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Friday, April 18th 2014

Break Time: Work it Out

I’m heading to Chicago for my first CrossFit competition today, so I’ve got fitness on my mind. (Though, as a workout enthusiast—my co-workers might say, workout fanatic—I pretty much always have fitness on my mind.) Before I start swinging kettlebells in my floral Lucas Hugh ensemble, here are a few inspiring articles to kick-start an active weekend. 3…2…1… read!

The only thing better than working out is talking about how hard you worked out. There are several wearable tracking devices that you can use to help quantify your effort (and add a digital, sporty look to a stack of bangles). But how accurate is the data?
[FiveThirtyEight]

One of the greatest things exercising gives you is a sense of confidence. Knowing what your body can do, and knowing you’ll look great in your favorite pair of skinny jeans, is a real boost. And sadly, women are less likely to feel self-assured than men. The Atlantic looks into this disparity and what can be done about it.
[The Atlantic]

OK, that was a little heavy. This is not. You know those inspirational fitness posters? The ones with the buff, tanned athlete telling you to “push it harder”? Well, The Chive switched out the healthy images for some, er…less healthy, alcohol-themes shots. The result is hilarious.
[The Chive]

--Libby S.

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Friday, April 11th 2014

Break Time: All About The Clothes

I’m in major spring cleaning mode, and the target for this weekend is my closet. The process of organizing my wardrobe got me thinking about clothes, which led to me searching about clothes, a lot. The three articles below are the result of the internet rabbit hole I fell into while I was absolutely not supposed to be working on something else.

Fashion history can be fascinating or just plain weird—we’re talking live reptile brooches here, people. BuzzFeed collected 71 of the wildest clothing facts out there. I found number 66 to be particularly interesting.
[BuzzFeed]

Style trends also have a crazy history of their own. The Smithsonian covers the current “Trend-ology” exhibit at the Museum at FIT. I never knew the tumultuous origins of yellow.
[Smithsonian.com]

I’ve heard of sales inducing riots, but never the actual pieces of clothing themselves. Mental Floss proves how wrong I was.
[Mental Floss]

--Libby S.

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Friday, March 28th 2014

Break Time: Just For the Fun of It

It’s Friday! Fridays are the best days—everyone is in a good mood, there’s potential to cut out of work early, and you can have an afternoon energy drink (or three) without worrying about staying up too late. In that fun-filled spirit, here are a few gut-busting and hilariously informative articles. Happy Friday!

The end of the week often brings on cocktails with friends or an office happy hour. At first, it’s run-of-the-mill chitchat, but after a couple glasses of wine, your normally dull coworker is killing it with the witty comments. Is it you? Him? The wine? The Atlantic looks into the well-known myth that alcohol makes people funnier.
[The Atlantic]

Who knew that traffic signs were such a ripe medium for creativity? With just a few small changes, everyday safety features turn into LOL-worthy graphics.
[Tickld]

Thought bubbles in and of themselves are comical. Thought bubbles with swear words? Even better. Thought bubbles, swear words, and men’s fashion? There are no words.
[Real Men Swear]

--Libby S.

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Friday, March 21st 2014

Break Time: A Celebration of Color

Spring is here, and soon the grey and brown of winter will melt away, revealing an explosion of natural color. The flowers, the trees, the birds—all a welcome change from the dirt-stained snow piles and naked branches. To give the earth a little motivation to change her hues, here are my top color-related stories from the interwebs. Happy spring!

Having pink hair was a childhood dream of mine, but when a color-themed race left my blond locks a not-so-subtle shade of strawberry for months, the dream died. These leading ladies however, pull off Technicolor tresses with enviable perfection.
[BuzzFeed]

Playing music is a common way to increase productivity, but this new site takes it one step further. As Lifehacker explains, Noisli combines custom background noise with color for ultimate relaxation and focus.
[Lifehacker]

The ultimate appreciation of spring has to be Holi, the Hindu festival of colors. It’s as beautiful as you’d imagine, and Mashable collected some of the best and brightest images from the vibrant celebration.
[Mashable]

--Libby S.

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Friday, March 14th 2014

Break Time: Spring Break Edition

One of the greatest losses of adulthood is the lack of spring break. And as much as I’d like to take an Arrested Development-style approach to the “holiday,” work and responsibility beckons. I guess these articles and a frosty beverage or two will have to do. Happy adult spring break!

Growing up in the heyday of MTV’s Spring Break, led my middle school crew to dream about growing up and attending what we thought at the time were enviably cool parties in Daytona Beach or Panama City. Thankfully, by the time we were old enough, the wet T-shirt contests were long off the airwaves and we chose more chill vacations. But for all of us who missed out, The Cut tracked the booze-filled history of spring break.
[The Cut]

The standard dress for many a tropical getaway is the Hawaiian shirt. From floral-covered button-downs to the more kitschier pink flamingo prints, these bold tops have become ubiquitous in tourism and travel. Collectors Weekly explores how the iconic style rose in popularity.
[Collectors Weekly]

If you are so lucky to be heading south for spring break, or any vacation for that matter, have a great time. I’m not jealous at all. One tip for you: be on the lookout for any of these terrifying sea creatures, and try not to get eaten. Seriously though, not jealous.
[Sploid]

--Libby S.

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Friday, March 7th 2014

Break Time: Heels, Beer & T-Pain

It’s been a crazy week here at Shopbop HQ, and the only thing more scattered than my brain is my assortment of links. There’s no way to connect high heels, cheap beer, and a rapper’s life story—trust me, I tried—so embrace the randomness and enjoy!

Sneakers might have been a huge fashion-week trend from New York to Paris this year, but I’ll always have a weakness for a killer stiletto. Marie Claire explores the history of the heel from royalty to red soles.
[Marie Claire]

Being from Wisconsin, Pabst Blue Ribbon has always been a popular beverage choice around here, and in the past few years, the rest of the country has begun to catch on. Bottoms up!
[QZ]

I tend to think of rappers as larger-than-life personalities, impervious to the criticisms of fans and their peers. But, as this poignant interview with T-Pain shows, that impression is far from the truth.
[The New Yorker]

--Libby S.

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Friday, February 28th 2014

Break Time: For the Kids

A Facebook feed full of baby pictures is a hazard of my current age bracket. Birth announcements and parenting advice have slowly replaced fuzzy party pics and drama-ridden status updates. I’ve decided to bring some of the excitement back. Below are three very cool, but still kid- centered, articles. Feel free to share.

I’m not a huge fan of kids’ movies, but this complex theory about Pixar films might change my mind. This “whistle-blowing” author links every single Pixar movie in an incredibly well-supported timeline. It’s insane and yet oddly believable.
[JonNegroni.com]

A crying child is nothing to laugh at—except when it is. This compilation of tantrum-inducers is hilarious, especially because there isn’t audio.
[The Meta Picture]

My mom and dad bribed me with candy to sit still for family photos—still works, by the way—but these parents from the 1800s had to do a lot more. Exposure times were so long, they had to hide in the background to keep their kids from squirming, making for some very strange portraits.
[22 Words]

--Libby S.

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Friday, February 21st 2014

Break Time: The Past, The Present & The Future

Anyone who deals with cold weather—which is most everyone this year, thanks to the polar vortex—knows that February is both the shortest and the longest month. While I’m shocked that it’s almost March already, I’m also 100% positive that it’s been winter for nearly a year. Time is strange like that—it’s a concept that can turn your brain to mush with too much consideration. But don’t worry, I’ve made thinking about time easy with three articles looking at the past, the present, and the future. Enjoy!

I’m a sucker for anything that reminds me of my childhood, or even of “the good old days” before I was born (hello two-martini lunch!), and marketers know this. From the internet to TV ads, the public is being bombarded more than ever with blasts from the past asking them to buy something. The Atlantic looked into the reason behind the increase in using nostalgia for commercial gains.
[The Atlantic]

The only time it will ever be “now” is now. Well, I mean “now.” This is where the mind-melting usually starts, but BuzzFeed took the complicated idea of time and broke it down in an easily digestible fact list.
[BuzzFeed]

The future always holds grandiose promises of incredible technology (still waiting on my jet pack) and problem resolutions (replicator-made food) but major advances take time and are more likely to happen on a smaller scale. For example, the field of biometrics is booming, but some of the latest gains are coming from an unusual source: tattoos.
[Gizmodo]

--Libby S.

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Friday, February 14th 2014

Break Time: Love is in the Air

It’s Valentine’s Day. I’m not a big advocate for this heart-themed holiday. Don’t get me wrong—I welcome any excuse to chill with my husband over a bottle of wine and House of Cards season two—but cookies, PDA, sappy cards, and roses aren’t really my thing. What is my thing? Scouring the interwebs for cool articles, naturally. In the spirit of love, here are a few interesting pieces perfect for V-Day.

There are plenty of anti-Valentine’s Day options out there—playlists, movies, parties—but this takes the cake. In the mid-1800s, vinegar valentines were a huge hit. Basically, they were mean and catty cards meant to be sent the people in your life. So much for “Be Mine.”
[Collectors Weekly]

Finding a spouse was not on my radar in college, but at Northwestern University, it’s a point of study. While it sounds like a cake class, Marriage 101 students study everything from the history of marriage to deep self-reflection about conflict styles, giving this class the same reputation as a hard-earned grade.
[The Atlantic]

Many people will venture out for dinner and a movie tonight, and while they’ll do everything they can to make it a special and unique experience, chances are the movie will be startlingly similar to something from the past. Grantland takes a look at Hollywood’s love of remakes.
[Grantland]

--Libby S.

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Friday, February 7th 2014

Break Time: Chill Out

This is a big week for the fashion crowd, with New York Fashion Week kicking off a month-long parade of shows, presentations, parties, and travel. Things can get pretty chaotic, so I thought I’d extend a helping hand with a few articles about the three things that come to mind when you say “relaxation”: meditation, yoga, and, of course, wine.

As with everyone, the idea that meditation is great for the mind, body, and soul has been drilled into my brain. But sitting quietly in silence is really not my thing—it only causes me to panic about not relaxing. This article explains that I might be anxious over nothing. Perhaps mindfulness is more important than meditation.
[The New York Times]

Despite my lack of interest in meditation, I do enjoy yoga. It’s warm, the music is nice, and the pace is a welcome break from more intense forms of exercise. It’s too easy to forget, however, that the calming, age-old practice is supported by a booming corporate industry. Apparently, not all yogis are ok with that.
[Vanity Fair]

It’s not a secret that I love wine. But I had no idea of the fraud and scandal involved in buying and selling rare bottles. Here’s a closer look into the biggest scandal in the oenophile world. It’s best read with a glass of your favorite vintage.
[New York Magazine]

--Libby S.

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