Happy Hands: The Cold Weather Survival Kit

handswinter

Source: favim.com

The winter weather can take a toll on many things: it can make you want to curl up under the blankets instead of going out, and frown at the thought of waking up to grey skies and snow. But aside from affecting your usually social and sunny disposition, it can also wreak havoc on your hands!

It seems like everyone is sporting dry, rough, and cracked hands but that doesn’t mean they’re in style! Save yours from all that winter damage by following the three steps to a home-made remedy below:

WinterHandcare

Step 1: Give your hands a good scrub! You can use a store-bought version, or make your own at home. So if you’re feeling frugal, open up your cupboards and mix 2 tbsp of granulated sugar with 1 tbsp of oil, and 2-3 drops of your favourite essential oil. Scrubbing will prep your hands for step two, allowing the moisture to stick!

Step 2: Use a heavy moisturizer. The best options? Either Shea butter or goat’s milk lotion. These creams are rich, and will leave your hands silky smooth.

Step 3: Love your gloves! The key to making this treatment last, is to protect your hands from further damage. Wearing a fleece-lined pair of gloves or mittens provides an extra layer of insulation. Plus, it’s nice to be cozy when it’s cold out.

And there it is, the secret to keeping your hands happy all winter long!

Style is served!

Hassle-Free Holiday Ornament Storage

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While decorating the Christmas tree is always fun, it can’t last forever. So when it’s time to pack up that pine, you also need to find a place for those ornaments!

In my experience, I’ve always ended up opening the box in December only to find that a few of my favourites have been crushed. And let’s face it, with all the gift-shopping, party-hosting, and cookie-baking of the season, no one has the time to dash to the store for a new set. Here are two ideas to make things easier:

Think Inside the Box(Ideal for large ornaments):
Find a box large enough to fit all of your ornaments. Then:
1. Line the bottom with crumpled tissue paper
2.Place the ornaments one beside the other, being careful to not pack them too tightly
3. Put tissue paper in between each row, horizontally, and more crumpled sheets when stacking

The Ribbon Ring(Great for smaller,delicate ornaments):
If starting the holiday season with a box full of broken glass isn’t bad enough, imagine all the work you have to do if the ornaments are tangled! To avoid this:
1. Take a piece of ribbon(yep, it can even be one from an already-opened gift), and string the ornaments on it one by one(as seen in the picture)
2. Once they’re all lined up, loosely tie the ends of the ribbon together to form a ring, and to make sure the ornaments don’t slide off
3. Place them in a box lined with tissue paper

So there you have it! Holiday decor storage made easy, so you can spend more time sipping on Egg Nog than sweeping-up glitter and glass.

Style is served!

A Walk on the Wild Side: Leopard Print Coats

LOFT leopard print car coat, LOFT leopard print coat, leopard print coat

Photography: Andrew Sousa

When shopping for a coat, we tend to stick to the basics. Play it safe. Opt for shades of grey, somber black, or bright winter whites. But why not be daring? In a season when the weather is gloomy, have some fun with your outerwear.

The easiest way to do that? Just walk on the wild side, with a leopard print coat. It’s luxurious, bold, and great for bundling up in style. Not to mention, the New York Times Style Magazine stated in their August issue that “leopard, the naughtiest of prints, is back in fashion. But the look is tailored and covered up”. So with a green light from the fashion Gods, it’s time to try this new trend. Here are three things to keep in mind when picking up the right piece:

LOFT snow leopard parint car coat, LOFT leopard print coat, LOFT coat, leopard print coat

Photography: Andrew Sousa

Keep it Cool with the Colour: You may never see a real leopard sporting blue spots, but your coat should be! Try to stay away from the classic brown/camel combination that animal-printed fabrics tend to have. Going for something that’s of a different (yet subtle) shade will add sartorial flair, rather than have you looking like you’re wearing your prey. The perfect example? The Ann Taylor LOFT coat that I’m also wearing in this post.

Be Picky with Pattern: Play around with size and scale. While a smaller print can be elegant and delicate, a larger one can be more modern and edgy. This Michel Kors coat is ideal, abstracting a classic and adapting it for everyday life. Throw on some jeans and black leather boots and you’ll look like you just walked off the pages of a magazine.

Envision the Ensemble: When putting it all together, be mindful of the details. The coat should be the star of the show just like a leopard in the wild, so don’t steal its spotlight. Pair it with denim, dress pants, and solid coloured tops. When it comes to pattern,  stripes or houndstooth (like the skirt pictured above) are your best bet –nothing too busy.

Now that you’re armed with advice, get out there and hunt down your coat!

Style is served!

A special thank you to Andrew Sousa for taking the photographs for this post. To see more of his great work, visit: http://www.sousaphotography.webs.com

Let There Be Light: Wearing Winter Whites

WinterwhiteBecause there’s still snow on the ground and temperatures are refusing to climb, I’m going to assume that it’s perfectly acceptable to publish a winter post. And what better way to beat the cold weather blues than by talking about fashion! Sure, we’re all stuck wearing our puffy parkas and cankle-inducing  snow boots, but there are ways to snap out of this wardrobe slump.

How? By sporting the classic winter-white outfit. This can be tricky, so follow these simple rules and you’ll be showing winter who’s boss.

Texture and Layer: We’ve already established that mother nature unleashes her wrath in winter with teeth-chattering cold, so the key to making this look work is layers. You can’t just throw on a top and coat and be on your way. Instead, try a crisp white-collared shirt, cable knit sweater, and cashmere or wool coat. Layering will not only keep you from turning into a (stylish) icicle, but the different textures and materials will make you the master of sartorial flair.

Be Shady: Alright, the look you’re going for needs to be worthy of an editorial spread. So you’ll want to stay away from an ensemble that is so bright and white that it makes people wonder if you swap style tips with Mr. Clean. To achieve the right balance, opt for a combination of off white-hues, beige, and cream.

Accessories:  Though mixing and matching has earned its top spot on the trend list, this is where you’ll want to stick to all things simple. Because you’ll likely be sporting shades of white, choose bags and shoes in a light brown or plain black to avoid looking like a kaleidoscope of colour.

With these tips in tow, you’re ready to rock the snow covered sidewalks!

Style is served

Staying Cozy in the Cold: The Clothing Guide

winterhat

Source: hilarygrant.co.uk

If you live somewhere in North America, then you’ve felt it! The teeth-chattering cold that seeps into your bones and leaves you longing for your cozy bed. And when even Atlanta feels like the Arctic, how do you stay warm? Here are a few tips to make sure that you’re ready to withstand winter.

Part Ways with Denim: Even though jeans are a year-long wardrobe staple, you better keep them in your closet for now! They won’t block out the cold –if anything, the fabric only absorbs it. So opt for cotton jeggings instead, or a great pair of lined wool pants.

Layer-Up, Buttercup!: Let’s face it, flimsy fabrics just won’t cut it in sub-zero temps. You need to layer your clothing like a well-built cake. Slip on tights underneath your bottoms, and have at least 3 items on the top (camisole, long sleeve shirt, sweater/cardigan). Lucky for us, layering is in style so have fun with it! Mix patterns and prints, and combine colours.

Choose the Right Shoes: Stilettos may be stylish, but you’ll slip on icy sidewalks. Instead, lace up a pair of insulated boots that will also keep your toes nice and toasty.

Add on some Accessories: Keep it all under wraps with scarves, hats, and mitts that are lined,  and put away those lovely leather driving gloves until spring!

Style is served!

Creamy Tarragon Veggie Soup with Croutons

SoupAlright, I have a confession: this was my first time making soup! Well, my first time if you don’t count my attempt when I was 5 years old and nearly sliced my finger open. Maybe the trauma has finally worn off, or I was REALLY craving some soup. Either way, it was well worth a try because this will become a regular on my winter menu.

Creamy soups are super easy to make, and even more enjoyable to slurp on! They’re packed with with flu-fighting veggies and are consistent enough to have as a meal –especially if you add some crisp croutons. Here’s how to make yours:

Ingredients:

2 leeks

2 medium size potatoes

1 broccoli head

3 cups low sodium vegetable stock

2 tsp dried tarragon

Instructions:

1. In a medium pot, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and the leeks. Saute for about 5 minutes.

2. Carefully add in your vegetable stock, and salt and pepper to taste

3. Wash, chop, and peel your potatoes as well as the broccoli. Add to the pot.

4. Boil until the veggies have softened, over medium heat.

5. Using a hand blender, mash the mixture until you’re left with a thick consistency. If it’s too thick, add some water of vegetable stock.

6. Add in the tarragon, and stir. For the croutons, simply dice some bread and toast it in a pan until golden brown. Garnish soup

Style is served!