OLYMPICS 2016: GET INSPIRED

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The Olympic 2016 Games are upon us and it’s time to get to know the US athletes and be inspired by their dedication, enthusiasm, and patriotism. And why not take a few tips from our top athletes at the same time on how they maintain body and mental health, strength, and endurance.

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SIMONE BILES, WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS

Expected to bring home the gold, Simone Biles is set to dominate the women’s gymnastic competition this year. Raised by her grandparents, she’s always had a natural “spunk” and athletic ability, and now she’s ready to show the world her amazing talent. Not only must athletes stay mentally strong to handle the pressure, they must also maintain a balanced diet and exercise plan to allow their muscles full potential. At only 4’9″ and 105lbs, how does she maintain a strong, trim physique? On training as well as off season, she likes to stay disciplined with her diet with no greasy, salty, sugary or all-around heavy meals. She says,“Pre-workout I love drinking Core Power; it’s a recovery drink. And then a banana and peanut butter because bananas have potassium, which helps with muscle cramps. And then afterwards, I like having a good fish, like salmon, and rice and carrots.”

Check out our favorite healthy recipe that’ll keep you in tip top shape just like Simone:

Baked Grouper with Chunky Tomato Sauce

What you’ll need:
3 1/2 cups chopped seeded tomato (about 4 medium)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) grouper fillets

Directions:
(1) Preheat oven to 425°.
(2) Combine first 10 ingredients in a medium bowl.
(3) Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Place fish, skin sides up, in pan; cook 2 minutes.
(4) Turn fish over; top with tomato mixture. Bring to a boil. Place pan in oven; bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

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KRISTIN ARMSTRONG, WOMEN’S CYCLING

No one knows dedication more than this year’s women’s cycling team. Comprised of 4 unique individuals, each of the US women is strong enough in their own right to medal. One to watch is 43-year-old Kristin Armstrong, already a 2 time Olympic medalist and favored to place at the Games. When asked why she would want to come back for her fourth Olympics after retiring she states, “Simply because I can.” But how does she balance work, career, and family? By maintaining an exercise regime, eating healthy, enjoying nature, and scheduling in quality time with her son and husband. You really CAN do it all; it’s just a matter of planning and maintaining a positive attitude. When you feel life start to bog you down, take our handy tips for relieving stress and regaining balance:

(1) Yoga: It combines the practices of several other stress management techniques such as breathing, meditation, imagery and movement, giving you a lot of benefit for the amount of time and energy required. Check your local listing for a Yoga studio near you.
(2) Breathing: Deep breathing is an easy stress reliever that has numerous benefits for the body, including relaxing muscles and quieting the mind. Breathing exercises are especially helpful because you can do them anywhere, and they work quickly so you can de-stress in a flash.
(3) Music: When dealing with stress, the right music can actually lower your blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind.

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KERRI WALSH JENNINGS, BEACH VOLLEYBALL

One to watch this week is Kerri Walsh Jennings on the US Beach Volleyball Team. Gold medalist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, she seeks to regain her title and beat out the host country’s record 11 medal Olympic Beach Volleyball win. We’ll be rooting her on, but how does she keep those incredible abs and picture perfect tan? Says Kerri, “I do Pilates three times a week—twice in the studio and once on the beach, I lift weights twice a week, I do physical therapy, and I do brain training and meet with my sports psychiatrist, so I’m really taken care of from head to toe. I eat a lot of oatmeal and drink a lot of shakes—anything I can put in a cup and take with me!” On maintaining a picture perfect tan: “I’m a little bigger than normal and really pale! When you have a tan, everything seems a little tighter, so I’m a big fan of organic spray tans, like Chocolate Sun.” Check out our Facebook for a perfect DIY Tanning lotion you can use today to get Kerri’s sun kissed look.

Show off your tan with the perfect bright bold Summer bikini:
“Bollywood” Blue Beaded Bikini
“Guilty Pleasures” Teal Lace Swimsuit
“Summertime” Coral Crochet Bikini

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U.S. WOMEN’S WATER POLO

Mix swimming, basketball, and soccer, toss in some wrestling for good measure, and you have a pretty good description of the exciting, fast-paced sport of water polo. The U.S. women’s water polo team is ranked No. 1 in the world and is considered the favorite to bring home the gold medal at the Rio Olympics. To watch water polo is to see a frenzy of churn and motion.

That’s what you see on the surface. What you don’t see are the players’ legs, circling constantly underwater. The players aren’t allowed to touch the bottom of the pool. They’re treading water the whole time, each leg circling in an opposite direction. It’s a motion that has an excellent name: eggbeater.

Just how do these women stay in shape to maintain that type of stamina? Take our three step exercise regime to stay “Olympic” ready:

(1) Jumping Jacks: Simple yet to the point, this exercise builds strength and stamina. Hold 3-5lb weights for extra muscle tone. Do 3 sets of 20 reps and build from there.
(2) Planks: Builds core strength and abdomen muscle tone. Descend onto elbows and hold body in a “plank” position for 1 minute, maintaining straight back and elongating neckline. Turn sideways onto right elbow, tucking left leg under right for a sideways “plank” extending left arm up, holding for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Repeat entire set 3x.
(3) Resistance Band: You will need an exercise resistance band. Secure band behind you by tying to a door or bar. Position body away from the band. Grab the band from behind and pull extending your arm as far in front of you as you can, maintaining a 90 degree angle with the elbow.
NOTE: Check out our Posh at Play Facebook Page for more exercises you can do.

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WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM

Defeating New Zealand 2-0 in its debut at the Rio Games on Wednesday, the US Women’s soccer team is already off to a solid start in its attempt to win a fourth straight Olympic gold medal. Up against the host country team favored to win, the US women will have an uphill battle to win but are confident based on camaraderie and team spirit. Get in the “game” and try a little one-on-one with a friend or family. Soccer is a great way to build stamina and coordination with the fast foot work and cardio, and you’ll have so much fun you will forget you are exercising.

Try out our favorite lightweight Summer shorts perfect for playing the game:
“Livia” Floral Printed Shorts
“Cari” Blue Crepe de Chine Shorts
“Summer” Coral Printed Viscose Crepe Shorts

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WOMEN’S SWIMMING TEAM

Veterans mixed with novices make up this year’s US Women’s Swimming Team. Ones to watch are Missy Franklin who scored 4 golds in 2012’s London Olympics and Katie Ledecky, who might just be the best swimmer in this year’s Rio Olympics. Though these athletes appear poised, calm, and confident, female swimmers talk about the pressures of basically being half naked your entire life and not fitting in with your peers at an early age.

Said five-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin: “There’s so much that’s coming at you from so many different angles. You’re impressed upon really, really easily. When I was 13, I had size 13 feet. I was very different, and it made me stand out. It makes you feel a little uncomfortable when you’re so different from your peers — and from what you’re seeing.”

But these athletes used their differences in a positive way- something we can all learn from. That’s why we here at Posh at Play are always encouraging you to be YOU and embrace who you are from within, while wearing the fashion that expresses your individuality.

Be inspired by the bright colors of the Swimmer’s leggings with our top choices:
“Taylor” Bright Blue Patterned Leggings
“Fire” Red Printed Jersey Leggings
“Royal” Purple Patterned Leggings

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TEAM USA

And finally, how can YOU support our Olympic Team and feel a part of The Games? Why not show your Patriotic pride and wear red, white, and blue. While the athletes march in the Opening Ceremonies Friday evening donning custom made Ralph Lauren gear, shop your own “USA” wear here:
Citizen’s of Humanity’s “Thompson” Skinny Jean
“Manic” White Cheeky Shorts
“Chain Reaction” Blue Washed Silk Jacket
“Kiss and Tell” Red Lace Tunic
Joe’s Jeans’ “Fifty Five Colors” Red Denim Shorts

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No matter which sport or which athlete is your favorite, show your patriotic pride for the good old USA by watching this year’s 2016 Rio Olympics. Cheer on your favorites and be inspired by our athletes’ dedication and passion.

And remember our mantra here at Posh at Play:
Be YOU, be fashionable, and always be feminine.

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READY FOR RIO: CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF THE SUMMER OLYMPICS DESTINATION CITY

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As all eyes follow the best athletes in the world this week at 2016’s Summer Olympics, let’s focus on the exotic locale where the Games are being held this year. While most of us will only be able to visit Rio de Janeiro through the comfort of our home, we can still embrace the culture and fashion of what the city and country have to offer. Take a look at our favorite Brazilian tips below and dare to be a little “exotic”this Summer.

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ALL THINGS FLORAL

Nothing says “Rio” more than a beautiful floral. Echoing the lush vegetation of the city, why not try a chic cropped floral “capri” pant, flattering on any figure and perfect from the pool to party. Let your hair loose, and keep your style simple with your favorite flat sandals and minimal jewelry.

Take a look at our top Summer floral cropped picks:
“Whimsical” Mint Green Floral Capri Pants
“Summer” Pink Printed Cropped Pants
“Exclusive” Brushed Printed Capri Pants

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BRIGHT PATTERNS

Another signature “Brazilian” theme is bright intricate patterns. From buildings to art to fashion, residents aren’t afraid to go big and go bold.

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Forgo “boring” plain neutrals and spice things up this Summer with a comfy AND lightweight pair of patterned silk or cotton shorts. We like the  breathable material that not only feels great against the skin but is also fashionable as well. Pair your shorts with a simple white Tee for daytime and a billowy blouse and strappy heels for nighttime fun.

Take a look at our favorite cool short fashion finds:
“Jeniel” Orange Silk Shorts
“Silky” Green Patterned Shorts
“Lillian” Teal Embroidered Cotton Shorts

c6395646d3e7043ab8a60ffbaf5c8ca2Or go with a brightly patterned maxi for cool Summer style. Perfect as a cover up at the beach or pool as well as an evening gown for a night on the town, this dress style is your “go to” item this Season.

Take a peek at our favorite Summer maxi styles:
“Lacy” Blue Printed Chiffon Maxi
“Jules” Drop Waist Silk Charmeuse Dress
“Feminine” Purple Silk Maxi Dress

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Hit the beach or pool with the girls this Summer in a silk chiffon Caftan dress, just like the Brazilians do. The lightweight material allows skin to breathe while providing the perfect shield against the sun’s hot rays.

These are our favorite “Brazilian” print picks:
“Brea” Yellow Print Silk High Low Dress
“Beach” Black and White Silk Chiffon Dress

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We also like a pretty patterned maxi skirt paired with a Tee tied at the waist or your favorite crop top, perfect for any Summer occasion . Be sure to stick to form fitting tops, tanks, and camisoles to avoid too much bulk.

Check out our favorite printed maxi skirt patterns:
“Emily” Printed Pink Maxi Skirt
“Sailing Away” Patterned Chiffon Skirt
“Zebra” Printed Maxi Skirt

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BOLD COLORS

In addition to intricate patterns, the Brazilians also favor bold colors. They are proud of their heritage, the culture, and colors of their cities, and are not afraid to show it. .

Don’t just blend into the background this Season- show off your “true colors” and choose your favorite brightly colored tank, top, or tunic.

Which one of these is YOUR favorite color to choose from?
“Cabana Sanctuary” Fuchsia Mayan Tunic Top
“Zephyr” Purple and Coral Patterned Came
“Chain Reaction” Coral Silk Washed Tank
“Cruisin” Yellow Satin Printed Tank Top

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ACCESSORIZE WITH BRAZILIAN JEWELRY

Let’s not leave out how the Brazilians adorn themselves. Coming from a country rich in tradition, religion, and culture, the women tend to wear what is meaningful to them. The day and night jewelry style is different- almost invisible during the day with bold statement pieces worn at night.  Take a look at our three favorite jewelry style you can try this Summer:

(1) ART JEWELRY
Quintessential to the culture, Brazilians love to adorn themselves in rich colors and bold statement pieces. Popularized by Carmen Miranda in the 40’s, the style is still favored today. Look for bold beaded chest necklaces, ornate cuff bracelets, and oversized finger rings.

(2) BRUSHED GOLD
Since oftentimes the streets can be unsafe, Brazilian women steer away from precious gems and diamonds in favor of brushed gold rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Why not get on this year’s “body chain” Summer trend and look for a brushed gold look to pair over your favorite swimsuit. Body chains can also be fashioned over tanks for daytime glam and slip dresses for nighttime.

(3) “BIO” ECO FRIENDLY
Due to safety and the richness of the Amazonian rainforest, bio jewelry has an important place in Brazil. Eco friendly jewelry is made with natural materials, such as wood, seeds, bark, and stones. Many designers collaborate with various indigenous tribes as gatherers and suppliers of materials. Their lifestyles and culture provide inspiration to create unique natural jewelry while protecting the environment as well. Save the Earth and stay fashionable this Summer with your own one-of-a-kind eco friendly jewelry piece.

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BRAZILIAN BRONZE

Whether you opt for fun in the sun or tan in a bottle, be sure to taint that skin for a true  sun-kissed bronze glow. FUN FACT: Most Brazilian women bleach their body hair baby blonde, regardless of the color of the hair on their heads. Bleached body hair shines in the sun, making you look luminous in a way bronzer or body oil never could. So, whether you choose to go all the way with Sol de Janeiro Golden Body Veil bleach system or do it the natural way, be sure to soak up a little sun this Season.

Show off that tan with our favorite bold swimsuit picks:
“Bollywood” Blue Beaded String Bikini
“Flight of Fancy” Purple Ruffle Swimsuit
“Guilty Pleasures” Coral Lace Crochet Bikini

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COCONUT EVERYTHING

From hair product to body lotions to beverages, the Brazilians love their coconuts. As locals will attest, coconut oil has the ability to save your skin and your hair from the drying effects of the sun and salt water….plus, the smell. See last week’s blog for our favorite coconut oil for body nourishment, and we suggest Gloss Moderne’s coconut oil mask for luscious locks. Or, make your own DIY fresh coconut leave in hair conditioner, used before your daily shampoo and conditioner routine. See our Facebook page for the recipe.

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STAY HYDRATED WITH TROPICAL DRINKS

Speaking on coconut, don’t forget to include it into your daily eating routine. Health benefits include reducing cholesterol, killing harmful microorganisms, reducing fat, boosting energy, and warding off hunger cravings. To get you started, why not make this healthy Brazilian homemade coconut drink, delicious and nutritious:

*Serves 2*
Ingredients:
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 oz sparkling water
ice cubes
2 tablespoons shredded coconut

Directions:
1. Mix the coconut milk, the condensed milk, and the water in a drink mixer or a blender.
2. Put the mixture in a pitcher.
3. Add the ice cubes to the pitcher and pour in glasses, and cover with the shredded coconut.
4) Serve and enjoy!
*Note: For an “adult beverage,” you can substitute the sparkling water for 2 shots Brazilian cachaça (cane vodka)

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AND NOURISHED WITH TROPICAL FRUIT

One of the Brazilians’ top favorite foods that has only recently become popular in America is acai fruit. From Starbucks’ Strawberry Acai Refresher to Sephora’s Sugar Acai Body Cream, everyone is starting to take note of this fruit’s benefits to every part of the body. Currently in the US, you can only get the fruit in the frozen freezer section of your local market. You can find the fruit currently at these stores:
Ralph’s, HEB, Earth Fare, Whole Foods Market, Giant Eagle, Stop & Shop, Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, Kroger, Bristol Farms, Vons, Sprouts Farmers Market, Costco Wholesale, CVS Stores, Wal-Mart, and Sam’s Club.

Click here for an easy yet nutritious recipe: Breakfast Acai Fruit Bowl 

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As you sit back and relax with your favorite ice cold drink watching the Olympic Games this week, adapt some our favorite Brazilian traditions this Summer. Just because you are not actually be there doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Rio culture. Wear pretty florals. Go bold in a bright tunic top. Nourish hair with a coconut mask. Try some Brazilian food. However you choose to embrace the Brazilian culture, alway remember that we here at Posh at Play want you to

Be You, Be Fashionable, and ALWAYS Be Feminine.

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