Vine Vera Offers Ideas on Things to do for National Just Because Day

Because written in the sand at the beachIf you feel like your life has turned into a routine – go to work, come back, help the kids with homework, cook, finish paperwork for tomorrow – then you most likely need a short break to just do anything you want to. This is exactly what National Just Because Day was made for. Although the origins of the holiday are not clear, there many people believe that it started in the 50’s as a family holiday and later on in 2005 it turned into what it represents today.  This fun day is your chance to do something funny or unexpected either for yourself or your family and friends. Take your chance to cut loose on August 27 each year.

Just Because

Most people find it difficult to think of what they can do on a day like this as we are all wired to act in a logical way. We are not even aware of how restricted we become as we grow up. To have a day like the National Just Because Day means to be a child again, to do things on first impulse without feeling ashamed or being laughed at. You can choose whether to sing in the shower or send a box of chocolates to your favorite school teacher. It is all about creativity and fun. Here are some ideas you may find useful on some crazy little things to do :

  • Phone a friend you have not seen in a while and invite her/him for a cup of coffee or a pizza. You can also buy your friend a gift and hide it in her or his pocket as a surprise.
  • If you have always wanted to dye your hair or or change your look, now is the moment to try that.
  • Turn the whole day into a special day dedicated to beauty and spend it in a spa center or make yourself a home spa experience.
  • Make a big chocolate cake, then hide it somewhere for your mom to find it when she comes home.
  • Buy a paper kite and fly it with kids from your neighborhood. You know they will love it and you can enjoy being childish for one day.
  • If you are in a relationship or married you can go out and have dinner at your favorite restaurant or prepare food, pack it and go on a picnic.
  • You can turn the National Just Because Day into a day when you can do good things for complete strangers. Help elderly people cross the street or do their shopping, take your new neighbor out for lunch or kiss someone – just because!
  • Pick nice cards and write what you like best about each of your co-workers. See them smile and enjoy the day with them.
  • Build a tent fort, this is certainly something you have not done in a long time. After your fort is complete, organize a pillow fight with your kids or friends.

Life is short, so enjoy this unique day to the fullest. Make this National Just Because Day the day of your life.

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Vine Vera’s Guide to Easy Fall Entertaining

Fall tablescape with candles and pumpkinIf you’re planning to throw a party this fall, throw a proper party. Don’t expect your guests to come and cook, work or help out. Make sure that you prepare everything beforehand and give yourself enough time to ensure that your party is a whopping success. With the right direction and guidance, you could end up boasting of throwing the best fall party in the neighborhood. This guide to easy fall entertaining helps you to understand what to do and what not to do to ensure that your fall party ranks among the very best this season.


Selecting the theme

Choosing a theme is one of the most important decisions for any fall party. The theme could be something as simple as selecting a color and using it all throughout. If you’re not sure on which theme to settle on, simply think of the fall season to shortlist a theme. Most people associate fall with golden brilliance, falling leaves, breathtaking sunsets and sheaves of wheat. Such themes can be easy to implement and they can also be used all through the year. Irrespective of what you choose, make sure that you thread the theme all through the event.


Doing the decor

Having a theme and creating the perfect tabletop is great, but don’t end up compromising on your decor. Personalize your dinnerware by painting small designs using edible paint on them. This helps you to add some flavor to the event and also give it a much needed personal touch. You can also add some color to your napkins and mix and match with alternating patterns.

Decor for fall entertaining - pumpkins and acorns

Finalizing the centerpiece

The centerpiece is one of the most important things for any fall party. While designing your centerpiece, you need to again look at the season for inspiration. Match your color palette with fall florals and add natural elements such as dried fall leaves, feathers and dried wheat. Candles and lanterns also add to the ambience of the area.


Focus on the food

You don’t need to spend a whole lot of time or money to get it right when it comes to food. Make sure that you keep it simple when it comes to the decors and the recipes so that you don’t have to spend too much of time in the kitchen and have time to entertain your guests. Plan for individual portion sizes while designing the menu. This makes things simple for you and your guests. There are a number of ways to display food items – you can  use sticks, serving spoons, towers and trays. Remember, the food item should come as one or two bites per item. Your main course should be simple and filling and some hearty sides are a must as well. Here is a small list of dishes that your guests would love to have at the ideal fall party.

  • Salad – Kale and Citrus Salad
  • Soup – Squash Soup
  • Appetizers – Fried Rice Balls with a Cheesy Center, Cheddar and Hard Cider Fondue, Rosemary Chips, Shrimp Puffs or Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Main Dishes – Beef Tenderloin or Pork Meatballs
  • Desserts – Apple Tart, Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream or Chocolade Fudge with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce.

 Foods for fall entertaining

Selecting the Drinks

Instead of serving your guests with a signature beverage, try and stick to the basics. A “Make Your Own Cocktail” theme also does wonders when it comes to drinks. It adds that element of fun and increases the social element of your party. Pick your favorite spirit as the base and inspire your guests to create cocktails around the base by adding elements such as fresh fruits, herbs, fruit juices and sodas. This is also known to be a great conversation starter for your guests. If you’re looking to keep things simple, simply go for the Pear Brandy Cocktail. It matches the mood, the decor as well as the season.


Things to Remember

Here are a few tips that you must remember while deciding on the perfect fall party for your guests.

  • Setting – The fall weather can be unpredictable. An outdoor party might be an amazing idea to celebrate the great outdoors for one last time before the chilly winters, but make sure that you have an indoor back-up in case of sudden changes in the weather.
  • Theme – Creating a theme for your fall party is extremely exciting. Irrespective of what you create, make sure that you use it as a guide for all your decisions – right from inviting your guest invitations to the party favors.
  • Centerpiece – You don’t have to spend a bomb to create the perfect centerpiece. Things like dried wheat, candles, lanterns, bouquet of roses and feathers can be used to create the perfect centerpiece.
  • Appetizers – Make sure that you welcome your guests with rustic appetizers when they arrive. Having the right kind of appetizers helps you to set the mood for the party. Don’t forget to pair your cocktails along with the appetizers.
  • Party Favors – Your party favors should always be something cost effective, consumable as well as useful. One of the best ideas for party favors are caramel apples. They don’t look cheap and go a long way in creating an impression as well.

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Vine Vera Explains Skin Age

Womans portrait at 20, 40 and 60What is Skin Age?

Birthdays might be the determinant of your chronological age, but they do not give you insights into your skin age. It is quite possible to have a different skin age simply because of the fact that skin aging is not determined by genetics alone. There are a number of factors that play a huge role in determining your skin age. Controlling these factors allows you to make your skin look younger than your actual age and letting these factors go out of control makes you look much older than your actual age. This guide helps you to understand your skin age, determine the issues that you can expect and understand how to treat your aging skin.


Factors that Influence Your Skin Age

Although smoking and sun exposure are the main factors that influence your skin age, there are a number of other important factors as well. Taking care of these factors and controlling them is the secret to younger looking skin.

  • Genetics – External factors aside, your genetics also have an important role to play in determining the age of your skin. As the body gets older, the skin becomes older and its ability to function deteriorates. The genes also play a major role in determining the issues that affect the skin and the skin type.
  • Sun Exposure – The ultraviolet rays of the sun can damage skin fibers known as elastin. This makes your skin stretch, sag and lose its ability to snap back into its normal position after stretching. The skin also tends to bruise easily and takes longer to heal. The best way to protect yourself from sun exposure is to use broad spectrum sunscreens before stepping out of the house all 365 days a year and avoiding direct sunlight as far as possible, especially between 10 AM – 2 PM.
  • Smoking – Smoking hastens the aging process by causing premature wrinkling and permanent damage all over your body. The nicotine contained in tobacco can starve your skin from oxygen, restrict the blood flow to your skin and make you prone to pruning.
  • Diet & Nutrition – Diet & Nutrition plays a huge role in keeping your skin younger and healthy. If your diet fails to provide the necessary nutrients, the skin can end up looking lackluster and dry.
  • Stress – Stress is known to be a common factor of skin aging. Stress levels are likely to make you susceptible to all sorts of skin issues and breakouts and also make your skin age at a much faster pace.
  • Skin Tone – Some skin tones are less susceptible to aging. The type of skin and the skin tone might not be the main determinants of skin aging, but they are definitely important ones.
  • Skin Care Habits – Your skin care habits can also trigger skin reactions. Contact with irritants, using the wrong skin products or ignoring the importance of skin care products can lead to accelerated aging, skin problems and pale looking skin.
  • Fitness – Lack of proper fitness and the absence of regular exercises can make your skin look dull, dry and pale.


A Quick Test

Take this simple test to discover how young or how old your skin looks. Once you determine your skin age, simply read on to discover the various problems and solutions for your aging skin. Remember, your skin problems are directly tied to your skin age. Understanding what to use for your skin age is the ultimate secret behind getting rid of your skin issues once and for all. The test to determine your skin is quite simple. All it takes is a few seconds and it can easily be done by anyone. Here’s what you need to do. Pinch the fleshy portion of your hand (the area between your thumb and your index finger). How much time does it take for your skin to bounce back?

  • If it bounces back within 2 seconds, your skin functional age is less than 30.
  • If it bounces back within 3 – 4 seconds, your skin functional age is between 30 – 44.
  • If it bounces back within 5 – 15 seconds, your skin functional age is between 45 – 60.


Determining Your Skin Age

Determining the overall age of your skin is quite simple. However, once you do determine your skin age, you need to understand what sort of problems you’re likely to face and the things to do to save your skin from further damage.

  • The 20s Skin – When your skin is in its twenties, it is at its healthiest. It enjoys tremendous levels of collagen support and looks young, fresh and supple.

Skin Care Concerns: Acne, Wrinkle Prevention

Product to Try: The Merlot Collection

  • The 30s Skin – The skin begins to lose its amazing collagen support as it enters into its thirties. To make matters worse, the cell turnover also slows down, thereby making the skin look dry, pale and old.

Skin Care Concerns: Fine lines, uneven skin tone

Product to Try: The Vitamin C Collection

  • The 40s Skin – The skin loses its elasticity by a great deal as well as its ability to retain moisture. As a result, your skin ends up looking tired, old and dull in its forties.

Skin Care Concerns: Loss of radiance, wrinkles

Product to Try: The Pinot Noir Collection

  • 50s and beyond – Once your skin crosses the fifties, it loses a significant part of its elasticity and the rate of cell turnover becomes extremely slow.

Skin Care Concerns: Expression lines, hyperpigmentation, dryness

Product to Try: The Chianti Collection

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Vine Vera on Dealing with Sun Damage

Woman applying sun block at the beach with wide brimmed hat onAre wrinkles, brown spots, dull looking skin and loss of elasticity becoming a common problem for you? If yes, dealing with sun damage (responsible for about 90% of your accelerated skin aging) could help to make things a lot easier for you. According to studies, exposing your skin to the UVA and UVB rays of the sun can cause a lot of damage and also lead to skin cancer. Since this damage accumulates over a period of time and does not show instantly, it could be years before you figure out what damage has been caused. The best way around sun damage is to protect the skin from sun damage using sunscreens and protective measures. However, a lot more can be done to protect the skin from sun damage and even counteract the signs of aging. Moreover, sun damage isn’t only skin deep. The UV radiation also manages to alter the DNA of your skin cells, thereby leading to things like cancer, wrinkles, discoloration and fine lines. Here are a few solutions for dealing with sun damage and ensuring that your skin looks young and healthy.

Tip # 1 – Exfoliate the skin

Exfoliating your skin is the simplest way to smooth your skin and improve its brightness. Exfoliation helps you dissolve your skin cells or scrub them off (depending on the kind of exfoliation method used). This allows your younger and newer skin cells to shine through and allow you to improve your overall appearance as well.

Tip # 2 – Tackle brown spots

Getting rid of those brown spots, or skin pigmentation, is highly important as well. Skin lightening products play a great role in reducing these spots as they stop the uneven production of melanin that is being produced by the skin. However, it is important to ensure that the skin lightening product does not contain any harmful ingredients which can end up hurting the skin.

Tip # 3 – Protect your skin from the sun

Make sure that you avoid any further damage by using a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 everyday, 365 days a year, before you head outside your house. Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen every two hours spent under the sun. Furthermore, you should also look into wearing broad rimmed hats and sunglasses.

Tip # 4 – Add antioxidants into your skin care routine

Using antioxidants is highly important as they protect your skin cell’s DNA and also boost the collagen and elastin levels in the skin, thereby helping out with anti-aging. The best way to do this is to eat antioxidant rich food and use antioxidant rich skin care products. Vitamin C based antioxidants and Resveratrol are considered to be great ingredients to use for uneven skin tones, pigmentation and aging skin.

Tip # 5 – Hydrate your body

Exposure to the sun, the humidity and chlorine can end up drying out your skin. Therefore, you need to replenish the moisture content of your skin to ensure that it remains hydrated. This helps in fighting wrinkles, dry skin and collagen and elastin deterioration.

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Vine Vera Style Files: Trendy Animal Print

Once a sign of high standard and glamour among the rich, animal print clothes and accessories are nowadays more popular than ever among people of all ages.  The reason for this is mainly in the fact that we love the beautiful animal patterns that when printed on various materials bring us closer to exotic, sunny countries and add some luxury to our everyday look. Although it is easy to find almost all kinds of clothes in animal print, one should always take care not to overdo the style so wearing only one printed item is enough for you to look trendy.Mollie King in a Roberto Cavalli animal print gown

Printed clothes and shoes can be found as part of famous brands lines such as Prada or Cavalli, but also in ordinary shops all over the world. The trendy print includes various animal skin patterns so you can find leopard print, zebra, tiger, giraffe and even cows on your favorite clothes. The variety of products is amazing from T-shirts, trousers and jackets to sneakers, baseball caps, heels and beautiful animal print accessories, watches, bags, scarves and belts. You should consider investing in a few nice pieces that can be worn in all seasons.

The reason so many people turn to this trend is that it suits all ages and personal styles. Even adding one small detail in animal print is a guarantee that you will be noticed for your superb daily outfit or sophisticated look. In this article we offer 6 tips for wearing animal print for a trendy style. When wearing print pay attention to match them so if you wear leopard scarf for instance, match it with the same shoes. Choose colors that go with the prints, white and black being the best choice. Wear one piece that is printed and another in neutral color especially if you are not a teenager. Younger people mix this trendy style in all possible ways but if you are middle aged then you should keep in mind that less is more in this case.Runway model with a snake skin clutch

  • If your T-shirt or top is an animal print then match it with plain beige or black jeans, pants or skirts. You can wear white or black shoes with this outfit.
  • Leopard, zebra or tiger print dresses should be matched with shoes in color that blends with the print. To tone down your wild look wear a black or beige jacket.
  • Wear animal print accessories with any color but make sure the details with the print are minimal. This means matching a leopard print bag with the same scarf and bracelets while wearing for example, a black dress.
  • Whenever you are in doubt about whether wearing animal print will make you look trendy or not you can go with one piece such as a printed bag, shirt or shoes only.
  • The latest fashion trends suggest mixing animal print with other prints which when done properly looks great. Mix leopard print with another print in the same color shade of the animal print and do not wear any accessories. Be unique and wear a polka dot skirt with brown animal printed top.
  • Find a shirt, shoes or skirts in your favorite color and wear them with only one animal print item The more vibrant the color the trendier the look.

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Vine Vera Style Files: Military Fashion is Back

Model Cara Delevigne arrives at a party in a military style coatThere is good news for all of you who love to mix different fashion styles and to always look unique – military style is back! Fashion is all about new trends and retro trends that can be mixed to make outstanding outfits for all generations. Ever since the military look first appeared on the fashion scene it has been popular for its color shades such as khaki, beige, olive green, grey and light or dark brown and for its comfortable designs and materials. The colors can easily be combined with elegant black, white or yellow and what is more important you can make your own individual combinations. There are endless ideas of what clothing items one can wear to get the newest military look – jackets and boots, shirts, pants, skirts and accessories. When you follow this trend keep in mind not to overdo with too many military details as you do not want to look like Rambo.  Many famous singers used to wear army style jackets that were part of their personal image. Instead of just copying them, try to achieve your own style and in doing so, always start with details. Once you learn how to wear the military clothes, you can make brave combinations. If you are not sure how to get the look you can wear only a few combat details like bags, belts, watches, scarves, sneakers or even hair clips. The great thing about this trend is that pretty much anyone can pull it off – young, mature, girls, guys. This is awesome because some people need help in putting themselves together, especially guys. This guide could definitely help men with summer style.  Here are nine tips that can help both sexes and all ages stay trendy and original:

  1. Wear slim fitting jeans with a big military jacket or shirt. Choose the jacket carefully according to your personality and style. You can go for jackets with epaulets for a more charming look.
  2. If you have a T-shirt in military colors then do wear it with black or white or any pattern free materials.
  3. You can put on a military track suit when you go jogging or working out in the gym.
  4. Military is back in most famous designers` collections. Victoria Beckham suggests khaki dresses with knee-high boots.
  5. For a sophisticated look you can wear one of Tommy Hilfiger’s classy creations. Mix colors such as red and orange with military look colors and express your individuality.
  6. It is not all about colors, you will also notice there are winter coats and jackets in blue, black or white with only a few details such as golden buttons or double-breasted styles that are worn with wide blue navy trousers with yellow stripes on the sides.
  7. Try matching army style short jackets with dresses, silk, ribbons and lacquered belts to create a modern and feminine look.
  8. Teenagers love this style and their creativity in wearing military styles is fantastic. Try using their looks as inspiration. Here is a great idea if you go to a party, concert or plan a trip with friends; a comfortable pair of sneakers, camouflage pants with big pockets and a plain white T-shirt. These are things that most young people have in their wardrobes and you probably do also.
  9. Although military style mostly imitates soldiers` uniforms of the World War One or Two, current designers offer new ideas for people who are always looking for more. You will notice some of the recommended outfits nowadays actually reminds us of the Russian or the Nepalese Army uniforms with interesting caps and trousers.Model walking down the runway for Blackstar Collection with military style dress

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Vine Vera on Top Fashion Trends of 2014

There are some amazing t-shirts, trousers, blazers and suits that have been doing the rounds on the catwalks in fashion weeks across the world. But, there are thousands of new things to choose from as well. When you add the two together, it can turn out to be a formidable list of fashion trends to choose from. We have summed up some of the latest and the best trends from world fashion to make things simpler for you. Hopefully, this should help you consider what to add to your wardrobe and what to leave out. A word of caution. Try to have an open mind while checking out the top fashion trends for 2014.


Model walking down the runway in a mesh topMesh as a mainstream fabric

Yes, the fabric that was mostly limited to sportswear until now has found its way into mainstream fashion as well. Some designers preferred to use mesh as an accent while others created entire outfits around mesh. Although the fabric does seem to be alluring, we know one thing for sure, not everyone can pull it off. If you’re new to the world of mesh, we would advise you to take it slow and start off with the accents before making it the centerpiece of your clothing.

Flower power is not just for the ladies anymore

Floral prints have become a major part of men’s style as well. These prints were seen everywhere – right from suits and shirts to shorts. What makes them so amazing is that you can do as you please with them – from a bold head to do floral attire to a floral shirt under a neutral blazer.


Maria Barros runway model showing off blue outfitBlue is back

Finally a piece of news that would make most men leap up with joy. After all, what man does not have one too many blue colored shirt. But, don’t get too excited. Monochrome blue is strictly for those chilly months. It always helps to try and stay vibrant beyond the winters. Finally, if you’re looking at hues like electric blue, make sure that you choose ones with small doses only.


Double-breasted blazers make a major comeback

The double-breasted blazers seem to have made a comeback from the 80s. And in a big way at that. Double-breasted blazers were seen on runways across the world and on countless street style blogs as well. Now would be a good time to brush off the dust from those ancient wonders which were never meant to be used again.


Male model walking the runway in artful stripesGeometry goes out the window

Stripes have made a comeback, but not in the traditional sense. The 2014 fashion scene has truly transformed the way the world looks at stripes. Conventional patterns and traditional shapes are still considered to be old school. But, differing thickness and bold prints offer you with an element of texture and a visual appeal to die for. Remember, the secret lies in making your torsos the stripe bearer.


Matile Cano bridal collection for 2015 features color blockColor blocking still goes strong

Color blocking is one trend that has managed to go from strength to strength this year. It is an ideal option for men who don’t prefer outlandish patterns, but still crave for a dash of color on their clothing.


Add some cream to your style

Creamy neutrals have also made a major comeback this year. Numerous designers have used these 1970s inspired neutrals and added a dash of color and texture to create a killer look. What makes them so popular is that the opportunities to experiment are endless when it comes to creamy neutrals, particularly with mix and match fashion being a rage in the modern world. Now would be a good time to borrow that cream sweater from your dad.


Model wearing all white outfit down runwayWhite still goes strong

Although white suits might not be the easiest things to pull off, we definitely recommend you to give them a try. The secret in looking good is being able to play with the textures.


Camouflage is back with a bang

Camouflage is back with full force. Most people expected these military grade prints to disappear within a couple of seasons, but they are till managing to make major waves in world fashion. However, the forest greens are no longer in charge. They have been completely replaced by abstract prints. Although camou trousers are making it big, we still suggest that you stick to camouflaged t-shirts or sweatshirts. The trousers can be a wee bit difficult to pull off.


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