest scoop on cruelty-free beauty products, the “expert” in vegan and cruelty-free deodorants, mommy and baby vegan products, cruelty-free resources, reviews, and recipes  
             

              14.  Vegan Consultant
              Author…Jenn from Las Vegas, NV 

                Purpose…to help you make cruelty free, plant-powered, compassionate, healthier, and more sustainable choices…to build a community of understanding where each of us in our journey and help inspire positive change through leading by example

                Topics covered…resources, guidance, recipes, tips, tricks and inspiration to help you make these changes and to help make the choices easier for you

                    Getting Dressed

                    Making the Switch to a “Cruelty-Free” Lifestyle (without making it cruel to you yourself)

                      

                    Legally
                    , laboratory animals form a special category of animals and are not currently protected from ordinary animal abuse and cruelty laws.
                    But if enough of us speak up loudly enough, perhaps this fact could be changed.

                    Making positive changes and choices--one decision at a time, one individual at a time–always impacts more than just that one individual. Any act of kindness, no matter how small, has a ripple effect.

                    Making the decision to change to a cruelty-free lifestyle–one product at a time, one individual at a time–eventually could have enough of an impact to convince large companies to stop animal testing altogether.
                    Make this lifestyle change gradually. Switching over one product at a time, instead of going all out and buying everything at once, will make the the transition more manageable and cost effective. 

                     Take an inventory to see what products you already have on hand–makeup, skincare, shower essentials, toothpaste, deodorant–that are already “cruelty-free.” However, don’t feel like you need to replace everything all at once. 

                    This will help you know which products you can continue to purchase and which ones you may need to re-evaluate for more conscious options.
                    But instead of simply throwing everything isn’t found to be “cruelty-free,” replace particular product with a cruelty-free alternative as you are almost finished with it. 

                    If you do find that one or more of your favorite products are made by a company that does still do animal testing, take the time now to find a cruelty-free alternative that works well. Researching brands and products before you’re desperately out of it gives you time to find the right brands, products, and shades.

                    Do not wait until the last minute to find an alternative for that product(s). If you do, you will probably end up reaching for the same non- “cruelty-free” product out of habit.

                    Getting Dressed

                    Pants


                    Finding the perfect pair of pants can also be challenging. So here are a few questions to ask yourself when shopping for the perfect pair..

                    1. Are the pants lined? Lined pants can help conceal any lumps or bumps.

                    2. Are the pants too high?

                    3. Are the pants too low?

                    4. Are the pants too tight?

                    5. Are there creases or “smiling” across the crotch?

                    6. Can you can grab at least an inch of extra fabric on your thighs?

                    7. Do the pants sit too far below the belly button?

                    8. Do you have a visible pantyline?

                    9. Do you have the dreaded “camel toe,” outline of your lady parts, through the pants?

                    10. What material are the pants made from? A heavier fabric, like wool gabardine or cotton twill,are more flattering.

                     

                     

                    Pants worth having…

                    • Jeans
                    • Khakis
                    • Leather Trousers
                    • Suit
                    • Wide-Leg Pants

                    More About Buying Jeans
                    All women face challenges when shopping for  that “perfect” pair of jeans.

                    Jeans are a year-long wardrobe staple, so finding ones that don’t look like “mom” jeans, give us the comfortability that we crave, and actually flatter our changing bodies often takes effort, diligence, and endurance.

                    Questions to ask yourself when shopping for the “perfect” pair of jeans include…

                    • Are they long enough to roll down and wear with boots?
                    • Are they long enough to roll up and wear with sandals?
                    • Are they “suffocating” you?
                    • Are they too high or two low?
                    • Do they allow just the right amount of stretch to hug your curves?
                    • How do they fit around the waist?
                    • How good or bad does your butt look in these jeans?
                    • Would you haveto wear a belt with them?
                    • There are several different cuts of jeans available. these include…

                    1.  Boot-cut…Boot-cut jeans-those that are fitted around the thighs and butt, but a little more relaxed around the calves and ankles-help “balance” out your figure.

                    2.  High-Waisted…High-waisted jeans accentuate and flatter your waist, and will elongate your legs. Petites look best in high-rise jeans for this reason.

                    3.  Low-Rise Jeans...Tall women, on the other hand, look best in low-rise jeans, but be careful not to pick a pair that is so low rise that they expose a little too much of your curves, such as your butt crack,  every time you sit down…

                    4.  Skinny Jeans…A pair of streamlined skinnies creates a sleek look, but also accentuates your shape and highlights your curves….(which could be either a good or bad thing). They can also make your legs appear a few extra inches longer. Choose a pair of skinny leg jeans that has a contoured waist and is made from a stretchy material that will “give a little” in the hips and rear. Steer clear of a super skinny, too-tight-of-a-fit jeans.

                    Other things to pay attention to…

                    • Dark wash denim creates a slimming effect.
                    • Higher prices don’t always mean better fit or quality.
                    • Lighter color washes draw the eye dow
                      Leggings—worn for warmth, comfort, style, and athletic wear— are perfect for creating a smooth base layer for long tunics and short dresses.
                      But leggings come in a wide variety of colors, fabrics, and lengths.So how do you choose the perfect ones to buy?1.  Color…yes, leggings do Come in a wide variety of solid colors and prints, but lighter-colored, brighter, and patterned leggings draw attention to your legs and emphasize the lower body…and unless you’re very tall and bone thin? So typically steer away from these.

                      Black and darker-colored leggings have a moreslimming effect on the legs, flatter all body shapes, coordinate well with a wide array of outfit choices, and just plain out far less tacky.

                      Fabric…are usually made from a Lycra or a spandex blend, but can also be made from cotton, silk, lace, and wool.

                      They can also be sheer or opaque, smooth like tights, or textured like cable-knit.

                      Jeggings are a hybrid between jeans and leggings. They are made of a stretchy denim material that has had elasticated fibres added during production to give the denim plenty of stretch and to create a softer, less rigid fabric. Jeggings are more versatile and durable than standard leggings.

                      Length…Length of leggings usually depend on where you are going to wear them and what length you yourself actually like best.

                      1. Ankle-Length Leggings...Ankle – length leggings They provide full coverage and warmth and can be worn beneath  dresses, skirts, pants, and longer tops. Ankle-length leggings cover a wearer’s entire legs, reaching all the way down to the ankles. They are commonly worn with boots or high heels. Full length leggings help make your legs look longer, especially dark leggings worn with heels, and best flatter slender women.  .
                      .

                      2. Capri-Leggings…Capri – length leggings have a more casual feel than full-length leggings. They work well with mini-skirts,  oversized sweaters, and long shirts.

                      Be sure that the Capri leggings that you choose end at the mid calf. If not, they will simply look like full-length leggings that are just a little bit too short.

                      3.  Footed Leggings..Footed leggings are similar to tights, but they are made from a thicker material.. These leggings are great for wearing with dresses, skirts, long buttondown shirts, and coat-style cardigan sweaters during the winter.

                      Always make sure that your top covers the top of your thighs and your butt. Leggings are basically meant to be a type of an undergarment, not actual pants.

                      4.  Knee-Length Leggings…Knee – length leggings fall to just below the knee and are typically worn for various forms of exercise, such as dance, gymnastics, and yoga…but they could also be worn under skirts and dresses. Knee-length leggings can flatter legs with a heavier calf.

                      5.  Stirrup Leggings…Stirrup leggings are similar to ankle-length leggings, but they also have a connected elastic-type strap, called a stirrup, that wraps under the arch of the foot.  The stirrup prevents the leggings from riding up and gathering at the ankles.These leggings are typically worn as pants instead of a layering garment.

                      nward.

                    • Struggling to get into the legs is a key to finding good jeans. If the jeans you try go on easily, go down a size. Jeans always stretch.
                    • The waistband should be snug enough to fit two fingers down the back. If you can fit your whole hand, they are too loose, if only one or no fingers, they are too tight.

                    Citizens of Humanity Avedon Slick Skinny jeans…$188

                    Levi’s Curve ID Low Rise Bold Curve Skinny Jeans…$80

                    Lucky Brand Charlie Low-Rise Skinny Jeans…$60

                     

                    Lauren Conrad Slim Bootcut Jeans…$20

                     

                    More About Shorts…

                    Shorts are a staple wardrobe item in summer weather, and having a variety of different shorts in your closet can obviously expand your outfit options..

                    But finding shorts that are appropriate, comfortable, and wearable can sometimes e a challenge.

                    1. Appropriate…The main question as to whether shorts are appropriate or not is length. Shorts come in many different lengths, and choosing the perfect lengths primarily depends on what you personally prefer and why/where they will be worn…
                    Three standard lengths of shorts are short shorts-those with a 3″ inseam..lmid-range-those with 4″ inseam…and Bermudas—those with a 12 inseam.

                    Typically a pair of midrange shorts that are neither too tight nor too baggy are the most flattering on everyone. Stay away from short-shorts unless you are in amazing shape.

                    2. Comfortable…Finding the right fit should involve first measuring your waist, hips, and inseam. inseam lengths are determined by the height and length of your leg. To measure the inseam, run a tape measure from the bottom center of your crotch straight down…

                    Comfort also depends on the material that the shorts are made from. Fabrics that have more structure, such as linen and silk-cotton blends are most appropriate for dressy shorts. Stretch denim is more comfortable than regular denim.

                    3. Wearability…Neutrals and bright, solid colors are going to mix and match with other items in your wardrobe. Also try to steer clear of large patterns.

                    Pair your shorts with shirts that offer contrast in color and texture—such as a loose shirt worn with tailored, fitted shorts.

                    Types of Shorts

                    Having a selection of several different types of shorts—casual, dressy, and athletic —available will give you more flexibility

                    1.  Casual Shorts

                     

                    • 2.  Dressy Shorts
                      •  Bermuda…Bermuda shorts are typically knee-length shorts that look like cut-off and hemmed trousers…such as these PURE JILL COTTON-STRETCH BERMUDA SHORTS from J Jill.
                      • Culottes…Culottes have a flap in front that covers the shorts, making them appear like a skirt; designed to appear more feminine but still have functionality
                      • Walking…Walking shorts are everyday shorts that are designed for comfort; most of the time they reach mid-thigh and are fairly looseWalking Shorts & Bermuda Shorts – Varies but should hit 1″ above the knee
                    Getting Dressed

                    Shirts


                    Everyone typically wears some sort of day, every single day of every single year for pretty much our entire lives…so most of us have at least how many  shirts hanging in our closets…

                    But how do you know that the next shirt will be an item that you wear at least once a week…or will join the other shirts that will simply remain in your closet for how long before being donated to Goodwill?

                    Here are a few tips to remember…

                     

                    Fabric…There are two types of material that fabric can be made of-natural and synthetic…and there are good things and bad things about each of them. For example…

                    Natural Fabrics

                    • 1.  Cotton…Cotton is one of the most commonly used fabrics. Cotton shirts should have easy “breathability” and a soft feel.
                    • 2.  Linen…Linen is slightly rougher and thinner than cotton. This lightweight material is great for summer.
                    • 3.  Silk…Silk shirts are generally smooth and have a sheen that works great for formal occasions.

                    Synthetic Fabrics…Polyester is the most common synthetic fabric used for shirts. Polyester is lightweight and dries quickly after being washed.

                    Other Notes about Choosing Fabric

                    • Look for shirts labeled as “stretch cotton.” Stretch cotton prevents wrinkles and allows for comfortable all-day wear.
                    • The material should be thin enough to be layered beneath sweaters, but heavy enough not to be able to see through.
                    • Dry cleaning shirts will help shirts them retain their color, shape, and crispness.
                    • You do not need to wash or dry clean your shirt after every wear. You should be able to get at least two wears out of the shirt before you need to wash it or have it dry cleaned.

                     

                    Color

                    • 1.  Avoid large prints if you want to look slimmer.
                    • 2.  Black shirts and white shirts are suitable for all women and pair well with most other garments.
                    • 3.  Blues and greens vary a great deal in tone, but darker shades generally suit darker features and lighter shades lighter features. Reds and pinks are a good choice for those with green eyes and a tan skin tone.
                    • 4.  Horizontal stripes make you look fatter.Vertical stripes make you look taller.
                    • 5.  The classic “must have” white shirt might not be a “must have” for you personally. Instead your perfect shirt because bright white doesn’t flatter everyone. Your “must have” shirt might instead be soft white, ivory, or even a very pale pastel. Bright white typically looks best on women with dark hair and light sk

                     

                    Cut…Crew necks and V-necks both shorten a longer neck, whereas scoop necks tend to lengthen a neck. Boat necks broaden narrow shoulders. A tailored style is always more flattering than a looser style..

                    Shirttail…Shirts with a long tail, one that covers your bottom and hits right around the bottom of your bottom, are more likely to stay tucked in. A rounded shirttail hem is easier to tuck in.

                     

                    Shoulders…

                    • Short sleeves should come down to the mid upper arm-closer to the elbow than to the shoulder-in order to hide flabby arms
                    • Sleeveless shirts should have arm holes that are cut quite close to the armpit, so that your bra is not exposed.The shoulders should be wide enough to hide your bra strap.
                    • Shoulder seams should hit squarely on your shoulders, not above or below. Rip out any shoulder pads.

                     

                    Size…The right fit and proportion is key. An incorrectly sized buttondown will either pop open in between the buttons and exposing the body, or too much extra fabric billowing around the body which is not flattering

                    • The shirt should fit closely, but not so closely that it clings to your sides or gapes open between the buttons.
                    • When trying on a shirt, take the time to sit down in order to test for clinging, gapping, and overall comfort across your back.
                    • Never intentionally buy too large of a shirt. The extra fabric might not be able to fit into your pants or skirt.

                    Wearing

                    • Tucking the shirt in and wearing a belt makes an outfit look more professional, but shirts can remain untucked if the shirt does not fall past mid-hip.
                    • Wear the sleeves buttoned and pushed up, or unbuttoned and rolled up. ..no higher than mid-forearm.
                    • Wearing a camisole underneath helps the fabric to lay flatter against the body, thus keeping the shirt closed. It also prevents any exposure if the shirt does malfunction.

                     

                    More about T-shirts…

                    T-shirts have evolved from basic undergarments issued as part of the standard military uniforms during World War II as an undershirt….to now being a wardrobe staple for both women, men, and kids of all ages…available in a wide variety of fabrics, necklines, sizes, and shapes.

                    Every capsule wardrobe should include several solid colored t-shirts for layering with  jackets and sweaters.

                    And typically t-shirts are made of cotton…because cotton naturally breathes, stretches, and moves with the wearer. Cotton is soft, breathable, lightweight, and affordable.

                    But cotton is not all simply cotton. There are actually five different types of cotton available…each with its own distinct characteristics:…

                    •    1.  Combed Cotton:Cabela’s Women’s Combed Cotton V-Neck Tee Shirt…Combing cotton aligns its longer fibers and produces a softer and more durable fabric. Combed cotton t-shirts typically last longer than plain cotton varieties. This high-quality cotton has a higher thread count, but is a bit pricier than other options.
                      2.  Organic Cotton:…Baserange Women’s Natural Cotton Lege Long Sleeve, $110… Organic cotton is environmentally friendly since it is grown with minimal use of fertilizers and pesticides. This is great for an environmentally conscious audience, but it also comes with a higher price tag.
                      3.  Pima Cotton:Everlane Cotton V $15, Everlan…Pima cotton is woven from very fine, extremely thin cotton strands chosen from a particular variety of the cotton plant. These are comfortable and soft t-shirts that are resistant to stretching and fading and that tend to get softer with wear.
                      4.  Ring-Spun Cotton:... Hanes Womens 4.5 oz., 100% Ringspun Cotton nano-T T-Shirt … Ring-Spun cotton is created by twisting and thinning the cotton strands. It is usually pricier but extremely durable, lasting a very long time
                    • 5.  Slub Cotton Buck Mason Slub Tee $28, Spring...Slub cotton is woven, creating slight lumps and a unique texture. It’s airy and lightweight, making it great for summer.
                    Getting Dressed

                    Dresses

                    Creating a “business casual” work wardrobe on a budget often means different things from job to job, industry to industry, office to office, and state to state.

                    But even though there is no “official” rulebook or guidelines for dressing “business casual,” there are basic principles such as…

                    1.  Choose slightly more structured versions of what you already like to wear.

                    2.  Create a “uniform.”
                    This takes the work and the panic element out of getting dressed every morning. Two examples of “uniforms” would be almost always wearing A-Line skirts, low heels and blouses…or wide-legged pants, Oxfords and a sweater.

                    3. 
                    Don’t worry too much about what everyone else is wearing. Business casual runs the gamut in any given office.

                    4. Dress comfortably…
                    Feel free to be yourself…If you feel uncomfortable, you won’t look very professional.

                    5. Dressing professionally means dressing to do your job in a well-groomed and non-distracting fashion. 


                    6. Establish a color palette.


                    7. Get tips from your coworkers. 


                    8. Ignore the “dress for the job you want” thing.
                    Dress for the job you actually have and for what is right for you. You don’t want to look like the geek who is trying way too hard.

                    9. Invest in a few keys pieces.  Add other items slowly…. It’s much better to have a smaller wardrobe full of great pieces than a closet full of junk.

                    Don’t try to build a wardrobe all at once. First buy the bare minimum pieces, and get a sense of what your office is like and what feels right on you in that environment. Then you will have time and money to make better choices.

                     

                    10. Know your brands and what you’re looking for.

                    11. Never wear denim, shorts, miniskirts, crazy makeup, or anything vinyl or sequined. 


                    12. Quality pieces, taken care of properly, will generally last much longer than cheap pieces
                      It makes sense to invest in things you know you’ll actually wear often…such as black trousers, pencil skirts and blazers.

                    13. Sell old clothes to offset the costs….Selling old clothes on eBay or at consignment stores will help the people currently needing that item and provide you additional cash for the new items you need.

                    14. Shop online….Even though shopping online means that you obviously will not be able try the clothes on before buying them, you can often find really great deals.

                    15. Stay away from full-priced department store items….Great pieces can be found much cheaper at stores like T.J. Maxx and Ross, and consignment and thrift stores.

                     

                    Dresses worth having…

                    • A-Line Dresses
                    • Little Black Dress
                    • Little White Dress
                    • Wrap Dresses