California Dreaming

I’m a city girl through and through, but sometimes even this city girl needs to hang up her heels and head for the hills.

{Fallen Leaf Lake near South Lake Tahoe in Northern California}

Or mountains, as it were.

For a MUCH-needed weekend of sleeping in, swimming, sun worshipping, hiking, and a healthy doses of wine and good company with my parents, aunt & uncle.

Luckily for me this Summer also included a group camping trip in Northern California – Complete w/ camouflage & bear sightings. I’m serious about both!

 

{Calaveras Big Trees State Park}

 

We all have different ways of keeping ourselves grounded and relaxed, whether its slapping at mosquito bites and making toasts with family & friends or escaping to the beach for a weekend of yoga and meditation.

What’s your fool-proof way to wind down during the Summer months?

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Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Clash of the Titans! Retail giants Macy’s and Target will go head to head this fall/winter as they both unveil affordable collections by high-end designers. Missoni will launch a limited addition collection for Target’s Go International in mid September and Giambattista Valli and Chanel will join Macy’s Impulse Only line beginning in September.

DSquared2 showed a bright, fun, sport 2012 Men’s Resort  collection, see TLo’s thoughts here.

Another Brazilian bombshell joins the ranks of Victoria’s Secret, meet Lisalla Montenegro over at Modelinia.

Trying to hang onto that last little bit of summer? Head over to Fabsugar to check out this summer’s best worn white dresses for inspiration.

Still looking for a structured, ladylike handbag for fall? Take a look at what Milly has to offer. Reasonably priced? Check. Gorgeous, deep hued fabrics perfect for fall? Check.

Health & Fitness:

Using genetically engineered T-Cells to eradicate cancer @ I Heart Chaos

IBS sufferers, is the answer kiwi? Check out this article published by the Huffington Post, but keep in mind the inherent limits of this study.

Tumeric to manage osteoarthritis pain @ Health Central

New York skinny vs Paris Skinny – Parisian Garance Dore moved to NYC & gets a wake-up call. Things to take to heart? Portion size, cooking at home & having realistic, healthy weight goals. Thing to forget? Cigarettes!

Want a good summer recipe with tons of veggie goodness? Try FitSugar’s Veggie Chard Wraps with Lime-Ginger dressing

Do you yoga? The Top 10 Poses to Stimulate your Metabolism from Shape.

Have a fabulous weekend!

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2011 Fall Must Haves

Department stores are starting to advertise their fall collections (woot woot – Rachel Zoe’s first line is available now @ Bloomingdales, Nordstrom & Saks) and post-summer sales will showcase some great basics to add to your wardrobe, so take a look below at some of the trends to keep in mind while you’re out shopping for fall.

Faux fur: Whether you can pull off the old school Hollywood glamour of a full coat or just want some trim on your gloves or jacket collar, faux fur is right on trend this season. Keep in mind that faux fur is fairly ubiquitous during cold weather, so a classic, well-made piece can be stored and used again. Please note that I am not in any way advocating the use of real fur, all recommendations below feature faux products.

Calvin Klein Faux Fur Collar Trench Coat - $200 @ Bloomingdale's

Faux-fur shrug - $40 @ GAP

Faux Fur Snood - $43 @ Asos..com

Dresses: Ladylike silhouettes dominated the Italian and French runways for Fall 2011 so pick up a printed silk or sheath dress and get in touch with your inner glamour girl. Whether you go with a cashmere sweater dress or floral printed jersey, you can make this trend work for you by finding flattering silhouettes and lengths for your body type.
 

Milly Sidney Three Quarter Sleeve Bow Dress - $365 @ Bloomingdale's

 

Silk print pleated dress - $150 @ Banana Republic

Tahari Button Waist Woven Sheath - $100 @ Nordstrom

Jackets & Coats: It’s all about the outerwear this fall so find yourself a gorgeous statement coat, double-breasted trench or military jacket to ward off the cooler temps. Everything from classic Burberry tan to deep blues and purples will be showing up in stores.  

Classic Mac - $100 @ Asos.com

 

All Hours Coat - @290 @ French Connection

 

Candy Shell Trench - $80 (sale) @ RachelRoy.com

 
Blouses: Traditional blouses will be everywhere this fall, so get into the mood with one of these beautiful creations. You can easily pair these gorgeous tops with jeans and a blazer on weekends or tucked into a pencil skirt for work. Want a fashionable way to spice up a boring black suit? Add a striking jewel toned blouse.  

DIANE von FURSTENBERG - $250 @ Bloomingdale's

Vince Camuto Studded Cuff Blouse - $100 @ Nordstrom

 

Banana Republic's Mad Men collection tie neck top - $90

 

Mary Janes & colored tights: The runways for fall showed countless variations of classic Mary Janes and thick, colorful tights (Valentino, Miu Miu & Louis Vuitton in Paris and Marni, Fendi & Prada in Milano). Whether you like sturdy stacked heels or dainy kitten heels, MJs are a great investment for this season.

 

GOSFORD Off White Mary Jane Heels - $120 @ TopShop

ASOS PEPPER Mary Jane Platform Court Shoe - $90

 

TAHARI Rakish Mary Jane Pumps - $98 @ Lord & Taylor

Express, Kate Spade and Victoria’s Secret all have great colored tights for reasonable prices.
 
Pocketbooks: And finally, to finish off your polished cold weather look, grab a structured handbag. Think of the great handbags that your grandmother carried or watch a Hitchcock movie for inspiration.
 

Banana Republic's Mad Men collection leopard print satchel - $250

Trouvé Vintage Inspired Faux Handbag - $120 @ Nordstrom

 

Color Block Flat Lock Bag - $35 @ Asos.com

So what’s still on my personal shopping list? Outerwear! 

Banana Republic's Man Men Collection bracelet sleeve jacket

 

Jewel tone BCBG petal-neck dresses

 
Happy hunting!
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Looks of the Week

2011 Teen Choice Awards host Kaley Cuoco looked sweet and summery in white layers. A bright clutch and colorful strapy sandals would have been the perfect finishing touches.

 

Maggie Q was another white-hot stunner on the Teen Choice blue carpet, putting girls half her age to shame in this halter/pencil skirt combo.

 

Zoe Saldana is one of my fashion favorites and she did not disappoint in this belted Lanvin midi dress with metallic heels.

Anne Hathaway's McQueen premier look is great, she really shows you how to wear an interesting dress (i.e. anything by McQueen) in a more down to earth way.

 

Ms. Diane Kruger stepped out on the In Style carpet in head to toe Jason Wu. I love the originality of Diane's looks and this is no exception, in a sea of cocktail frocks this girl always makes a splash. I might have skipped the bow tie, but that's just me.

Zoe wows on & off the red carpet. This grey look is casual but stylish, a great weekend outfit to replace those tired skinny jeans in your repertoire.

 

This look, from the Sartorialist in Stockholm, is absolutely great. The pant length is interesting while the vest spices things up. My favorite part? The bag darling!

I enjoy looking at street style and red carpet looks because they can really inspire you and with ladies like Zoe and Diane really stretching their boundaries, it can motivate you to stay out of a style rut. What did you think of these looks?

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Style File: Red Maxi Skirt

Not interested in spending all of your hard-earned funds on just a couple of pieces to add to your wardrobe each season? You’re not alone! Welcome to MCLV’s Style File, where I’ll be providing you with some less expensive pieces to build some killer outfits. If you have a specific look in mind, feel free to contact me and I’ll put together a breakdown for you.

The look below – from The Sartorialist – caught my eye a few weeks ago and I’ve been planning a similar version for my upcoming European adventures.

 

This look is sexy without being short or revealing and is versatile enough to take you from summer to fall by just updating the accessories and adding a cropped jacket. Below are a couple of options for each individual section of this outfit, all of which can be found for under $100.

{Left to Right: TopShop – $75, Urban Outfitters – $89 & JCrew – $98 @ Net-a-Porter}

{Left to Right: Nine 3 Two – $45 @ Nordstrom, Topshop – $90 & Victoria’s Secret – $40}

 

{Top Left: Asos – $43, Asos – $17, Top Right: Halston Heritage – $26 @ CoutureCandy, Bottom Left: National Jean Co. – $76 & Bottom Right: Max & Chloe – $40}

You can also check out a similar look that was worn by the oh-so-stylish Miss Rachel Bilson recently and you can view the Frugal Fashionista’s breakdown here.Stay tuned for more fabulous street style looks that you can easily put together and which wont strain your pocketbook. Afterall, a girl still needs some pocket money left over for cocktails!

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