Home Sweet Home

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Moving into a new home can often lead to a daunting to-do list. From organizing clutter that seems to have magically accumulated over the years (who knew one person could have so many knick-knacks?), to dealing with surprise maintenance issues, it’s an adventure that takes perseverance and patience. All labor-intensive work aside, the fun part comes when you can truly create a space that feels like you. Here are a few simple tips that you can use when it’s finally time to spruce up your new digs! 

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Don’t start the makeover process without an interior design game plan. Finding ideas on websites (hi, Pinterest) and watching videos on YouTube are easy ways to get inspired. Save the images that you adore and create a mood board to keep your ideas cohesive.

Extra Tip: When it is time to add decorative touches to your home, support small business owners by shopping on sites such as Etsy.com. You can find some truly unique pieces there!
Sure it’s easy to buy everything in one place, but try not to! In addition to visiting recognizable home décor stores, I encourage you to explore flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales to add one-of-a-kind items to your place.

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Sure it’s easy to buy everything in one place, but try not to! In addition to visiting recognizable home décor stores, I encourage you to explore flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales to add one-of-a-kind items to your place.

Extra Tip: If you really like an item from a flea market or yard sale, but it’s bit out of your price range, try bargaining with the salesperson. If no one else is biting, they’ll often agree to your offer!

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To save time and money, try imagining something you own in a new light. Add a couch cover and new throw pillows to brighten up a dull couch. (You can even upholster it if you’re feeling fancy.) There are a million DIY projects online that you can implement into your decor process.

Extra Tip: Ask your friends or family if they’d like to donate any pieces to your space. You’ll help them clean up and you’ll have the perfect opportunity to revamp something old!

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You + Me

When a designer collaborates with a retail giant, good things happen, right? Let’s find out together. It’s a fashion journey. It’s you and me.

Story by Caroline A. Wong, Photos by Breana Powell

Final Ihate Kohl’s. Now, I didn’t always hate Kohl’s. In fact, Kohl’s was pretty decent in my book, thanks to its lines with Vera Wang and Lauren Conrad. But after my experience with its Reed Krakoff designer collaboration, I want to pull my hair out, go hunt down the Kohl’s execs, and pull their hair out too.

I started off quite excited about the announcement that Reed Krakoff would be going the collaboration route. As the former executive creative director of Coach, Krakoff made his name in the business through his attention to detail and his structured styling. He started his eponymous brand in 2010, which boasted distinctive designs like the Boxer and Atlantique models until it shut down last year to revisit investment strategies. With his Kohl’s collaboration, Krakoff reintroduces those iconic styles with nearly identical fashioning, but in faux leather rather than real leather as with its four-figure predecessors.

While some might see it simply as brand suicide to reproduce luxury styles in cheap fabrics, it can also be interpreted as a firm statement by the designer that he will not be returning to the luxury market under his own name. But with the way that Kohl’s is handling his line, Krakoff may want to reconsider working with this particular retail giant for future iterations of his collection, no matter the discount pricing.

caroline1Kohl’s made the REED by Reed Krakoff collection available online a week before it would be available in stores. I purchased a selection and received the shipment shortly afterward, before the collection was set to launch in Kohl’s stores. Kohl’s clothing generally runs large, which I found to be true of REED items. The disappointment, however, came with the pink Boxer style bag. Now, the Boxer bag was my one true love, the one that got away, the bag that still haunts my dreams after its discontinuation. So when I was able to buy the Kohl’s iteration of the style, I thought I would finally get the fashion closure for which I had been longing. Wrong. There was a noticeable black streak on the front of the bag.

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Miracle Oil?

Would smell as sweet,” quoteth Romeo in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. Having recently watched the romantic film Shakespeare in Love and auditioned for the role of Lady Macbeth, I definitely have roses on my mind lately.

More specifically, rosehip oil. These perfect little drops of oily dew are extracted from the fruit of the rose plant that form after our familiar fragrant blooms flesh out and fade. I had been looking up a new recipe for my Roots of Beauty cosmetic line and came across this miracle oil, whose chief benefits include restoring sun-damaged skin and reducing fine lines, scars, and age spots. Long used by the residents of its native home, Chile, it’s one of the many beauty secrets of models and actors worldwide.

Though cold-pressed, rosehip oil is surprisingly light and absorbs easily into the skin. It’s full of antioxidants, good fatty acids, and works wonders on cellulose. It’s naturally anti-inflammatory and is an incredible healer for acne and eczema. Try it on dry scalps too!

News sources are calling this sweet elixir “the next coconut oil,” and before it jumps in price to prove it, order some and see for yourself. While you can pick up a 2oz bottle for under $20 at Whole Foods, the bottle that I purchased from there smelled rancid. Then again, perhaps that’s the way old roses smell. I’d suggest Mountain Rose Herbs; their products are first rate!

Happy Rosy Oiling from one Juliet to Another.

For more information about Roots of Beauty and to purchase responsibly sourced products, visit: www.RootsOfBeauty.com

 

Christian Siriano for Payless

For someone barely into his third decade of life, Christian Siriano has quite an impressive list of accomplishments. A celebrated fashion designer and member of the revered Council of Fashion Designers of America, he has far surpassed his flashy start as winner of Project Runway’s fourth season, going on to dress big-name celebrities such as Christina Hendricks, Nicki Minaj, and Emily Blunt. At the red carpet for the 88th Academy Awards, Maria Menounos will join his flock, donning Siriano’s custom creation inspired by Stella Artois’ “Buy a Lady a Drink” charity initiative and its limited-edition chalices.

More importantly, however, Siriano peppers his star-studded clientele list with respected fashion icons like Victoria Beckham and Sarah Jessica Parker, gaining the respect of hard-to-please industry critics and establishing himself as more than just a reality show wonder. With a squad of fashion darlings at his behest and a personal brand that reached an estimated $5 million in revenue in four years, Siriano seems the least likely to pair with a mass market, low-cost retailer such as Payless ShoeSource, yet the designer is still creating collaboration collections seven years after first launching with the chain.

His Payless styles speak true to his aesthetic, though, and still reflect the attention to detail and elevated taste for which he became famous on Project Runway. With strategic cutouts, punchy patterns, and thoughtful finishes, the collection is at once relevant, covetable, and, of course, affordable. A few points of concern to note would be that the collection generally runs a half size too large (ordering down easily fixes this) and the quality is what should be expected of Payless shoe. It’s fast fashion. But the style and fit, aside from sizing down, make the pieces worthwhile.

The Liza Lucite Wedge showcases the designer’s care and appreciation of the female form, with a see-through window across the toe and airy cutouts at the sides for breezy comfort. Its grounded wedge style and shiny black hue makes it a clear (no pun intended) choice for the edgy girl, and it’s a fresh alternative to a chunky ankle bootie.

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New Year, New You

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Introducing Lisa Eberly, MPH, RD! Formerly of The Skinny on Health and now armed with a masters degree in the very topic she loves, Eberly has pulled all her passions together into a streamlined, targeted place just for you. Here, learn more about Nourish by Lisa.

Every person on this planet thinks about their health on a daily basis. Whether you are a starving mother in a developing nation wondering about how you’re going to feed your children, a body builder in Ohio going for an extra rep on the bench, a software developer in Silicon Valley trying to lose a few pounds, or a teenager struggling with acne, you think about your health in one form or another, daily.

Today, our health is a hot topic, and there’s an enormous amount of information at our fingertips—this blog, that TV show, this doctor/”expert”/coach preaching that diet/workout/product. It is overwhelming and, to be quite honest, mostly unreliable.
The answer to being healthy and balanced is not in a fad diet, crazy workout plan, or overpriced skincare line. It is easy; it’s simple; and it stems from decades of scientific research—and you can learn all about it from me at Nourish by Lisa. I am a public health and nutrition masters and registered dietitian in beautiful Seattle. I love adventures, cooking, yoga, and sunshine.

I am also a total science nerd. I grew up wanting to be a doctor to pursue my passion of helping and healing people with science. I received a human and evolutionary biology degree from the University of Southern California. There, while researching fasting for cancer and Alzheimer’s therapies, I realized that the best way to help people was through preventative medicine—food, sweat, and mindfulness.

In blogging and learning about health, I was saddened by the overwhelming amount of education on the web and TV that was not based on science or medicine, but was created for profit or fame. There was a serious gap between the dense scientific journals I was reading and the latest fad diet on the blogs people were talking about. I wondered why there wasn’t a place for everyone to find trustworthy and accurate information about their health from a licensed professional they can relate to and understand. I needed to fill that gap and become the professional the public could trust.

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Roots of Beauty

Have you ever used clay in your beauty regimen? Perhaps pre-teen sleepovers had a group of your girlfriends donning green clay masks and painting toenails. Or in your young adults years you ay have tried the bentonite clay detox of Aztec influence. Regardless, I bet you’ve never used it in makeup.

I’m a small business owner and actress who started “Roots of Beauty” after experiments to make my own makeup when horribly…right! Using some kitchen spices, arrowroot powder, and an assortment of clays I was able to create a loose powder that keeps me shine-free all day long.

Next up? Lipstick. Using Australian red reef clay and some cocoa butter with coconut oil I created an organic, fair-trade lipstick that is free of chemicals, animal parts, and cheap colorings. Using French rose clay I was able to create the same product in a lighter shade that went on to star in a friend’s wedding between herself and the bridesmaids. Okay, she was the star, but the lipstick was a close second.

I’ve made men’s pomade that calls them to the wilderness with it’s cedar scent. Dry shampoo is in the works, as we find packaging to allow the perfect sprinkle across your roots.

Speaking of packaging, Roots of Beauty uses all sustainable, made in the USA packaging materials. Except for the lipstick and chapstick tubes everything is compostable, including the labels and recycles bookpaper inserts. But the tubes are BPA-free and easily recyclable. Instead of plastic shrink-wrapped seals we use old-fashioned ribbon and wax seal, with a custom “RB” seal.

Long story long… you’ve gotta come check us out. If you’re in Los Angeles come to the Glassell Park farmer’s markets on Saturday mornings for a free sample. New customers get 40% the first product with code “newroot.” In the meantime, check us out on facebook, twitter and instagram.

We’ve found the products and their magic from nature, from the outside looking in. Now we invite you to treat your body with confidence.

 

 

90s Fashion Icons

Take it from your closet and make it fit. Jessica Locher shows you how to craft 90’s-inspired fashion icon looks for Halloween and beyond.

90’s babies rejoice! The time for overalls, chokers, platform sneakers, and tying sweaters around your waist is once again upon us! The fashion gods have allowed the carefree and spirited style from (eeek!) 20 years ago to resurrect from the grave and I could not be more ecstatic. From the music, to the movies, to the clothes, and even the sometimes questionable hair styles, I have always been a big fan of all things 90s! For the past year, I have been stocking up on anything and everything I thought could fit in with my current style and was reminiscent of that decade. I can’t get enough! With Halloween right around the corner, I thought what better way to showcase my shopping efforts than to show how to recreate looks from three of the biggest style icons of the decade. Not only are these three ladies my personal heroes from the era, they are also women that helped shape pop culture during their time.

Cher Horowitz from Clueless

There was not one girl who lived through the 90s that was not influenced by Cher’s style, grace, class, and Valley Girl attitude. She taught us how to use the word “sporadic” in a sentence, that you should always brake for animals, that dating a high school boy is a decision every woman has to make for themselves, and that apparently it’s not gross to date your stepbrother (I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one). Also, I’d like to throw out to the universe, that we are still eagerly awaiting Cher’s computerized closet to be available widespread! There is not one outfit that is more memorable than her yellow plaid blazer and pleated skirt with white knee highs and perfect Mary-Janes…oh and her furry white backpack that’s TOTALLY faux, duh! I never stopped loving miniature backpacks and jumped for joy when I found this black faux leather piece from Target about six months ago. I’ve never been the person to fret about functionality over fashion but there’s something so freeing about swinging the straps over your shoulders and still having complete control of yours arms (visions of looking like the Wacky Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man come to mind). This look was a combined effort between my roommate’s and my closet. I had the general idea…plaid skirt, white button down, knee highs, and chunky wedges…but when she ran into my room toting the most perfect cropped sweater vest, I knew it was just what this needed! I had to add a string of pearls to finalize the class of Cher’s character. This look is very specific and totally fun! The instant you step into this ensemble, it’s hard not to immediately embody Cher’s persona. Fair warning, you’ll find yourself shoving the ‘Whatever’ sign in the faces of anyone that is unfortunate enough to have RBF (Resting Bitch Face), people that cut you off in traffic, or your best friend just because it feels so good. And to anyone that has anything to say while sitting in your passenger seat, just remind them, “You try driving in platforms!”

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#ThakoonForKohls

Every issue Caroline A. Wong joins you in the chase for the most coveted designer collections. It’s a team effort. It’s you and me.

Photos by Breanna Powell

Designer collaborations can be so trendy…and not in a good way. They’re flash-in-the-pan one-hit-wonders that disappear faster than California’s water (too soon?). To truly appreciate a designer collaboration, you have to either 1) already adore the designer (going against the principle of the designer introducing their goods to a new/mass market) or 2) deeply fall in love with a particular piece (which is often hindered by the quality compromise that can happen with fast fashion wear and the sometimes-occurring sense that you have a poor shadow of a designer’s original).

Luckily, Thakoon for DesigNation by Kohl’s is an exception. Arguably the most “it-girl friendly” designer to partner with Kohl’s (edgy chic brands like Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant usually go the H&M route), Thakoon has released an homage to London totally in line with the Old Smoke. The inspired silhouettes add freshness to the designer collaboration game, which can get so bland with its slant towards mass appeal. For example, Target collaborations seem a bi blasé and mainstream now. Kohl’s has managed to keep its partnerships fresh and relevant with the fun locale themes, which also help anchor the lines. Thakoon’s nod to London is cheeky and playful yet the inspiration is clear and practical. It’s what every designer collaboration should be.

Take the heavy wool vest…the length is modern and the vest style makes the piece something versatile that will last beyond the oft short-lived designer collaboration timeframe. It’s the ultimate layering piece great for a range of climates and seasons. Wear it with a lightweight dress in the fall and spring, or belt it over a long-sleeved piece…even over a coat for extra warmth! The pattern also encourages you to mix prints…if you feel the mix is too bold, simply remove the vest.

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Fit on the Fly

By Rachel McCormick

w-letter-cher-lloyde’ve all been there. You’re headed on that amazing vacation or work trip, and you may indulge, not eating as healthfully as you do during your normal routine at home. But, you tell yourself, you WILL workout, I will let myself eat carbs, but I will darn sure work them off. You are determined that you will not return home five pounds heavier and mad at yourself. So you make it to the hotel, put on your favorite workout gear, lace up your Nikes, and put your ear buds in to rock out to your favorite workout jams. You swing open the door to the hotel gym and all of a sudden, all your motivation goes out the window faster than you downed that cheap wine on the plane ride over. The gym is smaller than your walk-in closet at home, complete with one treadmill, a StairMaster that looks like it’s straight out of the 1950s, and six free weights. All you can hear is the dead silence of this tiny, depressing room and WOMP WOMP playing loudly in your head.

I know the feeling all too well, as my job happens to be to travel, and I have stayed in more hotels than I can count. Here are some of my favorite tips for staying fit and healthy while on the go.

Water Water WATER

When flying, staying hydrated is crucial. You are literally trapped in a metal, dehydrated tube for hours with re-circulated air, and your body is desperate for hydration. Yes, you can’t take over 3.5 ounces of liquid through airport security, and an airport bottle of water costs way more than you would like to pay. My trick: take an empty bottle through security, then fill it up at a water fountain. Voila.

Grub on the Go

Let’s be honest—besides the prices, airport and airplane food’s nutritional value is less than impressive. Why would I pay $20 for a less-than-satisfying meal that is going to do nothing positive for my body? My number one travel essential food that I have in my bag 24/7? Oatmeal. The Quaker’s individual packets will do, but I prefer make my own. That way, I know exactly what is going into it and I can avoid artificial sweeteners, sugar, and other yucky ingredients. All you need is some plain oats, plastic baggies, an all natural sweetener (mine favorite is Stevia), and whatever else you like in your oatmeal—cinnamon, nuts, etc. Oatmeal is such a winner for on-the-go hunger because it is healthy, satisfying, and easy! Just add some hot water and you’re all set. Some of my other favorite foods to have on hand when traveling are:

• Quest Protein Bars
• Beef Jerky
• Almonds
• Apple Slices
• Baby Carrots
• Rice cakes
• SkinnyPop Popcorn

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Share Your Wear

Though summer is arguably the best season for wanderlust and adventure, fall is when the real fun begins—at least when it comes to dressing up. Here’s your quick guide to some of our favorite trends. From flirty hems to big, bold earrings, the runways were filled with plenty of inspiration.

By Breana Powell

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