Fall is in the Air

Fall is here, you can smell it in the air. It might be 80° and humid outside but there is no mistaking the change of seasons that are upon us.

I love this time of year.  I love the colors, and the days are getting cooler and the nights are crisp and fresh. And, then there is the food, oh yeah, this is when my kitchen really comes to life. The grill, and raw foods like salads take a backseat to more rustic, hearty fare.

The only bad thing about fall that I can think of is clothing. It’s too hot to wear what the stores are selling (wool and any temperature above 65° don’t coexist in my opinion), and I’m sick of my summer stuff. Besides, who wants to wear beachy colors when the rich hues of autumn are calling my name? This is a dilemma.

Thank goodness for tops like these.

They look like fall, but they wear like summer. Nice.

I’m loving this smoky pasta recipe that I made a few nights ago. It’s filled with nutritious veggies and savory mushrooms. The pasta is made from quinoa, amaranth, and brown rice, which means that it has protein! And just for the record, I’m not fond of a lot of gluten free foods, but this actually tastes like white flour pasta. It’s truly a winner.

SMOKY PASTA WITH JAPANESE EGGPLANT AND PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS

Smoky Pasta

 Click here for the recipe

Another fall favorite, plums. I love them so much. They can be sweet, tangy, or sour, depending on how ripe they are. All are delicious in their own way. I found the most beautiful organic black plums at the market a few days ago, so I made this.

PLUM TART

Plum Tart

 Get the recipe here.

There is something truly magical about a plum tart. The combination of the fruit and fall spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and almond extract, make me want to go outside and rake leaves.

Speaking of exercise (yes, raking leaves is good exercise), how are you doing on your 100 Day Challenge? Do you feel good? My guess is that you do. I ran/walked thirty miles last week. Today marks week two and I am going to a spin class tonight. I’m not sure how I’ll figure out my mileage, but just know that I will be sweating. A lot!

Keep up the good work Middles!!! You can do this!!!

Until next time…….

 

 

 

 

Balls, Workout Wear, and Challenges

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Have you started the 100 Day Challenge? If the answer is yes, then let’s compare notes and give each other a big high five. BAM!!! But….if the answer is no, what’s holding you back? Come on, join in on the fun.

Because I posted the challenge on Tuesday evening, I thought I’d give you all a chance to start fresh on Wednesday morning. I’m nice like that.

So, what have you done so far?

Yesterday I ran three miles and walked seven. My running partner (my daughter Alex) and I were supposed to run six, but at mile three she felt sick and had to stop. Totally unlike her. We walked the remaining three and then I walked Gizmo four miles.

Today I walked Gizmo another four miles. He is greedy, and very athletic for a Jack Chi. What the hell is a Jack Chi? It’s a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix. VERY CUTE!!

Gizmo BW pic

What did I eat, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Yesterday I had a banana, a cup of coconut yogurt, a handful of almonds, a spinach salad with tomatoes and avocado, a peach, and apple, risotto with spinach and Portobello mushrooms, and a scoop of coconut ice cream. I also drank a cup of coffee and about 48 ounces of water, and I had a glass of wine.

Today, so far, I’ve had two pieces of whole grain toast with peanut butter, three amazing breakfast balls. Get the recipe here, an apple, a handful of almonds, a cup of green tea, a banana, and an avocado. I’m a grazer, can you tell? I’ve also had a cup of coffee and four eight ounce glasses of water. I’m not sure what I’ll make for dinner, but you’ll know in a few days when we catch up.

Can I tell you how AMAZING these balls are? They are filled with protein, nutrients, and all good things, but….. they taste like fudge. They’re also really easy to make. I highly recommend these if you’re one of those people who skip breakfast or grab potato chips or candy bars for a snack when you’re hungry.

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One more thing. I wanted to share this new athletic wear line that I discovered, because you should look good when you’re getting sweaty.

Graced by Grit is based out of California and founded by two women who are super cool. I had the privilege of meeting Kate Nowlan at a recent trunk show, she’s a ball of energy, and so very nice. Kate and Kimberly Caccavo design smart, functional, pretty clothing that is affordable.

Every pant, short, and jacket has a place for your phone. Every jacket has a toggle with a whistle so that if you ever need help, you can capture the attention of people in the area. Smart! The fabrics are luxurious. They feel great, wick sweat away from your body, and dry fast.

I’m totally sold on this line. I bought several sport bras in bright colors that don’t give me a uni-boob, a pair of bright pink capris, a fleece lined running jacket that unzips from the bottom and the top, and a soft, comfy seamless tank.

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 Kate and Kimberly -Founders of Graced By Grit

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gracedbygrit running

What a post! You got the lo-down on my activity and food consumption. You got to see my little Gizmo. You got a great recipe to try. And, you now have a new athletic line to shop from. That’s a lot of info ladies!

Keep up the challenge, I’ll check in soon!

Green Power Smoothie

Make this for breakfast when you’re in a hurry but want something healthy. 

Green Power Smoothie

Hey Middles! What’s shaking? How about this smoothie, it’s totally shaking. It’s like a healthy, green, morning shake that will rock your morning and your body. Sound good?

One of the most important things we can do in our middle years is to eat healthy and exercise. You can prevent so many diseases and ailments if you do those two things consistently.

Consistency. That’s the key word for success of any kind. You can’t eat healthy once in a while and really be healthy. You can’t exercise once in a while and be in shape. It doesn’t work that way. So why not start being consistent today?

So many people set start dates for beginning a new routine. Why? Why wait for tomorrow when you can start feeling better now? It doesn’t make sense. So…….start today, or at least tomorrow morning.

I have a challenge for you. Are you in?

Labor Day is around the corner, which means the holidays are also around the corner. Do you want to look and feel amazing for all of the parties and gatherings that you’ll be attending? I know you do. That’s why you need to start working on it today. So let’s do this.

Every week I’m going to post a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner idea for you. And, I’m going to ask you to replace one processed food a day with a fresh, whole food. Instead of that bagel or donut, eat a peach, a pear, or an apple. Instead of chips or pretzels, eat some almonds, walnuts, or cashews. You get the idea.

I’m also going to challenge you to start walking or running (make sure you see your physician before embarking on a workout program) 100 miles a month. That’s 25 miles a week. 4.16 miles a day with one day of rest. When it’s broken down like that it doesn’t seem that daunting, does it?

Make a chart, or just grab a piece of paper, and record what you’ve done. If you don’t have time to walk or run the full 4.16 miles one day then add some the next day. As long as you get 25 in a week you’re golden.

Chart your food as well. Record the changes you’ve made and keep progressing until you give up all processed foods. You’ll be amazed by how much better you’ll feel. I promise.

Finally – take a picture of yourself. At the end of the 100 days take another one. You’re going to be happily surprised. Really, you will.

Every Sunday I’m going to report back to you with my food and exercise progress. You’ll be able to see exactly what I ate and what I did. No cheating! I’ll be completely honest, I promise. But, you have to do the same. Ok?

If you’re up for the challenge leave a comment below or go to my Facebook page and let me know.

Now, let’s get back to this smoothie.

Green Power Smoothie

This is the perfect breakfast, especially for an active person like you. It has almond milk, which has 50% more calcium than cow’s milk. I drink Silk brand unsweetened original because it doesn’t contain carrageenan. It has spinach for iron and vitamin C, banana for potassium, kiwi – more vitamin C, and peaches for vitamin A and more vitamin C and potassium. It’s also a great combo to get your skin glowing.

Are you ready? Let’s do this!

Green Power Smoothie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1

Serving Size: 10 ounces

A delicious, healthy, quick smoothie that's filled with antioxidants and vitamins.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/3 cup almond milk – unsweetened original
  • 2 cups of raw organic spinach
  • 1 peach – peeled and pitted
  • 1 kiwi – peeled
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 date – pitted

Instructions

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
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Green Power Smoothie

Guilt Free Ice Cream Sundae

 

 

 

 

Vegan Ice Cream Sundae

It’s FINALLY hot is Chicagoland. It will probably only last for a day or two, but you know what? I’ll take it!

All of this heat is making me crave something cold. Really? After all that wishing for hot, now you want to ruin it with something that will give you the shivers? Yeah, I know that’s what you were thinking. But seriously, what could be better on a hot, steamy day than an ice cream sundae?!

This strawberry banana ice cream is dope. No heavy cream, no added sugar, just frozen bananas, fresh strawberries, and a bit of peanut butter to add a little extra something. SOOOOOO GOOD!

People always ask me how I stay so thin if all I’m ever doing is creating recipes and tasting (eating most of it) what I make. My answer is simple – because everything I eat comes from a plant. This ice cream is a perfect example. It’s hard to get fat if your dessert is bananas, strawberries, and peanut butter.

Another fab thing about this recipe is that you don’t need an ice cream machine. All you need to do is slice up some ripe bananas, put them in a freezer bag, and freeze them. I like to store my bananas individually so that I can make a single serving when I feel like a frosty, creamy treat. Once they’re frozen put them in a food processor or a super strong blender and wait until they turn into a thick, smooth, frosty consistency. This will take about five minutes because the bananas are frozen. Be patient. At this point it will be like soft serve, but if you want it harder just freeze it for a few hours.

 

You don’t have to add any other ingredient, but I like to play with my food. Today I added some peanut butter to give the bananas a richer flavor, and, it added protein.  I also added strawberries, because I love them. The combination was divine. Talk about decadence without guilt!

To make the sundae, you’ll need some chocolate sauce. Make your own with cacao powder, coconut sugar, and almond milk. This isn’t a thick, fudgy sauce, it’s actually pretty thin, but that makes it so good because the sauce seeps down the sides of the bowl and finds its way to the bottom. This is also a dark chocolate sauce, so it isn’t too sweet.

The whipped cream is made out of coconut milk. You’ll need to use the real kind, not the light stuff. Whip it with some powdered sugar and a little corn starch to thicken it. And, don’t be afraid to turn your mixer on a high setting and let it go for a while. I find that the longer I whip the stiffer the cream gets.

Finally, garnish it with some chopped strawberries and peanuts. Gorgeous!

I’ve already finished one of these off, and since it’s hot and I’m still hungry (I skipped lunch – bad!), I think I’m going to mosey over to the freezer and have one more. Why not? It’s summer!!

Guilt Free Ice Cream Sundae

Guilt Free Ice Cream Sundae

Guilt Free Ice Cream Sundae

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 1

Serving Size: 1 cup

An almost guilt free dessert made from bananas, strawberries, and other natural plant based ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
  • 4 large strawberries – stem off
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • ¼ cup of raw cacao powder
  • ½ cup of almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • 1 15 ounce can of coconut milk – not the light kind
  • 1/3 cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of corn starch
  • Garnish
  • 2 strawberries – stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of peanuts - chopped

Instructions

  1. Blend the bananas in a food processor or a strong blender until the bananas are smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and the strawberries and blend until combined. If you don’t want soft serve put the ice cream into an air tight container and freeze for two or more hours.
  2. Chocolate Sauce
  3. Whisk the cacao powder, almond milk, and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat until the cacao powder is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  4. You will have extra to store in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  5. Whipped Cream
  6. Whip all of the ingredients on high speed until it is stiff.
  7. You will have extra to store for up to 2 days.
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Mason Jar Salad with Quinoa

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Are your kids back in school yet? If not, they will be soon so it’s time to start thinking about you again.

Summer – even when your kids are college age – seems to be all about them. Not that that’s a bad thing. It just gets annoying by mid-August. I love you Alex and Griffin xoxo.

As you finish out the last few glorious weeks of summer, stop and take note of what you’ve done for yourself over the last few months. Have you stuck to an exercise regime? Have you eaten as well as you should have? Have you had a mani or pedi since the beginning of June? Have you sat down and eaten lunch in peace at least once? If you answered no to at least two it’s time to check yourself woman!

Let’s start the care of you theme by getting back to eating healthy. You need to eat more veggies. Come on, you know you do. So let’s make it fun, and easy, and tasty. My Mason jar salads can be made up to three days ahead of time and are ready to grab and go when you’re hungry.

This is soooo much better than snatching a bag of chips, or a sugar filled cup of yogurt. This salad will give your body everything that it needs to keep running after those kids, and, it will help you feel better about yourself. No guilt at the end of the day! Lord knows we have enough of that to go around, food shouldn’t add to our stress.

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This is what you’ll need to ensure that you have a healthy alternative in your refrigerator. Go to the supermarket, Target, Wal-Mart, or wherever you shop, and pick up four Mason jars. Then buy some fresh organic spinach, a pint of cherry tomatoes, a bell pepper (color is your choice), a cucumber, quinoa, and coconut flakes and liquid smoke if you want to make my delicious coconut bacon.

Once you have all of the ingredients listed above, set aside twenty minutes to put the salads together.

That’s it. You’re done. And you have two to three days of salads at your fingertips. How freaking easy is that?!

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 My coconut bacon rocks! Click here for the recipe.

No more excuses, and no more junk food! You don’t need to skip a meal and you don’t need to eat unhealthy food. Take a salad with you to the park, to the mall, to work, wherever!

This is a balanced salad girls. It has quinoa for protein, spinach for iron and other super food nutrients. Tomatoes for lycopenes. Cucumber for freshness and crunch, and the same for the bell pepper. The coconut bacon – if you choose to make it – will add a smoky, savory, crunchy bacon taste without the fat and sulfites associated with the real stuff. It’s GOOD FOR YOU!

Another great thing about Mason jar salads – you can bring the jar home, wash it, and use it over and over. It’s good for the planet mama!

One more thing. The salad dressing can be made ahead of time and stored in a jar with an airtight lid. Put a small amount (enough for one salad) in a small plastic or glass container with a secure lid and then tape the lid shut. You don’t want any spills.

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 Try this and come back and tell me what you think. It’s one tiny step in making your life easier and making sure that you are cared for.

 

Mason Jar Salad with Quinoa

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 3

This healthy and delicious salad will stay fresh for up to three days. A great on the go meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of organic spinach – chopped
  • 1 pint of organic cherry tomatoes – sliced in half
  • 1 organic bell pepper – diced
  • 1 small organic cucumber – diced
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup of coconut bacon
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried tarragon

Instructions

  1. Quinoa
  2. Follow the directions on the package. I generally follow the instructions for one cup of uncooked quinoa.
  3. Bring 1 and ¼ water to a boil then add 1 cup of rinsed (very important to rinse!!) quinoa and reduce to simmer. Cover and cook 12 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
  4. Salad
  5. Layer the vegetables. I like to put the tomatoes in first so they don’t get the other vegetables wet and then end with the spinach and coconut bacon on top.
  6. Dressing
  7. Add the vinegar, oil, tarragon, salt, and pepper to a bowl and whisk. Or put the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well.

Notes

Get the coconut bacon recipe by clicking on the link within the story.

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I’m Back!!!

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Hola!

No, it’s not a ghost, it’s me, and I’m back!

 

Where the heck have I been all these months? Good question. As I mentioned a while ago (months ago), my lovely daughter and I created a vegan lifestyle blog. Yep, I’m a vegan. That blog took off like a pack of horses running away from the rodeo. And it took over my life. It’s still growing and doing really well, but I’ve learned how to navigate this blogging world, and I missed you, so I’m back.

 

Okay, so this vegan thing. No, it hasn’t changed my fashion sense (leggings aren’t pants ladies), it’s only changed my spending habits. I’ve found some amazing clothes, shoes, and bags that are cruelty-free and money friendly. Bonus! Of course I’ll share all of my secrets with you. Don’t I always?

Veganism has also changed my already good diet into an amazing one. I eat tons of veggies, fruit, whole grains, and plant based proteins, and let me tell you, I feel great!! I also look pretty good. Not bragging, just saying. I lost the little poochie in my tummy and I no longer have muffin tops. Cutting out processed foods (I didn’t eat that much before) and increasing my veggies has made a HUGE difference in how I look and feel. Because I’m feeling so good, I want to spread the happiness around, so Middle Skirts will now be showcasing healthy, easy, and oh so delicioso recipes. I’m not a selfish bitch, I like my friends to look good too.

 

So I told you that my daughter, Alex, and I created our blog, Veganosity. Well let me tell you, that’s not all we’ve done together these last several months. She graduated from the University of Iowa. GO HAWKEYES! She moved back home. She got into a grad school program. She became a certified personal trainer. She got a job at David Barton Gym (sooo cool). And she started running with me. Whew!

She used to HATE running. But, one day she asked me if I’d do the Run or Dye 5K with her. Whoa there, what did she say? That’s right, she wanted to run with me, in an organized race. I believe in miracles. She was so pumped after that run that she signed us up for the Warrior Dash, the Big Ten 10K, and now we’re training for the Women Rock Half-Marathon in September. I created a monster.

run or dye photo

Run or Dye 5K

 

 

Big 10 10K 1

 

Big Ten 10 K

Warrior Dash – A Family Affair

Truthfully, I have had the most amazing summer ever. Except for the weather, it generally sucked. It’s a chilly 62° and drizzly outside as I type this. Hey Momma Nature, newsflash, it’s freaking AUGUUUSSSTTT!!!!! Whoo-shake it off Linda. So yeah, my diet has given me a flat tummy, my daughter has been training me and I’m getting some guns (biceps, I’m not Annie Oakley, yet..), and life is pretty good.

My next big change. My house. It needs a refresher, and I’m going to challenge myself to do the work myself. Am I crazy? Yes. And you get a front seat view of the el loco Linda show. Fuuunnn!!

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Me and one of my besties being CRAZY before the Blake Shelton concert at Wrigley Field. He was AMAZING!!!!

Ladies, Middle Skirts is back and it’s expanding. I’m going to share my best fashion finds, my favorite recipes and restaurants, fitness tips, beauty tips, and home makeover ideas. Are you excited? I hope so, because I can’t wait to get started.

Oh, I almost forgot. I’ve also become a much better photographer, so this time around there will be pretty pictures. Yay!

Join me a few times a week and shoot me a comment every once in a while. I love getting your feedback.

With Love,

Linda

 

Get ready for summer colorful suit

Get Ready for Summer, Now!

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Here in Chicagoland we have about two months before it’s time to put on our swimsuits, slap on some sunscreen, and hit the beach. Pools are good too, but believe it or not, there are some gorgeous beaches surrounding Lake Michigan, and our hometown beach is one of the prettiest. True, I’m not being biased.

Any hoo……… Have you noticed that swim suits are back in the stores? So are cover ups, sandals, beach totes, straw hats, and sunscreen. If you’re like me, you don’t want to think about putting a bathing suit on your pasty white body that may, or may not, need a little toning. But guess what girls? Those suits aren’t going to be there forever, in fact, by the time you can actually wear them they will  be picked over. That means, only the ugly ones will be left in your size. Uh, huh, I can hear you all squealing out of your driveways now. But wait! First look at what I’ve found for you.

As you’ve probably already guessed from reading my other posts. Ha! That was presumptuous, let me rephrase that statement. If you’ve read my other posts, you know that I like color. There, that’s better. Color in food is healthy, color in clothing is a mood lifter, and together they make one happy Linda. That’s why I wanted to start with this crazy cool tankini from Trina Turk.

Get ready for summer colorful suit

 

First of all, I think the person who came up with the tankini deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. I mean, how brilliant is this idea? It looks like a one piece, but it’s cooler and more comfortable. Plus, if you’re sunning, you can lift the tank to tan your stomach. That makes all women happy. And, everyone knows that old saying – happy woman, happy life. Something like that. Happy means peace, and peace means prize, in my crazy brain anyway.

The Trina Turk Tankini top is $88 and the bottom is $78 at Lord  & Taylor, which you can shop online just by clicking on the ad to the right. The bold colors and pattern are so summer friendly. They make me want to get up and play some beach volleyball right now! Unfortunately, it’s only 36° outside so that’s not happening.

 

Now that I’ve helped you find a cute tankini, it’s time to make sure you’re properly accessorized. Have you ever tried to walk on hot sand without looking like a fish trying to get back to the water? Yeah, I didn’t think so. That’s why you need flip flops. You flip them on so you don’t flop around. All of the sandals in this post are $26 at Urban Outfitters. They come in a variety of colors and they’re light weight and cute.

If you color your hair, or just want to give your face extra protection from the sun, you’re going to want to wear a hat. Besides, hats are great at covering up swim hair. This hat is available at Lord & Taylor for $150. Yes, I know, that’s expensive, but it will save you a lot more money in the long run when you don’t have to spend it on repairing all of that sun damage and ruined hair color.

 

A good beach tote is a necessity. It needs to hold a book (or Kindle) sunscreen, a drink or two, a snack, a brush, and all the other stuff you carry. I’m totally digging this jute tote from Mango. It’s only $58, it has faux-leather straps, and it will hold all of your things with style. Now you’re beach ready.

get ready bikini

 

She wore an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, confetti polka-dot bikini………

Reef Them Breathless is the name of this adorable design. Cute, right! The tiny polka-dot design and the ruffle will certainly garner attention. Both of these are available through ModCloth. The top is $24.99 and the bottom is $19.99. What a deal!

There was a time when I rocked a cute little two piece. Granted, I can still get away with wearing one, if, I want to hear “you look good for your age.” UGH! That’s the biggest back handed compliment if I’ve ever heard one. So that’s why I now rock a tankini instead of a bikini, I’m leaving those to the youngsters who just “look good.” Moving on……

get ready one piece

 

Who says a one piece can’t be sexy? Certainly not Ivanka Trump, who designed this hot strapless number.

The lace side inserts give this basic bandeau suit swagger. I’m not a fan of the one piece because I feel like they’re hot. The breeze can’t sneak up under the top like it can with a tankini. Then again, if I can look as hot as it makes me feel (temperature wise that is), I’m willing to put up with the heat. This is available at Lord & Taylor for $112.

To add to the sizzle factor, Trump came up with a semi-sheer tunic to wear over the suit. Meowwww….. You might want to carry some foam neck braces in your beach tote to hand out to all of the necks that are injured when they turn too fast to look at you. This too is available at L & T for $109.

Now, about that tote. Mango has the perfect one to carry all of your necessities, and then some. I love the bright burst of red with the black suit and cover up. I like the price even more, $20!

The hat and the flip flops can stay neutral, you don’t want to detract from this sassy get up. Let the main characters do all of the talking.

The straw hat, at L & T is $32, and the sandals are $26 at Urban Outfitters.

get ready for summer tent

 

get ready tent large

 

Okay, beach umbrellas are cool and all, but this tent, available at Free People, is amazing!!!! It folds up in its own little bag and then pops up to give you your own private cabana. If you have little ones you can put them inside for nap time, or just to keep them out of the sun.

If you don’t have tiny children – like me – you get it all to yourself. Prop the doors open so you can see the water and feel the breeze, sit back, and read, write, sleep, whatever! Find a cabana boy man, with a deep tan and a six pack – the abs kind, or, the drinkable kind would work too – to do your running for you, and life is good.

These handmade, dyed tents and beach towels are made out of natural, breathable fabrics. Free People claims that they are sturdy in windy conditions and that one person can put it up and take it down. The best part is that they will donate part of the proceeds to the “communities” that make them. That makes the price seem better. I look at it this way, $285 is much cheaper than spending time suffering through a sun burn, or shelling out money to reverse the damage that you put your skin through. I also adore a little me time, and this little cabana would allow me to stay at the beach and enjoy some peace and privacy. Winner!

sunscreen supergoop

 

Let’s face it, the sun feels good, especially after being cooped up all winter, and relying on supplements to get our Vitamin D. However; the sun is also dangerous if you get too much, so a good sunscreen is a necessity. But, it needs to be cruelty-free, it needs to feel good on, and, most importantly, it better work.  Supergoop, Condé Nast’s 2012 Global Beauty award winner for best sunscreen, ticks all of those boxes.

That’s it for now. Get ready, get set, go summer!

Shop all of these products by clicking on the ad links to the right. If you do, Middle Skirts may be compensated, which helps to make this site better. Thank you.

 

 

 

bridal dress

Spring Wedding Fashions

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Happy first day of spring! It’s been a long winter and it’s about time that our thoughts turn to warm and lovely things, like weddings. Check out some of my favorite vegan leather pieces from Pink Tartan at my other blog, Veganosity.

Each piece is styled for a wedding, graduation, recital, or any spring event that requires us to dress up. Then, I styled each piece for an everyday look.

Click here to see the fashions.

floral skirt with shoes and bag

The Midi Skirt – Spring Trend Middle Aged Women Love

The Midi Skirt - Spring Trend Middle Aged Women Love

The midi skirt is hot this season, and that makes this Middle very happy. Women over 40 will have a much easier time shopping for dresses and skirts that are cut to the knee and lower. We won’t have to walk out of our favorite stores empty handed because hemlines are too short. This is going to be a good spring and summer ladies!

The three skirts that I chose to highlight are available at Topshop. They are all totally on trend (floral is big this spring), and they won’t break your budget. The tops, jackets, shoes, and bags that I picked out to wear with them are also at Topshop. How easy is that?

Let’s start with the beautiful, feminine floral A-line skirt. This is as good as it gets. You can wear it to the office, to a party, or on the weekend. It’s all about what you pair with it.

If you want to take it to the office, then add a soft tank under a jacket, and a pretty heel. You’ll look so good that your boss will have to give you a raise for raising the bar on work place presentation.

To make this skirt look casual, wear it with a simple tee shirt and a pair of flats or sandals. A denim jacket would be the perfect topper.

floral skirt with jacket

 

 

floral skirt with shoes and bag

 

Moving along to the red textured pencil skirt (I want this in every color). This is such a no brainer skirt. It’s a cotton and elastane tube skirt, ladies, it doesn’t get any more comfy than this. This is another style that is office worthy, party ready, and as casual as you want it to be.

I chose a casual look for this one. A navy v neck tee and a floral denim jacket with wedges it’s stylish and comfortable. What more could you ask for? I know, how about a low price? It’s $40, yay!!!!

 

 

red skirt with floral jacket

 

 

red skirt with shoes

 

 

For those days when you feel like channeling a Renoir painting, this gorgeous orchid print skirt by Escapology will help you do just that. The soft, muted, pastel watercolors are simply divine. I love the tie front and the sweatshirt like fabric. This is the perfect alternative to putting on jeans or yoga pants to run out and do your errands. Wear it with a slouchy pink top and a faded denim jacket for a relaxed, yet styling look that’s sure to get noticed.

orchid skirt with top and jacket

 

orchid skirt with shoes

Shop Topshop by clicking the toolbar on the right.

 

 

All purchases from the links on this blog will result in compensation to Middle Skirts.

 

 

 

 

spring bags

Six Spring Bags for Every Budget

Untitled #363

In case you missed my announcement last month, I’m now living a vegan lifestyle, so my fashion picks have changed. My style is still the same, but the fabrics are different. You won’t find leather, down, silk, or certain wool products at Middle Skirts anymore. You will, however, find beautiful, affordable, clothing that is trendy, or classic, and always cruelty-free.

Now, on to what we love most, fashion!!!

As spring slooowwwlllyyyy approaches the Chicago area, I’m in need of a new bag. After hours of searching I’ve narrowed down my top six spring bags. There is something for everyone in this collection. If you’re into the pastel trend, I’ve got you covered, ditto on the fringe trend. I also found a few classics that will last for years.

The coral tote is one of my favorites. It is reminiscent of a Birkin bag, but at a fraction of the price. This color is hot this season, and it looks good with navy, green, taupe, black, brown, and blue. Honestly, I can’t think of anything that it doesn’t work with. Get it at Lulu’s for $43.00.

How pretty is the laser cut tote from Free People!? This will take you anywhere. It’s the perfect size to store a book, sunscreen, and a beverage, for a day at the beach. Or, take it with you for a day of shopping, or a casual night out. Seriously, this is the perfect spring/summer bag. $68 at Free People

Talk about classic, the black and white tote from www.fashion-conscience.com will never go out of style. This European company designs the most beautiful vegan bags. Take a look at the craftsmanship. The gold chain handle is so Chanel. Use it as a weekender or as an office tote. It’s more than an everyday bag. On sale for $99.

Cognac is a color for all seasons. This cool, studded and fringe shoulder bag definitely makes a fashion statement. I’d love to see this with a pair of distressed jeans and a white shirt. You can carry this into the fall and beyond.  Purchase it at www.susannichols.com for $125.

Hobo bags are a hot trend, as are fringe and bright colors. As you can see, this awesome green bag has got it going on. It has a large zip pocket in the front for your wallet and keys, and a shoulder strap for easy carrying. I love the size of this one. It’s perfect for a day of shopping. Available at www.fashion-conscience.com for $150

Last, but certainly not least, the Falabella Chamois fold over tote by Stella McCartney. This gorgeous metallic bag will carry all but the kitchen sink, until you fold it over and turn it into an elegant evening bag. This is my dream bag. It’s available at www.stellamccartney.com for $1265. Now you know why it’s my dream bag!

Spring is coming ladies, albeit, ever so slowly in my local, so don’t wait too long. Fall bags will be in stores before you know it. Ewww, what a horrible thought that is.

 

 

STELLA McCARTNEY chain handbag
stellamccartney.com

Melie Bianco vegan purse
$150 - fashion-conscience.com

Melie Bianco vegan leather purse
$99 - fashion-conscience.com

Free People vegan purse
freepeople.com

Gianna in Cognac
susannichole.com