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49ers Foundation, Ready for Some Football!

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Everyone in the Bay area is ready for some football, especially in the new Levi’s Stadium!  The 49ers are good to go for the regular season and so are all the fans.  The stadium hosted the 49ers vs. Denver on Sunday in a pre-season game and the sparkly new stadium is amazing.  Many people don’t know that The 49ers Organization has a philanthropic branch call the 49ers Foundation.

49ers foundation-hdr

“The San Francisco 49ers Foundation is the non-profit community funding extension of the San Francisco 49ers. Now in its 22nd year, the 49ers Foundation supports development programs for underserved youth that keep them, “Safe, On Track and In School.” Since 1992, the Foundation has donated over $23 million to support non-profits, including $3.3 million in 2013.”

On Thursday night, there will be a party launching the limited edition “Key to the Stadium”, designed by the lovely and talented Jennifer Montana of Jennifer Montana Design.  Proceeds from sales will be donated to the 49er Foundation and the Montana Family Four Rings Foundation.  Joe and Jennifer Montana will be on hand to help launch this wonderful fundraiser!

Jennifer and Joe Montana

Jennifer and Joe Montana

Wanna come as my special guest?  All you need to do is sign up to receive my blog and you are entered to win a special invitation (+1) to the Launch Party…  easy, right?  Tell your friends to enter!  You can also enter by “liking” the Jennifer Montana Design Facebook Page or following on Twitter  @jmontanadesign.  You have 3 ways to enter*.  The event is this Thursday, August 21st from 6-8 pm in Palo Alto.

49ers Foundation 'Key to the Stadium'

49ers Foundation ‘Key to the Stadium’




Good luck!  *Entrants must be 18 years of age.  Contest ends at 9 pm (PST) on Wednesday, August, 20th.

Nail Polish of the Month, August

Monday, August 11th, 2014

I am not a beauty blogger!  I do however, really love makeup, nail polish and hair products.  One look in my bathroom vanity and you might think I have a problem.  OK, so maybe I get a little seduced by claims of the best, newest and most researched products out there.  I’m guilty on all charges.

I have a confession to make.   I have always had my nails done as far back as I can remember.  Living in New York City, recently graduated from college, on a VERY modest salary and sharing a studio apartment in the West Village with my pal from college, I always managed to scrape together enough money for a manicure.  It was a small luxury that made me feel grown up and so professional.  That was the 80′s and fire engine red was all the rage.  Long rounded nails a la Melanie Griffith in Working Girl was what everyone wore and I did too.

Fast forward many years later, I wear my nails short, but still neatly maincured.  I have started to get Gel /Shellac manicures that last 2 whole weeks.  I often get compliments on my nail color (both fingers and toes), so I thought I would start sharing what I wear with you.  I’ll post a “Nail Polish of the Month” and see where it takes us.

Sadly, Summer is coming to an end so last week I wanted a color that was fun, light and playful to usher out the last weeks of my favorite season.  So here is what I wore:

CND Shellac in Mint Convertible

CND Shellac in Mint Convertible

I love the mint green of this color and it makes me happy to look at.  It reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream, one of my favorites.  I like the way that the darker green looks on my toes with these yellow sandals.  Here is what I am wearing on my toes:

Essie, Ruffles and Feathers

Essie, Ruffles and Feathers


Nail Polish

August nail polishes of the month

Do you wear nail or toe colors to reflect your mood, the season or your favorite color?  Maybe you like to go with a predictable yet sexy red or a neutral hue.   I’d love to know what colors you choose to wear on your digits and why?  Share, share, share!

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Packing Tips for the Experienced Traveler

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Most every school in the western U.S. is out for the summer, including my kid’s school (YEAH!).  That usually means some type of vacation or trip.  As we turn our attention away from driving carpool and towards lounging by the pool, packing the right clothing is paramount to enjoying your vacation to the fullest.  I’ve done other posts on packing tips and you can read them here, here and here.

What I want to share are some more specific tips for people that are already seasoned travelers , but want to take it to the next level.

1.  Carry-on is the only way to go!  This bears repeating, as anyone who checks these days is just asking for trouble!  You can fit everything you need in a carry on.  One of the things I love most about travel is the adventure of it and the ability to wander unencumbered.  One caveat to the carry on is if you are traveling for an extended period like the entire summer and really need more than a week or two worth of clothes.

carryon with hat

2.  What about workout clothes/ sneakers?  What always puts me over the edge while packing is the fact that I need to include clothing for running or working out.  Sneakers specifically, take up a lot of room in my carry on.  My solution?  I just bought a pair of Nike Free sneakers.  Mine are more for running and cross training.  I’m not going to wear them to run a marathon, but for vacation workouts or hiking, they’re PERFECT!  They are feather light, mashable and they come in fun colors.  I also pack light performance fabric clothing for workouts and roll them to fill in gaps in the suitcase.

Nike free

3.  One of the hardest parts of packing is limiting your color palette.  I always choose between taking neutrals; khaki, brown, gold, rust, orange, coral OR, I take black, white, red, teal, yellow and jewel/primary tones.  By doing this you automatically cut down on the shoes you need to bring and increase your ability to mix and match.   I am going on a tropical vacation in a few days, so I am sticking with warm neutrals.  I am taking 4 pairs of shoes: Nike Frees, bronze flat sandals, brown/gold flip flops and a cinnamon colored wedge with natural jute bottom.  Making sure that everything works together, gives you a ton of outfit possibilities and keeps you from over-packing!

cramming a suitcase

3.  If you LOVE to have music on your vacation, but don’t want to pack a lot of adaptors or hope the hotel has some kind of player, a Bluetooth wireless mini speaker is the way to go.  I just invested in the UE mini boom a by Logitech and I love it.  It has great sound for such a small speaker and it is so portable.  It is perfect for the beach, tailgate party or in your hotel room.   It has a 10 hour rechargeable battery  and an added plus is it’s conference call capability…  NOT that I recommend taking conference calls while on vacation.


4.   In addition to your carry on suitcase, your personal item also has to work double or triple duty.  I like to have a tote bag that I can also use as a beach or day bag for sightseeing.  I really like the foldable ‘Le Pliage’ tote by Longchamp in the medium size.  It comes in tons of colors, folds up really small  and is made of a water resistant nylon material.  It can be wiped off with a damp cloth, is sturdy and fits a ton of stuff.

Longchamp Le Pliage

5.  Dresses are your best friend while traveling!  There is no need to match tops to bottoms and many dresses can also be used as a bathing suit cover up.  They can be dressed down with a jean jacket and flats and dressed up with a colorful wrap and heels.  I love maxis for beach locations and knee length dresses for cities.


I know packing is an art form and everyone has their own little tricks and tips.  One of my favorite things to do for my clients is to help them pack for a trip.  If you have trouble narrowing down what you want to pack, call me!  I can help you put together a vacation wardrobe that fits your itinerary and makes packing for your vacation effortless.

pin on map

As for me, I am heading to Costa Rica with my husband for our 20th Wedding Anniversary.  I’d love to know what far flung places you’re traveling to this summer and what packing tips have served you well…  Bon voyage and safe travels wherever you may go!

airplane at sunset

A Tale of Two Skirts.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Those of you who read my blog last week knew about the Marimekko and Banana Republic collaboration launching last week.  Being the fashionista that I am, I logged onto the Banana Republic site on Tuesday afternoon (a perk of being a BR cardholder ) to order a skirt from the collection.  Much to my dismay, my coveted skirt was SOLD OUT online!   I was devastated.  This is no ordinary skirt, it is THE Kivet Print patio skirt .   I placed an online order sans the patio skirt and hoped for the best when the stores opened on Thursday morning…

The coveted Kivet Patio Skirt

The coveted Kivet Patio Skirt

A little background, the Kivet Print patio skirt was the hottest item in the collection, especially since Jamie Chung was spotted in LA wearing it with black pumps, a red clutch and a matching Kivet print sweater.   That sent every fashionista, stylist and celeb wannabe,  into an all out frenzy.

Jamie Chung in the Kivet Patio Skirt and Sweater

Jamie Chung in the Kivet Patio Skirt and Sweater

Come Thursday morning at 9:40 am, I secure the 1st spot in line at the entrance to the Grant St., S.F., Banana Republic store (those of you who know me personally, know that I am a freakishly punctual person, so, naturally, I was in the garage waiting at 9:15 am).   I could see the collection through the windows and was trying to see the location of the Patio skirt.    People start to line up behind me.  I should note here, that I lived in NYC for 10 years, so don’t EVEN try to cut me in line!

BR outside

After waiting for what seems like forever, they open the doors at 10:03.  I frantically weave through the other shoppers, only to arrive to the rack with only 2 items on it, a size 2 and a size 0.   “What to do, what to do”, I think to myself.  I end up procuring a size 0 which, unfortunately, is nowhere close to my size 8 figure.

After milling around the store for a bit, I meet a very disappointed gal who needs a size 0.  We cajoled a salesperson with at 4 to give it to me, while I gave my size 0 to a very grateful company employee/fellow shopper.  I was getting closer to my 8.  I tried on the 4 and big surprise, it’s too small.  I decide that my talented seamstress with be able to let out the pleats in the back to transform a 4 into an 8.  I buy the 4 along with a few other cute pieces and hang around a bit.  Hey, 20 years in retail had to teach me something, right?  I spot a salesperson with a 10 and 12 heading for the fitting rooms.  The size 12 fits the customer who reserved them, so I snatch the 10 from the shocked salesperson and it’s MINE!  It’s still not an 8, but only one size off.  I leave the store with 2 patio skirts (size 4 and 10), feeling victorious!

Later that day, I post to for a trade and come up short…no one has an 8.  Meanwhile I get many offers for my 4, as I clearly state that without an 8, I’m keeping the 10.  Then it hits me, eBay!  I list the $98 skirt for $100 starting bid, with a $250 “Buy Me Now” price.  I can hardly believe it, but two hours later, I have a notification that my skirt has been purchased at $250.  Let me say that again, $250!  I am beyond ecstatic as I contemplate someone buying a $98 skirt for $250.  I am at a loss as I think to myself,  ”this is a CRAZY business”.

I’d love to hear if anyone else was lucky enough to get the Kivet Patio skirt.   Tell me your story!

Marimekko, Banana Republic, a Great Team!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Exciting news from clothing purveyor Banana Republic,  Marimekko, the iconic Finnish fabric design and fashion house, is partnering with them for a wonderful capsule collection.  I have always been a big fan of Marimekko fabrics and their prints are just so FUN, no doubt about it!  They have created, or in some cases reimagined, vintage prints, to put together a really inspiring clothing group.

photo courtesy of bananarepublic.ccm

photo courtesy of bananarepublic.ccm

I love when retailers collaborate with designers and the outcome is a more affordable group.  Although Marimekko is not very high end, their fabric designs are always imaginative and feel very Scandinavian in it their aesthetic.  Marimekko has done some very successful collaborations with Crate & Barrel stores, where customers pick their Marimekko fabric and have a custom table cloth made for them.  They are also launching a showroom in the EQ3 store in San Francisco at the end of May.

Marimekko started in 1949 in Helsinki, Finland and was Printex before it was renamed Marimekko.  Their first fashion show was held in 1951 and the crowds were so excited, they practically bought the garments off of the model’s backs!  The first Marimekko store opened the following year.  Their most iconic and recognizable print is Unikko, an abstract interpretation of poppies.


Marimekko has it’s own stores as well as being carried in stores all around the world.  The store locator can help you find the store nearest you.

The Banana Republic collection includes shorts, skirts, dresses, pants, tops and a few cute clutches.  Everything is priced at $39.50-$130, a very doable price point!  It went on sale today for BR cardholders on their website and is available in stores starting Thursday, May 22nd.  The black and white skirt in the top picture is already sold out online, so I think that means there will be a lot of excitement around this launch.  I’ve already placed orders for my clients (and me)!

BR maxi

BR short set

BR short dress

BR clutch

So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Over the last several years, I have amassed a growing collection of great fashion books.  Some are truly spectacular (Thanks Deb for the gorgeous Alexander McQueen book and  Sally for the beautiful Yves Saint Laurent one) and others are more pedestrian.  Over the summer, I had the opportunity to browse in the mecca of all bookstores, Powell’s in Portland, OR.  This truly is the mother ship of all bookstores!  It is so massive, check out the map to help navigate it’s many nooks and crannies:

Map of Powell's book store

My daughter, a self proclaimed bibliophile, was in heaven!  I had never seen a larger collection of fashion books in my life.  I wanted to bring a sleeping bag and stay the night.


Anyway, I digress … while at Powell’s I was able to peruse and buy some books I had my eye on.  The first one I read was by Nina Garcia, of Project Runway fame, called The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own.

Nina Garcia book

I’m always a little hesitant about books that tell you what to wear.  I don’t like the MUST OWN command, it just sounds so mean.  Which if you watch PR you know that Nina can indeed be mean!  I must say that this book was entertaining, informative and easy to read.  One of the best parts of the book was the illustrations; they were amazing!  I love Ruben Toledo’s fashion illustrations, and this book had them on every page.  I am a huge fan and never tire of his art.  Garcia knows what she’s talking about as a fashion editor of Marie Claire and formerly of Elle magazines.  In addition to the beautiful pictures, Nina goes on to explain the history of an item, if that is pertinent, like in the case of the pearl necklace.  It tells you how Jacques Cartier traded a double strand of cultured pearls for the Manhattan store bearing his name in 1916, or that the fake strand of pearls Jackie O paid $80 for, sold at auction for $211,500 in 1996.  I was happy that I could  take credit for owning roughly 75- 80% of her top 100 must have items… not to bad at all.  I’ve made it this far with out a bikini and Minnetonka moccasins and haven’t suffered too much.  This is a great book whether fashion is your thing or not.  What fashion books, if any, are on your shelf???  The book can be purchased at  Enjoy!

Rubin Toledo picture



Lesley Evers Warehouse sale!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

One of my favorite designers is having a warehouse sale starting on Wednesday, and I’m pretty excited!  Lesley Evers is a local Oakland designer of both clothing and wonderful fabrics, and I’m not sure which I love more!  They opened a lovely store on College Ave. in Rockridge, and their second store is in Lafayette, where the sale is taking place.  Come and check them out, even if you can’t make it to the sale …

See ‘ya there!


Lesley Evers sale

CA89, a Must-shop Stop in Truckee!

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

If you have any plans to be up in Tahoe this summer (or anytime) you have to stop in at CA89, in old town Truckee.  CA89 is the brain child of Lisa Gotts, an Oakland resident and long time Truckee homeowner and fan.  Lisa has been skiing here for many years and was a ski instructor at Squaw Valley.  She worked for Sunset magazine most recently in advertising sales and other notable magazines like Outside, Vogue and Elle.  CA89 is the next step in her professional ascent.  Jason Spruit is the uber- capable Store Manager and just relocated to Truckee from Detroit.

Out front of CA89

Out front of CA89

CA89 is an iconic stretch of road in eastern California that is well known and well loved.  Lisa developed a logoed brand of merchandise based on that scenic highway.   According to Lisa Gotts, not many stores locally focus on apparel and lifestyle goods that highlight the Sierra life. Her store’s apparel ranges from t-shirts and hoodies to dry-fit shirts and outerwear. Along with clothing they also have a wide selection of accessories such as pint glasses, notebooks, key chains, and hats/beanies.  The store opened earlier this year to much anticipation and fanfare.  CA89 is located at  10156 Donner Pass Road in the Brickeltown part of old Truckee.  It’s across from the train depot, still operating, in a historic, charming old building.  The modern fixtures and black and white color scheme meld perfectly with the old exposed brick inside the space.  Lisa’s keen design aesthetic is clearly on view in the store.

Inside CA89

Inside CA89

In addition to the great retail space, CA89 has a great mobile retail store in the form of their panel truck.  It was great to see it roll down the street as part of the annual Truckee 4th of July parade!  The CA89 crew can take their truck to all the different events around the Tahoe basin, like concerts, triathalons, art & wine festivals and much more.   It really shows how may different ways you can promote and market your brand.

The CA89 truck!

The CA89 truck!

In addition to the regular store hours, CA89 invites the community to summer movie nights on the lawn in the back of the store.  They show outdoor movies (bring a low back chair and $2) every Thursday and Saturday night at dusk.  No worries, there will be plenty of popcorn to go around!  There is also a yoga class every Thursday from 4:30- 5:45pm and it’s $10 for the class.  This is offered in conjunction with Yoga Studio Tahoe.

CA89 #4







CA89 #5






So if your summer or winter plans include Tahoe, make sure you stop in to CA 89 and tell Lisa and her crew I sent you!  Summer hours are 10-6pm daily.  Don’t forget to “like” CA89 on Facebook…  Happy summer everyone!

CA89 #6




Mycra Pac warehouse sale!

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Mycra Pac is one of those smaller bay area companies whose styles are instantly recognizable, yet they remain under the radar.  Mycra Pac is a manufacturer of cool designer rain wear and they are located right here in Moraga, CA.  Nordstrom carries a wide range of styles and colors in all of their stores.  One of the things I like best about these raincoats is that they’re so packable and come with their own little pouch that doubles as a handbag.  They are designed and made in the USA and have hoods that are perfect if you have no umbrella and they don’t mess up your hair!  Oh, as if that wasn’t enough, they’re reversible!

Reversible Mycra Pac rain coat

Reversible Mycra Pac rain coat

Mycra Pac has a yearly warehouse sale at their offices in Moraga, and it starts WEDNESDAY, June 12th continuing through TUESDAY June 18th.  This needs to make it on your calendar!  Women wait all year for this sale, so it does get pretty crowded.  People start lining up early.  As with most warehouse sales, they don’t put everything out on the first day, so I’m sure each day will have new merchandise.  See you at the sale!

Mycra Pac sale 6-12-13

It’s CAMPER season

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Ok, I admit I used the word camper to get your attention.  Most people either LOVE or HATE anything to do with camping.  Having spent the better part of my childhhood in campgrounds up and down the eastern seaboard, our family loved camping.  Well, this post has nothing whatsoever to do with camping, but with a Spanish shoe brand called CAMPER!  Fooled ya…

As a stylist, almost every client I encounter has a “foot issue”.  It’s usually shared in hushed tones, with head down and a slightly embarassed demeanor.  Hammer toes, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and on and on.  I have news for you…EVERYONE (over the age of 35) has a “foot issue”.  Camper shoes are so fun, cool, european inspired, that even with “issues”, they are great shoes.  Here’s the one I just bought ( and bought for 2 different clients):

Camper "Beetle" sandal

Camper “Beetle” sandal


I loved the color, the hieght and the dual closures.  This is an incredibly comfortable shoe.  I can walk miles in it and it’s perfect for your European trip this summer (or anywhere you’ll be walking a lot).  They are incredibly light if you’re taking a carry on.  You can loosen one or both sides, as your feet swell or expand.  Here’s another one I like:

"Twins" Camper sandal

“Twins” Camper sandal

I love the use of the three colors, but each shoe is slightly different.  The pair below is a collaboration between designer Veronique Branquinho and the Camper brand.  Notice that this is a full fledged wedge with almost no rise at all…they are almost flat!

"Veronique" Camper sandal

“Veronique” Camper sandal

I didn’t forget the guys, Camper has great men’s styles as well.  Camper originated in Mallorca, Spain in 1975 and opened their first store in Barcelona in 1981.  Today the brand has over 300 stores worldwide and 10+ in the bay area.  VOILA, no more “foot issues”.

For more information and store locations