Get Toned and Show Off Your Arms

Tank top season is here, which means it’s time to tone those arms! Today we’re sharing some of our favorite at-home moves that target your shoulders, triceps and deltoids so you can wear your favorite summer tops with confidence. Don’t have weights? Freeze a couple of water bottles and get those arms moving. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for some of our best selling sleeveless tops. 

Exercises for Toned Arms: Rear Delt Raises

TopShelf Clothes | Exercises for toned arms

What to Do: You can either sit or stand for these. Keep your back as straight as possible, slight bend in knees and slowly lift the weights away from your body and towards the ceiling. Don’t go above parallel to really target your shoulders. Concentrate on squeezing your back together at the top of the rep. Use a light weight and repeat for 1 minute.

Exercises for Toned Arms: Tricep Dips

TopShelf Clothes | Exercises for Toned Arms

What to Do: Start seated with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands just behind your hips, fingertips facing forward. Draw your abs in tight as you lift your hips up off the floor, pressing down through your hands. Lift your right leg and extend it up towards the ceiling. Bend your elbows and lower yourself to just above the floor. Quickly press back up. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps with your right leg lifted, 10 with the left, and then move right into your hovering sit up [2B]. 

Form tip: Emphasize the press up, not the drop down, on your dips. Try not to sink into your hands, but instead press up pushing with the backs of your arms to help alleviate any stress on the wrists.

Exercises for Toned Arms: Double Raise

TopShelf Clothes | Exercises for Toned Arms

What to Do: Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands at sides, a weight in each hand. Raise left arm in front of you, weight vertical, as you raise right arm to side, weight horizontal, to shoulder level (as shown). Return to start. Repeat, switching arm positions, for 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Need a little motivation? Check out some of our best-selling sleeveless tops:

TopShelf Clothes | Exercises for toned arms

Shop: 1. J.Crew Carrie Cami; 2. Rebecca Taylor Enchanted Gardens Silk Floral Print Top; 3. Vince Border Cami


5 NYC Brunch Spots (and dishes) You Need to Try this Weekend

After a hectic week of conference calls, spin classes, PTA meetings, and whatever other activities your packed schedule includes, there are few things more satisfying than a relaxing Sunday brunch. As a New York based company, we have had our fair share of delectable brunches. And while NYC is jam-packed with a seemingly endless supply of restaurants, there are some dishes no city dweller should go without trying. Today we’ve rounded up our 5 favorite brunch spots and dishes for you to try this weekend. You can thank us on Monday!

 Best Brunch NYC: Freemans

TopShelf Clothes | Best Brunch NYC

“You can’t really go wrong with a dish that lists bacon, cheese, and butter as main ingredients. It does just the trick after a late Saturday night, but don’t expect an active Sunday after this meal!” – Katie

  • Who: Katie Nadler, Founder & CEO
  • Restaurant: Freemans
  • Dish: Skillet Eggs, Bacon, Spinach and Gruyere with Buttered Sourdough Toast ($12)
  • Where: 191 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
Best Brunch NYC: The Smile

TopShelf Clothes | Best Brunch NYC “This dish is so amazing, I actually ordered it twice in one sitting! I’ve recommended it to friends and they agree, it is the best steak & eggs they’ve ever had.” – Mae

  • Who: Mae Duane, Head Stylist
  • Restaurant: The Smile
  • Dish: Steak & Eggs
  • Where: 26 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

Best Brunch NYC: Parish Hall 

TopShelf Clothes | Best Brunch NYC

“I hate sweets. Parish Hall turns this traditionally sweet dish into something savory. Yum!” – Morgan

  • Who: Morgan Hoffman, Most Fashionable Intern
  • Restaurant: Parish Hall 
  • Dish: Savory Oatmeal
  • Location: 109a North 3rd Where: St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Best Brunch NYC: Café Cluny
TopShelf Clothes | Best Brunch NYC
Flavorful and filling! An accompanying bottle of white wine is necessary.” – Dega
  • Who: Dega Tufts, COO
  • Restaurant: Café Cluny
  • Dish: Short Rib Hash
  • Location: 284 W 12th St, New York, NY 10014

Best Brunch NYC: Ken & Cook

TopShelf Clothes | Best Brunch NYC As someone who cannot eat gluten or dairy, I’ve had my fair share of egg dishes. This omelet is by far my favorite. The dish comes with perfectly portioned sides of salad and potatoes as well!” – Anne

  • Who: Anne Cody, Social Media Coordinator
  • Restaurant: Ken & Cook
  • Dish: Farm Egg Omelet
  • Location: 19 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

Tone Up: Best At-Home Ab Workouts

It’s never too late to hop on the fitness train, and what better time to do it than bikini season? Today we’ve selected three top rated ab workouts to help you slim your waistline and define those core muscles.  So wherever your weekend travels take you, stay active with these easy equipment-free moves.

Best At-Home Workouts: Twisting Side Plank

TopShelf Clothes | Best at-home ab workouts


  • Come into a side plank on your right side, with your feet stacked one on top of the other and your weight on your right elbow with your fingers reaching away from your body, palm down.
  • Place your left arm behind your head and inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale and pull your navel to your spine to engage your deep abs and rotate your left rib cage toward the floor. Stay there for a second and deepen your abdominal connection pulling your navel in toward your spine even more.
  • Return to starting position and repeat seven more times for a total of eight reps, then switch sides. Repeat series again on both sides.
Best At-home Ab Workouts: Frog Press
TopShelf Clothes | Best At-home Ab Workouts
  • Lie faceup with your knees bent and turned out, feet flexed, and heels pressed together. Inhale and lift your head and shoulders off the floor, curling up over your ribcage, looking at your legs. Reach your arms outside of your hips off of the floor, palms facing down.
  • As you exhale, press out through your heels and extend your legs 45 degrees, squeezing the backs of your knees together. Inhale and bend your heels back into your body. That’s one rep. Do up to 3 sets of 10 reps.
  • If you’re looking to make it harder, extend your legs lower to the ground as you press out, or keep both legs extended and turned out, and then lift and lower them instead of bending and extending 
  • Tip: Be sure to keep your lower back pressed into the floor the entire time.
Best At-Home Ab Workouts: Toe Reaches
TopShelf Clothes | Best At-home Ab Workouts
  • Lie on the floor with your heels pressed against the wall, your legs straight.
  • Reach your right hand toward your left foot, allowing your right shoulder to raise off the floor.
  • Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left hand and right foot.
  • Continue to alternate until you’ve completed all reps.
  • If you’re looking to make it harder, perform the exercise with your feet stacked toe to heel. For an easier exercise, reach toward your knees rather than your feet.


Best of Pinterest: DIY Boards

By now we have all heard of Pinterest – one of the fastest growing sites that allows you to discover products online, all in a visually pleasing way, and then pin these images to your own account. However, with everything from food to fashion, Pinterest can be overwhelming. Today we have selected our top 3 favorite Pinterest boards for DIY tutorials. From home décor to self-made jewelry, these accounts offer quick and creative ways to spice up your everyday life.

Best DIY Boards on Pinterest: LearnVest’s ‘DIY It’ 

The Pinner: As a company that focuses on financial planning for individuals, it’s not surprising that LearnVest hosts a great DIY board. With over 5,000 followers and 18 boards, LearnVest highlights financial advice through a wide range of pins. 

TopShelf Clothes | Best DIY Boards on Pinterest

The Board: LearnVest’s ‘DIY It’ board offers organizational tips and DIY tutorials to make your home and work life easier. Whether that means easy-to-make holiday decorations or tips to help you reuse old items, LearnVest’s DIY pins offer time and money efficient ways to transform your day-to-day lifestyle.

Best DIY Boards on Pinterest: Brit Mortin’s ‘Brit + Co.’

The Pinner: Brit Mortin’s company, Brit + Co., aims to help people discover innovative products and ideas for a creative lifestyle. And with 66 boards and over 300,000 followers, Brit clearly knows her stuff.

TopShelf Clothes | Best DIY Boards on Pinterest

The Board: Brit Mortin’s ‘Brit + Co.’ board includes over 2,000 pins that come directly from her own DIY site. The board features everything from quick party appetizers to DIY wall décor, all of which include detailed tutorials from the Brit + Co. employees themselves.

Best DIY Boards on Pinterest: Gina Michele’s ‘DIY Fashion’

The Pinner: Gina Michele is a fashion and accessories designer with just over 1,000 followers and 58 boards on Pinterest. And while she has several DIY boards (including home and garden), our favorite is her ‘DIY Fashion’ board.

TopShelf Clothes | Best DIY boards on pinterest

The Board: Gina Michele’s ‘DIY Fashion’ board showcases 281 pins with creative fashion ideas. From repurposed shoes to DIY jewelry, Gina’s pins offer innovative ways (chosen by the designer herself) to help re-vamp your wardrobe and try out new trends. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest!

Spring Clean Your Closet with TopShelf!

Spring is finally here, meaning it’s time to rotate your closet and make room for lighter spring styles. With a well-organized closet you will actually get more wear out of your clothes; it’s easy to forget about items when they’re hidden on your “TopShelf!” Luckily we can help you move into Spring with a stylish update to your closet. With our stylists you can avoid the typical headaches that seasonal transitions normally cause. And we’re pleased to say that our friends at Foam Magazine this morning agree!

In addition to the online world, we realize that everyone still has their offline closet to organize. Therefore, today we have polled our stylists to put together some best practices for how to spring clean your closet.

TopShelf Clothes | How To Spring Clean Your Closet How to Spring Clean Your Closet Tip #1: The Two-Year Rule

The first step to spring-cleaning your closet is to get rid of unnecessary clutter. If you haven’t worn something in two years, get rid of it. We realize that fashion trends eventually repeat themselves, however two years is plenty of time to realize an item is not worth keeping. Donate unwanted items to Goodwill or give them to friends so you can make room for exciting new pieces in your closet.

How to Spring Clean your Closet Tip #2: Organize By Occasion

Many people recommend organizing your closet by color, however this leads to items getting lost. Blouses will blend in with one another making it easy to skip over clothing in your closet. We suggest organizing your clothes by occasion. Group daytime summer dresses in one area of your closet, evening dresses and tops in another. This will make your getting ready process easier, especially for those mornings when you’re frantically rushing to work.

How to Spring Clean your Closet Tip #3: In-Season vs. Out-of-Season

The accessibility and order of your clothing is key. Anything that is out of season should be neatly packed away. For shoes, place out of season pairs in clear plastic containers at the top of your closet. That way you will be able to see what items you have packed, but they won’t be in the way of what you need now. Your heavy knits can be packed the same way. We especially love Martha Stewart’s tips on how to properly wash sweaters and delicates for safe packing. As for light layering pieces, keep those at easy reach. Light jackets, cardigans and scarves are still necessary during spring and cool summer nights. 


Friday Lifestyles: DIY Easter Eggs

Easter is one of our favorite family holidays, as well as a time to get extra creative. Not only is dying Easter eggs an age-old tradition, but it evokes memories of the first signs of spring, time spent with your loved ones and arguably more importantly an afternoon of fun! Rather than sticking to store-bought colors, we suggest switching it up this year. Today, we are highlighting our favorite DIY tutorials for exciting Easter egg decorations to try out this weekend.

DIY Easter Eggs: Sprinkle Covered Eggs

Sprinkles come in a wide range of colors and add an eye-catching 3D effect to your eggs.

TopShelf Clothes | DIY Easter Eggs


  1. Pour your sprinkles into a medium size bowl.
  2. Squeeze some tacky glue out of the bottle onto freezer paper or wax paper.
  3. Using your paintbrush, cover your egg in a good, even layer of the glue.
  4. Now dip your egg in the sprinkles and press down firmly, covering about half your egg in sprinkles.
  5. Let your egg dry partially right there in the bowl of sprinkles (You can use a large bowl so you can do multiple at once).
  6. Once the sprinkles are mostly set, if you want, you can carefully lift it out and allow it to dry completely on a wire rack.

DIY Easter Eggs: Marbled Eggs 

Put your favorite nail polishes to good use with this fun marbled look.

TopShelf Clothes | DIY Easter Eggs


  • Pour a few drops of each nail polish color onto the water surface. Be sure to experiment with the step as the order you pour the colors results in varying marbleization.
  • Use a stick to swirl nail polish around.
  • Carefully submerge the drained egg (or hardboiled) into the water until completely covered, then quickly pull out.
  • Set egg aside to dry.
  • Scoop out nail polish from water surface between eggs, and repeat steps 1-4 for each. 

DIY Easter Eggs: Make Your Own Natural Dyes 

Don’t have time to run to the store this year? Try making your own dyes right at home.

TopShelf Clothes | DIY Easter Eggs


  • To start, wash your eggs with a gentle soap to remove any dirt or oil
  • To make four cups of dye you will need 1 tablespoon of a spice or 4 cups of a chopped fruit or vegetable, (you can use frozen or canned vegetables in place of fresh), 4 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • For Cold-dip: (Suitable for younger children since the eggs and dyes are boiled separately) After the dye has been strained and cooled, dip the eggs for five to ten minutes in the solution. Produces soft, pastel shades.
  • For Hot-dip: Eggs are boiled directly in the dye. Use two tablespoons of vinegar per cup of water. Place eggs, vegetables or fruit into a pan (not aluminium). Make sure there is enough water to cover the eggs. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Color options:

  • Pink/red: pomegranate juice, red onion skins, beets, cranberries or cranberry juice, raspberries, red grape juice, hibiscus tea, red wines, currants
  • Orange: yellow onion skins, paprika, chili powder
  • Yellow: orange or lemon peels, carrot tops or shredded carrots, celery seed, ground cumin, ground turmeric, yellow mustard powder, curry powder
  • Green: spinach, liquid chlorophyll, grass clippings
  • Blue: red cabbage, canned blueberries or blueberry juice, blackberries, purple grape juice
  • Lavender: Small quantity of purple grape juice, purple petunias or violets, frozen/fresh blueberries
Follow us on Pinterest for more holiday inspiration.

Friday Lifestyles: How to Throw the Perfect Secret Santa Party

A Secret Santa party is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. It’s also a nice way to save time and money. Whether throwing a Secret Santa party at work or with your friends and family at home, the gift exchange ensures that everyone receives a present so you don’t have to go overboard on holiday shopping.
TopShelf Clothes | Secret Santa

Follow our steps for throwing the perfect Secret Santa Party:

  1. The drawing of names: The traditional gathering of participants to pick names from a hat can be difficult to coordinate with people’s busy schedules. Assigned Secret Santa’s tend to mysteriously work out best for the person in charge… But now there’s Boogspace. The site involves a quick and easy 3-step process that allows you to create a gift exchange group, make individual wishlists, and then email the assigned Secret Santas without revealing who has whom. It is a great way to save some time, plus, the optional wishlists can provide gift inspiration if you are unsure of what to buy your recipient.
  2. Set a dollar limit: Decide what a reasonable amount is to spend on gifts so that each participant buys and receives a similar priced goodie.
  3. The Gift Exchange: On the day of your Secret Santa party, have everyone place their wrapped gifts (with just the recipient’s name) in one pile. That way when it comes time to open gifts, your guests can guess who had whom.

Still need gift ideas? We love Glamour’s “30 Gifts Under $30″ for secret santa presents. And don’t forget to visit our Holiday Inspirations Pinterest board as we continue to pin our favorite gifts and decor ideas this season.

Friday Lifestyles: Holiday Activities in NYC

If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, New York City is the place to be. The city as a whole is filled with festive lights, music and shopping that tourists and New Yorkers alike cannot help but enjoy. Today we have selected some of our favorite NYC holiday activities for friends and family of all ages.

#1 Pick for Holiday Activities in NYC: Holiday Markets

TopShelf Clothes | Holiday Activities in NYC

Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-6pm

Winter markets pop up around the city every year. Not only do they offer a wide range of gifts for your friends and family, but the ‘winter wonderland’ experience as you walk from shop to shop is rewarding in itself. We recommend visiting the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. With over 100 boutique-style vendors, you can find anything from handmade toiletries to unique apparel amidst the pop-up ice rink and holiday music. 

#2 Pick for Holiday Activities in NYC: Broadway Shows

TopShelf Clothes | Holiday Activities in NYC

It started as a radio story, and then became a book, a movie and now a Broadway show. A Christmas Story has remained a holiday classic for years and we can’t wait to check it out in musical form this season. The show runs through December 30th at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. Tickets range from $49-$159 and advanced purchases are recommended. For show details, check out A Christmas Story’s official site. 

#3 Pick for Holiday Activities in NYC: Light Displays

TopShelf Clothes | Holiday Activities in NYC

Hours: Sunday, December 2nd, 4:30-5:30pm

It is no secret that 5th avenue is covered in a gorgeous display of sparkling lights this time of the year, however numerous parks around the city are just as festive. Head uptown with family to Central Park this Sunday for the 16th annual Holiday Lighting. You can watch live ice carvings, listen to Christmas carolers and take photos with Santa while enjoying hot cocoa and cookies. The event concludes with the lighting of the Discovery Center near the Harlem Meer.

Friday Lifestyles: Healthy Dessert Recipes

We are wrapping up our “classic” week with healthy spins on classic sweet treats. Our recipes replace typical dessert ingredients with healthier options, so you can indulge without the guilt. So, whether you have missed workouts due to Hurricane Sandy or you are dieting in lieu of the holiday season, today’s picks offer healthy alternatives to classic desserts.

Healthy Dessert Recipes: Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Yogurt Cupcakes
These cupcakes are made light with a Greek yogurt swirl and pumpkin butter on top.

TopShelf Clothes | Healthy Dessert Recipes

Servings: 12; Serving Size: 1 cup; calories: 114; Fat 4g; Carb: 14g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 4g; Sugar: 7g; Sodium: 57g

  1. 12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
  2. 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (personal pref for Chobani)
  6. 2 large egg whites
  7. 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  8. 3/4 cup pumpkin butter or pumpkin pie filling


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line cupcake tin with liners
  3. Place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner
  4. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually beat in fat-free yogurt, egg whites and flour. Do not over beat.
  5. Pour into cupcake liners filling half way
  6. Top each with 1 tbsp of the pumpkin butter
  7. Using a toothpick, swirl the pumpkin butter into the cream cheese mixture for a marbling effect
  8. Bake 25 minutes or until center is almost set
  9. Cool to room temperature
  10. Chill a few hours in the refrigerator before serving

Healthy Dessert Recipes: Oatmeal-Flax Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a favorite dessert at any age. This recipe includes healthier ingredients, such as flax seeds and cooking-oats, without sacrificing taste.

TopShelf Clothes | Healthy Desserts

Servings: 32 cookies, Serving Size: 1 Cookie; Calories: 151; Total Fat: 7g; Protein: 2g; Total Carb: 21g; Sugar: 14g


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed, finely ground in a spice grinder, or pre-ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line 2 baking sheets
  3. Whisk flour, oats, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl
  4. Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy (about 4 minutes)
  5. Reduce speed of mixer to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips
  6. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart
  7. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes
  8. Let cookies cool 3 minutes on the baking sheets
Healthy Dessert Recipes: Baked Apples
Baked apples topped with oats, cinnamon and brown sugar for a guilt-free apple crisp dessert.
TopShelf Clothes | Healthy dessert recipesServings: 4; Serving size: ½ apple with topping; Calories: 152; Fat: 6g; Protein: 1g; Carb: 26g; Fiber: 3.4 g

  • 2 large apples, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp quick oats
  • Pinch of cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Cut apples in half and remove core and seeds with a small pairing knife or spoon.
  3. Combine butter, brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon in a small bowl
  4. Spoon mixed bowl ingredients on top of the apple halves and sprinkle with cinnamon
  5. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  6. Serve warm with fat free whipped cream or low fat ice cream.


Friday Lifestyles: Outdoor Activities in NYC

As a New York-based business, we thought it only fitting to wrap up our outdoor focused blogging this week by looking to some outdoor activities in NYC. While New York isn’t the first place that people think of when they hear the word “outdoors,” for those who know where to look, the city has much to offer outside of its tall skyscrapers.

It was hard to choose our favorites- there are countless open-air restaurants, parks and street fairs- but we managed to narrow it down to 3 of our top spots to check out before the weather gets too cold.

TopPicks for Outdoor Activities in NYC:

Walking the High Line

TopShelf Clothes | The High Line

TopShelf Clothes | The High Line


Rather than taking a typical stroll through the park, visit The High Line for an elevated view of the city. The High Line sits on Manhattan’s West Side and stretches from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th between 10th and 11th Avenues. Because The High Line was built on a historic freight train rail line that ran through the city, the lengthy park sits directly above the busy streets with a charming birds eye view of the neighborhood. The well-groomed park hosts snacks and refreshments including Blue Bottle Coffee for organic drip coffee and hot chocolate, as well as the Northern Spy Food Co. for sandwiches and soups made with locally grown ingredients.


Outdoor Drinking at the Standard Biergarten

TopShelf Clothes | The Standard

TopShelf Clothes | The Standard



After visiting The High Line, stop by The Standard Biergarten for an afternoon drink and some German pretzels. The Biergarten sits below The High Line on Washington St. near 13th street. With seating for 200, this outdoor venue is great for a casual afternoon with friends. They also host two ping-pong tables, proving that drinking and “outdoor activities” can go hand-in-hand! For those unimpressed by the long list of premium German beers, the Biergarten also offers a full bar. Those outside of NYC can rest assured – The Standard’s sister is located in Downtown LA.


Hiking in Prospect Park

TopShelf Clothes | Prospect ParkTopShelf Clothes | Prospect Park


If you feel like being extra active this weekend, head over to Prospect Park in Brooklyn for a nature walk, hike or run. The park hosts a 2.5-mile network of four trails and is easily accessible by subway and bus. Each trail has interpretive signs as well as printed and audio guides so that visitors can lead self-guided tours. We love the Waterfall Trail for its gorgeous views of the Ambergill and Fallkill falls, however, all four options provide a nice change of scenery from the busy city life.  For more on the trail descriptions, visit Prospect Park’s site.