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Brrr! 3 Tips For Staying Warm In Your Chilly Office

It’s hard enough getting dressed in the morning. Choosing the perfect outfit can be tough, but the added worry of getting frostbite in your air conditioned office can make the process even more difficult. Opting for a sundress under the scorching heat may seem like the liable option, but when your sitting in your office, suddenly all you can think about are the thermals packed away at the back of your closet. That silk blouse that feels so soft and light against your skin? Yeah, probably not a good idea in the drafty confinements of your cubicle.

Worry not, ladies. We have got you.. err, will get you covered in no time! Try these tips on how to stay warm and stylish in the office and still keep cool during those sweaty trips home.

1. Daze in a Blaze

Beautiful and sophisticated look, Well-tailored blazer makes such a huge impact. Remove the blazer and switch up the accessories to go from day to night.

A blazer, that is.  There’s nothing like the woolen goodness of a blazer to keep you warm. Throw it on over a sleeveless dress to prevent you from getting goosebumps down your arm. Wear a light colour, such as the white one (pictured above), to keep you cool when you step outside. Now you can concentrate more on getting that report done and focus less on how nice it would be to sit under a palm tree on a warm, sunny beach in Aruba. Mmm….coconut water would be a nice addition to the office.

2. Opt for pants 

Boho. Love the look.... If I can ever find a pair of these pants that fit me right!!

Sometimes, you just need some fabric around your legs. The extra layer can be all you need to keep you from shivering during your meetings. Wearing a dress may look cute, but is definitely not ideal when the air conditioner is positioned right across from you. Opt for a printed pair like these to look trendy. The material is light, the fit is lose – – it’s the closest you’ll get to wearing pj’s to work! Besides, it also allows you to skip your shaving session for an extra day… we won’t tell if you won’t.

3. Accessorize with a scarf 

Adorable, especially the rolled-up sleeves on the tee.  Via:  What I Wore: Cobalt and Mint, Jessica Quirk, whatiwore.tumblr.com/

 

They come in all shapes and sizes, materials and patterns, and look good with any outfit! A scarf is a great way to add a bit of flare to your outfit and also acts as a barrier against the cold artic wind of the air conditioner. Whether you choose to wrap it around your neck or use it as shawl when you’re extra chilly, a scarf is an excellent option to keep you warm. Who says you have to wait until fall to rock them?

There you have it ladies. Have any tips on how to stay warm in the office? Let us know in the comments!

Stay warm!

Featured 

5 Books Every Woman Needs To Read

A list compiled from The Huffington Post‘s favourite choices, these books by women are just a few of the incredible titles published. They are some of the most-discussed, thought-provoking and life-changing books from a diverse group of women writers. From lighthearted memoirs to lifestyle reads, there’s a genre here for everyone.

Here are the top 5 books that all women should read:

1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kahling 

“Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!” – Good Reads

2. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

“In sharing the gritty, heartbreaking details of her own experiences and unrealized desires — in showing us how, exactly, she is a ‘bad feminist’ — Gay reminds us what feminism can and should be: A space where women can realize their difference and their nuances.”

 

3. How Should A Person Be? By Sheila Heti 

“A raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friendship, sex, and love in the new millennium—a compulsive read that’s like ‘spending a day with your new best friend.'” — Bookforum

4. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey 

“Chapter after chapter, in a voice consistently recognizable as her own, Fey simply tells stories of her life: How a nerdy but self-confident half-Greek girl entered theatrical life (a wonderful community theater, lots of gay and lesbian friends), what Second City was like “back in the day” (cultish, hard, unbelievably fun), how ‘Saturday Night Live’ works (a chemical compound of Harvard grads and Improv people), what it’s like to be a woman in comedy (harder than you think but not as hard as coal mining) or to run your own show or to satirize a vice presidential candidate when she’s standing right backstage.”

5. The Beauty Myth: How Images Of Beauty Are Used Against Women By Naomi Wolf 

“If you have wasted even a minute of today worrying about the way your hair, breasts or thighs look, or about the wrinkles around your eyes, or whether your winter “wardrobe” is working for you … this book is for you.” – The Guardian

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6 Looks to Try At Work This Summer

The sun is shining, the grass is growing, and the temperature is rising. Summer is here, ladies. So you may be finding it a little warm under that blazer for the next couple of months. Follow these quick tips on how to stay cool and still look fashionable for work this summer.

Sun’s Out, Gun’s Out
White sleeveless button-up and trousers. The perfect professional summer outfit.

 

After all those bicep curl ups at the gym during the long winter months, it’s finally time to show off those results. A sleeveless button up top like this one is professional yet comfortable for the summer heat. Pair it with nice, structured dress pants and take on a day at the office looking chic and tailored. Dress up the look with simple accessories or keep it effortlessly fabulous with a sleeked back up-do.

Maxi, Maybe? 

blue silk shirt and maxi skirtWho says maxi skirts are only for a day at the beach? With button down top, a stylish blouse, and a structured bag, you can bring street style into the office with some easy accessories. Be ladylike and powerful with this flowy piece. Play with different colour schemes and try out different looks as a maxi skirt is probably the most versatile item to look forward to this summer.

Pop Star 

black-women-in-fashion

 

Bring out the colour! Black blazers and grey sweaters are behind us now. Whether it’s a coral pink or a vibrant orange, a pop of colour can be all you need to transition your wardrobe from winter to summer. Don’t be afraid to wear bold shades and mix and match with prints and patterns. Why should you sacrifice fun summer fashion during your day at the office?

 

Classy and Sassy 

Love it- would add tights and a blazer for winter!

 

Channel your upper east side persona with this girly look. A bright coloured skirt and a neutral top is sophisticated and feminine. Have fun with your accessories and jazz up your outfit with some fun flats or heels. The trick to looking like you walked off the runway into the office is to wear your outfit with confidence.

 

Less is More 

7 plus size work clothes combinations you can copy - Page 6 of 7 - women-outfits.com

 

Dresses. They’re light, they’re airy, they’re effortless. Choose a structured dress or rock this flowy number with ease. Finish your look off with a statement necklace or a belt and strut your way down the halls in comfort. Dresses have a way of creating a stylish, feminine look with minimal effort. The best part; they can take your outfit from day to night with a quick change of shoes. (Don’t forget to leave your work at the office!)

 

Pretty in Palazzos 

BCBG pants, Aritzia Top, Zara Shoes - Spring 2013 www.minkandivory.com

Ladies, whatever you add to your summer wardrobe this year, make sure it includes palazzo pants! Here’s a little secret: they’re a little more comfortable than pajamas. Not only do they add some texture to your outfit, but they’re also incredible fashionable at the moment. Hot off the runways this season, palazzo pants can be worn with a simple button down top or a tshirt and blazer. The look will turn heads and you’ll be the most comfy you’ve ever been. Ever.

Work wear doesn’t have to be boring. With these tips, you can make be the powerhouse of your office in style. Be a top employer and fashion icon this summer! Good luck!

 

*All photos have been taken from Pinterest*

What if he were a she?

The media response to Leonardo Di Caprio recent appearance would have been much worse if he were a woman

Recently the trash tabloids reported that Leonardo Di Caprio was seen leaving a night club with 20 women in tow. Most of the reports pointed out how surrounding himself with vacuous faces was pathetic, but all seemed to take glee in his exploits. Imagine how much harsher the reports would be if  he  had been a she.

Take the statement below for example and replace his name with a woman the public sees as sweet and innocent – Anne Hathaway — and try to imagine the tabloid reaction.

Leonardo DiCaprio Anne Hathaway reportedly left a nightclub in Miami last night with 20 women in tow. The tone of the coverage of this mass exodus from the VIP room has been gleeful, fist pumping, and congratulatory.

anne-hathaway-ebola-fear

Had he been a she the tone of reporting would have been much harsher. If a woman were seen leaving a night club with 20 men in tow the narrative reporters would use would include words like, slutty, a tramp, or a woman desperate for attention. They might also throw that she was crazy, or not operating with a full deck

Why is it that we are still bogged down by these archaic social customs?

The answer is simply that the media has become little more than a microphone to broadcast our crudest and most spiteful responses to those who break with social customs. To expect more from these reporters is naïve and ignores the fact that our individual responses and standards are what should be questioned.

So the next time you read a gossip column telling you that a woman is slutty, crazy or both question the very notion of the words they have used to describe her and then shut down your computer, pick up a copy of Vagina by Naomi Wolf and read it.

LOVE & SEX: This guy made a documentary to find out if size really does matter

One thing is clear, Patrick Moote doesn’t have a lot of embarrassment left. After proposing to his girlfriend on a jumbotron at a sporting event and being turned down, being the subject of a documentary about small penises wouldn’t seem all that mortifying. The trailer for the film, Unhung Hero, follows protagonist Moote as he speaks to women, experts, and medical professionals about penis size.

His girlfriend turned him down apparently because he was lacking in the pants. While this is an awful reason to break up with someone, it has gotten under his skin to the point where he and film maker Brian Spitz traveled the world to find out the answer to the age old question: does size really matter?

 

 

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

A year later

Tomorrow is our anniversary and I can’t help my desire to scream, “We made it!” at the top of my lungs. This is my first anniversary since the Big Ex in 2009 and the differences between then and now are staggering: four years ago I was afraid to tell the Big Ex that I loved him, four years ago on our anniversary the Big Ex was on a date with another woman and four years ago I couldn’t have told you that I was happy even if I thought I might have been.

Tomorrow Boyfriend and I are going for dinner and a movie, we’ll exchange gifts and we’ll fall asleep in what I can only assume will be a sweaty tangled mess. But the biggest difference of all is that I’m not afraid; I’m not afraid that making a big deal out of an anniversary will scare him off, I’m not afraid to tell him how much I love him and I’m not afraid to enjoy myself on a day that is meant to be enjoyed.

We’ve been through a lot this year: my mum’s illness, my work issues, the loss of his grandfather and six months of trying to figure out why I can barely keep food down. At this point we’ve been through some of the worst parts of life together and we’ve managed to come out smiling. I have never known the kind of support that I get from Boyfriend. As an adult child of divorce I’ve barely seen this kind of support outside of movies and TV shows; to be honest I didn’t even know that this kind of love was real, I just assumed that writers and directors were just really talented at creating loving worlds on paper and screen.

But after a year of experiencing love first hand I’ve come to realize that it isn’t all a fantasy, it takes a lot of work, a lot of practice and a lot of honesty. You have to be ready to share yourself fully, your fears, hopes, dreams and even (especially) the things you hate about yourself. Relationships aren’t easy, that was the part the writers got wrong, a big gesture won’t fix everything, there is no quick fix when things go wrong and you’ve got to really love yourself before anyone can love you. Some days I think it would be easier to walk through the world alone, as it’s a lot easier to lie to myself when the days get tough than it is to lie to Boyfriend.

But in the end finding someone who loves and appreciates you because of, not in spite of, your weird little quirks is the best feeling in the world. So what if I never wear matching socks or if I set my alarm clock in intervals of three or if I insist on calling penguins “pengins”? It’s all part of who I am and he loves me.

I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life and I hope that this is just the first of many more anniversaries.

Keep fit and travel fit

It’s easy to let your resolve to stay fit fall by the wayside when you’re on vacation or travelling. If you don’t have access to a gym you might say to yourself, “Why bother?” But it’s not all that hard to at the very least maintain your level of fitness with only a couple of pieces of portable equipment, even in a small space. I’d like to share with you what I do while travelling. (And as a matter of fact, I’m writing this from India, where I’m spending four weeks.)

First, I pack a skipping rope and resistance band. Both of these pieces are light and can be stuffed into just about any part of my bag. They add versatility to the workouts I create, allowing me to include many exercises that are not limited to ones using my own body weight.

Second, I choose six to eight exercises. To give a few examples: planks, crunches, squats, leg lifts, biceps curls, shoulder presses, rows and push-ups are among my favourites. I move quickly between exercises and after each cycle I do one to three minutes of skipping to get my heart rate up (or if there are stairs or steps nearby, I’ll run up and down them as an option).

Third, I challenge myself to be as precise and controlled as possible. This really cranks up the intensity in a big way. I always go slowly and if I’m not fatigued by the end of the set, I’ll hold a position and focus on contracting my muscles until I am.

I’ve used these strategies to work out in spaces barely sizeable enough to swing a skipping rope. My workouts while travelling are short (20 to 25 minutes typically) but effective. I try to do something like what I’ve described two to three times per week, as well as walk a lot. I look at it as a period of time when I don’t have to work out like a maniac, I just have to maintain. After all, I’m on vacation.

Adventures in blogging – Does this make sense?

With the blog site in place, the fun part of blogging had begun. What a wondrous opportunity for a writer to compose, present and collect feedback, in real time. Not yet convinced blogging was the right method of exploring my writing voice, I dove in anyway. Producing content was tougher than anticipated. Finessing the words was pure joy. When rules began interrupting the creative flow, the experience became something else entirely.

I expected the odd creative block and therefore mitigated the risk by collecting an abundance of material for one to two posts weekly. My challenge was sticking to the rules for ‘successful bloggers’ gathered through internet research and referencing social media stars. After navigating the plethora of advice, I narrowed it down to 10 key points.

10 Content Rules for Successful Bloggers

1. Specialize in one topic per blog. A clear vision of content attracts a more targeted and loyal audience.

2. Catchy titles. Have yours be the enthralling headline that drives someone to click and read.

3. Consistent post frequency. Some amount of consistency is best to keep new followers, whether posts are daily, weekly or biweekly.

4. Avoid venting. Use your power for good. Very few people can garner a faithful following of their complaints.

5. Subtitles, bullets and pictures. Organization and succinct thought presentation make for easy reading, especially for those who scan first before reading.

6. Promote comments and feedback. Creating a conversation with your followers generates three benefits: valuable feedback on content, follower retention, and new followers wanting to weigh in.

7. Make it easy to share. Provide easy ability to ‘share’ and ‘promote’ within social media sites.

8. Subscribe capability. Keep RSS feeds and email notifications ‘opt in’ prominent on the page.

9. Under 1000 words. The ‘sweet spot’ for most blog readers is between 600 – 1000 words.

10. Credibility. Display relevant credentials, awards and accreditations so readers have confidence in your content.

 

Broken Rules:

The internet offers an overwhelming amount of information about social media. I have handled the abundance of advice the same way I manage parenting tips. I read through material that interested me, and decided what made sense before drawing my own conclusions.

Without creating a number of separate blogs, I could not follow rule number one and stick with one topic. Since my blog goal was to find my writing voice, I needed the ability to explore a number of avenues that were incompatible and would attract different audiences. While the blog name “JustMomSensations” suggests impressions from a Mom, it could not be a well-targeted Mom-blog alone. It also needed to include short stories, snippets of manuscripts in development, business ideas, and favourite works of other writers. I broke blog rule number one and I moved on with a chaotic collection of topics.

Rules Followed:

With the exception of rule number one, the rules were easier to follow. My posts have not been as consistent as planned but it is balancing out over time. Since my first entry in September of 2012, I have averaged 1.5 posts weekly. I’ve managed to save my venting for journals and my husband, along with the occasional leak of steam on my personal Facebook page. The remaining rules guided me to structure the site and enable gadgets, all with the purpose of maximizing promotional opportunities to gain followers.

Results:

The inconsistency of post numbers reflects my chaotic approach to topics. The most popular post is a short story called “Picture in a Wallet” – a cautionary tale about unsuccessful child abduction. Short stories top the leader board in posts and shares, providing the feedback I was looking for.

I had fewer than 100 viewers when the blog first launched. I shared posts on my personal Facebook, and emailed family and friends. To increase my audience I needed to engage my existing marketing skills, and learn new ones with social media. Social media became my late night companion for weeks. Within a month my viewers topped 500, then 800, with consistent growth from there.

At first glance, social media appears to be free. One can use most tools without spending a dollar. The real and significant cost is human resource time to create an authentic presence in each of the tools. Each site had its own nuances, tricks and etiquette rules.

My education in going social continued as I learned how to use tools to push and pull viewers to my blog. ‘Build it and they will come’ is nice dream. Commitment and persistence is the reality of gaining blog viewers.

 

Next column: The Push and Pull of Blog Promotion

RELATIONSHIPS: Reconnecting with your childhood crush

How much changes after 35 years — and how much stays the same?

I never forgot my childhood crush.  Over the years through dead-end relationships and dating disasters, I would go back to that comforting place in grade four and wonder about the cute boy who captured my attention and still held a special place in my memory.

The fantasy of reconnecting years later often presented itself in my mind. What was he doing now? Would he remember me?

Truthfully, I wasn’t even sure that we wouldn’t pass each other on the street and feel a twinge of familiarity but just keep walking.  After all, grade four kids are only nine years old. How much connecting could we really do at that age, I thought.

But suddenly, there was a chance encounter at Tim Horton’s with my grade four teacher. There she was, timeless and preserved as if it were still 1977. As I said hello, the memories came flooding back to me and I immediately went home to fish out the class photo that was carefully protected behind a plastic sheet in an ancient photo album. My crush was as cute as ever, as he stood posing with the group.  It was perfect for a Facebook post.

Although we weren’t children of technology, many of us born in the late 60s have adopted the habit of sitting behind a computer or phone to connect with our past. Many of my classmates from elementary school who were on my friend list flooded the photo with comments. Then suddenly, there he was. On someone else’s friend list.

I sent the friend request. Would he remember? Butterflies in my stomach. I attached a little note to ask.

The response was immediate. Are you kidding, he said. Of course I remember you! I always thought about you over the years.

It turned out that he lived in New York City and pictures indicated a lovely family of his own.  He was doing well.

We exchanged the usual promises to meet up one day for a coffee. But we were hundreds of miles apart and we hadn’t talked for 35 years. They were nice thoughts and I filed them away.

One year later, a trip to New York City presented itself. So I contacted my grade four crush. The coffee meeting was possible.  Was he up for it?

Yes indeed. An exchange of cell phone numbers and a promise to touch base was made. Truthfully, I still wasn’t sure it would happen.  But from my hotel room in New York, I sent the text, proposing a time. A response suggested a place – Times Square.  It was confirmed.

I walked through the busy streets of New York City on a cool spring day and suddenly, in the middle of Times Square, there he was – my grade four crush. We stood there for a minute among the hustle of the city and looked at each other and smiled.

Over Starbucks, we talked as if three decades hadn’t passed by. We reminisced about our grade four teacher and classmates, and we discussed his move to another school all too suddenly. He cried, he confessed. He was sad that he would not see me again.

I stared. You did? I asked.

He continued to reveal details of our friendship –details that I didn’t remember. We used to lay stomach down on the carpet side by side and read stories to one another, he recalled. He used to tell his mom about me.

I tried to recall those memories but my own told me that he was the cutest boy in the class and I had a crush on him, as did many of the other girls. 35 years later, I learn that I was the one he was most fond of.  More importantly, I find out that nine year olds can make connections that last a lifetime.

We chatted for the afternoon and he walked me to a street that would take me to my hotel again. We promised to keep in touch and parted ways.

That was over a year ago and we continue to connect on Facebook.  His emails make me smile and he checks up to see how I’m doing from time to time, with offers to talk when life throws a curve ball.

I’m happy that he’s found a love that keeps his heart full. He’s no longer my crush, but a bond that began in elementary school, lasted through decades of distance and came back, familiar and comforting as if we had shared stories on that carpet, in the second floor of that old school building, just a few weeks ago.

 

 

 

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

RELATIONSHIPS: The double standard of talking about the future

When men reveal their secrets, I listen carefully. After all, it isn’t everyday that they’re willing to break the code and allow a woman into their mind. So when I found out about the double standard that may actually be responsible for sending men packing early in relationships, I knew it had to be shared.

I found out this tidbit on a first date of all places. We were talking about relationships over dinner. Ok, the fact that we were on a date and talking about past relationships is bad form, I know. But that’s how it usually goes when they fall into the friend category right away.

He’d asked me about my last relationship. The good girl in me said, avoid the topic. The realistic girl said, he’s the friendship guy so it’s ok to get his opinion. Since my breakup was still raw, I was all too eager to spill the details.

The future was responsible for the breakup, I confessed. Apparently I’d talked about the future too much and it put pressure on my former beau. Mr. Friend asked for details so I complied.

It was early on in the relationship, I’d explained. The stage where infatuation was at its peak and new couples, drinking from the same cup of amour, fantasized about being together forever. Could this be it? Could the long, search finally be over?

So when my past boyfriend talked about kids and homes together and trips we could take, I figured it was ok to jump in and reciprocate. Besides, a girlfriend told me, if he wasn’t serious about you, he wouldn’t talk this way! Men don’t say these things so early on unless they were serious. Uh huh. Words of wisdom from a woman’s point of view? Take heed ladies, this is not the case.

But as soon as I joined in the future talk, I saw the eyes widen. I saw the fear rise and I watched my beau turn and duck into the cave. His reason? I was rushing things. It was too much pressure.

I stood there, stunned, running over the conversations in my head. Didn’t he ask me on the second date if I wanted kids? What about the nice houses that he wanted us to look at? And the colours for the rooms…what was that all about?

I poured out my confusion to Mr. Friend and saw his eyes widen and palms rise as he shook them, jazz style, singing, “No no…NEVER talk about the future! Never mention the future to a guy who you just started dating!!”

But, I stammered. I was following his lead! It doesn’t matter, Mr. Friend said. You just don’t do it. Men live for the moment and they say what they feel at the time.

Ohhh, so it’s  a double standard?

Yes, Mr. Friend confessed. It was and it will always be that way. Accept it.

I shared this interesting revelation with my girlfriend. When men talked about the future, they didn’t really mean it. They were living in the moment. Ah ha! The secret revealed!

Weeks after I’d found out the secret, I had a chance to test this theory. The former beau poked his head out of the cave and looked around.  He wanted to live in the moment he said. Uh huh. I agreed. No talk of the future. Ok, I admitted that maybe I did talk about the future and it wouldn’t happen again.

But as time went on, and euphoria set in, the future talk resurfaced. I listened, I smiled and I nodded. I made no plans. I did not reciprocate and I did not build on it. I smiled and I lived in the moment.

My girlfriend, amazed at the theory, tried the tactic with her new boyfriend. When he talked of living together, she smiled and nodded. She said it changed her whole way of thinking because no longer was she that woman who jumped too far ahead in a relationship when men lived in the moment.

No, it’s not fair. In fact, it’s downright annoying! But at the end of the day I realize that it’s not about fair. It’s about understanding the difference between men and women so we can walk though this uneven playing field with grace.

So the next time you have a date with a man and he starts talking paint colours for the bedroom, smile, nod, and change the topic. Never bring it up again until the day you actually move in together. Only then will he be ready to paint together.