HOW TO STAY COOL IN SUMMER’S HEAT

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With Monday being the official first day of Summer, it’s time to start preparing for the hot weather ahead. No matter which region you live in, there are bound to be some hot times ahead. But don’t fret! We’ve gathered together our favorite “chill” Summer tips that’ll keep you refreshed and revived all Season long. From fashion to food to drinks to fragrances, take a look and start feeling cooler already.

HOST A POOL PARTY

On the hottest of Summer’s days, why not take the opportunity to host your own pool party. Not only will everyone cool off, but it’s a good time to catch up with your best friends and have a little fun as well. Be sure to include lots of floats for young and old alike, and stay cool and fresh in your favorite patterned print romper paired over your favorite Summer swimsuit.

Our favorite Summer Party wear to try:
 “Aliza” Printed Rayon Romper
“Iara” Handkerchief Shorts Set
“Cabana” Teal Bikini

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STAY HYDRATED

Whether hosting a party, having a friend over, or indulging yourself, be sure to stay hydrated with cold, refreshing beverages throughout the Season’s hottest days. While we all know that nature’s chilled water is always best, dare to have a little fun now and again with some tasty alternatives. And why not dazzle in style as well in your favorite cool cotton tank sundress.

Additional  cool “hostess” Sundress options to try:
“Adelaide” Pink Jersey Dress
“Romantic” Ruffled Floral Sundress

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Our favorite unique Summer “adult” beverage is Captain Morgan’s Guava Nectar drink:

Recipe: 1.5oz grapefruit rum
1.5oz Goya guava nectar
2oz club soda
0.5oz lime juice

Throwback to Summer fun as a kid at your favorite amusement park with homemade frozen lemonades or spice things up with a “Blue Hawaii” direct from the Hilton Hawaii Village. Click below to get the recipes:

Frozen Lemonade
Blue Hawaii

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You are sure to be the “hostess with the mostess” in a cool, flowy maxi this Summer. Look for dresses made with sheer silk or soft cotton to stay cool thought the day as you entertain your guests.

Our other favorite Maxi Dress options to choose from:
“Brea” Yellow Silk Chiffon High Low Dress
“Billie” Coral Pink Satin Maxi
“Sonnie” Pastel Pink Strapless Twill Dress

GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN

On a hot summer day, the last thing you want to do is heat up the kitchen. We suggest making cold salads and dishes throughout the Season to keep the house cool. Start with personalized seven layer dip and chip cup appetizers, layering refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese, and freshly diced tomatoes on top. Take advantage of Seasonal fruit at your local market, and fill ice cream waffle cones with freshly cut melons, berries, kiwi, apples, and whatever else appeals to you.

Next, serve a luscious cold Mexican chopped salad tossed in a light vinaigrette and packed with nutritious  iron, vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Not only will your taste buds have a party, but also you won’t have to work twice as hard for that perfect “bikini” ready body.

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Click here for the full recipe
Summer Mexican Chopped Salad

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CREATE SUMMER SCENTS

Make your living space fresh and cool with sunny scents of Summer paired with romantic floral arrangements. Fill a simple mason jar or vase with water and freshly cut lemons, adding your favorite Summer posies for fun yet easy DIY interior decor.

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Not only can you keep your home smelling fresh, but you can also refresh yourself 0n the hottest of Summer’s days. Create your own cool mist spritzers, perfect for everyday or when you are hosting an outdoor Summer party. Simply fill a spray bottle with water and julienned cucumber or a few sprigs of mint and lavender. Bonus: cucumber is known for its hydrating properties, and lavender and mint are reputed insect repellents.

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HEAD TO THE BEACH

When you feel like getting out of the house, pack up some sunscreen, a good read, a  floppy hat, sunglasses, and a cooler filled with plenty of cold beverages to stay hydrated against the Summer sun. Now is the perfect time to show a little skin and bring out that Summer body you’ve been working on in a chic ivory lace crochet swimsuit.

Want a little color? Try these other swimsuit options:
“Flight of Fancy” Purple Ruffle Bikini
“Guilty Pleasures” Teal Crochet Swimsuit

Bring a touch of romance to your Summer beach look and pair your lace bikini with a cool off the shoulder romper or lace tunic.

Other favorite “lacy” cover up options:
“Prisca” Ivory White Lace Chiffon Dress
“Naomh” Strapless Maxi Dress
Azaria” Lace Trimmed Kimono

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COOL OFF AT THE LAKE

If your region doesn’t offer a sandy beach, another alternative  is a visit to your local lake. Whether you decide to bunk overnight in one of the lake houses, tootle around in your own canoe, or enjoy a good read while soaking your feet, you’ll bask in the beauty of nature while cooling off against Summer’s hot sun.

Stay cool while chillin’ in a casual “Cabana” drop waist dress or flowy blouse over your swimsuit, just in case you decide to go for a dip.

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Other “lake view” Summer options? Try a chic shirtdress, cool, stylish, and free.
“Femi” Flutter Crepe Navy Dress
“Cabana” Silk Cotton Shirt Dress
“Eda” Lace Trimmed Tunic Dress

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THERAPY SHOP

Finally, at the hottest part of the day when the heat becomes unbearable, head to your local indoor mall to cool off and do a little retail therapy. Give your air conditioning at home a break while you enjoy the cool open air at the mall. Grab an ice cold tea and take advantage of the Summer sales.

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Don’t go at it alone. Don your favorite “boyfriend” jeans and take your best girlfriends with you.

Consider these other cool denim options as well:
Citizen’s of Humanity’s “Gibson” loose fit shorts
Joe’s Jeans’ Floral Denim
J Brand’s Cut Off Tangerine Shorts

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On Summer’s hottest days, stay cool while shopping the sales in a pretty cotton floral sundress or breezy silky shorts.

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Consider these fun options as well:
“Time to Turn Heads” Coral Cotton Sundress
“Denise” Sleeveless Printed Tank Dress
“Livia” Printed Crepe de Chine Shorts

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Whatever you have planned as the temps rise, we hope you follow our easy breezy ways to stay cool this Summer. Don’t let the heat get you down. Kick back, stay cool, and be fashionable this Season, and let the good times role.

And remember we here at Posh at Play always want you remember that no matter what
Be You, Be Fabulous, and ALWAYS Be Feminine.

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THE ART OF CHILLIN

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As we mentioned in “Spring Break Like a Grown Up,” we all need a little “getaway” now and then. Even if you can’t afford to take an official “Spring Break” this year, be sure to take an afternoon or a weekend for some much needed R & R. You will find that you perform your usual routine twice as efficiently rested rather than stressed. As you take a little “me” time, no need to sacrifice style. With this Season’s casual cool and “Boho” chic trends, we have all the right outfits that’ll keep you classy yet comfortable. Take a look at some of our favorite comfy wardrobe essentials and start shopping your favorites for those  “chillaxing” days ahead.

0ee8bb86db22673ac8d8a7a0c17b3eb2PASTEL MAXI DRESS

Like the colors of the sunset, Pantone’s colors of the year, quartz rose and serenity blue, reflect the quiet peace of day’s end. Why not add a little “peace” into your wardrobe this year by including these colors into your everyday apparel. Start with Liberty Garden’s NEW soft pink strapless lace twill dress or pastel blue maxi and pair with comfy leather sandals from Free People, a hobo bag from Rebecca Minkoff, and Vince Camuto’s straw floppy hat to stay shaded throughout the day’s activities. Throw your sandals aside and take a run on the beach, or cuddle up with your favorite book while looking glam at the same time. When the dinner hour approaches, simply switch out the sandals for Kate Spade’s blushing pink cage heels and matching embellished clutch from Valentino. Morning to evening, you’ll turn heads while chilling in style this Spring.

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STRIPED MAXI DRESS

Another maxi style trending for Spring 2016 is the striped chiffon dress. Reminiscent of the groovy 70’s and playing along with the “Boho chic” trend seen on the runways this year, you are sure to make a statement without saying a word in this casual yet stylish maxi silhouette. Try Liberty Garden’s NEW lace trimmed dress in the soft Spring pastel colors of blue, pink, yellow, and violet. Lounge around the Cabana in style or spruce up for a night on the town by pairing your look with Betsey Johnson’s embellished satin slippers and sparkling drop earrings from the Gemma Collection. Casual to dressy, your throwback vintage 70’s style will keep you fashionable morning, noon, and night.

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TIE DYE MAXI

Our second favorite “flashback 70’s” trend is the tie dye print maxi. You don’t have to be a hippie to enjoy this style to the max this Season. We like Hale Bob’s navy blue tie dye print halter dress paired with Joie’s black leather flip flops, easy to remove for beach time walks in the sand. When the weather turns a bit chilly, cover up in Liberty Garden’s daisy trimmed lace poncho and matching sunhat from Flora Bella. If neutral is more your style, go with Hale Bob’s taupe printed maxi accessorized with Jeffrey Campbell’s nude wedge sandals to elongate your limbs no matter how tall you are. No need to change for evening activities. Simply spritz your hair with a little Bumble & Bumble surf spray, sweep your beach waved tresses into a loose low bun, slip on Sam Edelman’s fringe sandals, and dance the night away in comfort and style.

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TIE DYE CABANA TUNIC

Speaking of tie dye, we like the look on the Cabana tunic as well, a required accessory for the chillest of Spring days. Flattering on any figure, this top can substitute as a swimwear cover up at the beach, pair with your favorite skinny jeans for lunch with the girls, combine with a mini skirt on evenings out, and double as your favorite nightshirt when the sun goes down. Get the above look with Hale Bob’s blue silk kit tie dye tunic paired with cool white cotton sateen skinny pants or cropped mid-rise skinny jeans from Citizen’s of Humanity, wedge ankle strap sandals from Marc Fisher, and statement earrings from Isabel Marant. We also like the neutral hand beaded tie dye top NEW from Hale Bob combined with Free People’s 70’s suede A-line skirt and fringe booties from JSlides for a “Boho” chic Spring style.

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LACE TUNIC

You don’t have to wait for dressier occasions to sport Spring’s romantic lace trend. From Burberry to Zimmerman to Lauren Conrad, the runways this year were filled with luscious lace frocks, tops, skirts, and jackets. Get in on this Season’s trend with Liberty Garden’s newest white lace gauze blouse paired with your favorite skinny jeans like Citizen’s of Humanity’s Thompson cropped skinnies or Hale Bob’s cotton sateen pants. If the weather warms, trade out your pants for green printed silk dress shorts paired with Steve Madden’s trendy lace up gladiator sandals or classic wedges from Michael Kors. If the Spring winds pick up, trade out the gauze blouse for Hale Bob’s long sleeve ivory lace tunic perfect for daytime fun in the sun as well as an evening out on the Boardwalk.

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BLUSH PINK LACE KIMONO

With Spring’s fluctuating weather patterns, you never know when you might need a slight wrap to protect from chilly breezes. Forgo your leather jacket or bulky puffer, and substitute a lighter, flowy cover up. We like Liberty Garden’s pink peach swing lace kimono jacket , perfect to throw over a casual tee and cut-offs, your favorite swimsuit, or sleeveless Spring sundress. Segue into the evening hours by paring your kimono with any of the above listed maxi dresses, from pretty pastel pink, to vintage striped, to groovy tie dye. And the next morning, feel like a million as you wrap yourself in your soft pink luxurious kimono, relaxing in comfort and style as you sip your latte in the warmth of the Spring sun.

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WHITE LACE ROMPER

Lastly, if there’s only one new item you include into your Spring wardrobe this Season, be sure to get a flowy lace romper, perfect for those days when you want to stay stylish but don’t have the time. An all-in-one fashion statement, the romper flatters all body types from curvy to athletic, from slim to round. We like Liberty Garden’s NEW white lace off the shoulder romper paired with casual cashmere slide ons for bumming around the house or cork wedges from Jimmy Choo for lunch out with the girls. Go full on “Boho chic” and accessorize your look with Monsoon’s bow back floppy straw hat, handmade fringe crossbody from Vintage Addiction, and sterling silver feather ankle bracelets from Zales. Or if classic is more your style, add Tory Burch’s white flat sandal on casual days and Calvin Klein’s T-strap heels for nighttime fun. Whether bumming around the house or playtime out on the town, the lace romper is your “go to” fashion piece this year.

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No need to sacrifice style when you’re “off duty.” With our handy tips, you can still stay fashionable yet comfy throughout all of your Springtime activities. Whether chilling at the beach, relaxing in the Cabana with a good book, or spending some “retail therapy” at your local mall, be sure to take some time away from the frantic pace of life and enjoy just being you. This Season is all about discovering yourself and becoming the best YOU can be. Detox, unwind, and let loose this Spring Season and you will find yourself feeling refreshed, revived, and feeling beautiful inside and out.

MY WEEK OF LIVING ORGANIC

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With the current trend of “sustainable fashion” and “living a greener lifestyle,” I embarked on a personal “adventure” this week to live a more organic lifestyle. As a professional ballet dancer and fashion blogger, I do exercise daily, eat healthy, recycle, and choose paper rather than plastic, but I thought it would be interesting to infuse into my daily life a more organic and natural way of living. I did not take any time off from work or my normal activities, but simply researched living an organic lifestyle and figured out easy, beneficial ways to improve my way of living. Let me take you along my journey of discovery and maybe you will see how easy it is to live an organic lifestyle for a much more energetic, healthier, fashionable you.

SUNDAY NIGHT

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After a long six hour rehearsal day preparing for my company Pasadena Dance Theatre’s annual “Nutcracker,” my entire body was sore and I was exhausted. I usually just pop into a quick shower so I can relax in bed longer. This Sunday, however, I pulled out some all natural Epsom Salts, lit my favorite scented candles, turned off the lights, and sunk into a warm bath. I didn’t need any music to feel instantly rejuvenated as I felt each muscle relax and all the stress of the day release. Sometimes I will use “White Noise Lite: Relax,” a free mobile App with sounds of nature to relax and revive, but tonight the silence was a welcome relief. The world around us is noisy enough; it is highly beneficial to our well being to just take a moment of silence or quiet contemplation. I think we wouldn’t need as much medicine, caffeine, or therapists, and we would get a lot more done in our lives if we just take a little break. I was amazed at how calm and relaxed I felt after just the fifteen minutes of soaking, and I had a peaceful, rejuvenating night’s sleep as well. I could get used to organic living.

MONDAY

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Up bright and early Monday morning, I usually just have coffee to kickstart my morning. Today, however, taking the advice of dietitians, I opted for a healthy all organic fruit salad from my local market to boost my metabolism. I can’t do without a cup of coffee, but since I’m a little caffeine sensitive, I opted for Trader Joe’s Decaf coffee flavored with organic milk and organic sugar. I like Trader Joe’s because the store is less complicated than Whole Foods, the customer service is always helpful, they use all paper bags (or you can bring your own), and the company works closely with local farmers for the freshest, most organic produce and food.

photo 3Off to a great start in my organic week, I broke for a “lunch break” by taking a walk around the local park. Usually, I just eat lunch at my desk and keep working, but today, I opted to take a one hour break. The outside air was wonderful and it felt great to stretch my legs and get a little exercise. Again, I didn’t listen to anything but the sounds of nature as I walked. I even cleared my mind of all the looming work projects, rehearsals, and activities for the week, and rested my mind. Upon returning from my lunch break, I felt revived to start work again. Around 3:00pm, I noticed that I didn’t feel my usual “afternoon slump” but felt re-energized to continue work until 6:00. It really is true that healthy eating COMBINED WITH exercise work hand-in-hand to boost metabolism and endorphins for a more balanced, fit life.

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On Tuesday, I ventured out to an organic, vegan restaurant I have not been to yet, but heard great things about, “The Rabbit Hole Cafe.” In an all “Alice in Wonderland” theme, the restaurant was a pleasant surprise. The menu includes all organic and vegan fare, as well as raw items, and also includes a small store in which to buy your own organic products. I opted to try the popular “Queen of Hearts” salad, made with quinoa, chickpeas, and beets served over a bed of mixed greens, an all vegan and organic choice. The salad was delicious, even for non-vegan lovers, and the flavors were perfectly blended. I finished off my meal with the new popular “Cheshire Cat” smoothie, a blend of Dragon fruit, mango, banana, dates, purple cabbage, pineapple, and coconut milk, perfectly blended and delicious. In addition to the great lunch, the staff was helpful and friendly, and the service was quick and efficient. The “Alice in Wonderland” theme is a delight, and a great way to introduce children and diners leery of the “organic” world. Another great raw and vegan restaurant I love is “Sun Cafe” in Studio City. Their raw, vegan shakes and pizzas are so delicious that you forget you are eating an all raw meal. When in L.A., these two top-notch restaurants are a must. I encourage you to try your local organic vegan restaurant. Vegan chefs today are taking menus to a whole new level, and once you try a more natural way of eating, a Big Mac will sound so much less appealing.

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 WEDNESDAY

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Even with all the healthy organic eating this week, I felt a little mid-week slump on “Hump Day.” For lunch hour, I opted to try a Yoga class. Being a professional dancer, I take regular ballet class almost everyday so in my off times, I rarely “hit the gym” or try other classes. However, I know that many swear to Yoga and Pilates, so I gave it a try. Feeling tired and unmotivated, I tried the Hatha Yoga class at 1:30pm at Source Yoga in Santa Barbara, CA, which concentrates on deep breathing, finding your center core, and relaxation. After an hour, I was thoroughly relaxed and energized. My headache and backache had gone away, and I felt ready to take on the rest of the work day without the aid of aspirin or caffeine. I will DEFINITELY be adding Yoga to my weekly schedule after this wonderful treat. Next, I opted to take a ballet class at Elite Dance to stay in shape and boost my metabolism. By the end of the day, I felt relaxed, energized, and accomplished. After today, I realize that exercise AND contemplation go hand-in-hand to keep an organic, strong, fit, yet mentally and emotionally balanced body.

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THURSDAY

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Halloween is just around the corner! A great last minute yet festive way to decorate for the season is visiting your local farmer’s market or Pumpkin Patch. Decorate your home for the holidays organically with fresh pumpkins and gourds and support your local farmer’s produce and farms. I visited the McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch in Ventura County, serving the community for over 30 years. In addition to the thousands of pumpkin and gourds for sale, they also provide field trips for children and schools as a way of educating the next generation about farming and organic living. You can also use your fresh pumpkins to make delicious organic recipes for entertaining or just for yourself. I love the fresh pumpkin smoothie; the anti-oxidants in a pumpkin will kickstart your day. Or try roasted pumpkin seeds as a tasty mid-afternoon snack. And of course, it would not seem quite like Fall without a luscious organic pumpkin pie. After selecting my favorite orange and white pumpkins, I hurried home to decorate for Halloween, lit my favorite organic candles, and settled into a night of  “American Horror Story” for a frightfully festive evening.

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FRIDAY

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On Friday, I visited one of the most popular Farmer’s Markets, “The Original Farmer’s Market” at The Grove in Los Angeles. The Farmer’s Market was established in 1934, through the inspiration of two local entrepreneurs Fred Beck and Roger Dahlhjelm. What began as a few dozen farmers and local merchants selling their produce has now grown into a “must-see” attraction for visitors around the world. L.A.’s “Original Farmer’s Market” includes local produce, as well as fresh bakeries, fish and meat markets, cafes, restaurants, and merchandise.

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I started with the fresh produce section, and decided to buy local for my evening dinner. Grabbing fresh organic spinach, tomatoes, carrots, feta cheese, and squash, I then hurried home to a create an all organic dinner salad. I was amazed at how fresh, vibrant, and flavorful the fresh salad was, as compared to salad from a restaurant or the local grocery. I could actually taste, in full, the many wonderful flavors of each vegetable and felt completely satisfied, happy to start the weekend healthy, fresh, and organic.

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After the week’s “organic living,” I came to realize that living organically is not just a once-a-week activity, but a lifestyle. Making little changes such as buying local, shopping organic, taking Yoga, and daily exercising greatly reduced my normal weekly stress, and I found I was able to handle the daily challenges better, make conscious decisions, and sleep better at night. I also noticed that my energy level increased, and I even dropped a few pounds. Living organically is not hard, time consuming, or costly, yet the benefits to healthy organic living are priceless. After this week’s experiment, I am definitely going to make a permanent lifestyle change to eat organic, exercise daily, and enroll in a Yoga class for a healthier, happier new organic life.