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Fashion:

In the mood to spice up your wardrobe for Spring? Check out the Spring 2013 Shopping page for some fun pieces & shopping tips & recommendations for Spring.

DenimOnDenim

Denim on denim is a must try when the weather starts to warm up this year – Something I’ve been experimenting with since I got my new TopShop Chambray shirt. Check out The Glitter Guide’s Style Sessions: Three Ways To Wear Denim On Denim for some tips & suggestions.

What am I most excited to try this Spring style-wise? Suits, suits, and more suits. Check out Into The Jungle’s This Spring: Suit Up to see how fun this new trend is going to be.

Has the Spring Cleaning bug hit you yet? Apartment Therapy has just the project if you’re looking to spice things up in your home – Before & After: Closet Under the Stairs Gets a Dramatic Makeover.

BedsideTable

Make going to bed all the sweeter each night by tackling this little DIY project and giving your bedside table – Weekend DIY: Instant Update {Nightstand}.

Health & Nutrition:

Whether you’re recovering from an injury, easing into a new fitness routine, or looking for a stress reliever yoga is a great activity to try out – Strong Body, Powerful Mind.

PotatoSoup

As the Winter chill starts to fade and the days start to look more and more like Spring I’ll be breaking out all sorts of delicious salads but I’ve found that during this transition period at the beginning of the year I’m always craving soups and other warm but light comfort foods. Enter Oh She Glows’s Not Your Average Potato Soup.

February may have officially been heart health month but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore your health for the other 11 months of the year. I was astounded when I read the statistics about heart disease in women and in order to help us all stay on top of our heart health here’s The House Always Wins with 16 Things You Can Do For Your Heart Today.

HealthyChocolateWalnutBread

Whenever I’m in the mood for an indulgent treat I head to The Wannabe Chef’s site – He’s similarly pumpkin, peppermint & chocolate obsessed so I adore his site. His latest triumph? Healthy Chocolate Walnut Bread – Don’t you just love to see “chocolate” and “healthy” in the same recipe?

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MCLV Style: Prints Prints Prints

Prints, prints, and more prints.

And I’m not going to lie – Those are three of my favorite things to keep in mind while I’m picking out my clothes each day. 🙂

One

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Patterned Blouse – Zara, Polka Dotted Skirt – Forever 21, Cut-Out Booties – Via Spiga, Emerald Necklace – Zara & Clutch – MICHAEL by Michael Kors}

Two

{You can view this outfit on Lookbook.nu and Pose}

Three

{Check out outtakes from this shoot here – Just log into Facebook to view}

This hat makes me feel like a French film star in the 20’s and I absolutely adored pairing it with these all-over prints in this look. Colorful, fun, and eye-catching.

Do you like to wear hats? What’s your favorite style?

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MCLV Style: Emerald City

Since emerald was dubbed the color of the moment I dug this top out of the back of my closet for a recent sunny Saturday. When I got this piece I was actually a blonde and while it was quite pretty then I have to say I like it even better now that I’m a redhead. 🙂

Emerald

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Emerald Top – Zara, Jeans – Forever 21, Booties – Rebecca Minkoff, Blazer – Zara, Necklace – J.Crew & Tote – Furla}

EmeraldI

{Check out outtakes from this shoot here – Just log into Facebook to view}

I’m enjoying this trend – Emerald’s a versatile color and looks great against virtually all skin tones and hair colors {as opposed to, say, mustard yellow}. It’s also a great choice if you’re adding a “pop of color” to a look because it’s so eye-catching and bold. If you’re in the mood to explore the emerald trend than check out some of the fun pieces below:

CollageMCLV

{Left: BCBG Blouse – $89 @ Bluefly, Top Right : Carry-All Pouch – $46 @ American Apparel, Center Right: Emerald Necklace – $30 @ Bauble Bar & Bottom Right: Mossimo Cap-Toed Heel – $25 @ Target}

Another trend I’m MAD about this Spring is metallics – Specifically metallic cap-tied shoes like these Mossimo heels. Emerald + metallic = Spring perfection as far as I’m concerned!

Are you a fan of this season’s emerald trend? Have you found any pieces that you like yet for Spring 2013?

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Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

If yesterday’s post got you excited about improving your health than be sure to check out Muscle & Fitness’s Finding the Good in Saturated Fats and learn about healthy fats.

GreenThickies

Food combining is one of those things that I’ve read about from different sources and heard people rave about, though I’ve never tried it. Is it something you’re interested in? Then read Green Thickies’s Food Combining Explained.

Figuring out what to eat before or after a workout can be tricky, here’s a simplified guide from The No Meat Athlete – The 7 Secrets of Post-Workout Recovery.

Being more positive was one of my 2012 New Years Resolutions and again this year I wanted to put conscious effort into approaching my life with a better attitude. I loved this piece from The Huffington Post, especially the part about happiness being a choice.

Roxy

Need some motivation to get your booty to the gym for a sweat session? Check out these gorgeous sun-drenched pictures from NYC Pretty taken in New York this Winter – Central Park Stretch.

Fashion:

One of the trends that I’m most excited for this Spring are the printed pants. If you’re considering getting a pair but aren’t sure how versatile they’ll be than this is the article for you – My Style: 5 Ways To Wear Floral Pants.

Scarf

Kerchiefs and headscarves are a fabulous retro style that evoke images of Sophia Lauren and Jackie O. You’ll be sure to get inspired to try a fun new style after viewing these beautiful pictures from Scent of Obsession – Trend Report: Acconciature e Foulard S/S 2013.

I’m always looking for tricks and tips to try out that’ll improve the storage situation in my apartment. Glitter Guide to the rescue – Organizational DIY To Try.

Collars are a fun trend that can really take a look to the next level – Whether it’s a top with an embellished Peter Pan collar or a fun necklace. If you’re up for a project this weekend why not make your own? Nelle Creations – We Heart This :: DIY Collar Necklace.

Stripes

Stripes are always a great style to bring back each Spring so start early this season and check out The Fashion Fruit’s stripes inspiration board – Stripes Stripes Stripes!

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{Guest Post} Interview With A Trainer

Happy Saturday and welcome to MCLV’s latest health & fitness post!

The goal of this series to help motivate us all to have a happy, healthy Spring. And to that point today I’m happy to be sharing with you an interview with a personal trainer, health & fitness nut, and one of the founders of the new Sacramento-based barbell gym Capitol City Strength & Conditioning. He’s joining us to answer some general – but extremely helpful – questions about eating habits, nutrition, working out, and other health & fitness related topics.

SeanMCLV

(1) Please tell us a little bit about your fitness routine (i.e How many days a week do you workout? What sort of workouts do you do?)

My personal routine varies greatly upon seasonal goals and lifestyle factors. Generally i focus primarily on Olympic lifting, training 4-5 times a week, a total of maybe 6-8 hours lifting. In addition to this I normally spend 30-60 minutes a day stretching and working on improving joint mobility. But my workout schedule is highly dependent upon social factors. If I am particularly stressed, I may substitute 1-2 lifting sessions for walking or reduce the overall volume.

(2) What are your long-term fitness goals?

My primary long-term fitness goal, I would say is to remain fully functional (i.e. running jumping, squatting, and fully able to play) well into my hundreds. If I had to think a little less long-term than that, I would say my overall goals are to maintain and or improve joint health and mobility while consistently improving my strength and power.

(3) When someone walks into your gym w/ no athletic or fitness background what are three exercises you would start them on? Why?

One, precursor I would have someone start with is to walk. I wont include this in my list of three, but ill mention it anyway. The benefit and value which simply walking for 30-60 minutes a day can have on almost anyone’s health is pretty impressive. I will generally recommend this to everyone regardless of their goals. But, in regards to someone who lacks much of a fitness background it can be especially useful. Anyways, on to the list (bear in mind these would be my recommendation for someone without any prior athletic history).

1-Lunge – A lunge is performed by stepping forward with one leg and dropping the rear knee to or close to the ground creating two ninety degree angles with both knees joints. Lunges can be a great tool. They are very easy to learn, with minor modification can be done safely by just about anyone with legs, and can be varied in many different forms to increase difficultly or maintain interest. Lunges are compound movement requiring several different muscle groups and require a degree of balance and coordination, two skills which are often overlooked, but when addressed can go a long way in injury prevention. Seeing that a vast majority of people, especially the older they get, have exceptionally poor mobility in the hips and ankles, lunges can help mobilize those joints in a safe and controlled manner will simultaneously promoting stability in the hip. Important safety note when performing a lung: do not let your front knee track beyond your forward toes and maintain an upright and neutral arch in your back. Squeezing your shoulder blades helps to reinforce this. Variations of a lunge can be done with barbells, dumbbells, to increase the difficultly or while holding onto something stable like a railing to make them more manageable.

2- Deadlifts – A deadlift is another compound movement, which is performed by picking up an object off the ground, generally a barbell, and standing fully upright. The deadlift is another great exercise which is a very effective tool to efficiently work much of your body. It is very easy to learn, but should definitely, and this can not be overstated, be taught by a knowledgeable professional. It is an excellent tool to strengthen muscles of the posterior chain (back side) and increase spinal stability. There is substantial carryover for the deadlifts to real life activities and significantly aid in decrease one’s chance of injury during normal activity. Like with the lung, always try to maintain a neutral spine and tight abdomen. Variations of the deadlift can be performed with dumbbells or kettlebells.

3- Shoulder press – A shoulder press is performed by vertically extending a weight from shoulder height to overhead, while maintaining a stable and static body. A should press is another great compound exercise because it will generally require you to move your shoulder through a full range of motion while simultaneously requiring you to remain stable and through your entire body. Like the deadlift, the shoulder press has a substantial carryover to everyday activity and can aid in injury prevention. Variations can be done with a dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell, or pretty much any weight.

DinahMCLV

{A badass client at her first competition}

(4) What’s some advice you’d like to impart to people who workout w/ out a trainer? (i.e. Tips, suggestions, recommendations)

Like every industry, trainers can run the spectrum from exception to downright hazardous. Trust your instincts and if a trainer ever asks you to perform a movement that your no comfortable with be, voice your concerns (back squats on a bosu ball are an excellent sign that you should find a new trainer). Just because someone has a certification does not mean they know what they are doing.

(5) What are your typical meals on a workout day? On a rest day?

Once again this is very dependent upon my goals and training program. On any typical lifting day, I will generally skip breakfast and eat pretty light throughout the day. Focusing primarily on fats and proteins. Chicken, avocado, ground beef, and eggs are typical. Immediately after I workout I will generally eat some type of lean meat and something starchy like white rich or sweet potatoes. And for dinner, I will typically stick to lots of proteins and fats with vegetables. Steak, chicken, or salmon, with broccoli or asparagus is pretty regular. But like I have said, this is completely dependent upon my goals. I’ve experimented with dinners composed of half gallons of whole milk and jars of peanut butter. On rest days I will generally eat in a similar fashion minus the carbohydrates after I workout.

(6) Is when you eat important? Tell us a little bit about why you time things the way you do.

Yes. But this can be highly dependent individual preference and lifestyle. I prefer to fast in the mornings till about noon, have my first meal start with a fatty dish, and follow my workouts with rapidly digestible carbs, and finishing with something high protein. Depending on your goals, what you eat and when you eat it can have a big impact on how your body functions. Why exactly I do each of those however is a very lengthy answer and ill have to save for another posting.

(7) If a client asks you for recommendations on changing their eating habits what are your usual suggestions? Anything you usually suggest adding or removing from their daily diet?

Almost regardless of a person’s goals, I try to encourage them to gravitate towards a whole foods (paleo-ish) based diet. I’m not a nutritionist, but asking people to not eat pop-tarts and pancakes is pretty much full proof. I will generally try to get people to drop bread and anything that doesn’t expire out of their diet, sticking primarily with good meats, fruits vegetables, nuts, and dairy (if you can tolerate it). Some people like the cold turkey approach, it works for some., but I generally prefer a gradual adjustment. I read somewhere it takes about 30 days to reinforce behavioral changes and I generally think asking people to change too much too fast leads to poor adherence. Small measurable changes make for better long-term progress, at least in my opinion. Maybe one month, cook every dinner, give up buying bread, next give up soda, ect ect. But then again this is very dependant upon personality

Handstand

I hope that you enjoyed this point and maybe even learned something new that you can apply to your own routine. We’ll continue this healthy living series so be sure to stay tuned for more interesting tips, suggestions, and recommendations on how to think about your health & fitness routines to get maximum results.

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