FALL INTO SIMPLE HEALTHY HABITS FOR BODY AND HOME

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Just as spring is a time for rebirth, autumn is also considered a transitional season. The weather turns brisk, the leaves on the trees change from dull brown to a firestorm of color,  and darkness settles in a little earlier. For many, it is a favorite time of year, but for others, it can be a trigger to falling off the health and fitness wagon. After all, how can you be expected to ignore pumpkin spice lattes? The key is to set goals BEFORE the new year, not over a drink as the clock strikes midnight.
“Fall … is a great time to start a (health and) fitness program because you’re going to create good habits for the holiday season and the upcoming winter months,” says Justin Price, owner of Biomechanics a personal training and wellness facility in San Diego.
Not only is Fall a good time to plan a strategic exercise regime, but also to change your summer skin care, eating habits, and stress management. Take a look at our four most important “wellness” points you can focus on this Season to help keep you energized, healthy, and happy.

TASTY & TRIM

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It’s so hard to resist those spicy pumpkin lattes or warm delicious hot cocoas. Well, you can still enjoy your favorite cold weather beverage. Our helpful tips when you are out:
(1) Use milk (3% milk fat) rather than the heftier half-and-half (18% milk fat)
(2) Opt for the “skinny” version, made with skim milk rather than whole
(3) Forgo the calorie rich whipped cream
(4) Order a small, rather than large

Or, make your own at home with our favorite low-cal pumpkin spice latte recipe:
You need:
1½ cups unsweetened cashew milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 teaspoons regular vanilla
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
1 pack Starbucks VIA instant coffee (or favorite brand)

Directions:
(1) Place cashew milk, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin a small saucepan and bring to a simmer
(2) Stir in instant coffee
(3) Transfer to a mug and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

CLEAN HEALTHY MEALS

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While we all look forward to Halloween’s scrumptious candies and the holidays’ luscious turkey, ham, and pumpkin pie, there is a way you can still indulge yet stay trim throughout the entire Season. The key is to not deprive yourself so much that you overcompensate later. We like model Gigi Hadid’s motto: “Eat clean to stay fit, eat a burger to stay sane.”
On your regular days, start with a small healthy breakfast like whole grain oatmeal, fruit, eggs, or cereal to kick start your metabolism. Curb your mid-day slump with a healthy salad of greens and protein. Finish the day off with a light dinner of chicken or fish, and vegetables. Maintain this daily routine on normal days.

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When you are out on the town, no need to sacrifice your regime. You can still order your favorites, just order dressings on the side, limit heavy breads, opt for lean meats or salads, and stay hydrated with water. Spending a little extra time on what you eat throughout your normal routine, means you can indulge a little on the special days without “falling off the bandwagon.”

KEEPING SKIN CLEAN

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As the warmth of summer’s sun fades and we go into the “hibernation” Season, sometimes our skin takes a backseat to the busy-ness of Fall’s activities. With the crisp cool air, skin can easily lose moisture so it is vital to change your daily skin care regime. Take a look at some of our favorite tips from top designers and dermatologists.

AT HOME EYE REMEDIES

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The simplest way to look energetic throughout this busy time of year is to keep your peeps bright and alert. While a comforting facial is always beneficial, we don’t always have the time in our busy schedules. The easiest way to stay fresh is with a quick at-home eye treatment right before you go to bed, or just when you wake up. In addition to reducing salt, hydrating with water, and preventing allergens, these are our favorite “quick tips:”

(1)  CUCUMBERS (containing antioxidants and flavonoids): Place a cool slice on each eye and take a rest for 30 minutes. Afterward you’ll feel nice and refreshed.
(2) RAW POTATO SLICES: They stay cool longer and contain an astringent that helps remove the water from under the eyes. Lay over the eyes and reap the benefits.
(3) WITCH HAZEL: Chill witch hazel (a well-known astringent to reduce swelling and redness) and apply a bit to cotton pad; let sit on closed eyes for 5 minutes.
(4) COLD WATER: Refresh your face with a cool water wash first thing in the morning. If your eyes feel extra puffy, dip a washcloth in cold water, squeeze out excess and lay over eyes.

NEW SKIN CARE REGIME

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With the fluctuating weather, it is extra important to slough off dead cells and keep skin hydrated against the Season’s uneven temperatures. Make sure you lather up with an additional amount of non-comedogenic hydration. Instead of relying on chemical ridden products, why not make your own easy nourishing face and body scrub at home to use throughout the Fall months ahead:
DIRECTIONS:
In a small bowl mix: One tablespoon of brown sugar
A generous squeeze of honey
A teaspoon of olive oil
Mix until one paste. After removing any makeup, massage this concoction all over your face for a minute or so and then rinse with warm water. (Make a larger quantity for full body exfoliation).

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SIMPLIFIED FALL MAKE-UP IDEAS

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With the new Season comes new beauty trends. Even though the leaves turn darker and the nights come sooner, that doesn’t mean that make-up must follow. This year, counterbalance warmer colors with a fresh-faced, simple make-up care routine you’ll sure to appreciate, especially on those busy days.

Click her to check out this quick “how to” on daily make-up you can start today:
Fresh Face Look

And when you DO feel like dressing up a bit, just swipe on this Season’s most glamorous lip colors in power reds, 90’s browns, or liquid berry.

BE CALM AND REJUVENATE

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During the hectic Season, take a little time to calm, cleanse, and rejuvenate. Our favorite way is through aromatherapy, the most natural way to release stress. The methods of use are what makes aromatherapy one of the most beautiful and indulgent of all the complementary therapies. From vaporizing, to massage, to bathing, to foot baths, there are so many ways to enjoy the captivating aromas of our pure essential oils.

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Our favorite way to relax is vaporisation, the most popular and versatile method of use in Aromatherapy. Once the particles are inhaled, the essential oil vapors may alter moods and balance emotions within seconds.

How to:
Fill your vaporiser with water to the level indicated. Add 6-9 drops in total of pure essential oils to the water and light the candle at the base of a Ceramic Vaporiser or switch on your Electric or Ultra Sonic Vaporiser.

Don’t stop with just your home. You can stay calm throughout the day in your car with lemon infused oils to reduce anxiety and stress or revive during the mid-afternoon  slump with coffee or cinnamon reviving scents.

And finally, end the day in peace with a indulgent warm bath. Bathing is the most beautiful and nurturing method of use in the practice of Aromatherapy. All the senses are engaged in this practice and the mind and body are totally relaxed as the pure essential oils enter the body.

How to:
Add 3 drops in total of chosen oils like Rose or Lavender to one teaspoon of Sweet Almond Massage Base Oil and disperse into bath water. Agitate the surface of the bath and then immerse body and relax for 10 minutes.

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SIMPLE CELEBRATIONS CREATE LIFETIME MEMORIES

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The year would not be complete without the celebrations that fill the Season, creating pockets of joy to last a lifetime. No need for extravagance; let nature take over and provide the perfect backdrop for your Fall party. Whether you are planning a Halloween masquerade, gearing up for Thanksgiving, or hosting a casual get-together, go simple this Season.

Fill a glass urn with pine cones and colorful leaves from the back yard or make a centerpiece with pumpkins from your local pumpkin patch. Enhance your house with cinnamon essential oils for a calm environment, and add a couple of plaid throw blankets over chairs. If the weather permits, end your party with an old fashioned marshmallow roasting and snuggle into your warm blankets for an entertaining evening of fun, food, and fellowship.

Added bonus, hosting your own gathering means you get to pull out your favorite party wear, and stay cozy and warm without having to step foot out of the door. Make it easy on yourself by having guests bring their favorite Fall goodies, and stir together a simple apple cider that young and old alike can enjoy.

Check out our favorite Fall party wear to try:
“Sparkling” Black Sequin Pullover Sweater
“Pullover” Pale Blue Knit Sweater
“Miranda” Novelty Floral Lace Crochet Sweater

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In this hectic time year, you can find ways to detox and decompress throughout your daily activities. Whether you opt for a “skinny” latte, relax with a natural scrub, overhaul your makeup routine, or calm with essential oils, enter the Season refreshed and revived rather than tired and stressed. Look for ways to get out and enjoy the fresh crisp air and the colorful changes in nature, inspiring you to try a few new things this Fall. Comment below and let us know which refreshing ideas appeal to you!

Remember no matter what we here at Posh at Play always encourage you to
BE YOU, BE FABULOUS, AND ALWAYS BE FEMININE.

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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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HOT SUMMER NIGHTS: CREATING THE PERFECT DATE NIGHT

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With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning your favorite fun activities to do with your significant other. We all know life can get busy and sometimes relationships unintentionally take a back seat to daily duties. The best way to keep the romance alive is to find interests that delight you both and make weekly plans together on the calendar. Connecting with your love doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of extra time or money– it is the meaning and thought behind them that counts. Creating small moments and memories are often the things we remember most. We’ve gathered a few fun activities to get you started. Take a look below, get creative, and start planning the perfect romantic summer for two.

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START YOUR MORNINGS TOGETHER

Kick start your day by simply sharing your favorite coffee beverage together each morning.  Whether brewing your own “cuppa joe” at home or driving to your local coffee shop, this is a great way to connect with each other before the day begins. On weekends or your next day off, slip into comfy lace and plan your own “B & B” getaway with breakfast in bed. Check out Rachael Ray’s “Breakfast in Bed” recipes and start planning your next morning together with a little “R & R.”

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ENJOY NATURE AND EXERCISE

With the nice weather ahead, nourish your spirit in nature AND do a little exercise to benefit the body as well. To avoid any bickering, pick an activity that you BOTH enjoy doing whether it be riding bikes in the park, jogging down the street, golfing on the greens, hiking up the mountain, or swimming at the beach. And why not look stylish for your honey at the same time in a chic pair of printed shorts and sunshine yellow top. Best of all,  nature and exercise are rewarding yet free of charge.

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PLAN A PERFECT PICNIC

Why dine inside when summer’s sunsets offer the most romantic of backdrops? Step right into your own romantic “Hollywood” film set with a lovely picnic in the park for two. Pop open a bottle of champagne, enjoy a basket of goodies, spread out a lace crochet throw, and bask together in the glow of twilight.

Look lovely for your love in a simple yet romantic lace dress and a favorite pair of sandals, tousling your natural hair with a little Bumble and Bumble surf spray for carefree “beachy” waves.

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COUPLES CAMPOUT

Speaking of the outdoors, another favorite summertime activity to plan together is a weekend “couples campout.” Whether for overnight or an entire week, pack your favorite “boyfriend jeans” and hiking boots, and enjoy getting “lost” in the woods. Spend quality time walking the forest trails, swimming the refreshing lakes, roasting marshmallows over an open fire, and drifting to sleep to the sound of the wind through the trees. You are sure to create moments you will never forget.

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RELEASE STRESS

One of the best ways to feel connected while taking the stress off daily living is a “couples massage therapy.” Check a listing of your local spa and massage centers or book a private session from the comfort of your own home. For a true getaway experience, book a luxury resort hotel for a night that offers couples’ massages and spa services. Afterwards, order room service and enjoy a private candlelit dinner for two in his and hers organic spa robes.

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BE KIDS AGAIN AT AN AMUSEMENT PARK

Don’t take yourselves too seriously. Create laughs and re-live your carefree childhood days with fun at your local country fair or city’s amusement park. Don your favorite summer dress, pack on the sunscreen, and stroll the Boardwalk of carnival games with your sweetheart. Enjoy ice cream and hand spun cotton candy, ride the roller coaster, laugh in the fun house, and end the day with a romantic kiss atop the ferris wheel. Bring a little innocence back into your relationship the Summer.Carnival_IMG_4048

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ENJOY A MOVIE DATE NIGHT

Throw on your favorite “LBD” (little black dress) and hit the town together in style. Nothing is quite as romantic as a walk hand in hand down the street to your favorite movie theater. Feel the giddy excitement of first love again as your hands graze sharing popcorn for two and you snuggle down into your seats as the lights dim.

Throwback to a time gone by and go to an old fashioned drive-in movie. Pack up your favorite snacks, toss in some cozy blankets, don your favorite comfy jogger pants and tank, and get ready for a romantic evening under the stars. Check your local listings for the closest drive-in near you and create a night to remember.

No need to spend a lot of cash. Create the perfect movie night at home on your own couch, TV, and plenty of “movie theater” snacks. A favorite “movie date idea” with extra cuddling incorporated is a “scary movie date” complete with your comfiest tee, homemade popcorn, a little red wine, “death by chocolate” cupcakes, and a cozy “scary movie snuggle blanket.” No problem with a little romance tonight.

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END THE DAY TOGETHER

Finally, wherever your day takes you, don’t forget to end the day together. Whether you take a walk on the beach, meet for a late dinner, or watch the sunset, spend the last few hours of the day side by side. Relate the details of your day, tell a funny story, share your thoughts, listen to each others’ dreams for the future, and most of all, enjoy each other.

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Whether dining at the finest restaurant in town, camping out in nature, or enjoying a movie night at home, you can create the perfect “date night” this Summer. Fancy or simple, outside or inside, extravagant or cheap, the goal is to create personal memories to last a lifetime. We here at Posh at Play know you are brave enough to create your own Summer to remember. And remember no matter what, be confident, be fabulous, and always be feminine.

FASHION TRUTHS FROM A WEST COAST GIRL

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Welcome to our two part blog series on West Coast fashion truths verses East Coast style. With our bloggers here at Posh at Play living on both sides of the fashion scale, we can give you first hand tips on the styles that rock our cities. This week, we start with our L.A. based fashion blogger Natalie Kramer:

There’s a reason why West Coast style is so often imitated and envied. Since the weather offers year round sun and eternal summer vibes, California girls have a way of putting together casual looks that can go practically anywhere. Whether we’re rocking tousled beachy waves or chic denim cut offs, L.A. girls know how to make fashion appear feminine yet effortless. Take a look at the 6 style truths every West Coast girl follows and you are on your way to a casual yet chic new year.

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SANDALS ARE YEAR ROUND

If there’s only one pair of shoes in your closet, West Coasters know it has to be the sandal. Since the region calls for year round sun and endless beach days, sandals are the most important shoe option. With just the right pair, your sandals can take you from work in the morning to lunch with the girls in the afternoon to cocktails with your agent at twilight to dancing the night away at your favorite club. I like Steve Madden’s lace up suede sandals paired with Blank Denim’s skinny overalls or Hudson’s cropped jeans and basic fitted tee from Eileen Fisher for the perfect “Cali Cool” effortless style. Segue into the evening hours by changing into a lovely lace dress from Hale Bob or go with something a bit more flashy in a copper sequined V neck cocktail frock. Morning to evening, casual to dressy, sandals are a “must have” staple to dressing “West Coast Style.”

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AND SO ARE BOOTS

The second shoe option everyone must own are boots. Not just reserved for wintertime, on the West Coast boots can be worn any time of day and any Season of the year. The key is to choose the style, material, and color that is suitable for all occasions. I like Aquatalia’s weatherproof beige ankle booties paired with Springtime’s favorite printed romper from Hale Bob. Accessorize one of Hale Bob’s swimsuit options and ivory lace kimono from Liberty Garden with a floppy hat from Free People, oversized tote from Tory Burch, and your ankle booties for a “Boho” chic style. Segue into the colder months by combining your ankle booties with Hudson’s classic skinny jeans, long sleeve tee from Liberty Garden, and Liberty Garden’s black slouchy sweatshirt for perfect layering effect. Rain or shine, boots are another shoe staple to add top your “West Coast” look.

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SLOUCHY SWEATERS + CUT OFFS = TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE 

Speaking of slouchy sweaters, this wardrobe item is definitely a “must have” for all West Coasters. With a desert-like climate, the weather tends to be warm during the day yet chilly at night, year round. L.A. girls everywhere are able to master the slouchy casual sweater and denim cut offs look to a tee, without looking messy. The key is to keep make up and hair as natural looking as possible and to accessorize in all the right places. Start by sweeping Senna’s mineral-based powdered bronzer across your face and tousling your hair with Bumble & Bumble’s surf infusion for those beachy waves. Next pair Citizen’s of Humanity’s denim cut offs with a white open-shoulder sweatshirt from Liberty Garden. Accessorize your look with classic Converse sneakers, statement watch from Betsey Johnson, and your oversized tote from Tory Burch. For the more daring, go for a pop of color in red denim shorts from Joe’s Jeans or tangerine hue from J Brand. West Coasters know that denim cut offs are a “can do” for even nighttime occasions by accessorizing with diamond studs, necklace from Dana Rebecca Designs, ankle strap heels from Stuart Weitzman, and a glittering clutch from Kate Spade. Trade out your top for Hale Bob’s elegant floral drape sweater and you are ready to hit the Red Carpet in style.

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LAYERING IS KEY FOR THOSE IN BETWEEN DAYS

Since the West Coast lies in a “desert like” climate with warm days and chilly nights, L.A. girls know that layering is key to staying warm yet chic. Get actress Vanessa Hudgen’s chill look above with Liberty Garden’s sleeveless lace maxi dress layered with a cozy plaid button down from Paige Denim, handbag from Zac Posen, and soft suede Birkenstocks. For another look, you could also pair Liberty Garden’s NEW layered crochet sweater or Hale Bob’s lace trimmed swing cardigan over a Derek Lam cami paired with Hudson’s cropped distressed jeans and your favorite wedge sandals. When the weather warms, simply tie your sweater around your waist for “no nonsense,” effortless style.

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A MOTO JACKET IS THE ONLY KIND YOU’LL NEED

In addition to layering, West Coasters know that the leather moto jacket is the only jacket you need year round to carry you through any and every occasion. Once you find the perfect feel and shape for you, you won’t need to ever shop for another wrap. I like the clean, simple silhouette of Trouve’s black leather moto jacket paired with Hale Bob’s flowy satin blouse, floral cropped pants, and black ankle strap sandals from Alexander Wang. Complete your look with colorful accessories such as a yellow clutch from Kenzo, colorful bangles from Lead, and sunglasses from sunglasses from L.A. based company Wildfox. Your jacket will look just as polished over your outfit to the office, paired with Joe’s Jeans’ floral shorts for beach time fun, or combined with your favorite cocktail dress at night. As you shop for your perfect moto jacket, consider top quality to last you a lifetime of events to come.

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HIKING OUTFITS > GYM WEAR

Take a peek around L.A. and you’ll see Angelenos everywhere “getting their exercise on” outside of the gym. With busy schedules, constant traffic, and often no time to run home to change, West Coast girls have perfected the art of “athleisure” style: athletic gear suitable for everyday wear. And since the weather is always nice year round, we have the benefit of outdoor workout options rather than gym fees. The key to your perfect “athleisure” style is to stick to neutral colors and steer away from spandex, bra tops, and other “gym” items. I suggest starting with Hale Bob’s smock waist printed shorts topped with Liberty Garden’s ivory swing back tee or yellow scoop neck tank for a pop of color. If the weather turns chilly, layer with Liberty Garden’s ivory ultra suede long sleeve top or black and white menswear sweatshirt rather than your usual “hoodie.” You can also substitute shorts for ultra suede black leggings on colder days. This Season, be an L.A. girl and look chic WHILE working out.

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Even if your city doesn’t have that carefree, beach vibe or it rains more than sees the sun, you can still take some tips from us West Coast girls. Whether you opt to wear boots in the summertime or try layering or switch up your workout attire, make your style this Season effortless, beautiful, and all about YOU.

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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.