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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My Personal CrossFit

This past weekend I suffered through an introductory CrossFit session with my boyfriend as the slave master. Since neither gasping for air nor achy muscles are conducive to photograph taking, only a few pictures were taken.

The scene of the crime, American River CrossFit in Sacramento.

I was so optimistic and full of hope before we started…

The session began with an introduction to lifting form and basic weightlifting apparatuses. First on the docket?

Kettlebells!

Despite their unassuming name and demeanor these little “bells” are, in my humble opinion, quite evil. Saturday’s workout included goblet squats (which I think should be renamed goblin squats, but I digress) and kettlebell swings. After learning the basics of these two exercises, I was given the following warm up:

3 rounds of:

  • 3 burpees
  • 6 Goblet squats
  • 9 Kettlebell swings

The next portion of the workout was devoted to mastering back squats, which according to my back squat-obsessed boyfriend, are the most important exercise to include in your workouts.

* Note: Ladies, if you’re worried that working with weights will add unwanted bulk to your frame, please don’t be. Weights are a great way to not only stimulate your metabolism, but are key in staving off weak bones and diseases like osteoporosis. Here’s a great article that walks you through the benefits of weights and may help alleviate some of your fears – Everyday Paleo: Women and Muscle.

So after working on my form – chest up, chin up, knees in line with feet – I was given a mini back squat workout of 3 rounds of 10, squatting just the bar. The suggestion (I use the word “suggestion” loosely as this was essentially a demand) was to incorporate back squats at least twice a week going forward, Mondays 5×5 & Wednesdays 3×10.

Next up was pull ups. SHUDDER. So I realize my pull up fears are somewhat unfounded, but hanging from that cold metal bar always manages to suck out my confidence. I’ve been practicing on the Gravitron at my work gym, but was informed Saturday that negative pull ups are actually the best way to prepare your body for this exercise, which entails jumping up to the bar and slooooowly lowering yourself down. After a handful of pathetic pull up attempts and half a dozen negative pull ups I practiced kipping with a band, the small chest forward swinging motion definitely helps you to capitalize on your momentum to complete the pull up.

And was I done after all that? Nope… That was, apparently, all just a warm up. Next came the following short circuit workout:

3 rounds of:

  • 30 jump rope single jumps
  • 20 box jumps
  • 10 squatting wall balls (8 lbs/10 feet)

I was red-faced and shaking with muscle fatigue by the end of this torturous hour, which sadly was only a fraction of how I would come to feel in 24 hours.

Was the workout intense and exhausting? Yes. Am I sore? Yes. Am I concerned that my boyfriend hates me little bit because he did that to me? Yes. Am I counting the days until my next attempt? ABSOLUTELY.

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The Art of Lingerie

I’ve loved lingerie for as long as I can remember. I used to steal borrow my mom’s slips and nightgowns when I was little and when I got older she used to bribe me to go to the dentist with trips to the Nordstrom intimates section. That lasted through college actually… 🙂

Vintage - Marilyn Monroe!

I’m not sure what first intrigued me about lingerie, perhaps it was the bombshell glamour evoked in the movies I grew up with. Grace Kelly’s nightgown in Rear Window, Take Back Your Mink from Guys & Dolls, Natalie Wood in Gypsy, or Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot.

What I can say for certain though is that my love affaire with lingerie was consummated, if you will, when I lived abroad. It was everywhere, much more prevalent and “acceptable” than in the US, and I just couldn’t get enough. I wandered into all the little shops I could find in Paris, Madrid, Milan, and Rome. I still have a handful of the pieces that I found while I was there, including a gorgeous lavender dressing gown.

And regardless of what first inspired me this has been a love affaire that’s lasted 29 fabulous years, and at this point I have nightgowns, separates, slips, matching sets, and dressing gowns filling up my closet and an entire bureau stuffed satins, silks, and lace.

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In my experience lingerie can serve a woman in two distinct but interconnected ways – the way it makes her feel and the way it makes her look.

The right cut, color, fabric, and style can make you feel beautiful, glamorous, and sexy. And I’m not just talking about pieces that you’re wearing for someone else, I’m talking about the simple pleasure of sleeping with the feel of satin against your skin or feeling soft lace wrap around your ankles when you take a step. It doesn’t have to be about anyone but yourself!

In addition to making you feel fabulous the right undergarments can make your clothes fit and look even better. It doesn’t matter whether you favor Lily of France, Victoria’s Secret, La Perla, or Agent Provocateur, it’s about finding pieces that complement your body type, personal style, and the clothes in your wardrobe. And for whomever invented shapewear (Spanx anyone?) deserves a medal, those glorious garments can hide all manner of sins.

However, despite my love of lingerie the “lingerie as clothing” trend is one that I must caution you to be careful with. Outside of Halloween it can be hard to pull off wearing stand alone pieces as clothing a la Easy A.

Easy A

That being said, you can evoke the same boudoir feel by wearing a lacy cocktail dress, pieces with sheer panels, satin and silk, or even by layering a bustier in your look.

Needs some inspiration for adding a sexy, boudoir flare to an outfit? Check out Giorgio Armani’s Fall 2011 Boudoir runway show or these sumptuous advertisements that were influences by beautiful, retro lingerie.

   

 

With the luxurious cuts, delicious fabrics, and just a hint of bedroom glamour, these clothes are a treat for the senses and a great way to indulge your lingerie fantasies in the real world.

Do you love lingerie too? How do you feel about daytime wear?

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Cafe Gratitude

This past weekend was busting at the seams with amazing and memorable moments. Three of my best friends from college came to San Francisco and we had a truly amazing weekend. There was dancing, running, watching the CrossFit Games, laughing and a whole lot of food. One of the major highlights?

This place!

Cafe Gratitude has been on my Must Try list for years but I almost never make it to the Mission so I’ve never had the pleasure before. And, WOW, what a pleasure! This is a famous San Francisco vegan landmark that supports local farmers, sustainable agriculture and environmental-friendly products. The quote at the top of the menu really says it all:

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates

The four of us girls have all vegan or vegetarian at various times over the years and were genuinely thrilled to try this place on for size. My boyfriend, however, was slightly less enthusiastic. He was a good sport about it though and I ordered him Indian once we got home. 🙂

We spent an insane amount of time looking over the menu and finally settled on just ordering half of it.

Drinks:

  • I Am Enlivened: High protein algae shot
  • I Am Luscious: Vegan milkshake w/ hazelnut milk, figs, dates, cacao & vanilla bean – UNFREAKING BELIEVABLE!!! This was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever had.
  • I Am Courageous: Organic slow dripped coffee

Eats:

  • I Am Complete: Mediterranean plate featuring raw green falafel (not a huge hit), live crackers (yummy) and a seriously delicious almond hummus
  • I Am Grounded: Roasted organic potatoes w/ spicy cashew nacho cheese – I’m not going to try to lie and say that we behaved like ladies, we didn’t, we practically licked the plate clean.
  • I Am Transformed: Corn tacos w/ brown rice, black beans, salsa & cashew nacho cheese – This was my order and I ate it in under two minutes. And then promptly started on my neighbor’s food… 🙂
  • I Am Warm-Hearted: Organic polenta w/ Puttanesca sauce, cashew ricotta & Brazil nut parmesan – Delicious & hearty, this would be a great dish for a chilly winter night
  • I Am Elated: (Entirely raw) live spinach tortilla enchilada w/ sprouted seed filling & topped w/ spicy mole & cashew sour cream – This looked delish, but it never made it around to me
  • I Am Grateful: This is a really great dish and consisted of brown rice & local community-grown veggies w/ an amazing tahini & garlic sauce

Immediately after trying the cashew nacho cheese in the I Am Grounded appetizer my friend Emi and I bounced out of our seats and ran to the front to buy the Cafe Gratitude cookbook. Be on the look out for some recipe adventures once I dig in!

Unfortunately there was a major downside to this lunch… Namely that I’m now addicted to a restaurant that is really, really far away from my apartment.

I also want to offer a quick congratulations to Crystal & Ashley for their amazing time at the SF Half Marathon!

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