Ever wonder what shoes to wear with your leggings? Or what shoes to wear with leggings and a sweater or in the summer? Leggings are so far the most comfortable type of clothing items for women. You can dress them up or down and even use them to work out or go to bed. So here few ideas on what shoes to wear with your leggings.

{All content on this blog is copyright and shall not to be reproduced or republished without consent of Fashion For Real People.} 

1. What can I wear with black leggings?
Pretty much anything, but to make the look stylish I like to pair them with boots, especially in the winter time. Boots elongate short legs and make them look slimmer, even better if you have boots with heels. But to keep it comfortable the best investment you can probably do is to buy a nice pair of black leather flat boots (as seen in picture). Pair your black leggings with a long t-shirt, blouse or longer jacket/blazers. Avoid short, tees or blazers unless of course you are a top model or super skinny. Given that leggings are not forgiving when it comes to show your curves and love handles getting stuck in your panties, I would pick a flowy top that contrasts but compliments hugging leggings/clothes.

[All photos of me by Mallory Brooks]

2. Best Shoes to Wear with Leggings
- High Knee Boots (as shown in picture // similar here by Jeffrey Campbell)
- Ballet shoes (Porselli are the best in my opinion. Here where you can get some cute ones)
- Dr Martens or similar boots (I like the contrast that it is created between oversize shoes and skinny legs. It provides a slim effect believe it or not).
- Converse or leather sneakers (if done right, this is a youthful look and very comfortable)

3. What shoes to avoid with leggings
- Pumps or any type of heels as in sandals. I have seen this look well done on skinny girls or few fashion bloggers on Pinterest, but this is a look that only few can pull off. This is what you want to avoid.
- Flip flops: while this look might be ok with young girls I would keep it only for the house.
-  Uggs: same as above. Ok to wear it around the house, maybe run to the grocery, but I would avoid to pull it off as a night out outfit. You want to be comfortable but not look like you just roll out of bed, especially in your 30s. If you are young you can pull anything off - almost. This is far from cute or stylish even if celebrities wear it.

Here you have it, all you need to know about what shoes to wear with leggings, leggings in the summer and the don't do it with leggings. Make sure to heck out my other tips on how to be fashionable and still be you. I have written past posts on whether pantyhose are in and out of fashion and that one got a lot of comments!

Once in a while I do a product review. This is where I am either contacted by a company like Luminess to try and write about their product or I just find something I really like or dislike and blog about it. All sponsored blog posts are tagged in such a way but opinions are my owned. {All content on this blog is copyright and shall not to be reproduced or republished without consent of Fashion For Real People.}

This week I tried Luminess AirSupremacy Beauties, a spray foundation similar to Dior air flash spray foundation but much lower in price. The product is said to provide coverage without being heavy for up to 18 hours.

The kit came with three bottles which included two different shades of foundation and a blush. The kit also included directions and a blending brush.

I had tried spray foundation before by Revlon and hated it, so I was perplexed and intimidated by another spray foundation. I am always afraid to get the foundation in my eyes or all over my dress and it just seems unnatural. I pledged to try the product every day for 2 weeks with different applications and techniques to see the versatility of the product and whether I would actually make the habit of using it. Both pictures in this post show different use of the same product. To see how I looked before or sans make up you can refer to one of my older blog post.
Luminess Spray Foundation Application

The first application came by following the directions from the manufacture: apply the product directly on the face and blend. Alternatively, apply on the brush first and then blend. I prefer applying on the face as I could see how the product was on my skin.

The second day I used the product to contouring my face, as I am pretty loyal to my contouring makeup palette and even had a tutorial on how to apply contouring. Having two different shades was optimal. I used the lighter foundation as an highlighter and the dark to define my jaw line and nose area. I finished the application with the blush.

The third day, I only tried one color and sprayed it fast all over the face, without even looking. I was in a rush and still wanted to have some make up on. I used the brush to blend everything and I was done in 2 minutes.

By the 15 day, I was using the product so smoothly without even thinking about it. All my initial hesitation was gone. I am impressed by the product for one reason: it is easy and fast to apply. It also provides coverage but looks natural, which is something important to me. In fact I pervasively discussed on this blog how to get a natural look using make up. I am such a busy person and lazy that I hate working on make up in the morning. I just want something fast that makes me look and feel decent. Sometimes even with tons of contouring products I still look tired and you can tell the accumulation of products on my face. Add humidity to that and you get the hang over effect. With Luminess AirSpray Foundation (@LuminessAir) I never felt like that. It is very natural looking and light. It is so light that I even slept on it one time because I did not feel the need to take it off. I know it is bad but this product is awesome. I like having two shades so I can alter and adjust the color as needed. The brush is super helpful. I don't think another brush would work. The blush I did not care about. I ended up using my own highlight product, but I don't regularly use blush.

I would be curious to try this product in the summer when it is miserably hot and humid in Florida. Otherwise, this is a product I will continue using for its versatility and ease of use. And for lazy girls like me this is optimal.

If you want to buy the product here is a 15% discount. Use this code: 605578930 - Luminess Air Supremacy Foundation

{All content on this blog is copyright and shall not to be reproduced or republished without consent of Fashion For Real People. Top photo by Mallory Brooks, bottom by Ginevra Adamoli.

By Dr. Sophie H. Janicke

The Christmas season is upon us and we are even more than usual bombarded with ads for the perfect christmas gifts. Incredible deals seem to be irresistible and even though we know from last year that the incredible turkey cooker or leaf blower really are only going to be taking up space in our closets, we just feel like we cannot resist. Fashion for Real People already gave you some strategies on how to shop smart this Holiday season and I want to extend this post by sharing with you 4 questions to ask yourself before buying the latest gadgets.

With the advancement in technology, buying the newest Apple iPhone or other little gadgets for our loved ones for christmas (or even ourselves) has now become common place. 
New smart phones are hitting the market every month, smart watches are slowly satisfying the early majority diffusion of innovation curve, and other wearable technologies (the fit bit being the most adopted gadget in that area already) popped like popcorn into the market this year. CNET, a well known website on technology reviews, provides a list of "16 tech gifts that make almost anyone happy". The list includes drones, smart watches, virtual reality applications, computers, household electronics and other more or less useful items. Being a positive media psychologist, I wonder how these gadgets are supposed to make people happy. How do we know if a new technology will actually increase our well-being? Here are 4 questions you can ask to see if the new gadget you are about to buy is really making your loved one (or yourself) happy.

1. Will the technology foster lasting happiness? In positive psychology the phenomenon of the hedonic treadmill has been found to be the enemy to anything new that promises happiness. It means that over time, we simply get used to the new fun toy and thus happiness dissipates again. Remember the days where you were a child and you thought the new Iron Man Robot will make you forever happy, but after 3 days of playing with it, you got back to your coloring book because really there is only so much you can do with a plastic robot. However, a coloring book creates different challenges with every picture, providing variety in our experience, which, science shows, is important to increase happiness and counter the hedonic treadmill effect. So, when you think about buying a fancy smart watch or another wearable technology, think about if this device can provide varying experiences for you, so your happiness will not wear of with time because you simply get used to it.

2. Does the gadget satisfy an innate need? Positive psychologists have identified 3 innate universal needs (self-determination theory) that are essential for our psychological health and well-being and they include the need for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. You can be assured that if your gadget tabs on any of them, it will likely have a lasting impact on your happiness. For example, any form of smart watch really is just an extension of our smart phones. And while it may satisfy our need for autonomy, that is feeling in control of our life, and relatedness, that is our need to feel connected to and care for others, it also may just create the illusion that it satisfies those needs. Because really, who is in control when the notification pings on our phone and we immediately drop everything we are doing, even a conversation with a loved one, only to check what that notification is? It is not us, but the technology. Now I am not against smart watches, but I think the minority of us is able to handle them in the right way. I found this gadget here, which is a “smart ball” synched with an app that tracks your throws and can help you to improve your basketball performance. It certainly satisfies the need for competence, which includes mastering a task, as well as autonomy. In the end, with all technology it comes down to how it is used. But if you are thinking of buying a new tech toy for a loved one, you may first want to think about how it will be used and if it will satisfy any of our innate needs, if you are interested to see a lasting happiness effect from your present.

3. Is the technology fostering connectedness or isolation? Research in positive psychology is very clear on the point that our relationships are the most important factor for our well-being.We spend increasingly more time at work which limits the time we can spend with loved ones. I mean, after coming home from work, going to the gym, cooking for the family, there is really not much time left in the day to "play around”. It is even worse then, when the new gadgets, such as smart watches, or a virtual environment application is getting all our attention. Now, again, we could use these technologies to play with our kids and show them, for example, what it may feel like under water (using a virtual reality headset) and discussing with them what fish we could expect to see at a lower or deeper level of the ocean. However, while I think that everyday consumer virtual reality applications such as google cardboard provide many useful opportunities in the field of education or even self-development, the technology itself does not lend itself to foster interaction with others. After all, if you have a VR headset on your face, there is little you can do to interact with others, because you cannot see them. On the other hand, playing a collaborative video game or even an I phone game like "Heads Up" does bring people together. Which again, is a good thing for our happiness level. 

4. Is it more than just a thing? Science shows that experiences make us more happy than things. Now technology inherently are things, but some are more experiential than others. For example, the SlowWatch is a watch designed to slow things down and make you think of the big picture rather then every second of your day. It is a thing but also effects how you experience your day. Another example is the LumoLift a small device that helps you notice your posture, which generally is very slouchy and not healthy or sustainable at all. It is not only useful but it helps us to become more aware of our body, an often forgotten "thing" that is right attached to our brain. Other wearable technology like the WellBe or the Oura ring that help with stress reduction and mental instead of physical well-being are another great source of experiences fostered by technology. On the other hand, even though very cool, this shoe that can change its design with the click on your smart phone, is an example of a "thing" with maybe less promise to sustain happiness from using it. In general, instead of buying a material gift, you may want to think about an adventure you can go on with your loved one as a gift and thus, make a “real” experience happen. This way not only your loved one will be happy but you will as well; plus, you get to spend more time with them, which is what matters for well-being.

Ultimately, giving presents for Christmas is to make a loved one happy. Maybe that entails buying something that they wished for but never would get for themselves or it is something they could really use. What matters is that you give with love. If your budget doesn’t allow for some new fancy gadget, a voucher for a home cooked meal or a letter in which you express your gratitude towards your loved one or even your first knitting attempt of a hat or scarf will be just as well received. If the relationship is real and authentic, anything that comes from your heart will be appreciated. 

What really matters in the Christmas season is taking time off and spending it with loved ones. In a time where smart phones are now extensions of our bodies, that means unplugging for the Holliday's, no phones on the dinner table, no laptops in the living room and just “hanging out” with friends and family. I think, this is the best gift we can give anyone. Being fully present with our loved ones. No technology distractions. Listening to their stories and sharing ours. We never know how long these moments last so we better take them all in. Here is commercial from a german grocery store which captures exactly that. You may shed a tear or two. I sure did, which only shows the truth behind it. 

If you are contemplating to buy that new phone or watch or whatever it is, just think for a second if all that you want to give is not already there: You!

Check out my blog rewirehappiness.com for more posts on technology and happiness.

Short Bio about Dr. Sophie H. Janicke
Sophie H. Janicke, Ph.D. is a positive media psychologist who investigates the role that new and traditional media play in promoting and affecting character development, self-transcendent emotions, prosocial behavior, and subjective well-being. Her research and teaching focus is on positive psychology, media and new communication technologies, and media and spirituality.
Outside of academia, Janicke gathered work experiences in consulting German broadcasters, and scriptwriters and implementing workshops on mindfulness and work-life balance at universities and corporations. In her blog rewirehappiness.com she discussed how we can use technology to increase happiness. 

It's cold which makes me want to eat, sip on hot chocolate and bake some chocolate chip cookies. Here I found the best chocolate chip cookie recipes. I never liked cookies because they are either dry or too chewy, but I came across this recipe by Taste Better From Scratch and decided to try it out. No regrets here. The easiest and yummiest chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are the perfect balance between soft, sweet and delicious. I used semi sweet chocolate chips by Ghirardelli but you could use any. I just don't like sweet sweet chocolate.

INGREDIENTS (taken from Lauren's blog post. Here is the original post)
  1. 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 12 Tbsp butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted and cooled until warm
  5. 1 cup brown sugar
  6. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  7. 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  8. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
  11. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  12. In a medium bowl mix together all dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking soda.
  13. In a separate large mixing bowl beat the butter  melted in the microwave for 30 seconds 
  14. and sugars together with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the egg, egg yolk, and 
  15. vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently stir in the chocolate 
  16. chips. The dough will be somewhat soft but not running.
  17. Gently scoop dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until gold 
  18. on top. Store in an airtight container.

Get a Jump on Holiday Shopping

By Guest Blogger Ashton Taylor

Holiday shopping is not that far away. If you shop online, you can do it any time to get your gifts before Christmas. Now, is the time to hunt for the deals. These sites will provide you what you need.

First up is dealnews, which has people who are deal hunters looking for products at more than 2,000 online retailers. In addition, they get tips from merchants and visitors about bargains. The deal hunters hand pick the best deals among the thousands they get daily and update the site.
The site also bans stores with poor customer service. Customers can give the site its e-mail for alerts to deals and gift ideas. The site features a  Black Friday page is one of the best out there. It features both confirmed and leaked ads (before they're officially released). It also shows when stores that haven't released ads yet are scheduled to publish them.

Second on the list is GottaDeal.com. Some people find deals here that aren’t elsewhere.

Third,  Slickdeals.net is driven by users for deal-sharing. It features a few deals on its homepage daily, but its forums are where you'll hundreds of deals posted daily.

When you visit the fourth site,  DODTracker.com, you don’t have to do any work. It lists hundreds of items from deal-a-day sites and daily deal offers from retailers, such as Amazon.com. It shows how long the deal has been posted, time when sale ends, amount of discount (if available) and whether the item still is in stock.

Of course, Amazon is always available. You can find anything you want on Amazon. The site often has good deals. Whatever you need, you’ll find the most results and the lowest prices.

No. 6  Pronto.com fetches prices on 70 million products from more than 25,000 on-line merchants, including eBay. It also lets you sign up to receive email alerts when your favourite brands or products go on sale.

Competing with Amazon, Google's shopping search engine, Google Product Search, is great if you want a price comparison tool. What you'll get are lots of results for your search, product reviews, seller ratings and a "local shopping" option to help you find products at stores near you.

Companies, like Cheap Voucher Codes, are designed to present the consumer with discount codes and digital coupons. You get coupons you can use on a number of sites for the holiday shopping season.

CouponWinner.com has more than 27,000 coupons from about 9,000 retailers. You can use the Coupon Scout tool  to compare coupons from up to five retailers. Click on a category, such as women's apparel, and the Coupon Scout tool will appear on the left-hand side of the page.

With No. 10, Alex’sCoupons, you get something while giving something. The site will donate a portion to children who have cancer. It has given more than $20,000 to charities fighting childhood cancer.

Some sites, such as 11 and 12 will allow you to get a discount on gift cards. Plastic Jungle and Gift Card Granny sell merchants' gift cards for less than face value. They'll also buy gift cards you don't want (for 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the card's value). Buying a discounted gift card to use for your own shopping is a good way to score additional discounts.

The high cost of buying on-line comes from the shipping charges. Therefore, you can check out No. 13,  FreeShipping.org. The first offers free-shipping coupons for more than 3,800 stores, including Amazon.com, Target and Best Buy. You can get free delivery codes here. And all you last-minute shoppers don't want to miss Free Shipping Day Dec. 17. More than 700 merchants already have signed up to participate this year and guarantee Christmas-Eve delivery for all items purchased on Free Shipping Day.

How Can I Get Started?

Before setting out to shop online, plan ahead. Know your budget and your list. Start as early as possible, look for the on-line sales and make use of them. Take advantage of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales or Veteran’s Day sales. Write down people’s names and make notes of gift ideas for them. Remember to include people, such as teachers, hair stylists, letter carriers, massage therapists.

While you're making your shopping list, don't forget to add Christmas tree ornaments, stockings, wreaths and other holiday decor to it. Your budget will ensure you narrow down your search for the perfect gift, and it will save you from post-holiday spending regrets. Include Christmas decorations in your budget, too. If you plan on hosting holiday parties or big family dinners, include those as well.
To help yourself stay on budget, make sure to shop on the big sale days. Cyber Monday and Black Friday are always great days to find discounts on hot gifts, so don't let them slip by. Sign up to be notified by email when the sales are going to start; you may even get early access to sales that way.

So, don’t be afraid to get started on your holiday shopping now. Even stores are putting up Christmas decorations below fall decorations. It might look odd, but the stores know they have to capture the market right now before the holiday rush begins. You can jump on the bandwagon and get your holiday shopping done with discounts, coupons and sales and relax this December.

Author Bio:

Ashton Taylor has Bachelor’s in Fashion Designing and Communications. She is currently working with a fashion agency in Houston, Texas. In her free time she enjoys freelance writing about cosmetic & beauty products, fashion trends, as well as natural beauty tips.

It is getting to feel like fall in north Florida, although we had temperature in the high 80s... but as soon as it gets to 70 I am ready to wear fall clothes. Fall fashion trends this year are pretty straightforward: a lot of fur accessories and blazers, leather, flare jeans and pants, anything 70s style, gigantic weird earrings, chunky knit sweaters and dresses and black. I love fall clothes for the reason being that I can recycle what I already have in my closet and invest in few good quality pieces. This year I bought Frye leather sneakers and a leather jacket. Fall also is very forgiving if you have extra pounds to hide. Everyone looks well put together and stylish. It is very easy to look elegant and fancy in the fall and on a low budget. For example, I paid $20 for those plaid wool shorts. My black purse was probably bought back in 2012 and the white sweater is from Banana's Republic last year.

Beside fall fashion I wanted to discuss and remind my readers what this blog is about. This comes at a very special moment when there seems to be an anti-fashionistas movement who has revealed that everything these bloggers show is fake. While I am glad people are coming forward for some reasons I feel no empathy. I created this blog for the same reason for which these people are now getting more public attention. I created the blog to display that being fashionable can be achieved by real people and that our imperfections make us beautiful and fashionable. I also created this blog to show that busy moms or tired professional women can and should still look presentable and not end up in pjs when going out. I just read today that this model stopped posting glamorous pictures of herself and instead posted for 7 days so 'called unpleasant pictures' (no make up, normal day pictures). She initially lost 3K followers but then gained 100K and people praised her for being like regular people. That to me is fake. I don't understand why as women or men or people only like the glamour pictures, the photos that look like any other 'cool' photos out there. If it is a picture outside those parameters nobody likes it. But the moment that glamorous person tries to be the rebellious regular person everyone switches again and changes their minds on what they like. Seriously what is wrong with people? There is indeed a theory, groupthink theory which claims that if you put a bunch of people in one room to discuss a topic, they will all start thinking the same.  (I totally simplified the all theory but you get the concept). I feel this is what is happening with fashion bloggers and instagram. We are not unique or authentic as marketers tell millennials are. We are the opposite of unique, we have no creativity because we stole it from the trend setter and then we just replicated the same style everyone likes. Have you noticed that all food pictures and kitchen decor photos are taken on white marble? They must have run out of Marble di Carrara based on all these photos. And what's up with gold mugs, gold pens, gold papers, gold everything...What is going to happen when we switch back to chrome and we will look back at the year that kitchy cheap gold was a trend like wall paper in the 70s?

I am a little tired and nauseated by what is happening out there in the world of fashion. I am not inspired by much as everything looks the same and it is hard to find the creative people. I know they are there, hidden by all this white marble. On a positive note, I did meet some great fashionistas last night. I decided to step it up a little bit and become a Florida blogger representative for Tallahassee, which means getting to know people, supporting real bloggers with real stories. I think I said enough today with my fashion fall trends and my blah story about fashion bloggers these days.

[All photos by Mallory Brooks at www.mallorylbrooks.com. All content on this site is all right reserved by Ginevra Adamoli. Do not republish the content without permission.]

I have been looking for almost 2 years for the perfect iPhone case. I even created a Pinterest Board for inspiration with my top iPhone cases. Then I was approached by TheWTFactory to try out their luxurious iPhone cases and they sent me one of their LuxBox. See what you think. I really like it. It is simple, yet modern, unisex, edgy and classy at the same time. Do you need more ideas for pretty iPhone cases? Scroll down and look at my inspiration board. 

 In September Shawn and I visited Paris. It was Shawn's first time but I have been there before a couple of times. This time was different because it was our first time taking a break from having the baby, it was with Shawn and we were looking to explore what Paris has to offer in food and drinks.  I was already obsessed with Paris before but this time made me realize even more why I am obsessed. In 2012 I even tried to get a job there and was applying for jobs in Paris. I never got it but was taking French language lessons and making home-made macaroons. If I could find a job I would move there right away. Paris is my favorite city in the world. To combine our trip in just one blog it is impossible. I decided to start with 5 spot to eat in Paris.

[DISCLAIMER: All content is all rights reserved. Please contact me at Fashion For Real People if you are interested in working with me. I ask not to re-publish my content without my permission]

Top places to Eat in Paris

1. Breakfast: Station République 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France 
This the most authentic patisserie/bakery we found.  It was so delicious that I can't even describe what happened in my mouth as I was enjoying a cheese croissant and a danish pastry. This is not quite a tourist location but you can walk up to San Martin canal. The patisserie has an outside large picnic table and there is a small supermarket nearby so you can get a drink and enjoy your meal. 

2. Snack: Aurore Capucine 3 Rue de Rochechouart, 75009 Paris, France
We found this tiny patisserie specializing in dessert and tea as we walked down from Montmartre. We passed the fabric district and kept walking down until we saw this window full of tarts. We enjoyed a chocolate coffe tart as we kept walking and checking the surrounding areas. 

3. Lunch: Marche Des Enfants Rouges: Marché des Enfants Rouges, 75003 Paris, France
Determined to find a cheese store we stumbled upon this authentic and crowded outdoor food market with different cuisines from America, French, Greek, Italian and so on. It was packed and difficult to order if you don't know French but totally worth going and eating there. nearby I even found a clothing boutique where I bought a pair of awesome suede shoes for $35. The only thing I bought while in Paris.
4. Dinner: La Cuisine De Phillipe 25 Rue Servandoni, 75006 Paris, France
There are plenty of tourist food traps in Paris as in any big city. These are located in the most popular locations. However, it is not impossible to find amazing food at a decent price. Be wary that you need to make reservations in advance if you want to reserve a spot but we found a trick. We would go in advance to see if they had any availability for the night. Most places would tell you no and to check back later at 8:45pm, kind of the last call. This is how we were able to secure a spot at this restaurant with a Michelin chef. The menu was a fixed menu priced at 40 euro, a steal if you consider we had lobster soufflé, duck and maroons soufflé. Oh and pate foie gras. Wine is an additional charge. I loved everything about the simple decor with the elegant and sophisticated menu.  Another trick to get a table at a great restaurant is to reserve through the hotel which is hosting the restaurant. Hotel Relais Saint-Germain takes reservation for its nearby restaurant and again we were able to get a table for dinner. The couple next to us said they reserved a table six months in advance and that the top chef in Denmark recommended that specific restaurant. We were very lucky!! 

5. Late snack:  L'avant Comptoir 9 Carrefour de l'Odéon, 75006 Paris, France
We tried multiple times to get inside here. This place is so packed you can't even make it to the front door. This is a tapas place where you order and eat standing up. It is packed. I mean packed!! Finally we went so early like 5PM that we were able to get in and order some tapas and wine. The menu hangs from the ceiling and they have a little bit of everything from shrimp, to ossobuco, to french fries. Prices are cheap. We talked to the bartender and he said the place is always packed from 8PM to 12 when they close. They also have an outdoor crepes stand for late snacks. This is a good alternative to an expensive dinner. I have more recommendations and pictures but wanted to start with my top places to eat in Paris. 

Sometimes I get to the end of the day when I finally have some time to write on my blog and suddenly all the great ideas I had during the day for topics to discuss are gone and I am left with a blank page. Why? Is it because I am tired that I can't think straight? Does it ever happen to you? You start the day and you make lists of things you want to accomplish after work. It starts with laundry, organizing the dispenser, hanging those frames up that have been sitting in your closet since 1999, organize your pictures loaded in your desktop and so on. Then  6PM approaches, you end your work day, maybe go to the grocery, do some dishes, play with your dog or daughter. Suddenly it is 8PM, then 9PM then 10. You seat down to finally work on your blog and BAM: your brain is empty. You try hard to remember those awesome ideas by searching through Refinery29 or Instagram but everything seems bland and blah to you.

Apparently there is a scientific reason for this which relates to dopamine flow which is said to increase when we are relaxed as in taking a shower for example. After taking a hot shower I still had no ideas. There is also another article on Fast Company discussing how we get greater ideas at night. As a matter of fact when you are trying to be creative you will have more luck working at night when you are super tired. Unfortunately, that does not work for me. I don't consider myself a morning person, however I have managed to get to work by 7:30am for a long time and it seems that I am more productive in the morning. As soon as I eat something and the digestion works I get tired, which explains why my luncheons are a cup of coffee and cereal with milk. I also stopped working out which made me less alert at night. I used to work out everyday in the evening and when I would get back at the house I would spread energy around the house. But seriously, my great ideas are morning ideas. Is it because I am a mom now? In graduate school if you work on your papers during the day it was considered a sin. You would work in the library all night to finish that paper and always felt it was the best intellectual piece you ever written. Was it that I worked and still work better under pressure and my blog is a recreational activity? What about you reader: do you get your best ideas at night or in the morning? Does it change based on age or number of children you have?

**I wrote this past 10PM. :)

H&M pastel pink blazer // J.Crew Top // Cluse Watch

[DISCLAIMER: All content is all rights reserved. Please contact me at Fashion For Real People if you are interested in working with me. I ask not to re-publish my content without my permission]

I don't think I have ever been a fan of pink growing up. I prefer pink for objects, flowers, designs, but pulling off a pink outfit is very difficult, you could end up looking like a confetti. Here few tips on how to wear pink pants, pink jackets, pink leggings, pink everything without over doing it. 

How to Wear Pink

1. Select a shade of pink that it is not too strong. I like pastel colors like a powder pink, closer to white than to a neon shocking pink. This shade of pink is classic, elegant and timeless, a nice alternative to nude or just ivory. 

Photo by Mallory Brooks 

2. Select only one pink item if you don't know how to pair colorful items all in once. If you choose pink pants you might want to think about what to pair pink pants with. Do you need solid colors or can you play with prints? Depending on the shade of your pink pants you might want to pair them with a simple gray tee, or a gray cardigan. If you are bold you could pair hot shocking pink pants with a red top and shoes. Just make sure you are ready to pull that outfit off. I chose to buy these gray and pink skinny jeans from Urban Outfitters few years ago and love them. As you can see I just pair them with a simple blazer, denim top with beads and ballet shoes. But I have literally worn the pants with denim jackets, white converse and white tops, and nude tops as well. 

3. If you are super afraid of wearing pink pants or jackets start with pink accessories. A giant pink scarf adds character to a neutral, boring black outfit. It also adds happiness to your winter cold days. It brightens your smile and your skin colors. Trust me, just try this winter to wear a vivid colorful scarf against a black coat and walk into a coffee shops. Everyone will be delighted to see you. Colors bring happiness. If you don't want to invest in a pink scarf, you could wear a pink lipstick, or watch. You can really play around here without going overboard with pinkness! 

Who am I? Mallory Brooks

I wanted to dedicate this session of the blog to fashion and women, more particularly on the women I know in my life who express fashion and style in their own way and who at times if not all the times inspire my style as well. Given that this is about fashion for real people, I wanted to represent all kind of women so expect to see exactly that: regular women who are very fashionable and authentic with their style. I chose the main picture to be that of a body, my friend's body, because we as women and the media put so much emphasis on our bodies and yet it might be weird to stare at just a body without a head, especially of a friend. ah! But I love it because it is so pertinent to our society and fashion, beauty and body obsessions.

The first person I thought about asking to be featured on my blog was my friend and also who is behind the camera when taking my pictures. Mallory's style can be described as colorful. I have never met a person who is so in love with colors and not afraid to wear them. Coming from Italy where black is the only norm I must say I went through a fashion shock when I first met her, but then made me realized that color is pretty cool and makes everyone's life much better! Here few random questions about fashion and life. You can check her photography blog on MalloryLBrooks.com.

Mallory Brooks from Tallahassee, FL

1. Red or White? On most occasions white

2. Lipstick or Chopstick? Lipstick

3. Finish the sentence: Flip Flops are ........ shoes I wear around the house or in the car to spare heels. 

4. You walk into a fashion store what do you end up buying most of the times? These days, I try not to walk out with anything (trying to keep my spending on clothing low). But if I did buy something, it's likely a cute top of some sort or a dress that I just have to have because it looks amazing on me. [Like the one she is wearing in the picture by H&M. Read how she got it here.

5. How would your friends describe your fashion style? Colorful would probably be the number one way to describe my outfits, followed by trendy.

6. What is the one fashion item for women you hate to wear? I don't wear anything I don't like. Though, it can be annoying to have to wear special bras with particular tops or dresses because of the cut.

7. Any trends you wish would go away? High waisted jean shorts with everything falling out. Not flattering on anyone.

8. Dior or Chanel? Honestly, I would not be able to tell the two apart. I know, it is fashion heresy.

9. Red or Nude lipstick Red. I feel naked without some sort of bright color on my lips.

10. Which era do you wish you lived for fashion purpose only? At the moment, I am loving all things 70s revival.

All Pictures Are Taken by Mallory. To see more photos from this shoot head over to her blog.

Over the months working with Mallory, I have learned few tricks on how to take great fashion pictures for my fashion blog. Here 5 tips on how to take photos for your fashion blog. If you have more feel free to leave a comment.

1. Think in advance:  To have great photos for your fashion blog or any other blogs you need to plan in advance. This could take 10-30 minutes. Think about location and the outfit you will be wearing. For example if you are wearing a white dress you probably want a background/location with a strong contrast like red/brick wall or pink. In the picture below, we played with the lines, green and the silver elevators.

2. Location: This is where your story will be told and potentially how you set the mood. A parking garage is an easy way to get a sense of urban or a city girl who goes out of town. Think about colors, lines, architecture that will help the framing of your picture. You don't need to think hard, a brick wall or a graffiti wall will function beautifully for your outfits.

3. Lighting: I always taught my students the importance of lighting. Avoid shooting at noon when the sun is harsh. Try to shoot before the sun is about to set or very early in the morning. The light is soft and will not enhance any imperfections on your face and body. It will actually wash it off (see the picture below. I don't look like that everyday. I have bags under my eyes).

4. Imitate others: Flip through fashion catalogue, Pinterest, Vogue magazine and see how models or other bloggers are posing. You will notice that eventually they all look the same, same walk, same glaze, same leg lifted. Use a mirror and practice. I know this is silly, but you need to know how your body works, how your moves look on the camera. The photo below was inspired by a picture I saw of a model seating on a wall. The location was totally different but I liked the way her arms wrapped her knee. Eventually this is what came out and I love it. 

5. Be natural: over the time shooting with Mallory I become more natural and comfortable. At first I was rigid and you could tell from the pictures. What gets me going is that I start talking to Mallory about my day and I move my arms, I laugh, I jump. That gets my body to be soft and the best pictures are the ones where Mallory catches my natural moments like this photo below. We found this window and liked the concept of using the design but we were not sure about the lighting. I started playing around and the pictures that came out of these 10 minutes were absolutely amazing.