Always in Action with the Best Summer Bags

When you’re prone to everyday adventure, being prepared is key. If the summer regularly takes you on after-work kayaking trips, last-minute weekend beach getaways, and exploring the cobblestone streets of a new city, we applaud you – you’re really taking advantage of summer! You also know that, for these impromptu adventures to happen, you need to have the right stuff in tow.

Sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, a hairbrush, a bit of deodorant… all these items add up to a comfortable day of summer adventure. The best way to be sure you have them on you at a moment’s notice? A functional, adorable bag.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 11.48.11 PMHead out to the beach…
This Dakine beauty is large enough to fit a towel, suit, sunscreen, and a great read. Whether lakeside or oceanside, all beach bums know that summer is the best time of year for fitting in as many beach trips as possible. (Bag: Dakine Sadie 15L)

bed_stuTo explore new cuisine…
Stomach rumbling after a long day of errands, work, or appointments? Head over to your favorite restaurant patio – or better yet, a brand new one you haven’t tried before – with this beautiful new Bed Stu bag. Pair with a light dress to keep you cool and fashionable all night long. (Bag: Bed Stu Tahiti Bandbag)

casual_hike_kavuFor a casual hike…
…grab Kavu. This awesome bag fits everything you need for an impromptu hiking trip in your nearest park or to the top of the closest mountain. Throw your sneakers or hiking boots, a light jacket and athletic clothes, and some sunscreen in your Kavu backpack, store it in your car, and be ever-ready for beautiful scenery, fresh air, and the calm chirp of the local birds. (Bag: Kavu Rainier Rucksack)

37751_243_zoom8For a latte and a little art…
This perfectly sized Louenhide tote is perfect for your daily enjoyments and wanderings. This vegan line keeps you super fashionable all day through, letting you roam from a coffee shop to an art museum, your favorite town boutiques to afternoon apps at a local eatery. (Bag: Louenhide Eden)

weekend_away_pocampoEnd the week away…
Summer seems to be filled with last-minute weekend getaways. Friends heading up to the lake for the weekend? Family on their way to a beachside cottage? You’re in, especially when you have the perfect weekend tote to pack up and get out! This PoCampo bag is perfectly sized for a few days away, no matter how you get there. (Bag: Po Campo Midway Weekender – Shoes: Jambu Blossom)

ethnotekPacking up for the outdoors…
When your adventures get longer – say, a week-long hike – you need a larger bag to fit everything you need, particularly if you’ll be staying outdoors. That’s where this Ethnotek pack comes in. Big enough to fit all that you need, yet comfortable on your shoulders and back, this bag is guaranteed to become your new go-to for long-term excursions. (Bag: Ethnotek Raja)

Where are you off to this summer? We’d love to hear about your adventures! 

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5 Things to Do on Sunday Evening to Reset & Rejoice

reset-this-sundaySunday nights can be difficult. Whether you love your job or not, heading back into the busyness of the work week is enough to make your head spin. Just exactly how does the weekend go by so fast?

With so much to do during the week ahead, it’s easy to feel stressed. One way to rid some of that Sunday night anxiety? Frame it as a time to prepare, and a time to relax. Do those things that will make your week ahead that much less stressful, and it may just put you in the right frame of mind you need to head into Monday feeling refreshed. Balance that preparation with some of your favorite relaxation, and Sundays will be your new favorite night of the week! What are some ideas for making the most of your night?

Clean out your purse
It goes everywhere with you, is jam packed with your essentials, and weighs on your arm while commuting, heading to lunch, or going out for a coffee break. Your purse can almost become an extension of you during the week; keeping it cleaned out can do the same for your mind. Clear the clutter on Sundays and start anew on Monday morning with this weekly trick. 

Think through your wardrobe
If you tend to take a while to get ready in the morning, this one’s for you. Look through your closet on Sunday nights and take stock of what clothes are clean, what you’ll plan on wearing this week, and what shoes you’ll pair with it. Knowing your outfits ahead of time (and knowing they’re clean!) keeps you from spending time debating and digging through the hamper.

Prepare for health
Take a few minutes at the beginning of each week to schedule your workouts, pack a gym bag, and prep for some healthy eating. Planning your workouts ahead of time – like you would an appointment, or a meeting – makes you all the more likely to check these sessions off the list. Chopping up fruits and veggies and whipping up a few healthy meals will also get you on the track to weekly success (and not have you stressing about cooking!).

Read a nice long article
If articles and newspapers aren’t your thing, pick up a good book. The Sunday paper is often rife with interesting, lengthy articles you simply wouldn’t have time to read during the week. If reading doesn’t necessarily relax you, pencil in something that does: a nice long walk, a bit of yoga, or a relaxed dinner.

Reconnect
Sunday is a great time to make those phone calls to family and friends you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Before the hectic work week sets in, take some time to reconnect with those you care about most. It may even turn into a new Sunday routine!

How do you reset on Sunday evenings? Let us know in the comments below!

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Cooking at Home May be the Only Diet you Need

Spring-Farro-Risotto-with-Lemon-and-Tahini-2_thumbThe internet, magazines, and book stores are rife with ideas on “the best diet for weight loss.” There’s so much weight loss advice coming in from every direction that it’s almost impossible to sift through, and understand how exactly you can be your healthiest self. It seems so daunting to get through all the marketing and jargon that it can be difficult to even begin your quest for a healthy lifestyle.

There may be one trick, though, that we’ve found makes sense, and is fairly easy to accomplish (depending on your skill level, which can be practiced to perfection)… and that’s cooking.

Eating meals that you cook yourself guarantees you know exactly what went into that dish: how much butter and oil, how many fresh veggies, and how little chemicals and additives. Sweets and chips don’t seem nearly as tempting when you have to go through the process of cooking them yourself; and if you’re craving them so badly that you do decide to take on a baking endeavor, then you sure deserve them!

DSCF4650Michael Pollan, author and food activist, summarizes the power cooking can have through a study cited in his newest book, Cooked (a great read on the power of cooking):

“Cutler and his colleagues surveyed cooking patterns across several cultures and discovered that obesity rates are inversely correlated with the amount of time spent on food preparation. The more time a nation devotes to food preparation at home, the lower its rate of obesity… Other research supports the idea that home cooking is a better predictor of a healthful diet than social class. A 1992 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that poor women who routinely cooked were likely to eat a more healthful diet than well-to-do women who did not. A 2012 Public Health Nutrition study of the elderly in Taiwan found a strong correlation between regular cooking and superior health and longevity… So time spent cooking matters – a lot.” (Cooked, p. 192)

shutterstock_266686502Now of course, it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll cook up a feast each and every night. Cooking takes time, and many of us simply don’t have a lot of it. That’s where taking one night a week to prep your meals for the week – say, Sunday – is a must if you’re thinking of committing to cooking. Meals like salads, or sautéed veggies with protein, are 15-20 minute quick meals that are great for you and your limited time. In need of some other ideas? See this list of 52 healthy meals to make in 12 minutes or less.

How many nights a week do you cook? Do you prefer cooking to eating out, or vice versa? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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The Power of Posture

the-power-of-postureThe nature of our careers certainly has changed throughout the years; with the advent of computers came more desk jobs, and with that came a more sedentary day. The human body is naturally meant to move (like many other mammals’), and this lifestyle of constant sitting can take a toll on the body’s natural form and movement.

One way to combat the toll all this sitting can take on your body is to focus on your posture. Having a spine that is properly aligned throughout the day reduces both short- and long-term pain in your lower back, neck, shoulders and wrists.

What is good posture exactly? Proper posture creates the least amount of strain on the muscles and ligaments that support the body when you move, perform light weight-bearing activity, or complete every day activities. There are many schools of thought regarding the angle of correct posture; while some researchers claim 90 degrees is optimal for the spine, others believe 135 degrees is best. Most of all, it’s important to listen to your body and understand what’s best for you to avoid back and neck pain.

Having good posture has benefits beyond just limiting pain, however. Many body language experts state that maintaining an aligned spine can make you appear more confident to others, and therefore can help you gain success. Good posture can also reinforce your confidence in yourself; as others believe in your confidence, and treat you as so, your self-confidence also increases. Another study suggests that proper posture is more important to creating self-respect than holding a leadership role. Those who maintain this spinal alignment are more likely to act on ideas, and maintain the confidence to see them through. 

Having good posture may also keep you happier, and less stressed. Some studies show that bad posture can lead to helplessness, stress, and fatigue, decreasing performance and overall joy. Others have found that maintaining proper posture can increase the recognition and remembrance of positive memories.

All in all, posture is a vital part to happiness and health in both the workplace, and in life. So this week, be aware of how you’re positioning your body. Your physical and mental health will thank you!

Are you aware of your posture? How do you retain proper spinal alignment during the day?

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Join us for a Bit of Summer Closet Cleaning!

the-fashion-projectAre you a fan of spring cleaning? Some people absolutely adore the feeling of starting anew and giving oneself a reset before the warm weather sets in. Things tend to pile up during the winter; with less incentive to go outside, stuff you’d normally donate, put out with the recycling, or be forced to throw away simply end up creating clutter.

To others, this process can feel daunting. And we feel you – all that clutter can take a lot of time to go through, and it can be difficult to even start. One word of advice? Doing smaller, seasonal clean-outs – at the start of spring, summer, fall, and winter – will make this chore seem so much more manageable. An hour of cleaning versus four? You’ve got us hooked! the-fashion-project-planetshoesThat’s why PlanetShoes is offering you a chance to clean out your shoe closet this summer through the Fashion Project, making room for the beautiful leather riding boots of fall and the protective snow boots of winter. What do you have to do? Sign up here to send your lightly worn shoes to the Fashion Project, and pick a charity of your choice to donate to. They’ll then send you a prepaid packing slip to use to send your shoes, and then a coupon for 25-35% off at PlanetShoes!

Donating to the Fashion Project is beneficial in more ways than the PlanetShoes discount. How, you ask? 

It’s Good for Others
After you send in your shoes, the Fashion Project puts your items up for sale. Once your shoes are purchased on their site, 55% of the sale price goes towards a charity that you choose! With over 2,000 charities to choose from, you can put your shoes towards a cause you care about, from animal advocacy to women’s empowerment organizations. 

It’s Good for the Earth
The Fashion Project makes it possible to give your shoes a new life. Instead of being thrown away after years and years of sitting in your closet, the Fashion Project helps you reuse your purchases rather than sending them to a landfill. It’s a win-win.

It’s Good for your Health
Research has shown that clutter can take an emotional toll. When your space is cluttered, your head becomes frazzled, and it can be difficult to focus on that which drives you. Taking the time to reduce your home to a minimal state can work wonders in helping you feel free, relaxed, and at ease.

And of course, if you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes, cleaning out the old just makes room for bringing in a few new pairs that you’ll adore. :)

Happy cleaning!

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Let the Flowers of Summer Guide You

451There’s nothing better than the beginning of the warm season, when life begins anew, flowers begin to bud, and trees blossom fruitfully. These flowers and greenery are what guide us into and prepare us for the summer solstice, brightening up our world during the day as the daylight grows longer and longer.

You may have noticed the days getting a tad shorter in the past few weeks. Yet the flowers stand fairly still, continuing to remind us that the summer isn’t quite over yet!

One of our favorite brands – Spring Step – does this all spring, summer, fall and winter long. Always incorporating artistry into their beautiful, adorned, colorful shoes and sandals, Spring Step knows what makes us happy. Adding a bit of flowery intricacy to their shoes, the brand truly understands how to incorporate summer into your life – always!

Walk through your favorite gardens, museums, and art shows in stunning pieces that will fit you right into the beauty that surrounds you. And even better still, these shoes are comfortable; ask anyone who wears Spring Step, and they’ll rave about the all-day comfort that stems from these beautiful shoes.

But don’t just take our word for it…as one of our customers, Suzanne, raved, “They came out of the box, I put my feet in and …. heaven! These are the MOST comfortable shoes I have bought in the past 4-5 years.”

Check out some our favorite Spring Step styles below. Which ones do you adore?

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