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Quote of the Day!

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!!

Emerald Revealed as Pantone’s Colour Of The Year 2013

As 2012 draws to a close, Pantone is already giving us fashionistas something to look forward to as they announce Emerald, a vibrant lush green as Colour of the Year for 2013.pantone

The authority on all things colour related has characterised Emerald as a hue that symbolises “a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world.”

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Following in the footsteps of last year’s spirited and energetic Tangerine Tango, Emerald is typically deemed as a “sophisticated and luxurious” colour and often strongly associated with precious gemstones, growth and prosperity, which leads me to believe that many of us will enjoy the journey through Emerald City this upcoming year.

WizardEmerald

In addition to this announcement, Pantone has once again collaborated with beauty powerhouse, Sephora to create the SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE™ 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection featuring PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, which will be available exclusively at Sephora in March 2013. The limited edition collection is set to feature eye shadows, nail polish and accessories and I for one can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Quote of the Day!

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Make room in that closet!

Head Over Wheels: Spinning 101

I’ve always known that maintaining an exercise routine is important but until the start of this year I had never fully committed to it and kept putting it off. Now 11 months later, I’m here looking to motivate anyone who feels these familiar sentiments.

How did I motivate myself? A part of keeping myself motivated came with discovering different types of exercise routines. It started with using the elliptical that I have at home (definitely no excuses there, the gym couldn’t get any closer!). I then started getting a little restless and realized I needed some variety so over the months I added some Jillian Michaels dvds, outdoor cycling, treadmill and weight training in the mix. (image source)

So fast forward to now, I recently discovered a gilt city deal for spinning classes and decided try it out. As it got nearer to my first class I started to hear people telling me how hard it was and how they thought they were going to die and that your body just hurts so bad after! I thought to myself what the hell have I gotten myself into!

So my first class was on a thursday night at 7pm right after work, I had all my gear ready (check out the mini list below of some essentials I suggest taking). I hopped on the bike, the lights were turned down low and then the music started blasting. Our instructor explained a few simple positions and we were a go. Let me just say not only was it hard but it was actually fun! All the months of exercising had paid off, I managed to keep up for the most part and was proud of myself for getting through the hell that most people had described.

The whole point of this post? To tell you if I can do it then so can you! I’ve put together some quick points of why Spinning can be a beneficial addition to your work out routine. I haven’t been doing spinning for very long at all but I find it really fun and I feel great once I’m done so I wanted to share my thoughts and what I’ve discovered since I began.

If you are like me and need to stay motivated then keep reading and please don’t be shy! Feel free to share your experiences with spinning or any advice you may have in general.

What is Spinning?
Spinning is a studio cycling workout on a stationary bike that allows the rider to tailor the workout to their ability by adjusting the tension. At Sweat & Soul Yoga, I attend classes that use the RealRyder bike which is not only a stationary bike but it also allows the rider to engage the entire body with a range of motion as it allows you to steer left and right which emulates the feel of a road bike. So with this type of bike you are actually working your upper body, lower body, core muscles resulting in a great cardio workout.

Burn Baby Burn
Yes I’m talking about calories! Have you ever been on a treadmill at the gym and just felt that it was dragging on forever and you had barely any calorie burn to show for it? With spinning that is not the case, you work hard and you see the results. Typically a workout of 45 minutes burns around 450-550 calories which depends on the intensity of the workout.

Taking My Sweet Time
The stationary bike has the ability to adjust the level of intensity it takes to pedal. Your instructor will typically have a lesson planned and he or she will indicate when to adjust or alternatively you can adjust accordingly to help build your stamina and achieve your fitness goals.

Please Don’t Stop the Music
Not only do you have an instructor but music is also played which should help keep you focused on the task and not on the tension you may be feeling. Sweat & Soul Yoga in Allston, MA where I go has some great classes that offer themed classes such as Pop Princesses, Hip Hop, 90’s, 2000’s where they only play music from those eras or themes.

Baby Its Could Outside
If you are like me, then you probably hate the cold. I’m most happy when its nice and hot so having the option to throw on regular exercise gear and skip buying hardcore winter gear (costly!)  is a huge plus. So Spinning can be performed at any time of the year.

Be My Motivation
Feeling a little deflated? Just getting yourself to the class is enough, its a huge commitment to show up, the rest will come naturally. All classes are held by an instructor who will motivate you throughout your workout and not to mention you are not alone! Seeing other riders push themselves allows you to feed off of their energy and keep going so its a win win.

How Low Can You Go?
Not very low! A great benefit of spinning is the fact that it is a low impact exercise which means it keeps the pressure of your knees and joints (they will thank you!).

I Heart You
Spinning is great for boosting your cardiovascular health and lung capacity, with time it begins to build endurance and you are able to better control your breath.

*QUICK TIP*
I suggest purchasing a heart rate monitor, I got myself this Polar HRM from Amazon earlier this year and its great for monitoring your pace, calorie burn and most importantly it sets an indicator that lets you know if you are over doing it.

Killer Legs
Another perk to Spinning is that as you are using large muscle groups in your legs (thighs, hamstrings & calves) you’ll begin to see some definition and start feeling stronger.

I Can’t Get No…. Satisfaction
So not true! You’ll have good and bad days just like you have with any other part of your life. Rest assured that you are doing something that is going to be good for you, your body and your mental strength in the long run. No matter how hard it is as I said before the fact that you showed up for the class is what matters.

I promised I’d share my work out necessities:

  • Water bottle – Replenish your body as you sweat it out.
  • Towel – To wipe away the tears! No just kidding, its for sweat ;)
  • Tank Top – It will get hot so I suggest something thin and sleevless.
  • Support Bra – the girls need some support!
  • Capris/Leggings -no loose trousers because it can get tangled in the bike, always choose something thats fitted close to the body
  • Protein Bar/ Energy Bar – I typically eat a cliff bar or odwalla bar before or within 20 minutes of my workout, it helps rebuild those muscles you just broke down.
  • Polar HRM – to monitor my progress throughout my workout
  • Fun socks – why not? I have some great bright coloured ones, just adds a bit of fun ;)
  • Comfy Trainers – Or sneakers as they are called in the states ;)
  • Additional Top – After I workout I hate going home all sweaty so I quickly change into a long sleeved fresh top until i get home to shower.
  • Hoodie/Light Jacket – Because sports gear is generally thin, I prefer to have another layer under my winter coat (told you i hate the cold!)

Now for the fashionable side of working out :) It should be no surprise to you that I was going to add some key essentials that can help make exercising more comfy and no I’m not suggesting extremely expensive work out gear, don’t buy into that.

Check out stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Old Navy, H&M & Aeropostale for some basic, inexpensive tank tops and pants. As for my UK people check out Matalan and George by Asdas, they also have good quality gear at low prices.

Here are a few picks of mine:
Absolutely Brilliant Racerback Yoga Tank – $11.25 *SALE*
Solid Basic Cami – $6.60 *SALE*
Solid Ribbed Tank – $4.95 *SALE*
Women’s Active GoDRY Tanks – $8.00 *SALE*

Women’s Active Control Max Capris (19″) – $24.97 *SALE*
Women’s Active Compression Leggings – $26.94

Women’s Active GoDRY Tees – $8.00 *SALE*
Active 3/4 Length Legging – £10.00

Performance Vest – £10.00

Out of this Universe Fashion

Being a fashion lover, I often see ideas for fashion in some of the most mundane places! These places, objects or things spark themes, colour choices, structural elements that can personify themselves through fashion.


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My fiance Michael recently came back from working at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston (so proud of him!) which inspired me to browse photos of our universe. I was so inspired by the amazing colours and forms featured in their images that it began my quest to hunt down all things fashion related that harnessed this concept. I’ve put together some looks that would elevate anyone’s wardrobe and dare I say it make you shine ;) I don’t know about you but me thinks that I need to own at least one of these pieces!

Share your thoughts below on these gorgeous galaxy inspired pieces or if you’d like to share a photo/object and have me blog about how they could connect or inspire fashion feel free to share! I’d love to have more readers participating by sharing or inspiring content for this blog! Contact me here if you are interested :)

- Crimson Galaxy Skirt, Organic Cotton – $138

 

World’s First ‘Edible’ Cookbook

German design agency Korefe has created the first edible cookbook that you can read (if you can read German that is), cook and eat!

This innovative approach transcends the essence of a cookbook by reinventing the experience of cooking altogether. It creates a fun experience where readers are guided through the process of cooking up a classic lasagne where the cookbook plays an essential part as one of the main ingredients. The pages themselves are made from fresh pasta and are used as sheets in the lasagne itself, once you pop it in the oven there is no turning back! Out “hopefully” comes a fully cooked, edible lasagne cookbook, hopefully readers will remember the recipe ;)

‘The Real Cookbook’ is a special edition from the Gerstenberg Publishing House, specialists in high-quality culinary and art books. As far as availability it is to my understanding that no supermarkets or book stores will be selling this however they definitely should consider it! Wonder what other fun recipes we would be able to cook up!

Pantone Inspired Tarts Anyone?

Although I can imagine anyone eating these at an art museum or design related event, these pantone inspired colour swatch tarts were created for a feature in french culinary magazine fricote, by french food designer Emilie de Griottes. These fantastic tart based delicacies range from having berries, carrots, lemon and other fruits to replicate the pantone colour it is meant to represent. The magazine has included the recipe so any avid foodie can recreate these works of art for themselves: fricote issue number 6 (2012). Overall I love how Emilie has taken pantone swatching to the next level not only is this fun, its tasty and creative!

Beyoncé Fronts New House of Dereon Campaign

Beyoncé has only stepped in front of the cameras a couple of times since giving birth to her daughter, Blue Ivy, on January 7. But news that the newly made mum is getting geared up to get back to work is on the horizon as a new photo of the superstar is released for her latest campaign for her clothing label, House of Deréon.

Shot by famed celebrity and fashion photographer Tony Duran shortly before Beyoncé gave birth, the only image released so far features Beyonce looking stunning and sultry wearing a structured stud embellished bodice accompanied by a fierce lion mane for her spring/summer 2012 collection.

The collection comprises of edgy to elegant evening wear as well as contemporary casual tops and jackets with bold use of stunning prints and a color palette featuring soft pastels, nudes and pops of coral and blue.

Below are some of my favorite pieces as well as the promotional video for the collection. Currently the House of Dereon US site states that the shopping online feature is “coming soon.” However if you are across the pond, you can purchase pieces from Lipsy, Selfridges and House of Fraser.

SquidLondon — Color Changing Couture

Taking the innovative color changing properties of their signature umbrellas to the next level, female “SquidLondon” duo Emma-Jayne Parkes and Viviane Jaeger have collaborated with couture pattern cutter Vlasta Collu and haute couture embroiderer Charlotte La Roche to create a stunning capsule collection of raincoats.

SquidLondon co-founder and Director Emma-Jayne Parkes explains:

“We decided to develop our coat range because our umbrellas are so loved, and so much fun, we really wanted a ‘wow’ factor garment; the intricacies of hand embroidery mixed with sharp couture detailing that beautifully change into a walking piece of art when wet – it’s unique – you can’t beat it!

The capsule tailored rainwear collection “Opera Icons” consists of two jackets and a trench coat available in three embroidery options, allowing the wearer a sense of artistic flair as well as adding a splash of playfulness in her style.

The three designs include the Carmen – a cropped, fitted jacket with a high collar; the Madame Butterfly jacket with its oversize shawl collar that when used as a hood mimics the brightly colured wings of a butterfly; and the Juliette trench coat, a classically beautiful design, just like its namesake. In addition to the coats, there are appliquéd versions of the much-loved Squidarellas, and an oversized scarf that can be worn in several ways.

When dry, the garments are chic monochrome – white flower motifs appliquéd to the black fabric. But add a splash of rain and the white flowers quickly garment blossoms into an array of bright colors.

The coats are made in London and currently available made to order for A/W 2011 delivery direct from SquidLondon’s Shoreditch studio. http://www.squidlondon.com.

Check out a behind the scenes video:

*Majority of information taken from Official Press Release.

Size 6 Now Considered “Plus Size” in Fashion Industry

Plus Model Magazine has published a provocative issue sparking controversy which has shed insight into the disparity between real life women and models.

Although apparent for quite some time, it is clear that in order to model in the fashion world models must meet the standard criteria. The typical runway show comprises of models ranging between a size 0-4, (typically the latter of course) strutting what little meat remain on their bones in a bid to sell fashion. Does this vision of a dangerously waif like size echo the reality of women in today’s society?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the same question that Plus Model Magazine daringly raises. The heavy topic (so to speak) is featured in an 8 page editoral, featuring Russian plus size model Katya Zharkova along side a “straight size” model in the nude. The thought provoking photography displays the stark contrast paired alongside controversial headlines that voice staggering statistics discussing body sizes and stating how a size 6 is now considered plus size.


The magazine makes an attempt to add food for thought regarding the issue and had this to say:

The answer to the question is this, there is nothing wrong with our bodies. We are bombarded with weight-loss ads every single day, multiple times a day because it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that preys on the fear of being fat. Not everyone is meant to be skinny, our bodies are beautiful and we are not talking about health here because not every skinny person is healthy.

What we desire is equality to shop and have fashion options just like smaller women. Small women cannot be marketed to with pictures of plus-size women, why are we expected to respond to pictures of small size 6 and 8 women? We don’t! When the plus size modeling industry began, the models ranged in size from 14 to 18/20, and as customers we long for those days when we identify with the models and feel happy about shopping.

Statistics Printed With Photography:

  • Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.
  • Ten years ago plus-size models averaged between size 12 and 18. Today the need for size diversity within the plus-size modeling industry continues to be questioned.
  • The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14, while the customers continue to express their dissatisfaction.
  • Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia.
  • 50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.

Overall I appreciate what the editors are trying to accomplish, the notion of embracing oneself and accepting your body type as well as ultimately being comfortable in your own skin is a positive message that requires encouragement and reinforcement. I do however find it repulsive to discover that a size 6 is now considered plus size within the fashion industry. There is no secret on my stance on plus size, we all come in different shapes and sizes, fashion is intended for everyone and it makes little sense to solely display one certain type of image that is not accurately representative of everyday women in society. Evidently a size 6 is now deemed plus size, which raises the question of what are women at sizes 14 and above considered? Ultra Plus Size?

What are your thoughts on this controversial issue?

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