Fab Finds: Toppers, Pants & Dresses

Here’s an assortment of items across a range of price points that have been winners on my clients recently. It’s fun to see fresh and “new” silhouettes come through, and in colours other than black and grey. It’s great to see a more consistent level of good quality across brands like Universal Standard, Boden, Club Monaco, Halogen and COS. I’m loving the availability of extended sizes too. 

1. Universal Standard Short Puffer Jacket

This is the first time I’ve seen a plus-size brand size down to supply regular sizes in the same items. Usually it’s a regular size brand sizing up to provide plus sizes, and I like how the tables have turned. This puffer is available from a US2-4 to a US26-28, and the complete size assortment was displayed in the casual Point of View area at Nordstrom. A step in the right direction. It’s one of the best short puffers of the season, and well made too. Avant-garde, fashionable and architectural. Looks like a COS piece. The cut is sublime and works on a range of body types. The high-low hem is flattering. The colour is in between a cinnamon and burgundy, and quite accurate in the stock photo. It’s very versatile, looking as good with a dressy outfit as it does a casual one.

2. 1901 Cape

Bring out your inner Sherlock Holmes with this darling cape jacket. It’s SUPER cute, especially in the check. The waist tie is removable so that you can button the jacket like a proper cape if that’s more your vibe. Runs a size big so size down. NICE quality and crease-resistant. The checked cape has matching wide cropped pants. That’s a lot of check to wear in one outfit, but fabulous if that’s the statement you want to make.

3. Catherine Malandrino Faux Fur Collar Snap Down Jacket

One of the best $ 47 purchases of the year, and unfortunately the stock photo does not do the item justice. It’s a sweater jacket with a small faux fur collar that works on all neck lengths and bust sizes. Its gentle cocoon silhouette gives it an on trend vibe, as well as a Modern Retro one. It’s soft, comfortable and works over single and multiple layers. Dress it up or down. Wear it over dresses, skirts, jeans or pants. Leave it on indoors, or wear it as outerwear. VERSATILE. The ink blue with black collar gets my top vote. The black with the leopard collar next.

4. Boden Velvet Pants

The best velvet pants of the season at a relatively affordable price. Beautifully made and a fabulous fit. They have worked on everyone who has tried them on, although some need a slight waist alteration at the back. A magical fit that works on curvier and straighter body types because of sturdy fabric, a longer length rise, a bit of stretch, and enough room on the legs so that pocket linings don’t grin through. Available in petites, regular and talls in an assortment of colours, and up to a size US18. Very deserving rave reviews. The mustard is on its way to me.

5. Boden Velvet Blazer

The best modern classic velvet blazer of the season. It has worked on a range of body types, and is absolutely GORGEOUS quality. The stretch makes it extra comfy and allows it to mould to the body. Wear it with the matching velvet pants, or with jeans or trousers. Available in petites and regular, but not in tall. It might feel a little short on tall gals, but not too bad. Read the rave reviews. The mustard is on its way to me.

6. Zara Coat

BEST brown on-trend cocoon coat of the season. The silhouette is very flattering in an architectural way, and has worked on a range of body types. There is ample structure in the tapered hem and architectural drape of the style. My client tried it on and took my breath away. The shade of brown is cool-toned too. Wear it over single or multiple layers.

7. Club Monaco Dress Kyosti Sweater Dress

One of the best holiday dresses of the season. Warm, covered, avant-garde, architectural and very comfortable. Fabulous quality. Both colours are beautiful. Best suited to a straighter hip and less curvy bottom half, although a gentle hourglass can feel fab in it too. No shapewear required. Works really well on a broader shoulder line and shorter neck. Length is longer in person unless you are very tall.

8. Club Monaco Knitwear

Do yourself a favour and browse Club Monaco’s knitwear this season. Try it on, and look at all the colour options. It’s a little dressier and more unique than most of what is out there at the price point, and much nicer quality too. The colours skew cool-toned and neutral, which isn’t good for me, but might be ideal for you. The styles in this collection are the winners on clients so far.

9. Halogen Atlantic Pacific Faux Fur Coat

The quality of the coat is brilliant for the price point, and better than the usual Halogen level of quality. It’s a delicious shade of spicy cinnamon and makes a gorgeous on-trend statement. Modern retro, versatile and fun. Great length. It spans a range of sizes, which is one of the best things about it.

10. COS Pleated Dress

This is a repeat style for good reason because its works extremely well on a larger bust, and both curvier and straighter body types. Not good on extreme pretty pear shapes, but wonderful on adorable apple body types and broad shoulders. Substantial fabric and great drape. Can be dressed up or down. Wear it as dress with hose and boots, or over leggings. Our Inge has last year’s version in navy and looks sensational in it. She wears it over leggings and with booties and pops a coat and scarf over the top. Urban Casual Chic.

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Tennessee family finds incredibly rare albino raccoon

albino raccoon

A potential pest problem resulted in one of the most unlikely discoveries imaginable, and it all started when a Tennessee family called a wildlife management company because something had been breaking into their bird feeders. Members of Alpha Wildlife set up traps after spotting raccoon footprints and asked the homeowner to contact them later.

The next morning the homeowners got an incredible surprise. There, in one of the traps, was an albino raccoon, an animal so rare that you’re more likely to get struck by lightning than to casually stumble upon across one.

Continue reading…

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Tennessee family finds incredibly rare albino raccoon originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 6 Nov 2018 at 20:08:11 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Assorted Fab Finds for Fall and Winter

Party looks have started to filter through to brick-and-mortar and online stores. Here are some holiday looks that have worked well on my clients, with a few non-party items thrown in for good measure. Be sure to check out all the colours and extended size options.

1. Karl Lagerfeld Harlow Bootie

This bootie is NOT made in France despite the Karl Lagerfeld label and associations with high-end luxury brand Chanel. They are quite comfortable and look streamlined on the foot. Not great on a narrow ankle, but they fit an assortment of foot shapes. The embroidered version is festive for the holidays, and the dusty rose is unique.

2. Boden Agnes Fair Isle Sweater

A cuddly and classic Fair Isle in both cool and warmer shades has been a hit with some forum members. Despite the alpaca fibre content, the pullover is not scratchy. It has a streamlined fluid fit and is flattering on a range of body types. It looks great styled with a pencil skirt and trendy jeans. Lovely quality.

3. Eliza J Formal Flared Skirts

Flared skirts are an acquired Modern Classic taste because many tend to feel it’s too much skirt and adds bulk. But that’s the charm of the silhouette. These Eliza J darlings are winners every season, and the pattern assortment is versatile. They lay a lot more flat than you expect, are comfortable in the extreme if you enjoy defining the waist. They aren’t overly long and overwhelming. They work best on regular and long torsos who enjoy defining their waist. They can work with a short fitted untucked top to lengthen the waist. Or a buttoned-up short cardigan. Keep the look classic, or add a little unexpected to the skirt by combining it with sneakers, tough boots, a moto, or denim jacket.

4. Express Fold-Over Collar Puffer Jacket

This puffer is FABULOUS if you like an avant-garde fit. It is boxy and creates architectural drape. It’s like you bought it at COS. Some of my clients felt like they hit the jackpot with the look and loved it. Others felt like a gigantic marshmallow. The silhouette is an acquired taste so consider yourself warned. It’s extremely cosy and soft. Good for all neck lengths because the collar folds up and down. If I hadn’t already committed to my new short navy puffer from Boden because the quality and fit is GORGEOUS, I would have this in red.

5. JS Collections Soutache Sheath Dress

Oh my word. Where do I begin with how STUNNING my size US12 client with a larger bust looked in this dress. It’s forgiving of lumps and bumps, and a very elegant length. No shapewear needed. She’s going to finish off the look with leopard pumps and a bright red clutch to amp up the fun factor. It’s best on a rectangular or inverted triangle body type. Can work on an hourglass too.

6. London Fog Petite Faux-Fur-Trim Hooded Down Puffer Coat

One of our petite forum members recently reviewed this puffer in burgundy, and it looks smashing on her. Petite puffers with a streamlined fit and suitable arm length are hard to find, but this one fits the bill for a very cold Winter.

7. Frye Shane Tip Western Bootie

Western Wear is on trend, but cowboy boots are always in style making them a Trendy Classic. They always look current, flattering and right, and can be used in all sorts of outfits. If you’re a black boots wearer, these are a great way to refresh your black boot capsule. They’re comfortable, very well made, fit a variety of foot shapes, and look extremely sharp. They are pricey, but have a high longevity factor.

8. Madewell Delilah Mary Jane Pumps

The Mary Jane pumps are well made and comfortable. Best on a low and regular volume foot. Excellent on those who like low heels and a secure pump. The glitter does not come off the blush version. The surface of the glitter is hard, but the inside of the shoes is very soft. Good with or without hose. Looks like a Jimmy Choo, but at a fraction of the price. The pink glitter earned a place in my wardrobe and is my new party shoe. Dainty and delightful.

9. Rachel Roy Collection Piping Detail Side Slit Midi

This dress works well on a rectangle, inverted triangle and hourglass. It works best on a regular and longer torso, and wider shoulders or a larger bust (you need to fill out the top). The sleeves are long, but can be easily hemmed. The diagonal lines of the piping are magical at creating a vertical and streamlined effect. They create curves for a straighter figure, and flatten curves on a curvier figure. The fabric is substantial and relatively girdling. The length and swoosh of the skirt are elegant.

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$500 Billion: Study Finds Parents Spend More on Adult Children than Retirement

Recent study insights reveal a telling tale of the extent of a parent’s love — and maybe even negligence — when it comes to their adult children. According to research, retirement security has taken a backseat for parents who are putting their children’s financial well-being ahead of their own future financial security, and they’re halting their golden-year plans just to make sure their offspring are thriving.

According to the study, “The Financial Journey of Modern Parenting: Joy, Complexity and Sacrifice” which was conducted by Merrill Lynch in partnership with Age Wave, parents today spend $ 500 billion annually on their adult children — ages 18-34 — double the amount they contribute each year to their retirement accounts.

More than 2,500 American parents were surveyed for the study which marks the third in a multi-year research series from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, a company that studies maturing consumers.

“In this new era of delayed financial independence of young people, financial planning is no longer a solo or coupled activity,” Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., CEO, and founder of Age Wave said in a news release. “It’s become an ongoing family project with longer and different social, housing and economic interdependencies than we’ve seen before.”

80% of parents say they would be willing to make a major financial sacrifice for adult children, including dipping into their savings or cutting back their lifestyles. 25% would take on debt or pull money from retirement accounts. The research also found 31% of early adults ages 18-34 live with their parents, but even if the child is out of the house, parents are chipping in on school costs, health insurance, rent, and car expenses. 59% expect to help pay for their children’s weddings, 26% expect to contribute to their children’s first homes, and one-third plan to contribute to their grandchildren’s college costs.

Despite the financial sacrifices, 93% of respondents said being a parent was the most rewarding aspect of their lives and 94% said raising their children — and the costs that come with doing so — has been worth “every penny.”

“When emotions and money become intertwined, parents risk making financial decisions that can compromise their — and their children’s — financial futures,” Lisa Margeson, head of retirement client experience and communications at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in the release. “Parents can navigate this difficult balance by setting clear boundaries about their level of support, fostering financial independence in adult children, and reconciling spending on children with long-term savings goals to avoid jeopardizing their own financial security.”

 

 

The post $ 500 Billion: Study Finds Parents Spend More on Adult Children than Retirement appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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$500 Billion: Study Finds Parents Spend More on Adult Children than Retirement

Recent study insights reveal a telling tale of the extent of a parent’s love — and maybe even negligence — when it comes to their adult children. According to research, retirement security has taken a backseat for parents who are putting their children’s financial well-being ahead of their own future financial security, and they’re halting their golden-year plans just to make sure their offspring are thriving.

According to the study, “The Financial Journey of Modern Parenting: Joy, Complexity and Sacrifice” which was conducted by Merrill Lynch in partnership with Age Wave, parents today spend $ 500 billion annually on their adult children — ages 18-34 — double the amount they contribute each year to their retirement accounts.

More than 2,500 American parents were surveyed for the study which marks the third in a multi-year research series from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, a company that studies maturing consumers.

“In this new era of delayed financial independence of young people, financial planning is no longer a solo or coupled activity,” Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., CEO, and founder of Age Wave said in a news release. “It’s become an ongoing family project with longer and different social, housing and economic interdependencies than we’ve seen before.”

80% of parents say they would be willing to make a major financial sacrifice for adult children, including dipping into their savings or cutting back their lifestyles. 25% would take on debt or pull money from retirement accounts. The research also found 31% of early adults ages 18-34 live with their parents, but even if the child is out of the house, parents are chipping in on school costs, health insurance, rent, and car expenses. 59% expect to help pay for their children’s weddings, 26% expect to contribute to their children’s first homes, and one-third plan to contribute to their grandchildren’s college costs.

Despite the financial sacrifices, 93% of respondents said being a parent was the most rewarding aspect of their lives and 94% said raising their children — and the costs that come with doing so — has been worth “every penny.”

“When emotions and money become intertwined, parents risk making financial decisions that can compromise their — and their children’s — financial futures,” Lisa Margeson, head of retirement client experience and communications at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in the release. “Parents can navigate this difficult balance by setting clear boundaries about their level of support, fostering financial independence in adult children, and reconciling spending on children with long-term savings goals to avoid jeopardizing their own financial security.”

 

 

The post $ 500 Billion: Study Finds Parents Spend More on Adult Children than Retirement appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Hidden Drugs And Danger Lurk In Over-The-Counter Supplements, Study Finds

Everyone has seen the ads or the products on the shelves.

A dietary supplement that promises to make consumers skinny, without dieting or exercise. Or the one that will bulk them up and turn them into the envy of other weightlifters at the gym. Not to mention the one to make them perform better in the bedroom.

Their labels say they are safe and all-natural. But are they?

Many of these products contain unapproved and unregulated pharmaceutically active ingredients, according to a study published Friday in JAMA Network Open. The authors wrote that the substances represent “a serious public health concern.”

Researchers from the California Department of Public Health found that, from 2007 to 2016, 776 products marketed as dietary supplements contained hidden active ingredients that are unsafe or unstudied. Among them, dapoxetine, an antidepressant that is not approved in the United States; and sibutramine, which was included in some weight-loss supplements but was banned from the U.S. market in 2010 because of cardiovascular risks.

“It’s mind-boggling to imagine what’s happening here,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts. Cohen wasn’t involved in the study but wrote a commentary published alongside the research.

The California researchers based their findings on an analysis of a Food and Drug Administration database that identifies “tainted” supplements. “The study lays a foundation for ongoing enforcement work in this area, by the FDA and other partner agencies, to curb the illegal manufacture, importation, distribution, and sales of adulterated dietary supplements,” CDPH spokesman Corey Egel said in an email.

Being tainted or adulterated means the product contains active ingredients not listed on the label that fly under the FDA’s radar.

Dietary supplements aren’t classified by the FDA as drugs. They are instead considered foods. They include vitamins, minerals and botanicals, among other things. They are not intended to treat or prevent disease and are not subject to premarket safety and efficacy testing that drugs undergo.

The FDA database tracked problems that emerged during “post-market surveillance” — for instance, adverse events reports and consumer complaints — when bottles were already in consumers’ medicine cabinets. These issues generally draw FDA warning letters and agency requests for voluntary recalls by the manufacturer.

With an estimated 50 percent of Americans consuming some type of supplement, researchers note that the $ 35 billion industry is a big business.

But Duffy MacKay, senior vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs at the supplement industry’s Council for Responsible Nutrition, noted that with between 50,000 and 80,000 supplement labels on the market, 776 tainted products is serious but not widespread.

Of the adulterated products, nearly 46 percent were for sexual performance, 41 percent were for weight loss and 12 percent were for building muscle. Ingredients like sildenafil, the active drug in Viagra, and ephedrine, a stimulant banned from diet pills since 2004, were found in supplements. Anabolic steroids, or ingredients like them, were in 73 of the muscle-building supplements.

Nearly a fifth of these supplements contained more than one unapproved ingredient.

“Adulterated dietary supplements have the potential to cause adverse health effects both on their own and also in combination with other medications an individual may be taking,” the authors wrote.

Cohen agreed, noting that a patient with heart disease might be told to steer clear of prescription erectile dysfunction meds because they could interact with other prescription medications and dangerously lower the consumer’s blood pressure.

Instead, that patient turns to over-the-counter supplements that are marketed as all-natural, thinking this product will not pose the risks he was warned about. “And that’s very worrisome,” said Cohen.

The study authors wrote that these adulterated dietary supplements “are consumed under the presumption of safety and have the potential to cause dangerous consequences in cases of misuse or overdose.”

Cohen suggested looking for supplements with a single ingredient, because they probably will have a lower likelihood of containing secret, harmful ingredients. And never trust a supplement that definitively says it can improve your health.

That advice was echoed by MacKay, from the supplement industry’s trade group, who said outrageous claims about weight loss or body building are red flags.

These products are sold online or by shady retailers and have ridiculous names like “Ball Refill” or “Weekend Prince,” he said.

“There is such a difference between legitimate products and these products,” he added, noting that these “very extreme products” are marketed to “a consumer base that may be OK with this kind of illegal stuff.” That could include, he said, consumers who are “gym rats” and people who want Viagra without a prescription.

But earlier research conducted by Cohen and cited in this study offered a different lens through which to consider the numbers. It pointed to shortcomings in the post-marketing surveillance system, especially the inability of physicians and consumers to identify an adulterated product as the cause of a health problem or to know that such things should be reported to the FDA.

“In fact,” the researchers wrote, “poison control centers received over 1,000 more reports of adverse events associated with dietary supplements use than the FDA did over a 3-year-period.”

There’s little the FDA can or will do once a bad actor is identified. Supplement recalls aren’t like food recalls, Cohen said. With supplements, the FDA can only notify a company that their products have unapproved ingredients. It’s up to the company to conduct a voluntary recall.

“The recall process itself has completely broken down as far as I can tell,” Cohen said.

Kaiser Health News

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Jesus Can Lower Your Blood Pressure, Study Finds

Practicing religion was the secret ingredient, added to lifestyle changes, that helped a group of Black people reduce their high blood pressure, according to a new study published Tuesday in the scientific journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Researchers used volunteers who suffer from high blood pressure and also attend church to see how certain religious practices would affect their hypertension. Black folks, already by far the most religious group in America, have been disproportionately diagnosed with hypertension.

“Our findings prove that people with uncontrolled hypertension can, indeed, better manage their blood pressure through programs administered in places of worship,” said Dr. Gbenga Ogedegbe, the lead author of the study.

The study was based on data collected from 2010 to 2014, from 373 Black participants with hypertension who attend church in New York City.

Researchers divided the participants into two groups,m with each receiving health education. Just one of the groups also received religious intervention, which included prayer, scripture reading and faith-based discussion related to health.

After six months, those in the religious intervention group reduced their systolic blood pressure by 5.8 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury).

Blood pressure readings consist of two parts: systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure created when the heart beats and diastolic is the pressure when it’s resting, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC defines a healthy blood pressure reading as less than 120/80 mm Hg, with the first number systolic and the second diastolic.

African-Americans suffer hypertension at the highest rate in the world, according to the American Heart Association. More than 40 percent of non-Hispanic African-American men and women have high blood pressure. For African-Americans, high blood pressure also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe.

Ogedegbe, who teaches at New York University School of Medicine, urged clergy and church leaders to pay attention to this study.

“Vulnerable populations often have lower access to primary care. We need to reduce racial disparities in hypertension-related outcomes between Blacks and whites,” he added.

 

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New Study Finds Health Care Costs Are Rising Almost Twice as Fast as Wages

If you’ve noticed an increasingly bigger chunk is coming out of your paycheck for medical premiums and deductibles, you’re not alone, according to a newly released survey.

In 2018, the cost of premiums has outpaced raises and inflation, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Employer Health Benefits Survey found.

The 20th annual survey looked at cost trends for the 152 million Americans who are covered by health insurance — almost half of the population.

Together, employers and employees now spend $ 19,616 annually on coverage per family, while single coverage costs $ 6,896, according to the foundation.

From 2006 to 2012, premiums rose 37%, while salaries increased only 18%.

Who’s Affected Most by Rising Health Care Costs?

“Rising health care costs absolutely remain a burden for employers, but they’re a bigger problem for workers as their cost sharing has been rising really much faster than their wages have been rising in recent years,” said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Average family premiums increased 5% in the past year, while singles paid 3% more. Meanwhile, wages outpaced inflation by just 0.1%, according to the report.

In general, employees at smaller companies shoulder a larger percentage of premiums and deductibles than their counterparts at bigger firms, Altman said. Average deductibles were $ 2,132 at small firms versus $ 1,355 at large employers (200 employees or more).

The cost paid for deductibles rose 212% over the past decade — eight times the growth of wages, he said.

On the upside for smaller firms, 27% of employees’ entire premium costs are employer-paid, versus 6% of employees at large companies, according to the report.

How Much Are We Paying for Health Care Each Year?

The average premium amount contributed by all workers is $ 1,186 for a single person and $ 5,547 for a family. Although that’s about the same as last year, the average amount for family coverage has increased 21% since 2013 and 65% since 2008, Kaiser found.

Most workers also are responsible for copayments when they go to a doctor’s appointment. The average is $ 25 for primary care and $ 40 for specialists, Kaiser calculated. Many workers also pay coinsurance of 18% of the covered amount of each visit, whether to a primary-care doctor or a specialist. (That was about the same as in 2017.)

Kaiser officials said employees should read their companies’ websites carefully to determine the most cost-effective option, although they acknowledge that the choices may not be plentiful.

“When you can, you should shop around,” Altman said.

Susan Jacobson is an editor for The Penny Hoarder. She also writes about health and wellness.

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This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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Fed Up Soccer Fan Throws Cabbage at Manager Who Finds the ‘Whole Thing Hugely Disrespectful’

Following a string of losses for professional football club Aston Villa, one fed-up fan kicked off the team’s Tuesday match by hurling a cabbage at manager Steve Bruce.

Ahead of Villa’s game against Preston North End—which ended in a disappointing 3-3 draw—one fan launched a whole green cabbage at Bruce to express his displeasure with the club’s recent performance in England’s second-tier Championship league. Villa has won just one of its last 10 games and is ranked 12th in the 24-team league.

“Unfortunately, it sums up the society we are in at the moment. There’s no respect for anyone,” Bruce said in a post-game interview, according to FOX Sports. “Certainly for someone like him, I’m surprised he knew what a cabbage was. I find the whole thing hugely disrespectful.”

Sports – TIME

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Cedric the Entertainer finds humor in culture clashes in ‘The Neighborhood’

Dave Johnson (Max Greenfield) and Calvin Butler (Cedric the Entertainer) live next-door to each other on CBS’ new comedy “The Neighborhood.” They’re part of the long tradition of mismatched TV characters that includes everyone from Laverne and Shirley to Charlie and Alan on “Two and a Half Men.” The comedy here arises from the contrasts,…
Entertainment | New York Post

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