New York New York

 

I spent this past weekend in New York visiting friends and today I’m going to share some of our adventures. First though, I want to thank my gracious hosts Jon and Colin for letting me stay with them yet again (this was our fourth annual spring fling?).

Now, on with the show!

Friday night’s dinner was spectacular and even my omnivorous bestie loved his food from Blossom, a vegan, organic, ethically minded restaurant located on the Upper West Side (Blossom).

The decor was cool and relaxed and our waitress was very knowledgeable, offering plenty of suggestions and ideas for our meal.

We ended up ordering the Roasted Corn Polenta Cakes (pictured above), Spaghetti Squash Alfredo, Tempeh Pad Thai and a side of mashed potatoes. Quite a varied selection, no? Considering that I was tempted to order everything on the menu, this was actually an extremely tame order.

I apologize for the lack of pictures, but honestly we (fine, me) ate so quickly that all I had time to photograph was the first appetizer and the empty plates. And on that note, I felt SO AWKWARD taking photos of my food. Wow, nothing like a flashing camera in a restaurant to draw unnecessary attention to yourself!

Our evening quickly progressed with a few drinks, a costume change, more food (I have a problem, ok) and then, what else? A trip to a drag queen dance club – Rockit Fridays at District 36 hosted by FV Events.

The downstairs dance floor of the club was small and enclosed while upstairs boasted a larger, open space for dancing. Both floors quickly filled up with amazing dancers, some in street clothes, some in costumes, others in full drag. It was quite a show.

I can’t remember the last time that I went dancing, but it was an absolute blast to enjoy the music and the colorful scenery without fear of being groped by wandering hands!

And the bartender uniform de jour? Speedos. Raise your hand if you love gay clubs… 🙂

I was a little worse for wear after tons of sweaty dancing, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to pose for this picture, even though my makeup was literally dripping down my face.

Isn’t she gorgeous?

And after an amazing and late (for me) night out, I’m not ashamed to admit that Saturday consisted solely of recovery time. 3 people + pull-out couch + movies + food = AWESOME.

Dinner was especially delicious and I licked my bowl clean after ordering from Basera Indian Bistro. Their vegetable Jalfrezi over rice was spicy and flavorful, I would definitely order from there again if I lived in Hells Kitchen!

I already miss New York and am planning another trip this summer to see the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibit at the MET (upcoming exhibitions).

Next time you’re in the Big Apple, check out Blossom if you can it’s definitely worth a visit!

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Blogger Confessions {II}

  • Some mornings I wake up and wonder what I’m doing with my life. Then I realize that it’s 3:45am and that’s how everyone feels at that hour.
  • I have the attention span of a baby kangaroo. On PCP. In a toy factory.
  • My favorite store on the planet is Zara.
  • While I don’t follow astrology, I do believe that I encompass many of the traditional Scorpio characteristics.
  • I look forward to family gatherings like a little kid on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa to come down the chimney. Laughter, wine and hilarity inevitably ensue.

Related Reading: Blogger Confessions

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Real Girls Need Real Closets – Accessories Edition

While every girl needs to get her hands on the basics (Real Girls Need Real Closets), sometimes its the extras that really make an outfit pop.

Case in point – Eva has a stunning figure and looked sublime in this white Dior gown, but she would not have been the talk of the town without all of her gorgeous turquoise jewelry

 

And while, tragically, the Golden Globes isn’t on the docket for most of us, a girl can always use some standout accessories so she makes a splash on her own personal red carpet. Jewelry 

 As much as I love those little blue bags at Tiffany’s, I have to confess that I’m a huge devotee of vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry. Must be the romantic in me. I like that the pieces have history, that someone has loved them, that they’re unique and one of a kind. Gold, silver, real, costume… You name it, I love it! I have some gorgeous pieces handed down to me from my mom’s side of the family, mostly gold, and I’ve been scouring vintage shops in San Francisco for years. 

  Scarves/Pashminas 

 If you’ve spent any time in San Francisco you know that the weather is schizophrenic to say the least. In a city where it can go from foggy to sunny to pouring rain in the span of three hours, a pashmina is a girl’s best friend. I usually have one in my purse, one at my desk, and I never travel without one (perfect if you want to avoid scratchy airplane blankets when you fly!) 

 I picked up this habit living in Italy, and like French women, Italians adore their scarves. You can wear them draped over your shoulders, looped multiple times around your neck, across your neck and hanging down in back, even twisted around the handle of your purse. Gloves 

 My glove obsession is probably the result of my mother raising me on Hitchcock movies. I’ve loved Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and the rest of their contemporaries as long as I can remember. In fact, for my fifth grade wax museum I dressed up as Grace Kelly. What can I say, why would I want to be Amelia Earhart when I can wear a tiara? Driving gloves, opera length, (faux) leather, cropped, mittens, animal prints… One of my favorite and oh-so-Hitchockian ways to wear long gloves is with a boxy jacket that has 3/4 length sleeves so you can see a good portion of the glove. Add a bracelet over the glove and ta-da! 

 Hats While I’m not personally much of a hat wearer, I do believe that a hat can add an extra kick to an outfit. Finding the perfect hat to suit your face shape and your outfit may be a bit of a challenge, but worth the effort if you can get it right. 

 Showing us just how to pull one off, even if you’re enjoying balmy Southern California weather, I present one of my best friends, Jacqueline Koob. Unique clutch In addition to the compulsory black clutch that can be paired with anything, it’s a good idea to have a stand-out clutch to spice up an all black ensemble. 

 This one is a no-name vintage clutch that my grandmother gave me. I carried it last year when I went to the San Francisco Symphony Gala and it was the perfect final touch for a sleek, classic look. 

My friend Nathaniel and I in grown-up prom mode. 🙂 The look would have been very simplistic without the fun clutch and earrings, so keep that in mind when you’re putting together a monochromatic ensemble, accessories can take it from ho-hum to wow. 

 Happy hunting!

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Do you… CrossFit?

 

Do you have a short attention span? Are you bored with the classes offered at your gym?  Are you a highly competitive individual? Do you like to keep things interesting? Than CrossFit might be just what you need to shake up your workout routine.

In case you’re not familiar with this workout craze, here’s a short summary from the official CrossFit website:

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.
 
The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.

Or in the words of CrossFit founder Greg Glassman:

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”

I feel I should warn you, CrossFit is an intense program not for the faint of heart.

I’m not going to lie. I couldn’t raise my arms after my first introductory session. This was especially devastating considering I was told I don’t know how to do proper push-ups and my pull-ups were a joke.

Words hurt you know!

From what I’ve seen, the major pros of CrossFit are: (1) The duration of the workouts. These sweat sessions will be brutal, but short (direct & to the point, thank you very much). You can absolutely fit one in mid-day, no excuses, and head back to work or school with a rosy glow.  (2) You will not get bored! Each day’s WOD (workout of the day) is different, focusing on different strengths and keeping you interested and challenged. (3)  I would say that the factor that has struck me the most about CrossFit is the sense of community. The individuals who regularly attend a gym (aka box) develop a close bond and are exceptionally supportive of one another. The family that sweats, toils & bleeds together, stays together! 

While the cons are few and far between, I will say that the “tenets of CrossFit” such as the Paleo diet, while not required, are highly touted and recommended. As a vegan, obviously that’s not a feasible program for me, but I take personal affront at the idea that sweet potatoes should be eliminated from anyones diet (note: only strict paleo disciples exclude tubers entirely, while those following a modified paleo diet may choose to continue eating them).

The other concern that I’ve heard voiced about CrossFit is, unfortunately, the cost. While most gyms offer a free introductory class and low one-off drop in session fees, monthly membership can be steep (between $120 and $200 depending on the gym).

I was honored to attend the Fittest of the Sierra’s tournament at the South Tahoe CrossFit center with the American River CrossFit team this past weekend. While I’m sure I could have annihilated the competition should I have joined the festivities (I kid, I kid), I was there solely in an observatory capacity. (Maybe I can be a water girl?)

As a former athlete I have to admit that I have missed the meet-environment and Saturday brought back a lot of memories. The collective energy, the anticipation, the excitement simmering under the surface, and yes, I even missed the smell of chalk.

This competition was an absolute blast to witness. The workouts were intense and merciless, but the atmosphere was enthusiastic and positive, with teams supporting one another and genuinely having a great time. There was a DJ, plenty of dancing (I’m talking to you Trevor) and tons of food. Not to mention some stunning displays of athleticism and sheer determination that left me gaping. One of the highlights for me was watching the women’s snatch (how to do a snatch lift) when the entire gym full of  people screamed and shouted encouragements as one competitor struggled from a stance on both of her knees, finally pushing herself up to her feet to complete the lift. The crowd went wild.

Unfortunately the stress of CrossFit competitions can be very hard on the body and mind, as evidenced below:

BEFORE

AFTER (No, that is not a mug shot and yes, we took him out for beer and pizza afterwards. In public. You are welcome South Lake Tahoe.)

I’d like to thank the South Tahoe CrossFit organization for hosting an amazing competition and the American River CrossFit team for letting me tag along on their adventure. Congratulations to all of the competitors, you all did an amazing job!

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Hippie Chic

With the Coachella weekends swiftly approaching and people planning their trips out to Southern California, I thought that I’d show a little hippie love with some bohemian-inspired outfits to get you in the mood.

Rule #1:

Don’t forget your boots!

As the reigning queen of music festival-chic, Her Highness Kate Moss never forgets to bring her boots. They’re key for tramping around between sets, especially given the erratic weather patterns this time of year and the random, unannounced Spring showers.

Hippie Chic Kate Moss Festival Fashion Boho Bohemian

And in honor of The Queen, here’s outfit suggestion numero un – You’ll need  some flattering, tiny shorts, a loose tunic, low slung belt, Hunter Boots, a cross-body bag and hippie accessories like feathers and layered chains.

Rule #2:

Whether you’re a fan of aviators or Wayfarers, don’t forget to pack a couple of pairs of sunglasses for your trip.

Choosing a pair of shades that suits your face can be a challenge, but once you settle on your favorite style you can spice up your look by trying out everything from black & white zebra prints to classic black to tortoiseshell.

The lovely Kate Bosworth is always at the top of the Best Dressed lists after a music festival weekend and here’s yet another example of just how she makes her hippilicious outfits work. This outfit illustrates just how important sunglasses are, both to complete your look and to keep your eyes healthy and safe in the sun!

To put together similar look you should keep it simple and try a summery romper that’s spiced up with lace-up sandals, hoop earrings, a saddle bag and your favorite sunglasses!

Rule #3:

Layer on those accessories!

The extras are incredibly important when you’re putting together a fun boho look – You can try adding anything from the handbags and jewelry to headbands and hats. So when in doubt, pile on the hippie accessories!

Celebrities really know how to do the hippie chic look right by complementing their outfits with colorful headscarves, floral headbands, fringed pieces, hobo bags, braids, draped vests, and oversized vintage sunglasses.

For this kind of outfit you can’t go wrong with faded or distressed skinnies, a basic tank, flat Peter Pan-inspired booties, and then pile on all the hippie accessories that you can get your hands on.

Rule #4:

Why not be an undercover stunner on this trip?

Avoid sunburn and disastrous fading and bleaching of your hair by adding an oh-so-chic hat to your ensemble. A floppy, oversized felt hat like below goes really well with a floaty, low-key maxi, while a brimmed fedora will complement a more structured separates look better.

Vanessa Hudgens {anyone seen Sucker Punch?} definitely knows how to stay cool in the summer heat. Believe me when I say that the Southern California sun can be pretty punishing, so please be sure to pack both your hat and sunglasses!

Try mixing up your hippie chic look by pairing a flowy, ethereal maxi dress or maxi skirt with strappy flat sandals, vintage gold chains, and a fedora or wide-brimmed hat.

{Images from Hippie Chic & Festival Fashion}

Now run off and enjoy the music loves, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

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