Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunglasses for Every Face Shape

I dislike trying on sunglasses.  I'm that indecisive person that tries on every pair of sunglasses in the store and still can't decide what looks best, maybe it's a self esteem thing.  I just have issues with picking the perfect pair, maybe there are too many choices.  I also hate to spend a small fortune on a plastic accessory that is going to fall from my head onto the floor and thus risk shattering several days in wages.  So this year I turned to my friend Keely of Made in the Shade, a trendy, yet affordable sunglasses boutique.  Sunglasses cost between $10 and $35. Their current summer sale offers buy one pair get the second half price!  The store is in NC but will ship all over the US.   Keely agreed to share with Effortless and Exquisite the tricks to selecting sunglasses for every face shape.

Keely from Made in the Shade
So the hunt for sunglasses begins.  There really are too many to choose from.  Keely starts by explaining everyone has a specific face shape - and there are more than I realized.  When selecting a pair of sunglasses, check for UV protection and comfort first.  Then decide on your face shape.  

Round Shaped Faces should focus on sharp, angular lines that elongate the face.  These shapes add angles to the face to soften and de-emphasize the round shape.  Cat eyes, square, or rectangular frames look great.

Round Shaped Faces

For Heart Shaped Faces, steer clear of straight lines across the top frame of the sunglasses.  Go for cat-eye frames;  perhaps dramatic butterfly or square frames will suit you.  Aviators and Rimless glasses also look great on this face shape.  

Heart Shaped Faces
Rectangular Shaped Faces look best in oversized lenses that will add width to the face.  The bigger, the BETTER!  Square, rectangle, or wayfarer styles are great for this face shape.

Rectangular Shaped Faces
If you are a Diamond Face shape, Keely suggests sticking to gently curved lines to compliment high cheek bones.  Rimless, Oval, and Wrap-Around Frames are beautiful on your face to accent your bone structure.

Diamond Shaped Faces

It's hip to be square!  If you are have a Square Shaped Face you should focus on soft, rounded lines to contrast with the squareness of the face.  Aviators, Oval Frames, and the more round cat-eye frames look best.

Square Shaped Faces
For Oval Shaped Faces, the sky is the limit!  Most all sunglasses look great on your face shape so have fun with your style, you lucky dog.

Oval Shaped Faces
Retro sunglasses are all the rage this season and kids are no different.  Cat eyes and retro daisies are in, in, in.  There are also aviators for kids!

Too Cute for Kids
Be good to your eyes and the planet with Eco-Friendly Wayfarers.  This model is made from Bamboo and recycled plastic lenses.  They're a great option for style, function, and the earth!

Eco Friendly!
Show your colors with these super fun Patriotic Stars and Stripes Aviators...

Show your Stars and Stripes
Thanks Keely and Made in the Shade!  To order your perfect sunglasses or browse for your favorite style visit Made in the Shade on Facebook here.

Thanks Made in the Shade!
Made in the Shade Blowing Rock

#aviators  #sunglasses #blowingrock #summer #fashion #fabulous #glasses
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Meet Wes

This is a bit of a change from the normal Effortless and Exquisite fare.  Sometimes life is neither Effortless and Exquisite, no matter how hard we try to make it otherwise.  My family experienced this reality when my younger brother had cancer when he was eleven.  There is a special place in my heart for other families suffering this horrible disease with their young children.  I happened upon the story of Wes Pak.  Wes is 8.  He was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma in his abdomen in 2011.  Most people don't know what that word means.  Neuroblastoma is a form of childhood cancer.  Because of my experience, reading that word makes me uncomfortable and I say a quick prayer for the family.  It is a real fight to deal with neuroblastoma.
Meet Wes!

Wes' mother Krista created a Facebook Page called Wes' Fight Against Neuroblastoma to keep us posted about Wes' progress.  She writes, "On June 24, 2011 my 5 year old son was diagnosed with stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma. On June 24th the challenge was laid in my lap as to whether I was going to give up or play for life on God's team in the fight against faith. On June 24th, I accepted that challenge. I will NOT let go. I will NEVER stop fighting."  Twice Wes has battled this cancer, through the chemo, medicine, side effects, secondary effects of chemo and has been an incredible ordeal.  He is a strong fighter that is determined to win.  His family rallies around him and uses their experience to benefit others.  Krista has become an advocate not only for Wes, but works to educate others about childhood cancers.  

Wes' Army

Wes is not ordinary.  Despite his ongoing and extremely involved fight for his own life, Wes has committed himself to helping other children with cancer.  He has a website (here)  about his story and his mission - to spread awareness about the disease and provide a way to help other children.  Wes used his love of all things military to create Wes' Army of cancer soldiers.  Through the website, readers may send care packages, send messages of hope, or sponsor other sick children.  One pretty cool idea, from one pretty cool kid!

Check out Wes' website and his Facebook page!  If you wish to contribute to his ongoing costs of treatments,  you may find information here and here.

Gum, Yum!

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Monday, July 14, 2014

We All Scream for Julie's Ice Cream Giveaway!

I'm excited to announce another delicious giveaway.  Summer is all about ice cream and I eat it by the pound, box, or entire container.  I don't need your judgement.  The great folks at Julie's Organic Ice Cream are giving Effortless and Exquisite readers a chance to win a gift basket full of free ice cream, goodies, and fun kitchen items.   Julie's Organic is an awesome brand because it shares my name...No really, Julie's Organic is amazing ice cream.  My husband and I had a fight over the last Blackberry Sorbet Bar.  I am unashamed to say that I am territorial about ice cream and he ate too much of my last bar.  This stuff is the real thing and it is that good.

Julie's Blackberry Sorbet Bars

Julie's is great because the ingredient list is small and their products are all natural and organic.  The Blackberry Sorbet bars are the best ice cream bars I've ever eaten.  TRUST ME, I know my sugary foods.  They have 60 calories each and no fat so it's cool to eat the whole box on a bad day (I still don't need your judgement).  You probably shouldn't, but you won't get a cross look from me if you do.  This bar tastes homemade.  The blackberry flavor is so rich it's like eating frozen fruit.  SO, SO Good!  Effort went into these ingredients and the manufacturing  process to insure these bars taste this delicious.

Get in my belly!
I like Julie's because I love stories of hard work paying off.  Coming from a family business myself, I understand how much work and love goes into building a business with family members.  Julie's started in 1996 in Oregon with Julie, her husband Tom, and her children.  The goal was to produce a premium product using organic ingredients and to be a good steward to the environment and community in the process.  Who doesn't respect that?  The family goal has been realized and I'm excited to see where they are going in the future!

Ice Cream Sandwiches
I sampled the ice cream sandwiches next.  They are really good.  I tasted the vanilla flavor in the ice cream right off the bat.  The ice cream sandwiches also taste homemade.  What I mean is they don't have that industrialized, carbon copy supermarket ice cream taste.  The ice cream is very creamy and the vanilla bean is not overpowering.  Also, the chocolate cookies are pretty good for organic ingredients.  I'm a bigger fan of the blackberry, but I polished off this box nevertheless....

Ice Cream Sandwiches
So to win a gift basket full of Julie's Organic goodness, you must be a registered by email follower of Effortless and Exquisite.  It's free to enter, just enter your email address in the "Follow by Email" box on the upper right hand corner of the home page.  The contest will end on Tuesday, July 22nd so hurry and follow us so you can be in the drawing!  Check out all things Julie's Organic on their website here.  Find Julie's on Facebook here and on Twitter here.  

@JuliesOrganic #icecream #kids #summer #yummy #delicious #organic

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Peter Pan, Potty Training, and PTSD….

It’s the time of year when families all over the country pack their suitcases, stuff the car full of flotation devices, and set off on the yearly vacation.  When I was little, my parents decided to do the same thing.  I was eleven, my sister Kelli was nine, my sister Bethany was four, and my brother Robby was one when mom announced we were going to Disney World in Florida for four days!  We were excited, really excited.  No one could possibly expect what was coming.

Photo courtesy of Aol News

 We loaded our van early that June morning and set off for every child’s Promised Land.  Bethany was looking forward to Disney the most.  The drive was long and the weather was hot.  We arrived in Florida late in the evening and it was still very hot.  Little did we know that Florida was having the hottest June on record that very week.  The next morning Bethany woke us up bright and early to go to Disney World.  Moving quickly was not part of the plan in our household.  We did not travel light because we needed provisions for the day ahead.  My dad purchased a video camera before our trip.  It was the on the shoulder 1988 model and dad wanted to make sure it was protected. He carried it in a suitcase (yes a suitcase) with an egg foam mattress that he cut to fit inside.  You could drop it from the Empire State building and it would survive the fall.  Anyway, we had a two person stroller for Robby and Bethany but one of the seats was taken by the video camera.  We also packed a cooler full of food and drinks for lunch because my sister had allergies and a particular diet.  Robby had a separate bag of clothes since he was potty training and with that you need “the special bag”.  We arrived at Disney World as vacationing Bedouins from the Sahara; our stroller loaded like a camel ready for a long trek through a sand storm.  

The first day of Disney was scorching hot.  As a preadolescent being forced to hang out with her ‘uncool’ family, I was mostly worried about the heat on my hair.  We waited hours in lines for the rides and then hours for the bathroom - because someone always had to go right after we’d just left the restroom with someone else.  A ride on Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride was perfect because you rode in an air conditioned submarine.  We settled in our seats and the boat began to submerge under water.  Robby let out a shriek as though he was being kidnapped.  He was so terrified that my dad held him.  It was a mistake.  Robby didn’t settle down, he went to the bathroom on my dad in terror.  Disney World stopped the ride and made us get off.  No one in our family spoke to each other during the next ride, the Peter Pan adventure.   My parents decided to leave early and to return that night for the fireworks and cooler weather.  

Later, we arrived at the park with dry pants and a fresh attitude.  The Dumbo ride was our choice.  It began turning as the nighttime fireworks started.  Dad held Robby just as a red star exploded overhead.  I think at that point my parents regretted the timing of their potty training - because my brother struck again.  By this time, Bethany was furious that her Disney experience was being “ruined” and she wasn’t afraid to let us know it.  Kelli and I fought amongst ourselves about who would push the stroller that was starting to feel heavy like pushing a Sherman Tank.

The next day we visited Epcot Center.  The day started very well.  As the weather warmed up we sought out venues with indoor attractions.  There was a Michael Jackson movie in 3D complete with the special glasses.  We welcomed the air conditioning and were grateful for a cool spot with a comfortable chair.  Robby sat in Dad’s lap.  The movie started with Michael Jackson throwing 3D flames toward the audience.  We should’ve never selected that movie.  Robby screamed, used the bathroom on Dad, and Disney World made us leave the theater.  Bethany was now seething that Disney was crumbling and became hysterical.  When Bethany cried, it was dramatic.  She was loud and sounded like we were doing something bad to her to make her cry that way.  The passersby stared at us in judgment.  I hid behind the stroller.  Kelli was getting itchy from the heat.  My parents looked like they needed psychiatric medicine to get through the vacation.... 

We went back to the Howard Johnson and swam in the pool for the rest of the day.  We gave the remaining days of our Disney passes to another lucky family that didn’t have so many little kids (or a stroller) and wished them well.  Our family hasn’t talked much about that trip since then; my parents recovered following the marriage counseling and Bethany forgave us for the princesses she missed.   My anxiety upon hearing the song “It’s a Small World After All” is getting much better.  But I still have no desire to visit Disney World, like ever again.

#disney #disneyworld #vacation #summer #princesses #heat #florida #vacay
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Five Gorillianana Giveaway Winners - Yay!

Our Giveaway for Raefoods Muffins and Prize Packs ends today with a collective sigh, but excitement for the winners.  I am excited for you because the muffins are so, so good.  Thanks to Raefoods for creating delicious and nutritious products and sharing them with Effortless and Exquisite readers!  Congratulations to our FIVE winners!!

The Prize!
And without further ado the winners are:

sanyaahmedkhan, mmonticciolo, wadejoielle, shany0515, and dianeshoupe.  Please check your email inbox for prize notifications and instructions on claiming your muffins!

Be sure to visit Raefoods here and on Facebook here and follow Raefoods on Twitter here!
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Must Have Bags to Benefit Women

This week I saw the new collection from my favorite group of Indian artisans - The Titus Women!  The new line of makeup bags and small purses is perfect for summer. The designs are very on trend and the money goes for an amazing cause.  Titus Women gives women living in poverty in India an opportunity to come together weekly to use their skills and earn income - thus allowing for dignity and building confidence. The group empowers and supports women by giving them artisan training to create sewn and woven items.  All items are sewn by hand and many use recycled or handmade fabrics - truly handcrafted fashion!

Love the bag and beading detail

Some of the women come from very strict patriarchal homes that outside fellowship would not be considered, however Titus Women has been able to break down barriers for women in surrounding communities.  They are able to share and fellowship with other women in a safe environment. Titus Women has grown to over 80 women and counting. 

Love the prints!

The concept of Titus Women is simple, supporting women and building confidence through responsible community action.  Titus Women is a cause that should be supported! 

Some of the newest line!

Titus Women believes in Fair Trade practices.  They currently sell items in America, Canada, Australia, and shipping is available world wide.  Recently Titus Women began offering "home parties" where merchandise may be sold.

Mamta, a Titus Woman
The fundamental purpose of Titus Women is to teach women to believe in themselves through job training and community building.  Weekly meetings also involve food and fun so they each get a craft time to practice skills or do projects just for leisure.

Reena and four generations of Titus Women
The women live in poverty and Titus Women provides them an opportunity to contribute income for their families.  This income is improving lives!

Savita, a Titus Woman, lives here
You may view the entire product line for Titus Women on Facebook here.  They sew scarves, handbags, clothing, and rugs; and also make jewelry and other items.  Recently Titus Women began offering "home parties" where merchandise may be sold.  To host a home party contact Titus Women or Crosspoint of India through their website or Facebook.

Titus Women is a program sponsored by Crosspoint of India, an organization that provides relief and aid to orphans in India.  Visit their website here and find them on Facebook here.

#India #purses #fashion #strongwomen #women

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Monday, June 23, 2014

A Gorillanana of a Giveaway!

This week's giveaway is delicious, nutritious, and Super Sized!  Effortless and Exquisite is pleased to partner with Raefoods for a gorilla of a giveaway.  Five lucky readers will win boxes of muffins from Raefoods (so, so yummy)!  All you have to do is register your email address as a blog follower on the top right corner of Effortless and Exquisite's homepage and you're in the drawing - it's free!      

Muffin Goodness!
Recently, I sampled Raefoods muffins that I purchased at my local Earthfare.  The muffins are nutritious and great because they are specifically designed with food allergies in mind. I am a curious eater, especially with new brands so I did a little digging.  Raefoods will undoubtedly become a household name very soon so you will hear the name again.

I reached out to the company without a huge expectation they would even return my email. I was pleasantly surprised.  Raefoods began in 2013 (yes last year, believe it or not) by Raeleen Yoon, or Rae.  Rae agreed to take a minute to meet with me and talk about her company.  I was excited to talk with her about her foods; little did I know I would walk away motivated, determined, and impressed.  Rae started her company after struggling with food allergies for years and having a child with similar issues.  In her home kitchen, she created several recipes that were so popular she started selling them. The rest is culinary history.  I was moved by her desire to help others overcome the allergy issues she had and her willingness to share her experiences.  She is one smart cookie, that makes muffins!  Actually, she is a genius entrepreneur that is going places and other women should take notes.  Growing up in a family construction business makes me jaded and not so easily swayed.  Five minutes with Raeleen Yoon and I'm suddenly sitting up straighter and feeling not so accomplished.  Behind her gracious exterior lies a solid businesswoman with an excellent brand - that is on the way up.

My photo with Rae
Look for additions to the product line coming this fall.  Right now the muffins can be found in the frozen section of Earthfare, Whole Foods, and Wegman's stores and local markets all around the country.  Products coming soon with be on the shelf aisles also.  If your supermarket doesn't carry Raefoods, ask the manager to special order a skid.  

There are five flavors of muffins currently.  My favorite is the Gorillanana.  It is banana, chocolate chips, kale, and flax seeds.  You only taste the banana and chocolate chips.  Delicious.  Do not eat these if you are depressed, you will eat the whole box.  I also tried the Greenosaurus.  This muffin is kale, cauliflower, and flax.  It is not as good as the banana, but I'm biased.  There is also chocolate zucchini, coconut cauliflower, and carrot applesauce.  

My purchases
This is a photo of the Gorillanana.  My favorite.  You could win this.

You may decide you are a Greenosaurus fan.  This muffin is more savory.  It reminded me of a southern cornbread flavor.  It would be great with soups or as a dinner muffin.  You could also win this.

Cauliflower, Kale, and Flax Muffin

So to recap, first, Raefoods makes delicious food that allergy sufferers can eat and enjoy.  They are not the pasty, weird textured food that those of us with sniffles and hives are used to.  Second, Raeleen Yoon is going to be in the press more and more and will be creating more products that are yummy! Oh, and by the way, I was not compensated for my review or opinions - this is simply what I think.  And finally, you can win some of these products by registering your email and following this blog.  It is simple and completely free so sign up!  The contest winners will be drawn Tuesday, July 1st.  Good luck and happy allergy free eating!

@raefoods #muffins #yummy #delicious #healthy #kids #allergies #healthykids
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