Valentine’s Day Full Figure Fashion

Happy beautiful plus size woman in red dress with hands upWe’ve all been there.  Standing in front of a closet full of clothes yet still you feel you have nothing to wear.  And worse, it’s a special occasion and you want to look smokin’ hot.  What’s a gal to do?

This Valentine’s Day, don’t get caught in a fashion catastrophe.  You’ll want to look your best whether you have a hot date or are dining with your besties.  We’ve got full figure fashion ideas for Valentine’s Day that are no-brainer winners for any of your special plans.

Little Red or Pink Dress:  Get inspired by the colors of the season – shades of red and pink – with your full figure fashion selection this Valentine’s Day.  Choose a style that is most flattering on you and shows off your best curves.  Got amazing cleavage?  Take the plunge with a low v-cut neckline.  Luscious legs?  Short and sweet is the style for you.  Classic hourglass figures look amazing in A-line dresses or those that dramatically cinch in the waist to show those upper and lower curves.  With a bold red or pink hue, you can keep the rest of the dress pretty simple with minor embellishments like jewels or lace.  Styles with cut-away designs, a peplum accent or delicate straps are all very trendy and sexy for Valentine’s Day.

full figure fashion for v-daymolded_padded_seamless_underwire_full_figure_bra_5028_You’ll want to pair your sexy red or pink dress with the perfect full figure bra that matches the style and color of your ensemble.  Leading Lady has a selection of gorgeous bras in just the right shades for your Valentine’s Day look.  Our Molded Padded Seamless Full Figure Bra in both underwire and wirefree comes in six Valentines-inspired shades of red and pink.  It will also become one of the dreamiest bras in your wardrobe due to its comfort features including molded cups, lightly padded straps, soft breathable fabric and 4 hook-and-eye closures.  You’ll fall in love with this bra as it melts to your body.  And best of all, you may even forget you’re wearing it, it’s just that comfortable.

Little Black Dress:  On Valentine’s Day don’t underestimate the power of the little black dress.  It’s a classic and you really can’t go wrong wearing your sexiest black dress on this special occasion.  Or, this holiday may be grounds for buying a new little black dress.  Again, consider the most flattering styles for your body that hug all the right curves.  Lace styles are exceptionally sexy for Valentine’s Day.  A lace overlay can full figure fashion for vday_lace_cup_underwire_full_figure_bra_5408_hide problem areas nicely while still offering a beautiful silhouette.  Also, lace offers a subtle and chic peek-a-boo element that is extremely sensual.
Pair your best black dress with your best full figure black bras.  Leading Lady offers many of our hottest bra styles in black.  If you’re wearing lace, go lacey with your bra as well.  Try our Lace Cup Underwire Full Figure Bra.  This beautiful bra features soft lace that won’t irritate your skin and a magnificent scalloped design that will make you look and feel your best on Valentine’s Day.

Leather:  Leather is a wildly irresistible fabric that is an excellent choice for Valentine’s Day.  It’s sleek, form-fitting, and makes a huge fashion statement.  Leather pants are right on trend for the season and can highlight your curves nicely.  They come in varieties including legging styles and trousers.  Pair a shiny leather with a red blouse or sweater for a sweetheart of a Valentine’s ensemble.  If leather pants aren’t your bag, try a leather full figure fashion for vday scalloped_lace_underwire_full_figure_bra_5044_jacket or high heel leather boots.  This trend can extend to any aspect of your wardrobe to look sexy and chic for this most romantic holiday.

To keep the look alive underneath your clothes, look for an edgy bra like our Leading Lady Scalloped Lace Underwire Full Figure Bra.  It is a fabulous way to lift your breasts with a lower-cut scalloped neckline.  The sensual lace fabric shows just the right amount of skin while still offering modesty.  Whether you’re the only one seeing this bra on Valentine’s Day or you’ll be sharing it with a special someone, you’ll feel like a rockstar in your leather and lace this holiday.

With our picks, you can put an end to full figure fashion emergencies this Valentine’s Day!  We wish you a super sexy Valentine’s Day!

Why Hugs are Good for your Heart

Portrait of a happy girlfriend hugging her boyfriend and looking at camera

There is nothing like the warmth of an embrace by someone you love.  Hugs are a wonderful form of medicine and a kind that gives and receives reciprocally.  The energy felt between two people hugging can be electric and, we’re happy to report, it’s good for your heart as well.  Just in time for Heart Health Month and Valentine’s Day, here’s a look at why hugs are good for your heart.

A recent study from the University of North Carolina shows that hugs are extremely beneficial to women.  While there are advantages for men as well, women in particular get the most out of hugging.  The research indicates that women who engage in a hug release oxytocin, a hormone responsible for feelings of social connection.  For human beings, social interaction is an essential part of our wellbeing.  Oxytocin plays a large role in helping us fulfill this inherent need.

If oxytocin sounds familiar to you it’s probably because it is the same hormone that is released during lactation.  That’s why breastfeeding often helps mothers reduce or avoid post-partum depression and bond with their babies faster.  Oxytocin can help regulate blood pressure levels and heart rate as well.

Additionally, women’s cortisol levels drop after hugging.  Cortisol is a stress hormone that can raise blood pressure and affect many areas of health.  Some cortisol is good because it helps with the body’s natural fight or flight stress response.  However, too much cortisol or prolonged exposure can be very damaging to the body, especially the heart.

The study tested women’s oxytocin and cortisol levels after a 20-second hug with their partners, reflecting on happy times in their relationship and watching a short romantic video.  Oxytocin was highest and cortisol was lowest during the hug as opposed to the other loving moments.  The conclusion was therefore that the physical embrace – the need for touch – outweighs other expressions of love.

Higher oxytocin and lower cortisol that helps the heart, in turn aids many other areas of the body.  Hugging is good for the immune system, central nervous system and relaxes muscles.  Hugs and the sensation of touch can actually be stored at cellular levels that help maintain self-esteem throughout our lives.  Plus, hugs make us feel safe, loved, happy, honest and open, and connected, which are all tremendous for our mental and emotional wellbeing.

As Valentine’s Day approaches and now that you know why hugs are good for your heart, find ways to linger in the embrace of someone you love.  Make an effort to touch your loved ones spontaneously by hugging, holding hands, cuddling or otherwise being close to one another.  Your heart and someone else’s will enjoy the benefits!

Heart Health Tips

Health insurance or love conceptWelcome to February, Heart Health Month!  Practicing healthy heart habits is important year round, but February brings about a great opportunity to reexamine our lifestyles and ensure we are taking the right steps to keep our heart in tip top shape.  Today we are reviewing heart health tips for your health, wellness, vitality and longevity.

It may surprise you to learn that heart disease is the number one cause of death among women in the U.S.  While some of your propensity for heart disease is genetic, there are many risk factors that are within your control.  These lifestyle factors are common healthy living practices that are also good for other areas of our holistic health and wellness.  Plus, your heart is the lifeline that provides a steady, healthy beat for the rest of your body.  So supporting your heart supports your entire body.

The American Heart Association, National Institute for Health and top cardiologists recommend the following heart health tips to keep your cardiovascular system strong and healthy for a lifetime:

Get Moving and Stay Moving:  Exercise is vital for 20-30 minutes at least 5 days per week.  This means any physical activity that gets your heart rate in its ideal range and strengthens your body.  It’s important to find physical activities that stimulate you personally so they are sustainable for your life.  Also, keep moving throughout the day.  Sitting is one of the worst things you can do for your health, especially your heart.  If you have a sedentary job, build in time to get up and move around periodically throughout the day.

Eat Clean:   When it comes to your diet, get back to the basics:  lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, light dairy products and whole grains.  Limit saturated fats, simple carbohydrates, salt, excessive alcohol, sugar and fried foods.  Eating healthy doesn’t mean you should constantly limit your diet and sacrifice the joy of food.  Rather, ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs while exploring innovative recipes with clean ingredients.

Stress Less and Sleep More:  Our emotional and mental states have a huge impact on our heart health.  Stress releases adrenaline and cortisol that can be damaging to the cardiovascular system, elevate blood pressure and potentially lead to heart disease.  Taking time to de-stress and relax – through breathing patterns, meditation, hobbies and other stress management techniques – is vital to heart health.  Also, allowing your heart time to rest during sleep hours lowers blood pressure and your heart rate.  This critical nightly time-out for your heart is essential for maintaining long term health.

Stop Smoking:  Smoking is one of worst health habits for your heart, and every other aspect of your health for that matter.  In fact, smoking is the leading preventable cause of death.  Tobacco causes plaque to build-up in your arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.  Plus, smoking decreases healthy cholesterol levels and your capacity for physical exercise.

Additional Heart Health Tips:

  • Eat more antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, dark chocolate and a moderate amount of red wine
  • Always eat breakfast
  • Have more sex
  • Get a pet
  • Enjoy life, find happiness and laugh
  • Workout your brain and keep your hands busy
  • Stretch your body
  • Get regular health screenings, keep track of your health stats and know your risk factors for heart disease

Happy Heart Health Month!  Here’s to your best heart health!!

Brain Games for Adults

Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs to workout to stay strong and agile. When we think of regular exercise, we are usually referring to physical exercise.  However, a daily brain workout in the form of brain games for adults or other highly brain-stimulating activities is necessary to avoid brain atrophy as we age.  In fact, stimulating your brain on a regular basis can help you avoid dementia by over 60%.  Plus, working out the brain can improve your memory, clarity, concentration and mental stamina for more productivity every day.

Today we’re sharing some brain games for adults to keep your mind in tip-top shape today and for the future:

Play Games:  You can have a lot of fun while you give your brain some exercise.  Brain-supporting games include crossword puzzles, Sudoku, scrabble, boggle and many other strategy and mind-challenging games.  Many adults get together to play card games, mahjong, bridge and other group brain games.  They may be doing it for social purposes but it also helps keep your brain fit and functional.

Opposites Day:  Challenge yourself to do activities with your non-dominant hand for an entire day.  This forces your brain to think harder and work differently to accommodate for your weaker hand to perform tasks it does not typically do.  Repeat this experiment at least once a month.  You’ll probably notice improvements each time you try it.

Learn to Play an Instrument:  It is much harder for adults to learn to play instruments than children, but it is a worthwhile activity for your brain.  Take up an instrument as a hobby.  Don’t expect to become a master musician, but rather view it as part of your daily health regimen.

Take up a New Hobby:  Along the same lines as learning an instrument, find a new hobby that requires both hand-eye coordination and thinking such as sewing, knitting, painting or carpentry.  These acute tasks help focus your brain and can be great stress relievers as well.

Memorize Lists or Recall Pictures:  Make a list or study a picture and then put it away.  Try to recall everything you wrote on your list or saw in the picture completely from memory.  This may seem pointless but it’s stretching your brain and improving your memory.  Try an activity like this daily.

Do Math in your Head:  Without using a calculator, smart phone or paper, solve math problems in your head.  You may not do it the way you were taught in school, but your brain will come up with clever ways of grouping to solve problems without the typical tools.

Learn a New Language:  Foreign languages are extremely challenging for adult brains, especially for those who only know one primary language.  Take a class or buy a language program to teach yourself a new language to keep your brain churning.  An even bigger challenge is learning a language with an entirely different alphabet than English.

Count Backwards:  This one is a good alternative to counting sheep if you cannot sleep at night.  Count backwards from numbers in the hundreds using unusual digits like 4 or 7.  This will stimulate your brain and probably eventually send you off to dreamland with lots of numbers floating around your head.

Color:  Adult coloring books are very popular because they a great stress reliever and help take your mind off of daily monotony and into a world of creativity.  Plus, you can relive your childhood again.  Adult coloring books feature more intricate designs and patterns and allow you to make lots of choices along the way.

Internet Games:  There are hundreds of brain games for adults you can find for free on the internet or you can subscribe to a brain game service to help you workout your brain on a regular basis.  Subscriptions will help you keep track of your progress and show how your brain power and memory has advanced over the course of time.  If you prefer hard copies, there are also many books available with brain puzzles and games for purchase.

Fitness Trends in 2016

fitness, sport, training and lifestyle concept - woman doing exercises on mat in gymGetting in shape and getting healthy are some of the biggest New Year’s resolutions every year.  While these may mean different things to different people, we view these wonderful resolutions as making smart health and lifestyle choices including a balanced diet and regular exercise.  We believe you can be healthy at any size and the number on the scale or tag on your clothes doesn’t and shouldn’t dictate health.  So, we’re excited to be examining the top fitness trends in 2016 to help you get on the right path to your resolutions.

Each year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) compiles a list of their fitness trend predictions for the coming year.  These are based on a survey from nearly 3,000 fitness instructors around the country.  We’re highlighting some of our favorite fitness trends today.

Wearable Fitness Trackers:  With the popularity of the fitbit and apple’s new fitness watch in 2015, wearable fitness trackers will continue to be a trend in 2016.  These devices record steps, movement, heart rate, calories burned and distance to help track physical exertion and progress.  Most link to an app or website with more in-depth data and many offer fitness programs to help you reach milestones and goals.

Body Weight Training:  Think strength training without the weights and you’ve arrived at body weight training.  Using your own body weight as resistance, you can achieve a full body workout with absolutely zero equipment needed.  This type of workout is ideal in our hectic lives when getting to and from the gym isn’t possible or we’re often traveling.  Using multiple variations of exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, planks and many more, you can challenge your body to work in multiple directions with tremendous results.

High Intensity Interval Training:  This is a heart-pumping workout that combines bursts of intense cardio moves with short periods of rest.  HIIT has been popular among athletes for many years and is now gaining traction for its extreme muscle-building and weight-loss potential.  Due to both aerobic and anaerobic intervals, you can continue burning fat and calories for up to 48 hours after a HIIT workout.  It also keeps your fitness routine more interesting by allowing for a variety of exercises in each session.

Functional Fitness:  The theory behind functional fitness is that exercise should mimic movements we do in our everyday lives.  After all, being more flexible, having stamina and maintaining endurance during regular activities is the most practical use of exercise.  It’s not every day we’ll run a marathon, but we probably have to move things, open doors, bend down and keep our balance every single day.  Functional fitness works to improve the muscles and skills that we’ll use in our daily lives to make us stronger and healthier.

Yoga:  Yoga is not a new trend but it has been on the most popular list for many years for a reason.  Yoga is fantastic for the body, mind and spirit.  It increases flexibility and mobility, is fairly easy to practice anywhere and continues to challenge you at any fitness level.  Yoga is fantastic for creating beautiful, long, lean muscles as well as strengthening the mind as you work through movements, patterns, balance and intensity.  Yoga can also be calming and offer time for meditation and rejuvenation.

Personal Training:  Working with a personal trainer is a great way to get started towards your fitness goals in 2016.  Certified trainers can help you learn which types of exercise will help you achieve your desired results and are appropriate for your age, interests and fitness level.  Group personal training is also growing in popularity and can help cut some of the cost of seeing a trainer.  Consider doing this with friends, your spouse or your entire family.

Other Fitness Trends:  Some of the other highlights in fitness trends for 2016 include wellness coaching and worksite health promotion, both designed as preventative healthcare programs to avoid and treat potential issues before they become major problems.  Outdoor fitness, sports-specific training and core training also made the list of the top 20 fitness trends in 2016.  Plus, senior physical fitness is a growing trend to help keep the older population active and healthy well into their golden years.

Cheers to your best health in 2016!

Tips for Healthy Hair

Blond hair. Portrait of beautiful Blonde with Long Wavy Hair. High quality image.

Some women love their hair in the winter.  With less humidity, the frizzies may be an issue of summer days gone by.  Other women find their hair brittle and unmanageable in the dry winter months.  Whatever your seasonal hair story may be, there are some universal tips for healthy hair that you should know.  And lucky for you, we’re sharing them here today.

Tip #1:  Concentrate Shampoo on your Scalp

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using shampoo primarily on your scalp.  This is where your hair is oiliest and needs cleansing.  While strands can also benefit from shampoo, massage shampoo into your scalp and then let strands get the trickle effect rather than shampooing all of your hair together.

Tip #2:  Concentrate Conditioner on your Tips

The AAD also suggests only using conditioner on the tips of your hair.  Hair closer to the scalp can become limp from conditioner rather than giving you the body you want.  Tips need conditioning the most to avoid dryness and cracking.

Tip #3:  Use Shampoos and Conditioners Designed for your Hair Type

Super fine hair needs a different formula than ultra thick hair.  Same goes for color treated hair versus hair that trends oily.  Scope out various shampoos and conditioners that are calibrated for your hair type to get the best results.

Tip #4:  Don’t Shampoo your Hair Every Day

Unless you have extremely oily hair, don’t use shampoo daily.  You can either cover your hair in the shower to avoid getting it wet or just rinse your hair to break up some of the oil but not strip your hair of its natural moisture.  Also, wash less to preserve color treated hair.

Tip #5:  Condition Hair with Every Wash

Every time you shampoo your hair, you should also condition it.  It’s like wearing moisturizer on your face, which you probably apply twice a day.  Your hair needs hydration through a nourishing conditioner so never skip this step.

Tip #6:  Use Nut Oils for Beautiful Hair

Nut oils are among the best ingredients for your hair.  They are ripe with nutrients that your hair will soak up for a more radiant look.  Apply as a pre-shampoo or a deep conditioner.  You can also use nut oils for styling.  Some of the best nut oils for hair include coconut oil, kukui nut oil, argan oil and macadamia nut oil.

Tip #7:   Brush Hair starting at the Tips

Don’t pull knots through your hair by starting at the top.  Rather, brush the tips of your hair first and then work your way up your strands until you’ve reached your scalp.  This will make it easier for you and not add more tangles.

Tip #8:  Sleep on Satin Pillows

Cotton strips your hair of moisture and can cause you to sweat more.  Satin pillow cases help maintain natural moisture without leading to greasiness.  Satin will also make your blowout last longer.

Tip #9:  Make a Bad Hair Day work for You

We all have bad hair days but you don’t have to let it ruin your day completely.  Surrender to your bad hair day by using it to your advantage.  Go for a messy look with short haircuts or create a disorderly mod bun with longer hair.  Use clips or pins to help keep your untidy do in place.  Own it and move on.

Tip #10:  Get Regular Haircuts

Keep your hair style fresh and your tips trimmed with regular haircuts.  It will make your hair healthier and look more polished.  Plus, it’s always nice to have someone else style your hair every now and then.

We wish you healthy, beautiful, vibrant hair today and every day!!

What you Should Know about Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a form of depression that usually occurs in wintertime.  Contrary to what many people think, SAD is more than just the winter blues.  It may be a sign of a larger mental or emotional condition and can have serious implications on your wellbeing.

As we enter the heart of winter, seasonal affective disorder is a health topic that is well worth examining, especially for women.  Women are more prone to the condition, which is consistent with all forms of depression.  Also, people who live in northern states or colder climates are more likely to be diagnosed with SAD.  That’s because it is related to the weather and the lack of sun.

Although all causes of seasonal affective disorder are not fully known, experts believe it occurs for several reasons stemming from the absence of sunshine.  Less sun in the winter can take its toll on our bodies in major ways.  First, it may interrupt our circadian rhythm, that internal body clock that helps us stay on a daily routine.  You may notice your circadian rhythm is off when traveling to different time zones.  SAD works similarly but has a longer term effect due to many months without much sun.

Winter portrait of a woman of stressSun is also a key component of a couple of essential chemical reactions in our brains and bodies.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of joy and happiness.  Less sun causes a reduction in serotonin, which can lead to depression.  Also, melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep and wake cycles, can be disrupted by the lack of sun.

Seasonal affective disorder is a depression marked by sadness, fatigue, anxiety, lethargy and disinterest in activities that you typically enjoy.  People with SAD often feel unmotivated to do much of anything.  In severe cases, SAD can lead to deep depression and thoughts of suicide.  Those who already have some form of depression or bipolar disorder are more likely to suffer from SAD or experience a flare-up of symptoms during certain seasons.  SAD typically occurs in winter but can rear its head in other seasons as well.

The standard treatment for seasonal affective disorder used to be light therapy or phototherapy.  The idea here is to jumpstart the body into producing serotonin, melatonin and reviving a normal circadian rhythm.  Now, various recommendations are made based on an individual’s medical status.  Regular talk therapy or medication may be a more effective solution for some patients.

If you feel you are experiencing SAD or know someone who is, speak up and take action.  Visit your physician and encourage others to do the same.  Treatments are highly effective and can make the difference between a depressing winter and one that is productive and bright.

How to Reduce Under Eye Bags

Pretty woman touching skin below the eyesWe’ve all got baggage, but some more than others.  The same is true for the baggage under your eyes.  Under eye bags are a common complaint of many women as they dissect their facial appearance.  While not always avoidable, there are ways to reduce under eye bags to create a brighter, healthier, younger looking appearance around the eyes.

Under eye bags are caused by several factors.  The skin under our eyes is thinner than other areas of the face, making blood vessels more visible beneath.  Blood vessels can appear brown, purple or greenish depending on your skin tone.  Sometimes eye bags are genetic and no matter how hard we try to eliminate those dark half-moons under our eyes, they will still show to some extent.

Other causes of under eye bags are behavioral and lifestyle choices.  Lack of sleep is a major culprit of under eye bags.  Tired skin tends to sag and discolor under the eyes, creating that all-too-familiar zombie-like appearance.  Also, fluid can build up under the eyes causing puffiness.  This may be a result of allergies, sinus congestion, too much salt intake, excessive alcohol consumption or other dietary or environmental reasons.  Spending too much time in front of a computer or television screen may cause eye bags as well.

Here are a few tips for those of you who want to try to reduce under eye bags without cosmetic procedures:

  • Get plenty of sleep.  Seven to nine hours of sleep per night is the standard, but read your skin to see how much sleep you need to reduce under eye bags.  Also, sleep on your back propped up on pillows.  Side-sleepers may have more pronounced under eye bags due to gravity.
  • Limit salt intake.  The daily recommended value of salt is 2,300 milligrams.  Read labels to discover hidden sources of salt in your diet.
  • Manage nasal congestion and sinus issues by clearing them out through irrigation or steam.
  • Remove all makeup, especially eye makeup, before going to bed.  Use a gentle cleanser or makeup remover.  Try not wearing mascara on your lower lashes for a few days to see if that improves your under eye bags.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol.  While an occasional drink is OK, excessive alcohol consumption contributes to skin aging and under eye bags.
  • Eat antioxidants and potassium and drink water.  Antioxidants help protect and nourish skin cells for a glowing appearance.  Potassium helps reduce water retention and water flushes toxins and waste from the body.
  • Moisturize day and night.  Keep your skin hydrated with a daytime and nighttime moisturizing cream.  Be sure to massage your moisturizer under your eyes and always wear SPF sunscreen while outdoors.
  • Try one of these natural home remedies on your under eye bags:
    • Cold cucumber slices
    • A used tea bag
    • Lemon juice
    • Honey
    • Cold spoons
    • Potato slices

With these tips to reduce under eye bags, we hope your brightest, most beautiful skin is just a few steps away!

Make Magic with Jeans and Sweaters

Jeans and a sweater are a staple casual look for many women during the winter.  But this typical uniform may feel stale as the winter trudges on and we’ve worn the same combinations several times already.  Don’t fall into a rut with your jeans and sweaters outfits.  Instead, look for ways to spice up the same basics to make a wow statement with every wear.  Here are some ideas to make magic with jeans and sweaters this season:

Add a Layer:  Layers can drastically change your outfit and create an entirely new look out of the same ho-hum pieces.  By adding a blazer or vest over a sweater, you’re altering your outfit completely.  Or, put a layer underneath your sweater such as an oxford shirt with the collar spilling over the top of your sweater, or a long colorful shirt that adds a pop beneath the hem of your sweater.

Young Woman Holding Red Handbag. Model ReleasedBe a Bag Lady:  By pairing your jeans and sweaters with a new bag – perhaps one with some bling or color – you can really jazz up an outfit.  Look for complimentary colors, such as reds with blues and purples with yellows, that will help your bag be an accent asset.  Your bag can also help transform a daytime look with an oversized handbag into a nighttime ensemble with a clutch.

Chunk up the Jewelry:  No one will notice the same old jeans and sweaters when you wear them with different chunky jewelry.  Necklaces are a great start.  Try bolder sheens and colors with neutral sweaters and more classic neckwear with brightly hued sweaters.  Long earrings or chunky bracelets can also snazz up a traditional look by drawing attention elsewhere.  Pin up your hair or roll your sleeves to show off your jewelry selections.

Invest in Scarves:  Scarves are both functional and fashionable in the winter months.  Collect a variety of scarves of different fabrics, colors, patterns and lengths that compliment many of your sweaters.  Try tying them in unique ways to add an interesting twist to your look.

Wear a Hat:  Hats are super fun and trendy.  Find hats that fit your head shape and face nicely and buy several to elevate your winter wardrobe.  From beanies with balls, berets, boaters and buckets, to floppies, fedoras and forties-inspired headwear, hats draw attention to your face and make a great winter statement.

Shoes Make the Look:  Of course no outfit is complete with a great pair of shoes.  Boots are certainly in season including ankle boots, rider boots or heeled boots, but do pick the right styles for the cut of your jeans.  Also, winter heals or wedges look great with jeans and sweaters and can add height to your appearance.  Or go for a sneaker or loafer that will keep you comfy and trendy this winter.

Change your Hair:  Although it isn’t a wardrobe piece, changing your hair do can modify the look of an outfit.  You may find that v-necks look better with a down-do while turtle-necks and higher collars are complimented by a bun or ponytail.  Your hair alters the view of your neckline and can give your outfits that last boost they really need.

We hope you make lots of magic with jeans and sweater looks this winter!

Invigorate your Breakfast in the New Year

Ok ladies, it’s 2016 and it’s time to invigorate your breakfast in the New Year for a healthier, more energized you.  Overnight, your body fasts and (thankfully) goes into rest mode.  But in the morning, it’s time for a serious energy boost, which begins with a healthy breakfast.

Healthy avocado, egg open sandwiches on a plate with colorful tomatoes against rustic woodThe best nutrients to consume for breakfast include healthy fats, protein and fiber.   You may have been taught that all fat is bad, but that is not true.  We need fat in our diet to sustain all normal bodily functions.  The best fats are monounsaturated fats such as almonds, peanuts, cashews, avocados, and polyunsaturated fats like walnuts, flaxseed, tofu, and essential fatty acids from salmon, tuna and other types of fish.  Protein helps with the breakdown and repair process required in muscle growth and is also great for brain power.  Fiber from whole grains and complex carbohydrates aid in sustaining energy by slowing the digestion process for a more efficient use of nutrients.

Here are 6 options to invigorate your breakfast in the New Year:

Oatmeal with Almond Butter:  Oatmeal is a fabulous grain chock full of fiber and many heart-healthy benefits.  Prepared with soymilk and a teaspoon of almond butter, you can fulfill your protein and healthy fat quota too.  Plus, the nut butter adds a rich and delicious flavor to traditional oatmeal.

Breakfast Bowl:  Create a smorgasbord of scrumptious breakfast nutrients with a breakfast bowl.  Start with a hard-boiled egg white base and add in sautéed vegetables, salmon and avocado to your liking.  Cover with a slice of cheese or soy cheese and milk for 30 seconds.

Greek Yogurt and Seasonal Berries:  Greek yogurt has at least twice the protein and less sugar than regular yogurt, making it a terrific source of both protein and dairy.  Seasonal berries offer lots of powerful antioxidants to strengthen cells and especially immune health.

Breakfast Burrito:  Using a whole grain tortilla, wrap a slice of cheese, black or refried beans and scrambled eggs into a burrito.  Feel free to toss in some veggies too, such as tomato, green peppers, onions or avocado.  This breakfast twist contains all the energy essentials to get your day started with a bang.

Power Protein Smoothie:  Blend up your breakfast with tons of wholesome nutrients.  This is a great choice if you’re not a fan of raw vegetables.  You can mask the taste of kale, spinach and other greens behind sweet fruits, nut butters and coconut milk.  (Almond milk, soymilk and skim milk also work.)  Add a scoop of flaxseed or chia seed for extra healthy fats, fiber and protein.

Egg Sandwich:  Who needs a bacon, egg & cheese biscuit when you can make a healthy alternative?  Toast whole grain bread or an English muffin and brush with olive oil.  Cook a thin layer of egg in a skillet or microwave and add to bread.  Top wit avocado, turkey bacon and/or cheese for a nutritious breakfast sandwich.

Invigorate your breakfast this New Year to start every day with energy.  Bon Appétit!

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Easy Exercises
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Guide to Black Friday
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Health Benefits of Pumpkins
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How to Avoid a Wardrobe Malfunction
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Wear your Comfy Clothes to Work
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What Your Nails Say about your Health
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