ActiveWear for being Outdoors/Winter Elements #ActiveWear #GetActive

If you are an active family who likes to get outdoors no matter what the weather, we have some great options for you to check out this season.

Brooks Running, a favorite of ours, has recently put out the “Dash Hoodie”, which I am completely in love with. It has become a go to for me, one of those tops you reach for every time it is out of the washing machine. So soft (much softer then I’m used to in running gear and feather light) it is also warm and wicks moisture quickly. The material is breathable, and machine washable and dryer safe. It has a loose but flattering fit. I personally prefer to hand it to dry, I think it will last longer that way, but personal preference. It has thumb holes on the cuffs, and there is a storage pocket over the left hand that can hold your key, cash, or whatever your prefer. The hood is perfect for cooler weather, so you can use it until you get too warm on your run, then toss it off. Prices vary depending on what color you order (some of them are on sale), get yours at https://www.brooksrunning.com

running gear

Trek specializes in biking, bikes, and bike gear, and also has apparel for all sorts of active lifestyles. I’m currently loving the “Bontrager Vella Women’s Long Sleeve Thermal Cycling Jersey”, which is quite a mouthful. It’s a half zip, long sleeve collared top that is soft, lightweight, (are you seeing a theme here? Yes, really love soft workout gear) wicking, ventilated and offers the warmth you need with the comfort you want. It is very form fitting, really hugging your body. If you like streamlined gear, this is the top you will wear again and again. It also has reflective elements so that you can wear it day or night with added safety. Washing machine safe, and again, I’d hang to dry, but it dries very quickly.  $89.99

active wear

Keep the hair out of your face and your ears warm with the “Bontrager Vella Women’s Thermal Headband”, which you can get to match your jersey in color if you’d like. It’s warm (but not suffocating) and stays put when you head out.  It’s thin, so it can be worn under your helmet comfortably on a ride. Wash and wear. (I hang to dry.) $16.99

Get the gear at https://www.trekbikes.com

active wear

SAS shoes (this stands for San Antonio Shoemakers) looks to bridge the gap between comfort and style. These are orthopedic shoes, but not the ones that you are thinking of. When I think orthopedic shoes, I admit I think of those giant, black, clunky and awful things your grandparents would wear. SAS make shoes that are comfortable to wear, that offer support, but that are fun and funky as well. They make shoes for both men and women, from everyday sneakers to sandals and shoes for elegant occasions. Options are not few in number, and there is every color of the rainbow to choose from.  We took these out to two 5K’s, as well as regular, random everyday use (like hanging a swing, messing around with the kids, etc) and can tell you honestly that they hold up extremely well, and do offer fantastic support and comfort.

orthopedic shoes

Most of these shoes come with patented” SAS Comfort Outsole™, SteadyTrac Midsole, and Arcfit™ heel stabilizer work together to provide you maximum firm but gentle support (as well as the)  Tripad® comfort system (which) adds additional support to the three main pressure points of the foot, while SAS CoolSTEP™ foot bed and a leather and mesh upper make for a light design with no heat build up underfoot”. (*As per the company)

Head to https://www.sasshoes.com to choose the shoes that speak to you.

comfortable sneakers

 

 

Valentine Gifting From Companies that Give Back #ValentinesDay #Sustainable

If you want to shop sustainably this year, support small business, or like to avoid big box stores, I’ve got a shop for you. If you just like unique and high quality products at a reasonable price- this is a shop you will love. Marketplace Africa has clothing, bath and body products (and I’m in love with some of these already), purses, bags,- really, gifts for everyone on your list. Thoughtful gifts anyone would love to receive.

African body works

This website lets Africans can sell their one-of-a-kind handmade goods to the entire global market.  Anyone looking for a unique gift for the holidays can feel as good as the products they are buying, since they are purchasing directly from the source. Buying from small business owners in Africa boosts not only the store owner, but also the economy.

For more information on Marketplace Africa and to choose some fantastic gifts,  visit www.marketplaceafrica.com

Sudara creates ethically and sustainably sourced clothing for men, women, and children. This brand came about because of a desire to help women escape sex trafficking in India. 12 years ago, Sudara’s founder partnered with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for pants.The year prior, she had been to India and heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery or were at high risk of being. The company was created to give woman the chance to have an education, a job with livable wages, and to be free.

ethical clothing

Sudara is a Certified B Corps company, which means they meet “the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems”. You know, the best of the best- the “good guys”.

The clothing is beautiful, as well. High quality, unique designs with fun colors and patterns, lots of options available. If you have not yet shopped with Sudara, I hope you take the time to give them a look now. Check them out on social media while you are at it, see what they have to offer- sudara.org  facebook  twitter  instagram

ethical clothing

Peace Frogs is a brand that encourages you to get outside, enjoy nature, and practices what they preach. They are helping to preserve the environment and giving back with purchases. Peace Frogs has been around for more then 30 years, and have “a long track record of giving back to charitable causes” while creating eco-friendly clothing and gear.  They have also  launched a #spreadthepeacecampaign that looks to bridge a divided nation. As per the company, “Today, in America, the country stands more divided than ever before, with constant fighting, name calling and general unrest, with social media and the news not doing anything to slow down the chaos. The Spread the Peace Campaign is a way for Peace Frogs to motivate people to be kind to one another and stop the hate, fighting and lack of tolerance. Peace Frogs wants to bring a sense of calm, peace and community back to a tense country that has forgotten how to love thy neighbor.”  The fun clothing, gear, stickers, and more promote joy, living in harmony, a healthy environment, and peace. For more information on Peace Frogs items or to purchase #spreadthepeace stickers, please visit: www.peacefrogs.com

ethical jewelery

Statement Peace (no relation to Peace Frogs) creates their “high vibration wooden jewelry” line designs and hand produces all of their “pieces of peace” in their South West Florida studio.  The company believes that energy is transferable, and that when you operate out of peace and love, that it is felt by all and creates a statement of peace. They want to transfer “passion, high vibrations and good juju with the intention that you feel our vibes” into the items they create. Each piece of jewelry is considered to be a work of art, and they convey this by including a custom designed wooden display stand with each item purchased. There is something special for everyone (men and women), from yoga lovers to outdoor enthusiasts. Rings, bracelets, and more are available. For every item purchased, they plant one tree.   Check out options at https://www.wearstatementpeace.com

show the love

Show the Love offers items that are each designed to showcase and inspire a specific sentiment. The jewelry is meant to inspire and to uplift the person who wears it. From feminist inspiration items to those inspiring others to speak up, to beautiful animal inspired themes, there is something everyone will love. Give a gift that is not only lovely but also inspiring and show the recipient that you are really thinking about them. Whatever they love, or perhaps would like more of in their life (happiness, calm, passion, etc) you can find something that will show your sentiment.

This company cares, and they show it not only with their designs, but also with the materials they use as well as the donations they give. Show The Love jewelry is made with recycled metals and ethically sourced stones. They also donate 25% of their proceeds, which they give to humanitarian and environmental causes. There are items for every budget, from $50 to a big splurge. These are fun, funky, unique, lovely items that your Valentine will cherish always. Visit the site at https://showthelove.com and see what you like best.

Dressing like Meghan Markle

When she was the star of the hit show Suits, Meghan Markle’s beauty and style were often the topics of conversation in many articles. After Markle became the fiancée and then bride of one of royalty’s most eligible bachelors, the public fascination with her evolving style became even more impassioned.

 

Elegant and put together with a bit more flirty flare than Kate Middleton, Meghan’s style was as approachable as it was enviable. As she transitioned from Hollywood starlet to the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan’s style changed as well. While she was always stylish and beautiful, Meghan’s style became more muted and elegant when she started to be publicly seen with Prince Harry. Her jewelry became more understated and simple (though much more costly), her cleavage-baring dresses were stashed away for good, as were the bodycon dresses she wore to show off her stunning figure.

 

In their place, Meghan began to wear timeless dresses in solid tones—with navy being a particular favorite for 2018. Knee-length, boat neck, and crew neck dresses are some of Meghan’s favorites, which is why it’s no surprise that she chose an open boat neckline for her first wedding dress.

 

Described as “timeless, minimal elegance,” Meghan’s debut dress was a silk, quarter-length sleeve, A-line wedding dress without any lace or visible embellishments. This dress launched a thousand copies around the world as brides scrambled to replicate that elegant, simple beauty. Meghan’s dress was all about paying homage to the woman wearing it and not using Meghan as a mannequin for the dress. It elevated her natural beauty instead of distracting from it.

 

Meghan’s reception dress was more casual but still elegant. This dress was only briefly seen as Harry and Meghan were whisked away in a vintage convertible. The white halter neck gown was another simple, chic number that showed a bit more skin with Meghan’s shoulders and back being bare. This dress was kept more private for their equally private reception.

 

If you want to channel some of Meghan Markle’s stunning personal style, your first step is to know exactly what your size is and to invest in a tailor. Meghan’s clothing is always perfectly cut to her frame, which suggests to us that the newly minted duchess makes extensive use of a tailor.

 

Using a tailor doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive, but it can take a piece of clothing from passable to perfect. Meghan’s clothing is always slim-fitting, but never tight, since that can look cheap. Buy clothing for the biggest part of your body and then have it tailored down to fit the rest of you. Or you can just shop in an online store, like JJ’s House, which offers customization option for wedding dresses to ensure the fitness.

 

You’ll also want to invest in clothing with good fabrics. Meghan is never seen in clingy, filmy clothing since it can be less flattering and can be unreliable when being photographed. Cotton, tweeds, wools, and other longer wearing, high-quality material will last longer and lay better. For inspiration, look not only to pictures of Meghan but also to photos of other timeless style icons, like Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn.

Magic buttoning shirt helps kids with disabilities dress up on their own

Buttons can be hard for little fingers to maneuver into button holes, especially for kids with developmental delays and disabilities. Maura Horton created a magnetic closure system for clothing when her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and lost mobility in his hands. Now, she is growing the MagnaReady clothing line with the introduction of MagnaMini shirts for boys. Available in white and a red tartan plaid for the winter season, the MagnaMini shirts are easy for boys to put on. All they have to do is put their arms in the sleeves, line up the two sides of the shirt front and with a click, click, click the magnets will “button” the shirt for them like magic! The shirts are machine washable and have the standard white buttons on the front for a decorative finish and classic look.

snap shirt

Check them out here- https://www.magnaready.com/collections/boys-adaptive-clothing

Sudara Clothing – ethically made and helps women #GiftGuide

If you are anything like me, you like to shop as ethically as possible. Most companies and stores don’t give a fig about you, me, the environment, or anything other then profit. So, when you know brands that give a darn, they are ones you tend to do your shopping with.

give back

I’ve recently discovered Sudara. This brand came about because of a desire to help women escape sex trafficking in India.  12 years ago, Sudara partnered with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for pants. The previous year,  founder, Shannon Keith, had returned from a trip to India and heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery. She also heard stories of women who were at a high risk of being forced into the sex trade by their families or picked up off the streets by local pimps. The reasons they were at a high risk? Because they lacked an education or the resources or the skills to, truly, have a choice.

She returned home from that trip and formed a small team of family and friends. They have since made 10 sewing centers and hundreds of women have found both freedom and living wage employment.

The pants are awesome. Comfortable, easy to wash and wear, pretty, and unique. The are no sacrifice to wear, and it’s great knowing that my purchase is helping other women and supporting a company that does good in the world.

They also are ethically and sustainability made for the good of the environment as well. They are a Certified B Corps, which means they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems. So- you know. A good company to buy from. The good guys.

ethically made clothing

Sudara Brand Description:

  • Sudara is a lifestyle brand that creates jobs for women in India who are at the highest risk or survivors of human trafficking. They pay living wages and provide access to counseling, medical care and resources that empower women to create their own self-sustaining future.

  • Every pair of these Sudara Punjammies are made through living-wage employment by women in India who are at the highest risk or survivors of sex trafficking. Every purchase is an investment in Sudara’s freedom-filled work and empowers women who are working to forge a new life for themselves and their children.

  • Sudara offers beautiful and comfortable clothing with a freedom-filled purpose. Their women’s pajama pants, loungewear and robes are ethically-made in India through living-wage employment programs. Every purchase is helping empower women in India with the resources and skills they need to create a better life for themselves and their family.

Keep up with Sudara on social media as well- sudara.org  facebook  twitter  instagram

Gifts for the Active Men in Your Life #GiftGuide

If you are anything like us, you want to be active and outside as much as possible. Colder weather complicates things, but not to worry. You can get outdoors and enjoy your vitamin D year round, just bundle up a bit. Check out these functional and eco friendly cool-weather options we are loving right now- they would be perfect for the active men in your life this holiday season.

eco friendly clothing

Stopping off at Trader Joe’s on the way home- active wear that is great as any wear

The perfect slip on shoe for indoors or out, the Original Stegmann is not only comfortable, but also functional. They are great for camping, running errands, and everything in between. They have fantastic arch and toe support, so if you have aching feet, issues like Plantar Fasciitis, or a bad back, these might be worth considering. They have free shipping and exchanges, so nothing to lose. Made with a Tyrolian & Merino wool blend into a single piece, it is then paired with an anatomically contoured cork sole that is balanced for both arch and metatarsal support. These shoes have a gentle slope which helps reduce ankle and back pain as well. These shoes as a whole are designed for comfort, so if that’s your thing- and honestly, whose isn’t- check them out at https://www.stegmannusa.com . Prices vary.

A brand we have really fallen in love with over here is Mountain Khakis. Not only are the products soft and durable, but the environmentally friendly fabrics and practices have completely won us over.  Take for example the Rainmaker Jacket. It’s all sorts of wet-proof (rain, snow, mud, etc), and it’s strechy as well. It’s also warmer then some raincoats, without being swelteringly-sticky-hot like so many can be. A nice medium-to lightweight, and easily layered. It has a removable hood, with welded seams and snap-closed patch pockets.  It has a relaxed fit and hits about the hip area. Best part? The eco-friendliness of this jacket. Polyurethane is a greener alternative to the traditional raincoat’s vinyl. It’s also more durable and is better for the environment in long term care and use. Polyurethane does not require the chemicals used to soften vinyl in the manufacturing process, and is eventually biodegradable, where as PVC (vinyl) never breaks down, and is usually incinerated.  This leaches toxins into landfills and emits carcinogenic dioxin into the air. Any reason to choose PVC over PU? Not in my book. Check out https://www.mountainkhakis.com for your jacket, available in several colors, for $139.

Your new go-to sweatshirt will be the Poker Flats Pullover, which is soft and cuddly, perfect for chilly nights.  Named for the inspiring Teton National Park, this namesake sweatshirt is also inspiring. With it’s certified recycled fleece (which is made using sustainable REPREVE® technology) fabric, each garment reuses about 25 plastic bottles in it’s creation. Half zip, relaxed fit  with a high collar that can be folded down, it also has a snap chest pocket and thumb thumb loops. It comes in two shades- one is several shades of blues and greens, the other is a deep red with shades of grey. Get yours at https://www.mountainkhakis.com for $85

The Old Faithful Pants are just that. The most comfortable winter all-around pants we’ve found in ages, we find ourselves living in these. As in, I’ve had to peel them off my partner to wash them, he doesn’t want to part with them that long (like when you have to wrestle that dress or much loved t-shirt off your toddler, and you need to promise to put it right into the wash, they can have it right back- promise!) I jest, but not much. Known also as the “campfire pant”, these  pants are made with recycled sweaters. They are both sweatpants and pants, with a drawstring waistband as well as a zippered fly. Yes, multiple pockets. The ribbed waistband and cuffs at the ankles keep the pants where you want them, and comfortably so. (Are you seeing that the themes here are comfort and function? Because seriously so.) Thicker then most sweatpants, but not sweaty-thick- just warm. The legs are slim fit, which surprised and weirded us out for a hot second, but only about one. Got used to them in no time, and they have become, as mentioned, our very favorites. These come in “oatmeal and black”, but seem really more like light grey and dark grey to the novice eye. $90 at https://www.mountainkhakis.com

How to Choose the Best Winter Jacket?

Winters are on their way, and it’s the right time to shop for your winter wardrobe. From leather jackets to winters coats to long boots and high neck sweaters, you have to buy so much stuff and the time is so less.  Now, we all know the fact that shopping for winters is fun, but at the same time, it’s quite a daunting task too. The reason why winter shopping can be hectic is because of the prices mainly. Winter coats and jackets etc are not at all cheap and even if you end up with a cheap or less costly jacket, you will soon suffer with it when it starts showing the signs of poor quality.

choosing a winter coat

The point is that before heading to the market or before tapping on the “Buy Now” button, just make sure that you’ve done enough research on what to buy and what not to buy. One of the most important things that almost every one of us has is a winter jacket. Winter jackets are like an essential for winters, and you cannot deny this fact in any case. Always remember that if you want to end up on the right product then shop for quality and not for quantity. You don’t want to buy a winter jacket just to wear for a few months, in fact, you’d want to wear it for at least two to three winters which are why quality should be your priority.

 

Now, if you are someone who wants some help with buying mens fashion jackets etc then you are at the right place, reading the right article. First of all, you should make sure that the brand that you are buying the jacket from is a quality brand like Differio and secondly there are some other things that you have to consider before making a purchase like;

 

1- Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle matters a lot when you have to buy a winter jacket. You see there are several different styles available in the market, there’s a different type of jacket for someone who has to go to the office daily, there’s a different jacket if you like to go and play in the snow outside and there is a different jacket for you if you just like to sit at home and stay warm. So, first know your needs and then decide on a jacket.

 

2- Check the insulation

Your jacket should be capable enough to keep you warm when it’s freezing cold outside because after all, that’s what you are buying the jacket for in the first place. Don’t just buy the jacket because it looks good in fact, buys it so that it can keep you warm too.

 

3- Check the length

There are different types and lengths of winter jackets available out there so first know the length that you want to buy. Do you want to wear a long winter jacket or you want one with a tight-fitting and short length? It’s all about your needs and your likes at the end of the day. Just buy what you think suits you the best.

 

4- The color of the jacket

Check for the jackets that are of your favorite colors. Most people like to buy black winter jackets, but you should consider other options too like red or some other bright colored jacket. You never know if you end up looking really nice once you try a new color.

 

Conclusion

These are some of the things that you should consider before buying a winter jacket. Use these tips, and we assure you that you will land on a good jacket that will work for you for a lot of winters.

 

Get Outdoors And Play This Summer

It’s beautiful outside these days, and we are spending as much time outdoors as humanly possible. If you are looking to get outside and play, here are some fun options.

spinner swing

A fun twist on the tire tree swing, the Super Spinner® is a “UFO shaped” (according to my 10 year old) disk swing that lets one or more kids (and even a parent) take a ride. It comes with “adjustable double-braided ropes and weather-resistant clips are designed for a safer, more comfortable ride” according to the manufacturer. Super Spinner can be suspended to swing and spin from trees, play sets, a porch beam or a secure structural beam wherever works for your family.

There are two sizes of Super Spinner currently available. The original Super Spinner is sized one or two little kids, and can hold up to 200 pounds. It is available in green, blue, red, purple, pink or  yellow. If you want a larger size, the Super Duper Spinner lets more kids and adults ride, and can hold up to 650 pounds. That size is available in hunter green alone.  Get yours for $49.99 – $89.99 at stores like Amazon or Target.

pool float

Heading to the pool? Grab a fun float and head out. Intex makes a really fantastic assortment of floats your family is sure to love- my kids love the Intex Inflatable Mega Unicorn this year- they are, in fact, mildly obsessed. They have brought it to friends’ houses, and all the kids have had a fun time floating about the pool on the very colorful, very magical, large floating unicorn. You’d think this is mostly girls, right? Wrong. The boys love it as well, and so do mom and dad. My partner and I like to have our turn as well- although in all honesty, that rarely happens.Intex’s mega-sized, oversized pool floats are a lot of fun, more durable then many, and worth the price at $29.99.  Mega Unicorn and also the new Peacock design are newly available this year. You can also get Mega Swan, Mega Flamingo, and Mega Duck Island Floats. Tough choices- you might end up with more then one of these floaties.

Want to run away? Do it in the Brooks PureFlow 7. These sneakers didn’t need any “wearing in” or breaking in, they were good to go right out of the gate, which you know is rare. They are comfortable, great for running or long walks (even trails) and molded right to my feet. Super comfortable with lots of cushioning. Not only that, but the shoes are lightwight, agile, and moved with me. I love the way these feel on my feet. Brooks refers to the fit as “sock like, the stretch-woven upper and soft internal bootie allow your feet to feel comfortable and unrestricted”. I don’t disagree- these are some of my favorites, feel wise. They are equally nice for the gym or outdoor use.  Anyone who love to run or be active will be happy with these sneakers. Available in 6 colors for women and 5 for men, you will find the one that best matches your taste and wardrobe. Choose yours at https://www.brooksrunning.com for $100.

hat for summer

Cover up from all that sun while you run! Or run about. Or laze. Whatever. You will need to keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays while you are outside, and Seirus Innovation has Summer Protection Covered no matter what your personal tastes and style. Their products are not only fast wicking and drying with UPF protection, but also have elements to help cool you off- that’s a huge bonus when it’s steamy hot out. There are a lot of items to choose from, including the The Litewave50™ Neck-Up, which covers the vulnerable neck area from burns while offering airflow, and heat diffusion to keep you cool. There are quite a few colors and prints available. I’ve yanked it up to use it to keep my hair back as well, as a headwrap (which is super useful). This is also useful for winter activities, and will keep you from getting windburn and sunburn on the slopes, as well.

For even more shade, the Quick Shade Caster or Floppy hat are ideal. I use this one for my son and partner, both of whom are very fair skinned and burn easily. The Caster not only shelters your face with it’s broad rim, but also your neck using an attached bandanna type covering that stays securely attached to your shirt collar with a built in clip and tether. The Floppy hat shades your face and neck, and is built to keep its form all summer long. Machine wash, hang to dry. Measure your head before ordering for sizes. Prices vary, visit https://www.seirus.com to choose what best suits your needs.