Avoiding Knee Pain and Injuries

Woman attending to her injured knee

Knee pain becomes more prevalent with age, and can be caused by either a one-off injury, or from repetitive knee motions. To keep your knees in the best shape possible and avoid any pain or injury, take a look at these useful tips.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying excess weight can cause unnecessary stress on your knees, and will seriously increase your chances of developing knee pain. By maintaining a weight that is healthy for your size, you will be able to prevent this extra stress, while also lowering your chances of developing osteoarthritis.

Pay Attention to Your Running Technique
If you are a runner, then you have a far greater chance of injuring your knees, unless you pay close attention to your running technique. You should be leaning forward from your ankles, and landing mid-foot, while keeping your knees soft and bent each time you land, to minimize the amount of impact that they receive. You should also keep your feet pointing in the direction at which you are running, as having your feet splay out to the side will end up torquing your knee each time your foot hits the ground.

Warming Up
Before you do any type of exercise, it is important that you first warm up and do a few stretches. Stretching the muscles in the front and back of your thighs is especially important, as this decreases the tension that is placed on your tendons, which therefore alleviates the pressure that your knees would otherwise have faced.

Woman stretching and staying active

Stay Active
Even if you are already experiencing minor pain in your knees, it is important to stay active on a regular basis. Allowing your activity levels to decrease will only lead to weakness, which would then make your knees much more susceptible to injury. Even just walking will be extremely beneficial to your knees, as walking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, and puts minimum stress on your joints.

Don’t Neglect Your Shoes
When it comes to avoiding knee pain, wearing sensible shoes that fit your feet well is an effective method. This will help your legs to maintain the correct alignment and balance, which protects your knees from extra stress. If you are a runner, the way in which your shoes fit your feet is especially important, and you should also make sure that you replace your shoes either every three months, or after 500 miles of wear, as this is what is recommended by experts.

Avoid Activities that Stress Your Knees
While staying fit and active is important, you should also try to avoid specific activities that will cause extra stress to your knees. Examples of these are deep knee bend exercises and downhill running, both of which place a huge amount of tension on your knees.

A knee injury can be incredibly painful and frustrating, which is why you should take all of the necessary steps to prevent this from happening. From ensuring that you warm up before exercising to keeping your weight under control, these tips will help you to keep your knees healthy for years to come.

Improve Your Mood With These Home Decor Ideas

Couple in spacious kitchen at home

Your home should be your sanctuary, meaning a place where you can feel relaxed, satisfied and focussed. If your mood could often do with a bit of improvement, a few adjustments to your home décor may be all that is needed.

A Homey Kitchen
Your kitchen should be the heart of your home, and a great way to ensure that it really exudes a sense of protection and warmth is by setting it up so that you are always facing inwards into the room, rather than out of the room or at a wall. To make it even better, having a view of the door where people enter from, as well as a window with a landscape view, can really help to boost your mood.

Dim Your Bedroom
Your body’s natural sleep cycle can easily become disrupted by bright lights, and this can have a significant effect on your mood. To keep your body’s circadian rhythm as natural as possible, remove any harsh light sources from your bedroom, replacing these with softer lamps and dimmer lights. This practice can be carried out throughout your house, as harsh lighting will never do your mood any favors. You should also remove any computers or television screens from your bedroom, as well as your phone charger to prevent you from using your phone in bed, as these bright lights will definitely not help to improve your quality of sleep.

Smiling woman in stripes on couch and coloured pillows

Add Some Color
Even if you do not want to paint your home, there are several other ways in which you can add pops of color to your décor. Turn to items such as pillows and throws, wall art and glassware, placing these in areas of your home that could do with a burst of color.

Uplifting Colors
If your home could do with a new coat of paint, think very carefully about the colors that you choose. If you like the color that you currently have, it may be worth trying to go just one shade deeper, as deeper shades are bolder, meaning that they can really uplift your mood. Certain colors also have various effects on people, with blues seen to be calming, while deep pinks and oranges are more cheerful, so do look into this more if you are going to have your home painted.

Smiling woman pulling open curtains to let light in

Let the Natural Light In
Natural light can do wonders for the mood, so it is important that your home is filled with as much natural light as possible. Even if you are only able to have small windows, make sure that these are not covered up with curtains or blinds, and try to keep everything as open as possible.

If you have been looking for ways in which to improve your mood while you are at home, paying attention to your décor could be key. From focussing on uplifting colors to making your bedroom a peaceful, relaxing space, these tips will enable you to create a home that supports your mood, rather than detracts from it.

Vintage Accessories Are Making a Comeback

Surprised looking woman with retro sunglasses

The vintage trend has been around for quite a few seasons now, and while it used to be mainly focussed on clothing, so many brands have now given their accessories a vintage makeover. From corsets to sunglasses, here are a few of the must-have vintage accessories for this summer.

Vintage Glasses
While it is usually vintage sunglasses that are seen on the runway, normal reading glasses have now also been given a vintage makeover, and are being seen as quite the accessory. Clear lens aviators are the way to go, and will really add a retro vibe to your look.

Corsets
Not only are corsets stylishly retro, but they also do so much to enhance the figure, while slimming down the waist and really giving you that hourglass shape. Do not feel as though you need to dress a corset up, as designers have been styling them in so many different ways. From worn underneath a button-down shirt to worn over a t-shirt and a pair of jeans, adding a corset to your outfit will really help it to make a statement.

Straw Hats
Breathable and lightweight, straw hats have been a wardrobe staple in hot countries for centuries, but these styles have been making a huge comeback, and would be the perfect addition to your summer closet. While the wide-brimmed floppy sun hat may have had its moment last summer, this year milliners are trying to set new boundaries with their designs, coming up with eclectic and contemporary styles. From twisted brims to grommets and lacing, straw hats will work well with just about any summer outfit.

Woman in denim clothes, hat and choker

Chokers
While the 90’s may not really be considered to be vintage, chokers are a trend that should not be ignored. These began to make their comeback in 2016, but, instead of dying down in popularity this year, are continuing full steam ahead. Rather than the minimalist chokers of last year, this summer sees chokers that are bold and statement-making, with an emphasis on DIY styles that really showcase their wearer’s personality.

Vintage-Inspired Bags
For those who want to try out the vintage trend but in a more subtle way, a vintage-inspired bag is always a safe bet. Just about every designer will have one of these, such as the Giant Envelope Shoulder Bag from Balenciaga, which is made from a gorgeous white leather. The Salvatore Ferragamo Vintage Vara Bow 2 Way Handbag is also worth considering if you are looking for something for the daytime, as is the Prada Vintage Bowler Tote Bag. The latter is in a striking red and white color, with decorative perforations and round top handles, exuding a sporty yet luxurious feel. Of course, a classic vintage Chanel backpack is also great for the day, and is a fantastic bag to travel with, as it is large enough for you to cart around any bulky belongings.

Vintage accessories are a great way to add a retro edge to your look, without having to make too much of an investment. From a versatile straw hat to a pair of stylish vintage glasses, these accessories are each worth considering.

Gold Fashion for Summer

Woman posing in red top and gold skirt

Metallics have been seen all over the Spring Summer 2017 runways, so it only makes sense to try to embrace this show-stopping trend. When it comes to the metallic shades, nothing quite beats a glamorous gold for the summer months, so here are a few pieces that you could invest in.

Pleated Gold Midi Skirt
Although the summer months may be warm enough to bare more skin than usual, there are always those occasions when you do not want to flash quite so much leg, making a midi skirt a great way to go. The pleated gold midi skirt from Zara is made from a frayed metallic fabric, giving it an edgy, down-to-earth vibe, but it still swings and flows in a way that is delightfully feminine.

Gold Loafers
Traditional loafers are a classic, and are being seen just about everywhere this summer. While your go-to black loafers may be looking slightly tired, a pair of metallic gold loafers, such as the style from Tod’s, will never fail to brighten up your day. Whether you wear them with cropped denim jeans or dark workwear, gold loafers will add a slightly futuristic edge to any outfit.

Gold Sandals
For those who are still not quite sold on the idea of wearing gold, trying this trend out with a pair of understated gold sandals is a great way to get your feet wet. Marc Jacobs has a pair that is perfect for this, as they are made from a cracked metallic leather and feature a covered heel and a buckled ankle strap, making them casual and perfect for lazy summer days.

Woman posing in gold bikini and shades

Gold Swimwear
If you have been wanting to buy a new swimsuit for this summer, try on a few gold swimsuits and see how much the color flatters your skin tone. Gold works with just about every skin color out there, making a gold swimsuit the perfect way to stand out on the beach this summer. From Melissa Odabash to Topshop to Martha Medeiros, there are so many brands out there that have their own stunning version of a gold swimsuit, so do explore all of the options.

Sequins and Crystals
With everything from sequins and crystals to beads and Art Deco motifs, the gold Patty Silk Chiffon Mini Dress from Alice and Olivia is perfectly suited for the summer. The dress boasts a plunging neckline and a flared silhouette, and would work well when paired with a clutch bag and some strappy summer sandals.

Rose Gold
If the idea of gold is still too bold for you, give rose gold a try instead. With its pinkish hue, rose gold is much more subtle, but just as on-trend. For a rose-gold dress that will soon become your go-to number for special occasions, take a look at Herve Leger, who have a figure-hugging metallic gold bandage dress that will beautifully accentuate your shape.

The subtle shimmer that metallic shades give to your outfit are enhanced even more by the bright summer light, making this the perfect trend for the summer months. Whether you opt for gold shoes or a gold skirt, these are some of the gold must-haves for your wardrobe this summer.

Retro Swimsuit Ideas

Woman in polka dot retro swimsuit

Retro swimsuits have made a huge comeback this year, and, with the summer season in full swing, now is the perfect time to invest in one. For those who do not know where to start looking, here are a few ideas to get you inspired.

Polka Dots
Polka dots are fabulously retro, and will always be a showstopper on the beach. For a flattering two-piece swimsuit with polka dots all over, in either black or red, click on over to Modcloth and check out their Esther Williams swimsuit. With a bold print, low-cut legs and ruching at the front, this style is fun and flirty and has just the right amount of retro flair. For polka dots that are slightly more subtle, check out the demi-bikini from American Eagle, which comes in black with tiny white dots, and features a sweetheart neckline with a front keyhole. Alternatively, for a look that will really stop traffic, try on the Pearly King bikini from Johanna Ortiz, which boasts a ruffle at the front that simply exudes a vintage vibe.

Florals
Retro floral prints are beautifully feminine, and Stella McCartney has one that you will not want to miss out on. This two-piece features a tie-back bikini top with a plunging neckline but has adjustable shoulder straps that make it fit like a dream. Old Navy also has a floral style that is equally stunning, with a bandeau-style bikini top, featuring a removable halter strap and molded balconette cups, and high-waisted bottoms. For those who would like some extra coverage around their chest, Adriana Degreas has a floral bikini that features layered straps and a square neckline and has a retro but tropical vibe at the same time.

Woman posing in striped swimsuit on beach

Stripes
Stripes are another print that is never out of place on the beach, and the Brigitte bikini from Solid and Striped is the best place to begin looking. This piece was inspired by styles from the 50’s and features high-waisted bottoms along with a triangle top. Free from wire and padding, this is a swimsuit that will hug your figure and will truly be comfortable to wear. If you would prefer a halter neck, check out the striped bikini from Fendi’s Spring Summer 17 collection, which comes in a striking yellow and beige shade, and would go perfectly with some square-framed retro-inspired sunglasses.

Off-Shoulder
The off-shoulder look is another trend that is so hot this summer, so combining it with a retro-style bikini will leave you with the perfect beach look for 2017. For a fun, carefree, off-shoulder one-piece, head to J Crew, who have one that has been inspired by a vintage top. With a shelf bra for extra support, the bright print was inspired by the southern coast of Spain and is one that will no doubt ensure that all eyes are on you.

Your swimsuit says so much about you, which is why it is important to choose a style that really makes you feel confident. Whether this may be an off-shoulder one-piece or a daring polka dot bikini, there are so many ideas out there to consider when it comes to retro-inspired swimsuits.

Navigating Your Way Through the Bread Aisle

Smiling bespectacled woman holding bread

The bread aisle is an area of the average grocery store that has significantly grown in recent years, with so many new additions to now consider. From added fibre to gluten-free, here are a few tips to help you to navigate your way around the bread aisle.

Whole Grain vs Refined
One of the biggest decisions that people usually make when it comes to bread is deciding between whole grain varieties or refined, white varieties. You are likely already aware of the fact that whole grain is much healthier, as this contains the outer bran layer of the grain, which is where the majority of the fibre can be found. White bread is created from a refined version of these grains, meaning that all that is left is the starch. Make sure that the bread that you buy actually states that it is whole what, whole rye, whole spelt or cracked wheat, because terms such as wheat flour, enriched wheat and unbleached wheat are simply other names for refined flour.

Added Fibre
While whole grain bread already contains much more fibre than refined white bread, many brands add in some extra fibre, and this is usually positive. They do this by adding ingredients such as flaxseed, oats, psyllium or wheat bran to their bread mix, resulting in much higher fibre levels per slice.

Different Types of Flour
While wheat may be the most popular flour used for bread, there are several other types of flour that you are likely to have noticed too. Rye tends to be the second-most popular, and is quite dense compared to wheat, but has its own unique flavor and aroma. Corn and oats are other options, as is buckwheat, which is not a traditional grain, but is actually from a plant that is related to sorrel and rhubarb.

Sliced ciabatta on a wooden board

Gluten-Free
Gluten-free products have been on the rise lately, and when it comes to gluten-free bread, these tend to be made from four main starches; potato flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch and rice flour. While these are a great way for those who have a gluten allergy or Celiac disease to enjoy bread, those who do not suffer from these conditions are best off avoiding gluten-free bread, as they have high glycemic indexes, which means that they end up significantly raising blood sugar levels.

Different Uses for Different Breads
One of the reasons why there is so much choice in the bread aisle is because each bread tends to be best used for a specific purpose. For those who are making simple sandwiches, whole wheat slices are often best, as their flavor is quite minimal, allowing your sandwich fillings to really shine. Traditional flatbreads, such as pita bread and naan, are unleavened, meaning that they do not rise, and are chewier and denser, making them perfect to be stuffed. There are also many specialty breads out there, made from everything from sourdough to pumpernickel to rye, and each of these will have quite a distinct flavor, so do best when paired with stronger, more intense, fillings.

The bread aisle can often be quite confusing, which is why it is always a good idea to educate yourself on bread before heading out to do some shopping. For those who would like even more guidance on choosing bread, try visiting your local bakery rather than the grocery store, as the bakers will be on hand to provide you with in-depth advice.

Different Ways to Wear the Off-Shoulder Look

Smiling woman with off-shoulder top in a cafe

A shoulder-baring top is a feminine style that never gets old, and is back in full force for this summer. For those of you who need some inspiration for new ways to style an off-shoulder look, here are some ideas to consider.

Wear it to Work
While an off-shoulder top is not usually something that would be deemed appropriate for the office, there are ways in which you can style it to make it completely work-friendly. A buttoned-down off-shoulder top still gives off that professional edge, especially when paired with tailored black trousers and heels. Throw a blazer over the top if you need some extra coverage, but keep your accessories to a minimum.

Play with Proportions
Voluminous off-shoulder tops are always fun to wear, as they create such interesting silhouettes. However, in order to ensure that your figure does not get drowned out, you need to ensure that you pair a voluminous top with fitted bottoms, as this will also really enhance your bare shoulders.

Woman with hat and shades in flowery off-shoulder top

The Bohemian Look
Off-shoulder tops lend themselves perfectly to a bohemian vibe, and this can be really played up depending on what you style your top with. If you have an off-shoulder crop top, try wearing this with some high-waisted shorts, as well as a floppy hat and a choker. Keep your hair loose and wavy, completing the look with a pair of retro sunglasses.

Chilly Days
The off-shoulder style is not something that you need to only save for warm weather days, as it works well when it is layered with other clothing too. If you are experiencing quite a chilly summer’s day, try wearing an off-shoulder top with some high-waisted jeans and boots, throwing a cardigan or light jacket over the top.

Transform a Regular Tee
If you would like to try out the off-shoulder look without having to make a significant investment in your wardrobe, there are ways in which you can transform a regular t-shirt into a stylish off-shoulder top. Simply tie it at the hem on one side, so that the other side ends up gently falling off your shoulder. This can be paired with a high-waisted skirt or just a pair of jeans, for a casual, carefree look.

Tuck It In
When off-shoulder tops are tucked in, this creates a beautifully streamlined silhouette. Whether you tuck it into a skirt, shorts or jeans, this really modernizes just about any off-shoulder top, while giving your outfit a smarter appeal.

Woman posing in off-shoulder white crop top and jeans

Don’t Forget About Accessories
With your shoulders being left bare, do not forget to add in a few accessories, as off-shoulder garments are perfect for this. Whether you opt for long, shoulder-grazing earrings, or multiple necklaces, this is a great opportunity to showcase your favorite items of jewelry.

Off-shoulder styles are so on trend for this season, and are actually extremely versatile. Whether you wear it to work or save it for casual weekends, try experimenting with the off-shoulder clothes that you already own, as you are likely to be able to create multiple new looks from this.

Activities That Stimulate Your Brain Power

Woman thinking while working

While the brain is one of the parts of the body that is most often used, it is also an area that is often neglected. However, there are a few easy activities that you can try out to stimulate your brain power and give this vital organ a healthy boost.

Make Use of All of Your Senses
It is likely that, as you go about your daily life, you do not make a special effort to engage all of your senses. However, studies have shown that engaging usually unused senses can really help to stimulate the mind while boosting memory. So whether this means you choose your outfit in the morning by touch and texture rather than sight, or close your eyes while you are eating a meal, to really taste the food, try to make the most of each of your senses.

Use Your Non-Dominant Hand
People tend to either be right or left handed, and they use their dominant hand for the majority of their daily activities. However, pick one day a week where you try using your non-dominant hand instead, as this will not only require more focus, and strengthen your hand-eye coordination, but it will also help to build new associations within the brain’s neural connections. From brushing your teeth to writing to cooking your dinner, it may be difficult at first to use your non-dominant hand, but this will become much easier as the day goes on.

Woman deep in meditation outdoors

Meditation
Meditation brings with it so many different benefits, one of which is a huge boost to the brain. Not only does meditation make a huge difference when it comes to memory and focus, but one study even claims that meditation can significantly help to prevent mental illness. There are many forms of meditation that you can try, but, if this is completely new to you, begin with a couple of simple breathing exercises and then take it from there.

Language and Word Games
Word games and puzzles have long since been believed to be beneficial to the brain, and this is still the case. These types of games challenge the way in which you recognize, understand and remember words, all of which provides your brain with a fantastic workout.

Smiling woman with headphones on and dancing

Listen to Music
The “Mozart effect” is a theory that states that listening to classical music can make a person smarter, and there certainly is some truth to this. Studies have shown that listening to music, especially when exercising, can increase cognitive levels, while improving verbal fluency skills, as well as give a boost to mental focus. Any type of music can do this, not just the classical genre, so compile a few go-to playlists that you can listen to throughout the day.

Some studies have shown that the brain can often begin to lose some of its sharpness at the early age of 45, making it vital that you spend time stimulating it as much as possible. From playing word games to mindful meditation, these are just a few of the ways in which you can give your brain a healthy boost.

Supermodels Turned Fashion Designers

Supermodels are so immersed in the fashion world, so it only makes sense that many of them decide to strike it out on their own, creating their own clothing lines and collections. From Alessandra Ambrosio to Lily Aldridge, here are a few supermodel fashion designers that are worth taking notice of.

Alessandra Ambrosio

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Alessandra Ambrosio
A Brazilian supermodel and actress, Alessandra Ambrosio made a name for herself after modelling for Victoria’s Secret, and was the first model chosen to represent the brand’s PINK line. When it comes to her own personal fashion style, Ambrosio has always favored a more bohemian, laid-back vibe, and this is what led her to launch a debut collection for Californian brand Planet Blue. With soft, flowing silhouettes and lush, sensual fabrics, the Ale by Alessandra collection is absolutely perfect for the warm summer months.

Lily Aldridge
Velvet by Graham & Spencer is a fashion brand that was founded in 1997, and focuses on elevated basics that are inspired by the West Coast lifestyle. Lily Aldridge, an American model, has worked for the brand for over ten years now, making it no surprise that they eventually turned to her to create her own capsule collection. Aldridge has now released two of these for the brand, consisting of pieces that are incredibly versatile and wearable, from plaid shirts to sheer knitwear, but all of which feature a unique twist from Aldridge.

Kate Moss

Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com

Kate Moss
Kate Moss is a British model whose name has become quite mainstream, as she has been in the industry for several years now. In 2007, Moss designed her very first collection for fashion chain Topshop, and, after the huge success that it experienced, she then went on to design 14 more collections for the company. This then led to the end of her fashion design career for a while, but Moss has now reunited with this much-loved brand, creating a whole new collection for them, which, as was expected, has done extremely well.

Sophie Dahl
Former model, and author, Sophie Dahl has always had a passion for fashion, so creating her own capsule collection was a natural progression for the model. She did this in collaboration with Brora, a British cashmere brand, in 2013, with a collection titled The Lost Weekend. Dahl designed 13 pieces for the label, taking inspiration from gaps that she was experiencing in her own wardrobe, coming up with everything from soft, stunning cashmere cardigans to feminine tea dresses. In order to stay true to her own personal style, the color palette that Dahl chose for the collection is predominantly pale and neutral, but this just means that the items can be worn in so many different ways, and will work with just about every outfit.

Supermodels spend so much time in the fashion industry, so it only makes sense that they end up coming up with several exciting ideas of their own. From the beautiful cashmere pieces by Sophie Dahl to the down-to-earth collection of Lily Aldridge, each of these models have managed to bring an elegance and sophistication to the designs that they have created.

Wonder Woman’s Warriors

Wonder Woman film logo

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DC Extended Universe has released a number of movies in the past, some of which, such as Suicide Squad and Man of Steel, have received less than stellar reviews. However, their latest movie, Wonder Woman, is set to be their best movie yet, with many critics praising the fact that there is finally a female-oriented superhero film out there. The cast really makes the movie, with Wonder Woman’s warriors providing strong role models for young women of today to look up to.

Ann Wolfe
A female American boxer who has earned herself a number of titles over the years, Ann Wolfe was a surprising, but most-welcomed, addition to the Wonder Woman cast. Director Patty Jenkins firmly believed that since the movie was all about powerful women, the cast should be equally powerful, and, being an avid admirer of Ann Wolfe, decided to approach her about the role. While Wolfe may not have had much acting experience, this did not prevent her from establishing quite a presence in the role of Artemis of Bana-Mighdall, both on and off the camera, and she relished the role that she played, claiming that the Wonder Woman experience was more rewarding than anything she had achieved in the boxing world. Her character is quite a significant part of the film, and even though this was quite a huge responsibility for someone new to acting, Wolfe really managed to hold her own.

Actress Robin Wright

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Robin Wright
An American actress and director, Robin Wright is best known for her role in Netflix series House of Cards, but has also starred in several movies, including Forrest Gump, Message in a Bottle, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Everest. Most recently, Wright played the role of General Antiope in Wonder Woman, a role that was quite different from others she has played, but really managed to exceed expectations. Portraying a strong woman with a steely strength and beauty, Wright brings a unique sense of creativity to the role, and while she may only be featured in the first twenty minutes of the movie, she really stands out as one of the stars of the whole film.

Connie Nielsen
Connie Nielsen is a Danish actress who first entered the English-language film market in 1997 in The Devil’s Advocate. Since then, she has starred in a number of different films and television show, and recently joined DCEU as Hippolyta in Wonder Woman. Nielsen took on the role exceptionally, throwing herself head-first into the intense training that was needed for the part that she was playing. The fact that she was playing a female warrior made the experience even richer for her, and was proud to be able to depict true female strength.

With Wonder Woman already experiencing so much success, it comes as no surprise that a sequel has been confirmed, and will likely also be fast-tracked. For those who are looking forward to catching up on the adventures of the characters, it would seem as though you will not have too long to wait.