Welcome the PlanetShoes Autumn Lookbook!

20140730-planetshoes-133320140729-planetshoes-115020140730-planetshoes-1390We’re super excited today! It’s a blustery, raw, rainy day here in Boston, but we’re all in good spirits. Why? Because we’re releasing our Autumn Lookbook today!

It’s been quite the process, spanning a couple months at least, but we’re so proud to bring you our best fall fashions, complete with fabulous how-to-wear looks along with the great recipes and travel tips you know and love from PlanetShoes. From picking our favorite product to organizing the photo shoot and putting the whole thing together, our lookbook is the definition of a team effort.

2014_10_01_magalog_fbIf you’ve watched any of our videos, you know we adore the shoes we carry. Our Autumn Lookbook is just an extension of this… a highlight of our most unique, exciting fall product from the brands we adore.

So check it out! We’d love to hear what you think.

Tidings of a happy autumn complete with wonderful shoes,
The PlanetShoes Team

Looking for the blog posts featured in our Autumn Lookbook? Check them out here!

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Enjoy Your Fall Lifestyle with Keen Shoes!

Fall is our favorite time for fashion. Chunky sweaters, wool knit scarves, comfortable riding boots and hand warmers make for an automatically adorable outfit to use prancing through apple orchards, grabbing a few gourds at your favorite farmers’ market, or walking slowly beneath the colorful trees.

On that vein, we know that while you like to look good all autumn long, you also have to stay comfortable. What’s the point of looking great if you don’t feel great, right?

That’s where Keen comes in! No, no, not their classic water shoes. Keen makes adorable boots, sneakers, flats and mary-janes that fit in with your fall lifestyle. In striking, adorable silhouettes infused with Keen’s well-known comfort, these shoes easily match with any of your favorite fall jeans and sweaters or an awesome fall-hued dress.

Check out Keen shoes and let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Let’s Learn About Leaves!

foliageThe colors that surround us up here in New England are ever-inspiring and absolutely gorgeous. Changing leaves signify a transition into the cooler temperatures of fall and winter, complete with warm lattes, cozy sweaters and some great riding boots.

These various shades of orange, red and yellow are awe-inspiring to say the least. Just when temperatures begin to drop, Mother Nature treats us to a plethora of colors that are delightfully warm. No wonder we feel so inspired!

But we wondered… why exactly does this change occur? There’s a whole astounding process behind why our trees change color, and we set out to learn just what makes nature perform the way she does as autumn settles in.

As creatures fed by light and air, plants are highly affected by fall’s environmental changes; cool temperatures and shorter amounts of daylight represent a large change in the elements that keep 02408aa428a90e3e7bbe815036a93ec7plants in their natural state. As creatures of light, plants also create high amounts of pigment in comparison to other living things, creating their green color.

Without delving too deeply into the lengthy scientific details, leaves change color in the fall due to a change in the amount of pigment in their cells to prepare for their descent from the trees. Between summer and fall, leaves are gradually losing chlorophyll (the green pigment) as they grow. By the time fall comes around, much of that green pigment is lost, revealing yellow pigments or creating red ones (depending on the tree).

The entirety of this process serves to reabsorb nitrogen back into the tree, making it possible for leaves to grow back in the spring. The whole progression takes place throughout our four seasons, making for the seasonal cues and changes us New Englanders so appreciate!

Looking for a fix of autumn leaves? Check out this list of awesome places for fall travel.
On the same vein, this super cool map, called the Fall Foliage Predictor, is the perfect tool for exploring new areas to see this beautiful process in action!

Where’s your favorite leaf-peeping location? We’d love to see pictures!

Much of this info is loosely based on the Harvard Forestry explanation.

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Nutrient-Packed Chickpea Tomato Minestrone Soup

chickpeatomatsoup3Fall is certainly here, complete with gorgeous boots, heavy scarves and colorful leaves galore. We don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more warming and enjoyable in the fall than a good soup. Transitioning from summer salads to warm winter and fall soups is the perfect way to keep packing veggies in your diet while grabbing that comforting feeling you so crave from food during the colder months.

If soup feels daunting to you, not to fret! A minestrone is actually super easy because there’s no blending involved, making it essentially as easy as making a salad with an extra bit of stove top. This minestrone brought to us from Vegetarian Ventures is totally customizable, so throw as many veggies in as you feel like cutting up!

The all-star veggie in this soup is Swiss chard, a leafy green that’s in-season during the fall. Super colorful and beautiful to look at, Swiss chard is filled with nutritional benefits; complete with high doses of vitamins A, C, K and magnesium, chard is said to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, aid in digestion and help with bone strength.

Try this Chickpea Tomato Minestrone for yourself, and let us know how it goes!

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone
Serves 6 (or less with lots of yummy leftovers!)

chickpeatomatosoup51 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, not drained
4 cups vegetable broth (use homemade if possible)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup of pasta (not spaghetti or long noodles)
1 can chickpeas, drained and washed thoroughly
1 bunch of Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated & chopped
Salt / Pepper
Dash of Red Pepper flakes
Parmesan, for garnish

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften. Next, add in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Then add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes (with the juices from the can), and oregano. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

Add in the stems of swiss chard, chickpeas, and pasta. Let cook for another 10 minutes. Finally, add the swiss chard leaves and let cook for 30 seconds or just until the leaves start to wilt. Remove from heat.

Add salt / pepper / red pepper flakes to taste and top with Parmesan.

About Vegetarian Ventures
Vegetarian Ventures is a food blog that shares vegetarian and vegan recipes with a twist of adventure and inspiration. Shelly is a 20-something year old, fresh out of college who lives in the heart (if you’d like to call it something of that kind) of the Midwest. She works with indie-rock music by day and blogs by night.

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Pikolinos Shoes and Boots are Fall Fashion Staples

fall14_topBeing the shoe-lovers that we are, we’re so excited about all of the new boots popping up on our site for fall. One brand that we can’t stop staring at… Pikolinos! If you haven’t tried a pair of these shoes, it’s truly a must-have for fall. They use absolutely stunning leathers to make their uniquely styled boots, slip-ons, mary-janes and wedges. They love to use deep mahoganies, rich browns and eye-popping gold details in all a plethora of their gorgeous shoes.

2014_09_22_pikolinosEven cooler… Pikolinos runs some awesome campaigns to better communities around the world. From the Juan Peran Fund in Latin America to the Maasai Project in Africa, their positive influence spans the globe!

Check out our Pikolinos selection or try for your chance at a free pair via our shoe giveaway!

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The Power of Honesty & Community

smilestodayWe’ve been super inspired lately; with new fall shoes arriving in gorgeous colors, changing leaves and cozy gatherings surrounded by friends, things just seem more colorful and vibrant during this beautiful season.

However, there’s something else that’s caught our attention… the happy, charitable stories that seem to be circulating the web. Tales of generosity, caring and human kindness seem to be popping up all over. Did you hear about the Starbucks in Florida a few weeks back, which went through over 350 people paying for each other’s coffee at their drive thru before the chain ended? This “pay it forward” behavior lasted almost 11 hours! Amazing.

This story inspired us and brought us to a whole new discovery: restaurants that simply ask for an in-kind donation. The Vault, a coffee shop in North Dakota, operates under an honor system, “charging” $0.75 for a cup of coffee which customers place into a box on the completely unattended counter. starbucksThe system works so well that people are actually putting in more money than the coffee shop would make normally! “People are fifteen percent more generous than thieving,” the owner said in an interview.

On a similar vein, there’s a bookseller in Boston who sets up a table around Cambridge, a section of the city, each day and piles it high with books. He places a closed box in the center of the table where people slide their money. He provides the residents of Cambridge with cheap, quality books in exchange for their honesty and trust while simultaneously creating a sense of community.

In a world where many don’t know their neighbors, these trusting establishments have created secure, fundamentally human connections. With a little optimism and belief in the power of community, perhaps trust is easier found than we think!

Do these types of businesses exist where you live? We’d love to hear your stories of human kindness!

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