Sun Safe Labor Day

It is hard to believe that summer’s end is just around the corner, but Labor Day is almost here!  Which means it is time for one last big weekend for the summer.   Like many of you, I am planning to spend it at a relaxing BBQ by the pool with family and friends.  After all, what can be better then being with your family, and spending time with good friends outdoors?  But whether you will be partying on the beach, at a backyard barbecue, or heading out to picnics or any other outdoor activity, it is important to remember that the sun is still very strong!

Here are some helpful tips to help you to enjoy your time in a sun sensible way:
  • Always wear a sun hat and sunglasses. The shade they give are closer in range compared to that of a beach umbrella. This is helpful when you factor in the reflection of sunlight from the waters.
  • Apply sunscreen often (read more about how to choose a safer sunscreen)
  • Invest in a protective swimsuit—it may be pricier, but it can do wonders and truly save your skin!
  • While you’re at it, don a cover wrap, too. It can lend you extra coverage for when you’re out of the water.
  • Avoid hanging out under direct sun from 10 AM to 4 PM, when the UV rays are most dangerous. Instead, take a dip before or after those hours. Not only does your skin bask in less damaging light and heat, but you also get to enjoy the horizon during the golden hours. (Fashion blogger tip: these are the best times to take pictures! *wink*)

Like I always say, I never let the harmful sun-rays get in the way of my fun. I spending time with my family and friends outdoors. With all the necessary precautions it is completely possible to be sun safe and enjoy the beautiful outdoors!

What are your Labor Day weekend plans?

Why Golf Is Good For The Soul

Few years ago I discovered golf for myself thanks to my husband and my two sons.   The boys were quite younger then but they had already spent a few years on the golf course enjoying the outdoors and perfecting their swing.  I started playing golf just to have fun with them, but I was surprised to learn how invigorating and revitalizing this sport is!

It’s Good for My Brain

In addition to wandering around the rich, lush greenery on a pleasant day, you really have to think about your strategy – where you want to hit that ball and try and scupper your opponent’s game!

And a Pleasurable Exercise

I exercise my arms – golf helped me to develop great muscle tone!  And, if I chose to walk across a golf course instead of taking a cart, it becomes an amazing cardiovascular activity.

Great Way to Spend Time with Your Family and Friends

I’ve made many new friends on the golf course!  And there’s nothing I like more than spending a weekend’s morning or afternoon at my local golf course with my own family.  Golf is something we can all play together.   I really enjoy watching my sons improve their skill while I’m also learning and growing in my ability.

A Great Stress Reliever

Golf is a great stress reliever for me.   Not only it’s good mind-training exercise, it also takes my mind away from other things.  I need to concentrate: as soon as I take my eye off the ball I can fall behind.   But I also love the smell of the grass, and I enjoy the feeling of wind as I swing my club.   And a game isn’t over in an instant!  With 18 holes to cover there’s plenty of time to feel any stress leave my body.   By the end of it I am physically exhilarated and mentally rejuvenated.

Caution: Be Sun Smart

It is important to remember to be sun smart when playing golf.   Please wear SPF 50 on any exposed areas, re-apply your suncream every two hours.  Even on a overcast day 80% of the harmful UV radiation penetrates through clouds.  I always wear some sun-sensible clothing.  Not only does it protect my skin from the UVA and UVB rays, it also looks great.  The best type of clothing to choose includes UV blocking golf trousers and long sleeve shirts as opposed to shorts or short sleeves.  I wear a g light weight hat with a large brim.  And try to keep myself in the shade as much as possible using one of the large golfing umbrellas.   In addition, I avoid playing golf during the heat of the day (10 am to 4 pm).  And bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration: I sip it at regular intervals.

I encourage you to try golfing.   It really is a terrific sport and once you’ve had a few lessons and got into the swing of it (pardon the pun) you’ll find you’ve introduced a worthwhile pastime into your life which promises to invigorate and revitalise!

Pajamas in Public

Sartorial trends as of late are a mixed bag: there are crazy, wacky fads, then there are those tasteful enough to have staying power. Wearing pajamas in public, though, is a sun-sensible style trend I am completely dipping into. In that case, this trend might just be relevant to my sun-protective wardrobe for a while!

Protection and Comfort

Just think about it: wearing pajamas in public offers excellent sun protection AND all the same comfort that lulls you to sleep.  Pajamas enters a whole new level of casual cool, just like athleisure.  In addition, it doesn’t hurt that fast-fashion and high-end brands are churning out very chic pajama options.

The one I’m wearing has a whimsical print that takes inspiration from circus performances, magic, and thorny florals. The motif contrasts with the tea pink hue, which I simply adore. It’s all about a balanced design!

The key to wearing pajamas in public

Dress it up!  You don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed and forgot the fashion code. Instead, you want to look like you intended to stay comfortable throughout the day in your pajamas.

My take? Vamp it up with choice accessories. I wore chunky heels and sun-protective essentials, including round glasses from Christopher Kane and a handwoven straw hat from Maison Michel. The overall look turned out to give off a bold, quirky vibe—but nevertheless modern!

Do you like to wear pajamas in public? What sun-sensible style trends are you trying out this summer? Sound off in the comments section!

Robe from Zara

Summer is here, and it’s time to hang loose, enjoy the breeze and bask in the sun. During this time of the year, I always have to come up with drop dead gorgeous ways to cover up.

Robes as Sun Sensible Cover

As if on cue, the robe influenced trend is back this summer, and I absolutely love it! I am so excited that I get to add robes to my outfits this summer, ranging from laid back beach cover to lunch in town (over slip dress) to the evening out with friends.

It’s just so easy to do and appeals to my sun sensible ways. Robes manage to bring the comfort of the home to the outside world while protecting you from the sun. Fortunately, robes are easily available from many retailers.

One of my favorite robes is this one from Zara.  On this day, I wore it over my single piece swimsuit. This silk robe is lightweight, cool and comfortable, offering perfect sun protection.

This robe has a green background with a print of beige, green and red flowers. This print reminds me of all things summer. The color and print of this kimono style robe go well with the color of my swimsuit giving the illusion that they were bought as a set.

This printed kimono features a lapel collar and long sleeves. It also comes with front patch pockets, a contrast belt, and contrast piping. I, however, chose not to wear the belt, leaving the robe to flap in the wind. This kept me cool and exuded a laid-back chic feel.

Keeping with this feel, I let my hair down and accessorized with sunglasses to complete the look. If you are as excited about the summer as much as I am, get yourself a robe and enjoy the sun, without forgetting your sunscreen of course.

5 Tips For Dressing For Success While Having Fun in The Sun This Summer

Clothes are our first line of defense against the sun’s rays and despite popular belief, covering up with clothes in the summer won’t make you hotter. You can cover up while staying cool and fashionable as you take advantage of the beautiful weather this summer, and here are five ways you can do it.

Purchase UPF labeled clothing.

All clothes provide protection from the sun’s harmful rays, but some manufacturers provide a UPF (Ultraviolet Protective Factor) label on their clothes that tell customers just how much protection their clothes provide for ultraviolet rays. These labels read much like a bottle of sunscreen does, with an article of clothing rated as UPF 30 meaning that it blocks all but 1/30th of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The higher the rating the better protection the clothing provides. Cabana Life and MOTT 50 are two great places to shop online for UPF labeled clothing.

Cabana Life

Mott 50

Choose the right materials.

Choosing the right material can make all the difference in staying cool this summer. Natural silk or lightweight synthetic materials such as rayon, polyester, and nylon are good choices for blocking out harmful rays while allowing you to stay dry and cool. Workout clothes are also a good choice as they provide protection while also ensuring comfort.


Avoid tight fitting clothes.

Wearing tight fitting clothes traps heat and moisture against our bodies, causing us to feel hotter. A much better choice for the summer months is light and loose fitting clothing that allows air to circulate around our bodies and carry off excess heat. You will be much more comfortable in a long, loose, flowing cotton dress than you would be in a pair of tight fitting jeans.

Choose bright or dark colors.

Many people think they should avoid wearing dark clothes in the summer because they will make them hotter, but actually dark colors absorb more of the sun’s ultraviolet rays than light colors do. As long as you are not wearing too thin of a material, a black shirt will allow less ultraviolet rays to penetrate your skin than a white shirt will. For this reason consider adding more blacks and reds to your summer wardrobe.

Add a wide-brimmed hat and 100% UV protection sunglasses.

Skin cancer occurs more frequently on the head and face than any other part of the body, so be sure to remember to also provide protection for your head, face, and eyes. The best way to do that is by topping off your summer outfits with a fun wide-brimmed hat and 100 % UV protection sunglasses. For the best protection choose a hat that is made of tightly woven material and has a three inch brim, as these have been shown to reduce sun exposure by two-thirds. Make sure to protect your eyes as well by wearing a stylish pair of sunglasses that are labeled to offer 100% UV protection.

Green Tea: Antioxidant Powerhouse in a Cup

Green tea may be the closest thing to a magic potion that you can get. Its polyphenols and nutrients help to protect our heart, lower stress levels and cleanse our body of toxins. What’s more, it can also be the missing link to help you get the flawless skin you so crave. Here are just a few of the reported benefits of drinking tea for your skin.

Improves skin complexion

By flushing out toxins in your body, green tea not only benefits your internal organs but your skin too. Toxins in your skin can cause the cells to malfunction and even die, leading to a loss of elasticity, blemishes and even wrinkles. By ridding your skin of toxins and harmful chemicals, green tea keeps your skin cells functioning correctly and looking their best.

Sun protection

The polyphenols in green tea are powerful antioxidants that help to undo the damage caused by free radicals, harmful chemicals created by sun exposure. According to one study, just two cups of green tea a day is enough to reduce the inflammation and redness caused by sun exposure.

Reduce puffy eyes

We all experience tired, puffy looking eyes when we haven’t been getting enough sleep. And if you’re as busy as me, getting in an afternoon power nap is out of the question. Instead, place green tea bags that have been soaked in cool water over your eyes for five minutes. The polyphenols and tannins found in green tea shrink the blood vessels in the area, reducing the inflammation and swelling.

Treats acne

As with the remedy for puffy eyes, it’s not just through drinking green tea we can get its benefits, but applying it topically to our skin can also reduce the appearance of acne and blackheads too. Green tea’s antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties all come together synergistically, with studies reporting an over 50% reduction in the appearance of acne and pimples after topical application.

Green tea has also shown benefits as an exfoliator and for hair growth. So what are you waiting for, get down to your nearest health food store and pick some up today!

5 Tips for Wearing Wide-brimmed Hats This Winter

Wide-brimmed hats can provide just as much protection from the sun in the winter as they do in the summer. These chic hats make a great accessory to winter outfits while protecting our face from the aging effects of the cold air, harsh wind and snow amplified sun rays of winter.

The great thing about wide-brimmed hats is that they are a seasonless wear, meaning they are in fashion from spring to winter. They are also extremely stylish and can add a level of polish to any outfit, no matter how simple or formal.

Not sure how to fit wide-brimmed hats into your winter wardrobe? Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself from the sun’s harsh rays in style this winter:

Pair simple hats with simple outfits.

A hat such as a simple white fedora should be paired with an equally simple outfit. Think flowing, shapeless dresses, minimalist pantsuits or worn in jeans and a simple long sleeve tee to pair with this hat style.

Use accessories to tie the hat into the outfit.

Matching accessories is a great way to bring an outfit together. A brown hat can be paired with a brown belt and brown boots to seamlessly blend the hat into the overall look.

Drift toward felt hats in the winter months.

Felt hats are a good choice for the winter and fall months, for more reasons than just being more fashionable during those months. Felt hats keep heat trapped inside, which can help keep your head warm and cozy during the harsh winter months.

Make sure to get the right fit.

Choosing a hat that is the right fit is important for many reasons. The fit of a hat can really effect the appearance!  A hat that is too small or too big isn’t as attractive as one that fits the way it is supposed to. A hat that is too big may easily blow away in the wind.  And a hat that is too small can be tight and uncomfortable. Be sure to try the hat on instore to make sure it fits before purchasing, or measure your head circumference to make sure to order the right fit when ordering a hat online.

Choose hats in neutral colors.

You don’t have to break the bank by purchasing a hat to pair with every outfit. If you only have enough cash available in the budget to purchase one or two hats, choosing neutral colors such as black, tan or gray is a good way to ensure that they can be easily paired with multiple outfits.

Whether you want to keep your face protected from the sun’s harmful rays, keep your head and ears warm or simply hide a bad hair day, a wide-brimmed hat is a must-have fashion accessory this winter.

Boho Chic Sun-Safe Outfit for Sunday

If there’s anything worth planning sun-safe Sunday outfits for, it’s a Sunday that I’m gonna be spending with my family. This casual outfit with a boho-chic flair is what I wore to a fun day with my kids at the museum, then to lunch, and then, to a farmer’s market. Knowing the lineup for the day, I dressed appropriately. And in true sun-sensible fashion, my ensemble provided full coverage!

Here, I wore tailored separates in relaxed silhouettes. My Talitha cotton top features a lace-up detail and Ikat embroidery. The sleeves are long and gathered, with enough wiggle room for comfort and ventilation. For a fresh, modern take, I paired it with minimalist linen pants.

I lightened the outfit up with Penelope Chilvers mules featuring a cutout, paisley design. It helps that mules are the It Shoes for the warm weather. These ones lent an earthy, feminine charm that amplified the bohemian flair of my top. I also love that the paisley design gave the illusion that I’m wearing lace on my feet!

For accessories, I wore a fedora hat that was a delightful match for my linen pants—great for pulling the outfit together and covering my face and neck. The fedora also had an androgynous appeal to me and added another laidback layer to my outfit. Then, I touched things up with a pair of sunglasses. I think few people realize the serious toll the sun can take on their eyes. So more than a fashion statement, sunglasses serve my eyes with sun-protection.

Finally, I carried a Hermes canvas bag with me. It’s a great durable everyday option for lugging tools and equipment around town!

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How to Choose a Safer Sunscreen

Sunscreen helps protect your skin from the dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Some products work by scattering sunlight and reflecting it away from the skin, while others absorb those UV rays before they penetrate the skin. There are two main types of ultraviolet rays that can damage the skin.  UVA, the rays which do not cause sunburn, but can contribute to skin aging.  And UVB rays, which cause sunburn and can contribute to skin cancer.

Most people choose their sunscreen solely based on the SPF (sun protection factor). SPF indicates protection from a fraction of sunburn-producing UVB rays that reach the skin.  However, it does not show how much protection you get from UVA, which may also cause skin damage. Using a product with SPF30, for instance, does not guarantee complete protection from skin damage, just because it enables only 1/30th of the UVB rays to reach the skin.

Broad-Spectrum Protection

Dermatologists recommend that when choosing the best sunscreen, it is important to consider other key factors, such as effectiveness and safety of the active ingredients of the product. In general, it is best to choose sunscreens that can provide broad-spectrum protection, which can shield your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Consider safety of the product’s active ingredients

Many sunscreen products contain chemical filters, which may cause skin reactions and toxic side effects. Try to avoid using products that contain the following chemicals:

  • Avobenzone – a UVA-blocker that is also called Parsol 1789, which breaks down when exposed to sunlight and must be stabilized by other chemicals such as octocrylene
  • Homosalate – a weak hormone disruptor, which also breaks down into harmful by-products when exposed to sunlight
  • Octinoxate – an emulsifier that helps stabilize other ingredients when exposed to sunlight, but may increase estrogen production and decrease thyroid hormone function
  • Octisalate – an organic compound that emits a mild floral fragrance and is combined with salicylic acid, which has been associated with reproductive and developmental toxicity
  • Octocrylene – an organic compound that may cause allergic reactions in sensitive skin
  • Oxybenzone – a chemical that is used to stabilize avobenzone, but can get into your bloodstream and mimic estrogen in your body. It can also trigger allergic skin reactions.
  • Retinyl Palmitate – a type of vitamin A that is used to help prevent skin ageing, but has been associated with an increased risk of developing skin tumors

Try to look for sunscreens that contain mineral ingredients

  • Titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which do not penetrate the skin and are less expensive than newer ingredients. Because these ingredients are not absorbed into the bloodstream, they are also safe for use in babies and young children.  Just be sure that they are used with inert chemicals that reduce photoactivity and prevent skin damage.

More Safety Tips

When you look at the list of ingredients in a bottle of sunscreen, you will find that there are many other ingredients included to enhance the product’s quality, such as fragrance or creaminess. These inactive ingredients may also have undesirable effects, so it’s best to watch out for sunscreen products that contain the following:

  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which are widely used as preservatives, but are suspected to be endocrine disruptors and a cause of cancer
  • Parabens, which are used as preservatives, but are suspected to be endocrine disruptors
  • Parfum or fragrance, which may be found even in “unscented” products and can trigger allergies or asthma and are sometimes linked to neurotoxicity and cancer
  • Polyethylene glycol, which is used in as cream bases, but can cause cancer
  • Petrolatum, a common ingredient used as a moisture barrier, but which may be contaminated with cancer-linked polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Other sunscreens also incorporate ingredients that enhance their use, aside from sun protection. For instance, some include harmful tanning oils or bug repellents to attract buyers who might want these added uses. It is best to stay away from these sunscreens if you are not sure about the effects they may have on your health.

 Which Sunscreen Should You Choose?

Choosing a skin product to protect your skin from harmful UV rays should not be complicated. In summary, it is best to select a broad-spectrum product that can shield you from both UVA and UVB rays and have effects that allow you to stay protected longer under the sun. This means that a product with a higher SPF value (15-30) is acceptable for minimum protection, but select higher SPFs for longer sun exposures.

Select a product whose active ingredients include mainly titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which do not penetrate the skin and are safe even for children. Avoid those that include lots of preservative, perfumes and other stabilizers that may cause adverse reactions.

Lastly, use your sunscreen as advised by your doctor or according to directions found on the product and enjoy your day in the sun.

Caftan Dress is a Must Have for Summer

I like to think that modern feminine dressing is not limited to the idea of flaunting your figure; I think that it embraces a lot more silhouettes and styles than the body-hugging ones. By all means, a woman who wears a slinky dress, or shows off her skin in a swimsuit, is every bit a woman. But so is a woman in a sweater and skinny jeans, or a caftan dress like this.

You know that I go for clothes that offer full coverage, but there are times when the maxi dresses I wear has this much fabric, and this overwhelming a silhouette. If anything, caftan dresses are among the most luxurious pieces I have in my wardrobe—it’s a must-have for every woman for so many reasons.

To start with, it’s no ordinary maxi dress. This one that I’m wearing is made by one of my favorite designers, Yuliya Magdych, and is a summertime favorite of mine. The designer hails from Ukraine, and exemplifies Ukraine embroidery in her collections—Yuliya upholds the belief that the graphic designs are symbolical of the person’s fate. My dress features a lovely, white embroidery that blossoms across the balloon sleeves, neck and placket.

While the dress looks heavy because of the flow of fabric, it is lightweight in real life because of its pure, linen material. The style is a cross of European and Eastern designs that exudes charm, and I love how Yuliya designed it with choice, sexy parts of women to highlight. The sleeves sharply outline the shoulders before flaring out and down the arms in a blouson style; a tonal self-tie sash cinches the waist and creates a snug, wraparound look, and the hem of the dress is asymmetrical to show off an underrated, but undoubtedly sexy body part: the ankles.

I accessorized this caftan dress with a fun straw hat and edgy mirrored sunglasses. I could gush all day about how comfortable the dress was, and how elegant it made me feel. I adore caftan dresses for this reason, and I absolutely think they are as feminine as slinky summer dresses. Because if there’s anything that feminine dressing is about, it’s about women being empowered by whatever they choose to wear.

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