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.