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Inspiration: lovely scarves to beat the cold

Real winter and face-chilling cold is finally here - which is basically a good thing, but not so much when it comes to dressing up. I am a "freezing" type, but if I get properly dressed for winter weather I feel like the Michelin mascot, which is not the best feeling. The more so, since I got used to wearing a winter hat - a thing I rarely did a few years earlier. Scarves, however, have always been compulsory pieces in my winter wardrobe: I simply hate when my throat is not protected from the cold, whick keeps creeping under my coat at the neckline. I've been a real fan of infinity scarves for a while. And now I see the favorite piece of my university years coming back: the blanket scarf, which you can use in at least a thousand ways. I show you my biggest favorites.
 

The nicest item of the last few years: soft and warm infinity scarf. It could not be simpler to put it on finely, and it doesn't let any of the cold wind get through.





 

If you have an oversized, warm scarf in a soft, neutral color like beige or grey, it can get your whole outfit together.








But why not try a spectacular color, which adds a flashy spot to the whole outfit?








And here it comes: the blanket scarf which you can wear in a whole range of ways. See some examples of this:










Which is your favorite winter scarf style? Tell it here in the comments or on Facebook!

My most effective remedies against colds

As soon as the new year started, everyone around me began to cough and blow their noses. I myself fell through a bad cold in December, probably due to the busy year-end... So I think it is quite time to get together all those homemade cold remedies - I show you all what I have tried so far.

Ginger tea: I discovered it a few years ago, almost by accident, and I apply it whenever I have to ever since. The taste of tea made from fresh, grated ginger is pretty harsh, but you can tame it with a bit of honey, a few leaves of normal black or green tea, or simply by reducing the quantity of ginger. It alleviates coughing, makes you sweat, kills viruses and it can also get your stomach together.

Garlic: I'm going hardcore with this, smash a clove of garlic, mix it with one or two teaspoons of honey, and eat it as it is. It also has a harsh taste, so if you just want to give it a sudden go, add the juice of half a lemon or orange, and then just drink it in one shot. I probably have a strange taste, because I don't have any problem with the flavour. Garlic is a great antiviral and antibacterial remedy, so it can kill off your cold in a pretty short time.


Onion and spices are great in themselves, but broth is also a fine solution

Onion tea: melt a few teaspoons of brown sugar, add half a liter of water and a whole, sliced onion. Cook for a few minutes, then leave it to cool, and you can already drink it. It is one of the best things for coughing.

Spicy food: you can choose Indian, Mexican food, horse radish, garlic toast, pretty much anything you like. And please don't try to contact people after eating all that garlic and onion stuff, and not only because you probably don't want to transmit your viruses...

Black radish: again a fantastic remedy against coughing. I cut a hole into a radish, pour some honey into it and I just eat the honey after a few hours. Sometimes I also grate the radish, press out the juice (I usually do it with a garlic press), and mix it with honey and lemon.

Broth: first, because it is tasty. But also some research has proven that broth has an inflammation-taming effect. So you can eat as much as you wish of it, preferably with a lot of spices.


You can drink liters of fluid vitamin C
Orange and lemon: I usually add lemon juice not to hot tea, but to cold lemonade, because heat makes the vitamin C of lemon juice just disappear, while it remains intact in cold water. Orange juice is similarly good: if you can, press it for yourself, but store-bought 100% OJ is also capable of something. You'd rather drink lots of fluids in those times, so why not add some vitamin C to what you drink?

A new discovery: seemingly chocolate can tame coughs, too. Good to know :)


It works in a surprisingly little time
And an old favorite of mine: Kneipp anti-cold bath oil. If you get homeopathic medicine, forget about it, because mint essential oils can annull its effect, but otherwise it is really a wonder. Hot essential-oil infused bath is good anyway, as it frees your sinuses, but this bath oil can also make you sweat. After the bath you should dry yourself thoroughly with a towel, get some warm clothes on, and have a few hours of rest. It works in surprisingly little time.

Summer pieces for fall - creative repurposing

Summer is unfortunately sure to be over - it seems that the weather has permanently turned colder, leaving the last days of indian summer behind. But this is no reason to throw your favorite summer pieces to the back regions of your closet: you can repurpose them to suit colder October weather if you pair them wit stockings, jackets, pullovers, boots... Here I give you some ideas made on Polyvore, based on my own favorite summer clothes


Summer to autumn 01


Maxi-dress is the all-purpose jolly joker of summer for me: you can wear it to the playground as well as to the beach, for shopping as well as drinking ice coffee with your friends. You can just pull it on with a pair of sandals and an all-in bag, and you are ready to run in 5 minutes. When it turns colder, you can wear it with stockings and heels, plus a black leather jacket and some spectacular silvers for some badass attitude. The all-in bag can stay :) If it's really chilly, you can add your favourite cardigan.


Summer to autumn 02

Summer to autumn 02 by csjudit featuring yellow gold earrings

I have a strange, intimate relationship with texted T-shirts. I have metal bandshirts (among others a collection of Rhapsody ones :) ), T-shirts with moderate and not-so moderate messages, etc. The only thing I care about: the message I write on myself: should be something which I'm proud to advertise (and this way fully understand). So I don't adverise imaginary US colleges, chinese characters which I can't read (who knows, it might read as 'chicken with rice'), neither do I write on myself 'I am sexy, get my phone number'. But I do love witty sentences printed on T-shirts. This way I always feel sort of offended when I read that you should only wear this stuff for festivals, and it's better to toss the whole collection if you are over 25. With the montage above I wanted to show that you can even wear the moderate ones for work if you don't have an overly strict dress code in the office. If there is one, you can keep them for days when you are running errands, when you want to dress comfortably, but leave the jeans-and-sneakers attitude behind.
In this montage everything is pretty much elegant, except for the tee. Jeans are straight, sophisticated and dark coloured, the shoes are dandy-like (I had a pair of these once, I loved them), the bag and other accessories are elegant. But the tee is a real badass one, just to show you are not the one to mess with.


Summer to autumn 03


This yellow dress made me fall in live with it at once. I don't own a similar piece, but I'll surely buy one if it comes along. It's girly on the summer days with wedges, a feminine bag and a few discrete golden jewels. In summer it is earthly-coloured with a knit cardigan, soft stockings or leggings, ankle boots and an earring of deeper colour.


Summer to autumn 04


Tight 3/4 pants with a longer, bright coloured top and accessories are also basic pieces in my summer wardrobe, I love to wear them for going to the gym, for shopping, for sightseeing on holiday, etc. For the autumn it is fine with long riding boots, with a warm, but also bright coloured pullover and a comfy backpack for your training gear.

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Bread-less Breakfasts

Preparing for the new school-year and the on-the run breakfasts that come with it, I was thinking about bread as such, and whether we must consume so much of it. If not, what can we have instead? I always say and write that I don't believe in any food-isms, and I strongly think, that everyone should eat what's best for them. That's why I also don't believe that all weight gain and all evil comes from carbs and gluten. At the same time I'm eager to say that it is not useful to eat a slice of bread with everything, especially if that bread happens to be white.

Image courtesy of samuiblue/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I must also admit that personally I am fairly bread-centric when it comes for breakfast. I can't operate till noon on a single dose of yogurt, I need something chewable in the morning. At the same time the egg-sausage-ham line is too much for me right after getting up. And in the half-asleep state I tend to get up in, preparing a cooked morning meal seems mission impossible. The more so, if I am on the run. What's left? Toast and tea, which is not the most healthy type of breakfast. So lately I started to collect some recipes which are healthy, quick and easy to prepare. They are not necessarily gluten-free or low-carb, but by any means healthier than white bread.

-The first and most obvious choice is whole-wheat bread, but I haven't really found a type which I really like. Or rather I have found one single type of it, and haven't given up testing other types.

- My other favourite is whole wheat crispbread. I don't really fall for those puffy rice slices, I rather choose scandinavian crispbread types. I spread some cottage cheese variations on it (sometimes with herbs, sometimes sweet ones, depending on my mood), and I have some fruit with it. If I'm absolutely in a meat mood (which is rare), I put some ham on the top, and I also like to eat it with cheese.

- Instead of boxed (and sugary) muesli I tried rolled oats, on which I pour some hot water and milk, and I sweeten it with honey. It takes up the liquid and softens in about 10 minutes, then I grate some apples on it or add some other fruits, and I sprinkle it with a bit of cinnamon. Sometimes I also prepare the cooked variation of oatmeal, but only on those very lazy mornings.


Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I also prepare my own muesli from the rolled oats and other rolled cereals: I roast them a bit in a pan, to make them more crispy, and I add roughly chopped nuts and dried fruits. The bowl usually empties fairly quickly. I usually add it to fruit yogurt or plain yogurt, but it is also fine with milk.


As for recipes to try, there are two ones waiting:




- One of them is this morning banana split, which means halved bananas with some Greek yogurt on the top, decorated with bits of jam, nuts and fruits. Sounds pretty nice to me.
- The other is a nice "sandwich", made of two apple slices, and a spoonful of peanut butter (for those with a sweet tooth: peanut butter sweetened with honey) also decorated with some buts and rolled oats. This looks also very fine.

Let There Be Festival (Every Day)

Let's face it, summer is nearing to the end, and so does festival season. There are a few more things to go to, and the oven is just being warmed up for the fall gatronomy events, but the main music festivals are over (Wacken 2016 is already sold out, can you believe it?) I usually visit a few festivals every year, I just love the spirit. The only criteria is the music: if there is a concert which I like, I usually go. used to be a frequent visitor of Sziget Festival as well, but since they closed the Metal Tent and opened the VIP lounge I opt for other events. As I usually go to rock and metal festivals, I do not think much of my festival outfit, either: sneakers, jeans and band shirts are the trend there, if it is too hot, I may change my jeans to jeans shorts.
Even if I don't usually visit Sziget Festival anymore, I got some inspiration from my friends' festival photos. This year everyone dressed like flower-crowned hippies there, and this made me think, whether we could transfer this type of looks to our everyday lives. You can wear hippie-inspired outfits in summer, but also in cooler fall weather, and the style can range from wild to mild, which can even be worn in the ofice if yours doesn't have a very strict dress code.

Let's see some inspirations from Pinterest first


Nice and comfy summer outfirts for meeting friends, shopping, having a drink at terraces, and everywhere at all. Let's get a little urban-hippie-ish :










And yes, this hippie trend can even be totally elegant:



Hippie-inspired outfits for fall weather:









And this is the work version, in other words hippie-style tamed to the office:







And now some sets from Polyvore, created by me:

Flared jeans - patterned top - fringes - lots of jewelry:


New Hippie1


A more simplistic version with a white tank top, a Desigual skirt and wedge sandals:



New Hippie3



A set for fall with a hat, a cardigan and ankle boots:


New Hippie2



What do you think, would you wear such hippie-inspired outfits? Please let me know here ot on Facebook

Style with Brains #2: How to Declutter your Closet?

In my previous blog entry I wrote about the usefulness of looking around carefully in your closet and getting rid of everything that is unnecessary. On one hand it is nice to discard all the "this will be good for something someday" items which only take up valuable space. On the other hand it is also nice if you don't try to push the newly bought items into an already full closet, to pull them out later with a definite need of ironing. More esoteric people say thet decluttering frees energies, let chi go freely on its way, so there are a number of reasons to try it.

To be totally honest I don't believe in the widely known rule of thumb which says that you should discard everything that you haven't worn in two years. If your closet is full of classic pieces, you don't have to be too strict on this. I have personally pulled out a jeans skirt from my closet, which is a total classic with its straight line, it can be worn on any occasion, and it laid there without being used for years. I remember buying it when I was a 18 year-old student! I also found a pair of black, classic trousers, which I discovered to be totally trendy these days, although it was there for at least 6 years. Fashion comes in cycles, clothes lines can go and come back again when you would least expect them to do it. Of course you must pay close attention to the details. Things are never exactly the same as they were years ago, so there can always be a tiny bit that reveals that you try to recycle your age-old items - in this case it is better to forget that particular piece.


Image courtesy of photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
But which is the best way to start? The first and most useful thing is to pick the outworn clothes. All shabby, elongated, formless, worn-out or stained items should go, no matter how much you love them. You love them, you wore them a lot, and that is easy to notice this on them. That's the way it goes with your favourite clothes.
You should always get rid of the following:
- bras that lost their original form, went greyish, or whose metal parts are poking out. Formless slips, socks, bathsuits.
- trousers which have worn spots on their knees or which lost their form in wearing, no matter if they are jeans or tweed ones
- t-shirts whose necks or torso is elongated, ot which they have permanent stains on them.
- formless and  fuzzy pullovers (fuzz removers are good for a while, but there is a limit)
- everything which lost its original form
- shoes with worn soles or heels, and those which are simply not comfortable enough to keep your feet healthy.


Now, that you are ready with the first round, there comes the tougher part. Here comes what I always tell everyone as a life coach and also as a style consultant: your style should be based on how well you know yourself. And you should also be ruthlessly honest to yourself. Because after getting rid of the items that look really bad, you should follow with the ones which look good enough and which you might as well keep. And this is the point when you must face yourself.
- For example you should be brave enough to confess if something landed in your closet as a result of a bad shopping decision. This is not always easy, we can reason and try to save our decision for quite a long time, like "it can be good together with this and that', or "it only needs some redesigning"... The truth is, these stuff is usually really only good for taking up space. If you feel in the bottom of your heart that it is not really yours, let it go.
- The same case applies for the changes our body goes through. We can keep the "after I get rid of those 5 kilos" stuff for a long time. You should admit honestly if your goal is to go from size 42 to 38. That's absolutely fine. Except if you keep guarding that pair of skinny jeans in size 36 which you wore for the university parties.
- And there are changes in our lifestyle, too. Maybe a few years ago you loved stuff with cute cats on it, but now you feel them childish. No problem, someone will love them. Maybe you could not imagine wearing other than skinny jeans and tight shirts when you were 20 years old, and now your favourite item is your boyfriend jeans. Nice. Of just the opposite: you worne nothing else than male shirts, and now you are much more feminine? That's fine as well, just dare to admit it. You don't have to feel ashamed for anything you do. You don't have to keep the same style for 30 years. Just feel free to let go everything that is not close to your heart and your style anymore.
Image courtesy of anankkml/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
But what should you do with the stuff you selected?
- All that is in a good shape, and about which you think your girlfriends would love them., should go as a present. You can also organize a swap party, when everyone puts a few of their discarded items in a basket, and everyone is free to choose a few ones for themselves from the pile. Trying on each other's old clothes can lead to big laughs, and empowering positive criticism, so that everyone should take home those pieces, which are truly the best for them. Moreover, getting hold of new pieces of clothing doesn't cost a cent for anyone. The leftovers should be given to charity or put on ebay, with the clear intention of investing the incoming revenues into ice-cream together.
- The nicest items can be sold on online auctions or in Facebook groups. If it's fashionable and in fine state, it will find a new owner, and you'll have some cash to buy new stuff.
- You can also donate some of your items. If it's in a good state, but not in the latest trends, it can be fine for someone less fortunate than you. On the contrary, you should never donate old and shabby clothes. Give only those, which you would be happy with.
- Old towels and bedlinen can find their use in animal shelters and veterinary clinics.
- H&M gives some discount coupons for every bag of old clothes returned to them, regardless of their label and state.

Style with Brains #1: Don't Fall into the Discount Trap!

At the end of the week we celebrate coupon shopping days with Glamour magazine, which means being able to buy a lot of stuff with 20% discount. This (and we haven't even thought of the end-season sales with much greater discounts)  makes even the reasonable shoppers like many of us a bit dizzy: even if we shop with brains on the other days, we can go head-over-heels these days and it usually means we spend more than we wanted, and half of that in vain. But how can you make the most of your spendings if it goes about fashion sales? I give you some tips on how to make the best choice.

Photo source
  • Start with inspecting your closet! Rearrange all the stuff in it before you go shopping, and make a virtual inventory of the things you already own. You can also get rid of everything which is shabby, which lost its shape or which is very outdated - first because you probably don't want that shabby look, and second because you can make some room for new stuff. Discover your hidden tresures - who hasn't found items in the back of the closet, which were not only totally wearable, but became favorites later?
  • After clearing your closet you can make a list of basic items (like a good blazer, jeans, elegant trousers, skirts, shirts, T-shirts, undies, etc.) you need, and fashion from the latest trend you absolutely want to buy. Make a shopping list and try to alter it only if you absolutely need to (like cases of super bargain, love at first sight, designed-for-me items).
  • Know your colors! If you are not really aware of them the most basic thing you can check is whether warm or cool colors are the ones that suit you. Look at the veins at your wrist: if they come in a greenish color, than you are probably a warm color type, if they are violet-colored, than you are a cool color type. Warm color types are suited by warm, cool types by cool colors, respectively. Chances of gross color mistakes are not annulled, only reduced by this check, though, the best is to invest in a personal color&style consultation once, and never to take home anything that is unflattering later.
  • Be critical with your figure! There is nothing wrong with wide hips as long as you don't want to tuck them into wrong-sized skinnies. Check which cuts are the best for your body shape (and I can repeat: the best investment is to get a personal consultation once and save tons of money later) and buy accordingly.
  • Buy clothes which fit your figure and weight right now. "I'll wear it when I shed some weight" - is not the best solution.
  • You can put your hand on expensive basic items at a good price at the end-season sales. You can buy coats and leather boots in the end of the winter, sandals and good quality t-shirts during the autumn, especially if they come in a classic shape - you can easily wear them during the next season. The same is true for special occassion dresses. You don't have to wait till you run around in a panic not knowing what to wear for your friend's wedding. If you find a good item at a reasonable price, buy it, and you'll only have to open your closet when the occassion is coming. But don't exaggerate: usually only celebrities need a full wardrobe of black-tie clothing.
  • Take care of materials: natural stuff always looks more sophisticated than artifical fibres. If you opt for wool, linen, cotton or leather in the case of shoes and bags, you'll look much more elegant than being clad in polyester from top to toe.
  • Items to splurge on: quality leather shoes and boots, leather bags, winter coats, blazers, suits and watches. These are the items whose cheapness can be very obvious, and which can ruin your whole look. Take care of them regularly: the most beautiful leather shoes can look more than shabby when they are dirty and worn out.
Photo source
  •  And here come the basic questions you have to ask yourself every time you are heading for the fitting room with a heap of clothes in your hand. (If you know you are easily thrown overboard when you are shopping, take a friend with you and allow her to ask all the embarrassing questions. You'll have your turn to do the same with her in the next shop.) Be very honest to yourself, and only buy the garment if it could get through your filter.
    •  Do I really need this stuff? If you have three similarly cut pieces with a similar function in your wardrobe, you might not really need a new one. Of course there are vis maior cases, when you simply fall in love with something, but if it's not the case, than don't buy it just because it seems to be a bargain.
    • Do its size, tailoring and color really suit me? Is it flattering from all sides? Does it  need only minor alterations (like narrowing the waist or shortening the leg) to be perfect? Could I wear it today, or do I have to shed some weight before wearing it?
    • How can I combine it? Which sets does it fit into? Do I have at least three other pieces with which I can wear it? Or do I have to buy three other garments to be able to make one single set with it?
    • How many times will I possibly wear it? Is it a long-term classic or a trendy piece which will look outdated next year? If it is absolutely seasonal and next year I won't be able to use it much, is there enough time left from the season to be worth buying it? (Very scientific thinkers came up with the idea of cost per wear. You should divide the cost of the garment by the number of times you wear it. If a 20 EUR piece is worn 10 times before you donate it to charity, its cost per wear is 2 EUR. The best buys are said to have a cost per wear value under 2 EUR).
    • How can I clean it? Clothes which can be only dry cleaned, have some additional cost every time they need a cleaning. Of course there are basic pieces like coats and suits which you have to buy even if the cleaning adds to their price, but let this aspect not to be a surprise for you.

 
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