Most Iconic Hairstyles Of The Past 50 Years

There have been some memorable hair trends in recent years: Ombre hair, pastel-colored hair, medium-length waves… but none are quite as enduring as the trendy tresses of these famous ladies. The ‘dos influenced whole generations of women and how they styled their locks, but went one further, to catalyze entire movements of fashion and beauty standards. All hail the hair icons!

RELATED: Best Hairstyles For Short Hair

Twiggy

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Twiggy was an unprecedented style and beauty tidal wave. Her waif-ish body shape became the most desired, her mod style and quirky eye makeup continue to influence fashion trends. But most of all, her pixie haircut inspired modern woman to sport the cropped, elvish style.

Farrah Fawcett

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This Charlie’s Angel was the definition of hair inspo for the 70s gal. Everyone wanted the Farrah Fawcett flicks. Even still, she is the poster girl for this layered, windswept hairstyle.

Jennifer Aniston

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I can’t imagine the number of photographs of Jen were shown to hairdressers throughout the 90s and early 00s. During her run as Rachel Green on Friends, Aniston sported a variety of hairstyles, all of which became the “next big thing”. Her face layers, her cute bob, her long extensions – which is your favorite Rachel?

Posh Spice

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Any young woman or teenage girl in the early 2000s will appreciate the frenzy that surrounded Victoria Beckham‘s hair. Remember the Pob? For those who may not, Pob is the combined and abbreviated version of Posh (Spice) and bob (like the haircut). That’s right – her hair had it’s own name!

Gisele Bundchen

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Gisele’s beachy waves gave life to the term “model hair”. Her long, sunkissed locks were both effortless and glamorous, straight from the beaches of Brazil to the runways of Victoria’s Secret. Who hasn’t spent too much time with a straightener, curling iron or “beach spray” trying desperately to get Gisele’s tresses?

Images via elle.com and Shutterstock

August 14, 2015

5 Everyday Savings Tips

Are you constantly living on the brink of bankruptcy? Do you have trouble saying no to a new pair of shoes? It’s probably time you developed some healthy spending habits. Budgeting and saving can take effort, but it all starts by being aware of your everyday financial activity, and cutting out the little things. Here are a few tips to help sort your savings, that you can incorporate into your daily routine.

1. Don’t be hasty

Some people call it the 30-day rule: if you see something you like, don’t buy it immediately. Wait 30 days and if you still want it, you have earned your permission to buy it. Why wait? Because given some time, you may have realised that the hot pink crop top was actually a terrible idea and if you didn’t buy it, you could have paid your phone bill on time! It helps prevent impulse purchasing and, therefore, unnecessary spending!

2. Make lists

A shopping list isn’t just help jog your failing memory. It can also stop you from buying things you don’t need. When it comes to grocery shopping, you might also want to make a weekly meal plan in order to get the exact ingredients you need, saving you from doubling-up, missing out, and having to return to the supermarket several times a week.

3. Log your spending

This should be the first thing you do if you want to monitor and cut back your spending. Start by logging your daily expenses, and pin point where you need to cut back. For example, I spend too much money eating out. Therefore, I’ve made a conscious decision to limit the number of times I get take-away, take my lunch to work, and if I know I have a big night out coming up, I’ll find other ways to save that week.

4. Cut back on treats for the kids

If you have kids, keep in mind that, despite what advertisers tell you, it doesn’t take the latest toys and gadgets to entertain them. A healthy child should have a healthy imagination, and being resourceful during play time is not only beneficial for your child’s development, but also for your budget. While most of us will know how easy it is to give in to an epic tantrum at the mall, try to take these things in your stride, don’t yield to poor behaviour (reward them when they’re good), and remember that it will all be over soon, and your kids will find other things to do.

5. Turn off the TV

This is not only great for saving on electricity bills, you will also avoid the constant onslaught of television advertising and product placement that piques your desire to shop! Added bonus: You will have more time to spend doing things you enjoy and are practical. Using your time efficiently is invaluable.

June 23, 2015

What To Eat Before And After A Workout

To get the best results from your workout, it’s best to monitor what to eat before and after you hit the gym. Beforehand, you should try and eat at least 30 minutes before your planned workout.

RELATED: Post-Workout Dos And Dont’s

Eating before you workout is important in kick starting your metabolism, especially if you exercise first thing in the morning. Having said that, nobody wants to go jogging on a full stomach – so keep your pre-workout meal light and easily digestible.

Recommended pre-workout meals:

After your workout is when you want to replenish your lost energy. Protein and carbohydrates are key during this time, in order to repair your worked muscles and restore your sugars. You should eat somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour after you finish exercising (don’t forget to stretch!). For the time-poor, try a protein shake or bar.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!

June 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 5 Tips For Career Success

Sadly, women are still underrepresented in top positions in the workplace but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to snag the job of your dreams. Here a few lessons and strategies to guide you on your journey to success:

Be bold

Seize opportunities, take risks and don’t take no for an answer. If you see a job you can do – do it. You might be paid to do a certain job but if there’s something in your workplace that you’re capable of doing, talk to your boss and make it happen. Have confidence and speak up.

Leadership is ageless

Don’t let your age stop you from portraying the qualities of a leader. Be mature, responsible, creative and assertive. Prove to your colleagues that you have talent and potential. However, it is important not to forget that making it to the top often means being a team player and being grateful to your co-workers and those who help you.

Stay connected
…and we’re not talking about wifi. Take every opportunity to meet people. Memorize their names, shake their hands and keep their business cards. Follow up your meeting with a friendly email and build relationships whenever possible. Remember: It’s not what you know, but who you know.

Keep current
Stay on top of trends relevant to your industry. If you’re fresh out of college, you will have an advantage of having the most recent training in your field. As we get older, it’s easy to fall out of touch with relevant technologies and tactics. Read news articles, blogs, basically anything you can get your hands on, to ensure you remain in-the-know and on top.

Take financial responsibility
Don’t rely on your partner or family to support you. You need to take care of yourself and have a financial plan, independent of your spouse. You owe it to yourself to own your life – this includes making a serious, long-term commitment to your career.

June 11, 2015

Why You Should Pay For The First Date

It always surprises me the number of women who still shudder at the idea of paying for a first date. Despite relative progression in gender equality, it would appear that picking up a check, particularly on a first date, remains linked to a man’s character: the more chivalrous you are, the greater your feelings for your partner, the more you are willing to fork out for a date. We don’t still believe this, do we?

A recent survey found that 77 per cent of people in heterosexual relationships, believe the man should pay for the first date. Perhaps surprisingly, this notion is more common among men than women.

RELATED: What you can learn from Emma Watson’s UN speech

As we continue to labor for the dissolution of sexist and gender-biased practices – why does this one remain so firm? Not only does this antiquated habit persist, women and men are encouraged to perpetuate the ritual.

It comes down to a few basic rules: courtesy, fairness and financial responsibility. Despite an increase in the number of female breadwinners, men still believe it is their duty to pay for their date – and frankly, that’s not fair to either party. If you’re earning more than your partner, you shouldn’t expect to avoid the check just because you have a vagina. Men: don’t consider your wallet an extension of your manhood or a display of your dominance.

However, where the politics of check-paying gets tricky, is when one of your couple can’t afford to splurge on the finer things in life. The lesson: don’t go to a fancy restaurant if you can’t afford it. If your man insists, you’re welcome to go – as long as you make it clear that it’s not within your means. This rule applies to both men and women. If your finances are running low, get creative with your dating ritual and do something free or inexpensive. A date shouldn’t be about impressing your partner with flashy gestures – it should be about getting to know each other, deciding whether or not you like the person enough to pursue them.

A similar rule applies to ordering wine. If you’re sharing a bottle, always consult with your partner before ordering. A friend of mine – a student at the time – once went on a date, where her partner ordered a really expensive bottle of wine. To be fair, she offered to split the bill at the end of the night, only to find that the wine he ordered was way out of her price range. It’s not always easy to speak up on a first date, but it should be considered courteous, that if your choose the bottle to share – without consensus of the people you’re dining with – you should be the one to pay for it. If you’re splitting the bill, pay for the wine separately.

Do you have any rules for paying on a date? Who picks up the check on your dates?

April 21, 2015

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

This delicious no-bake strawberry cheesecake recipe is a healthier take on the traditional baked favorite. Make in summer for the ripest fresh strawberries, but you can also use frozen strawberries if necessary. For those with the spare time, it is always better to make your desserts at home, in order to monitor and control the sugar content, and restrict the addition of preservatives and additives that are commonly in store-bought dessert products.

Ingredients

Crust

11 graham crackers

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling

8 ounces of cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 strawberries, sliced, and extra for garnishing

4 oz. whipped cream or cool whip

Method

  1. Put graham crackers in a food processor and blend until they become crumbs. Stir through melter butter.
  2. While you can use a cake tin to make a single cake, we recommend using smaller pie tins or individual cups. Thinly cover the base and sides of the tins with the crumb mixture. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
  3. Put cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and strawberries in a food processor and blend until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Remove the tins from refrigerator and fill evenly with filling.
  5. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. To speed up the process, put in the freezer for roughly half the time.
  6. When serving, garnish with strawberries and serve with vanilla ice-cream for an extra sweet treat.

Feature image via cakemerchant.com

January 24, 2015

2015 Academy Awards Nominees Announced

That time of year is coming around fast – and I’m not talking about Valentines Day. The 87th Academy Awards are set to be held on February 22nd, and the nominees have been announced!

RELATED: Best Dressed At The Golden Globes

There are some noticeably absent names, such as Golden Globe winner Amy Adams, for her role in Big Eyes, and Sitcom star-turned-serious actress Jennifer Aniston, in Cake.

Unsurprisingly, Meryl Streep is continuing her nomination streak for her supporting role in Into The Woods, but she has some stiff competition from Golden Globe winner, Patricia Arquette (Boyhood).

There are a few newcomers on the list, including the adorable (and unfortunately newlywed) Eddie Redmayne, for his depiction of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

We’re also glad to see the deliciously psychopathic, Rosamund Pike, as a Best Actress nominee for her role in Gone Girl, but sadly she might not be a match for veterans Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Reese Witherspoon (Wild) and Julianne Moore (Still Alice).

Here is the full list of nominees:

Best picture

American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Best director

Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

Best actor

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Best actress

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Best supporting actor

Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
JK Simmons – Whiplash

Best supporting actress

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Laura Dern – Wild
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Best original screenplay

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr and Armando Bo – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
E Max Frye and Dan Futterman – Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler

Best adapted screenplay

Jason Hall – American Sniper
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game
Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten – The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle – Whiplash

Best foreign film

Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Timbuktu
Wild Tales

Best documentary

CitizenFour
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

Best animation

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Best original song

Everything Is Awesome (music and lyric by Shawn Patterson, performed by Tegan & Sara feat The Lonely Island) – The Lego Movie
Glory (music and lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn, performed by Common and John Legend) – Selma
Grateful (music and lyric by Diane Warren, performed by Rita Ora) – Beyond the Lights
I’m Not Going to Miss You (music, lyric and performance by Glen Campbell) – Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me
Lost Stars (music and lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois, performed by Adam Levine) – Begin Again

Best cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki – Birdman
Robert Yeoman – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski – Ida
Dick Pope – Mr Turner
Roger Deakins – Unbroken

Best makeup and hair

Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard – Foxcatcher
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White – Guardians of the Galaxy

Who do you think will take home an Oscar?

January 19, 2015

Make Your Own Pesto At Home

Basil Pesto is the tasty green condiment often found in Italian cuisine. You can make it into a delicious pasta sauce, drizzle over pizza, eat with cheese and crostini, or have it with eggs – pesto is versatile, healthy and delicious. Fortunately, it is also easy to make at home!

Related: Broccoli Pesto and Sundried Tomato Pasta

Ingredients

1/2 cup pine nuts

3-4 cloves garlic (I think the more, the merrier!)

3 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Put pine nuts, basil, garlic and parmesan into a food processor and blend on a slow speed. Gradually add the oil, while the ingredients are mixing. Blend well.
  2. Taste and add salt and pepper if preferred, and stir to ensure the taste is consistent.
  3. Transfer mixture into jars and refrigerate.
January 16, 2015

10 Women Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

On 1 January 2014, I promised myself I would become an expert yoga practitioner over the coming year (or several). I promptly enrolled in a yoga class and bought my very own mat, which I immediately put in my car so I would have it with me whenever I felt the need to zen out. Almost a year later, that mat is still on my backseat, rolled up in its original packaging.

RELATED: How To Make New Year Resolutions And Keep Them

Yes, life happened, work happened, I got lazy, blah blah blah… But was it ever going to work? If I was actually resolved to become a yogi, wouldn’t I have made a Right Now Resolution? At the risk of sounding like my mother: why put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today? Perhaps this is why it’s December and I still can’t do a downward facing dog.

But in the spirit of this totally futile tradition, I will make a 2015 resolution just because I can. This time, I asked 10 women to share their New Year’s resolutions in hope of finding some inspiration to kick start my motivation.

“My new year resolution – aside from the usual get fit, eat healthy etc. – is to find balance. I want to spend more time being happy with the simple things. I need to stress less and invest in being calm and spiritual.” – Jessica

 “To eat an oyster.” – EJ

“This year I need to save money, stop swearing and be less judgemental. Oh, and lose weight.” – Emily M

 “Learn how to say more than ‘una manzana’ in Spanish, do more yoga, read a book before the movie is released and try to cut back on my 3pm Nutella time.” – Oleta

 “Remind myself how lucky I am, everyday.” – Elise

“I would like to work more structured hours, have better daily routines and try new things more often.” – Elizabeth

“Eat less Dominoes and try not to get so hangry.” – Rebecca
Note: Hangry=hungry+angry

“In 2015, I want to tick a few off my bucket list: See the Great Barrier Reef,  swim in the Mediterranean, go horse riding in Turkey.” – Jacqueline

“I’m going back to university, so I need to save money!” – Emily D

“Keep my indoor plant alive.” – Amy

What is your resolution for 2015? Tell us in the comment section, below. 

December 27, 2014

3 Easy Hor D’oeuvres For Your NYE Party

If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, throw away the sit-down dinner menu and whip up some easy and delicious appetizers to excite your guests. These recipes are also vegetarian-friendly!

RELATED: Make Your Own Cheese Platter

Onion and goat cheese tartlets

Makes 20

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

4 red onions, thinly sliced

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3 sheets shortcrust pastry

3.5oz fresh goat’s cheese

Butter

Salt and pepper

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Heat olive oil in a pot. Add the onions and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, cooking over medium heat and stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes. The onions on the bottom should become quite dark but not burnt – when it darkens, remove from heat and allow to sit for 3-5 mins for the onions on top to sweat and soften those underneath. Stir well, return to the heat and continue to cook for about 10 mins until the onions are completely soft and dark, golden brown, removing the pot from the heat occasionally to allow further softening. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  3. To make the tart cups, lay pastry sheets on surface and cut into circles (2 inches diameter). Grease a muffin tray or tartlet cooking cups with butter. Fit pastry circles to cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.
  4. Spoon equal amounts of caramelised onion into tartlets. Top with a small slice of goats cheese and garnish with thyme to serve.

Note: To speed things up, purchase pre-made tartlet cups from the supermarket.

Olive and sundried tomato crostini

Olive and sundried canapes

Makes 12
Ingredients
1 long baguette
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
4 oz cream cheese
2 garlic cloves
4 oz kalamata olives, pits removed
7 oz jar sun dried tomatoes
10 basil leaves chopped
Olive oil
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C)
  2. Combine cream cheese and feta in a mixer until smooth.
  3. Slice the bread into 1/4 inch slices, place on a baking tray and splash with olive oil. Toast in oven until golden.
  4. Put garlic cloves, olives and sun-dried tomatoes in bowl of food processor. Pulse until coarsley chopped but not pureed. Slice basil in ribbons and stir into tapenade.
  5. Roughly spread the olive and tomato tapenade onto crostini and serve.

Smoked salmon on rye

Smoked salmon canapes

Makes approx. 24

Ingredients

1 loaf rye bread, lightly toasted

5 oz crème fraiche

5 oz light cream cheese

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh dill, 1tbsp finely chopped

8 oz smoked salmon

Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Using a cookie cutter, cut out circles (1.5 inch diameter) from the lightly toasted rye bread. Alternatively you can cut into halves or quarters.
  2. Using an electric mixer, mix crème fraiche, cream cheese and lemon juice together until smooth. Fold through dill and chives, and add a pinch of salt. Using a teaspoon, dollop a small amount onto the rye toast.
  3. Slice smoked salmon into strips and roll up. Place one on top of each canape. Garnish with sprig of dill.

Images via seriouseats.com, garnishwithlemon.com, goodtoknow.co.uk

December 27, 2014

Best Of Instagram: Travel

If you’re into looking at beautiful places and interesting people, look no further than your Instagram feed. Start your travel bucket list in 2015 with a bit of inspiration from these talented Instagram travel photographers.

RELATED: Best of Instagram: The Fashion Industry

@muradosmann

Murad Osmann has travelled around the globe with his girlfriend (@yourleo) and each shot shows her – always fabulously dressed – seemingly asking the photographer to follow her into the beautiful scenery.

#followmeto the amazing Petra in Jordan with @yourleo. One of my favorite pictures. #shareyourjordan

A photo posted by Murad Osmann (@muradosmann) on

@mustafaseven

While Mustafa has done a bit of globe trotting recently, the bulk of his beautiful images were snapped in his homeland of Turkey.

#istanbul

A photo posted by Mustafa Seven (@mustafaseven) on

@theplanetD

Couple, Dave and Deb, have travelled all seven continents and 90 countries and share their colorful adventures with  nearly 22,000 Instagram followers.

@everythingeverywhere

See everything, everywhere with award winning travel photographer – Gary Arndt. He’s been to more than 100 countries – so when we say everywhere, we means it!

@mariannehope

A Holland-based, Norwegian photographer, Marianne Hope will add a much-needed dash of Northern Europe to your Instagram feed.

"Simply Amsterdam" It's quite impossible not to love this city and its #architecture. @seemycity #seemycity

A photo posted by marianne hope (@mariannehope) on

@Natgeo

In my opinion, the ultimate travel photography Instagram account. Get to know their resident photographers – like the owner of this adorable shot, @amivitale – and learn a bit about the world in the process.

@indiapictures

For a touch of India in your Instagram feed, follow this aggregator of photographs of this wild and wonderful nation. Color and character guaranteed.

 

December 24, 2014

Best Vacations for Animal Lovers

Who doesn’t want to see all of the world’s crazy and colorful wildlife? One of the greatest thrills of travelling is experiencing and witnessing things you would never see in your homeland. Seeing exotic creatures in their natural habitat is what I call living! If you’re planning an escape in 2015, try these vacations for animal lovers.

RELATED:  5 Unique Trekking Holidays

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The islands sit along the coast of ecuador and are peculiar in that they were never attached to any continent. The archipelago is a volcanic formation, creating rather peculiar living conditions for its inhabitants. The animals which currently reside on the islands had to either swim, float or fly there, and then adapt to the strange conditions. Therefore, a number of “homegrown” species exist on the islands, including the Galapagos tortoise and the marine iguana.  Fun fact: It was after studying the wildlife of the Galapagos that Charles Darwin developed his Theory of Evolution.

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Kenya

Of course. An African Safari is every wildlife-lovers dream expedition. There are endless tour options that guarantee you a look at the Big 5: Elephants, Rhino, Lions, Leopards and Buffalo. But let’s not forget zebras, hyenas, giraffes, flamingoes, hippos… ah, the list goes on. The best time to visit is during the migration – when the animals come to Kenya from the Serengeti in Tanzania – which occurs between July and October.

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia

It is no surprise the Great Barrier Reef one of the natural wonders of the world – it is the largest coral reef system (covering an area of 133,000 square miles), and is comprised entirely of living organisms. You will be mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of colors and the variety of weird and wonderful things living in our ocean. The reef is along the coast of Queensland, and once you have returned to dry land you might also consider popping in to the Australia Zoo – Steve Irwin’s legacy and home to some of the nation’s one-of-a-kind animal species, like kangaroos and koalas.

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Madagascar

Roughly 90 per cent of Madagascar’s wildlife is endemic, like its lemurs – of which they have approximately 100 different species! It is also home to 300 species of birds, more than 250 reptile species and the fossa – some kind of cat-mongoose hybrid. On top of its unique animal life, its landscapes and plant life are equally rare and impressive.

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December 20, 2014

Winter Wedding Dress Ideas

Planning a winter wedding? The snowy season can add a certain atmospheric charm to your nuptials. While most people equate a cold and wet wedding with a nightmare, just think of a warm and cosy ceremony and even cosier wedding night by an open fire. Here are a few of the hottest winter wedding dresses this season.

RELATED: Top 5 Celebrity Weddings of 2014

The princess dress

A lot of people imagine a princess dress to be the Disney kind with a big full skirt and a sweetheart neckline. However, the real princess – like the Duchess of Cambridge, or Princess Grace of Monaco – tend to opt for the conservative, and elegant sleeved gown. Take a look at the following by Rosa Clara.

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The sweater dress

Thanks to Olivia Palermo, the sweater dress is all of a sudden a big thing. Two-pieces also dominated the catwalk in the fall 2015 bridal fashion week. So why not walk down this aisle in a skirt and sweater this winter?

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nordstrom.com

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The wedding coats and capes

You can wear whatever you want underneath, but for those outdoor photos you will need something to keep your back, chest and shoulders warm! Try a long and elegant coat, a cute shrug, or a fairytale cape.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA BRIDAL SS12 NEW YORK 04/11/11

boho weddings

brides.com

pinterest

snowgraffiti

Images via brides.com, boho weddings, blossomb.wordpress.com, wintergraffiti.com, pinterest, hello.com, nordstrom, buzzfeed, rosa clara

December 16, 2014

Best Looks From The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Sigh… That time of year has come and gone. The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was aired last night and what an event it was! Conclusions: Karlie Kloss has legs for days, Taylor Swift has a back-up career on the catwalk, and the world is officially out of shiny, gold wings and black lace.

RELATED: All you need to know: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2014

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Victoria's Secret 2014

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 Images via Hollywood Life and CBS. 

December 12, 2014

Christmas Gifts That Give Back

Nothing is more true to the spirit of Christmas than giving an item that gives back to those in need. While you can opt to donate to charity in someone’s name, if you would prefer to give the special people in your life something tangible, use our guide to find socially conscious gifts from brands that give back the world.

RELATED: 20 tips for a sustainable Christmas

Raven + Lily

Founders Kirsten and Sophia work to help women in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Cambodia, and Kenya to help generate employment, relieve poverty and help combat issues like HIV, trafficking, poor education and genital mutilation in these regions. They also give back to their own community, by employing refugee women in their hometown of Austin, Texas.

raven+lily

Seven Hopes United

Seven Hopes United sells stylish, handmade, fair trade and eco-friendly gifts from around the world. Each product – from homewares to handbags – is sourced by the company to ensure that the artisan responsible is paid a fair wage, and their working conditions are safe and ethical.

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FashionABLE

FashionABLE sells chic scarves, jewelry and blankets to help support sustainable business ventures in Africa. The business began when the founders traveled to Ethiopia and saw first-hand the extreme poverty forcing many young, local girls into an unsafe living in the sex trade. They realized the best way to assist the women was to help them gain other sustainable employment options – so they now employ them to craft their FashionABLE wares.

livefashionable.com

Krochet Kids

What started as three teenage boys crocheting their own knitwear, has grown into an international not-for-profit, helping communities in Uganda and Peru. The venture started rolling when the young men visited Uganda and found displaced locals unsatisfied living in government-run refugee camps. In order to give them their own income and a sustainable career, the Krochet Kids taught a handful of locals to crochet and help them market their products to international consumers.

krochetkids.org

December 11, 2014

Easy Gingerbread cookies recipe

Gingerbread is a relatively healthy member of the cookie family, and a great festive treat for all you encounter in the holiday season. So gather your cookie cutters, Christmas spirit and sanity – it’s time to get baking!

RELATED: Original DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 tbsp molasses

1 large egg

Cooking spray

Icing

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 tablespoon water

Method
  1. Add flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg to a bowl, and stir to combine.
  2. Add brown sugar, butter, and molasses to another bowl and beat with a mixer until well combined. Add egg and continue to beat until smooth. Add to the flour mixture and beat at low speed until well blended until a dough texture. Halve the dough mixture and cover each with plastic wrap. Place in fridge and  chill for 1.5 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and roll each portion of dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters – we love the gingerbread men and women (this should make roughly 48, 3-inch cookies).  Place cookies 1 inch apart on a baking tray, covered with a baking sheet, coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Leave cookies to cool completely on a baking rack.
  5. To prepare the icing, combine sifted powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Transfer mixture to piping bag and pipe the icing onto your cookies.
December 10, 2014

Best Moments For Women in 2014

As we approach the end of the year it’s important to reflect on the progress of the sisterhood. Despite 1 in 3 women suffer physical or sexual violence and a continued struggle against the glass ceiling – I do believe we are making progress. In celebration of a landmark year for feminism, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite moments for famous women in 2014.

RELATED: 5 Young Female Role Models

Music

Women absolutely DOMINATED the charts this year! Taylor Swift‘s 1989 became the highest selling album of the year, making her the only artist in history to sell more than a million albums in the first week – for three albums in a row! T-Swift’s BFF Lorde also proved her talents, receiving multiple Grammy awards (including song of the year) and becoming the youngest solo artist since 1987 to have a US #1 hit. Similarly, Iggy Azalea became the first artist since the Beatles to have consecutive US #1 and #2 spots on the top 100 charts. Oh and let’s not forget Beyonce‘s VMAs message that could be heard around the world…

Beyonce VMAs 2014

Film/TV

Thanks to Scandal, Orange is the New Black, Girls and How to Get Away with Murder, the world celebrated powerful, complex female characters on the small screen on a scale that has never been achieved before. We also celebrated a diversity in our actresses, with Lupita Nyong’o becoming the first Kenyan and Mexican to win an Oscar, and Laverne Cox becoming the first transgender woman to cover TIME magazine. In other news, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler brought some serious girl power to the Academy Awards hosting spot and Emma Watson made a few small steps for mankind toward gender equality.

Laverne Cox TIME

Business

Apple and Facebook introduced a groundbreaking policy that meant it would pay for its female employees to freeze their eggs – a move that allows women to focus on their career and remain in the workforce without the ever-present threat of the “ticking biological clock”. The International Monetary Fund appointed its first female CEO, Christine Lagarde, as did General Motors – making Mary Barra the first woman in charge of a global automaker.

Christine Lagarde

Nobel Peace Prizes

The world has not been able to stop talking about Malala Yousafzai – the young Pakistani girl who was shot in the head for speaking out against the Taliban in favor of educating young girls in her home country. Malala has continued to work on international efforts to improve the education of young women – an effort which earned her a Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize. Another woman was also given a Nobel Prize… in Mathematics! Maryam Mirzkhani became the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal for her work in geometry and dynamical systems.

Malala Yousafzai

Sport

In 2014, Becky Hammon became the NBA’s first full-time, paid female member of a coaching team with the San Antonio Spurrs. However, the biggest name in sport was that of 14 year-old Mo’ne Davis. Young Mo’ne was one of two girls to compete in this year’s Little League World Series and the first female to ever pitch a shutout game. Who said throwing like a girl was an insult?

Mo'ne Davis

 Images via MTV, boingboing.net, Daily Mail, Mashable

December 10, 2014

Top 10 Christmas Movies for Adults

Just because you’re no longer a child, doesn’t mean you can’t sit down and get all gooey over your favorite Christmas movie! Here are our favorite films to be enjoyed by adults.

RELATED: How to Survive a Family Christmas

10. Family Stone

Sarah Jessica Parker goes home to meet her boyfriend’s family on Christmas – and it is awkward. Diane Keaton is the characteristically awesome mom, Rachel McAdams is the dark and dry-humored sister, and Dermot Mulroney is the eye candy.

9. Bridget Jones’ Diary

Perhaps you had forgotten this film takes place between two Christmases: the one where Renee Zellweger is insulted by Colin Firth and his reindeer sweater, and the one where Renee Zellweger runs through the streets of London in her underwear to kiss Colin Firth.

8. Bad Santa

Billy Bob Thornton plays a sad, alcoholic con man who dresses as Santa once a year to rip off department stores – because, of course. Laughs ensue when he meets an adoring kid who thinks he’s the real Mr Claus.

7. Joyeux Noel

For a change of pace, try a french-language dramatization of the Christmas eve truce that happened along the Western Front during WW1.

6. Elf

Another comedy for the adults! This one follows Will Ferrell – a man adopted by Santa and raised as an elf returns to New York City as an adult to find his birth father. This happens, right?

5. Scrooged

Bill Murray.

4. The Holiday

Cameron Diaz – an uptight film trailer editor (what?) – and Kate Winslet – victim of unrequited love – swap houses for the holidays. The houses they swap are a Beverly Hills mansion and a fairytale stone cottage in the English countryside, so you can imagine things work out rather nicely.

3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Poor Clark Griswold – an all American dad just trying to provide for his family and ogle Christie Brinkley on trips to Wally World. This time, he’s just doing what we’ve all been doing for years – trying to get through the family Christmas.

2. Home Alone 1 and 2

Perhaps this is technically a kid’s movie. But I do think the fact that two bandits are trying to kill an abandoned child calls for some adult supervision… and let’s be honest, you’re still jealous of Macaulay Culkin’s booby trapping genius.

1. Love Actually

What did we all watch prior to the release of the greatest Christmas movie of all time?! Talk about a feel-good flick. You won’t be able to control your tear ducts for all the joy (and a few not-so joyous moments). You will fall in love with Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and that guy who is now in the Walking Dead… But definitely not with Alan Rickman. You know why.

Top 10 christmas movies for adults

Images via The Atlantic, Telegraph UK.

December 9, 2014

Original DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

Do you remember the episode of Friends where Monica and Chandler give each other homemade gifts for their anniversary? While it sounds romantic and thoughtful, unless you have a knack for craft or carpentry, you will most likely end up producing a sock puppet or a mixed tape. SHESAID has some DIY Christmas gift ideas that are cute, fun and simple enough for the artistically challenged.

RELATED: Christmas Gift Ideas for Travellers

Body scrub

Body scrub is easy to make in bulk, and would be a miracle for those buying for a large number of women this Christmas. Try this coffee and coconut body scrub recipe and package in a cute mason jar. Get crafty with cute labels or stickers to decorate the jars.

Coffee Body Scrub

World map/dream planner

For the friend who loves to travel, buy them a large map of the world and some small pins or stickers in two colors, and tell them to mark where they’ve been and where they wish to go. It’s not exactly handmade (unless you want to draw the map yourself!) but we bet your pal will enjoy reliving their worldly adventures and looking forward to their future travel plans. Added bonus: the map doubles as a cool conversation starter and wall hanging.

World Map

Pudding

If you’re more cook than craftswoman, put your skills to use and offer everyone a piece of your homemade pie – or in this case, pudding! Gift wrap individual portions for cute and tasty Christmas party favors, or give a whole one to that special someone. Invest in some calico or muslin cloth to package your treats and fasten with a cute ribbon.

Christmas Pudding

December 8, 2014

Best Christmas Markets in Europe

When it comes to Christmas markets, Europe has the rest of the world beat. If you’re in the region this Christmas, drop by these places for the ultimate holiday experience.

RELATED: Bucket List Destination: Germany

Strasbourg, France

The first even Christmas market is said to have originated in Strasbourg. The market sits among picturesque wooden houses, canals and the local Notre Dame church. Ice skate, listen to carol-singers or just stroll through the markets with a mulled wine (in a boot cup, of course).

shutterstock_120848623

Vienna, Austria

The Christmas experience in Vienna is unmatched. Over 20 markets operate in town squares all over the city. The favorite is the markets at the base of the beautifully-decorated Rathuas (pictured) where around 3 million people flock each year to by their little glass ornaments or wooden toys. Because you are in the classical music capital of the world,  see one of the many special concerts held in the Rathaus over each weekend of the holiday season.

Best Christmas Markets in Europe

Dresden, Germany

It is estimated that Germany has around 5,000 Christmas markets – so anywhere you go, you will find something to please you. But the markets in Dresden date back to 1434 and are the oldest in the country – perhaps on the continent. Dresden sits on the picturesque river Elbe, and despite being destroyed during World War II, has been restored to its glorious historic aesthetic.

Dresden

Prague, Czech Republic

Shop Bohemian crystal, hand-made marionettes and decorations in one of Prague’s adorable Christmas markets. The best is probably in the old town square, surrounded by gothic architecture, and of course, the famous clock tower. Prague is magical any time of year, but the Christmas spirit brings new life to this usually dark and mysterious marvel.

Prague

Brussels, Belgium

Brussel’s relatively young market spans a two kilometre course through the city’s historic centre. There will be rides for the kids, 18,000 lights, an ice-skating rink, and over 240 stalls for you to browse. Don’t miss out on the local cuisine – mussels, fries, chocolate and waffles!

Brussels

Image of Brussels via europeanbestdestinations.com 

December 3, 2014

All You Need To Know: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2014

We have less than a week to go before the biggest runway event of the year – the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. This landmark event has been running since 1995 and has transcended a mere catwalk show. With performances from the biggest pop acts in the world, and the industry’s biggest supermodel names, there is no doubt why the Victoria’s Secret special is the only fashion show to be broadcast internationally on mainstream tv networks. The show will be aired on Tuesday, December 9 on CBS, and here is everything you need to know in the lead up to the big night.

RELATED: Which Supermodel Earned The Most Last Year?

1. The Angels

To be granted your Victoria’s Secret “wings” is the modelling equivalent of winning an Oscar. These ladies are at the top of the beauty game, only to be exceeded by retired Angels, such as Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen, Miranda Kerr. The line-up this year includes: Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, Doutzen Kroes, Karlie Kloss, Lily Aldridge and Lindsay Ellingson.

Victoria's secret models

2. Their Instagram Accounts

Follow your favorite model on Instagram for the biggest scoop. Start with the Victoria’s Secret account (@victoriassecret), and try resident photographer Jerome Duran (@jeromeduran) for bonus snaps. To get in on the action, use the official hashtag #VSFashionShow.

Adriana Lima – @adrianalima

Alessandra Ambrosio – @alessandraambrosio

Behati Prinsloo – @behatiprinsloo

Candice Swanepoel – @angelcandices

Doutzen Kroes – @doutzen

Karlie Kloss – @karliekloss

Lily Aldridge – @lilyaldridge

Lindsay Ellingson – @lindsellingson

Victoria's Secret Models

3. The Fantasy Bra

Among the big news this year is that there will be TWO Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bras. For the first time, Brazilian duo Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosia will be filling out the bras, which are valued at $2 million each! The most expensive lingerie sets in the world are encrusted with thousands of amethysts, topaz, diamonds, sapphires, garnets and 18k gold… essentially enough bling to enrich a small country.

Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bra

4. The other models

According to the casting agents, the recipe for VS models is personality, proportions (well, duh), glowing skin and a killer smile. There are rumored to be 44 models hitting the catwalk in this year’s show. Keep an eye on the fresh faces of 2014 because this year’s newcomers might be the next Gisele. Victoria’s Secret posts a casting video each year, take a look at this year’s competition.

VS models

5. The Music

This year Taylor Swift (who also performed at last year’s show), Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Hozier will be taking the stage (runway?) to provide the strut-worthy soundtrack.

2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Taylor Swift

6. Cara Delevingne And Kendall Jenner Will NOT Be Walking

I repeat, Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner will not be walking. For those who passionately follow VS news, this might be a big deal since these have been two of VS’ most famous faces in the past. This year, Delevingne and Jenner passed up the gig in favor of their old pal Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. It’s tough being a model, right?

Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner

Images via Instagram, News.com.au, Fashion Gone Rogue, Daily Mirror UK, Huffington Post, Sydney Morning Herald

December 2, 2014

Best Black Friday & Cyber Monday Fashion Deals

With so much competition in the retail space, e-tailers and “real life” stores have been announcing their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales as early as, well, yesterday! Here we have a few great bargains to look out for.

RELATED: Sustainable ways to clean out your closet

ASOS
Get 30% off everything on this global retail giant. With up to 70% off sale stock, you know you’ll be looking at some seriously low prices.

Cult of Individuality
If you’re in the market for some new denim this winter, get 30% off jeans until 2 December. Enter coupon: cultblack14

Express
Re-invigorate your wardrobe with 50% off in-store and online.

H&M
Because we know you want to avoid the store this Black Friday, there is also up to 70% off and free shipping on orders over $50, ending on 29 November.

Helmut Lang
Looking for some luxury leather? Head to Helmut Lang for 40% off.

Intermix
Have you been eyeing a $1,000 coat? Now is your chance! Get 30% off sale items online.

J Crew
Up to 40% off on selected goods online, using the code: HOLIDAY. 50% off everything in J. Crew Factory, instore and online. Free shipping on orders over $50 with code: THANKS.

Kate Spade
Did someone say 75% off a designer brand? Kate Spade did. Visit the online store for additional free shipping on orders over $200.

Missguided
Find your perfect NYE party dress with 30% off selected clothing on Black Friday and Cyber Monday only.

ShopBop
Because a good sweater is rarely cheap, ShopBop has you sorted with 15% off orders over $250, 20% off orders over $500, and 25% off orders over $1,000. Use code: GOBIG14. Ends Monday.

November 27, 2014

Top 5 Celebrity Weddings of 2014

As we near the end of 2014, it is important to reflect on what we have learned, what has brought us joy… and which celebrity had the most outrageous nuptials! The celebrity wedding is an alien event that reminds us of our limited financial means, and that beautiful people marry other beautiful people – usually atop a European vineyard or Caribbean beach resort. I now pronounce this year’s top 5 celebrity weddings.

RELATED: Top 5 Celebrity Wedding Hairstyles

Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting

Sure, this wasn’t the most anticipated union, but the hype arrived after the nuptials at the first glimpse of Cuoco’s pretty pink wedding dress! Non-traditional wedding gowns are hot right now, but this particular number fuelled the candy-colored dreams of girly-girls everywhere.

Kaley and Ryan

Olivia Palermo and Josef Huebl

The wedding of this sartorial queen was long-awaited by aspiring fashionistas, and Palermo delivered with an unexpected, but naturally gorgeous sweater and skirt combo! Equally surprising was her choice of hairstyle – a ponytail! This wedding gave new meaning to understated elegance. Oh, and for those who weren’t aware of Josef Huebl, you certainly are now.

Olivia and Josef

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

She is the face and booty of a reality TV empire. He the king of his own universe and once told a reporter his greatest pain in life was not being able to see himself perform live. They are both attractive, cashed-up… and suffering from an inflated sense of importance. So of course we couldn’t look away when they tied the knot in May. Well that, and their adorable (albeit oddly-named) child. This one is for you, North West!

eonline2

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

Did you ever dream of running away and joining the Brady Bunch? I imagine this is how millenials feel about the Jolie-Pitt clan. This year, the most attractive and adored couple in tinsel town finally secured their family circle with a secret wedding in Southern France. Not only did Brad and Ange’s brood hand-decorate mum’s dress, they also had a hand at making the cake, writing the vows, and crafting the ring cushions. Naw!

Brad and Angelina

Amal Alamuddin and George Clooney

Remember the white pants? The large hat? The Oscar De La Renta gown? How could you forget the day Hollywood’s most notorious bachelor finally tied the knot with the world’s most beautiful and accomplished human rights goddess? We all stopped work to witness the four-day Venetian extravaganza, watching in awe of Amal’s exceedingly wonderful wardrobe, and waiting to see if George would flee at the altar. He didn’t.

George and Amal

Images via E Online, Daily Mail UK, beautyandweddingtips.com, thefashionisto.com, People

November 27, 2014

Meal Ideas for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Preparing a Thanksgiving feast can be hard enough, but what to do if your guests are vegetarian? The traditional holiday dinner is generally formed around a baked turkey, or other meat dish. Here is a three-course meal plan that is sure to win you points with the vegetarian crowd this Thanksgiving.

RELATED: Easy Vegetarian Weekly Meal Plan

Entree

Option 1: Pumpkin soup
This old favorite will warm you to your toes on a frosty thanksgiving day. It is hearty, delicious and, most importantly, easy to make!

easypumpkinsoup-300x250

Option 2:  Oven-roasted roots frittata
This highly nutritious dish is guaranteed to please health-freaks, and have the meat-eaters reaching for a fork. Match with a side salad to complete the dish.

ft-300x250

Option 3: Homemade pizzas two ways
This is a perfect sharing option to kickstart everyone’s meal. This recipe includes a butternut squash and feta recipe, as well as a caremalized onion and pesto pizza. Drool…

pizza

Main

Option 1: Pumpkin Curry
Who said serving a curry can’t be as satisfying? Vegetable curries are rich in flavor, nutritious and the perfect wholesome thanksgiving main.

Pumpkin curry

Option 2: Mushroom risotto or pasta
Like curry, risotto or pasta dishes are great to make in bulk and will satisfy a large group of people. While my pick is a mushroom recipe, you could also try an arrabiatta, nepolitana or garlic and parsley sauce – ingredients are simple and cater to a broad range of tastes.

Mushroom risotto

Option 3: Whole baked snapper
If carving the bird is a climactic part of your meal, why not try carving the fish? A whole baked fish will not only look impressive, it will take half the time and effort than that required to successfully cook a turkey.

7CFX3FZ2-300x250

Dessert

Optrion 1: Apple or pecan pie

Considering dessert is the easiest to adapt to a vegetarian diet, you can stick to the tradtional pumpkin, apple or pecan pie this Thanksgiving.

Apple Pie

Option 2: Sour cherry pierogi

Swap the traditional desserts for an eastern european favorite – Pierogi! Pierogi or polish dumplings will impress the quirky crowd with your worldly cooking skills.

cr1-300x250

Option 3: Mulled wine

Perhaps you’ve been drinking it throughout the meal, but if not welcome your guests to the living room to enjoy a warm cup of mulled wine. It’s the perfect way to wind down after a big meal. To be enjoyed by adults only.

Mulled wine

November 26, 2014

Stamping Out Violence Against Women

The World Health Organization (WHO) has found one in three women will suffer physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Of the countries surveyed, Japan reported the lowest rates of female victims of violence, (15 per cent) and Ethiopia the highest (71 per cent).

While in recent years, resources to help women in the aftermath of sexual or physical violence have improved, preventative measures remain poor. Violence occurs most frequently when both victim and perpetrator have low education levels.

WHO is calling for more anti gender discrimination measures and education programs to be established worldwide.

Professor Charlotte Watts and Dr Claudia Garcia-Moreno, leaders of the research, say that working to change the perceptions and attitudes of both perpetrators and victims of violence – correcting notions that women are inferior to men – will help reduce rates of physical and sexual against women.

“Evidence tells us that changes in attitudes and behaviours are possible, and can be achieved within less than a generation,” Professor Watts said.

Furthermore, medical and health professionals, as the first point of contact for most victims of violence, should be encouraged to provide greater programs to educate and assist perpetrators and victims.

“Health-care providers can send a powerful message – that violence is not only a social problem, but a dangerous, unhealthy, and harmful practice – and they can champion prevention efforts in the community,” Dr Garcie-Moreno said.

“The health community is missing important opportunities to integrate violence programming meaningfully into public health initiatives on HIV/AIDS, adolescent health, maternal health, and mental health.”

The researchers are lobbying governments to eliminate laws that encourage gender-based discrimination and violence, increase support, awareness and resources, and inject more time and funding into programs that eliminate gender-based violence, and address the issue as a global health problem, that can have lifelong medical repercussions for its victims.

Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. November 25 – December 10 mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. Click here for further information. Click here for the WHO Violence Against Women fact sheet.

November 26, 2014
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