Walk, Bike, Pogo This Way!

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Last week I walked to work and it felt great. Yesterday, I rode my bike to work  and I could not stop smiling! I felt like a kid again! What I am trying to get at, is this Things To Do Thursday, try getting somewhere, anywhere, differently.

Here are some options:

Walk – The great part about walking is that you only need a decent pair of shoes, which makes it completely cost-efficient.

Bike – You will get there much more quickly than walking, but cost does go up a little (unless you’re into fancy walking shoes). It’s easier and easier to find a bike at a yard sale or Target!

Skate – Rollerblades or the traditional quad skates are amazing. I know rollerblades may not be the coolest right now, but if you grew up in the 80’s & 90’s like I did, you know you still want to use them.

Carpool – When I lived in Los Angeles I only dreamed of having a co-worker or someone that worked around LA that I could carpool with. I even thought of putting a car seat in my car, but that would have been completely horrible and not to mention illegal. Even if your commute does not take two hours to get there, carpooling is fabulous for your mind and your wallet.

Public Transportation – I am envious of New York or countries where public transportation is king! I would love to hop on a subway or grab the “whatever it may be” into town. To be able to mingle with different people, aromas, and sights on a daily basis would be such a mind massage!

These were the only options I could come up with…besides Pogo, which I do not need to elaborate on. If you have any other ideas in mind, please let Polka Dot Tango know!!!!

Valentine’s FREEBIE!!!! FREE LOVE!

LoveYou_PDT_Freebie

With Valentine’s Day being this Thursday and everyone seems to be sick, why not download this cute little freebie courtesy of Jenny M. Diaz and Polka Dot Tango! It’s perfect for any of your loved ones who may be feeling a little under the weather. You can either color it in yourself or give it to them as is just so they have a “sickly” activity they can do. Hope you guys like it!

LoveYou_PDT_Freebie

Threadflip

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Why wait till spring to get started on your Spring Cleaning?

Jumpstart your yearly cleaning/organizing by targeting your closet first. We all complain about how we have NOTHING to wear, but one look inside any girl’s closet, and you know that’s not completely true. We all tend to hoard clothes we never plan to wear again, just in case the right day comes to wear it. But that “just in case” day never comes and it’s time to rid yourself of all those articles of clothing (or accessories) that are just collecting dust. It’s time to flip them!

Threadflip is a fairly new website where you can “Flip” your clothes, shoes, jewelry, bags, etc. You can either cash out or use your credits to purchase other seller’s items.  I personally have sold a few items already and all within a week or so of placing them up for sale. It’s very simple to use and all you need to do is print out a label and box the item up into one of the FREE boxes provided by the US Post Office. They even offer the option for you to send your items to Threadflip and let them do all the work.

Here’s some information from their about page to help you get more of an idea about the site:

Vision

Threadflip is pioneering a new social shopping experience by offering women a simple way to convert their closets into a dynamic boutique-like experience, connecting buyers with sellers, and capturing the collaborative energy of shopping with friends. We hope to revolutionize the world of online shopping by providing a new way to discover, buy and sell fashion.

Story

Threadflip was inspired by CEO Manik’s wife Tea, who was having trouble parting ways with a pricey pair of boots that she no longer wore. When he asked her why she kept them, she said because they were beautiful and unique and reminded her of a certain moment in time, and that she would only want to give them up to someone who would appreciate them as much. Existing options like eBay or a consignment store were very impersonal and not easy to use. The boots eventually found a good home with Threadflip co-founder Jeff’s girlfriend Kim, who adores them just as much as Tea does but is actually wearing them. We realized the boots represented the tremendous potential of unused items in the average woman’s closet, and an idea was born.

Investors

Threadflip is backed by top-tier angel and venture investment firms including Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures, Slow Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Greylock Discovery Fund, and Andreessen Horowitz Seed Fund. Threadflip is also fortunate to have the support of a wide range of advisors, from successful tech entrepreneurs to high-fashion tastemakers.

How It Works

Threadflip is a social marketplace for buying, selling, and discovering new, unique, and pre-loved fashion. With a few clicks, users can upload images of pieces straight from their closet, and sell clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry they no longer wear, creating a treasure trove of thousands of new pieces every day.

Threadflip is also launching a special white glove concierge service, which allows women to receive a box to send in their unused and pre-loved items and Threadflip takes care of the rest.

Moody Monday

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Stina Persson

For the last several weeks, I had been waiting for a response to a job I had truly truly wanted. It meant creative freedom, respect from fellow future colleagues, no more partial unemployment. It meant that I had found what I had lost. For the last five and a half years I have been trying to dig out of a hole and I believed that I may have just seen a glimmer of light. I opened my email anxiously on Friday and there it was…the “Golden Ticket”. I clicked on that email and began to read finding that my “Golden Ticket” had in fact been a scalped ticket. “We have decided to hire another candidate…”

Chest pain, stomach ache, head ache from attempting to hold back tears so that my co-workers would not know that I can be weak. My body was rejecting what my mind was coming to terms with. Immediately I attempted to call my dad, my mom, and my husband. No answers. If they did pick up the phone, what answer was I looking for? Finally, my dad picked up my second phone call and gives me wonderful words of encouragement. He always gives me peace of mind with his calm sound advice.  My husband calls me upset that the interviewer had given me the assumption that the job was mine, when in fact, it was up for grabs for anyone who applied. Then, my mom calls and says something strange. With confidence she says, “You know what? Be sad. Let yourself be sad, just don’t over do it.”

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Stina Persson

What? I am allowed to be sad? Myself and many others take pride in the fact that we can just “brush it off our shoulders” and move on. Yes, we might go home and have a balling session in an hour long shower, but no one knows it and all evidence goes right down the drain. “Oh. My eyes are only red because I got soap in them”.

Whenever I cry, I can’t help but think of Alice in Wonderland. Here she is, in this odd world, trusting strangers, and doing everything she can to get home, and she breaks down and cries. Until my mom told me, “Be sad”, I had always seen Alice as a wimp, an annoying cry baby I would try to avoid at all costs. Now I realize that yes, she cried, and so much so, that she was able to successfully move. on.

So that Friday night I attempted to let myself “be sad”. I pulled on my jammies, turned on those lovely Lifetime movies, and cuddled with my pup. Randomly, a crying outburst would sneak up on me and I allowed it to continue it’s path. Once Saturday morning came about, I felt a little refreshed. Not to say I was no longer disappointed, but rather accepted the fact. It was that morning I decided that my mission was to figure out what the heck to do next. Because after all, once Alice rode out her sea of tears, she didn’t stand still.

Stina Persson

Stina Persson

Rose and glitter skull shirt

This cute shirt is super simple to make, all you need are:

Black Shirt
Floral Fabric (i purchased mine from Hancock Fabrics)
Aleene’s Fabric Fusion
Tulip Shimmer Sheets
Skull pattern (I just pulled on off the internet)
Freezer paper (optional)

After printing out a skull pattern (which I altered to make heart shaped eyes), use an exacto knife to cut the pattern out of the shimmer sheet. Next, remove protective plastic from the shimmer sheet and iron onto the floral fabric. Then cut the fabric around it to give the skull a small border. Cut out a few of the actual flowers from the fabric itself to be later attached to the front of the shirt. You can’t tell in the images but the cross bones are actually cut out of the shirt and the fabric was then glued on the inside of the shirt. You can do this or just cut out the cross bones from the fabric and glue on top of the shirt. If you are going to be cutting out the bones into the shirt, I recommend tracing the crossbones onto a pieces of freezer paper and ironing it onto the shirt and then cutting out the pattern. This will help you get nice straight clean cuts. Next use the Fabric Fusion glue to glue on the fabric crossbones, skull, and cut our flowers. Once dry, I cut out the collar on the shirt to make it an off the shoulder shirt.

Are YOU Kelly Kapowski?

Kelly’s got the look!

The 90’s are back and in full bloom! Floral prints are everywhere, from jeans to tops to maxi dresses and more. The last time I saw this trend was on Fresh Prince of Bel Aire, the original 90210, Friends, and of course Saved by the Bell. Kelly Kapowski was always the fashion icon for me and I dreamed that by the time I got to high school I would be as cool as her. Well, I never turned out to be a “Kelly Kapowski” in my school but I think now is my time! Polkadot Tango has put together three different outfits following this bouquet of 90’s trend and we hope that you can grab some inspiration and put your very own spin on it! Let us know what you think of this fashion style and if you dare to go back a bit and take it on!

Walk Among The Flowers
Earth Angel

Why So Villainous?

Artwork by Wendy Chew, http://mashi.deviantart.com/

There are days when I think, “Man, I’m surprised someone hasn’t slapped me!” just because for some odd reason, I am cranky. I constantly wonder if it’s sleep, that time of the month, stress, the outfit I am wearing, whatever, that is causing me to lash out. My usual solution is to keep my mouth shut until the day is over with, but after doing some perusing, I found an article on the Dr. Oz website that was all about crankiness and supposedly 6 reasons as to why you feel like a villain!

Ever feel like you hate everything and everyone? Or you reach your boiling point so quickly that chemists should study you? You’re not alone – more and more women are finding themselves extra cranky. Luckily, science has some explanations and solutions to offer. Learn the most common causes of crankiness and how to fight off your bad mood.

 1. Your Hormones

If you’ve noticed that your bad moods occur around the same time every month, the culprit could be your hormones. As women move through their monthly cycle, their ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. One week before your period, your progesterone levels are at their peak and then they suddenly drop, which triggers crankiness.

PMS, short for premenstrual syndrome, is thought to be caused by these fluctuating hormone levels. Another change in hormone levels occurs during menopause, where your progesterone drops down to zero. This fluctuation can also lead to irritability.

 Solution: If you experience crankiness around these times, you have to build up your defenses. Studies have found that omega-3s can help prevent the symptoms of PMS and menopause. Take 600 mg of DHA omega-3s daily.

 

2. Caffeine

Consuming caffeine, even in moderation, can cause anxiety. Caffeine stimulates the brain, which makes it addictive. When people become addicted to caffeine, they may experience symptoms of withdrawal including headaches, fatigue and moodiness.

 Solution: You should only consume 200 mg or 2 (8 oz) cups of caffeinated beverages a day.

3. Not Eating Enough

Your brain needs glucose for energy. If your blood sugar levels are too low, you might feel sluggish, irritable and experience difficulty concentrating.

 Solution: To prevent low blood sugar, eat healthy snacks every 3 hours.

4. Your Bedroom

The correlation between sleep and your mood is no secret. But you could still be tired and cranky regardless of how early you hit the hay. Studies have shown that even dim light, for example the glow from your TV, reading lamp or even your alarm clock, in the bedroom may increases cases of depression. This light decreases the production of the hormone melatonin. Without steady levels of melatonin, your normal sleep patterns can become disturbed. Think about this the next time you wake up on the wrong side of bed.

 Solution: Do a lights-out check before bed. Turn off all the lights and try setting a sleep timer on the TV if that helps you fall asleep. Turn your alarm clock away from you.

5. Your Diet

The comfort food you grab when you’re in a bad mood could actually be the cause of your bad mood in the first place. Diets rich in trans and saturated fats have been linked to increased depression. Additionally, new studies indicate that these diets can negatively affect cognition. Junk food and fast food negatively affect the connections between your brain cells called synapses.

Solution: Look for foods packed with vitamins and minerals that will sustain you throughout the day instead of the fatty, sugary processed foods that may taste good, but leave you with no energy.

6. Your Thyroid

Your thyroid is a gland that makes the hormones that help to regulate your metabolism. In a condition called hypothyroidism, you experience a deficiency of thyroid hormone that leaves you fatigued, sluggish and depressed. The condition has other symptoms including weight gain, increased sensitivity to cold, pale dry skin, constipation, and brittle nails and hair.

 Solution: If these symptoms apply to you, see your doctor and get your thyroid levels checked. Hypothyroidism is treatable.

So, after reading all this, do you think Dr. Oz is onto something or do you think there are other reasons why we get villainous, like someone didn’t tell you that there wasn’t any milk left? Let Polkadot Tango know what you think causes people to be cranky, whether it’s legitimate or hilarious, we want to know!

A Taste for Lace

Long gone are the days when lace was only used for weddings or to show how ultra feminine you can be. Back in the 1920’s, lace was a staple in women’s fashion and was able to make a huge comeback in the 80’s, thanks to Madonna. It has always been the texture that can transform the type of feeling you are trying to evoke in your wardrobe. White lace automatically shows the vulnerable, lady-like, pure side while black lace tends to give any wardrobe instant sex appeal. Try on a cream lace to get the feeling of a free spirit, one-with-earth, wholesome type of vibe, and electric colored lace will show the girls just wanna have fun attitude! Polka Dot Tango put together a montage of some photos from the 20’s and 80’s as well as some inspiration for using lace now! Let us know what you like to pair lace up with!!!

THEN….

NOW….

Nice pLACE

The Orange was Laced

Abooouuut LACE!

“Bone”-afied Important Health Information

Whether or not osteoporosis runs in your family, it is important to know what you can do to keep your structure healthy. Many times we decide to worry about the outside of our body, such as zits, split ends, or yellow-ish teeth, but we have to remember that our entire body is moving properly in huge thanks to our skeletal structure. On Health.com, I was able to find an article that offered facts and tips on keeping you “bad to the bone” or should I say “good to the bone”!

(Don’t) break a leg

By Alyssa Sparacino

It’s easy to take bones for granted until you break one or are diagnosed with bone-thinning in old age. In fact, you may not really consider your bones a resource that needs lifelong protection and nurturing.
But guess what? There are a few surprises lurking inside your bones, and youthful habits can even affect bones in old age. Read on to find out more about this living—yes, they’re alive!—tissue.

Your bones are alive

They may feel like rocks, but bones are living things. In fact, a group of cells (called osteoblasts) are constantly churning out new bone, while a second set (called osteoclasts) destroys bone by gobbling it up like Pac-Man. This constant tug of war between creation and destruction is called bone remodeling. It’s the reason bones regenerate after a break, grow rapidly during youth, and, unfortunately, decline later in life when the balance tips toward destruction.

Build your bone-bank account

Want your bones to earn interest? Start saving now!
Playing sports, lifting weights, running, and almost any activity that moves muscle will trigger your bones to lay down more minerals and get stronger and more dense. Since bone density peaks around age 30 and then starts to slip away, the more you build in youth, the more you’ll have to “spend” later. Think of it as your bone 401(k). “When you have more money in the bank prior to bone loss, you won’t reach a level of deficiency that sets you up for fracture,” says Felicia Cosman, MD, clinical director of the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

No period? Big problem

For your bones, that is. Young women who stop having a regular period get a steep hormone drop that mimics menopause, which leads to bone loss. Anorexia in particular can harm bones by halting menstruation.
“If women don’t menstruate or under-menstruate, it’s like going through menopause in their 20s or 30s instead of their 50s,” Dr. Cosman says. And the associated drop in estrogen causes the bone remodeling process to speed up and become imbalanced. “The amount that dissolves ascends the amount that restores,” she says.

Bones are storage units

Want extra minerals? Check your bones. If you need calcium because you’re, say, breast-feeding, the body releases extra from your bones in a process that benefits baby and doesn’t hurt mom. The only problem is that sometimes toxic substances, like lead or mercury, can get lodged in the bone storage unit too. “Bone is a major storage pool for calcium and phosphate, and it stores substances like heavy metals in low levels for long periods of time,” Dr. Cosman explains. However, it is “very unlikely” that what our bones store—both good and bad—will at some point come out in large amounts and cause health problems, she says.

Booze is bad for bones

Too much alcohol hurts your liver, brain, and other parts of your body, and alcohol can also be a big problem for bones. Heavy drinkers tend to lose bone density, and when these levels gets low enough, it’s called osteopenia. This is a milder condition than osteoporosis, but alcoholism or habitual heavy drinking over time can cause calcium deficiency and the more severe bone thinning known as osteoporosis. Smoking, too, is a known risk factor for osteoporosis.

Extra weight may help bones

It seems counterintuitive, but excess weight—which is bad for your health in many ways—may actually make bones stronger, though research has been conflicting.
Just as exercise and moving muscle can build stronger bones, your body may respond to extra weight by laying down more bone minerals to support that weight.
There’s one problem—if you gain weight in your belly, this actually boosts your bone-thinning risk. Read on.

Belly fat harms bone

How can a spare tire hurt your bones? Research suggests that premenopausal women who carry extra fat in their midsection are at increased risk for osteoporosis. That’s because belly fat is different from the stuff that cushions your thighs or butt. “[Abdominal fat] is really bad fat and very metabolically active,” Dr. Cosman says. “It produces all kinds of hormones that can increase inflammation in the body, and the end result of inflammation is increased bone dissolution.”

Bone-building drugs help—to a point

There are many bone-strengthening medications on the market. But they’re not for everyone. Bisphosphonate drugs (Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Reclast) reduce fractures, but they can be tough on the stomach and have been linked in rare cases to fractures and serious jaw problems, Dr. Cosman says. (Dr. Cosman is a paid consultant for the makers of Fosamax and Reclast.) She recommends getting reevaluated after three to five years to make sure you still need the medication. Changing drugs or dosages are options. Low-risk patients can even stop the regimen, Dr. Cosman says, but they have to be monitored very closely.

Your dentist could diagnose you

Bone loss can strike anywhere in the body, and the jaw is not immune. If the jawbone deteriorates or loses density, the result may be loose (or lost) teeth, receding gums, or ill-fitting dentures.
Dentists can pick up on osteoporosis by checking your regular dental X-rays and watching for related health problems, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Food can be good for bones, even sans calcium

Calcium-rich food is great for your bones. And even though milk is a good source, it’s certainly not the only one. Dr. Cosman recommends yogurt and cheese, fortified foods, and calcium-rich foods like almonds and green veggies. “Some highly fortified foods and drinks have as much—or more—calcium per serving as milk,” she says. Even fruits or vegetables without that much calcium can benefit bones (though research on this topic isn’t conclusive). Fruits and veggies might help buffer acids in the body, and high acid content isn’t good for bones, Dr. Cosman says.

Supplements may not be best

It’s a better bet to get calcium from your diet rather than supplements, says Dr. Cosman. The pills have been linked to kidney stones and studies suggest that heart attack risk is higher in older adults who take calcium than in those who do not.
A 2010 Institute of Medicine report suggested that most people in the U.S. are getting enough vitamin D and calcium in their diet without supplements.

Hip fractures more likely than cancer

Although breast and other cancers top most women’s health-worries list, osteoporosis-related fractures should also be a major concern. In fact, a woman’s risk for an osteoporosis-caused hip fracture is the same as her breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer risk combined. A broken hip, which is most common in people older than 65, can be a potentially life-changing or even life-threatening event, and may require surgery and long recovery times. Some never fully recover from a broken hip and have to use a walker or wheelchair.

Breaks don’t strengthen bone

The old saying that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger isn’t true when it comes to broken bones. When a bone breaks, it doesn’t end up any stronger than before the trauma, Dr. Cosman says. But that’s not to say a broken wristbone won’t be back to fighting shape after recovery. “Even with osteoporosis fractures, the bone can be just as strong as before the break after it heals,” she says. “These fractures generally heal just as well.”

Ethnicity affects bone strength

While anyone can develop osteoporosis, your risk is much higher if you are white or Asian. If you are black or Hispanic, your risk of developing the bone-thinning disorder is lower overall.
A survey found that between 13% and 18% of women older than 50 in the U.S. had osteoporosis in their hips, and that included about 20% of non-Hispanic white women, 5% of non-Hispanic black women, and 10% of Mexican-American women. Men have a lower risk of osteoporosis, but the risk is still higher in white and Asian men than in those with other ethnic backgrounds.

Fill out this questionnaire to see how your bone health stacks up!

Smile! It’s Monday!!

This Monday, we at Polka Dot Tango, want to know, what makes you smile? A smile can be the most motivating act at some of the hardest times and let’s face it…Monday’s can be tough. So enjoy this little list that’s been put together and hopefully if brings a smile to your face!


“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
– Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl books have always made me smile. He was the author who ultimately ruled my book shelves with an iron fist. Growing up I gave away all of my books, but his. I should probably give him credit for helping to create this vivid imagination I carry with me. Just the thought of “The Witches” or “The Twits” make me want to get up in that attic and read every book of his all over again.

“Boooooooooop, Boooooooooop. Do you know what that sound is? That’s the sound of the ambulance coming to take me away cause the sight of you stopped my heart.”

A Night at the Roxbury is my number one movie. Yes, it has probably the most horrible reviews and yes a lot of people change their opinion of me when they hear it’s my favorite. I can’t help that I fall in love with these two characters who have a very passionate dream and in the end, they actually achieve it. This movie has some great morals: don’t be with someone who doesn’t make you happy, keep going after your goals, have fun, and stay true to your dance moves!

Be grateful, Juan Pablo. Today is especially delicious.

I. LOVE. NACHOS. Nachos can pretty much be made out of anything so they can suit any type of mood you are in. My husband doesn’t realize that I could eat nachos everyday for dinner, but I can. One of my goals is to actually come out with a recipe book on how to make many different types of nachos so that everyone can enjoy them!

Vintage Prints are what I look for in yard sales. Everything from the smell, to the type of paper being used, or the method of printing.  I recently found a pair of two ads for a printing company dated back in the early 1900’s which are of course a wonderful addition to my office! If you ever find some pieces, let me know! 😉

Tell us what makes you smile and we can post it on next Monday’s blog!