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Please note that this Post was previously published and has been updated to include current summer wedding fashion and affiliate links. These links do pay a small commission that does not affect the price you pay but does help me offset some of my website expenses.

Everyone loves a summer wedding, right? There’s nothing more romantic than a breathtakingly gorgeous garden or beachfront wedding; waves crashing in the backdrop while a couple pledges their undying love. It’s the cliched wedding fantasy little girls (& some boys) dream about their whole lives; The happy ending of a sappy Hallmark movie.

Upon receiving an invite, many guests also buy into that perfect outdoor wedding fantasy. They’re excited to attend and don’t even think about what the weather might be like that day, or how they’ll balance walking should the venue ground be uneven. When you have any kind of a disability, social events (especially outdoor ones) can be stressful. For tips & hacks about navigating a summer wedding with an invisible disability, check out my Post, 10 Do’s & Don’ts For Wedding Guests With Disabilities.

Of course, for the typical summer wedding guest, shopping for the perfect outfit to wear is part of the fun and helps to build excitement and anticipation around the event. But for guests who require leg braces, shopping for something stylish to wear that both fits and is comfortable to wear in the summer heat, can provoke anxiety, fear, and dread of attending the event all together.

But before sending back a “with regrets” on the RSVP card or making up a last-minute excuse for not attending, I’ve got you covered. The following three looks are AFO & orthotic friendly and perfect to wear to any type of indoor or outdoor summer affair. If you have questions about how to wear sandals and other shoes over AFOs, you might want to begin with the Post, 7 Hacks For Afos & Orthotics.

FOR A SEMI-FORMAL WEDDING

CLICK THE LINKS TO SHOP THE LOOK

  1. Jumpsuit
  2. Necklace
  3. Earrings
  4. Handbag
  5. Shoes

When a summer wedding invitation calls for semi-formal dress or “cocktail attire” it can be difficult for anyone to know what to wear, but it’s especially challenging for leg brace wearers. A semi formal dress code is the in between of party dressing, the gray area of party attire. Basically, you don’t want to dress like someone whose attending their high school prom (especially if yours was in 1988), nor do you want to dress like you’re going out for dinner at Olive Garden.

An easy on and elegant black jumpsuit is the perfect choice! See my Post, DIY Adaptive Fashion to learn ways to make a back zipper more accessible for people with fine motor challenges. You can make a black jumpsuit dressier by sophisticated gold accessories with accessible features like magnetic clasps and stretchy elastic.

FOR A BEACH WEDDING

CLICK THE LINKS TO SHOP THE LOOK

  1. Dress
  2. Handbag
  3. Earrings
  4. Bracelet
  5. Sandals

In Hallmark movies, beach weddings are the epitome of romance, right? There’s that perfect sunset in the distance as the couple recites their vows. Of course, there’s never any humidity making the guests sweat or wind blowing sand in their eyes.

In order to stay cool and comfortable, opt for breathable fabrics and you might even want to hide a stash of cool down supplies inside your bra or under your leg braces. In terms of what to wear, a floral maxi dress like the one pictured below is an easy, breezy choice. I love an easy to put on pair of velcro sandals and of course, some great accessories.

FOR A BLACK-TIE WEDDING

CLICK THE LINKS TO SHOP THE LOOK

  1. Crossbody
  2. Sandals
  3. Earrings
  4. Bracelet

A formal black-tie event is the most leg brace friendly dress code of all since it traditionally calls for women to wear long (barely touching the floor) gowns. Although I’ve only been to a few black tie weddings, it’s exhilarating to not have to factor in my leg braces when picking out a dress. I can choose to wear a princess like gown like the one below and feel like Cinderella. Who knows, it’s possible that Cinderella actually wore leg braces and that’s why she only had 1 pair of shoes that fit. We will never know….

Another nice part of a floor length gown or maxi dress is that your shoes typically don’t show, and you can even wear adorned sneakers underneath like I did for my first wedding a million years ago. I like to be comfortable though so a flat no skid sandal in an extra wide size is typical go to. Of course, a small cross body allows me to be hands free and I always wear sparkly (easy to put on) jewelry.

What do you think of the outfits above? Which one would you feel comfortable and confident wearing to a summer wedding or party?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below and joining our conversation about summer wedding attire on our Facebook or Instagram Pages.

Xoxo

Lainie

The post WHAT TO WEAR TO A SUMMER WEDDING appeared first on Trend-Able.

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This is a Guest Post written by Christalle Bodiford.

Christalle Bodiford is an artist, advocate, writer, and adventure seeker. As an entrepreneur diagnosed with epilepsy, Christalle brings a unique perspective of empowerment that inspires others to embrace a positive mindset and live with purpose. When she’s not writing or advocating, Christalle enjoys puppy snuggles with her scruffy terrier and outdoor adventures with her husband.

3 TYPES OF SELF CARE TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE AN INVISIBLE DISABILITY

When it comes to self-care, many people think of spa days or bubble baths, but self-care looks different for everyone, so it’s important to find what type of self-care works best for you and your lifestyle.

Just as an introvert may feel recharged after spending time alone, some self-care practices may leave you feeling better than others. What works for you may not work for your family, so find whatever type of self-care helps you to feel better.

If you’re new to self-care, you’re probably wondering what it’s all about. What exactly is self-care? According to psychcentral.com, “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.” So what makes you feel good and keeps you healthy? Let’s visit three types of self-care to help you find which type best fits your personality.

The Self-Care Breakdown
3 Types of Self-Care

Mind

  • Mental self-care includes activities to improve our mental state. This includes our mental health, intelligence, skills, talents, and mental stamina.
  • Chronic illness can affect our brains in unique ways. Practices mental self-care is a step in the direction of gaining better control over how your chronic illness can affect your mental state.
  • Examples of mental self-care include: reading a book, learning a new skill, and practicing a hobby.

Body

  • Taking care of our physical bodies should be a top priority for everyone. They are our vehicles in this life and when they fail, and as many of us with chronic illness know, life can become more challenging.
  • The physical type of self-care can be broken down into two categories:
    • The first category includes what most people think of when they think self-care. It can best be categorized as ‘things we do to our physical bodies’ for our external appearance, such as beauty rituals.
    • The second category includes‘things we do for our physical bodies’ to improve our health and wellbeing, such as going for a walk.
  • Examples of physical self-care include: a beauty routine, resting when needed, and exercise.

Spirit

  • Spiritual self-care enriches your connection to ourselves and the higher power in which you believe. (God, Universe, Spirit, Goddess, Mother Earth, etc.) A person’s spiritual practice can vary depending on their beliefs.
  • A person does not have to be religious in order to have a spiritual practice. Sometimes, something as simple as using a mantra for motivation can be seen as a spiritual practice. Some people go to the beach to connect with the earth, while others simply take their shoes off while outside, either activity can be seen as a spiritual practice. It’s important to find what feels best to you and fits your lifestyle.
  • Examples of spiritual self-care:
    • Religious examples:  reading scripture, daily devotion, and paying tithings.
    • Non-religious examples: meditating, connecting with nature, and attending a healing circle.
Sixty-Six Days

Do you know that it takes approximately sixty-six days to form a new habit? Not twenty-one as previously thought. Doesn’t knowing that give you a better understanding of why forming new habits can feel so challenging? Have you ever felt like a failure when trying to implement a new habit? I certainly have! Something as simple as adding a new vitamin to my daily routine can trigger feelings of failure, insecurity, and self-doubt, but having the proper tools to succeed can help you avoid feeling like forming a new habit is impossible.

Steps to Creating A Habit
  • Set Your Intention
    • This allows you to clarify the actions needed in order to move you towards accomplishing your intention.
    • Start small to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Break your goals down into tiny steps. Work towards your goal each day and compliment yourself for your efforts.
  • Connect the Dots
    • Create triggers in your environment to help you remember your new habits.
    • Incorporating new habits into your already established routine will help to solidify the habits by connecting them to existing actions.
  • Reward Yourself
    • When most people think of a reward they associate the reward with the celebration after âccomplishing the intention. This is OK, but if your intention is to incorporate a new habit into your routine – this may not be the best method.
    • If enjoying your reward during your new habit, you’re more likely to enjoy the activity and will associate the pleasure of the reward with the habit – tying it to an emotion so it is more likely to stick.

Sixty-six days is an approximate amount of time, but in reality the time will vary depending upon your dedication and commitment to your new habits. “If you focus on choosing the right small actions, building the right environment, and using the right small rewards, the habit you build will be stronger and develop faster. “ – routineexcellence.com

It’s Not Complicated

Remember, START SMALL… Try a self-care practice on a Sunday afternoon to jumpstart your new week: read a book, enjoy a cup of tea, and get cozy in your favorite nook. Or, maybe you’re more of a gym time, hang out with friends, and enjoy some good food kind-of-person?

Whatever resonates with you, is what you should start with… Self-care is about making yourself feel better, so don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Not everyone practices self-care in the same ways, and that’s perfectly OK!

Here are ten easy self-care practice ideas to get you started:

  • Rest
  • Spend time with friends
  • Eat your favorite meal
  • Listen to your favorite song
  • Enjoy a cup of tea
  • Read a book
  • Watch a movie
  • Practice a skill
  • Meditate or pray
  • Go for a  hike
Regardless if you have a chronic illness or face challenges in an abled world, you can create healthy self-care habits that work for you. It’s all about feeling your best, so you can be the best version of yourself and live your best life!

The post Self-Care Is More Important Than Ever – Guest Post By Christalle Bodiford appeared first on Trend-Able.

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Disclaimer:

The following hacks for AFOS (ankle foot orthosis) and orthotics are based on my opinion and experience as a longtime wearer. I am not a doctor, physical therapist, orthotist, or a rule follower. Everything I recommend (including all of the shoes for afos & orthotics in other posts), work for me, or my daughter, & our orthosis & abilities. So, please take my recommendations as just that, recommendations. In other words, I’m just trying to help people, so please don’t sue me! Oh and there are a few affiliate links used in this post that pay a small commission (wouldn’t cover a Starbuck’s latte) if used.

7 HACKS FOR AFOS & ORTHOTICS

I have a love/hate relationship with my leg braces. On the one hand, they help me walk and balance (not minor things) and allow me to be independent, explore the world, and have an awesome life. But, they can also be super annoying, stifling, and controlling. So controlling in fact, that I’m now completely dependent on & lost without them. If you read my Tips for Girlfriend’s With Neuropathy Post, then you know that I take an extra set of braces and straps with me on vacation in case they break (& they have) because I am unable to walk in shoes without them.

Being a full time leg brace wearer can be annoying & frustrating at times, but I’m grateful for them as I would not be able to do all that I can do without their help. So, when it comes to AFOS, the good definitely outweighs the bad, especially when you know hacks to make them more tolerable. What follows are 7 common Afo & orthotic problems and their solutions.

1. WHEN YOUR ORTHOTICS SQUEAK

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is to draw any additional attention to my feet. When my daughter got her first set of custom orthotics a few years ago, we noticed a squeaking sound as she walked which would make most people self-conscious, but especially a teenager. So, we found a solution.

The squeak sound is typically caused by friction when the orthotic rubs against the inside of a shoe. There are actually several easy hacks for stopping that embarrassing orthotic squeak. One quick fix is to apply a thin layer of Vaseline under the insole so that the shoe & orthotic rub together more smoothly. You can also use put a dryer sheet (I’m a lavender girl) inside your shoe and underneath your orthotics. This creates a barrier and stops the squeak.

2. WHEN YOUR BRACES OR ORTHOTICS RUB AGAINST YOUR SKIN

First, it should go without saying, but your leg braces and/or orthotics should not cause you pain. If they do, take them back to your orthotist ASAP. There are many adjustments that a professional with the right equipment can make to them. If you’re the never return anything, suffer in silence kinda person, it’s time get over it & advocate for yourself.

But sometimes even after getting them padded & adjusted, your orthosis rub and chafe your skin. When you first notice rubbing, one easy solution is to use a blister balm like this one.

I’m also a big fan of all Dr. Scholl’s bandages (I should seriously buy stock in the company) especially these moleskin strips.

3. WHEN YOU WANT TO GO SOCKLESS  

This is the hack I’ve talked about many times, most recently in How To Wear Sandals With Orthotics or Afos. The gist of it is this, If you wear any kind of braces and want to go sock-less, you first need to cover the footplates so you’re not walking directly on the brace material. Note, for plastic afo wearers, this involves getting or making covers that line the entire brace like a sock which is discussed in greater detail here.

If you wear carbon fiber braces, You can either ask your Orthotist to cover the footplate, or you can diy it like I did.  To cover my footplates (shown in the photo above) I used a waterproof adhesive called ShoeGoo, and used a tiny bit to attach a thin foam insole to the Afo foot plates. The foam gives me enough cushion (without adding bulk) so that I can comfortably wear sandals all summer long.

4. WHEN YOU CAN’T KEEP YOUR SHOES ON

When it’s hard to keep your shoes on, it’s typically because your brace or orthotic requires more depth than your shoe provides. In many cases this can be easily remedied by simply removing the padded insole. If that doesn’t work, or the insole cannot be removed, there are a few more tricks you can try.

I found these strappy heel grips worked to keep the worn down straps on my favorite flatform leather Tevas from slipping off my heel & causing my shoes to fall off. The sticky straps made a huge difference! You can get them to cover an entire heel or in thin strip form like the ones I used for my backstrap sandles.

5. WHEN YOUR LEG BRACE STRAPS WON’T STAY PUT

After getting many different types and brands of Afos over the years, I find it surprising that none of the manufacturers provide direct customer access to strapping material and tabs to keep the straps from hanging. I’m a really active person; Why should I have to go through a medical provider to replace worn out velcro straps every month? Well, it took me a few years, but I no longer do.

Instead of paying for new sets of straps all the time (not cheap btw, I pay my Orthotist’s office their cost to buy an entire roll of the same strapping material that’s used. This is a win win since I’m pretty sure they’re happy not to have me calling & coming in all the time. Now when my straps start getting thin and worn down looking, I just cut a new set myself at home. FYI, those same rolls are not sold online…Believe me, I’ve looked.

But I did find this material on Amazon that I use to hack tabs to keep the straps together and secure. Also, since I have fine motor/hand problems, the tabs make it easier to be able to grab and open the straps to put them on. To make a tab, I take the material and cut it out into two identical shapes like the ones above. I then glue them together so that it’s thick enough to grab (I have no pincher grip) and so that one side is soft (loop material) and the other is rough (hook material) and can attach to the soft straps. You can see I then put a tab on the ends of each strap so that I can adjust it and accommodate for swelling. Ta Da!

6. WHEN YOUR SHOE IS TOO BIG

Many of our Perfectly Imperfect Facebook & Instagram followers wear just one custom orthotic or Afo and have shared with me their challenges. In response to questions about where to buy shoes in two different sizes, I published a Post called Odd Shoe Out, which you can read here.  But if you want to make it possible to wear the same size shoes with an orthosis, you can fill up the shoe without the brace with a shoe filler like these:

7. WHEN NO SHOES (EVEN THE ONE’S ON TREND-ABLE.COM) FIT

Perhaps You’ve read all my Posts about shoes for afos and orthotics and ordered 20 + pairs but none of them fit. You feel sad, frustrated, and defeated…Ready to give up & surrender to a life in bulky  orthopedic sneakers. ..Ok, maybe that was a bit dramatic…But, PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP!

As the saying on one of our Trend-Able t-shirts reads, “When things Don’t Go Right, Go Left”. Seriously, Where there’s a will there’s a way! You could buy a pair of inexpensive wide width shoes and take them to your local cobbler to be hacked. A good shoe cobbler can cut out the shoe tongue and add extended velcro.  You can have the shoe completely opened up and turn any shoe into a Mary Jane style by adding an elasticized strap. There are options.

Conclusion:

I hope these hacks will help you to better EmBRACE your braces or orthotics. Btw, if you are new to Afos or considering getting your first pair, you might want to download our Afo Fashion Guide and join our Perfectly Imperfect Tribe.

Do you have any hacks for Afos or Orthotics? Please share with us all in the comments section below. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Xoxo

Lainie

The post 7 hacks for orthotics & afos appeared first on Trend-Able.

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Trend-Able by Lainie - 1M ago

This post was previously published and has been updated to include current information, styles, and shopping links. There are affiliate links in this post that offer a small commission. These links do not effect the price or you in any way.

16 Sandals
I’ve scoured the internet and poured through hundreds of reviews to find the most comfortable and trendiest sandals of the season that work for AFO and orthotic wearers. I had to pick 16 (no easy feat) because, even though Molly Ringwald has absolutely nothing to do with comfort sandals, I like the sound of 16 Sandals/Candles and had to use it for the title of this post. Note, if you’re here just for the shoes, this would be a good time to hit the fast forward button.

So, if you randomly found this website by Googling “shoes for afos” or “orthotic friendly sandals”, then you’re probably well aware of the challenge of finding fashionable shoes that fit over afos and orthotics – They don’t really exist….at least in a purposeful way. This is where Trend-ABLE comes in and like Jake Ryan in 16 Candles (kind of a stretch I know, but I needed to tie it in somewhere) tries to save the day!

Although you will not find trendy shoes made exclusively for leg brace wearers, many of today’s trendy shoe styles actually work well with afo/orthotics. If you want to wear comfortable sandals that don’t look like they just came out of an old lady’s moth ball infused closet, then read on.

If sandals are not your thing, check out my post, Not Your Grandma’s Orthopedic Shoes, to see other fashionable and afo/orthotic friendly shoe trends and styles that may work better for you. Also, If you have no clue who I am and want to know more about me and my disability, start here.

But, How Do You Even Wear Sandals With Afos/Orthotics?

Big Disclaimer:  Always speak to your medical professional before changing, altering or removing anything prescribed to you. I am not a doctor and my recommendations are not based on anything other than my own personal opinion. In other words, please don’t sue me…

This is the question I get asked repeatedly in private messages on both the Trend-Able Facebook and Instagram pages. The answer depends on the type and style of orthosis you wear. In my 20+ years as an afo wearer, I’ve worn many different types of leg braces. I depend on afos to walk, and need to wear them whenever I leave my house.

Despite moderate to severe neuropathy, I now wear lightweight and low profile carbon fiber afos like the ones pictured above; I’m currently interchanging between both the Allard & Kinetic Research brands of orthosis.

With a little creativity and perseverance, many leg brace and orthotic users can wear open toe shoes and sandals.

Years ago when I used to wear the custom molded, hard plastic type of afos, I thought my sandal days were over. I would get depressed when the weather warmed up each spring. If you can relate, you’ll appreciate my post with tips for getting out of a spring self-pity rut you have a disability and wear afos.

But after two miserable hot summers in sneakers, I found a company that sold beige/nude afo liners that fit custom plastic braces. This discovery gave me a new sense of freedom & changed my life for the better.  At the time (this was more than 10 years ago) they were $30 each and could be ordered by anyone. Today, patients have to go through their orthotist or podiatrist to order them. Here is the link to the Company.

Bonus tip: After buying those afo liners for years, I eventually found smart knit type fabric on my own and had a seamstress make similar afo liner socks for me to wear with sandals. Also, the same company does sell leg brace/afo socks to the public which you can buy here. They get rave reviews from afo wearers for use with everyday shoes and boots.

Today, with my carbon fiber braces, I don’t need the full leg brace liners in order to wear sandals. In order to make walking with or without socks comfortable, I glue a thin foam shoe insole (like the removable ones in your gym shoes) to the footplate. If there are other areas on the afo that rub against your skin, make sure to tell your orthotist as it may be possible to pad those areas as well. The same thing can be done with some orthotics.

What About Orthotics?

Of course, custom orthotics are expensive and you may not have multiple pairs. Some orthotic wearers find that they are able to use non-slip ”arch support” sandal inserts like these for use on occasion (not advisable for trips to the zoo or other long walking days).

To prevent orthotics from moving around in your shoes, you can use double sided velcro tabs.

 Bring On The 16 Sandals

What follows are my picks (not in any order) of the cutest afo and orthotic friendly sandals this season. Click on the shoe image itself to see pricing and to purchase from the retailer. Remember, every disability and person is different. What works for me, may or may not work for you. As one of the t-shirts In the Trend-Able Shop says, “If you can’t go right, go left.” The point is to keep  trying. Now onto the shoes…..

1.Easy Spirit Kenzie

A perfect blend of style and comfort, these cute shoes come in a wide width and have adjustable hook-and-loop straps. They are lightweight and will likely work with many styles of afos and orthotics.

2.Soul Bohemia

This sandal is available in three colors and comes in both regular and wide width. Since there are no adjustable front straps, this shoe works best with orthotics and low profile afos.

3.Walking Cradles Pasha

Another cute sandal that will work for many types of afos and orthotics. They are available in both regular, wide and extra wide widths and have adjustable hook and loop straps. I love the metallic colors in this style as well as the all black with a crock embossed leather.

4.Aetrex Bethany

Bethany is a comfortable shoe for women that can be worn all day. The fully adjustable hook and loop strap provide flexibility for any foot width, while the addition of a bunion pocket adds extra comfort where you need it most. The insole is also removable so this can fit many orthosis.

5.Alegria Playa

The Alegria are one of my favorites this season. They are cute, comfy and even water resistant. They come in a medium width but the adjustable Velcro straps allow them to be worn with some orthosis.

6.Naot Amadora

The highly supportive Amadora Sandal from Naot features a wrapped cork and latex footbed, adjustable hook and loop back strap for custom fit, and a lightweight design that is perfect for daily wear and travel. This sandal runs wide and also has a removable footbed (just lift it out). Another sandal that will work with many types of orthosis.

7.The Averie Comfortview

This is adorable and inexpensive sandal is available in an extra wide width. I bought them & ordered my regular size in a double wide. I find them to be super comfortable. Since my orthosis does the work, I do not need the most expensive shoe with high quality arch support. This faux leather shoe has ridges on the bottom for extra slip resistance and ankle support.

8.David Tate Supurb

A great flat sandal that’s available in black as well as the on trend snakeskin fabric. It has two hook-and-loop straps for the perfect fit and is available in a double wide. Another sandal that will fit many orthosis.

9.Cloudstepper Arla

The Cloudstepper by Clarks is a super light weight sporty sandal with a feminine twist. These sandals have crisscross straps for a foot-friendly hug and cushioned insoles to soften every step. Plus, an adjustable ankle strap. This sandal comes in a medium width but the soft fabric is very stretchy. This sandal is recommended for low profile orthosis and orthotics.

10. Cobb Hill Hollywood

Summer styling meets comfort in the women’s Rockport Cobb Hill Hollywood sandal. The wide ankle strap helps secure the foot in place, while the contoured EVA footbed cushions and supports to deliver superior comfort. The subtle two-inch wedge heel adds the height you crave without compromising the comfort you need. This sandal is best with orthotics and low profile afos.

11. YUU Indy Strap Sandal

It’s hard to believe this awesome sandal with it’s rich laser cut design is as inexpensive as it is. Available in a wide width with a zipper on back, this is another favorite flat sandal with ankle support. Best for low profile orthosis and orthotics.

12. Sesto Saree

This is a gorgeous sandal with super soft Italian leather. It has perforated distressed metallic suede upper with silver nail head detail. Microfiber footbed and adjustable strap with hook & loop closure. Textured rubber bottom and 1-1/4 inch cork wedge heel with metallic wedge inlay. It is available in a wide width and best for low profile orthosis. I love this one!

13. Earth Connie

Another shoe that feels like you’re walking on a cloud! This clever style brings new comfort to the classic slide by adding a wide, stretchy strap. Available in regular and wide width.

14. Comfortview Peyton

This stylish shootie will become your go-to for every occasion! Pair with work pants for comfortable, classic style or a fashionable dress for a chic night out. Available in a double wide, this sandal has a back zip entry and recommended for slim profile orthosis.

15. Therafit Jessica

With it’s leather uppers and fully adjustable straps make the Jessica a new all-time favorite. The stretch elastic bands complete the perfect look for your Spring and Summer outfit. Therafit’s contoured footbed, superior arch support, and deep heel-cups will stabilize and support your foot. This brand is designed for people with arch pain, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, pronation and other foot pain symptoms.

16. Helena SAS

An on trend best-seller sandal Huarache, Helena contains all the SAS fit features you love and adds a fashionable accent for a pop of class. The genuine leather upper is topped by a diamond bling pattern that is sure to turn heads, while the supersoft microsuede lining and straps keep the foot in place. This sandal is available in a double wide width and will work with many types of orthosis.

The post TOP SANDAL PICKS appeared first on Trend-Able.

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Whether you wear leg braces or not, people with problem feet are prone to callouses. They can make walking painful and feel awful. It is hard for me to file my own feet as I also have trouble with my hands. Before I bought one of these rechargeable electric files, I was going to the podiatrist and pedicure places regularly.

This is the one I bought and the button was not hard for me to push. There are many other brands that may work better for you.

What are your favorite Tweaks?

The post Taking My Podiatrist Off Speed Dial appeared first on Trend-Able.

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A FEW SMOKIN’ HOT OUTFITS
Nothing screams the start of summer more than a backyard barbecue! With Memorial weekend fast approaching, patio furniture everywhere, is being cleaned and uncovered and the smell of charcoal is  beginning to fill the air. Whether it’s a graduation party or casual gathering with friends, an evite to some type of outdoor barbecue is imminent; You may even want to check your inbox right now.

But, deciding what to wear to a barbecue over your leg braces can be tricky, especially if like me, you’re not the show your braces, shorts wearing kinda girl. But don’t stress, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few outfit ideas to wear over leg braces that will give you a casual chic vibe (dressed cute but not overdone) and keep you feeling cool and comfortable.

WHITE IS RIGHT, BUT NOT TOO TIGHT
You can never go wrong with a crisp pair of white jeans. Of course, if you have fine motor challenges, it’s best to steer clear of ketchup and barbecue sauce when you wear them. I suggest filling up on corn on the cob, people without disabilities can’t even eat it gracefully. For more tips on navigating parties with poor balance and fine motor weakness, check out my post here.

The style of jeans that will fit over afos depends upon the size and type of braces you wear. I have more options with my carbon fiber afos than I did when I wore the custom plastic type of afos. I can even wear skinny/slim fit legs. In my DIY frayed denim hack post, I explain how to update older styles of jeans and what type of denim to look for if you want to wear skinny jeans with afos. If your leg braces are on the bulkier side, it’s best to look for white bootcut or flare leg jeans.

One of the best parts about white jeans, is that they can be dressed up for a Saturday night barbecue (think silky halter top & sparkly flat sandals), or worn casually for a daytime event. Be sure to wear nude colored underwear (white under white shows), and definitely throw a tide bleach pen in your purse. Btw, if you’re wondering how to wear sandals with afos, check out my 16 Sandals post here.

PALAZZOS PLEASE
A pull on style pair of great palazzo pants is probably one of the best disability friendly choice for people who wear leg braces and have difficulty with buttons and zippers. These wide leg pants are typically made of lightweight, breathable fabrics and are extremely flattering on many body types (yes, even petite and curvier women). It’s really about the top you pair with them and making sure it balances out the loose fitting pants.

If the palazzo pants have a print, choose a well fitted tee or top in a solid color; The same is true in reverse for solid color palazzos. My ideal casual barbecue look is a pair of washable linen pants, a striped tank, and a pair of cute espadrilles. Oh, and don’t forget the sunglasses!

IF YOU CAN’T JUMP (SUIT), THEN RELAX TO THE MAX(I)
If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram for awhile, then you probably already know that I love wearing jumpsuits. In my post about what to wear over afos at resort pools, I even show the cute jumpsuit I wore as a bathing suit cover-up on our recent cruise.

A lightweight jumpsuit that easily slips on and off (no zippers or buttons) is a smart, no-brainer outfit choice for a casual bbq party. But, if jumpsuits aren’t your thing, maxi dresses are another great option.

Fortunately for afo wearers, the maxi dress is once again style again this season. You do not need to be especially tall or thin to rock a maxi dress. Like palazzo pants, it’s all about proportion. Try to choose maxis in solid colors or small prints in soft cotton or linen material that gently hugs your curves, not body fitting or oversized. A maxi dress should hit right at the top of the shoe, never at the ankle. I personally like to wear maxi dresses with flat sandals, but a cute pair of sneakers also works.

SHOP THE LOOKS IN THIS POST
Conclusion
What’s your favorite look to wear for a bbq party? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. I love hearing from you!
Did you like this post?
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XoXo

Lainie

This post contains revenue generating affiliate links which helps support the the website costs at no additional cost to you. Thank you for shopping via my links.

The post What to wear with a barbecue with leg braces appeared first on Trend-Able.

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A FEW SMOKIN’ HOT OUTFITS
Nothing screams the start of summer more than a backyard barbecue! With Memorial weekend fast approaching, patio furniture everywhere, is being cleaned and uncovered and the smell of charcoal is  beginning to fill the air. Whether it’s a graduation party or casual gathering with friends, an evite to some type of outdoor barbecue is imminent; You may even want to check your inbox right now.

But, deciding what to wear to a barbecue over your leg braces can be tricky, especially if like me, you’re not the show your braces, shorts wearing kinda girl. But don’t stress, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few outfit ideas to wear over leg braces that will give you a casual chic vibe (dressed cute but not overdone) and keep you feeling cool and comfortable.

WHITE IS RIGHT, BUT NOT TOO TIGHT
You can never go wrong with a crisp pair of white jeans. Of course, if you have fine motor challenges, it’s best to steer clear of ketchup and barbecue sauce when you wear them. I suggest filling up on corn on the cob, people without disabilities can’t even eat it gracefully. For more tips on navigating parties with poor balance and fine motor weakness, check out my post here.

The style of jeans that will fit over afos depends upon the size and type of braces you wear. I have more options with my carbon fiber afos than I did when I wore the custom plastic type of afos. I can even wear skinny/slim fit legs. In my DIY frayed denim hack post, I explain how to update older styles of jeans and what type of denim to look for if you want to wear skinny jeans with afos. If your leg braces are on the bulkier side, it’s best to look for white bootcut or flare leg jeans.

One of the best parts about white jeans, is that they can be dressed up for a Saturday night barbecue (think silky halter top & sparkly flat sandals), or worn casually for a daytime event. Be sure to wear nude colored underwear (white under white shows), and definitely throw a tide bleach pen in your purse. Btw, if you’re wondering how to wear sandals with afos, check out my 16 Sandals post here.

PALAZZOS PLEASE
A pull on style pair of great palazzo pants is probably one of the best disability friendly choice for people who wear leg braces and have difficulty with buttons and zippers. These wide leg pants are typically made of lightweight, breathable fabrics and are extremely flattering on many body types (yes, even petite and curvier women). It’s really about the top you pair with them and making sure it balances out the loose fitting pants.

If the palazzo pants have a print, choose a well fitted tee or top in a solid color; The same is true in reverse for solid color palazzos. My ideal casual barbecue look is a pair of washable linen pants, a striped tank, and a pair of cute espadrilles. Oh, and don’t forget the sunglasses!

IF YOU CAN’T JUMP (SUIT), THEN RELAX TO THE MAX(I)
If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram for awhile, then you probably already know that I love wearing jumpsuits. In my post about what to wear over afos at resort pools, I even show the cute jumpsuit I wore as a bathing suit cover-up on our recent cruise.

A lightweight jumpsuit that easily slips on and off (no zippers or buttons) is a smart, no-brainer outfit choice for a casual bbq party. But, if jumpsuits aren’t your thing, maxi dresses are another great option.

Fortunately for afo wearers, the maxi dress is once again style again this season. You do not need to be especially tall or thin to rock a maxi dress. Like palazzo pants, it’s all about proportion. Try to choose maxis in solid colors or small prints in soft cotton or linen material that gently hugs your curves, not body fitting or oversized. A maxi dress should hit right at the top of the shoe, never at the ankle. I personally like to wear maxi dresses with flat sandals, but a cute pair of sneakers also works.

SHOP THE LOOKS IN THIS POST
Conclusion
What’s your favorite look to wear for a bbq party? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. I love hearing from you!
Did you like this post?
Join our perfectly imperfect tribe to get post updates and tips right in your inbox!

XoXo

Lainie

This post contains revenue generating affiliate links which helps support the the website costs at no additional cost to you. Thank you for shopping via my links.

The post What to wear with a barbecue with leg braces appeared first on Trend-Able.

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Intro:
Did you know that the number one cause of disability in the US is Arthritis? Don’t  worry, I had no idea either. Arthritis affects more than 50 million Americans, which equates to 1 in every 5 adults and over 300,000 children in the US alone. That’s A LOT of people.

So, since May is known as National Arthritis Awareness Month, and many members of our Perfectly Imperfect Tribe members have RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), I thought it would be the perfect time to learn more about the disease from someone actually living with it.

I met Effie about a year ago through a blogger’s group that we are both a part of. I’ve been inspired by her passion and dedication towards raising awareness and empowering others living with RA to live their best lives.

Meet Effie:

Effie is a 30 something blogger, advocate, health coach, & soon to be children’s author, living in the Windy City who was diagnosed with Arthritis at the age of 18.

Since that time, Effie has used both her written and spoken voice to help raise awareness about the disease. She is an ambassador for the nonprofit, Suffering the Silence and InvisiYouth Charity, and has done work with the Arthritis Foundation Greater Chicago Chapter. Effie is an advocate in her state capital and a crew member of Cure Arthritis. Effie’s writing has been featured in Yahoo Lifestyle, Cure Arthritis, Health Monitor, Good Morning America’s Capture Confidence instagram campaign, and The Mighty.

In 2016, after having to undergo total knee replacement surgery, Effie decided to share her story and help others “rise above” autoimmune arthritis, chronic illness, and disability through her website, Rising Above RA. She is currently working on her first children’s book for kids living with juvenile arthritis.

The Interview
Hi Effie. What a great name. Is there a story?
Thank you! My full name is Efstathia and I was named after my grandmother (maternal side), who passed away at a young age and never got to meet. I have few other cousins named after her as well.

The meaning behind my name means “strong and well-built.” The strong part yes, the well-built part eh that’s up for debate right now, haha!

So, what exactly is RA and how does a person get it ?
In the most simplest of explanations, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system- which tends to protect the body from viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders, mistakenly attacks the joints.

Juvenile arthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This can cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness. The same mechanisms are at play with that of adult RA. However, there are various types of JIA, each impacting a person differently depending where they fall in each category. Researchers and doctors aren’t sure of the exact cause of either of these but there are many triggers such as viral and bacteria infection, genetics, food allergies and sensitives, gut bacteria, to name a few.

What are some of the signs of RA?
Each person us different and the signs and symptoms very. What one individual has, the other may not. But, some of the most common symptoms are fatigue, night sweats, weight loss or gain, joint pain, swelling, tenderness or redness near the joint.

It’s crucial to have a doctor experienced with RA who can diagnose it early, as this is when treatment is most effective. Unfortunately, ra is often misdiagnosed and confused with other chronic conditions.

What’s a typical day with RA like for you?
Right now things are fairly calm, but having lived with RA for over 14 years,  I know this can change in an instant. Although nothing that has left me bedridden, I’ve had some minor flares this year, mainly gut related side effects from the antibiotics

Even though I live with rheumatoid arthritis, I try to live despite of it and continue to do what I enjoy even if it has to be modified or done differently then before . Symptoms can get in the way there’s no doubt about that, but putting focus on them too much gives it power. That’s when I find myself needing to do meditation more than usual, watch a funny movie or tv show and be around people who lift me up rather than down.

Tell us about the book you’re writing
The book follows Sophie who is 7 years old. I chose the name Sophie, which is derived from the name Sophia- in Greek this means, wisdom. It is Sophie’s journey through all of challenges and triumphs that come from being a healthy kid to a kid living with arthritis. The catch is that she’s not a human character, but an animal.

Childhood is meant to be enjoyed and it saddens me when an illness like juvenile arthritis impacts young live. My hope is that Sophie’s story helps children and their parents impacted by RA to realize that they are not alone, and that it helps to educate the larger community.

If I can make the life of one, two, three or hundreds of kids happy through this book, then well, I’ve fulfilled my mission. My hope is to be able to one day donate copies to pediatric rheumatologist offices and hospitals worldwide.

There is a shortage of rheumatologist and pediatric rheumatologists, so many people are left with having to wait months to be seen or worse, no treatment at all. This goes for pretty much all forms of arthritis and I’m sure many chronic illness patients can relate. This is not something a children’s book can necessarily fix, but promoting an overall conversation and the importance of this medical profession to thrive is crucial.

What do you do to look and feel your best?
I am a huge fan of self-care. Contrary to what people may think, when your living with any form of arthritis, movement is essential for remaining healthy. I love to hikes on trails, swim, and be active in nature as much as possible. Swimming makes my joints and body feel stronger. I also practice daily prayer and meditation. When I’m busy and have to miss my meditation time, it negatively impacts my entire disposition.

Other things I do to look and feel my best are eat well, cook up healthy dishes, go for a massage or other forms of body-work such as, acupuncture, osteopathic treatments and reflexology. I am a huge fan of face and body care, and makeup that is natural based without harsh chemicals. I just bought a 100% Pure mascara, that I waited forever to buy.

Treating myself to simple things like that and having a piece of dark chocolate or healthy dessert with a very low amount of natural sweeteners is an instant pick me up for me. Oh, and I also love tea of any kind.

Favorite book:
This is a hard one. I am a huge fan of the, Twilight Series. As a child I had many favorites notably, The Cricket in Times Square, Peter Rabbit, to name a few.
Favorite movie/TV show:
There are so many! Some of my favorites and I know I am forgetting a ton are, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, The Office, Jane the Virgin, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girls, Modern Family, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Golden Girls, The Simpsons. I also love movies like Back to the Future, Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter of course.
What do you wear to boost your confidence?
Statement jewelry, earrings and necklaces are my thing. Before arthritis hit when I was younger growing up, rings and watches I wore a ton of but now my fashion taste has adapted and evolved as I have gotten older. Also, leggings or jeggings and a nice pair of comfortable and stylish shoes- yes, they do exist! I have actually found several pairs I love from your Trend-Able Posts on Instagram.

Other items that give me a confidence boost, are sundresses and rompers. They are cute and comfortable! If I am having an off day, the last thing I want to worry about is my clothing being too tight or constrictive.

Motto or favorite quote:
RA is tough but so am I
How Can People Find You?

Please follow along on my journey by visiting my blog,Rising Above rheumatoid arthritis and signing up for updates on my book release by completing the survey below.

Juvenile Arthritis Children’s Book Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5V3J9XC

Blog: https://risingabovera.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/risingabovera/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/risingabovera

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/risingabovera

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5kAFzGAMpc2mn39Sik96eQ

The post Effie Koliopoulos Trend-Able May Feature appeared first on Trend-Able.

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When makeup is used to enhance a person’s natural beauty, it can be incredibly empowering. This is especially true for people living with chronic conditions & disabilities. As the saying goes, when you look good you feel good, and when you feel good, you look good.

If you’re a makeup junkie like I am, (sandwiched between pilates & facials in my monthly “self-maintenance” expenses) there’s nothing that a trip to Sephora can’t at least temporarily fix.

In my insecure moments, (like on a dance floor when I look & feel uncoordinated) reapplying  the perfect shade of bold lipstick gives me the shot of confidence I need. When I have slept poorly due to neuropathy pain (or from worrying about my kids getting hurt & 101 other things I can’t control), a quick dab of under-eye concealer (and 3 cups of strong coffee) helps me to look awake and feel somewhat human.

Makeup can be transformative both physically and emotionally. A simple swipe of bronzer has the power to not only bring color to pale cheeks, it can also reflect & radiate positive energy, bringing warmth to our lives.

But for many of us living with hand grip issues, tremors, and neuropathy due to conditions like MS, CMT, Arthritis, & Parkinson’s (to name a few), finding tools and makeup products that we can use (without looking like a 3 year old did our makeup), can be a challenge. If you have fine motor deficits, you will likely relate to my Post, How To Get A Grip When You Literally Can’t.

But fortunately (and finally), times are changing. With the recent interest in adaptive fashion (see my list of adaptive fashion stores here), several beauty brand companies have hopped on board the inclusivity train. Here are a few of them along with some of my favorite disability friendly makeup products and hacks:

Grace Beauty

Grace Beauty a new brand scheduled to launch soon. Designed specifically for beauty lovers with disabilities, Grace has created a line of makeup tube & bottle attachments to help people with fine motor challenges achieve better grip and control of their makeup products.

Grace’s first product line focuses on mascara attachments. They will offer three different styles of attachments; The Ring Grip, best suited for people who have an extremely weak grip, the Safe Grip, designed for better control, and the Square Grip, which attaches to both sides of your mascara tube, making it easier to open and hold!

Please note that I have not personally seen or tested Grace Beauty’s products myself (not for lack of trying) and cannot completely recommend. But, the concept is awesome!

Fortunately, although my hands aren’t great (I have a progressive neuromuscular disease called CMT), I am able to apply mascara without needing special attachments. I have found that the shape of both the mascara brush and the casing can make all the difference.

I’m currently loving Benefit’s (full size) BadGal Bang Mascara with it’s textured ridges & amazing brush, as it provides awesome grip and when used in combination with my Easy DIY mascara shield hack. I get killer lashes without the typical smudges all over my face & clothes.

Pump It Up

If holding small objects is not in your wheelhouse of skills, then pump bottles of any kind should be in your toolbox of “things that make life easier”.

From foundations to skincare products, pump style bottles are the way to go. Instead of twisting or gripping, the subtle movement of pushing down on a lid can easily dispense your favorite product. Most liquid makeup or skincare products can be depotted (removed from its original container and transferred to something more practical) and placed in a pump style bottle to make them accessible .

I’m a big fan of Drunk Elephant’s Airless Pump Moisturizers. Not only are they easy to use, they also dispense the just right amount of product so you’re not over using and running out of expensive skin care products every month. The ingredients are all vegan and non-toxic and the company states they are “dedicated to customer’s internal health and external skin care health…If there’s any DOUBT, it’s OUT.”

The Eyes Have It

Does your attempt at a smokey eye or winged eyeliner leave you looking like you just left the football field or boxing ring? Or, maybe your fine motor challenges have prevented you from experimenting with eye makeup all together?

If this is the case, you may want to try one of Lancolm’s extra long eyeliners . They come in a ton of different fun colors like mossy green, dusty purple, and signature black, so you can play up your eyes with a bold pop of color or stay classic and neutral with black. They do need to be sharpened. Although they say not to use regular electric sharpener on eye pencils (they are soft and can get destroyed), I used mine with this pencil and it was fine. I also use these easier to grasp and twist dual sided sharpeners that I found on Amazon.

If hand tremors have been holding you back from trying the winged eyeliner look, there’s another cool product that’s helping people with disabilities do their makeup. The Vamp Stamp was founded by celebrity makeup artist and co-founder of the Beauty Blender, Veronica Lorenz.

Veronica herself experienced fine motor deficits after she was diagnosed with a benign spinal cord tumor in 2013 . Veronica created The Vamp Stamp to help make putting on makeup easier for others with disabilities.

So I went to my local Ulta to test the Vava Voom Winged Vamp Stamp   (that’s me in the image above) I really like the stamp part (although it could be longer) but the problem was with the eyeliner pods. If a product aims to help people with fine motor problems put on makeup, then why would they not think to use something other than eyeliner pods with tiny caps that have to be held and twisted on and off? Fortunately, Vamp Stamp does sell their stamp by itself which you can use with any eyeliner of choice. Hmmm, I have an idea. I wonder if the stamp would work as well if it was dipped into moistened eyeshadow pads instead of annoying liquid eyeliner pods? Definitely worth another trip to Ulta to experiment…don’t ya think?

Speaking of Caps

If you struggle with opening small makeup products, removing caps and holding onto things, here’s some simple hack: Rubber tubing or pencil grips! The fit onto anything that is round and shaped like a pencil. Think eyeliners, liquid lipsticks, even some eyebrow products. Place a rubber grip on the and now your favorite makeup product is easier to open. Another easy hack for getting a better hold on makeup and tools (Think perfume bottles & nail polish bottles) is to tie rubber bands onto them. Or, (this is my favorite one) you could always use a universal ring holder attachment 

Invest in the Right Makeup Brushes

A good makeup brush is an essential in every woman’s life. If you struggle with neuropathy issues or arthritis, look for makeup brushes that are longer and thicker to help with comfort and grip. I use the amazing Artis makeup brushes but there are several less expensive versions.

My favorite makeup tool is my long handled beauty sponge as it allows me to blend my eyeshadows and clean up mistakes, which there are typically a ton of. Speaking of mistakes, I just started using these Makeup Remover Cloths at night and love how easily they take off my makeup, even waterproof mascara.

Conclusion

I hope this post has inspired you to grab your makeup brushes (or buy some new ones) and start your day looking and feeling great!  Did you learn anything new? Do you have any makeup tips or hacks? I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments section..

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Note: This Post was previously published and has been updated with current content.

You don’t realize how many everyday tasks require the use of a pincher grip until you don’t have one. To clarify, I have pinchers (fingers), it’s the gripping part that doesn’t cooperate.

Although I try to be positive and live my best life despite having peripheral neuropathy, it’s the small things, that can be the most frustrating and get me off my groove. Btw, if you have no clue who I am, or what I have, start here.

When you don’t have a pincher grip due to fine muscle weakness, it’s very difficult to pick up dropped change, crumbs of food, and basically any other small and flat item.

Although I do own one of these long grabber/claw devices that help people with a weak grasp reach and pick up things, my problem is just that I have a weak pincher grip, not with bending down. Frankly, I can use all the exercise I can get.

So, I was pretty pumped when I discovered that I could repurpose a lint brush to be a mini grabber. They come in a ton of sizes and the handles are typically large and easy to hold onto. As an added bonus, they are super cheap. You can find them at any dollar store, or here are the mini ones I buy on Amazon.

What do you think? Do you have any tips or hacks of your own? I would love to hear. Btw, if you have neuropathy, you may appreciate my post here. I give tips that only a Girlfriend would tell you about living with peripheral neuropathy.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TWEAK OR TREND SUGGESTION?

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