Top 5 Wardrobe Finds

You’re going to love these

What’s blowing up on Instagram and on your friend’s feed? Here’s a round-up of fun wardrobe finds I’ve uncovered. I’ve done my research online, read through the reviews, and tried them out myself.

1) YSL Loulou Heart Sunglasses + Dupes

I love cute sunnies, but I don’t see myself wearing heart-shaped sunglasses on every given day. The Saint-Laurent Loulou sunnies are adorable, chic, and the wing tips create a cat eye effect. These heart-shaped sunglasses took off last year.  You’ll find the real deal on stylish moms like Instagrammer Hannah Strafford-Taylor.

YSL Loulou sunglasses
YSL Loulou sunglasses took off last year

At Neiman’s, the gorgeous pair will set you back $490. You can find a dupe on Amazon, and a child / toddler version here.  At the very least, you can go matchy-match with the kids.

2) Summersalt. Lunch in your bathing suit 

Going through my Instagram feed, I stumbled on the eye-catching colors of Missouri-based Summersalt. The bathing suit styles provide flattering silhouettes on different body types. Plus, the candy colors and styles evoke summer fun. Available at Summersalt.com

Summersalt model wearing Sidestroke
Summersalt model wearing Sidestroke in Seaweed + Seaglass + White Sand

The swimsuits are moderately priced, so you can add to your wardrobe (even in the waning days of summer). It’s also perfectly acceptable to go out to lunch wearing one of these numbers. You can throw on shorts or a skirt, and later hit the pool with a cocktail in hand.

3) Plae sneakers 

Living in California, you get exposed to all the local shoe brands and startups. Plae is a relative new kid in town, and they make drool-worthy cool shoes for toddlers and kids. Their newest line-up include adult shoes. The grownup shoes are just as comfy, and have a unique twist that sets it apart from major sneaker brands. I wrote up my recent experience in an earlier post here.

Kicks for Adults
Love the closure system that loops around the emblematic silver PLAE button.

4) Stance Statement Socks

We all need to wear socks, especially with the cooler months headed our way. I like to dress up feet with fun cartoony socks. Stance socks have been around for a while and come in cool graphics.

I may swing more Sanrio Hello Kitty, but you’re partner may lean towards more Storm Trooper. Whatever your style, Stance has a spectrum of options. Plus, you can find a bevy of cute cartoonish and animal socks on Amazon (for the less performance minded).

5) Anthropologie hair clips 

Anthropologie always comes out with elegant hair clips, pins and ties to suit everyday and special occasions. Hair clips are great staples to own, especially for those days you’re running around but still want to look relatively put together.

Tortoise intermixed with retro-inspired patterns and tints set these hair accessories apart from your basic Goody and Scunci staples.

Hair clips
Anthropologie’s Triple Play Hair Clip Set

So enjoy accenting your wardrobe, and take some calculated risks. Find pieces that are durable and that you can wear all the time. Quality over quantity.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s fiver!

Let’s PLAE. Unboxing Sneakers #weartest #nofilter

Comfy Sneakers

With an active lifestyle, I prioritize things that are comfortable, durable and generally look good. I was excited to try on my first pair of PLAE sneakers. If you’ve never heard of PLAE, it has become a cult shoe brand for kids. Co-founder Ryan Ringholz is an acclaimed designer who left his mark as the leader designer at PUMA. More on the SF startup in this Fast Company article.

Since the Mulberry model in white was back in stock, I decided it was time. White shoes generally look nice with dark jeans and pants.

Good looking & fun closure system

If you’re looking for something that’s “different” yet gives you some of that luxe flair, then the PLAE shoes with its patented STAELACE™ closure system delivers. It also has the panache of a Tory Burch-like emblem with its neat side-closure system.

I am “that person” who forgets to tie her laces and finds herself tripping. So, I appreciated the low-maintenance appeal of this shoes make/model. You can adjust the laces by sliding the anchor in the back of the shoe in one direction to tighten, and the opposite to loosen.

Going barefoot is OK

I like the option to go sock-less, so this was good. The soles are cushiony and comfortable and the weight of the shoes are rather light. It’s almost like sliding on a pair of loafers or thick-soled slippers, but gives you that sporty look.

Unboxing shows technical flair

Since first impressions are important, I examined the contents of the package and found the unboxing experience straightforward and clear of unnecessary stuff. The unboxing relayed the quality and technical considerations that went into the design.

The little glints of details like the green trim on the back, the tan lines, the thin laces, and shallow tongue are flattering design choices.

IMG_4108

The shoes come with grey insoles that you can insert into your shoes for added adjustment and comfort. And, they give customers the ability to 3D print their own custom insoles.

PLAE’s line of adult shoes are unisex, and are universally appealing on guys and gals’ feet. If I invested in another pair, I think I may go all black, Johnny Cash style.

Top Fiver for Back-to-School (B2S)

Get kitted out for B2S

Are you stocked up on back to school supplies and essentials? This week’s top fiver has some adorable recommendations for you (and your cherubic sidekick). Backpacks, rolling bags, new kicks, graphic tees, and water bottles. What’s on your B2S list?

1) Swedish Cool with Fjallraven

Hand it to the Swedes to make some of the most stylish gear for young and old. Hashtag #Mykanken for Fjallraven, and get thee a gorgeously cute backpack in a bright color. With a foxy logo and quality craftsmanship, their gear is built to last. Get a Kanken backpack for yourself and your older kids, and a Kanken Mini backpack for your little’uns. A Kanken Mini is currently $70, standard Kanken $80, and Kanken 15″ laptop backpack will set you back $115.

Great wall of Fjallraven backpacks
Mom shopping with her daughter for back to school gear

2) Rolling Backpack

Good posture starts at a young age, and to limit the strain on the back and neck, opt for a rollie. Your kids will love it, and you’re protecting their backs. Amazon sells some entry-level rolling backpacks that you and your kids can use everyday. A bonafide Amazon bestseller is the J World New York rolling backpacks good for school and travel, and has a nifty compartment for your laptop, iPad or Kindle. With nearly 1,250 reviews, an average 4-star rating, and Prime shipping, the price is right if you’re looking for something relatively inexpensive (<$50). If you want a matchy-match insulated lunch bag, you’ll pay a bit extra for the combo pack (<$80).

3) Colorful sneakers for you + kids

PLAE shoes are for cool kids and now adults too. You never have to lace up your sneaks with their signature styles of velcro and an “alternative” lacing system. Basically, you don’t have to tie your own shoelaces ever! Remember Adam Sandler’s character Sonny in the film Big Daddy where he tells the boy Julian “loop it, swoop it, and pull?” No need with PLAE.

PLAE has a cult following as a cool kid’s sneaker brand and was featured in Fast Company. Founder Ryan Ringholz was formerly a lead designer at Puma. Shoes for adults are the new new for PLAE. Currently, they’re running a promotion on their site, so save 15% if you buy a pair of 2 or more shoes. Kid kicks start in the $50 range and adult kicks generally $90 on up.

Now you can explore the mommy and me, or daddy and me pairings. Make it a family affair.

4) Bright graphic tees that pop

School uniforms yuck! If you’re not bound by strict school dress code policy, then stock up on some adorable, colorful graphic tees from Uniqlo. The Japanese casual wear brand does fun collabs year-round, and they’ve done one with artist KAWS to reimagine Sesame Street characters.

See? Even Roger Federer is one of the cool Sesame Street kids. Wear fun graphic tees with old school favorites like Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert, Ernie, and Big Bird. Sunny days are back again!  The price is <$10 per tee at Uniqlo. You can buy the whole collection at this rate.

5) Stainless steel water bottle

Keep your kids hydrated with H2O in a stainless steel water bottle. Nowadays, you have so many options for water bottles and sippy cups. Eco-friendly stainless steel is more durable than plastic, completely BPA-free, easy to wash, and more sanitary. You have many options, including fan favorite S’well, Mira, and YETI, as well as the beautifully elegant MiiR bottles.

S’well has an adorable collection of kid’s bottles with their S’ip line. You can breeze through Target and check them out. Hope you enjoyed this week’s fiver!

What B2S essentials do you recommend? You’re welcome to share your comments. 

5 Posture Improving Habits

TBT group photo (years ago), channeling my inner Grace Kelly stance.

Straighten up when you stand

Grace Kelly epitomized Hollywood glamour and was the original American-born screen actress turned real-life princess of Monaco. Trained in ballet, Grace was universally remembered for her elegant posture. A great posture can have a lengthening effect, and help you ooze confidence.

What’s the deal with your back?

Did you know that the Back is the #1 chief chronic complaint? Just think about the punishing bad habits that have led to back and neck issues.

You’re probably guilty of some of these. Raise your hand if you:

  • Unconsciously stoop forward, slouching when standing or walking
  • Text or play mobile games with your neck bent forward
  • Hunch over your laptop/computer at work for hours (years)
  • Play Fortnite: Battle Royale (and other video games) for hours
  • Chase after your kids, continually picking up after them.
  • Lift heavy objects (i.e. furniture, boxes)
  • [Moms] Have experienced back pain while pregnant or nursing
  • Engage in strenuous contact sports or gym activities
  • Have been in an accident at some point that caused physical injury

Technology is a major culprit — an enabler of bad posture. So, let’s talk about five things you can do to improve your posture today.

1) Roll your shoulders back and straighten up

When you’re standing, become self-aware of how you carry yourself. Avoid the stoop where you roll your shoulders forward (hunch back pose). Do the opposite, roll your shoulders back so the shoulder blades are closer together.  Tighten your abs, and you’ll see a nice flattening effect on your tummy and appear more elongated. Channel your inner Grace Kelly or inner James Bond (OG Sean Connery or Daniel Craig).

2) Step away from tech (literally)

Instead of spending hours on the couch texting, shopping on Amazon, playing mobile games, and commenting/posting to Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat — take a break and step away. Limber up and take breaks every hour.

3) Stop leaning into your laptop

Whether you’re writing a blog post, poring over a detailed spreadsheet, or coding like a rebel genius Cameron Howe — stop leaning over your screen. Slouching forward is just bad for your back and neck. Increase the font size and elevate your laptop, so you avoid the lean-in effect.

4) Stop tech neck + invest in a stand

With your smartphone in your lap, you look down — again and again. Avoid having to look down on your mobile device. Find a handy solution so you’re not constantly hunching over your device. You can even order a special stand to take some of that pressure off your hand.

5) Project confidence (state of mind)

An attitude shift can help you establish healthier habits, and even help you work on better posture. And, at the very least, avoid really bad habits as it relates to slouching and hunching.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s practical fiver!

 

Pet Parents: Amazon Prime Deals Running Out

Prime Deals (in-progress)

Amazon Prime Day always takes over one hot July day each year. Today through tomorrow promises best-ever deals of the year (outside of Black Friday). If you read this morning’s Businesswire press release,  it’s only scratched the surface. The sheer enormity of deals play into the strength of this juggernaut.

One Million Deals and Counting

How big is Prime Day? “This year, members will find more than one million deals worldwide – up from more than 100,000 just two years ago.” What’s more, there’s extra ways to unlock additional savings. If you’re like me and like to shop at Whole Foods for healthy-ish items, use your WF app at checkout when you spend at least $10, and get $10 credit back that you can spend on Prime deals. One can also tap into deals via Amazon Treasure Truck in 25 cities, ringing up special location-based deals.

High design home cameras for pets?

Yes, pet cameras are serious business with the total addressable US market of 84.6 million households. Of the households that own a pet, 60.2 million of them have a dog, and 47.1 million of them are cat loving parents. Pet cameras have entered our consciousness for the past few years. Petcube just swept the coveted Red Dot Award for the Petcube Bites treat camera.

Full disclosure <I’m in the pet tech space, and this is my jam.>

Petcube Bites is an interactive flinger

A Prime Deal at $134.99 (46% savings).

The Petcube Bites treat camera debuted last year. Dogs and cats can be treated remotely, up to a distance of 6 feet. If you ever played Tiger Woods golf game or Angry Birds on your phone, you pretty much get the gist of the game mechanics found in flinging treats virtually from the App. But the rewards are real.

Serious x fun features

Petcube Bites treat camera and it’s smaller sister Petcube Play camera have equivalent camera features and functionality. Wide angle lens, night vision, sound and motion detection and alerts, and video cloud recording features. By default, 4 hours are recorded and refreshed securely on the cloud, so you can view the last 4 hours of activity via the App on your smartphone (iOS/Android).

For a step up, Petcube Care is a multi-day 24/7 subscription plan offering that gives gym-like VIP membership access to discounts on a range of pet care products and services (pet sitting, insurance, gadgets, food, customizable art, and pet-calming TV and music).

Petcube Play is playfully interactive

The Petcube Bites treat camera is mechanically engineered to fling treats at varying distances, so you can play fetch with your bestie while poring over spreadsheets in the office. Or if you prefer the cube-like Petcube Play, there is a laser play feature, which allows you to maneuver a small laser dot to catch the eye of your furry roommate.

Petcube Play camera
Same camera features, smaller cube-like form factor. Play a game of chase.

Prime Deal on Petcube Bites 

It’s Prime time to snag great deals on items you’ve parked in your cart, or added to your wish list. Petcube Bites is on a best Prime Deal at $134.99, a savings of 46% from its $249 list price.

CNET recently updated their general list of the top Prime deals that warrant your attention. 

Pet Deals Galore

As this post is dedicated to pet parents, here are some current Prime Deals worth fetching. There are too many deals to count, so hit the Prime Deals section on Amazon.com and look under the Pet Supplies category. You’ll find everything under the summer sun. Stock up on essentials and most wished for gadgetry.

Whistle 3 GPS Tracker

Save 30% on Mars Petcare Whistle 3 GPS tracker. Lightening deal in-progress

IAMS Proactive Health Smart Puppy Food

Save 28% on puppy food for large dogs

Greenies (the fresh maker for your pet)

Save up to 50% off dog and cat treats.

Four Paws Pads – necessity for new pet moms and dads

Lightening Deal in-progress (32% off)

Happy hunting on Prime Day!