Just Another Reason to Love Stella McCartney

egg

You already know that she’s a champion of cruelty-free, green clothing and she makes a bomb rose perfume. She’s the daughter of your favorite Beatle. But what you didn’t know, is that she’s about to make your Friday afternoon a whole lot more fun. Now, full disclosure, I like Easter slightly more than the next person -the egg shaped candy! peeps! the pastel colors! the excuse to wear a pretty spring dress! – and I may still decorate eggs with my sister when we’re both home for the holiday. One year we found a kit that had little sticker faces you could apply to your neon dyed eggs, and you know what? Egg dying has never been more fun.

Now Stella McCartney has created a little digital egg decorating game that is sure to keep you entertained at least until your 2:30 coffee break. While it may be designed for her kids line customers, I think it’s pretty clear adults can enjoy it too. I came across it first on my daily troll of NY Mag, The Cut, and had quite a bit of fun selecting various costumes for my little gal to wear. Then, once you’ve picked all of your features, click I’m Finished to see an animated version. Have fun making yours, and congratulations on (almost) making it to the weekend!

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Looking Fab When You’re Feeling Ill

http://www.getthegloss.com/article/how-to-avoid-winter-illness-woes

It’s that time of year in New York City when everyone I know is sick. At my office, if I take my headphones out of my ears all I hear is echoes of people coughing and sneezing from various locations- that is when I’m not too busy coughing and sneezing myself. I am just on the outside edge of recovering from a particularly nasty cold. I’m talking the kind that makes you end phone calls abruptly to go get a glass of water, when you wake up in the middle of the night because you’ve been coughing in your sleep, and when total strangers start patting you on the back in public to quiet your hacking. Naturally, I have kept up a busy social calendar throughout this unfortunate illness, because sometimes in winter a girl just needs to get out and about – to make it to work at the very least. And if you’ve been a victim to recurring colds/flus/illnesses this winter like everyone else, sometimes you just get sick and tired of staying home sick. Here are some tips from Women’s Health magazine on how to stay looking your best even when you’re not feeling at the top of your game.

Get rid of those puffy, dark circles with eye cream infused with cooling ingredients like cucumber, and then cover them up with concealer. Putting cooled chamomile tea bags atop your lids can reduce swelling in a pinch too! Put on some blush to liven up your washed out complexion so you have a faux rosy glow. Brighten tired or bloodshot eyes with blue tones around your eyes in mascara or liner. Try wearing a fragrance with lemony notes to boost your energy. Since you’re probably over-tired, and cutting corners on your morning routine, pull out the simple, polished looks. Use that bun-maker you picked up at H&M to sweep your hair into a high bun to look pulled together and pull eyes up and away from your tired face. No one has ever accused a ballerina of looking sloppy, amiright? Then finally wear a power lip with lots of moisturizer to keep everyone’s attention away from your chapped nose and puffy lids. A lady with red gloss on never looks worse for the wear.

Menswear Dog

menswear pup

There is an entire tumblr devoted to cataloging pictures of dogs dressed in Menswear. I came across the photos via Honestly, WTF of this dapper shibu inu, but if you check out the site, there is much much more where that came from. Hours of fun enjoying animals dressed as people! Adorable dogs of all breeds looking more stylish than most of the guys you meet in bars!

Sometimes it’s Hard to Decide What to Wear

closet

I am notorious within my family and group of friends for having trouble picking out my outfits, and hanging on to clothes that I never wear because I remember a fun night I had in outfit. Now after years of struggling with my overcrowded closet, and torturing my sister and friends to help me decide what to wear, I have science to back up my what I like to think of as “endearingly quirky” behavior. It turns out that I am not the only lady in the world who gets emotionally involved with what’s in her closet. Researchers have already proved that women tend to attach their emotions to their clothes, and use outfits that make us feel pretty to elevate mood. That’s why when you’re not feeling so hot emotionally, if you put on an outfit that doesn’t make you feel pretty/sexy/thin, it is suddenly a major catastrophe. Now further studies at the University of Queensland are underway to investigate the ways in which ladies use clothes to improve and mask their emotions. Let’s say you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you might put on a colorful, flowery dress to make you feel a little better about tackling the day. This is using clothing to mask your unpleasant mood, making you seem bright and happy to the world while you are feeling down, and also to boost your sense of well-being or to elevate a bad mood to good.

At the same time, people use clothes as scapegoats. An outfit worn for an interview that tanked may never be pulled out again, or a slinky dress for a failed date tossed in the donation bin. This is fashion scapegoating, experiencing bad feelings that occurred while wearing a certain item. At the same time, people remember the clothes that others complemented them on, and experience that rush of good feelings each time they wear it. What you put on, and if you feel good in it impacts your performance, self-esteem, and how well you interact with people. Now do you see why picking out an outfit can sometimes be a challenge? To keep all of these complex emotions from paralyzing you when you get dressed in the morning, think about your favorite outfits that make you feel good – then get to the bottom of WHY you feel good wearing them. Buy more clothes that have those qualities. If you have an outfit you bought, had a bad experience in, and have never worn again, toss it already. It’s only bringing bad juju to your closet. Finally, don’t let your nay-sayers make you feel guilty about holding on to clothes with sentimental value. They are akin to a family photo album of happy memories, but you might want to consider moving them out of the way to a storage location, your parent’s basement, or an under the bed bin where they’re not clogging up your decision making in the morning. Now happy outfit hunting!

What helps you pick out an outfit that makes you feel good? And! Check out the article that inspired this post here!

Eat Organic, Avoid Getting Fat

organic

So you work out, eat healthy, and still don’t seem to be losing weight. Maybe it’s time to look at the healthy foods you’re consuming and see if they might be the problem themselves. Recent research found that eating genetically modified foods can bypass your body’s “I’m full” trigger, leading you to eat more. Now data published in the Environmental Health Perspectives shows that a common pesticide could be causing weight gain. Called triflumizole, the chemical can contribute to packing on the pounds even when it is below the levels categorized as safe by the EPA. To avoid it? Eat only foods grown from non-genetically modified seed, and buy organic produce.

Don’t have the budget for all-organic fare? Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends buying these 14 “Dirty Dozen +” organic all the time because of their high pesticide levels.

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Blueberries (domestic)
  • Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Kale

Then see if it makes a difference on your waistline!

 

Good Reads

books

Well hello! I have had a fun week packed with book club, trivia nights, fancy cocktails made by mixologists in 1920’s garb, and my favorite falafel. These are the links that caught my fancy this week!

When you love Les Mis a little too much, this is the blog for you.

Straight from the bartender’s lips – why that friend is always getting kicked out of your favorite spots. Here’s a hint, don’t take your dinner from the garnish tray.

Umm…this place has pretzel bombs filled with egg, cheese and bacon along with fruity pebbles doughnuts? Is it heaven?

Making it through the quarter life crisis

When you spend most of your day using electronics, here’s a clue on Balancing the time a day you spend looking at screens.

Another excuse for me not to watch the news – the stories you expose yourself to can lift you up or bring you down.

I knew there had to be a reason that all my friends were into guys with beards – they keep you young, healthy, and handsome!

Why being in your 20’s can be hard, in the words of your favorite female comediennes.

Ranking Disney Sidekicks – hot or not? Surprisingly, Sebastian is on the hot list.

Just another reason Martha Stewart is awesome.

What have you read this week?

Rooms with a View

window trees

It turns out that while you thought you were just saving money by taking the room without a window, you may have been accidentally sabotaging your health and good mood. I have always loved living in pre-war buildings with large sunny windows overlooking a courtyard. Though I enjoy  turning my bedroom into a cave for sleeping with a combo of blackout curtains and blinds, there is nothing better than throwing open the shades on a sunny day and looking out to see trees, and now science (brought to me by an article I read on The Huffington Post) backs up why. A recent study completed by psychologists at the University of Illinois found that seeing nature from your windows has a positive effect on emotional health, mental acuity, and productivity. People who see green things – be it grass, trees, or flowers – felt healthier, more productive and less aggressive than people who only saw pigeons cooing in an alley, or looked straight into another apartment ‘s wall. Additionally people who had rooms with a view earned higher scores on cognitive function tests. This finding even extended to people recovering from an illness or medical procedure in a hospital. Patients with the option to see trees and  visit green spaces experienced lower pain, faster recovery, and increase longevity (read: longer lives).

 

So if you live in an urban location – like me in NYC! – I think the message is pretty clear. Get yourself to a park! And help to support even more legislation that promotes biodiversity by encouraging or requiring public spaces to use plants native to that area that will thrive and support the local animals and insects. When you’re apartment hunting, hold out for a space that looks out on greenery. Or at the very least, bring the park to your own home. Try planting ferns and wild flowers in plain view to boost your mood, and as an added bonus, house plants are shown to clean the air of harmful toxins for happier days and easier breathing.