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My Style: Silver and Polka Dots in the City

Today’s outfit in DC: A white sweater with black polka dots over a silver top and silver pencil skirt (two of three pieces of a suit). Ran into my dear friend Nicole—who’s an awesome photographer—downtown after work. She snapped a few pics of me. Inspired by her blog, I’m going to try to post my outfits sometimes. I’m so into fashion—why not bring more of it here?

By the way, this week, I’m trying a vibrant yellow nail polish for the first time. It’s such a cheery shade and sort of unexpected.

My style takeaway today: Breaking up a formal suit with a light cardi and skinny belt can be fun. Have a great evening!

Top, skirt, and belt, Calvin Klein; cardigan, Merona (a.k.a. a Tar-jay score); clutch, vintage; pumps, Maripé; nail polish, Sally Hansen

Images: Nicole Crowder

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Have You Been Fooled by Organic Food?

I really love organic food—I get happy going to Whole Foods—but a new study made me think. We may believe that organic foods are nutritious and that they taste better, but, according to new research, our minds may be playing tricks on us.

A total of 144 people participated in a double blind, controlled trial at a mall, according to this press release. (Yep…a mall. But keep reading!) Graduate student Jenny Wan-chen Lee of Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics asked participants to taste and evaluate several products: “conventional” and “organically produced” chocolate sandwich cookies, plain yogurt, and potato chips. But—and this is the important part—all of the products were actually organic.

Lee found some interesting results:

  1. Participants preferred the taste of almost all of the “organically labeled” food, even though those foods were the same as the “conventional” products.
  2. Participants thought organically labeled foods were significantly lower in calories, lower in fat, and higher in fiber.
  3. Overall, participants thought the organically-labeled chips and cookies were “more nutritious” than their conventional counterparts.

It’s reported that Lee is the “first to acknowledge” that the study’s variety of foods is limited, though she’s confident that these kinds of assumptions (called the “halo effect”) are important when it comes to what we eat and how much. (People who think they’re eating nutritious food may be more likely to consume more calories or overeat.)

My take-home point? Even if our organic cookies and chips taste delicious, their labeling does not make it okay to always eat supersize portions!

So what do you think? Do organic foods really taste better, or do we just like them because of their labels?

Image: Master isolated images

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What Happens When a Fashionista Gets an Xbox

I recently gained access to an Xbox Kinect. Since it’s controller-free and senses body movements, it’s supposed to give a fun way to work out.

A major to-do is setting up an avatar. That includes physical appearance—long hair or short? glasses or no?—and clothes. It’s possible to create an avi pretty quickly. But I spent a little more time. Okay a lot more time. I got caught up in choosing my outfit.

I scrolled through tons of dresses, tops, bottoms, and shoes. Finally, I chose a sea-colored frock and a pair of flats. That should work for light activity, I thought. Next was a casual look: a cardi, bright blouse, dark jeans, and flats again. That should be great for…um…walking or something. And, finally, a black sheath dress with heeled boots. My avi wouldn’t wear it to the gym, but it could work for…let’s see… a dance competition, right? Right?

After I saved my outfits, I found out I could I could buy more online. I admit: I almost considered it. But no. One reason: Games often choose clothes and add-ons for you. (So your avatar wears headgear when boxing, for instance.) Mainly, though, I passed because I have to stop somewhere. I mean, come on. I can only justify buying new clothes in the real world!

Have you worked out on an Xbox or a similar system? Did you like it? I ended up playing a game that day and look forward to (actually) playing more.

Image: Xbox

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4 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Clothes

I’m so excited to start blogging! This first post is just in time for spring cleaning season.

I recently looked through my closet and found a cropped brown sweater. With a hook clasp. And crocheted cut-outs. Um, it looked (a little) better than it sounds, but it was really old. As I sifted through the rest of my things, I discarded lots of stuff. And I realized clothes (and shoes) should go if any of these four things are true:

They haven’t been worn. Some people say if you haven’t worn something in a year, you should toss it. That’s a little harsh. But if it’s been a couple of years and that dress has stayed glued to its hanger, it’s probably time to give it away. But if they’re Band tees, then you probably might regret giving them away.

They’re ruined beyond repair. Some imperfections are fixable—and that’s when a relationship with a good dry cleaner is a must—but if your stuff has permanent pen marks or serious rips and tears, just let it go. (And probably not to a thrift store.)

They don’t fit. Okay, whether they’re too big or too small, if your clothes don’t work on the body you have now, don’t keep them. Life is too short to be sad about that skirt you can’t get into.

You feel like crap when you wear them. Not obvious—but very important. An item could fit well and look new. But if you don’t feel good in it—maybe it’s not your color or isn’t your style—say good-bye. Why feel insecure? Plus, when it’s gone, you can buy something fab.

By the way, when I started cleaning, I hadn’t made a firm decision about that brown sweater. (I was nostalgic—don’t judge!) But it completely fit in category one (and four), so I said farewell.

Is it time for you to thin out your wardrobe? And will it be hard to give things away—or can you discard stuff without a second thought?

Image: Barbie and the Closet

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