ArtYoga Dogs and Cats: Try Some Moves from Your Furry Friends

Happy Friday! It’s almost the weekend, and to send you guys off on a smiling note, I just had to post these pictures from artist Daniel Borris. Yesterday I did a blog on how to work out at work, so here is the follow up:  add a little relaxing yoga to your day by imitating your favorite furry friend. With real-life animals and a little help from Photoshop, Borris has created some really fun and humorous photos of dogs and cats doing various yoga poses.
 
 
How did he get started?
 
“Five years ago photographer Dan Borris came across his first Yoga Dog. Otis was a two-year-old English Bull Terrier who loved to do yoga with his friend Joy. Joy would be practicing her yoga in the mornings while Otis wandered around her legs, stopping now and again to lick her face as she did a headstand. Slowly but surely Otis began to imitate Joy. At first he tried out simple poses, ones that came naturally to him like Downward and Upward Dog. As time went on Otis’s poses became more and more complex, until finally he began his own practice. While Otis himself wasn’t captured on film, he did lead Dan on his path to finding other four-legged Yogis.”
 
 
 
And of course, we all know how flexible our feline friends can be. I personally wouldn’t be surprised to come home to see my cats Scrappy and Frankie trying out some of these moves.
 
 
If any of you are as in love with these photos as I am, you will be happy to know that you can buy your very own calendar of yoga pups and yoga kittens to put on your wall. A portion of the proceeds from sales on his site benefits various animal foundations.
 
 
 
Will you be trying any of these moves with your pet? Does your puppy or kitten have any cool moves of his or her own?

GeneralInterior Design How To: Get that Shabby Chic Look

 
To do a little something different this week I thought it would be fun to touch on a few interior design ideas for all of those wanting to give their homes a needed face lift. A personal favorite of mine is a vintage, ultra-girly style that has made me want to immediately buy a house so I can start decorating. I used designer Rachel Ashwell as inspiration for this look with her Shabby Chic® line, a take on the popular Shabby Chic movement.
 
Shabby Chic® was founded in 1989 after Ashwell had her first child and wanted to create something that reflected the comforts of life. “I needed a versatile home that could handle children and a busy lifestyle,” Rachel says. “The answer came to me in the form of slipcovers. They could be easily washed and gave a warm, open feel to the rooms.” Ashwell was always obsessed with floral prints and wanted to reflect this in her new line of merchandise. Being a vintage floral fanatic myself, I am utterly obsessed with this line. 
Shabby Chic® products are a little on the pricey side, so Ashwell teamed up with Target and created a more affordable line for all to enjoy. 

Here are some tips on how to adorn your home to get this comfortable look! 
 
1. Give your end and coffee tables an antique finish. This can be done by painting your tables all white or cream and take sand paper to roughen up the edges. Your tables could look something like this:
2. Put some flowers in a vase. Flowers always brighten up an environment and just seem to make everything better. 
3. Invest in some picture frames and candles. Both of these make a room warmer and more inviting, creating a laid-back comfortable scene. For candles, try a soothing vanilla-cinnamon scent.
4. Throw pillows. These are amazing because they add character to a solid-colored couch and give it a little zing. I suggest a neutral-toned couch with a floral throw pillow with lace detail.
5. Mirrors. These always make a room appear to be larger and look lovely on walls.
6. Cute storage boxes. These wisk away clutter into something adorable! Try decoupaging hat or photo boxes to make them look cuter!
7. Be mismatched! The ultimate key to being shabby chic is to have a variety of pieces in your room. This makes it so that your room is anything but boring!
 
What do you think of this precious style for your home?

*All photos courtesy of Shabbychic.com

GeneralHow to Work out at Work: Staying Fit Behind the Desk


While I love writing about fashion and clothes for all you lovely ladies out there, it is inevitable that sitting for eight hours a day is sure to make my bum a bit sore after a while. And I don’t know about you, but flat is not the shape I want for swimsuit season! Sooo, I decided to take matters into my own hands and find ways to get in shape — while at work and staying studiously on track, of course.

 
With the help of Google and my friend Kelsey, personal trainer and Fitness Director at a local gym, I’ve compiled a list of a few ways to stay healthy, fit, and focused during your hours behind the desk.
 
Standing Up
 
Keep moving. “One of the things we tell clients most often is to keep moving.” Kelsey notes that it’s important to keep your blood circulating and get an adequate amount of oxygen to the brain. If this means more trips to the water cooler, then do it!
 

 
Go for a walk.  Use your lunch time to add in some cardio. If you don’t want to miss out on valuable gossip time, chat on your phone (talking burns calories, right?) or, better yet, convince a workmate or two to join you. Get a smoothie or sandwich to go and take a walk around the block or local park.
 
Take your tens. If you get a break, take it. You might be tempted to work through it or grab a coffee instead, but taking the time to stretch and move around will benefit you AND your boss in the long run.
 
Take the stairs. Yeah, yeah, I know you’ve heard it all before. But seriously, it’s worth it. According to Doctor Kong Chuan The of the Singapore Sports Council, you can burn about 1.8 calories for every flight of stairs you walk up and about .8 calories for every flight you walk down. If you worked on the fourth floor and went up and down to your office about four times, this roughly translates to about two hundred calories a day – the same amount of calories you’d burn walking for an hour or biking for a half hour.1 Um, not bad right? 
 


Sitting Down

Chest and Shoulders.  Put your hands on your chair arms, and push yourself up so your rear is hovering. Lower yourself down a little, but don’t touch the seat yet. Hold for a few seconds and then sit back down. Repeat fifteen times.3
 
Stretch. Reach back behind your head and squeeze your shoulder blades together. This, says Kelsey, gets the posterior deltoids (back of your shoulders) stretched. Easy, right? Interlock your fingers and press your palms to the ceiling for the ultimate stretch.
 

 Abs. While sitting up straight with your back not touching the back of the chair, exhale and pull your abs in toward your spine. Keep your back straight (think of bracing yourself to get punched). Hold your abs in while you breathe, concentrating on your lower abs and filling your lungs to stretch out the muscles between your ribs. 

Arms. Kelsey suggests keeping small arm weights at your desk, between two and five pounds, so you can do bicep curls while reading memos or other documents. Weight/resistance training increases your muscle mass, which thereby increases your metabolism and allows you to burn more calories throughout the day.

 
Have a ball. Literally. Swap your regular chair for a stability ball, she recommends, to work your abs and strengthen your postural muscles. Don’t slouch!
 

 
Leg Lifts. Raise your leg straight ahead of you and hold for two seconds. Then lower it so it’s hovering just above the floor and hold it for another few seconds. Repeat each leg fifteen times.2
 
Dream. Vacation anyone? 


 

ArtThe Artwork of Betsy Walton

I’m excited to share yet another favorite artist of mine, Betsy Walton.
The Portland based graphic designer and illustrator first caught my eye a few years back on Etsy, when I saw this print:
 

Entitled, “Let’s Go in Together” I couldn’t help but feel connected to this isolated couple making a pact to stand by each other’s sides. Preparing to enter the odd and looming shape in the background, the love and tenderness between this cutely suited couple made the perfect V-day gift for my significant other.

Recently I decided to dig a little further into the repertoire of Ms. Walton, and unearthed a wealth of colorful and eclectic illustrations. Originally from Kansas, the mysterious young artist states “My style is informed by a range of influences including Byzantine icon paintings, American folk art, geometric abstraction, and the work of many contemporary illustrators and painters.”



 
Check out these pics of the artist (she’s the one on the left) in her workspace. I love the cleanliness and organized manner she seems to keep. You can really get a feeling of the scale of her work, too; many of the paintings are quite small. Read the studio visit article by poketo here.
 

Studio visit photos courtesy of poketo.com blog.
 
Aside from her individual paintings and prints, Walton has a thriving career illustrating for various products including shoes, wallets and laptop cases. Below is an example of one of her continuous patterns. This soft and intriguing imagery could end up on a multitude of products.

Do you like this type of art?
Who are some of your favorite artists?
 

CelebrityWe Love Reese Witherspoon’s Pink Wedding Dress

 

*Photo courtesy of People
 
For her second marriage, Reese Witherspoon decided to go with something a little less traditional. She looked absolutely amazing in a custom pink gown by Monique Lhuillier. Reese wanted the vibe of her wedding to be a little more low-key wedding in comparison to her first, so to go with this theme she styled her hair down and used neutral tones for her makeup. She married agent Jim Toth on March 26th at her ranch in Ojai.
 
 
Congrats Reese! :)
xoxo
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