8 Ways to Optimize Your Sleep
While a healthy lifestyle requires a balanced diet and exercise, sleep is another pillar of overall wellness that is both essential to your health and success, and often overlooked.
By simply making small changes to your daily routine you can improve your quality of sleep. Follow these tips from Dr. Sujay Kansagra, Mattress Firm’s sleep health consultant and director of Duke University’s Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program, and get on your way to better rest and a healthier life.
1. Manage your sleep time. Rather than trying to accomplish everything on your to-do list at the expense of sleep, reverse your approach. As the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night, make sure to set aside the time needed for a full night of rest.
2. Stay on schedule. Try to keep your bedtime and wake time consistent on both weekdays and weekends. With time, your brain and body will acclimate to these set times, but until then, rely on an alarm – not only to wake in the morning, but to keep you from staying up too late at night, too.
3. Find a routine. A routine performed 20-30 minutes prior to bed every night can subconsciously ease your brain into sleep. Unwinding with a book, taking a warm bath or meditating are all ways to slow your mind and transition toward peaceful rest.
4. Brighten up the morning. Getting plenty of bright light in the morning helps keep your sleep timing on track, particularly if you wake up early. Make opening the drapes and blinds your first task each morning.
5. Ditch the clock. Fixating on the time can create stress and keep you up at night. Instead, set your alarm, turn your clock around and forget about the time.
6. Get moving. Research shows that exercise can act as a natural sleep remedy, often leading to a more sound slumber. However, if you exercise late and have difficulty falling asleep, consider moving your workout earlier in the day. The increase in body temperature from exercise tends to be prolonged, sometimes making it hard to fall asleep.
7. Kick the caffeine habit. Morning caffeine can linger in your system until it’s time to sleep. Coffee, tea, dark sodas and dark chocolate are the main offenders for most people.
8. Pay back debt. If you are chronically deprived of sleep, allow your body extra sleep time to make up for the loss. In these cases, even 8-9 hours each night may not be enough. Allow your body to catch up then commit to more consistent sleep patterns in the future.
Find more resources to help improve your sleep, including tips on how to purchase a new mattress, at DailyDoze.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Mattress Firm
Beauty and the Beat
By: SHARON MOSLEY
Wake up those weary winter wardrobes. Spring is right around the corner and it’s time to refresh, restart and recharge your beauty routine. Go big and go bold with glittery eyes, orange lips, rosy hair and graphic nails. Here are five fast ways to wake up to make up in 2017.
–Wake up and shine. Get ready to put your party face on all day long. Shimmer and shine has taken over the runways and chances are you’ll see it staring back at you in your own mirror. Yes, there are lots of not-so-subtle Lady Gaga glitter eyes out there (just press little flecks of glitter into your lip gloss and you get the “no kissing tonight” picture) but you can take it down a notch or two or three. There are plenty of luminizing beauty products that will give you a barely-there metallic sunny glow. Reflective golds and silvers are the usual suspects, but bronzed sun-kissed shimmers are springing up just in time for sunny days ahead.
–Wake up to color. The nude palette has been our go-to beauty routine for the past few years, but now there is a new way to brighten up the pale no-color makeup trend. Think blue eyeshadows, orangey lipsticks and pink, pink, pink. From vibrant neon rainbows to psychedelic holograph effects, there’s a wave of color crashing into the spring season. And unless you’re performing in a stage show, remember, a little goes a long way. Pink eyes, pink hair and pink lips may just make you look like you need to check into the nearest ER.
–Wake up to bed-head hair. This one is almost too good to be true, but yes, messy hair is trending big time this year. It’s tousled, it’s teased, it’s loose and it’s easy. Swept to the side in breezy braids or textured chin-length bobs or long twisted ringlets and curls, hair styles have come undone. Another way to refresh your hair this spring is to add some color. Rose gold shades are big, but colored highlights in blue, red, pink or layered ombre effects are ways to have fun expressing your inner diva — especially at prom or party time. And if you’re a little skittish about taking the color plunge, consider popping a colorful braid or two into your everyday do.
–Wake up to nail art. Rihanna and Adele may be nailing it with long dagger nails, but for most of us, embellished nails are the way to go, especially if you don’t have a manicurist on constant call. Spring is the perfect time to book a mani/pedi and break out of the dark, vampy polishes. Paint the town in sea greens, sky blues, tangy oranges and petal pinks. Graphic nail art can be an easy DIY project if you have the patience. Cosmetic companies make it easy with on-line tutorials and mix and match color collections. Watery iridescent effects and two-tone color designs are perfect places to start. Leave more complicated nail art to the pros at your favorite salon.
–Wake up your skin. A new lipstick or a new eye shadow may be more exciting, but revving up your skincare routine may be much more important in the long run. As a new season rolls around, reevaluate how you treat your skin every day and night. Are the products you’re currently using really working? We all know by now that regularly using sun protection is a must (SPF over 30 is recommended), but this spring think about treating your skin to a refresher course by incorporating a soothing eye mask or invigorating facial peel into your weekly routine. And if you really want to get off to a fresh start this spring, schedule an appointment with a skincare professional or makeup stylist for personalized tips and trends, a great way to wake up to a new season.
IN FASHION BY SHARON MOSLEY
Square toes. Pointy toes. Round toes. Twinkle toes. The shoes this spring and summer are a study in contrasts where opposites attract and the possibilities are limitless. Footwear is fun again, so get that pedicure and start shopping now. Here are the shoe trends you’ll want to slip into right now:
–Dig the heels. It’s all about the heels this season. From low to high, kitten heels to midi heels to stilettos and from clear acrylics to circular geometrics, heels are making a major mark on footwear trends. And opposites attract: choose from chunky silhouettes to ladylike slim styles.
–Rise to the occasion with platforms and flatforms. There are plenty of Lady Gaga-like sky-high platforms out there this year, but there are also lots of ways to come back down to earth. From mid-high thick soles to flatter versions called flatforms, these wedge shoes are a trendy way to pump up the style volume and give your wardrobe a youthful attitude. Floral prints and rope trims are making the buy now list. Just make sure you can stay grounded and keep your balance with all that funky fun.
–Satisfy your hunger with sliders. From plastic pool slides to jeweled mules, these are the ultimate comfort shoes for spring and summer. Dozens of styles range from casual athletic looks to tailored menswear loafers to bedazzled cocktail party shoes. Pick your slides carefully. Some of these slip-ons this season have paper-thin soles and don’t offer much support.
–Go for something extra with embellished footwear. These are the fun shoes. Extra details are the icing on the footwear this year. Think embroidery, appliqued flowers, fruit, pom poms, tassels, crystals, pearls, feathers and bows. Asian prints abound and feminine details flourish. If you have a special occasion coming up, look for shoes that have something extra going for them. They’ll make your outfit.
–Think pink. Put away the black boots and treat yourself to delicious colors this spring. The pastel candy colors are a perfect way to put some spring into your step. From pretty hot pink to subtle blush to even more subtle nude hues, the sophisticated shoes of the season come in everything from slides to stilettos.
–Shine on. Metallics have become a fashion neutral in accessories, and shoes are having their shining moment too. Slip into some silver loafer slides, shiny purple slingbacks or satiny pink midi boots, and lighten up warm-weather wardrobes.
–Tie one on. Heels may be one focal point of fashion footwear this spring, but ankles may tie for second place. Ankles are wrapped and laced for added visual effect. Try a pair of strappy sandals in flats or heels tied up with ribbon for a walk down the red carpet or even down the beach.
–Sneak into spring. Sneakers have come a long way, baby. They’ve gone high fashion, and we all can appreciate the level of comfort that athletic-inspired footwear has to offer. White is still a springtime favorite, but bright colors are popping up everywhere. And how about slithering into a pair of python sneakers? And if sneakers aren’t your thing, you can still go sporty with a pair of utility sandals or moccasins with lug soles. Supplement your trusty gym shoes with a new pair of these updated comfort shoes and wear them every single day.
The Pajama Party goes Hollywood
The Pajama Party goes Hollywood
Think wearing your pajamas all day long is too good to be true? Not if fashion designers have their way this spring and summer! They are waking us all up with boudoir basics that are no longer so basic. Hollywood starlets have long known the luxurious appeal of loungewear and lingerie, as well as the power of the pajama.
The slinky slip has always had a steamy history — especially in the movies. From Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to Diane Lane in “Unfaithful,” the sexy slip has been immortalized in some of Hollywood’s most glamorous film scenes. And then there was Naomi Watts slipping in under the fashion radar in the remake of “King Kong.”
In other words, there has long been a fascination with the sumptuous slip in Tinsel town. Think glamorous film stars like Carole Lombard, Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow wearing long shimmering slips and gowns in the early days of Hollywood. These bias-cut gowns gave a whole new meaning to body-conscious silhouettes still in style almost 100 years later.
Courtney Love also inspired us with this long-time fashion favorite in 1995 when she wore a bias cut and “slit-up-to-there” slip dress to an Oscar’s after party. The rest is history. And the slip dress had a real ’90s moment … or two … or three. Now Love is doing her own boudoir collection for Nasty Gal.
Today, designers are once again reinventing the slip and turning it into a new classic. The new slip is a dress that is dominating the spring fashion trend news. In all shapes and sizes, from short and sassy to long and lean, these silky slips with shoestring shoulder straps are meant to be seen.
White is the choice of color for the season’s latest interpretation of the slip dress for designers at Burberry, Calvin Klein, Celine and Givenchy. Alexander Wang lets it slip with a black lace maxi dress, and Ralph Lauren does it in scarlet red.
And if wearing one of these skimpy little frocks gives you goose bumps, then not to worry. Just add lots of layers — oversized knit sweaters or tailored jackets will do nicely. Then balance the slim silhouette with a pair of spring’s newest chunky platforms.
Then there’s always the pajama to get the party started. If slip dresses aren’t your thing, why not try the boudoir chic trend with menswear pajama-inspired tops and bottoms. Claudette Colbert may have started it all when she wore Clark Gable’s pajamas in the 1934 movie “It Happened One Night.” But Lucille Ball also popularized the pajama game by wearing Ricky’s PJs in several episodes of the 1950s sitcom “I Love Lucy.”
This spring, pajama-like separates — especially in matching printed designs — are rolling out of the bed and right onto city streets. Prints are particularly plentiful in the collections from For Restless Sleepers and Sonia Rykiel; Alexander Wang did boxy tops with cropped pants, and at Dior, the boxer short and camisole turned pajamas into streetwear when teamed with oversized blazers.
And if all you want to do is just wrap up in a comfy robe and be done with it all, then there are fashion options out there for you this spring too. The robe jacket/dress is making a big comeback. Witness the news making dress that actress Blake Lively wore to a recent White House State Dinner. Her silvery silk robe dress by Ralph & Russo stole the show from the Canadians.
So if you’re looking for a new dress for an upcoming special event, then check out this wrap silhouette that’s a take-off of the “le smoking” tuxedo. It’s effortless chic and Hollywood glamour at its best … in and out of the bedroom.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM
Join the New Gifters: Less Stuff, More Meaning, No Fruitcake
By Marilynn Preston
The holiday season is upon us. And there’s a 6-foot-high, plastic inflatable Santa standing outside the pet shop around my corner that I want to kill. He’s so cheesy, so filled with mechanical joy that his robotic “ho ho ho” makes me want to yank his polyester beard as I pass by on my way to yoga, knowing I can always calm down later, on the mat.
Finding calm and feeling real joy during the holidays is a personal goal you might choose for yourself this December. Setting the goal is easy. Planning for success is the challenge. What are you going to do this year that is specific, different and dramatic enough to shift your behavior and elevate your spirit?
Take gift-buying, for instance. It’s an aerobic sport this month, a virtual minefield of anxiety, stress and indecision. Will Samantha flip for the earphone-ready Ugg earmuffs? Does Sydney crave another pair of cashmere-lined gloves? Should I go into credit card debt to pay for more toys, more gadgets, more STUFF just because there are phony snowflakes in every store window?
The simple answer to that last loaded question is no. Simplicity is part of a growing trend in gift-giving that has nothing to do with more purses, more scarves, more useless stocking stuffers that add little more than clutter to our lives.
Instead, people on the path to a healthier, happier lifestyle are finding more satisfying ways to express their love and gratitude. Instead of buying into the crass commercialism of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Kiss-my-Mistletoe Tuesday, conscious spenders are rethinking old habits and replacing them with new ones that are greener, cleaner, more inspired and more charitable.
Interested? Wrap your mind around these:
CONSUMABLES ARE KING. Nothing is true for everyone. But for many people on your holiday list, giving consumables is the way to go.
What’s a consumable? Simply put, it’s something you use up. Like a fine bottle of wine. (In my house, anything over $25 dollars fits that bill). Or a box of fabulous chocolates. Or a fruitcake-free fruit basket filled with the yummiest organic produce you can find.
The one exception to the Give Consumables rule, in my book, is a great book. They’re a dwindling species, but readers still exist, and matching a great book with an eager mind remains a thrill. I remember one year giving everyone I know a copy of “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan. But most years, I find a fabulous food item or two online. Have you ever tasted a Greenberg Smoked Turkey? Or Heart of the Desert’s garlic & green chili-flavored pistachios?
EXPERIENCES LAST FOREVER. I like giving consumables … but I love giving people on my list something experiential. Stuff is stuff, but an experience can have real impact that lasts way beyond the holidays. Here are my FIVE favorite experiences to offer a loved one:
— A massage: Nothing beats a session with a blissful body-worker.
— Manicure-pedicure: good for ladies and hilarious for guys.
— Private coaching in his or her favorite sport: a total winner!
— Cooking lessons: fun for one, but better done in pairs.
— Tickets to theater, dance, music: Buy two, and share the good times.
DONATE TO A
NON-PROFIT. This is one of the highest forms of gift-giving, but it takes a little courage. Trust me — you will not disappoint. Find a charity you believe in, or one that’s in sync with your loved one’s interests, and donate in their name. One wonderful one to consider is Heifer International (heifer.org), where your gift of $20 dollars or more can buy a struggling family a flock of chicks or a share in a llama.
Another outstanding nonprofit I support and shamelessly promote whenever I can is Girls in the Game (girlsinthegame.org), where the mission is to teach young women to lead healthy, active lifestyles so they can grow up to be confident, strong leaders in their community.
So the choice is yours. If you decide to rethink your gift-giving, Santa and Rudolph will rejoice in their lighter load.
ENERGY EXPRESS-O! LOL
“The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.” — Joan Rivers
Marilynn Preston — fitness expert, well being coach and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues — is the creator of Energy Express, the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the country. She has a website, http://marilynnpreston.com and welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to MyEnergyExpress@aol.com.
COPYRIGHT 2015 ENERGY EXPRESS, LTD.
Beat Cool – Weather Keep health in mind as cold creeps closer
Temperatures may be dropping, but just because swimsuit season is over doesn’t mean it’s time to let your fitness regimen fall by the wayside. Keeping active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important year-around, so stay on track as the weather cools with these tips and tricks.
7 Healthy Habits for Fall Fitness
1. With cooler temps comes the temptation to indulge in comfort foods. Remember that it’s OK to satisfy those cravings but keep portions in control.
2. From the start of school to the kickoff of new sporting seasons, fall is a time of fresh beginnings. Get your own start on a healthier lifestyle by kicking unhealthy habits such as smoking.
3. Make the most of these last few months to enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Try new recipes featuring options such as apples, pears, pumpkin and squash to enjoy the natural goodness of fresh produce and add some variety to your typical diet.
4. Colder weather may bring relief from the heat, but it also brings cold and flu season fast on its heels. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands often to minimize your exposure to germs and illness.
5. Commit to a workout routine. Whether that means investing in the proper home workout equipment to have at home or securing a gym membership (or a combination of the two), pledge to make time for a workout most, if not all, days of the week.
6. Set a good example for the youngest members of your family by finding ways to get the whole crew involved. Take a walk or bike ride, or organize a game of backyard ball to get those feel-good endorphins going.
7. Poor sleep not only drags you down, it can raise your risk for numerous medical problems. Set a bedtime that allows you plenty of rest and stick to it. Also eliminate as many factors as possible that can disrupt your sleep, such as the TV, music and lights.
Electrolytes for Fitness
During a workout, you lose more than just water when you sweat – you also lose electrolytes. If you don’t replace what you lose, you can become dehydrated, decreasing strength, reducing endurance and delaying muscle response. Water alone doesn’t contain electrolytes, so you need a beverage enhanced with electrolytes like Propel Electrolyte Water. With 9 available zero-calorie flavors, it’s the only national water brand with enough electrolytes to replace what you lose in sweat. Learn more at propelwater.com.
Performance Training for a Healthy Lifestyle
Building healthy habits, strength and endurance is possible with the T618 Nautilus Performance Series Treadmill, which is perfect for home workouts. With a full suite of training programs, including interval training, weight management and other customized workouts, this powerful machine features an exclusive cushioning system, a gym-quality running path and an easy-folding deck. Bluetooth connectivity allows users to share data with the free Nautilus Trainer app, which automatically syncs with popular fitness apps. Learn more at nautilus.com.
Best Foot Forward
Keeping in shape requires keeping your feet in motion, but without proper footwear you can find your energy sagging and muscles straining. This is especially true for runners, whose feet take a real pounding. Look for a shoe that fits well in both the heel and instep, fitting snugly but not restrictive. Remember that feet swell during a run, so be sure you have ample room in width and length. Also be sure the shoe offers enough flexibility to give without causing blisters or rubbing uncomfortably while you’re running.
A Sporting Way to Get More Cardio
Keeping sports equipment handy makes it easy to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine. Assemble a variety of sporting goods to create some variety in your workout, and be sure to include options you can enjoy solo, with a partner or with a group of friends. An assortment of balls for games such as basketball, football, soccer and softball are simple ways to get in an extra cardio workout. Jump ropes, resistance bands and free weights are also handy to have around the house when inspiration to mix up your workout routine is necessary.
Family biking photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Running shoes photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Sports glove and balls photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Trick Plays for Budget-Savvy Tailgaters
As fall settles in, the air gets crisper and the kids head back to school, many Americans eagerly anticipate one thing: football season.
Whether you’re a die-hard gridiron fan or prefer to enjoy the food and festivities from the sidelines, everyone can agree that a successful tailgate is key to any memorable game day get-together. According to a recent Bank of America survey, 34 percent of Americans plan to attend a professional or college football game or tailgate this fall, and 20 percent plan to host a tailgate or viewing party themselves.
While many love planning out meals, decorations and activities for friends and family, the costs can easily add up and make hosting feel like an underdog game. So how can fans plan a tailgate that stays on budget and impresses any crowd – home or away?
Home design and DIY experts Ben and Erin Napier teamed with Bank of America to provide these cost-savvy tips for pulling off a memorable tailgate that fits the bill for every fan on game day.
Get in the Competitive Spirit
Whether you’re grilling outside the stadium or spending halftime hanging out in your backyard, Ben recommends laying out a variety of games for guests to enjoy, such as a wood-block game with blocks painted in your team colors.
Follow these simple steps:
1. Sand down wooden four-by-fours.
2. Cut into 48 pieces, each eighteen 18 inches long.
3. Stack pieces into a tower.
4. Take turns pulling pieces to see who knocks the tower over first.
For added flair and personalization, Erin suggests painting the wooden blocks your team colors.
Bring the Stadium to Your Living Room
If you missed out on tickets or your home team is on the road, you can still make your home feel like a day at the stadium. Decorating your home with the team’s colors – such as creating DIY wall art with framed jerseys – is a simple, cost-efficient way to capture the tailgate essence.
Ben suggests setting up a big screen TV on the deck or outdoor living area with speakers to mimic the feeling of watching a game outside in the stands. For inexpensive, comfy seating that will help welcome guests and add another pop of team spirit, try purchasing throw pillows in your team’s colors from a wholesale club or superstore, but make sure to weatherproof them first using fabric protection spray.
Create a Tailgating Space that Stands Out
One of the best parts of tailgating at the stadium is being surrounded by fellow fans. Try sprucing up your car or tent to create an inviting space that showcases your team pride. Ben recommends investing in a large, custom-designed vinyl or fabric banner for your tent. Not only can they be affordable to produce and last for many seasons, but they stand out in a crowd.
Defeat Your Budget
“Planning for a busy football season doesn’t need to be a ‘loss’ for your budget,” Ben said. “Turning to a credit card that rewards you for everyday purchases is one of the easiest ways to ‘win’ this season.”
Because tailgating throughout the entire football season requires many trips to the grocery store – often buying in bulk – using a card like the BankAmericard Cash Rewards credit card lets you earn 2 percent cash back at wholesale clubs and grocery stores. And 3 percent cash back when gassing up for away games – on up to $2,500 in grocery/wholesale club/gas quarterly spend. You also earn 1 percent back on all other purchases.
For more information, visit bankofamerica.com/creditcard.
Source: Bank of America
Old School Throwbacks: The Back to School Checklist
By: Sharon Mosley
As summer fades and it’s time to head back to class, take a few notes on the fashion favorites that will be making the grades this fall. It’s all about channeling the ’90s and adding a modern twist to these wardrobe must-haves. Check out these trends for tots to teens that get an A for Attitude:
–Distressed Denim. Denim is always a back to school staple, but this year, it’s getting a little distressed. That means ripped and ragged…in all the right places, of course. And if this shabby chic is not up to the school dress code, then there are plenty of other options. Flared jeans, overalls and ombre chambray shirts are trendy for teens; cuffed jeans and denim mini skirts for kids. And cropped skinny jeans are turning up everywhere…the perfect jean to wear with everyone’s favorite ankle boots.
–Graphic Tees. Kids of all ages this fall will want to get their own personal message across with T-shirts that express their personalities. This is where parents can let their kids do their own things and be creative with fashion choices. My favorite? “Be You Tiful” from Lands’ End. Or don a tee splattered with geometric printed “artwork.” Be creative!
–Cool Jackets. They’re the finishing touch to jeans and tees and a way to chill out on cooler fall days. The popular jean jacket it always a must-have, but kids and teens this year jazz up their denim jackets with decorative patches that personalize the back to school classic. Jackets are also favorites of teen boys in military styles and bright colored leather bombers for teen girls.
–Plaid Shirts. The grunge look of the ’90s is playing out in a major way for the back to school crowd. Kids of all ages are layering the popular flannel button-front styles over T-shirts and jeans or wrapping them around their waists for warmer days when style still counts as well as comfort.
–Activewear. Ath-leisure is now a fashion trend gone mainstream. Activewear goes to class in zip-front hoodies, jogger pants and tracksuits. Old school is new again, and who could argue with this trend that combines performance wear with a stylish twist?
–Girly Dresses. For teen girls, the slip dress is a winner this fall, inspired by the models and rock stars of the ’90s. It’s a great layering piece for T-shirts and jackets, too. Younger girls love to dress up in flannel baby doll dresses that pair perfectly with tights and booties.
–Slouchy Sweaters. Sweaters are a varsity essential, and this fall, the popular trend shows up in slightly oversized shapes in everything from boxy sweatshirts to long tunic tops. Varsity-inspired cardigans are always a school favorite, and make a great partner to plaid shirts.
–Knit Hits. These are the ultimate mix-and-match pieces for a back-to-school wardrobe that stretches the budget and can be worn throughout the whole school year. Collect soft knits in dresses, pull-on leggings, short skirts and all kinds of tops and tees.
–Westward Ho. Let the fringe fly this fall…on suede jackets and skirts, on boots and book bags. The Wild West comes alive with the favorite classics of cowboys and cowgirls:
Start with the denim basics — jeans and skirts — and top off with chambray shirts and suede jackets or vests. Denim worn with denim head to toe has never been a bigger trend. Western style boots are another way to add a touch of the Wild West to school day wardrobes.
–Extra-Curricular Accessories. If it’s a backpack, then chances are, it’s headed back to school. And this fall, there are backpacks for every age. From animal prints to camo prints to metallics, there are bags with matching lunch totes and bags for laptops. And then there are the shoes of course…think platform sneakers for teen girls, chukka boots for the guys and ankle boots for all.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM
Dad’s Day Gift Ideas – Feed dad’s interests with gifts he’ll love
Dad can be hard to shop for sometimes. Of course, he can never have too many ties, coffee mugs or tools. But doesn’t the man who taught you how to ride a bike, to play catch and to always try your best deserve something more personal and unique.
Sure, he will be happy regardless of what you get him, but why not help him enjoy more time with the interests he has outside of being a great father. Here are some Father’s Day gift ideas for every kind of dad – from the grill master to the car enthusiast and the clean freak to the hygiene centric and every kind of dad in between.
Let Dad Stand Out with a Million-Dollar Shine
Your dad can now achieve the million-dollar appearance of Barrett-Jackson car auctions in his garage. Their Premium Auto Care line includes washes, waxes and detailers formulated with synthetic hydrophobic polymers and genuine carnauba wax for lasting brilliance and easy application. Learn more about how to bring a long-lasting and brilliant, deep shine to your dad’s car at Barrett-JacksonAutoCare.com. Barrett-Jackson Premium Auto Care products, which range in price from $5.49 to $17.99, are available at retailers nationwide, including Walmart, Pepboys, Menards and select Home Depots, and through online retailers including Amazon.com. For the ultimate gift, go a step further and wash his car for him.
For the Dad Who Loves to Drive
What do you get a dad who loves his car and truly loves to drive? How about something that connects him to his car, like a shoe that enhances his driving experience? While comfortable and stylish enough for everyday wear, the Piloti Spyder S1 driving shoe features patented Roll Control heel technology, superior red suede and mesh panels for maximum comfort and flexibility as well as the perfect combination of support, size, grip and feel. Check out the Spyder S1 ($150) as well as Piloti’s complete line of luxury, casual and performance driving shoes at Piloti.com.
A Gift Dad Can Sink His Teeth Into
Make Father’s Day complete with a dinner he’ll remember for years. The Omaha Steaks Father’s Day T-Bone Gift package is a meal dad will be willing and eager to fire up the grill for. The package is headlined by two 18-ounce T-Bones and includes four Brisket Burgers and four Gourmet Jumbo Franks along with Omaha Steaks Seasoning. Regularly $194.95, you can now bring the family together to enjoy this incredible fare for just $69.99. For more information, visit omahasteaks.com.
A Spotless Man Cave, Workshop and Car
It’s the ultimate gift for dad and his man cave. The Dirt Devil FlipOut(tm) is a premium cordless hand vac, perfectly designed to keep his man cave, workshop or set of wheels spotless. The 16-volt, fade-free lithium battery means faster charging, longer runtime and continuous power. It’s compact and lightweight, and has versatile tools for quick and easy cleaning. The FlipOut is $49.99. For more information, visit DirtDevil.com.
Power Dad’s Smile
Be the power behind dad’s smile this Father’s Day with the Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth connectivity. The brush connects to the Oral-B App, which provides real-time guidance while brushing and records brushing activity that can be shared with dental professionals. With six different cleaning modes, it removes 300 percent more plaque compared to a manual brush. Upgrade your dad’s oral care routine and visit oralb.com for additional details.
(father and daughter photo)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
KEEP YOUR COOL
How Sportswear is Innovating Underwaer, Socks and T’s
Athletic styling continues to increase its influence on casual clothing – often referred
to as “athleisure” apparel – with innovative fabric treatments associated with high-performance activewear making their way into basic apparel; even underwear.
Temperature-control and wicking technology that draws moisture away from skin, initially developed to keep athletes dryer and more comfortable while training and competing, can now be found in items we wear every day, including T-shirts, underwear and socks.
“Comfort is the biggest factor when choosing basic clothing, so it’s little surprise the technology that makes high-performance sportswear so appealing to athletes is being well received in casual, everyday apparel,” said Jay Turner, president of underwear, panties and socks at HanesBrands, which has introduced X-Temp, a dynamic temperature control and cooling technology, to its product lineup. “There is no such thing as too much comfort in underwear.”
After all, the gym is hardly the only place where temperatures rise and perspiration follows. Sometimes life sets the thermostat to “really uncomfortable,” especially with normal workday pressures. From interviewing for a new job, making a big presentation or dealing with a demanding boss, there are countless scenarios in the workplace that call for keeping your cool.
Fit meets function
Athletic apparel was once only worn for specific athletic activities, but now demand has inspired manufacturers to deliver the same style and comfort in more affordable, everyday apparel. One of the key components of comfort is temperature regulation, and a high-tech
Swiss company, HeiQ, developed the Adaptive technology that actually responds to body temperature changes by turning moisture wicking on or off, much like the skin does naturally. You want more evaporation to keep you feeling cooler when the body is warmer and less evaporation when you are chilled.
Top brands are now incorporating this technology into their collections. For example, Champion PowerTrain T-shirts, hoodies and training pants (look for “Vapor” on the label)
are made from virtually weightless fast-drying fabric that wicks moisture for sweat-free
comfort, no matter what else you’re wearing and what you’re doing.
Underneath it all
When things heat up, keeping your cool depends on that first layer of fabric against your
skin. That’s why it’s important to choose undergarments designed to respond to your body temperature. By incorporating the same cooling technology used in active apparel, Hanes has introduced X-Temp undershirts, socks and men’s and women’s underwear that wick moisture away from consumers when warm. Soon you will even be able to find bras that incorporate
“Technology continues to migrate from athletic wear to underwear as part of the athleisure trend,” Turner said. “For consumers, comfort is 24-7 and knows no boundaries.”
To learn more about comfortable, casual clothing with the technology to meet your lifestyle needs, visit hanes.com.
White. Black. Navy. Brown. These are the basic colors found in most of our wardrobes. But what happens when fashion designers decide they want to shake things up a bit? They surprise us by creating a little more daring color chaos thrown into the mix of all those boring basics we insist on wearing year after year.
“Without the classics, a wardrobe can’t be built,” admits Jackie Nasser, Fashion Director of the online boutique Rue La La. “But without a little color chaos, a wardrobe can’t come to life.”
Color expert Lee Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, agrees. “There are specific color combinations that say classic,” she says, “while other mixes are completely unexpected and bring an element of surprise. Some may refer to those combinations as chaotic, yet in the proper context they might be absolutely on target for expressing a more freewheeling and creative mood. … There is room for classic and chaotic.”
So whether you want to stick with the classic palette or inject a little more fun into your wardrobe this fall, designers provide plenty of color inspiration. Pantone’s fall 2015 predictions include a color palette that ranges from earthy neutrals such as greenish-gray “Desert Sage,” olive green “Dried Herb,” blue-gray “Stormy Weather” and golden-yellow “Oak Buff.”
Add a wine-like ruddy brown like “Marsala” to warm things up or a blue-green like “Biscay Bay” for a splash of tropical flair. And then if you really want to get a little “chaotic,” layer fall color favorites like “Cadmium Orange,” “Cashmere Rose” and “Amethyst Orchid” to invoke a ’70s flashback.
But while the trends may change every year or two, we usually have a favorite color, says Eiseman, who extensively explores how color affects all of us in her book “The Color Answer Book.” “Everyone has a personal color ‘signature’ based on hair, skin and eye colors,” she writes. “Wearing accessories or clothing that repeat elements of your personal coloring will be flattering and distinctive and pleasing to others as well.”
Here are Eiseman’s additional tips for selecting signature colors:
—”If you have hair, skin and eyes with very little contrast, such as very dark skin, eyes and hair that appear almost black, there are actually other undertones present. Extremely dark skin and hair may appear to be blue-black. So a jet black or true navy sweater and pants accented with a (Biscay Bay) blue shirt and a touch of pristine white to add sharp contrast … would look terrific.”
—”If your skin is a deep dark brown, a brownish black, such as Black Coffee, would look subtly striking.” Try shirts in this season’s Marsala or Biscay Bay to complement coffee-colored skin. Eiseman also suggests a touch of winter white to add a flattering contrast.
—”If your hair is silver, your eyes a light blue, and your skin is fair, there is nothing like the drama of jet black” or dark blue colors, writes Eiseman. This season, try Biscay Bay, Marsala and gray Stormy Weather worn with contrasting white or silvery gray and a vibrant touch of Amethyst Orchid.
—”Redheads, of course, by virtue of their unique coloring, can’t help but attract attention,” writes Eiseman. “If you are a copper-toned redhead with cream-colored skin and amber eyes, you simply know that the very same shades are magical on you.
—For Asian skin tones, Eisemen recommends complementary colors to the olive base of their skin. So reds and pinks are a good match (Marsala, Amethyst Orchid). These shades work well with anyone who has dark hair and dark eyes.
—”Sandy-haired people with beige skin tones and brown eyes invariably go for the neutrals. … If you wear them consistently and with very little contrast, you will disappear into the woodwork,” writes Eiseman. “Wear these classic tones, but add a touch of contrast, something memorable” A little Cadmium Orange or Cashmere Rose, perhaps?
Experiment with different elements from Pantone’s fall palette. Then if you want to add more “chaos” to your life, wear all these colors together!
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM
By: Sharon Mosley
It’s back in the saddle again. Time to round up those fresh jeans and head into a new season of denim — a favorite in our wardrobes, year after year. The stars of this season’s fashion rodeo lineup are extra relaxed, playing like a modern Western with more options than ever. Here are some ways you can ride high and get in the denim spirit right now:
—Shimmy into skinny. The slim silhouettes are still going strong, so if you love the skinny look, you can easily update it, dressing jeans up by tucking them into a pair of new boots this fall. Opt for straight legs if you’re tired of squeezing into those tighter jeans. The newest way to top off slim jeans? An oversized poncho or swingy cape.
—Relax with fuller silhouettes. While skinny jeans may not be going away, fuller silhouettes are coming on strong, giving us alternative, roomier styles that we can wear for all kinds of occasions. Cropped jeans with raw hems are ultra-chic when worn with heels; cuffed “boyfriend” fits are fun, too, and cute with casual flats.
—Go for jeans with flare. Seventies fashion continues to influence designers, who have taken the high-waisted wide-leg jean to a new level this year. This is probably one of the most versatile denim silhouettes out there now. Wear darker washes with high heels to work and whiskered, distressed washes with flat boots on the weekends.
—Do denim in new ways. Yes, we all want that perfect pair of jeans in our closets, but how about trying a tailored denim shirtdress, a great new midi skirt or a pair of funky overalls? If you don’t have a classic jean jacket in your wardrobe, add one this season. It will become your “go-to” piece to wear with everything.
—Fade into fall. We’ve always been used to denim lightening up in the spring and summer, but this year, the faded stuff washes right on into fall. Lighter blue denim pieces are a great way to make the transition from summer into cooler weather. Pair your chambray shirts with darker jeans and vests. Another traditional summer denim classic showing up for fall? Shorts! Pair them with tights and boots in chilly weather.
—Think accessories. It’s a lot easier to fit handbags and boots into your life than it is to wiggle into a new pair of skinny jeans. Check out studded denim clutches by Chanel, denim cross-body bags by Pucci or knee-high denim-and-leather boots by Tom Ford.
—Wear it with everything. Blue denim plays well with other pieces in your closet. Pair it with creamy neutrals, classic leopard prints, luggage-brown accessories or black leather. Or wear denim head to toe. Denim is one of the most versatile fashion must-haves, whether you’re a boho rocker or a tailored professional.
—Embellish it. From artsy prints to patchwork to fringe, denim gets detailed this fall with more and more surprises. Designers have decided that this sturdy classic is not going to ride off into the sunset, even as leggings continue to gain ground. After all, our wardrobes are plenty big for all of it — and there are plenty of new ways to wear our favorite denim duds. Hee-haw!
COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM
Back to School on a Budget: Shopping Tips for Parents
BY SHARON MOSLEY
Editor’s Note: The following column was originally published in 2009.
Let’s talk about the biggest “B” word this fall. It may be time to head “back” to school, but for many parents, the biggest “B” in their bonnets will be “Budget.”
“It’s evident that parents are more financially conscious than ever before, budgeting for groceries, family trips and now back-to-school shopping,” says Katherine Hurley, vice president and general merchandise manager for Lands’ End Kids. “As a result, smart moms are using a variety of shopping strategies to be sure kids are ready to head back to class.”
In a recent survey of moms conducted by Lands’ End and Parents Magazine, more than 63 percent of respondents stated that when it comes to back-to-school shopping and spending, they are more anxious this year compared to last year.
But getting your kids ready for school in style doesn’t have to be an anxiety-ridden, budget-busting experience. Here are some basic shopping strategies to help ease the back-to-school budget blues:
—Have a Family Meeting: That’s right, pick a time where you can all sit down and strategize. Don’t wait until you arrive at the store and your kids start whining about why they can’t have the $150 sneakers or hoodies in 10 different colors. Talk about your budget concerns before you go shopping, and let your kids be involved so that they understand the spending parameters.
—Clean Up Your Closets: This is a no-brainer, but many of us forget to do it. Help your kids clean out their closets before they buy new clothes. Separate what fits from what doesn’t. You never know how many pairs of jeans may be lurking in the deep dark recesses of those closets, buried underneath layers of unseen T-shirts and towels. Donate anything that doesn’t fit to a charity.
—Make a List: Another often overlooked necessity. But you probably make a list when you go grocery shopping, don’t you? Why not use the same procedure when shopping for back-to-school clothes? Check off the list as you’re shopping. You can even duplicate lists so that every child has a copy. Then, when you get to the store, stick to your lists.
—Allow for a Treat: Shopping for back-to-school clothes may not be every child’s dream come true, but you can make it more appealing to kids. Set aside a small amount of money so they can pick out one “special” item — a cool pair of shoes or a special headband — to wear on the first day of school. And that’s only if they stick to the original budget!
—Mix It Up: One of the best ways to obtain the most for your fashion dollar is to purchase mix-and-match coordinates. This is a great way for kids to express their own personality in putting their clothes together, and it provides for many more outfit choices.
Take your daughter’s favorite denim skirt from summer. With an additional pair of leggings, you can extend the skirt’s wear into fall. Those same leggings can be added to other knit dresses and tunics for even more wearable looks.
—Look for Quality: Beware of buying the cheapest clothes you can find. If clothes can’t withstand multiple washings, recesses and play days, then they are not great bargains. And if you want “hand-me-down” potential, stick to quality clothing.
Look for reinforced knees, adjustable waistbands, double-stitched seams and pre-washed pieces that minimize shrinkage and hold color. You never know … hopefully you’ll find some of the new clothes will actually make another appearance this time next year.
COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM