2018 Winter Fashion Trends

Winter fashion is in full swing this December, here are the trends you need to have on your radar.

1. Cheetah is back!
This trend brings me back to my elementary school days when the Cheetah Girls were booming, and cheetah print was all over the racks. This winter we are seeing cheetah print make more and more appearances in department stores. Cheetah print jackets, pants and dresses are perfect additions to a warm winter wardrobe.
Quick tip: Prefer a subtler touch of Cheetah? Try the trend out with a cute pair of heels, a statement bag or even as a fun jewelry piece!
Here’s a fun pair I have up on my Shopify if you’re looking for some inspiration!

Cheetah Print Dangle Earrings
Cheetah Print Dangle Earrings

2. Tweed
A nod to the 80’s tweed is back and better than ever! Layered tweeds, jackets and skirts are all hitting the stores and I can’t get enough! Tweed skirts are expected to be a staple that can be worn throughout the season! I love this trend for winter because you can dress these skirts up or down depending on your local climate! If you have icy below freezing winters you can warm up this trend with a pair of thermal tights and thigh high boots, or if you have a mild winter a pair of pumps and a black sweater would be a perfect complement to this versatile trend!
Here’s a link to a faux wrap tweed skirt I found on Nordstrom:

Nordtrom Faux Wrap Tweed Skirt
Nordstrom Tweed Skirt

3. Walking in a ‘Western’ Wonderland?
The western trend was seen full force on the runways this year. From cowboy boots to prairie dresses this trend was a standout. This year featured neck kerchiefs, cowboy boots, prairie dresses and plenty of plaid giving a nod to the traditional cowboy style.
See this lovely ivory prairie dress on Asos;

Smock Prairie Dress Asos
Smock Prairie Dress Asos

 

Which one of this trends will you rock this winter?
If you like this post follow my blog below for more content! You can also find me on social media and can check out my Shopify page for fun fashion items!

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DIY College Home-Decor

I recently moved into a new apartment and I have been in the process of redecorating. Since I am in college I tend to collect furniture from everywhere and a friend recently gave me this round bamboo bowl seat, I love the bamboo frame but the green cushion doesn’t match our current color scheme of black, grey, gold and white.

DIY College Decors

I decided to try and DIY a pillow cover instead of buying one online (which was proving difficult).  I wanted something soft and inviting but forgiving of my terrible sewing skills and ended up setting on a plush white textured faux fur to create the pillow cushion.

Joann's Fabric

I got the fabric I used from Joann’s Fabric and got 5 yards of it in case I needed more than I thought. Luckily the width of the fabric was the perfect length for the cushion so I didn’t need to piece it together at all.

I started off by laying my fabric flat out on the ground upside down and placed my cushion on top of it.

DIY College Room Decor

I folded the other half of the fabric over the top of the cushion so it was completely covering it and pinned my fabric around the cushion in the corners and cut off the excess. After this I sewed around half of the cushion with the fabric inside out. I did this so my seaming was as clean as possible for half of the cushion, but so that I could still remove my cushion to flip the fabric the correct way before I finished. I flipped the fabric the correct way out, and placed the cushion inside of it. Then I cut off the rest of the excess fabric. To sew the rest of the cushion I folded the edges under, (so there wouldn’t be raw edges) pinned around the edges of the pillow and sewed around the rest of the way. I doubled up my stitches all the way around the edges to make it more secure.

The cushion had a section where the tufting stitches had broken, making one section lumpy and bulky in comparison with the rest of the cushion.

To try and even it out more I sewed pearls to it to give it a tufted look and to even out the lumpy section. To do this I pushed the needle and thread all the way through the cushion and case, starting at the underside, and attached a pearl on top. Then I pushed the needle and thread back through the cushion and tied it tightly so that it indented the top of the cushion. I did this all the way around the pillow to keep the patterning consistent.

Faux Fur pillow case

This was my final result

DIY Faux Fur Pillow

I really like how this DIY turned out, looking back I would recommend getting a thimble, I stabbed my thumb quite a few times pushing the needle through both layers of the cushion. I would also recommend using a thick macramé thread instead of sewing machine thread so there won’t be a need to double up stitches!

If you liked this content follow me on my social media and follow my blog below for more DIY’s and vegan related content!

Do Plant-Based Diets Reduce Risk of Certain Breast Cancers?

Plant based diets can be a great choice for many different reasons. Many choose to switch to a plant based diet for health reasons rather than humanitarian and sustainability reasons.

I partially chose to adopt a vegan diet to help regulate my hormone levels.  Many meat and cheese products contain high hormone levels which can affect women’s health and estrogen levels. Many studies show that high estrogen levels correlate with a higher risk of breast cancer, does this mean a vegan or plant based diet can prevent breast cancer?

Can a Vegan Diet Prevent Breast Cancer?

According to the Maurer Foundation 80% of all breast cancers grow according to estrogen supply.  These cancers are called hormone-receptor-positive cancers, many of these cancers are effectively treated by restricting estrogen in the body. Do high levels of estrogen actually cause cancer though? In a study conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative 8,506 women took hormone therapy with estrogen and progesterone and after 5.2 years they were not found to have an increased risk of breast cancer, however after a longer term of therapy the women taking the therapy were found to be 26% more likely to develop breast cancer than those taking the placebo and the study was stopped. After being off hormone therapy the women’s risk was significantly reduced.

Does mean increase estrogen levels

Based off the studies I found it seems that there is evidence to support that higher estrogen levels can increase women’s risk of breast cancer. Next I looked to see if there is research to support that eating meat really does increase estrogen levels. A study by Cambridge University found that estrogen red meat did not have a significant correlation with breast cancer in young women, it did increase the likelihood of breast cancer by 22% in post-menopausal women. This would indicate that there is some relationship between breast cancers and red meat, but their affects are not typically seen in young women. This correlates with the average age that breast cancers are seen to develop, between 55-64 in healthy women. Another study by the European Journal of Cancer found in a study of 262,195 women that breast cancer risk was not increased by red meat, but instead increased by a high consumption of processed meat. Looking a processed foods in general studies show that a diet including processed food in general, not just processed meat increases the risk of breast cancer in women. Vegan diets are often, but not always lower in processed foods because a vegan diet cuts out all processed meats and dairy. However, it is possible to eat a plethora of processed foods as a vegan, which will still increase the risks of certain cancers.

Are Vegans less likely to get breast cancer

Looking at a study specifically done to determine the risks of breast cancer between vegans, vegetarians, and non-vegetarians there was minimal difference in risk between vegetarians and non-vegetarians but a notably lower risk with a vegan diet (see table below)

Table 1

Non-cases Cases P
Dietary pattern (age-standardised to full cohort)
    Vegetarian 51·9% 53·1% <0·0001
        Vegan 7·5% 5·5% <0·0001
        Lacto-ovo-vegetarian 28·4% 31·3% <0·0001
        Pescetarian 10·3% 10·2% 0·23
        Semi-vegetarian 5·8% 6·1% 0·0009
    Non-vegetarian 48·1% 46·9% <0·0001
    All subjects 49 512 892 NA
Covariates (age-standardised to full cohort)
    Age at censoring (years) (mean) 64·77 61·82 <0·0001
    Age at menarche (years) (mean) 12·54 12·35 0·0003
    Age at first birth (years) (mean) 24·04 24·44 0·051
    Age at natural menopause (years) (mean) 47·85 48·67 0·0008
    BMI (kg/m2) (mean) 27·38 27·58 0·37
    Height (inches) (mean) 64·24 64·39 0·16
    Menopause (%) 69·0% 69·0% 0·60
    Hormone replacement therapy (% among menopausal women) 37·7% 43·6% <0·0001
    Oral birth control (%) 60·0% 61·5% <0·0001
    Family history of breast cancer (%) 11·7% 22·1% <0·0001
    Family history of ovarian cancer (%) 4·1% 4·0% 0·51
    Family history of breast or ovarian cancer (%) 15·0% 25·2% <0·0001
    Parity (% at baseline) 84·3% 84·1% 0·051
    Breastfeeding (total months) (mean) 12·26 11·55 0·16
    Number of children 2·71 2·60 0·018
    Some college or higher 78·3% 78·1% 0·25
    Screening (% of mammography last 2 years) 71·8% 77·1% <0·0001
    Physical activity (min/week) 74·43 75·75 0·71
    Smoking (% ever) 16·2% 14·1% <0·0001
    Alcohol (within 2 years of enrolment) 10·9% 12·6% <0·0001

(source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4907539/)

In this study those following a vegan diet were also found to have a lower overall BMI and a higher level of physical activity, and had a tendency to have a lower incidence rates of female cancers in general.

A vegan diet is not a cure-all that will 100% prevent people from getting breast cancer. However, there does seem to be some notable correlation between higher intake of processed meats and processed foods and an increased risk of cancer. While a plant-based diet isn’t going to make people immune to all cancer, it can decrease some risks if done properly. People with a higher intake of fruits and vegetables often are healthier and have a lower risk of cancers than people with little to no intake. Following a vegan diet can be a great lifestyle change that can help many people increase their fruit and vegetable intake and promote healthier living. Vegans, in general tend to be more conscious of the ingredients in food as a result of following a plant based diet. While there isn’t evidence that it is actually the lack of meat is what causes lower cancer rates in vegans, a high intake of processed foods and meats definitely does play a factor in a woman’s risk for breast cancer.

While I am not a scientist or a researcher I found this a really interesting subject to research, what are your thoughts on reducing the risk of cancers with a Vegan diet? Do you think there is a direct correlation between a vegan diet and a lower cancer risk or are their other factors at play? If you liked this topic make sure to follow me on social media for more vegan lifestyle posts and follow my blog below for more vegan and health related posts!

Sources

Brechon, Sarah. “Estrogen And Breast Cancer.” Maurer Foundation, 6 Sept. 2013, www.maurerfoundation.org/estrogen-and-breast-cancer/.

Figueiredo, Marta. “Breast Cancer Risk Linked to Consumption of Processed Meat: Study.” Breast Cancer News, 8 Jan. 2018, breastcancer-news.com/2018/01/08/breast-cancer-risk-increases-post-menopausal-women-increased-processed-meat-consumption-uk-study-finds/.

Alexander, Dominik D., et al. “A Review and Meta-Analysis of Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Breast Cancer | Nutrition Research Reviews.” Cambridge Core, Cambridge University Press, 26 Nov. 2010, www.cambridge.org/core/journals/nutrition-research-reviews/article/review-and-metaanalysis-of-red-and-processed-meat-consumption-and-breast-cancer/198C311287441E51D01B5CB7A2AB572A.

“Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. Https://Doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720.” doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.

“Breast Cancer Mortality Rates: Recent Figures and Trends – Moose and Doc.” Breast Cancer – Moose and Doc, 7 Sept. 2018, breast-cancer.ca/diag-chnces/.

Reinberg, Steven. “Highly Processed Foods Tied to Higher Cancer Risk.” WebMD, WebMD, 14 Feb. 2018, www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20180214/highly-processed-foods-tied-to-higher-cancer-risk#1.

Penniecook-Sawyers, Jason A., et al. Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4907539/.

 

Recipe Swap; Vegan Orange Bread and Banana Nut Muffins

One of the hardest parts of going vegan for me was the idea of giving up baked goods. Home baked goods, like banana bread, zucchini bread and muffins were some of my favorite comfort foods, especially around the holidays. I knew that there were vegan alternatives but box mixes were EXPENSIVE and I am admittedly not much of a baker so I was wary of making vegan baked goods from scratch. This month I decided to challenge myself and do a recipe swap with Nat from @whatnatate focused on vegan baked breakfast foods! I gave her an orange loaf recipe I love and she gave me a delicious banana walnut muffin recipe! Check out her post here: https://whatnatate.wixsite.com/website

If you want to try the orange loaf recipe I gave Nat follow the instructions below!

vegan orange bread
vegan orange bread

Orange Loaf

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • zest of one orange
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic white sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water

 

Oven temp 365

Combine ingredients 1-5 in bowl

Combine ingredients 6-10 in second bowl

 

Combine dry and wet ingredients in bowl mix with spatula

Put in loaf tin and bake for 30-40 minutes

I like to gently squeeze an orange overtop when fully cooked for moisture and flavor

 

I love banana anything so I was excited when Nat sent me a recipe for banana walnut muffins! Here is the recipe she sent me to try!

 

Banana Walnut Muffins

vegan banana walnut muffins
Vegan banana walnut muffins

1 cup out flour (blend up gluten free oats until they reach a flour like consistency) ( I used coconut flour)

½ cup garbanzo bean flour (I used coconut)

1 cup coconut flour

½ tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 cup dates blended to a paste (I used a banana)

2 large overripe bananas, mashed

1 cup date sugar (or other granulated sugar -I used coconut)

2 cups plant milk

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

¾ cup creamy almond butter

1 cup walnuts

 

As I mentioned before I am not a skilled baker so when I saw this I knew It would be a good challenge to try! I had to swap out some of the ingredients because they weren’t available anywhere at my local stores. I replaced the oat flour and garbanzo bean flour for coconut flour and the dates with another cup of bananas- the muffins still turned out deliciously so I think my replacements didn’t alter the formula too much! I also topped the muffins with Himalayan pink salt, coconut sugar and cinnamon for a crunchy topping!

Doing this recipe swap inspired me to continue baking and trying new vegan recipes! These muffins are delicious pared with almond or cashew butter! Perfect for a sweet meal on the go! If you try either recipe tag me(@sweeteasunday) and @whatnatate on Instagram! We would love to see how yours turned out! Don’t forget to check out Nat’s post too and show her some love and support at https://whatnatate.wixsite.com/website.

Does Size REALLY Matter?

Why you shouldn’t get hung up on sizing in the women’s fashion industry

In The Devil Wears Prada, many of us may remember the scene where Anne Hathaway is dubbed the “smart, fat girl” after announcing her size 6 figure to the ever glamorous Meryl Streep.

It’s easy to get hung up on a number on your tag rather than your overall health and fitness. What many of us fail to realize is that not only are sizes unrepresentative of health, but they are also completely subjective. They not only change from brand to brand but often vary within brands between different articles of clothing. I recently watched a video by Carrie Dayton “Trying on Sizes People Say I am”, she found many people claimed she was a size 4 or 6 based off her videos while she actually wore size 10 and 12. After watching her video, I was inspired to see what size people think I am by judging off a photo.

I polled Instagram and asked people to guess my jean size based off 3 unedited photos.

I gave a range of sizes from 4-14 US, excluding sizes I thought it would be unrealistic based off the photos for people to guess (0, 20 etc.)

Here were my results:

4: 34%

6: 17%

8: 28%

10: 2%

12: 17%

14: 0%

Since Instagram doesn’t give an option for more than two poll options I calculated the percentages based on the number of people total who responded and the number of votes for each size. I was surprised to see that the highest votes were for a size 4 and size 8- neither of which are my ‘typical’ size. I usually wear a size 10 jean which got the lowest percentage of votes other than size 14. At an average size 10 I have a normal BMI and a normal weight for my frame, however I was also a size 10 in middle school and was 5 inches shorter and medically classified as overweight. As I went through high school, I got healthier and fitter, but my typical jean size and weight stayed the same. I was overweight at a size 10 and am now healthy, still at a size 10- same size, different height and frame.

One size does not fit all?

However, in the photo above I’m wearing a size 27 short from Altar’d State which translates to a 6 or 8 jean size, but I define myself as a size 10, so what does that mean? In my closet I have sizes ranging from a 5-14 in jeans and in tops from an XS to a 2x. In some stores I can’t fit even their largest size and in others I reach for the smaller sizes. Chances are most women experience the same thing. Brands develop their sizing system to fit who they believe their core customer is. This means if you shop at Hollister as an adult woman likely, you will have to size way up since their target demographic is junior high and high school students. Some brands even use vanity sizing, which means they label larger sizes with smaller numbers. For instance, jeans labeled as a size 4 may actually fit like a size 6, because people are more likely to buy clothing that makes they feel good about themselves.

Sizes have changes dramatically over time as well, a study by the Washington Post demonstrates how a size 8 today is actually the equivalent of what was a size 16 in 1958. In 1958 a size 8 woman averaged a weight of 98 pounds and a 23.5-inch waist. Brands were attempting to standardize sizing but found that, not surprisingly, women’s bodies could not be standardized. Retailers began defining their own sizes and soon began lowering sizes to cater to consumer vanity, hoping to increase sales.

So, does size even matter? Most likely people have no idea what size jeans or dress you wear. Based on the short poll I did only 2% of people guessed my typical jean size correctly out of only 6 sizes. Not only do people likely not know what size you wear, there is no reason to be ashamed of clothing size. Size is not typically a good indicator of health and fitness especially in the mid-sized ranges like 6-12. A 5-foot 3 person wearing a size 10 jean would look much different than a 5-foot 11 person wearing the same size. The next time you need to size up in a store don’t beat yourself up, chances are the next store over you could be an entirely different size.

Don’t be afraid to shout your size loud and proud. forget the number on your jeans, what’s the most important is your health and

happiness.

If you like this content follow my blog below. To participate in polls like the one in this post and to keep up with my lates content follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Are Vegan Butcheries the next big thing?

What even is a vegan butchery?

When I first heard this term the first thing that popped in my head was some kind of real world Fruit Ninja with a butcher covered in fruit juices coming towards an unsuspecting apple with a cleaver. This, while an interesting take on veganism, is not quite the case. Plant based butcheries actually make meat substitutes from plants, these butcheries sell anywhere from hot dogs to steaks, all plant based and cruelty free!

These new butcheries have been slowly gaining momentum with 6 new locations popping up in the past year! Peta quotes these new butcheries as one of the top vegan trends to look out to in 2018! As more people become aware with sustainability and cruelty issues surrounding the meat issues the demand for meat alternatives are on the rise with the plant-based protein market expected to grow by 6.7% by 2022.

I’m still waiting for a vegan butchery to open up near me, if you live near any of these butcheries tag me in your food photos on Instagram @sweeteasunday I want to see what delicious meat free options are out there!

Some of the best vegan butcheries include

The Herbivorous Butcher

veggie hotdog

Just look at that brat, tempting to even the most dedicated sausage lovers. This was the first vegan butcher shop to open in the USA in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and would you believe one of the owner’s names is Kale?

The Very Good Butchers

veggie burgers

Veggie burgers AND Free Burger Friday?? This shop is located in Victoria Canada and is hoping to expand their business. You can check out their blog here and read about how they got started!

No Evil Foods

veggie sloppy joe

Sloppy Joe fans anyone? This shop also has an online option where you can order plant based protein right to your doorstep!

So, are vegan butcheries the next big thing? With the rise of veganism and the demand for plant-based alternatives I expect to see a lot more locations pop up through 2019 as this growing niche offers a great market opportunity for entrepreneurs. If there are no vegan butcheries open near you, keep your eyes peeled and mouths watering because you never know when one may pop up!

If you liked this content check out my recent post about whether are not figs can be considered vegan and follow me on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Image Sources Slicing Apple-Daniel Novta (Changes Made)