Stay Classy and Casual in Versatile Leather Sandals

What looks great with every outfit, is super versatile, and keeps your feet insanely happy in the summer months? Leather sandals. Coming in a variety of shapes, styles, and shades, it’s easy to fall in love with a pair of leather sandals that are totally and uniquely you.

Leather sandals are also perfect for the summer due to their breathable nature. Leather as a material naturally lets feet breathe and keeps them cool throughout the warmer months. Sweaty, uncomfortable feet are a thing of the past when you choose leather sandals. There’s no quality quite like them – and you can certainly feel it in your feet.

olukai sandalsPictured above: Olukai U’I Sandals

Flip Flops
The most casual of the leather shoe crew, flip-flops are perfect for summer beach time fun. A weekend adventuring around the dunes isn’t complete without a great pair of these sandals to help you along your way. Perfect paired with a bathing suit, a great pair of jeans or some casual shorts, flip-flops take you through summer in any ensemble you dream up.

coolway wedgesPictured above: Coolway Gladys Sandal

Wedges
Perfect for Saturday brunch, a Sunday afternoon date walking the pier with your special someone, or a great night out with girlfriends, wedges are the way to go for a bit of height and some extra comfort. If you pick the right pair, the thick heel gives you your footing with the comfort of a sneaker while looking adorable with any of your cutest summer outfits.

pikolinos-benissa-heelsPictured above: Pikolinos Benissa Heels

Heels
Get your height on with a gorgeous pair of leather heels. Show off the details with a great skirt. Summer is all about bright colors and patterns, so don’t be afraid to experiment! These Pikolinos heels flaunt their laser-cut, perforated detailing in contrast to a beautiful brown leather sheen.

How do you wear leather sandals in the summer? We’d love to hear about your style!

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Great New Beach Reads for a Relaxing Summer Season

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.30.45 PMIs there really anything better than relaxing on the beach, completely immersed in another world? Reading has that effect on many, and for good reason. A well written novel transports you to another world, allowing you to forget all your troubles and enter into the lives of others – all adding up to the perfect way to unwind.

At the same time, we’re all about bettering ourselves, and most good books lend themselves some sort of self-improvement, however inadvertently or symbolically. If you’re looking for something a bit more direct, perusing your local bookstore’s health section can be just what you need.

This section of the bookstore certainly contains some wonderful choices, but can be incredibly overwhelming at times. For something as quiet as a book, many health-related reads seem to scream at you: “lose weight now!”, “cut out all sugar!”, “diet your way to happiness!”. These books seem to pressure you into being read – and not necessarily in a good, self-improving way.

That said, we found some super uplifting health reads to put on your list this summer. Add them all up and we guarantee you’ll be your happiest, healthiest self all summer long!

Happy is the New Healthy – Dave Romanelli
This book is a reminder that wellness doesn’t revolve around fitness fads and diet foods. Instead, it revolves around happiness, reminding us how to unplug and unwind to lead joyful, healthy lives.

The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen - Erin Alderson
A new cookbook from the wonderful, photo-taking blogger behind the whole-foods-focused Naturally Ella, this cookbook is filled with simple, hearty recipes that are as good for you nutritionally as they are for your soul.

What the Fork are you Eating? - Stefanie Sacks
Ever confused by all the labels that you run into at the grocery store? All-natural? Cage-free? Low-fat? Antibiotic-free? Some of these have true meanings, others are marketing terms, and some are a mix of both. Learn about exactly what you’re eating and buying — and what these terms actually mean — in this original read.

Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You – By Jessica Cassity
Respected wellness journalist Jessica Cassity used to work for a health and fitness magazine, and met quite a few expert nutritionists and coaches along the way. The tidbits she picked up throughout her years working in this realm are compiled into this quick read, put together in small chunks that you can fit into even your busiest hour.

The Blue Zones Solution - Dan Buettner
Ever wonder how the worlds longest living people have been around for so many years? This book tells you how. Taking health tips from the oldest people in the world, Buettner takes a humanized approach to a health and wellness novel.

Slim by Design – Brian Wansick
Wansick, a food psychologist, shares a scientific approach to eating that is more about how your surroundings influence your eating habits than your willpower. Changing small things – like the clutter in your kitchen, for example – has been proven to have a direct effect on diet.

What are your favorite summer health reads? Share them with us in the comments below! 

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Common Shoe Problems Be Gone!

shoe-problems-goneAs much as we adore shoes of all shapes, styles, and sizes, we know (perhaps better than most) that they can be tricky. Sizing seems to be off between brands, they’re difficult to fit perfectly, and occasionally they just don’t live up to your expectations. We get you!

However, there are a few tips and tricks to buying the right shoes for your feet that we feel like we must share. After years of trying on the best, the worst, and all of those in between before we pick the shoes that we sell on our site, we’ve come to understand a few key reasons shoes may not work out for you as well as you would’ve hoped.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.37.33 PMThis is something that many people overlook when trying on shoes; your shoe size should encompass the width and length, not just one. If you consistently have trouble with your fit, it may be time to have your foot measured. Once you figure out your true width, you can begin to look for brands that cater to that size.

For those with a narrow width, try sticking to lower heels and sandals for the summer months, as narrow feet tend to slip out of higher heels (and can get those nasty heel blisters as a consequence). Gladiators, ghillie tie sandals, and others that strap in your foot are your best bet.

If you find you have a wide foot, try sticking to adjustable straps and soft materials to keep comfort at an all-time high. Softness is a huge factor here; stick to leathers, cottons and stretchy materials that can adjust to the size of your foot with ease.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.37.49 PM We tend to say that the better quality, the better your feet will feel. Investing in beautiful leathers, suedes, and soft cottons will do wonders for your feet and will help to prevent discomfort and blisters. The harder the material of the shoe, the more likely it is you can hurt your feet.

If you do end up with blisters, make sure to put a bandaid on the area first – then wear open-backed clogs or flip-flops to give your feet ample time to heal.

Material is also important in terms of the sole of your shoe. Cork soles are a great go-to for summer, as they are soft on your feet while giving you the support you need to feel wonderful and confident. Latex is another good material that helps your feet move and breathe adequately.

How do you shop for shoes the right way? Stay tuned for more tips from the blog.

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Chickpea Salad Sandwiches for the Perfect Picnic

Chickpea-Tuna-Salad1

It may just be fact – lunch is best eaten outside in the spring. With the temperature comfortable and the sun shining, grabbing a picnic blanket and heading out to your favorite lawn or park bench is the best way to break up a long work day. Breathing in the fresh air mid-day can help you reset, de-stress, and take on the afternoon with ease.

Of course, we’re always thinking about how to make our lunches healthier and more exciting. Making your own lunch has some serious health benefits, as you are able to control exactly what goes into your body. It also saves you some serious dough (saving money to be healthier? Yes please!).

In brainstorming some protein-packed, nutrient-rich lunchtime meals for this week, we came across this Chickpea Salad recipe from Everybody Loves Pretty. The convenience of a sandwich all wrapped up in a veggie-packed delight, these sandwiches are absolutely delicious and filled with healthy goodness. A can of chickpeas provides you with 70% of your daily iron and 50% daily potassium. These little beans also fill you up due to their high levels of fiber and protein.

These sandwiches also couldn’t be easier to make. Smash up some chickpeas, mix in a few tasty ingredients, and boom! Instant weekday lunch perfect for an outdoor picnic.

Chickpea-Tuna-Salad3 (1)


Ingredients
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup chopped celery, from about one rib
2 pickles, chopped
Pinch cayenne pepper, optional

Check out the full recipe instructions on Everybody Loves Pretty!

About Everybody Loves Pretty
Run by Candice, a twenty-something who has a joint passion for both cooking and baking, Everybody Loves Pretty was created as a creative outlet for the young professional to share her love for everything pretty. Completely self-taught, this impressive baker loves to try new unique recipes and create her own through inspiration from the Food Network, cooking shows and watching her very own family.

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Six Steps to Happiness

tumblr_mrsuf5GSNt1sdldg3o1_500We’re true believers that it’s the little things in life that make us happiest. Flowers budding in your favorite hue outside your office window; finding the perfect dress on sale, for the perfect occasion; a flawlessly-brewed cup of morning coffee… all these things add up together to make life wonderful.

Sometimes, if you’re feeling down, it’s a great idea to incorporate some of the little things in your life that you love most to lift up your spirits. These things can be a bit different for each and every one of us, but finding that little go-to something that makes you feel radiant, confident, and warm is a guaranteed way to better your mood when you need it most.

We’ve come up with a few ideas for you to keep in your arsenal when you’re in need of a pick-me-up.

1) Get lost in what you love.
Whether it’s a good book, a crossword puzzle, or coffee with a friend, getting lost in what you love and letting your worries fade away is one giant key to happiness. It takes some practice, but allowing yourself to get totally wrapped up in something – without any of your stressful thoughts butting into your head unexpectedly – is a challenge worth taking.

2) Be a child.
Engage your innocence, grab a piece of paper and start doodling. Go hop on the swings at your local playground, or watch a quick Disney movie. Getting back to your childhood roots, a time when stress was much less prevalent, can help bring you back to those happy, carefree times yet again.

enhanced-8721-1422393581-83) Find some animals to play with.
What’s better than some puppies, kittens, or even baby farm animals to get you to your happiest? Some colleges even bring groups of baby animals to campus during finals nowadays, to help students ease stress. Head out to volunteer at your local animal shelter, text a friend who has a few pets, or take your own puppy for a walk. We guarantee you’ll feel happier after seeing those young creatures bounce around!

4) Find an exercise you adore.
When you find a form of exercise you love, it’s certain to make you feel happy. Exercise releases endorphins – feel-good chemicals that send happiness throughout your brain. It’s the reason you have that feeling after any exercise: rejuvenated and alive. Finding a form you love makes it that much easier to start… and continue multiple times per week!

5) Write compliments to your loved ones.
Letting your friends and family know what you love about them can make you feel wonderful. Offering kindness in any form, whether this way, through volunteering, or simply letting someone go in front of you in traffic, is enough to make you (and the others) smile!

6) Pamper yourself.
Get your nails done (or do them yourself!), take a nice long bath, or spoil yourself to something you’ve been dying for (whether that’s homemade brownies or a great pair of shoes). You deserve this happiness, and taking extra good care of yourself is the perfect way to appreciate your accomplishments.

What are your best tactics for staying joyous? Let us know in the comments below!

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In-Season, Melt-in-Your-Mouth Strawberry Recipes

strawberry-recipesIt’s almost June in New England, and you know what that means? Strawberry-picking season is here! These bright red berries are sweet, juicy, and plump. They practically taste like candy, making them a healthy alternative to your typical calorie-laden dessert. Throw them on a small piece of shortcake and you’re good to go.

Strawberries are delicious in desserts, salads, smoothies, and a variety of other scrumptious concoctions all summer long. Filled with Vitamin C and antioxidants, these little prized berries give you the immune-boosting power you need to stay happy and healthy for the whole season – giving you plenty of energy to go on runs outside and take weekend trips to beaches galore!

Sick of strawberry shortcake, and looking for something new to try this year? Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of unique, delicious strawberry recipes for you to enjoy this year. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get picking!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.38.12 PM1 | Homemade Strawberry Lemonade
2 | Strawberry & Avocado Grilled Cheese
3 | Unique Cheesecake Popsicles
4 | Kiwi Strawberry Spring Rolls
5 | Salmon with Strawberry Salsa
6 | Grilled Pound Cake Strawberry Shortcake

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