Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All that and looks to Boot

I have problems with wearing tall boots because I'm shorter than average and have full curvy calves. But for the general populace:

Tall boots
Casual or dressy, flat or heeled, a pair of tall boots is one of the most versatile footwear items you can have in your wardrobe.

Tall boots, are about knee high, but most of the following tips will apply to styles that fall between a few inches below your knees to a few inches above your knees.

While many boot styles will work with the outfits listed below, simple, classic styles are far more flexible. A simple black knee-high boot will work with most jeans, as well as just about everything else in your closet.

Long Skirts

A skirt that is long enough to cover the top of your boots is one of the most flattering items you can pair with tall boots. While many women tend to think only of fuller skirts for pairing with knee high boots, narrow skirts can look fabulous with tall boots as well.

Skinny Jeans

They're really the only type of jeans that are good for tucking into tall boots: everything from dressy heeled boots to casual flat styles.


The absolute best footwear for below the knee gauchos is a pair of tall boots -- but beware of wearing this style of wide cropped pants with boots that are too casual or trendy. Opt instead for a simple heeled dress boot, or a flat boot that has a bit of polish to it.


Many women don't think to wear tall boots with dresses. They should though, because the look is dynamite.

The dresses are your standard, everyday sort of dresses: wraps, sweater dresses, shifts, minis, tunics, a-lines and empire dresses.

Again, this look is best with simple, classic tall boots, and is not meant for overly-casual or super-trendy styles.

Outfits to Avoid with Tall Boots

·  Baggy or Pleated Jeans and Pants
·  Shorts

Although the technology to make the calf of a tall boot more forgiving is coming along, I generally prefer ankle boots, because I can create the illusion of a taller boot.

Ankle Boots with Long Skirts

Whether they're flat or heeled, ankle boots and long skirts are a classic combination.  Whatever your style, the key is to show no leg. If the skirt isn't long enough to cover the top of the ankle boot on its own, add a pair of tights.

Short Skirts and Ankle Boots

This look is definitely a little more difficult to pull off, because a lot of women don't like their legs. But it works well because instead of showing no leg, you're showing a lot of leg -- the real trouble comes in when you only show a little leg. Look for skirts that are a couple of inches above the knee or shorter and skip anything that's too full.

The Best Pants for Ankle Boots

This one is nearly a no-brainer -- ankle boots work with any kind of pants. The advantage to wearing them over shoes or taller boots is that you get ankle coverage without the bulk of a knee-high boot.

Ankle Boots with Leggings or Tights

Cropped leggings don't work well with ankle boots. Long leggings or tights however, look great -- assuming of course, that leggings look good on you in the first place. If they don't, pairing them with ankle boots isn't going to make the situation any better.

Clothes to Avoid Wearing with Ankle Boots

· Cropped Pants
· Cropped Tights
· Mid-Length Skirts with Bare Legs
· Pencil Skirts
· Shorts
· Capris

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What comes around, goes around.

Is it just me, or does fashion tend to be cyclic? I'm not sure if it's because of "hand me downs" from family, or that we wax nostalgic for our younger years, but sometimes something is just such a good idea that you can't help but use it again.

There are two things to consider, frequency and duration. 

Frequency: One school of thought says that fashion cycles about every 20 years (or once per generation.)  More often then not they're just revamped, recycled looks with new names. Some designers take inspiration from other decades trying to improve upon what has already been done.

Duration: Nowadays the turn around time might run shorter as the internet has sped up how quickly looks get from the runway to our closets. Then we get bored and put them away for a few years. Generally speaking, most fashion trends stick around for at least a year. Some trends, usually the most understandable ones, last longer. So how do you know how long a trend will last? The answer: you don't.

Never fear though, buying power can keep a trend on life support. Sometimes consumers love a look so much they just won't let it die: capris, crops, tank tops and flip flops are all examples of former trends which actually became wardrobe staples.

The best defense however, against quickly changing trends is to have a wardrobe stocked with mostly classic looks: jeans, T-shirts, blazers, little black dresses. Use trendy items as an addition to a core wardrobe to give it some kick.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Creative ways to exercise

I admitted last time I don't LOVE going to the gym. So that means I have to get creative in order to find ways to fit exercise into my life. Below is a list I found (because I'll tell you right now I'd never be able to come up with this many on my own. Also, I have no idea what some of them are!)


If you don’t exercise regularly, it’s probably because you haven’t found an exercise that you truly enjoy. That’s partly because we keep hearing about the same old types of exercise over and over again, but there are hundreds of ways to get regular exercise. 

Here are 101 different creative exercises that will suit every type of circumstance and personality. Consider whether you prefer to be indoors or outdoors, like to engage your mind or just bliss out, be social or be solitary, and any other insights you have about what you enjoy doing.

1. Juggling
2. Stunt pogo sticking
3. Tree climbing
4. Mountainboarding
5. Unicycling
6. Practicing Jedi Skills (the Jedi Workout)
7. Walking on water
8. Picking up litter around the neighborhood, town, park or beach
9. Playing video games (Wii, Dance Dance Revolution, etc.)
10. Fruit picking (not too slowly!)
11. Volunteering (Try fitness oriented charities)
12. Fire juggling
13. Drumming
14. Bouncing with Spring-Soled Shoes
15. Sex
16. Ropeless jump roping
17. Sit and Be Fit
18. Kite Surfing
19. Virtual horseback riding (or iGalloping)
20. In the nude
21. Pogo sticking
22. Parkour
23. Tricking
24. Punching and kicking your way through your favorite action flick
25. Dancing your way through your favorite musical
26. Hula Hooping
27. Playing tag
28. Joggling (juggling while jogging)
29. Roller Hockey
30. Roller Derby
31. Leaf pile diving (includes raking!)
32. Gladiator Workout
33. Finding online workout videos
34. Wearing weight loss shoes (or sandels)
35. Playing capture the flag
36. Water balloon fights
37. Snowshoeing
38. Bicycling on Water
39. Squirt Gun Fights
40. Pillow Fights
41. Underwater Rugby
42. Underwater Soccer
43. Synchronized swimming
44. Hop scotching
45. Riverboarding
46. Marco polo
47. Slip and slide
48. Playing touch football
49. Snow kiting
50. Giving the dog a bath
51. Miniature Golfing
52. Baton Twirling
53. Sledding
54. Hacky Sacking
55. Making snowmen (BIG ones!)
56. Building snow forts
57. Walking in place while watching tv
58. Boot Camp Workout
59. Swimming with Porpoise Flipper
60. Learn Self Defense
61. Geocaching
62. Orienteering
63. Window Washing
64. Cleaning the garage
65. Clean the attic
66. Landscape the yard
67. Doing laundry
68. Trampolining
69. Inflatable jumping castles
70. Swinging
71. Playing Twister
72. Cheerleading
73. Canyoning
74. Bouldering
75. Snowkiting
76. Skysurfing
77. Belly dancing
78. Circus Skills (Look for circus schools)
79. Gardening
80. Riding a Scooter
81. Clubbing
82. Walkling (juggling while walking)
83. Poll dancing
84. Street luge
85. Arm wrestling
86. Stability balls
87. Rock Climbing
88. Sandboarding
89. Sea Kayaking
90. Ice climbing
91. Exotic Dancing
92. Laughing (laughter yoga)
93. Karaoke (with a lot of dramatic dance moves!)
94. Dodgeball
95. Frisbee Golf
96. Ultimate Frisbee
97. Long boarding
98. Car washing for charity
99. Beach combing
100. Sand dune climbing
101. Samurai Sword Classes

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Exercise is a double-edged sword

I am not a big fan of just going to the gym for a mindless workout. I do however find adding music, changing up the routine or doing it with others makes it more enjoyable. That being said, I'm going to focus on individuals exercising alone in the gym...

Growing up in the 80's I was told aerobics was the way to stay fit. Weights were for body builders. But, as I've studied the human body in college I realized this was not so. We need both forms of exercise to trully mak our bodies fit (and if you need to, lose "fat" weight.)

Why Cardio is good for you:
Weight loss.
Stronger heart and lungs.
Increased bone density.
Reduced stress.
Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.
Temporary relief from depression and anxiety.
More confidence about how you feel and how you look.
Better sleep.
More energy.

Strength training helps you:
Develop strong bones. 
Control your weight. 
Reduce your risk of injury. 
Boost your stamina. 
Manage chronic conditions. 
Sharpen your focus. 

As you can imagine I tried both forms at different times in my life and would get bored after a while.  Circuit training includes several exercises. So, you can prevent boredom by switching exercises in the series frequently. Doing so can keep you motivated and prevent burnout. 

What's nice about circuit training is the short bursts of resistance exercise using moderate weights and frequent repetitions, followed quickly by another burst of exercise targeting a different muscle group.
Because the exerciser switches between muscle groups, no rest is needed between exercises. This gets the heart rate up, which usually doesn't happen during resistance exercise. Sometimes, to up heart rate further, aerobics are sprinkled between the resistance exercises.

Why circuit training is good for you:
improves both strength and endurance
jump-starts metabolism

So what should my heart rate be when exercising?

Target Heart Rate Zones by Age *
Age Target Heart Rate (HR) Zone (60 - 85%) Predicted Maximum HR
20 120 – 170 200
25 117 – 166 195
30 114 – 162 190
35 111 – 157 185
40 108 – 153 180
45 105 – 149 175
50 102 – 145 170
55 99 – 140 165
60 96 – 136 160
65 93 – 132 155
70 90 – 123 150
Your Actual Values
(Actual values are determined from a graded exercise test)

Target HR: Max. HR:
* This chart is based on the the formula: 220 - your age = predicted maximum heart rate

FYI: Weight loss is a matter of simple arithmetic: To shed pounds, you must burn more calories than you consume. And when it comes to burning calories, the greater the exertion, the greater the rate at which calories are burned.
Working out at about 60% to 75% of your maximum heart rate (the so-called "fat-burning zone") burns fewer calories than working out at 75% to 85% of your maximum heart rate (the so-called "aerobic" or "cardio" zone).  
But caloric burn depends on a workout's duration as well as its intensity -- and it's easier to work out longer when exercising at a lower intensity.