Archives for January 2014

Inspiring your passion for fashion

Love in Fashion 2014There is nothing like a day about love and romance to ignite your passion for fashion.  The Love in Fashion’s event at Tootsie’s on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 introduces fashion knockouts for both you and your honey.  This event offers a glimpse into some of the hottest fashions for both men and women. By showcasing the fashions with philanthropist couple serving as your models attendees have a fantastic opportunity to get insight into designs that may be great for you on Valentine’s Day.  To make the event even sweeter there is a change to check out the hot designs you may want to see on your Valentine.  Tootsie’s is always unparalleled as a treasure trove of unique clothes from the hottest designers and this event is sure to inspire your fashions for a hot date night.

What is almost more delicious than the fashions at the Love in Fashion’s Event is the purpose.  The runway provides some inspiration for design and insight into the impact the charity, Dec My Room, provides for youth in the Houston area.  The charity provides beauty and motivation to children and young adults in hospitals.  Hospitals can be a very depressing place and Dec My Room personalizes the hospital room for children with prolonged hotel visits to help breathe some new life and pleasure into a difficult situation.   The stories of the children this charity works for are amazing and is proof positive that changing your environment can also change your perspective and look forward to more great things ahead.

Party with a purpose at the Love in Fashion event and walk away ready to turn heads on Valentine’s Day.

Well Suited – 5 Ways to Refresh Your Look

5 Tips to Updating Men's Style

5 Tips to Updating Men’s Style by Jamay Fishback

Making a great fresh impression can lead to new opportunities, a new job, and a new outlook on the New Year.  Men’s style guru Jamay Fishback has some priceless insight on great tips for men to refresh your old wardrobe and prepare for the possibilities of the New Year.

  1. 1. Recut

A sports coat with quality milling need not go to the donation pile.  Your favorite jacket, yes the one with the patches on the elbows can easily make its second debut with a simple recut. Our current trend is shorter and trimmer.  Loose the pleats! Your tailor can easily remove the pleats from your trousers for less than a new pair of quality trousers. The flat front trouser gives you a slimmer more tailored look. Loose the cuff! Again loosing that cuff adds to your “my close fit me” look.

2. Buttons and Holes

Add a simple flare by changing the buttons or the color of the button holes on your dress shirt or sports coat. On a white shirt, light blue or light grey button holes keep the classic feel of a white shirt present but add just a little more style especially on your tieless days. These are all simple updates that can be done at your local tailor.

3. Accessories

Yes, men you have them too! Refresh that same old back suit with a colorful pocket square. Insert a lapel flower in that overlooked lapel hole that is just waiting for some attention. Your tie would love some attention as well, add a tie pin or bar, this is a classic look that signifies the essence of a gentleman. And don’t forget those cuffs. Why not turn your single button mitered into a convertible cuff that allows you to wear cufflinks without the extra fold of a French cuff. Your tailor can make this simple transition for you.

4. Mix and Match

Black sports coat, grey trousers, grey and black vest… Why not? Use the pieces in your closet to refresh your look. Navy sports coat, navy and light blue striped trousers… Works for me! Don’t be afraid to mix and match suit pieces. Here is the rule: Use on solid piece. Grey and black Plaid trousers and pinstriped grey and black sports coats… NO GO!

5. Explore the wonderful world of color

Don’t be afraid of pink, I promise it won’t bite. Lavender is also a very friendly color to incorporate in your closet pallet. To keep it conservative use pastels with a dark tie. A herringbone milling will add dimension and sophistication to your color selections. After all, real men wear pink!

For more information on refreshing your wardrobe, check out Jamay at:

Jamay Fishback

Men’s Personal Style Concierge

www.jamafishco.com

Fasting to jump start your fitness progress

Choosing a cleanse

RRRRRRIIPPPPPPP!!!! Yep it is a dreaded sound and as an expert jeans wiggler it means that the tides have changed on the ability to squeeze into your favorite jeans.   As soon as I heard the sound I knew the curves I was nurturing had now gotten out of control.  In the weeks that followed I received a rude awakening to the fact that “thirties being the new twenties” is not applicable in all areas.  In the past where I could skip a couple of deserts and return to my normal weight, with time my extra pounds had taking a liking to me that a desert free zone could not break.  In talking to a friend who faced similar problems we decided that trying out a cleansing fast may be a good way to break through the waist line standstill but also give our bodies a break from the steady flow of garbage that finds its way inside.  There are an abundance of cleansing options so here are the steps I went through to personalize a cleanse for me:

  1. Choose your goals: Not every cleanse is equally effective in all areas.  Some really promote moving toxins out of your body while others have a strong focus on weight loss.  Start first by deciding what you want to accomplish.  Doing so can quickly eliminate cleanses that don’t answer your goals.  Most cleanses operate on a short term basis so be truthful in what a cleanse can do for you in the time frame you can commit to.
  2. Keep it real:  The thought of drinking water, lemon and cayenne pepper for two weeks initially turned me off to the idea of cleanses.  In checking into I learned there are various different types, including supplements, vitamins, juices and tons of other alternatives.  I had to be realistic about what I could do considering my life is not going to suddenly evolve around a cleanse.  By modifying a liquid cleanse to eating a salad once a day I am able to take precautions that my mood and energy level won’t drop or kick out unexpectantly.  Nobody feels like dealing with a grumpy you just because you choose to fast.
  3. Team up to give yourself some support and accountability: I decided on the type and duration of my cleanse with a friend.  Hunger is a horrible thing and without having someone understanding what you are going through you may quickly grow to hate the group of snackers all around you.  In additional to providing you with some important support to stick with your fast, when it is all over you have someone to celebrate meeting your goal with.
  4. Research the up and down sides of your cleanse: What works for your friends, or Beyoncé, or Oprah may not necessarily work for you.  Take the time to find out what are the good and bad effects of your dietary changes.  Sometimes the ups and downs to your body can put you in a worst situation then you started with even if your cleanse is successful.  Additionally extreme cleanses often require an equally lengthy regiment to go back to eating regular foods, be in the know for whatever route you choose.
  5. Check your schedule: A week full of stressful meetings and lunch appointments may not be the best time to go on a cleanse.  If nothing else being around delicious scents of food is likely to make you feel some type of way (probably grumpy).  Pinpointing a period of time where you can suck up any potential effects of your cleanse will help prevent excuses for cheating.
  6. Preparation is key: Almost any cleanse requires you to get your ducks in a row.  Either by buying the cleanse or making it in house there are steps that have to be done to actually get the cleanse moving.  Doing the work before helps run offense on life getting in the way of completing your cleanse.  The cleanse itself will be hard enough, take anything you can surrounding the cleanse off your plate before you get in the thick of it.

Dressing for the possibilities

Comfy Chic

Saturday rolls around and for many of us it means the end of a long work week and a time to scratch some personal items off of our To Do List.  As it is a day where you don’t have to worry about dress codes it can also turn into the day you put the least amount of effort and energy into your attire.  Honestly, who sits out and plans a stylish outfit for a day of running errands????  Well, despite the appealing thought of making a day running errands in your bum attire your number one choice, why settle for bumming on a day you can really express your style?  A day without work is also a day full of possibilities.  Not only can you knock off some errands you can make sure you dress for other opportunities to do things you did not anticipate.  Perhaps catching brunch with friends or wandering into an art gallery… casual can absolutely still be chic!

I am a reformed bum myself when it comes to Saturday attire.  I was quick to throw on a jump suit so I can get my errand running in gear.  I found, however, that in doing so I limited my day to just running errands and then having to go home to regroup.  Once I get back home it makes leaving far less appealing then when I am ripping and running.  When something did pop up that I was interested in doing next my attire always resulted in me opting out.  On top of that it is equally easy and comfortable to choose an option that is causal but also makes your outfit appropriate for most situations.  Last Saturday I choose a pair of stretch pants and a nice sweater and in the same time it would take to pull up my sweat suit I was able to hop from the bank, to work, to lunch with my mom, and to the movies seamlessly.  Who says you can’t be a knock out while knocking out a to do list?

T25 Workout Review

T25

New Year’s Resolutions often focus on all the things you want to change or achieve and getting in shape is often high on the list of goals.  Starting the year off good is one thing, but is a whole different monster to try to find a workable exercise plan that fits in your lifestyle.  Exploring several options to find out the one that works for you is important to get the sustainability that ensures your New Year’s resolution doesn’t become last year’s regret.  Let’s look at one of the most practical and cost effective options, a home workout created by Beachbody: T25.

T25 is the new video series from Shawn T.  If you like Insanity it is all of the work out and at 30% to 50% of the time.  To start, I absolutely love Insanity.  I first purchased the set to prepare for my 30th birthday celebration and by following along with series I definitely got right for Carnival. Over the years I have continued to use the video because with a full time job, attending law school at night, and a daughter there is not a lot of time for the gym.  But three years into the process some of the videos have become routine and I am hungry for a new challenge.

The new series T25 is still a hardcore cardio workout, but adds some variation that differ from the Insanity.  The videos range from Cardio to lower body work outs to abs to stretching.  In order to condense the time the 10 minute warm up that opened the Insanity videos is gone.  Instead the video gets straight to business.  The workout is still energetic but the real winner to me is the time.  I never have a lot of time and I usually try to fit my video in early morning before work.  Trimming off some of the time makes the addition to my daily schedule a lot more feasible.  Additionally the time frame is consistent for all videos.  Unlike Insanity that had one month of 40 minute videos and one month of 60 minute vides, all the videos are twenty five minutes.  Although it’s a daily commitment the mix of cardio and some strength training ensures with some dedication you will see some pretty quick results.

All in all T25 is a very approachable video.  Another upgrade from the Insanity video is the alternative lower impact workout shown side by side with the more advanced work out.  By not feeling like you killed yourself after the first video you are likely much likely to come back and work at your own speed to complete the challenge.  Following the schedule initially quickly gets you in a grove and some strong results and then you can customize your work out frequency throughout the week to meet your schedule and goals.

Photo Courtesy of Beach Body

Fundraising, Food, and Fun

Martini Madness

There are thousands of charity events in Houston every year but it rare to find one that you are passionate about the cause and the amazing food and drinks are only bested by the company of the crowd.  Martini Madness benefiting the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is one of those events.  Every January the artistic bunch at the HCCC gather for Martini Madness.   The name along speaks volumes for the potential fun that can ensue!  Each attendee for the event receives a one of a kind martini glasses and from there the drinks abound.  With bottomless martinis flowing it is a great place to start of networking and slip into a mood that transforms strangers into friends by the end of the night.

Martini Madness FlyerTo accompany the free flow of cocktails, HCCC taps local restaurants known for culinary creations that match the mood of the event.  This is not your normal passed Hors d’oeuvre.  With braised ox tails, petite lobster pot pies and potato nori rolls on the menu last year it boggles the mind to think how it will be topped this year.

Best of all this event benefits a great cause.  HCCC makes huge strides every year to brig art to the masses.  With events that cover everything from exhibits of new artists to monthly crafting events that give instructions on how to do fun activities from making wire bracelets to building wooden toy cars.  HCCC is sure to stimulate the right brain of the most pragmatic person.  A benefit that rewards the hard work done by this organization is worthy in my book.  This year the theme is Havana nights and you can be sure to be whisked away in this fun soiree.

Sweater Weather

Scarfs-and-Boots

In Houston the times you have to bring out your real winter gear is pretty limited.  That means when the temperature drops it is time to get it in on some fashion favorites that spend the year collecting dust.  My favorite fashion combo in these periods are the boots and scarf.  Boots are a fashion must for me year round but when it is cold I get to bring out ones with details that are often inappropriate in regular Houston weather, like fur lining.  Although I originally purchased these boots to go with my Halloween costume as Cheetara they are both a great spin on a classic knee boot but also do a great job at warming your lower leg.  These are great benefits and allow you to keep your options open for leggings, jeans or even a skirt and tights when the weather dips.

Scarfs are all the rage now but you once the weather dips you can let them honor their true purpose in keeping areas like your neck and chest that may be open away from the cold. It is also a great way to add some punch to a monotonous outfit selection.  I am pretty beige today as I wanted the focus to be on the fabulous boots and scarf that I choose for accessories.  Thick warm scarfs can also serve dual purposes as you have enough length to wrap in several ways including around your head and neck.  The cold in a warmer climate location is a great chance to break out some old gear, despite the cold weather.

Jacket Love

Tracy-Ross-Jacket

Jackets are definitely my obsession, partially because I am always cold.  This Tracy Reese jacket was love at first sight for me and six years later the love is still real.  That is one of the best things about choosing items of clothes that really speak to who you are and your personality.  You will always go back and they are a lot slower to go out of style because they represent you, not whatever trend is in.  This jacket has neutral colors with a fun print but what probably sells it best is the replicated cut of a wrap dress.  It gives the streamlined appearance of a dress and the length gives you a lot of options as far as what lies beneath.  You can easily wear it with some leggings or jeans and few people will be the wiser with a classy pair of knee boots.  Best of all a dip in the weather does not have to doom your fashion passion.  This jacket is lined to keep you warm but packs a style knockout that will be sure to turn heads when you walk in.

Fun and Flirty

Flirty-SkirtAs a self-proclaimed fashionista I definitely have a passion for fashion.  As my blog follows my life I decided to include a section dedicated to my fashion choices.  My style is a funky mix that gives a hip spin on professional attire and eclectic when the work is done (business in the front and party in the back).  I often have to transition from a very busy day at work pretty smoothly to a business or personal function at night with a smile attached along the way.

Fun and Flirty. I always start planning my outfit with a quick look at my calendar.  With dinner with friends planned for the evening and a busy day at work I need to keep the comfort without feeling weighed down with professional attire.  For a long day of work and fun I always try to make sure I begin with shoes I can wear all day.  Of course wedges often are very comfortable.  As a bonus, boots that meet the knees often dress up an outfit.

Traditional office gear is a skirt and a jacket, but you can always modernize those classics.  I love jackets and this asymmetric suede jacket gives a youthful impression and also accentuates the waist when closed.  Designs are definitely in and the print and cut of this skirt definitely scream fun.   This jacket keeps night time options pretty open as you can wear a fun shirt under the jacket (as long as you plan on keeping your jacket on most of the day).  This way you can leave straight from work and keep the party going (or get the party started depending on how much you like your job).

Ready for Love????

Path for love

So at the end of last year and the beginning of this year my mind was on love.  Now I don’t think you can effectively make a resolution to find love as it takes two, but, you can make a resolution to be more open to love.  Unfortunately it’s amazing how quickly the ghost (or perhaps demons) of year’s past can quickly creep into your New Year and shake things up.  With the usual suspects come the same old desire to dive off the dating map and my resolution is blown on day nineteen.  I recently spoke to someone with a different perspective that may just give me the push I need to stay on path.  In expressing how quickly I am to strike someone off my list, she shared a suggestion her approach to dating.  As a hopeless romantic she believes that when someone differs in their approach from you it boils down to communication so everyone can get on the same page.  I, on the other hand, take the approach of taking someone as they are.  I don’t believe I can change a person and if I don’t like what they are serving, I clear out and head to a different restaurant.  So where is the happy medium between being realistic and becoming jaded?

The trick is in weighing the fact that in love, as in life, there is no way to predict the future.  After kissing 99 frogs, there is no way to guarantee that the 100th will be a frog or a prince.  No, at thirty two I can’t go back to seeing everyone as a potential prince charming.  I can, however, be open to the possibilities.  I believe the possibility of love is the power in being a hopeless romantic.  For me, following the hope can lead to a big waste of time and some real frustration.  So although there is no true predictor of who someone is or how they will fit in your life, there certainly can be a trail of bread crumbs to lead to not only who someone truly is but also what their intentions are with you.  Without looking, and looking carefully, at these intentions and characteristics there is a real risk you get swept away by someone who really is not ready to put in the work to make the relationship successful.

Just as realism is a must skipping the jaded attitude is just as important.  Experiences can give you some insight but seeing clues of one person do not automatically lead to the results provided by someone else.  The attitude behind how the clues are evaluated can fill in the blank to an answer before all of the information is given.  Everyone is different and no one perfect.  The challenge in dating is not finding a perfect mate but a perfect fit for you.  By seeing those people who come in your live with fresh eyes you can still keep a keen eye out for signs of crazy, liar, cheater and other disasters, while still hoping for the best so you don’t miss out on your prince on the bet that he is a frog.

What is your New Year’s Resolution for love?

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