MCLV Style: Checkered Dress

When I saw this checkered dress on super sale on the Asos website I knew that we had a bright future together. What I love about it is how versatile it is – I’ve already worn it over a bikini at the beach in LA as well as to brunch with a crisp white blazer.

Checkered Dress Black & White Summer Fashion San Francisco Fashion Blogger Street Style

Checkered Dress – Asos

White Heels – Zara {Similar here}

White Sunglasses – ROMWE

Floral Wristlet – Rebecca Minkoff

Checkered Dress Black & White Summer Fashion San Francisco Fashion Blogger Street Style

{Check out more photos here}

Checkered Dress Black & White Summer Fashion San Francisco Fashion Blogger Street Style

{Photography by J. Villarete Photography}

The checkered print is simultaneously classic and fun, which is a combination that I adore. The low white heels and round sunglasses add a touch of glamour and the bold printed clutch gives it a much needed eye-catching pop of color.

Stay tuned to see how I wore this flirty frock for a brunch date this Summer…

How would YOU wear this checkered dress?

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August 2014 Round-Up

When I think about Summertime and those carefree days spent swimming & running around barefoot growing up, August is what I picture. It’s the epitome of Summer in my mind.

Denim Daze San Francisco Fashion Blogger Street Style Saako KatWalkSF

{Denim Daze: Saako}

August 2014 Round-Up

Fashion:

August is the beginning of the transition from Summertime fashion and beauty into Fall. It’s a wonderful mixture of bright colors, moody prints, and bold silhouettes.

Not sure how to get yourself ready? Check out my tips on Fall Lip Colors, How To Wear Denim-on-Denim, and your Blazer Must Haves for this season.

Food:

Food was a big priority this month on MCLV and I chatted about Why I Eat The Way I Eat, shared some delicious Healthy Breakfast Recipes, as well as some Healthy Living Tips & Suggestions.

Fitness:

Staying in shape while traveling, vacationing, and enjoying lazy family time during the Summer can be a challenge. Even for me! This month I talked about How To Stay Motivated At The Gym and keep yourself reaching for those fitness goals!

Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Dairy-Free Flourless Healthy Pizza Quick Recipe Healthy Dinner

{Why Do You Eat Like That?}

New September 2014 Goals

Fashion:

I was thrilled to share some of my favorite local Bay Area designers in August – Alyssa Nicole & Lan Jaenicke – And September will bring even more designer updates from MCLV.

I’ll be heading to London Fashion Week with CCUOCO for their LFW debut and teaming up with Style Lend to show you the very best street style that London has to offer!

Food:

Between a trip to New York last week and my upcoming London adventure, I’ve got travel and food on the brain. Stay tuned to see what snacks & ready-to-eat foods I pack in my suitcase when I travel and how I stay on top of my health & fitness goals while I’m on the road.

Fitness:

Not only did I get my booty kicked by two more aerial yoga classes this month, but I also tried BodyFi for the first time. I’ve always preferred solitary workouts but I’ve been loving all the classes I’ve tried this year.

Perhaps I’m turning over a new leaf? :)

Outtakes Behind The Scenes San Francisco Fashion Blogger Street Style Fitness Friday Beginners Fitness Workout Round-Up San Francisco Fitness Blogger Fashion Food Fitness Lorna Jane Workout Gear

{Workout Motivation}

2014 Bucket List:

  1. Try a new class/physical activity – This month’s new workout adventure was BodyFi. Crosstraining at its finest! :) Stay tuned for a review.
  2. Publish my writing - I was excited to publish pieces for Fashion Xchange Magazine and GEV Magazine this month.
  3. Travel – Checked off trip number two to New York for 2014! It never gets old…
  4. Broaden my educational horizons – I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately {you can check out more on my struggles with insomnia here} so this month I was all about stress reduction & sleep education. I read Say Goodnight To Insomnia and Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar & Survival.
  5. Prioritize friendship – This month my best friend from Junior High & High School got married in a beautiful, funny, moving ceremony followed by a ridiculously fun party. Such an amazing trip!

What did YOUR August include?

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Salon Etiquette

I often feel like etiquette is a thing of the past. I for one, love manners. I love people who are kind and polite to a fault. Especially towards people who work in the service industries and get terrorized on a daily basis by rude, unreasonable consumers.

A friend recently requested a piece on Salon Etiquette in the hopes of ensuring she didn’t inadvertently commit a faux pas during her next trip to the salon.

I jumped on the idea and immediately recruited my fabulous hairdresser Natalie Keklikian to share some of the do’s and don’ts that she’s learned over the years, as well as some of her pet peeves that we can all learn from.

Salon Etiquette San Francisco Beauty Fashion Blogger Street Style

{Miss Natalie took me from my natural blonde to red a few years ago & we’ve been together ever since!} 

(1) If a salon/hairdresser’s rates include a range of prices – Is it ok to discuss where in the range your procedure will fall prior to getting started? What, if anything, about a procedure can be negotiated/discussed in advance?

Stylists give a range of prices because not all heads are equal, so depending on hair length and type the same service may be more time intensive or require more product from one client to the next. Prices are set to maintain a (somewhat) consistent hourly rate throughout the day and cover any overhead (color, bleach, keratin). Your stylist should be able to tell you up front what your service will cost, provided you can consult with them in person. This is in the stylist’s best interest, as no one likes to be surprised by the number of digits on their bill–even if they do look super fab.

The one caveat to all of this is color correction. Most stylists will bill an hourly rate for this service, and we don’t want you to leave our chair looking anything less than perfect. Girls come to me in tears over botched colors, but just because I’m doing god’s work that doesn’t make me a charity.

Also, if you absolutely must go from jet black to platinum, get ready to shell out the dough.

(2) What are some of a stylist’s biggest pet peeves that we should avoid at all costs? (Tardiness…? Last minute appointment changes…?)

My biggest pet peeve is hands down when people don’t show up to their appointment and don’t let me know ahead of time. Your boss used to call this a, “no call, no-show,” and your ass got fired for it. I am very understanding. Shit happens. But give me a heads up so homegirl can go get a latte or grab lunch with her boo.

If your appointment is in the morning BY ALL MEANS send a text, email, carrier pigeon, smoke signal, whateva. I can make up the money but I’ll never get back those precious minutes of beauty sleep.

Salon Etiquette San Francisco Beauty Fashion Blogger Street Style

{Seeing RED. Just a few of the shades I’ve tried over the years: Top Left // Top Right // Bottom Left // Bottom Right}

(3) What’s something that you love in a client? Any tips for making sure we develop a great, long-term relationship with our stylists?

Ok finally I can boast about how much I LOVE my clients. I love clients who are on time. I love clients who appreciate my work. I love clients who want change! I love clients who leave their problems at the door and enjoy their time with me, or come to me with their problems and talk it out over the blow dryer. The more you share with your stylist, the more they will understand you as a person and know what you want for your hair. Your best friend, other than the one you’ve had since childhood, should be your hair stylist. Not even joking!

Also I can’t stress enough how exciting it is seeing a regular on your schedule and looking forward to seeing them. Honestly it’s what gets me through the day!

I LOVED reading Natalie’s responses – I agree 100% on all of this and I feel like etiquette-wise, these can be applied to most situations. Have a question or concern? Ask first! Going to be late? Call! Want to develop a great relationship with someone? Talk it out!

What did YOU think of this piece? Interested in more etiquette posts?

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Why Do You Eat Like That?

I was recently asked the following question: “Why do you eat like that?”

It was something of a baffling moment for me for a few reasons. First and foremost because the person doing the asking was standing in front of me with a giant, steaming roast beef sandwich roughly the size of their head on a plate with another plate full of fries in the other hand. My initial reaction was to raise an eyebrow and ask: “Why do you eat like THAT?”

After giving it a moment of thought however, it occurred to me that perhaps I’m in fact that odd one out. I surround myself with fitness-loving, healthy food-obsessed people who cook all their meals and work out religiously. I following bloggers and brands and influencers whose lives revolve around healthy living, making eco-friendly choices, and being good to their bodies and to the planet. I even work in an LEED certified building that composts and offers Project Juice as a lunch option.

Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Dairy-Free Flourless Healthy Pizza Quick Recipe Healthy Dinner

{Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo-Friendly Veggie Pizza}

But despite living in a cheerful little San Francisco bubble of health & fitness – Statistically speaking – My high-raw, gluten-free, mostly vegan diet is probably more confusing than common.

I grew up in Sacramento, roughly two hours outside of San Francisco, in a household where despite both parents working fulltime, lunch and dinner were made for my brother and I daily. There was no junk food in the house, a can of soda certainly never crossed the threshold, and white bread was something I only ever saw in commercials.

I’m the first to admit it – I’m a food nerd.

I would rather cook than eat out. In fact, eating at restaurants is often more stressful than enjoyable. I usually leave feeling unnecessarily full – Since portion control is not my strong suit when presented with three servings of food - And sick to my stomach from allergens.

Vegan Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Paleo Peanut Butter Ice Cream Banana Soft Serve

{Vegan Soft Serve}

All of this is running through my head while I’m standing there with a veggie smoothie in one hand and my mason jar water bottle filled with lemon slices & mint sprigs in the other. I look from my bright, vibrant green smoothie to his rapidly cooling, and in my opinion, unappetizing lunch, and say simply: “I want to feel great every day – So I eat to feel great.”

I may have turned into a hippie food nerd, or more accurately, I may have turned into my grandmother, but I’m happy and healthy and content with my choices. I think about what I put into my body and I fuel my long, busy days with healthy, nutrient-dense foods whenever possible. Yes, I love chips. Yes, there was a time in my life when sweet potato fries were a food group. But most of the time I try to treat my body with respect and give it what it needs to run optimally.

P.S. When I looked back after walking away he was just staring at the space where I’d been standing looking confused…

Why do YOU eat the way that you eat?

Interested in learning more about my food journey and transition to a gluten-free, mostly vegan diet? Check out Gluten: The Good, The Bad & The Itchy, the MCLV FAQ, and Plant Based Protein posts for more! :)

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Workout Motivation

I’m an active girl. I like to stay busy and keep my body moving when I’m out of the office. During the week I take yoga and Pilates at Glow. On weekends you can find me hiking or trying new fitness classes. I’m also in the gym at least 5 days a week for core work and physical therapy.

Like I said… I’m an active girl! :)

But even though I love going to the gym and trying new things, sometimes I need a little workout motivation to get me off the couch. Below are my top three tips for staying engaged and motivated to lead a healthy, active life.

Set A Goal

Any goal! Running a race, doing a pull-up, fitting into your new swimsuit… Just having something to push yourself towards will help keep you going.

My current goal is to be as healthy and fit as possible for my upcoming trip to London. With my spinal injury traveling can be hard, so I want my core to be in tip-top shape to make the journey easier!

Workout Motivation Inspiration Gym Workout Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Base Body Babes

{Check out my Workout Motivation board featuring great inspiration like the trainers Base Body Babes}

Get Inspired

I love following healthy living bloggers on Instagram and pinning great yoga poses, workouts, and inspiration says on Pinterest. I’m very visually stimulated and whenever I’m feeling lazy checking out an inspiration board will get me going.

Reward Yourself

My favorite way to celebrate reaching a goal is new workout gear. It’s actually a win-win because it gets you excited for your next trip to the gym and is function to help you reach your next goal.

Workout Motivation Inspiration Gym Workout Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Base Body Babes Zella Activewear Gym Clothes Fitness Gear

Some of my current favorites are Lululemon sports bras, Zella Capri Pants {on SALE now!!}, colorful Zella Tanks, and fitness trackers like the Misfit Shine fitness watch or FitBit Flex.

What YOUR ultimate workout motivation?

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