Nothing screams fashion like a great pair of platform wedges. Making their way into the fashion world in the sixties and seventies, wedges elongate the legs and look great with any outfit; from a dress to a skirt, pants to a great pair of skinny jeans, you really can’t go wrong when giving your look a little height.
Closed-toe wedges are particularly great for fall. Before the snow settles in and the roads get slushy, wedges keep your feet covered from the chilled breeze of the season. And the heel lets your feet flirt a little, right before they become eternally covered by bulky snow boots.
One brand we love – that’s brand new to PlanetShoes this season – is Cordani. Known for their platform wedges, this brand started in our very own city of Boston by a couple – Allyson and Michael – stemming from Italy but residing in the picturesque, cobblestone streets of the Beacon Hill neighborhood. While these streets are known for their beauty, they aren’t the easiest to walk on in a great pair of heels.
Allyson sought to change that; she wanted stylish wedges that she could wear walking, at work, and at play. Being the empowered woman she is, she decided to take inspiration from her husband’s Italian roots – a land of great shoemakers – and create her very own line of shoes, fitting her very own needs… and those of women everywhere!
Ever since, Cordani has kept their promise: beautiful, comfortable wedges and heels that make you look and feel spectacular.
Try out some Cordani wedges this fall, and feel the power of tall.
You bake, boil, sauté, and barbecue. You chop up salads or simmer great stews. These techniques for cooking transform raw materials into edible, healthy arrangements that are as delicious as they are nutritious. The art of cooking transforms both flavors and chemistries, not only for the purpose of enjoyment, but also to kill off any harmful bacteria that may develop on raw foods.
But there’s one thing we sometimes forget – not everything needs to be cooked to harness delectable flavors and to amp up nutrition. Fermentation, a food preservation technique used throughout the ages, is a process that uses good bacteria and probiotics to transform food into a more easily digestible form. Because of this, fermented vegetables and other products contain tons of probiotic bacteria that are said to improve the stability and health of your gut. Our stomachs are filled with small bacteria that digest our food; these bacteria need to be fed to survive, and adding more good bacteria to this already lively area can have some serious benefits. These foods are said to improve gastrointestinal issues while aiding overall health – some researchers say that they can help with anxiety.
Yogurt is the most popular fermented food out there, and one of the primary ways many Americans currently add probiotics into their diets. Other options? Cheese is a fermented food, with the good-gut-benefits stemming particularly from raw milk cheeses rather than the processed versions you often find in the grocery store. Beer and wine are technically fermented as well, but the list extends: sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and soy sauce are other probiotic-filled options.
But it doesn’t stop there. With a bit of experimentation, you can ferment your own vegetables fairly easily. There are many techniques for doing so, but this general recipe seems to work best: boil veggies; place the veggies in cold water, drain, and store in a mason jar; add salt, garlic, and spices; fill the jar to the top with water; close, store, and wait for 14 days. After that, your veggies should be ready to eat, but can be stored for several months and can be eaten at any time.
There’s something so refreshing about cleaning out your closet. Reducing clutter, keeping organized, and getting rid of those clothes that don’t make you feel absolutely beautiful can be just the reset you need. Your closet should be filled with things that make you feel great – and that means something different to each and every one of us.
Fall is the perfect time to do so, allowing room for the chunky knit sweaters and long pants you’ll inevitably be living in for the next six months. While fall and winter are home to the comfiest fashions, they certainly take up a lot of space in the closet.
At the same time, we also acknowledge that purging your closet can be difficult. Clothes and shoes hold a lot of memories; whether you wore that dress at your best friend’s bachelorette party or your goddaughter’s first birthday, many of our clothes hold a special meaning and purpose – even if they no longer fit. How do you make the closet organizing process as easy – and painless – as possible?
Trust in a friend (and maybe some wine)
Tasks like this one are always more fun with someone you love. Put on some music, grab a glass of wine, and enlist in a friend or family member to chat you up while you organize. Catching up on your lives won’t make organizing and de-cluttering feel like a chore… it will actually feel fun, making you even more likely to plan for it each and every year!
Take size, shape, and length into consideration
Pants and t-shirts are practically made for stacking when folded neatly, while blouses and dresses should be hung up to retain their shape. Hang dresses on one side of your closet, and shorter shirts on the other. Having a section dedicated to the shorter items opens the space under your shirts, leaving ample room for those stackables.
Catalog your shoe collection
Shoes can be difficult to organize, as they come in many shapes and sizes – from boots to heels and sneakers. One great way to keep them tidy? Store them in their boxes, affix a label that will help you remember which pair they are, and stack them in the bottom of your closet. This technique will also keep your shoes in prime condition. If you don’t have room for this, buy a hanging shoe rack to organize effectively.
Hang what you can
Don’t limit your hanging capabilities to just blouses and dresses – hang your belts, bags, headbands, and more to reduce clutter and keep all your accessories in the front of your closet, and your mind. Affix small hooks to the inside of your closet to hang these fun accessories with ease.
Use symmetry or color-coding
The eye is drawn to patterns and categorizations; your closet will practically look like a masterpiece if organized according to one. Store your clothes and shoes by color, or enlist in a symmetrical pattern to easily draw your eye from one side of the area to the next. Not only will you have access to all your favorite wardrobe pieces, your closet will look beautiful – what an effective way to spice up your room!
How do you organize your closet? We’d love to see your pictures! Share in the comments below.
What’s one of our favorite things about starting a new season? All of the new, unique brands that we’ve been so excited about showing you start landing on our shelves. And there’s nothing more thrilling than the satisfaction you get after a long wait – especially with brand new, high-quality bags and shoes.
That’s how we’ve felt about a couple of new brands this season, but this week, we’re especially excited about Bed Stu. This funky brand is super versatile – they make both beautiful leather bags and gorgeous boots and shoes – and fits into your style with ease.
Bed Stu defines detail-oriented. Each pair of their boots has a bit of a flair; between laser-cut details, interesting leather hues, and unique stitching, these shoes and bags are defined by their subtle pop. Despite these unique intricacies, these accessories fit seamlessly into your wardrobe, as each new item comes in a charcoal grey, beautiful brown, or deep black leather that matches with each of your funkiest outfits.
Our favorite part? Bed Stu never relents on quality. All made in Mexico, the brand only uses the absolute finest leathers – free range when possible – and a vegetable-based leather tanning process to decrease their environmental impact.
Check out our new collection of Bed Stu shoes and bags, and let us know what you think!
As we’ve written about before, food waste makes up a huge proportion of the garbage we produce, taking up a large amount of space in our landfills. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), we disposed of over 35 million tons of food waste in 2013. On top of this, “14 percent of greenhouse gases in the United States are associated with growing, manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of food.” That’s a lot of negativity coming from the inevitable scraps we produce while cutting up a mango or being too full to finish a salad.
While there are a variety of ways to cut down on food waste, there’s one technique to dispose of food without sending it to a landfill: composting.
It may seem daunting at first, particularly if you live in a small apartment or don’t have a yard. Luckily, compost bins are fairly easy to put together, and with the right balance of ingredients, won’t smell or attract pests. But where do you start?
First, assemble your container. You can use a variety of materials – plastic, metal, glass – but the container must 1) have holes in the bottom and around the rim; 2) be placed on a tray to collect any leakage; and 3) be stored in a cool, dark area. You can stop here… or, for even more effective compost, you can add red wiggler worms. These little worms do work for you, mixing up the scraps and decomposing them faster. Adding worms makes for a more effective compost, but either way works.
From there, it’s all about making sure you have the right balance of ingredients. To start, line the bin with scraps of newspaper and throw in a scoop of soil. This will keep the wet-to-dry ratio in tact as you start off. As you add more food, keep adding newspaper and soil to retain this balance.
It’s important to remember that not all food scraps can go into your bin. Veggies and fruits, egg shells, coffee grounds, peels, and tea bags can be placed in the bin; dairy, meat, bones, and citrus cannot.
After a few weeks’ time, you’ll have a beautiful, rich, deep brown compost that you can place into potted plants, throw into your vegetable garden, or even use to make your lawn greener. If none of these work for you, find a friend who will appreciate the rich humus; compost makes a great gift for the happy gardener!
Have you ever tried composting? What tips do you have to make it a success?
It’s getting to be about that time here in New England where we move the majority of our workouts indoors. Harsh snow squalls and chilly weather make the transition from outdoor runs and bodyweight workouts in the park to the indoor gym fairly easy. Of course, with this transition may come a change in routine, and getting back into your workout rhythm can be tricky.
One great way to do so? An exercise class – particularly indoor cycling (also called spinning). These fun classes are an amazing workout; move to the beat of the music while torching nearly 600 calories and working the muscles in your legs, core, and glutes. Cycling is also gentler on your body than many other exercises, a great way to fit in a workout even if you’re injured or sore.
Trying a new class is always a bit intimidating… being one of the only people in the room who hasn’t experienced a spinning class can be daunting. But not to worry! We have a few tips and tricks to make you feel all the more comfortable.
With multiple people sweating their best, spinning studios can get hot. Be prepared by wearing your best sweat-wicking clothing, and be sure to bring a small sweat towel. And of course, bring plenty of water. You’ll be grateful a few minutes into class when the rotating fans aren’t doing quite enough.
Find your positioning
Spinning bikes allow you to adjust the seat and handlebar height to your liking, making for a comfortable ride. Adjust your seat so its in line with your hip when you stand next to it. Move the handlebars to your comfort level; some like them higher to avoid hunching the back, while others (particularly very experienced bikers) prefer a nice low bar.
Test your resistance
Throughout the workout, the instructor will typically use a 1-10 scale (or something of that nature) to guide you through the effort you’re putting in and the resistance you should feel against your legs. The knob in the middle of the bike controls this resistance. When you first walk in, find your levels – what feels like a 1 to you (a super easy, all-day ride)? What feels like a 10 (very difficult to move the pedals)? Find these out ahead of time for a seamless riding experience.
Focus on your stroke
Many people focus primarily on pushing the pedals, but you’ll want to focus equally on pulling the pedals upward. This engages your core and leg muscles while keeping you focused on your ride. On another note, be sure to pay attention to your core during the class; if you’re in a standing position, engage those muscles to maximize your full body workout.
Do what feels right!
One of the best parts about spinning workouts? They’re totally customizable to your comfort and fitness level. The sliding scale of effort or resistance is all yours to create. The speed at which you pedal is totally controlled by you. Don’t let the others around you influence your ride; zone in and get the best workout you can by focusing on your individual goals and success. Listen to the beat of the music and move forward at your own pace for the ultimate hour of enjoyment.
Have you gone to an indoor cycling class before? What tips do you have?