The Most Beautiful Spring Trend: Cork Sandals

beautiful cork sandalsWe’re always on the lookout for the most comfortable, beautiful footwear, particularly searching for ways to make shoes that are typically thought of as super uncomfortable (i.e. heels and pumps) just as wonderful to wear as your favorite pair of sneaks.

cork sandalsThere’s one material that we’ve found always makes a pair of shoes super easy to wear: cork. All natural, recyclable, and easy on the environment, cork comes from the bark of the cork tree. Its origin also makes this material super durable; the texture and strength of this tree bark makes cork perfect for stable, long-lasting insoles.

Not only is cork durable enough to undergo any sort of wear and tear, it also retains a high level of elasticity. This property gives cork the ability to mold to your foot, creating an incredibly comfortable footbed. It also has high rates of shock absorption, doing less damage to your joints, knees and ankles.

It’s easy to see why cork is one of the only materials we’ll wear when it comes to heels and wedges. High heels, typically some of the most uncomfortable shoes to wear, become your favorite go-to springtime sandals when they’re made from this natural, moisture-wicking material.

Check out some of our newest styles and let us know your faves!

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Prevent Shin Splints for the Best Outdoor Workout

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 8.01.20 PMWarmer weather is exciting for a plethora of reasons, but one thing we get super pumped about is bringing our workouts outside. While working out at the gym is wonderful, being able to comfortably run outside opens up a whole new world of enjoyable sweat-time.

With the sun and fresh air giving you a renewed sense of energy, running outside can make your workouts go by faster, increases your intake of vitamin D, and has been said to increase serotonin and boost your mood. In this transition from indoor workouts to unpredictable outdoor terrain, however, your legs and joints may experience some extra soreness.

One thing we fear the most? Shin splints. This pain can be debilitating, completely messing with your workout routine. Knowing this, we set out to learn some key tips for preventing this run-halting injury.

One of the most effective ways to prevent shin splints is to add strength training to your routine. On days off from running, be sure to do a little lifting to strengthen your leg muscles and keep them healthy. Try some of these exercises to target the muscles surrounding your shins.

Another thing to add to your workouts to stay injury-free? Dynamic stretching. Stretching a bit prior to your runs helps loosen your muscles, creating a healthier environment for your legs to enjoy those outdoor hills and climbs. High knees and lunges are a great start.

Of course, if you do begin to feel the pain coming on, be sure to slow down your run and decrease your mileage, as frustrating as it may be. Soothe sore muscles with ice, do a bit of static stretching, or utilize a foam roller to ease the pain away.

How do you stay healthy and injury-free when transitioning to outdoor workouts? We’d love to hear your tips!

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The Best Spring Smoothies

best spring smoothies

The weather’s getting warmer, and that means we’re on the lookout for refreshing, clean recipes that will jumpstart our health for the new season. When spring comes around, there’s one thing that immediately comes to mind: how can we get as much of that delicious, fresh, in-season produce into our lives as possible?

There’s one tactic that never seems to fail: mix it all together! Smoothies are the best warm-weather breakfast. Cooling you down, getting your health fix and filling you up make smoothies one of the easiest ways to get out the door quickly and enjoy the sunshine.

Many smoothie-lovers already have their go-to recipe. There are those who love mocha, chock-full-of-fruit smoothie extraordinaires, and dedicated chocolate-peanut butter-banana fans. The opportunities are truly endless, no matter what your dietary goals.

If you’re looking to add a little calcium or protein to your diet, use yogurt as a base. Lacking in omega-3’s? Chia seeds are the perfect add-in. Is iron what you lack? Throw some spinach leaves into the mix and you’re good to go.

Check out the fun recipes below that we’ve found from some of our favorite food bloggers, and let us know how you like them. From green smoothies to summery flavors and a bit of extra kick, these concoctions will certainly get you through the week feeling healthy and refreshed.

1) Raspberry-Avocado Smoothie
2) Benjamin Button Smoothie
3) Spring Detox Micro-green Smoothie
4) Cucumber and Pineapple Smoothie
5) Vanilla Date Breakfast Smoothie
6) Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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Break Out Your Bike with Po Campo!

shutterstock_189633173With spring around the corner, we really can’t wait to get outdoors. That’s the one thing about experiencing these tough winters that never fails; you really do learn to appreciate the warmer weather that much more!

Once it gets comfortable enough to be outside, you can catch us heading out to enjoy the fresh air almost immediately. The first day when it’s warm enough to eat lunch outdoors is simply a dream come true.

This warm weather doesn’t just mean lunching on a picnic bench, however. It means weekend hikes, nights meandering around city streets, and more leisurely and active commutes. Truth be told, one of our favorite parts of this transition between winter and spring is breaking out our bikes!

Po Campo BagsBiking around town is such an enjoyable part of spring. Great for your health, the environment, and your wallet, bikes are the ultimate in easy, free commuting. Between the warm, flower-scented air blowing in your hair and the feel-good adrenaline your body achieves from the exercise, once you start biking, it’s difficult to turn back.

There’s one thing we’re so thankful for once biking season comes along: Po Campo bags. These totes, handbags, wallets and purses are made specifically to latch onto your bike for easy, safe access. Coming in a variety of fun, colorful patterns, they’re the perfect bag to fit functionally on your way to work and help to accessorize and spice up your outfit once you’re there!

Po Campo inspires us to go on an adventure, get lost and enjoy the ride. Their bags are all about loving the freedom life gives you and heading out wherever the wind takes you. Check out some of their new gorgeous spring patterns… chances are you’ll become addicted (just like us)!

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Pedicure Pointers for your Perfect DIY Spa Day

tough-winter-feetHave your feet gone through a tough winter? We know ours have. Boston received nearly record snowfall this year, so we’ve been experiencing dry, cold air combined with wet, snowy conditions pretty consistently. This means we practically live in our snow boots, tromping through snow and puddles the whole day through.

As we’ve said previously, winter takes quite a toll on your feet. Working hard to get through the slush and sludge, these conditions don’t exactly keep your feet ready for sandal season.

Last week, we went over a couple ways to DIY foot scrubs and moisturizers, guaranteed to remove some of that dry skin and start your self-pampering spa day off right. What’s the next step in getting your feet in tip-top shape? A homemade pedicure!

Now, you can of course go to a nail salon and get this done, but sometimes it’s just a little more fun to do it yourself. On top of this, you can control the chemicals you use on your feet and can be assured that the tools you’re using have only touched your sanitary toes. Make your feet feel salon-pedicure-fresh with a couple key pointers.

Pedicure Pointer #1: All hail the foot soak. Soaking your feet in warm, mineral- and salt-enriched water mixed with your favorite scents and flavors not only makes you feel wonderful, but works 123ecb8a9838a34159af2f2679199186wonders on the tough, dry skin on your feet. Purchase an at-home foot soak and swirl into a tub of warm water, or make your own. The easiest recipe? Mix one part Epsom salt and one part sea salt with two parts of baking soda. Pour a scoop into warm water, stir and enjoy!

Pedicure Pointer #2: Scrub it out. Using your favorite scents and flavors, look for your own do-it-yourself scrub to slough off dead skin and transform your feet. Rub into the roughest part of your feet—like your heels and pads—for the best effects. After you rinse this off, be sure to moisturize to freshen and soften that new, happy skin.

Pedicure Pointer #3: Cut straight across, then file. This keeps your nails strong and intact. If you have tough, messy cuticles, this is the right time to apply a cuticle oil to soften the skin around your nails. Try making this DIY oil from scratch!

Pedicure Pointer #4: Polish it up. On to the last step. Start with a clear base layer to protect your nails from any damage from your nail polish. Let that part dry, then top off with a couple coats of your favorite color and a top coat to make your efforts last well into sandal season.

There you have it! What are your best DIY pedicure tips? Share them in the comments below and we’ll add them to our list!

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The Best, Most Creative Ways to Eat Cauliflower

cauliflower_recipesCauliflower is kind of having a moment. This winter veggie has exploded in popularity this year, and for good reason. It’s incredibly versatile, is hearty enough to fill you up and acts as a blank canvas for a variety of flavors and seasonings. Its texture also can act as a great meat substitute for those trying to cut down or ease off of a meat-focused diet. All in all, cauliflower is our new go-to!

It’s also beneficial nutritionally. Cauliflower is super low in calories, fat and sodium and comes with a huge helping of Vitamin C. Additionally, it reigns supreme for fiber and potassium, two things you definitely want to add to your digestive repertoire.

Not sure where to start? We weren’t either. After scouring the internet for recipes for a couple hours, however, we couldn’t be more excited to try out some of these scrumptious dishes.

Try out one of the ideas below and let us know how it goes!

1) Roasted Cauliflower, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche with Quinoa Crust
2) Lightened Up Cauliflower Mac n Cheese
3) Cauliflower Fritters
4) Smothered Cauliflower with Eggs
5) Vietnamese Cauli-fried Rice
6) Cauliflower Cous Cous with Leeks and Sun-dried Tomatoes

What’s your favorite way to cook cauliflower? 

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