The ultimate bridesmaid dress: Annabelle by Jenny Yoo for BHLDN

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

bridesmaid dress - annabelle dress bhldn

One Dress. Infinite possibilities. Happy Bridesmaids.

I recently discovered BHLDN. Where was this site when I was planning my wedding?! From the big ticket items to the accent pieces you would otherwise be running to a dozen specialty stores to find, it has everything. Literally.

While browsing the site, I stumbled upon the Annabelle by Jenny Yoo–or, as I like to refer to it, the “ultimate bridesmaid dress.” The $260 price seems steep–until you look more closely at this aisle-sweeping, bias-cut, tulle frock. The skirt features two “ties” of fabric that can be pulled up over the bodice to create more than a dozen necklines.

One and done (tied a million different ways)

A single garment hasn’t flattered so many body types since The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants! Ah, yes, Annabelle is a wondrous gown! Sometimes, she’s is sassy and one-shouldered, other times she’s sexy and strapless. You can dress her up for an elegant evening affair or down for romantic beach bash. Hm, Annabelle? With so many mercurial mood changes, this frock is starting to sound more Anastasia (née Steele) than Annabelle!

Between the eight color options and endless necklines variations, it’s impossible to get bored with Annabelle! Could this actually be a dress that your bridesmaids will really truly wear again? I think yes!
Mosey on over to BHLDN for more Annabelle styling tips or to purchase the dress.

The criss-cross neck is my favorite! How would you wear Annabelle?

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

I tackle Barry’s Bootcamp San Francisco – and conquer a hangover

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

BB-Hero-Banner-v2 copy

I enter Barry’s Bootcamp reluctantly and exit a toned Barrliever

It’s 10:30 p.m. Friday night. I’m at the Brixton catching up with friends over my fourth drink in as many hours when suddenly a light bulb goes off in my head: I signed up for Barry’s Bootcamp tomorrow morning. Expletives float in my wake as I run to the bar to close my tab and out to the curb to catch an Uber home. It’s going to be a rough morning.

Fast forward ten hours. I’m downing coconut water and ibuprofen in a vain attempt to silence the throbbing in my skull (these are the rare occasions where I wish I was 22 again as to be able drink hangover free) and mentally psyching myself up for this work out.

Thinking it will my nerves will calm if I know what to anticipate—preparation is, after all, the antidote to anxiety—I head to their website for some info on class. My curiosity is met on the homepage by a throng of aggressively fit men and women with skintight black leggings, conspicuously absent shirts and rippling abdominal muscles. Their power poses (and tribal armband tattoos) communicate virility and their pouts are nothing less than Blue Steel.

Clearly, I’m not about to enter the “judgment free zone” of Planet Fitness, where there are no dumbbells above 75 lbs and a Bay Area woman was infamously asked by management to cover up because her toned bod was “intimidating” other members.

Hollywood’s favorite workout comes North

Barry’s Bootcamp, I read, is a staple in Hollywood, where it’s so beloved that it was part of a storyline on HBO’s Entourage and is frequented by the likes of Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal. Allure magazine named it the “best celebrity workout” and a cover of Shape magazine with a hand signed “thank you” from cover girl Kim Kardashian is featured prominently on the website. All this high profile love is very well and good, but I’m still unclear about what the class actually entails, and I’m growing increasingly  leery of the term “bootcamp.”

I take a deep breath, pull on my Lulus, pour my coffee into a to-go mug and drive to SOMA, where Barry’s Bootcamp San Francisco opened in May. It’s just a block from AT&T Park, but there isn’t a game, so I’m able to find street parking easily.

I drag myself through the threshold of the brand new, bustling studio. As one class filters out and the next checks in, the lobby is filled with the kind of bubbly camaraderie built on sweat and endorphins. I get the feeling there are a lot of regulars around me who, like those at Soul Cycle or CrossFit , would say they were “obsessed” if asked how they like Barry’s Bootcamp.

I store my belongings in a keyless locker and check out the shower-equipped ladies locker room before heading to class.

barry's bootcamp studio - barry's bootcamp sf - Barry's Bootcamp San Francisco review

The fitness studio is hot, the music is thumping and the lights are low and moody. My head spins. Treadmills line the back wall and the front of the room is full of aerobics steps with a variety of hand weights and balls. Men and women filter in,  dividing themselves evenly among the apparatus. I’m trying hard to ignore my nausea and focus on the words of the instructor who is already buoying us up for the start of class with animated reminders of why we came here today and how hard we’re going to work to improve ourselves during this hour. I soak up her encouragement. I need all the help I can get.

From the spins to the sweats to the sweet endorphins

Class begins with a bang of Beyoncé. The lights soar up, flashing disco-style as the instructor issues two sets of instructions; one to those warming up on the treadmills and the other to those of us, like myself, who have started on the floor. She then proceeds to talk us through an approximately 7-minute set.

The room is steamy by the time we switch so that “treaders” are now on the floor and I’m on a treadmill. “Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up,” I silently implore myself as the treadmill begins to pick up speed. After 60 seconds spring at 8.0 speed, I break into a heavy sweat. It’s restorative. The endorphins have overtaken the ache in my head.

barry's bootcamp San Francisco review

I fit in after just one class!

By the time we complete the first floor-treadmill rotation, I’m no longer feeling sick. By the time we finish the second, I’m sweating hard and feeling good (maybe I was thirsty from sweating out all the toxins from the night before, but I had to refill my water bottle mid class) and by the time we start the final rotation, I’m mentally scanning my schedule to find a time I can come back.

Constantly switching between anaerobic strength training on the floor and aerobic cardiovascular work on the treadmill is both effective and distracting, which makes time fly. Energy stays up throughout class, crescendoing at the end of each set with a high-intensity energy sprint accompanied by an uptick in music and increased flashing of the lights.

I appreciate how directed the treadmill work is. The choreographed incline and speed changes keep even a non-runner like me engaged and challenged. On the floor, the exercises multi-task by working several body planes at once–squats with hammer curls, lunges with side twists. We’re encouraged to pick up the heaviest weights we can handle, which makes sense for those who want to build muscle mass, but, since I want to build long lean muscle for a more dancerly bod, I stick with light to medium weights.

As we wind down after the final set, I stretch out my burning hamstrings and reflect on the word “bootcamp.” From I can tell, the term refers only to the militant-like insistence that each participant have fun and work hard. There was none of the angry yelling or singling out I feared. It was completely acceptable to slow down and catch your breath as necessary during class.

Would I do Barry’s Bootcamp again? Absolutely!

It’s the perfect way to mix up my regular fitness routine and challenge myself once a week–or, whenever I need to combat a hangover.

The Barry’s Bootcamp Breakdown

Pros: The treadmill was surprisingly fun and provided a level of cardio that’s hard to achieve outside of spin class. The comprehensive mix of cardio and strength training is a rare blend and made for a super effective workout. Constantly switching apparatus made the hour-long class fly by, and I enjoyed the intensely encouraging style of instruction.

Cons: The SOMA location is geographically undesirable from my neighborhood, and the parking situation is undoubtedly sticky during the week and impossible when there’s a Giant’s game. The club like atmosphere inside the fitness studio was mostly a pro, but, at times, it had the same drawbacks of being in an actual club; the music could reach  ear-piercing levels and the room was hot and sticky.

Verdict: This a fun yet challenging, fast-paced workout that I’m sure to try again.  I enjoyed the atmosphere and loved the combo of cardio and strength training. It seems to build a more jacked physique than I aspire to, so I wouldn’t make it my regular workout, but I would throw it in the mix for a fun challenge.

Cost: single class $3o, less with package

Difficulty level: 8/10

Barry’s Bootcamp San Francisco offers classes multiple times a day at 236 King Street

Barry Bootcamp in Irvine. Foto: Thomas Engstrom

 

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Seaside style for your tabletop

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

A long island fete inspires nautical chic decor

It’s a short week here in San Francisco as I gear up to head East on Wednesday for (you guessed it) a wedding. I’m particularly excited about this Long Island affair–located in Smithtown, a charming bayside village half way between the city and the Hamptons–as it is my big cousin’s wedding. I have the privilege of being a co-Maid of Honor!

As I geared up for the nuptials and plan out my wardrobe for the week (one perk of being a bridesmaid is that I know exactly what I’m wearing for the big event), I found myself channeling vintage Long Island charm. This sweet spot of entertaining style is located somewhere between Gatsby’s East Egg of yore and Kourtney & Khloe Take the Hamptons of E! TV. From tactile touches, like linen table runners and sailor’s rope napkin rings, to whimsical mermaid statues and animated marine dishes, this set of nautical entertaining pieces presents a playful take on Long Island’s classic seaside style.

For more vintage LI inspiration like, check out this gallery from Town & Country.

cj3a-towing-skiers-hamptons-976x1024

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Stealing My Favorite Salad from The Grove

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

the grove - berkeley bowl salad - the grove berkeley bowl salad - berkeley bowl salad recipe

A DIY version of my favorite takeout salad

Chris and I are on our way home. It’s late. We’ve had a couple of glasses of wine and now we’re hungry, but too tired to cook. I refuse to get a frozen pizza from the corner store.

..and Action

“Where should we get takeout from?”

“Want to just pick something up from the Grove? I could really go for a Berkeley Bowl salad….”

This scenario plays out at least once a week. Partially because we live near The Grove on Fillmore and mostly because I’m obsessed with The Grove’s Berkeley Bowl Salad. It’s so fresh and healthy that you don’t feel gross eating it before bed, but tasty enough you don’t notice there’s no cheese or meat on it (although you could easily add grilled chicken for extra protein).

I was ordering it so often that it became easier for me to figure out to make the salad at home. Luckily, the recipe is super duper easy. Take a look below to see how to create this simply delicious meal yourself!

the grove - berkeley bowl salad - the grove berkeley bowl salad - berkeley bowl salad recipe

Interpretation of The Grove’s Berkeley Bowl Salad

INGREDIENTS
baby spring mix
chopped tomatoes
alpha alpha sprouts
chickpeas
sliced avocados
sliced cucumber
shaved carrots
red onions (optional, I always skip this)
Dill buttermilk dressing (I make a healthier version by mixing chopped fresh dill, chopped chalets, non-fat greek yogurt, olive oil and cider vinegar or white wine vinegar with salt and pepper to taste)

PREPARATION
Mix ingredients together, dress lightly and serve

the grove - berkeley bowl salad - the grove berkeley bowl salad - Berkeley bowl salad recipe the grove - berkeley bowl salad - the grove berkeley bowl salad - berkeley bowl salad recipe the grove - berkeley bowl salad - the grove berkeley bowl salad - berkeley bowl salad recipe

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

My Shameful Normcore fling with Birkenstocks

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

birkenstocks - arizona - gizeh - birkenstocks - white arizona birkenstocks - gizeh birkenstocks - normcore sandals

This weekend, I did something I never thought I would do

I’m a little embarrassed that I did it–and even more shocked at how excited I am about it. I, Maggie Winterfeldt Clark, sworn enemy of ugly walking sandals, purchased Birkenstocks. Normcore, the style movement that is making the least attractive pieces in your parents’ closet trendy, has hit the mainstream consciousness–and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon sandaled-foot first!
Here’s the story….

As normcore grew, I regarded the resurgence of fanny packs with amusement, accepted the influx of pleated, FUPA-inducing mom jeans in the Mission and watched with curiosity as the ugly sandal portion of the movement grew in stride. But it wasn’t the thick-soled iterations released by designers like Giambatista Valli and Marni that inspired me to jump on the double-strap band wagon. I was drawn to the original pretty ugly sandal: Birkenstocks.

Olsen twins birkenstocks socks - Mary Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen arrive together at JFK airport in NYCSomewhere between the start of the Normcore movement last year and the Olsen Twins clomping through JFK  in socks and Birkenstocks this spring, I saw the sandal style with new eyes;  just as the rounded toe of Tory Burch “Reva” flats began to look bulky and unrefined and plunging low-rise jeans began to look more trashy than on trend, Birkenstocks’ once clunky  profile began to feel fresh, hip and neo-practical; the type of shoe you could pair with Derek Lam track pants to hug a tree before grabbing a cup of cold-brewed coffee.

In glossy magazine pages, Birkenstocks grounded models’ spindly legs to the earth with the elegance of a herons long toes outstretched in the sand. High fashion retailers from Barney’s to Net-a-Porter began carrying the brand’s chicer skus–Gizeh thongs in metallic and patent leather, classic Arizona double-strap sandals in bright white and stark black. For every tourist exploring San Francisco’s streets in Eddie Bauer and tattered suede Birkenstocks there were two Marina girls strutting down Union Street in Lululemon leggings and shiny new Birkenstocks.

At trendy shoe salon Heidi Says in Pac Heights, a salesman shared that a shopper had embraced him in a hug upon discovering that the store had a pair of seemingly sold-out-everywhere white Arizona sandals in her size. “She was on the brink of tears,” he said without sarcasm. Fashion’s supreme sovereign Vogue posted “Why Vogue Girls Have Fallen For Birkenstocks” and, most shocking of all, I became enamored with the style. So enamored, in fact, that I purchased two pairs: the black patent leather Gizeh’s and white Arizona Birkenstocks–which, true to the Heidi Says salesman’s story, are virtually impossible to find (two hours of hunting online unearthed stock at SurfStitch, an Australia online retailer with free US shipping).

I might have hippie shoes on my feet, but I won’t be wearing tie dye or attending Burning Man anytime soon…On second thought, I’ll never say never again.

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

24 must-have summer silk maxi dresses

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

IMG_4792Accessorize this seasons must-have silk maxi with sisterly love for timelessly chic style

A few weeks ago, I was in Florida attending a friend’s beautiful beach wedding when I found myself surrounded, once again, by my sorority sisters. In the six years since we graduated from Vanderbilt, I stayed in close contact with a couple, had occasional catch ups with some and did not see others since the day we received our diplomas–but when we came back together, we were all as comfortable and familiar with each other as we had been at chapter dinner so many years prior.  If you’ve never been in a sorority, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now, but if you did go the Greek route, you understand the type of friendships I’m talking about.

IMG_4781

One of the things I can always count on with my sorority sisters is their killer style. Yes, it’s true. Even as we push 30, us Vandy Kappa Delta’s have got it going on in the closet!  All the ladies brought their wedding guest dress A-game, and, in the process, inspired me to gather up some of the seasons best silk dresses, all guaranteed to make a splash at the next event, be it on the water or elsewhere.

Maybe it’s the balmy romance of silk rustling around my ankles in the summer breeze or just the versatility of the style, but, for whatever reason, I’m really digging the dramatic maxi incarnation of the summer silk dress. The luxe fabric takes the easy-to-wear full-length style up a notch and–depending on the specific style and accessories worn–is perfect for everything from a chic brunch (pair with a denim jacket) to an elegant beach wedding (slip on espadrilles) to a formal affair (clasp on some eye-catching jewelry).

Check out my 24 favorite silk summer maxis below. Which would you most love to wear?

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

1 2 3 48