Kitten Yes, Kitten Heel No Wednesday, Sep 14 2011 

When I hear “kitten”, my imagination immediately fills with images of adorable, meowing, baby little kitties all curled up or curiously exploring a new land, or boldly conquering my pillow in a little ball.

I’ve been a cat lover from the start, and I’m pretty sure “kit-ty” was one of my first five words. For more adorable-ness, hit up one of my favorite websites- icanhazcheezburger.com to indulge in kitten cuteness!!!

Aren’t my babies adorable?????????:)

But my love of all things kitten does NOT extend into the fashion realm. Everyone knows how I L-O-V-E my stilettos and sky-high Louboutins. I just love what they do for my calves, butt, legs, posture, gait and confidence.

Plus, I need the extra height. I also show lots of love for a well-structured flat shoe, for those days of comfort or running errands. Flats are great for giving your feet a break from the arch-stretching and pressure points of the gorgeous heels, while still maintaining a stylish and comfortable look.

Some shoe designers and stylists champion a compromise of the two, a sort of “Heel Limbo” for those who crave the height of a heel and the comfort of a flat. But in my opinion, this is one area of life where there is no “grey” area or middle ground. I either want my shoes towering or my toes flat on the ground. A kitten heel does the exact opposite of what a heel should do. It slopes your foot forward and down, which actually flattens out the top of your foot and makes it look thicker than it actually it. Why would I want to make any part of my body look thicker? And you get zero arch, Achilles or calf support from a kitten heel.

The itty-bitty bobbity heel wobbling precariously in the middle of the heel area of the shoe is just simply not large or substantial enough to sustain the weight of a normal human’s body, and thus, for me at least, creates an uncomfortable balance shift that leaves me off-kilter all day. Maybe Nicole Kidman can work a kitten heel and still feel glamorous (um, hello, she’s Nicole Kidman, all bets are off!) but the average woman is doing herself and her feet a grave disservice by adding these little runt imposters to her shoe wardrobe.

Hey, heels don’t have to be 5 inches to help you stand out (although aren’t they just fabulous?) I’m a big proponent of the 3-and 4-inch family members as well- much more work appropriate and more practical for walking.

But next time you’re in some heel pain, try another approach than sacrificing style and comfort- there are so many other options! I’m a big fan of the Dr. Scholl’s gel inserts for when I know I’ll be standing in  a pair of heels for a long period of time. I also tend to favor heels that have somewhat of a hidden platform- so a 5-inch heel is really only a 4-inch difference between the heel’s highest point and the platform. LOVE!

So join me in agreeing with Victoria Beckham and countless other fashionistas by pledging to ban the kittens from our shoe closets and keep them where they belong: curled up in our laps.

Media Credits: All Kittens are photos of my babies, Nimitz (grey) and Ares (black) taken by my iPhone

first photo courtesy of instyle.com

second photo courtesy of fashionpeach.com

third photo courtesy of divaboutqiueva.com

fourth photo courtesy of workchic.com

fifth photo courtesy of myfashionjuice.com

sixth photo courtesy of thetrendyheels.com

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Fairest of Them All: Oscars 2010 Tuesday, Sep 13 2011 

Originally posted March 10, 2010 on www.loyolalooks.wordpress.com

 

Yes, the fantastic Red Carpet extraordinaire took place this past weekend, as stars glided their way inside the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate The 82nd Academy Awards. E!’s Fashion Police crowned Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock as the Best Dressed of the evening, and other style-savvy nominees and presenters dazzled fashion critics all over the world with their breathtaking fashion choices.

With all the dreamlike gowns to choose from, it’s hard to narrow down to a few favorite selections. Every actress wants to look their absolute best on Oscar Night, and they turn to numerous fashion stylists, consultants, makeup artists and hairstylists to prepare them for the scrutiny of the million light bulbs awaiting them on the Red Carpet.  However, one very important member of the Oscar Red Carpet team is often overshadowed by the actress wearing the gown or even the couture piece itself: the designer. When interviewed, actresses obviously acknowledge the fashion genius responsible for their exquisite ensemble, but it never goes beyond their name or the fact that the piece was, of course, custom-made for them by their “dear friend”.

 

This Red Carpet was especially exciting due to Tom Ford’s presence, wearing—what else?—a classic Tom Ford tuxedo. The presence of a celebrated fashion designer walking the Red Carpet alongside Hollywood’s most famous faces has inspired more discussion about the role of the fashion designer and their vital contribution to the magic of Oscar Night.

This year, the “crème de la crème” of fashion designers went head to head, swathing experienced leading ladies and stylish new starlets. We always think of the Red Carpet as a fashion battlefield for the ladies wearing the couture, but what about those fabulous minds that created them? Instead of contributing to the ongoing discussion of Best Dressed, I’d like to focus on the friendly bit of competition between designers on Oscar Night: Which Designer Ruled the Oscar Red Carpet?

 

 

Marchesa had big winner Sandra Bullock and new nominee Vera Farmiga on their team; Armani Prive was responsible for Jennifer Lopez’s gorgeous fashion comeback after her questionable sparkly number from New Year’s Eve; with Angelina Jolie absent from the award ceremony this year, Elie Saab was able to dress another nominee and budding fashion icon, Anna Kendrick; even Project Runway’s Season 4 Chris March caught the attention of Red Carpet staple Meryl Streep. Each of these designers delivered an extraordinary piece of fashion that will go down in Oscar history as a phenomenal Red Carpet moment.

Some other designers birthed spectacles that have been undoubtedly exquisite on the recent runways, but came under some fire for a Red Carpet choice: dramatic French label Givenchy chose Avatar princess Zoe Saldana as their muse for their multicolor glitter and ruffle creation; the delicious canary Chanel haute couture extravaganza that Sarah Jessica Parker wore when she announced Best Costume Design has also taken fire for its possible lack of mainstream-friendliness. Another gown right off the runway that fell flat of delivering “ooh”s and “ahh”s on the Red Carpet was Dior’s Haute Couture eggplant-colored sheeth, carried off by erstwhile model and Best Actress winner Charlize Theron. Whatever your opinion on these straight-from-the-runway dazzlers, they certainly made for an interesting Red Carpet that would have made Carrie Bradshaw proud.

If I had to choose a top winner, designer-wise, from Sunday night, I would have to join the Sandra Bullock-worshipping team and swoon over her made-for-Oscar-winning-gold Marchesa gown. Of all the designers who showed off their fashion genius at the most glorious of all Red Carpets, I have to give my vote to Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig for their glimmering vision.

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of infamouskidd.com

second photo courtesy of esquire.com

third photo courtesy of instyle.com

fourth photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

fifth photo courtesy of justbeamagazine.com

sixth photo courtesy of bobalexrasman.onsugar.com

seventh photo courtesy of lambsandangels.blogpsot.com

UGG, UGG, UGH Sunday, Sep 11 2011 

Originally posted March 15, 2010 on www.loyolalooks.wordpress.com

 

I gather this will be a sensitive topic for Loyola’s UGG-lovers, but please give me a chance before you write this article off as an anti-comfort tirade.

Yes, I love comfort just as much as everyone else does. Trust me, I jumped on the UGG bandwagon when the trend took off my junior year of high school(sounds like so long ago- only 2006!) I just had to have the latest sheepskin fleece-lined phenomenon warming my toes in every color and style. I am not one of those snobs who proclaim UGG as short for “ugly”. My favorite of all the UGGs was (and still is) my delightful fluffy pink slippers. They’re fabulous for sloshing around dorm room floors and walking down the questionably clean stairs to fetch laundry. Even at home, chores like running outside to get the mail or letting the dog in are made a bit more fabulous by the presence of these softies. However, I draw the line at substituting slippers, as well as the darker hued members of the UGG family, for real shoes. They are not shoes. For those of you still in denial, I repeat: They. Are. Not. Shoes. They are delicious, toe-cushioning, foot-warming nests for tired and cold tootsies that have trudged around all day.

But I believe the time has come to bid adieu to these furry footwear staples. Not au revoir! For those of you that did not join me abroad in Paris, Adieu is the term for “See you later” not “Goodbye”. Have any of you read Victoria Beckham’s best-seller That Extra Half an Inch? If not, I highly recommend it to any shoe-loving or fashion-forward fan. In her chapter dedicated to the gems the world knows as shoes, she professes her appreciation for the soft UGGS and admits that she loves nestling her tired, worn feet into them after a long day on stilettos.

But Posh Spice adds a great point, one that I think we should all take to heart: slippers are for inside, not outside. Remember how we’re working on the fact that UGGs are slippers, not shoes? If it helps, think back to kindergarten when we were reminded to use our indoor voices. There are indoor shoes, and outdoor shoes. UGGs belong in the Indoor category. (Hint: Madame Beckham herself says she’s wearing UGGs as she’s writing her shoe chapter, because she’s inside)

This does not mean that you must sacrifice your toes to the comfort gods and suffer in agony every time you walk across the Quad. I have found that every other pair of flat shoes is just as comfortable and actually offers a bit more ankle and foot arch support than UGGs. When there are so many comfortable and fashionable foot choices out there, why would you deprive yourself of the latter description? Are UGGs really that much more comfortable than a classic pair of riding boots? And let’s not forget that Spring is just around the corner, and a stylish pair of flats keep our feet just as toasty and snuggled—hello, Tory Burch!

I am a firm believer that at least one good, sturdy pair of UGGS is a wardrobe must-have for any comfort-loving collegiate. However, their heyday as acceptable outdoor footwear has reached its conclusion, and I believe the backs of our closets are beckoning to our beloved UGG collection.

Store them in the back, or if you need a bit of a transition period, maybe under your bed for easy access when getting home after a long day (or night). I promise, you can still enjoy the cozy warm goodness that you feel when you slip your feet into these feathery havens—just in the privacy and comfort of your own home/dorm room. If you’re having trouble adjusting, just think to yourself: Did you ever see Carrie Bradshaw wearing UGGs?

 

 

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of shortuggboots.com

second photo courtesy of stylehive.com

third photo courtesy of spaweekblog.com

fourth photo courtesy of funstuffnow.com

fifth photo courtesy of mizztissa.com

Fitness Focus: Gwen Stefani Tuesday, Sep 6 2011 

The original “It” girl, Gwen Stefani is just too cool for words. Her video for “Cool” might just be one of my all-time faves, and not because the girl looks good in everything.

 

 

 

Originally known for her sexy husky voice and stellar dance moves with her band, she’s now recognized around the world as a fashion icon. She even designs her own super popular brand, L.A.M.B. She’s been married to her smokin’ husband Gavin Rossdale for 9 years, and they have two equally cool named sons, Kingston who was born in 2006 and Zuma, whose name made headlines in 2008. She just has the undeniable “cool” factor (maybe that’s why the video is so amazing?) and she gives off that distinct impression that she could kick your ass and look gorgeous doing so.

In April, she opened up to Elle UK about her strict workout regimen (her honesty is just so refreshing I can’t stand it) She doesn’t claim to eat cupcakes and fried chicken all day, never work out and just shimmy into those skinny jeans with no work at all. She admits, “I work out five days a week. I can’t imagine not doing it” and once told Harper’s Bazaar that she’s “always on a diet”. So just what workout is she doing to maintain that slammin’ body- at 41 years old?! That’s right- she rocked that black bikini and IN-sane abs in August of 2011.

Well, Gwen’s always been a tough girl, just like one of the guys. So it’s not surprising that she thrive son cardio and weight lifting. She runs constantly, but not in the gym. Of course her baby weight just melted right off, to reveal an even hotter Gwen. Her trainer Gunnar Peterson has shared a few of the moves that help sculpt Gwen’s rock-hard body.

 

He recommends a squat with a 5-10 pound twist: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent 90 degrees, with palms facing forward. Keeping chest up, squat down.

As you lift back up through glutes, twist body to the left, allowing feet to pivot so that right heel lifts off the floor. At the same time, press dumbbells overhead.

Return to start. Switch sides and repeat.

Do 16 reps, alternating sides. Do 3 sets.

 

 

Wow, so a couple of those, and not only will you feel the burn, but you’re on your way to looking as hella good as Ms. Stefani.

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of contactmusic.com

second photo courtesy of styleamor.com

third photo courtesy of topfatlosstrainer.com

fourth photo courtesy of justjared.buzznet.com

fifth photo courtesy of babble.com

sixth photo courtesy of picgifs.com

It’s Like Finding Gold! Friday, Sep 2 2011 

Noticing that your favorite elliptical is free at the gym, checking your bank account to find a deposit on Pay Day, reaching in the fridge to see your love has stocked your favorite sugar-free Jello treat, the warm tongue of a puppy licking you in the face, getting personal snail mail in a pretty envelope- these are all delicious feelings of excitement and joy. That burst of glee is important to a good day- not just a not-bad day, but an actually good day. Little things like that make a day what it is. Those little things are what I live for!

Getting ready to move in a few weeks means revisiting all those little cosmetic bags hiding under the bathroom sink and in the black depths of my cosmetics storage. This has to be the only good part about moving, because when you open cosmetic bags you haven’t seen in a while, chances are you will come across another moment of –Aha!- joy, when you stumble upon an old lipgloss (or two or three) you had forgotten about months (maybe years?) ago.

Unfortunately, this feeling only extends to lipgloss, because if I came across an old mascara tube or powder compact, I would probably have to toss it to ensure it hadn’t expired or dried up. But lipgloss can live forever! Whether it’s Lancome, Chanel, Sephora, or a drugstore brand, you can NEVER have enough lipgloss!!

 

Recently, I struck gold when my hand clasped around a bright, shiny pink tube of Plump ligloss that I probably bought in high school and threw in one of my old travel bags. It still smells just as delicious as the day I bought it, and the delight of sliding the wand across my lips brings me the excitement of a new purchase! Bonus points if it’s unopened or even in the original packaging- score!

 

What’s even better is that you don’t really have to be moving or packing up your life to discover this wonderous moment. Sometimes when you’re just looking for the Neosporin buried in a little Ziploc baggy, or changing over purses for fall (love that!) or using a suitcase you haven’t opened in a while- voila, there just might be a little surprise beauty nugget waiting for you to squeal with excitement about!

 

Isn’t it just the best feeling?

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of beautylish.com

second photo courtesy of secondcitystyle.com

third photo courtesy of sodahead.com

fourth photo courtesy of beautifulmakeupsearch.com

fifth photo courtesy of sephora.com

sixth photo courtesy of coastalliving.com

Shoe Fetish: Maria Sharapova for Cole Haan Friday, Sep 2 2011 

The hottie of the tennis world has now entered the fashion world. If you haven’t discovered the comfort of shoe couture that is Cole Haan with their Nike Air wonder, please do your feet a favor and check them out!

Yes, the shoes can be pricey, so next time you’re looking to invest in a classic pump for the office or a delightful bootie for a Vegas weekend trip, definitely put Cole Haan on your list. I’ve recommended them to my mom for my wedding- she has wide feet and had surgery several years ago (the result of wearing heels every day for years, uh oh) so she’s super picky about comfort these days. She has selected Manolos for her shoes for the wedding, but she did snag a pair of Cole Haan tan pumps just to have in her closet for other dressy occasion needs.

 

 

Maria’s shoes have an added edge, whimsy and star treatment to them. I love the polished look of these black ballet flats- and who couldn’t use another pair? They come in an array of colors, and I love the classic, effortlessly fabulous style.

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of hottetbollywoodnews.com

second & third photos courtesy of colehaan.com

Day of Guest Blogging! Thursday, Sep 1 2011 

So things have been CRAZY lately (if you couldn’t tell from all the transitioning posts) and I’m so sorry I’m just now posting this for links.

I’ve had the opportunity to guest post for 2 fabulous blogs, and they both picked today as the day to post my piece:)

First- on East Coast time, so sorry: My friend Christa Marzan from http://www.freshsqueezedfashion.com is posting my piece about my Lust List: Justin Timberlake and his fashion brand, William Rast. http://www.freshsqueezedfashion.com/

On a more personal-life, relationship note, I teamed up with Casey from http://www.stresscasey.blogpsot.comand wrote her “Things Thursday” about Thing to Love (and Hate) About Being Engaged. http://www.stresscasey.blogspot.com/

I hope you enjoy my two guest posts- please check out both ladies’ gorgeous blogs, and let me know what you think about everything!!