An ongoing love affaire with all things fashionable, tasty and fun

Posts tagged “Lifestyle Blogger

Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

Coming up with creative new recipes in advance can make your week run much easier so take some notes from Lonneke Engel’s piece for Organice Your Life – Quick Vegetarian Meals!

BBQTofu

BBQ tofu is one of my favorite proteins because you can very easily pair it with other sides for a quick & easy midweek meal – From brown rice or quinoa to sweet potatoes or sautéed veggies, it goes with everything. Check out OhSheGlows’s Easy BBQ Tofu for the perfect recipe!

I love to discover new fashion blogs so I couldn’t pass up this great list from Greatist – 60 Must-Read Health & Fitness Blogs for 2013.

Eating the right foods after a workout can not only improve your recovery, it can increase your energy levels and ensure that you feel focused and alert for the rest of your day – After Workout Eats.

WinterShapeUp

Mixing up your workout routine can help in a number of ways – Not only does it increase your enjoyment and help you stay entertained, it can also keep you from plateauing. So check out The Fitnessista’s Winter Shape Up for some fun new ideas to keep things interesting

Fashion:

Ajent

Online shopping is one of my favorite pastimes but I’ve found that all of the email alerts and websites filled with flashing ads and pop-ups can be overwhelming and distract you from the actual shopping process. So why not take the stress out of it and enjoy yourself a little more? Check out the new online shopping site Ajent and some of the great things they’re saying about it.

Braids, twists, and buns – Oh My! I love a chic, classic updo that’s simple enough to pull off early in the morning when I’m not quite firing on all cylinders. Favorite Knotted and Twisted Updo Tutorials from My Precious Confessions.

Are you a lover of beauty products and trying new makeup? Check out this great collection of Must Try products that should make their way into your medicine cabinet – What I Want In My Bag:  2013 Beauty Lust-list!

Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner and retro inspired cat eye looks are two of my current favorites when it comes to my personal beauty routine so this tutorial is right up my alley – My easy winged eyeliner tutorial from This Chick’s Got Style.

Leave it to Dappered: Affordable Men’s Style to impart some much-needed style wisdom for those gentlemen who’re always in the mood for some new & exciting ways to approach fashion & their own personal style – 10 Bits of Style Knowledge I wish I had learned earlier.


{International} Aqua Giveaway

I’m a huge fan of the traditional black blazer – It’s a versatile, classic piece and no woman should be without one. I practically live in my Aqua cropped black blazer, both at work and on the weekends.

Lookbook

{MCLV Style: Lady Of The Night}

And since I truly believe that this fabulous little blazer is a Must Have I’m going to give away one to a lucky reader.

Entering this little contest is QUICK & EASY – I promise – There are TWO different ways to enter so pick either of the simple options below and you’ll have this fun new piece to play with in just a few days!

  1. Leave a comment below on this post telling me what you’d pair this blazer with
  2. Leave a comment on Facebook telling me what you’d pair this blazer with

AquaMCLV

{Size Medium}

Easy, right?

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead & enter either on the blog or on Facebook and I will randomly pick a winner a week from today – Next Friday, February 22nd!

* Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post – I purchased this blazer in order to give it away on MCLV


MCLV Style: Valentine’s Day

Pink, peach, coral, tangerine… There are a number of beautiful, bright hues that one may associate with Valentine’s Day but I figured if I was going to get dressed up this year I was going to go all out in head-to-toe red!

One

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Skirt – Zara, BlouseMichael Kors via Saks, Heels – Zara}

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}

I got this beautiful red printed Michael Kors blouse on my last trip to Saks and have been waiting for the perfect moment to break it out. I love the demure high necked bow against the bold, dramatic hue – It’s the perfect combination.

Are you getting dressed up for Valentine’s Day this year?


{IFBCON} Celebrity Sightings & Industry Insight

Last September’s IFB Conference was a spectacular experience – Amazing speakers, inspirational speeches, more information than I could absorb, and the chance to rub elbows with passionate men & women who love fashion just as much as I do. Within moments of the tickets going on sale for this February’s conference I had bought the two-day pass and booked a plane ticket.

Excited, who, me?

I was lucky enough to assist the IFB team with some of the behind-the-scenes activities that help make an amazing event like this come together. Talk about a learning experience! Not only did I get to spend some time with IFB founder & The Coveted blogger Jeannine and IFB editor & Shut Up I Love That Shirt blogger Taylor Davies, I also got the chance to spend two days getting to know the other volunteers and got the opportunity to meet some of the speakers, sponsors, and panelists.

In other words – I was in heaven.

Celebrity Sightings:

While to some “celebrity sightings” might be limited to the Beyonces and Julia Roberts of the world, for us fashion lovers celebrity sightings can include our favorite bloggers and industry insiders whose work we read, Instagrams we <3, and whose photos we view daily. During IFBCON not only did I have a number of wide-eyed moments of mind blanking “omgomgomg” excitement, I also got some handshakes, hugs, and sweet words from some of my idols & unofficial mentors.

Laura Ellner of OnTheRacks – I’m a HUGE fan of On The Racks! I followed Laura’s adventures in San Francisco and while I hated to see her leave the Bay Area, I was excited for her New York City dreams to come true when she moved to the Big Apple last year. Needless to say I was worried that I’d have a fan girl moment if I got a chance to meet her. Luckily I kept my excitement under wraps when I said hello & introduced myself {nerdy happy dance} and I have to say, she’s even more stylish and striking in person than she appears online.

Aimee Song of Song of Style – Not only is Aimee stylish & beautiful, she’s also incredibly sweet. Her affiliate marketing panel was interesting & informative and she was beyond nice as she waited to go on stage and while she hung around for pictures afterwards.

SongOfStyleOnTheRacks

{There’s a reason they’re the best – Just look at them, utterly flawless!}

Justin Livingston of Scout 16 – While IFBCON was primarily filled with female fashion bloggers there were a few proud male fashion bloggers in the crowd and quite a few speakers & panelists of the male persuasion. One of the arrivals that I was greatly anticipating was the blogger known as Scout 16 – A New York staple who showed up in fabulous shoes, moderated his panel like a pro, and was really genuine & nice if you were lucky enough to meet him.

Liz Cherkasova of Late AfternoonStriking is the first word that comes to mind when I picture Liz’s entrance, she strode into the conference in head-to-toe brilliant pink. A shade that few mortal dare to wear, but was utter perfection on her. Her Evolution of the Industry panel may have been the last of the day but everyone was glued to their seats and hung on her every word.

Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society – Not only do I adore her site {which I’m sad to say that I only recently discovered} but I was blown away by how inspirational & captivating she was on stage at IFBCON. And off the stage? Wow. Just wow. Beautiful & chic – Wearing the perfect little white dress with a fabulous statement necklace and a too-perfect-for-words fur shrug.

Lydia Hudgens & I SPY DIY – One of my favorite parts of the conference was the photography workshop put on by Lydia Hudgens – Photographer to some of NYC’s most popular fashion bloggers – And DIY master I Spy DIY. It was funny, easy to follow, and FILLED with great tips & ideas. I definitely have a girl crush on Miss Hudgens now! 🙂

There were SO many speakers & so much information being passed on that I’m sorry I couldn’t meet everyone and hear everything!

Volunteer Love:

I couldn’t have been happier to get a chance to get to know this group of smart, fun, talented ladies – From bloggers to photographers to fashion lovers this was a great group.

BareBones

{Claire & Madison of Bare Bones: Fashion Is Dead}

SaraHailePhotography

{Sarah Haile of Sara Haile Photography}

{Francisca of Fancy-Francy}

Karina

{Karina of Beach & Dress}

DestinyCollage

{Destiny of Fate, Love & Destiny – Coming soon!}

SarahMekhail

{The lovely Sarah Mekhail – Blog to be launched sooooon}

And of course my partner-in-crime the lovely Brittany of The Subtle Statement who I met at IFBCON last September and spent this past week exploring New York with – From vegan restaurants in Chelsea to shopping in Soho to Barre classes in the Financial District. 🙂

TheSubtleStatementCollage

{Brittany Shick of The Subtle Statement}

I can’t wait for September so that I can head back out to New York for the next conference! 🙂

My sincerest apologies for the quality of the phone pictures – There were tons of fabulous photographers there but clearly I was not one of them. If you want to see more pictures from the conference head over to my Facebook page for Day One & Day Two albums.


Looks of the Week – Cape Edition

My favorite piece this season has definitely been my fabulous Betsey Johnson faux fur-trimmed cape. I love the classic, old school glamour that a cape evokes. It goes great with jeans or over a dress, I even paired it with my favorite BCBG Max Azria floor-length gown. And clearly I’m not the only one who loves capes. So enjoy these fabulous looks!

Cape

{This whole look is just fabulous – From the plaid print on the cape to the faux fur collar she added to the killer purple heels.}

CapeI

{If you’re not sure whether a full-coverage cape is the right style for you than this silhouette is perfect. A Trendy Life makes this look even more chic w/ a fabulous black, white & red dress underneath.}

Vivienne Tam Cape, Ralph Lauren Pants, Massimo Dutti Clutch, Vintage Christian Dior Fur Scarf

{I love the wide-leg pants in this look and I couldn’t have picked better accessories – Beautiful color, perfect style.}

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{I love the lux, glamorous feel of this cape. The color & embellishments are classic but she’s made the look totally unique & modern with great details & fun, one-of-a-kind pieces like the sweater.}

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{The fun, printed pants in this shot are perfect with the flirty silhouette and fun studded accessories.} 

{This color is just phenomenal – I adore the unique, chic shade paired with the classic silhouette. Stunning!}

{Click on the pictures above and you’ll be taken to the original source}

Which of the fabulous caped looks here is your favorite?


Links You’ll Love

Welcome back to another Links You’ll Love round-up

Fashion:

Lipstick

No sure what the ideal lip color should be for you? Luckily for you Girl Meets Glam has done all the lip work for you and has shared all her secrets so that you can find the best color for yourself.

As much as I wish Spring were upon us we’re still in for some chilly days before sundress weather will truly be here. So why not take some tips from blogger Advice From A Twenty Something & The Glitter Guide on fun new ways to approach layering – How To Layer With Amanda Of Advice From A Twenty Something.

While some movie-inspired editorials can leave you feeling flat, this Clueless lookbook from Wildfox is just plain fun. So just enjoy the pictures! Did My Hair Get Flat? Did I Stumble Into Some Bad Lighting? What’s Wrong With Me?!

Audrey

In my opinion one of the greatest muse-and-artist relationships of all time is Audrey Hepburn and Richard Avedon – The photographs that resulted have certainly stood the test of time. Harper’s Bazaar clearly agrees in their All About Audrey piece this month.

I’ve always been jealous by the creative abandon that artistic types can put into their decorating attempts – Luckily this DIY Instax Wallpaper idea can get you the artist’s loft you’ve always wanted!

Health & Fitness:

Our schedules don’t always permit for hour-long workouts in a gym each day, so this Drop-and-Do-Anywhere Circuit Workout can be a lifesaver for the girl-on-the-go.

Juicing

Juicing and smoothies that include fresh vegetables are an integral part of my routine during the week so I was thrilled by this Say Hello, Max post – Beauty from the Inside Out: Juicing 101.

Sometimes the cold temperatures of Fall and Winter can make you crave warm, comforting foods, but that doesn’t mean you should give up fresh fruits and vegetables for half the year! Check out How To Eat Super-Healthy In The Dead Of Winter from Refinery 29.

ChriselleLim

I love to follow other fashion bloggers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and I must say I was thrilled to read this post from Chriselle Lim on her healthy eating habits. So interesting to peek behind the curtain when you see so many pictures of macaroons & dinners out on an Instagram feed. The Chriselle Factory – My Diet Secrets – Part 1.

Hitha On The Go is also a firm believer in getting your exercise in when you can, check out her Fitness On The Go – 5 Factor Fitness.


Valentine’s Day Guide

Are you a lover of Valentine’s Day? I feel like enjoying Valentine’s Day is something of an art. Whether you have a significant other or are spending the day solo – There ARE things that you can enjoy about this “holiday.”

While I’ve had a boyfriend on a few Valentine’s Days over the years the most memorable one was actually a few months post-break up. I was with my Aunt and Uncle for a fun weekend of champagne, laughter, and too much chocolate – My uncle got me a giant heart filled with chocolates that was so big I couldn’t get my arms around it! To this day I keep a picture of my Aunt & I laughing so hard we’re nearly in tears from that night on my bedside table.

VDIV

Was I miserable because I was single? No. Was I wallowing over my recent breakup? No. Was I wearing pink? Hell no! 🙂

If you’re one of those lucky people who can ignore or even forget that it’s Valentine’s Day than congratulations, you’re much more evolved than I am. So, whether you’re looking for the perfect gift to surprise your partner with, deciding on a date night outfit, or just looking for a way to get through this in one piece, here’s a great collection of links and some of my own fool-proof ways to have a good Valentine’s Day!

Tips for enjoying yourself:

Make it a group thing! Another incredibly memorable Valentine’s Day was spent with my friend Lauren, we got all dressed up & went out to dinner just the two of us. Not only did we have a great meal and exchange fun, girly gifts, we laughed ourselves breathless listening to the date at the table next to ours.

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Suggestions For Solo Survival:

Pamper yourself – Spend a day giving yourself some much deserved attention & indulge yourself. Trust me, you’re worth it. 🙂 Head out for some shopping & get that killer pair of heels you’ve been eyeing. Get a fabulous mani/pedi or a soothing facial. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage to help reduce stress & tension.

Gift Ideas:

For me, the card is the most important part of a Valentine’s Day gift. I’ve gotten flowers, fancy dinners, and jewelry, but a sweet handwritten message in a card means more than any of the rest of that in my book.

romance

Another time saver___begin with Oreo Cakesters_  Roll edges in sprinkles, put into a cute bag or box, DO

And if you’re a classicist and want to give your lady love – Or yourself – Some killer jewelry for Valentine’s Day than check out Sasha Maks Vintage and get 20% off through February 14th with the code LOVE2013. You can email her and set up a private showing or order fabulous, one-of-a-kind pieces online.

Dress It Up:

Whether you’re planning to make dinner in your PJs, get dolled up for a fancy night out, or you just like to celebrate holidays in style check out these fab posts to help you get a look that you’ll love.

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VDay

What are your plans for this Valentine’s Day? Are you going to get all dressed up?

Want more Valentine’s Day goodness? Check out IFB’s Season of Love project for other submissions that’ll get you ready for Valentine’s Day this year!

Be sure to follow my New York City adventures for pictures & updates:


Travel Time: NYC & IFBCON

At the beginning of last September I headed to sweltering New York City to attend my first IFB Conference and Fashion’s Night Out – The conference was such an amazing experience that I’ve decided to further my fashion blogger education with another once-in-a-lifetime trip back East.

{You can read about my trip & enjoy some fabulous Summer fashion from September here:  IFBCON PreparationIFBCON – Trends, Styles & Inspiration, MCLV Style: New York City, MCLV Style: IFBCON Day One, MCLV Style: IFBCON Day Two, and New York Fashion Diary}

FashionWeek

As with my trip in September a huge part of the fun – And the stress – Is deciding what to bring for the trip. Not only is New York City a fashion capital whose streets beg for killer footwear & fun, one-of-a-kind looks, the conference is also a chance to meet inspirational people within the industry and connect with other fashion bloggers – Some of whom may have been instrumental in you decision to start a blog in the first place.

Nerve-wracking.

I was right on the edge of beginning to panic when I read this amazing article from Hilary Rushford at Dean Street Society about similar anxieties & a solution to her own fashion crisis prior to attending the Alt Summit Conference in Salt Lake City – Why I’m Not Going To Win Best Dressed at Alt Summit. After reading it – And quickly becoming enthralled by her blog – I realized that she’s one of the speakers at IFBCON this week. How serendipitous!

FashionWeekIV

With Hilary’s permission to not win best dressed I decided that I needed a better way to approach the packing conundrum. Ultimately I know that for me picking out each piece & styling it in advance is the best way to go – That way I can relax and enjoy myself once I arrive. The other thing that I love is getting inspired by fashion magazines, other bloggers, and all the beautiful pictures I can find online.

Enter Pinterest. 🙂

FashionWeekV

The other thing that’s fun when you’re packing is to get inspired by the professionals. And by professionals I mean the fabulous fashion set who have been gracing New York Fashion Week {or IFBCON} with their presence for years – Jetset Style Guide – NYFW February 2013 from Hitha On The Go, Fashion Week Beauty Essentials from Late Afternoon, {What to Wear} To A Fashion Blogging Conference from Beautify My Life, 8 Looks Inspiring Our NYFW Wardrobe from Glittery Guide, and of course Bigger, Better, Bolder: What To Bring To IFB Con from IFB.

Have you ever gotten stressed out by the notion of getting packed for a trip? How did you calm yourself done & get yourself packed?

Be sure to follow my New York City adventures on these platforms for pictures & updates:


Links You’ll Love – Superbowl Edition

Everyone loves an excuse for day drinking and indulging in tasty treats, but why not keep the fat, calories, and cholesterol to a minimum and try some of these delicious-but-healthy recipes today instead?

Appetizers:

SuperbowlPepper

Entrées:

SuperbowlPizza

Desserts:

SuperbowlDessert

Cocktails:

SuperbowlMargarita

How are you going to celebrate the Superbowl this year?

I’ll be landing in New York at 6pm local time so stay tuned for some updates from my week in the The Big Apple! 🙂


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

GalaDarling

My Spring cleaning urges are clearly starting to kick in early this year – Check out Gala Darling’s Blog On, Babe: Get Organized! for some great ideas for organizing your work – Whether you’re a blogger, a writer, or any other creative type.

Did you enjoy my recent organizational tips & recommendations for closet cleaning {Closet Organization}? If so you’ll love these suggestions from Apartment Therapy – Get Sorted: 5 Functional Shoe Organizers.

I’m in an outerwear state of mind these days – Between San Francisco being colder than I can ever remember and a trip to New York City scheduled for two weeks – I’m determined to find the perfect coat. Stylish but warm. Leave it to Olivia Palermo to have all the answers to our statement coat questions – How To Rock: The Coat.

BradGoreski

It’s just about time to start daydreaming thinking about planning your Spring vacation. So why not take some advice from stylist-to-the-stars Brad Goreski – How To Travel In Style.

In the market for a new lipstick? Get the right one with Cupcakes & Cashmere’s Lipstick Guide to help you through the process!

Health & Fitness:

You know that coconut oil is good for you and I’ve shared some tasty ways to get coconut into your diet, but have you tried using it in your beauty routine? Glitter Guide has the scoop in their piece 10 Ways To Add Coconut Oil To Your Beauty. Routine

ChoosingRaw

Whether you’re gluten-intolerant, following a paleo/primal diet, or just interested in eating a healthier diet kelp noodles are a great new food to try out, you should read Choosing Raw’s Kelp Noodle 101: How to Prepare and Serve Kelp Noodles.

I’m always interested in learning how my nutrition affects my health & how my body feels, and clearly I’m not the only one. Check out Purely Twins’s – Day 18  interesting reads about fructose malabsorption & hormonal acne.

Bones

As we grow up we need to pay attention not only to our overall health, but to our bone health at all. You may think that eating a calcium rich diet or taking supplements is all you need to do, but staying educated and aware is what you really need – Best Foods For Your Bones.

If you’re interested in strengthening your thighs than FitSugar has the answers in their Inner Thigh Exercises post – Work it!


What’s Your Fashion Statement?

One of my favorite fashion & fashion blogging-related communities to be a part of is The Girls Inspired Group – It’s supportive, fun, and brings you in contact with so many talented bloggers and their fabulous sites. There seriously aren’t enough hours in the day for me to check out as many lovely blogs as I’d like to!

In addition to introducing all of us blogger to one another, the group is also inspiring us with fun spotlight topics for us to write posts about. This week’s topic is a great one so I felt like I needed to participate – GIG Spotlight #2 Fashion Tag: What’s Your Fashion Statement?

So here goes… I would describe my personal style as classic with a twist – I love basic black & chic, timeless pieces – But with a fun, eye-catching twist like the addition of statement jewelry or an on-trend accessory.

Collage

{Examples of my ever-evolving style – Caped Crusader, Lady of the Night & Striped Leopard}

My closets are filled to the brim with basics like perfect Little Black Dresses, trench coats, quality striped & polka-dotted pieces, chic blouses, classic pumps, great fitting jeans, season-less bags…

CollageI

{See Real Girls Need Real Closets, Real Girls Need Real Closets – Accessories Edition, and Closet Organization for suggestions & recommendations for what basics you can try out!}

But I also do a seasonal refresher every few months in order to add new accessories, pieces in fun, on-trend colors & prints, and maybe collect a new bag. Or two. 🙂 This process definitely involves a trip to Zara & some online shopping at my favorite go-to stores.

CollageII

{Some recent acquisitions that have made their way into my closet via the Paragon Outlets in Livermore, Zara, Forever 21, BCBG, Neiman Marcus & Bloomingdale’s}

So tell me, what’s YOUR fashion statement?

Join me and follow my daily life, and the fun I have cooking, shopping, styling for events, and enjoying San Francisco on these platforms:


Versatile Blogger Award

I’m thrilled & honored to have been nominated by Periscope Girl for the Versatile Blogger Award. I started Moi Contre La Vie hesitantly and it was only as I received amazing support and positive feedback that I was able to go from posting once a week to 6-7 times a week. And I’m loving every minute of it!

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Rules:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • State seven things about yourself
  • Nominate 5 other bloggers for this award and link to the them
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

Seven Things About Me:

  • Blogging is my passion project and while I would LOVE to be able to work in the fashion industry full-time I, like many others, have to have a day job to pay the bills. And buy purses. When the sun’s up my Clark Kent day job is as a compliance officer at a hedge fund in downtown San Francisco.
  • I double majored in Classics and History at UC Berkeley and wanted to get my PhD so that I could spend my life in a dusty library doing research & writing for publications like National Geographic.
  • While I love one-of-a-kind boutiques & the convenience of department stores if I could only shop one place for the rest of my life it would be Zara. I’m addicted. And I’m ok with that.
  • I’m a California girl through-and-through. I was born in Los Gatos, raised in Sacramento, and have lived the in Bay Area for over 10 years now {First in Berkeley, now in San Francisco}.
  • I never leave my apartment without putting on under-eye concealer, mascara & blush.
  • I lived in Rome for six months studying Art History when I was a junior in college. It was the most amazing experience of my life.

this looks like it's a painted background

{Serious throwback – This is my best friend & I in Athens when we were 21}

  • I’ve traveled quite a bit over the years – Some of the countries I’ve visited are Mexico, Canada, Belize, Dominican Republic, Italy, Greece, France, Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, Germany, the UK, Denmark, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines.

My Nominations:

This was a challenge for me – Narrowing down my list to five was not an easy task. I follow many, many bloggers and while I’ve been reading some for years, I decided to keep this list to newly discovered sites that I’m just getting to know, and absolutely loving.

So without further ado…

SubleStatement

{The Subtle Statement – Previously featured in Fall 2012 Must Haves}

  • The Subtle Statement – I met Brittany, the author of The Subtle Statement, at IFBCON in September and have been an eager devotee ever since. Her site is beautifully organized and features the perfect mix of personal style, fashion tips, beauty product reviews, shopping suggestions, and fun video tutorials.

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{Vintage Virgin – Previous featured in this Looks of the Week post}

  • Vintage Virgin – If you like vintage shopping and eclectic fashion Vintage Virgin is the site for you – It’s filled with killer one-of-a-kind pieces and fun, inspiring outfits that’ll get you in the mood to run home and play dress up!

TheTallBlonde

{The Tall Blonde – Previously featured in this Looks of the Week post}

  • The Tall Blonde – This Swiss fashion blogger is a former model and brings an enviable grace and poise to her photographs, as well as a fabulous sense of style and love of drama.

ILoveGreenInspiration

{I Love Green Inspiration – Previously featured in this Links You’ll Love post}

  • I Love Green Inspiration – This site is a unique mixture of dreamy inspiration and bold, dramatic photographs that will thrill, excite, and motivate you. She features brilliant pictures and both her website and Facebook page are visually striking.

FashionSteele

{Fashion Steele  NYC – Previously featured in this Looks of the Week post}

  • Fashion Steele NYC – I adore New York and it’s bold, dramatic brand of style so this site is a great place for me to brush up on what’s going on sartorially in my home away from home.

Thank you again for the nomination and I hope that you have enjoyed learning a little something new about me and that you’ll love these blogs that I’ve recommended above as much as I do!

Last year I was equally excited to have been nominated as well – Check out my responses & suggestions last time around here.


Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

LinksYou'llLove

Here are some GREAT things to keep in mind as you’re working through your list of New Years Resolutions for 2013 – The Things Successful People DON’T Do.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been shivering my way through this recent cold front in Northern California. Rain in December I’m used to. Wind & air so cold it feels like it should be snowing? That’s new. If you’re in a similar boat these simple tips can save your booty this Winter – Stay Warm!

Keeping your energy levels up during the way can seem impossible sometimes. Day-to-day you may feel changes due to diet, the amount of sleep you got, stress levels… And while you can’t always control every aspect of your life, there are some things that you can keep an eye on to help with this – Fatigue Facts: 5 Things That Make You Tired.

Breakfast

While I enjoyed all of the “round-up” style posts during December to celebrate the end of 2012 I have to say that this was one of my favorites so I just HAD to share – Best of 2012: My Favorite Vegan & Raw Recipes.

Staying inspired and positive about your body is an important step towards being happy and healthy! See what The Huffington Post has to say about keeping your attitude in check – Seven Ways To Be More Body Positive In 2013.

Fashion:

There’s nothing quite like a flashy new campaign to get you in the mood for some serious shopping. That’s part of the reason we adore fashion magazines, right? Well Fashionologie has the low-down on all the killer campaigns for Spring here.

bun

Finding stylish but simple new updos that’s keep my hair out of my eyes is a new mission so I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this fabulous tutorial – Beauty How To: Braided Bun Tutorial.

Need some inspiration to get creative with your hair this Winter? Check out Rebecca Minkoff’s 2013 Ushers In A New Wave Of Hairstyles for some serious tips.

I ADORE Winer outwear & accessories so this Glitter Guide post had me in raptures. If you’re similarly inclined head over for their Style File: Chic Winter Wear and prepare to swoon!

DIY

If you’ve been trying to find a fabulous statement necklace but have come up empty so far, why not make your own? This DIY Charm Necklace from I Spy DIY is to die for!


Links You’ll Love – Resolutions Edition

We survived 2012 and celebrated the end of the year, and now that the first week of January is coming to an end those New Years Resolutions are starting to look further and further away. This week’s Links You’ll Love post is here to help keep you motivated, inspired, and on track with your resolutions. Whether your goals are aimed at career success, personal improved, fashion, health, or fitness – Keep yourself going with these great inspirational pieces!

Fashion:

I love the idea of this No Shopping Challenge {Inspiration: My No Shopping Challenge} from Style Within Reach – It’s a great idea to not only purge your closets at the beginning of the year, but take stock in what pieces you have and try to mix up your current wardrobe rather than blindly adding to it. But in practice I’m not sure that I have her self-control… What about you?

Refinery 29 is here to help you with your Fashion New Years Resolutions – 20 Influencers, 20 Resolutions To Adopt Now.

Fashion magazine’s are a great place to find inspiration – From fabulous advertisements to glossy, well-styled editorials to great articles filled with advice & ideas from industry insiders:

PinterestV

Staying inspired and motivated to try out fun & interesting new trends and styles can be hard – But Pinterest is a great tool for fashion stimulation, so check out my La Mode to get yourself in the mood!

Health & Fitness:

Ever wonder how the models with killer bodies keep themselves in shape all year around? Check out this interesting article from Modelinia – Behold the Ultimate Model Master Cleanse! 

red lentil soup 7710 thumb   Most Popular Vegan Recipes of 2012 {#30 16}

While you have your health & eating better on your mind, why not try out some new recipes? Here are a few great round-ups from some top food bloggers of their favorite recipes from 2012 – So give something new & delicious a try!

Are you determined to shake things up at the gym this year but not quite sure where to start with your fitness resolutions this year? Check out The Fitnessista’s 12 Days Of Fitness.

The Whole 30 is a great clean eating plan that you could try in 2013 – So do some research, check out other people’s thoughts & experiences, and try some delicious new recipes – Holly Would If She Could’s Whole 30 Meal Plan – Week One (Plus Homework!)

I’m not a huge proponent of cleanses and detoxes that are too restrictive or severe – But this clean eating version is great, filled with healthy, nutritious, easy to digest suggestions – New Year New You: Easy Detox.


Guest Post: Women’s Health

Raise your hand if your New Years Resolutions – officially or unofficially – include anything similar to these:

  • Eat healthier
  • Go to the gym more frequently
  • Lose weight
  • Get in better shape

That’s what I thought.

So with all of our ambitious and health-oriented resolutions in mind I’m planning a few new series during 2013 to help motivate and educate us with regard to health, fitness & nutrition – (1) A series of guest posts from people in the health & fitness industries, (2) A Beginners Fitness series w/ reading materials, workouts, and nutritional information for you to consider, and (3) A series of posts documenting the trials & tribulations I face while attempting the Whole 30 program at the beginning of 2013.

To help get us started with Fitness Friday & put us in a healthy, motivated mindset so we can start 2013 at our best, I’d like to welcome Megan:

My name is Megan and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to guest blog for Moi Contre La Vie! When I was asked to write a few pieces for this blog, I found myself a little dumbfounded, searching for a topic interesting and worthy enough of the site. It surprised me that I felt this way since I blog at least three times a week on my own!

photo

I manage and coach at an all-women’s gym called Kaia FIT Sacramento. I write 3-4 pieces a week for our website and find my inspiration from the amazing women of our gym community. I realized this inspiration fits perfectly in with the concept of Moi Contre La Vie and my blog topic was staring right at me the whole time!

At the top of the Moi Contre La Vie site it reads, “Celebrating Fashion, Food and Fitness,” and these are three of my favorite things! I will be writing a 3-part series on these topics and how they relate to my life as a fitness trainer and how they affect the women I’m surrounded by. Before my first post, however, I thought I’d share a little about myself and how I came to be where I am.

I’m 26 and married to an amazing man named Nick. Nick is a CrossFit trainer and ultra-runner. His passion for fitness, health and science has been one of my favorite parts about him since we met and I owe much of my success in the fitness world to him.

I was always an ‘active’ person… Dabbling in yoga and running, hitting spin classes at 24 hour fitness if I didn’t get off work at the restaurant too late the night before. You know, the typical college girl routine.

But none of it was ever enough. I loved the feeling of working out. Not the feeling AFTER a workout… But the terrible, breathless, burning feeling DURING it. And I know I wanted to feel it with more intensity.

Enter Kaia FIT.

A friend of mine started at Kaia FIT Sacramento as soon as they opened their doors and was absolutely loving it. Never mind her amazing results physically, her entire attitude and outlook on health and fitness had changed! I knew I had to give it a try….

And I never looked back. After a few months I went to certification and began coaching. A year later I’m managing the joint and have made it my full-time career!

Coming up: Fashion… Of the fitness world!

Thank you so much for the introduction Megan – We’re all looking forward to reading your next post. If you have any specific questions that you’d like Megan to answer please let me know!


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Peeking into the closet of a celebrity or fashion crushes is such a fun experience – You get to see how they organize their goodies, all the fabulous pieces they’ve collected, learn where they picked things up over the years… As I’m sure you’ve picked up I have a bit of a fashion crush on Revenge’s Ashley Madekwe {Links You’ll Love & Looks of the Week} so I was thrilled when I saw that The Coveteur was offering us a peek into her closet – The Girl, The Closet, The Shoot.

Sweaters are a Must Have for layering in the Fall and Winter so finding some chic ones should be at the top of your To Do List – Be sure to check out WhoWhatWhere’s Under $150: Fancy Sweaters for some great tips.

Planning a tropical get away for the chilly Winter months this year? Or booking tickets for some fun in the sun? Be sure to look at Fabulous at Every Age: Resort Chic from Harper’s Bazaar for some inspiration on what to pack.

I’m loving the Baroque trend for Fall – It’s dramatic, rich, eye-catching, and oh-so-luxurious. Don’t believe me? Check out I Love Green Inspiration’s collection of fabulous photos showcasing this trend – All the ingredients for the Baroque recipe.

Having great skin gives you a boost every single day, so why not try some of these fabulous tips from Refinery 29 – 8 Beauty Tricks That Work While You Sleep.

Health & Fitness:

I’m madly in love with the new slow cooker that my parents got me for my birthday so I’m constantly on the lookout for fun new recipes to try – Write With Us: Slow Cooker Recipes.

Obesity and diabetes are epidemics sweeping through this country – Epidemics that can be stopped with proper nutrition and exercise. Being well-educated on these topics really could save your life – Why We All Need a Pre-Diabetes Diet.

Properly fueling your workouts is important, in addition to water and coconut water, you need to be sure that you’re consuming the right fats, sugars, and nutrients both before AND after a sweat session. Read 10 Best Fitness Foods For Women from Women’s Health for some tips that can help you plan your meals.

Gluten-Free apple crisp serving

Sometimes skipping dessert is not an option. But that doesn’t mean you have to reach for packaged, processed, or pre-make sweets. Why not whip up a healthy treat instead? Try The Wannabe Chef’s Gluten-Free Apple Crisp for a tasty, guilt-free indulgence.

If you’re embarking on a new fitness regime or trying to slim down for the holidays tracking the foods that you consume is a great tool to ensure that you’re aware of what you’re eating and your portion sizes. Luckily in this age of smart phones there are plenty of apps that will make this even easier – 5 Awesome Apps For Calorie Counts.


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Harper Bazaar’s Shop the Street Style Look: When Monochrome Meets Snake-Skin shows you just how to mix patterns and prints with basics to create an eye-catching look that isn’t too over the top.

I have a big ole fashion crush on Miroslava Duma and was thrilled when I stumbled upon this fun piece with great pictures celebrating her style on The Coveteur – The Girl, The Closet, The Shoot.

The designer collaboration that I’ve anticipated most – closely edging out Jason Wu for Target – is the Prabal Gurung for Target Capsule Collection. I. Can’t. Wait. February 10th. Mark your calendars. In the meantime, Refinery 29 has the goods – Prabal Gurung (And His Target Collection) Play Matchmaker With Olivia Thirlby.

Scent, lotions, toners, creams, powders, scrubs… All part of the daily beauty routine of women around the world. I love peeking into someone’s medicine cabinet and seeing what their favorite products are, it always inspires me to spice up my own routine. Onto My Wardrobe: Daily Beauty.

I really enjoyed pulling all the mens fashion shots for my Looks of the Week – Menswear Edition post a few weeks ago, I sometimes forget just how much I love male styling. Fear not, The LA Connection rounded up a great collection of shots in his This Is A Man’s World piece.

Health & Fitness:

While I’m not a big believer in the “superfood” trend, there’s no denying that there are some extremely healthful & vitamin packed fruits and vegetables out there that you should be loading your plates with – 5 Convenient Superfoods of Fall.

Peppermint Hot Cocoa 01

I love cold weather and nothing is more cozy than snuggling with a warm mug and good book. Bonus points if there’s a fireplace. Now about that mug… This time a year I stock up on holiday teas like gingerbread and candy cane (which I then hoard throughout the year), but I also can’t say no to cider, spiced wine, or a cup of hot cocoa. This season however I’m determined to get a little bit more creative and at the top of my To Do List is Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

Even if you’re a runner and focus your fitness on cardiovascular feats, you need to be sure that you’re doing strength training as well. Not sure where to begin? Read The No Meat Athlete’s 16 Easy Strength Exercises & Stretches to Help You Run Faster & Injury-Free.

Interested in giving sprouting a try but not sure which seeds to start with or how to begin? Brendan Brazier – Thrive author & creator of Vega – might have just the answers you’re looking for – Thrive Tip: Sprouting Potential.

Whether you’re planning a cocktail party, bringing refreshments to a holiday party, or just looking for a fun Friday night project, check out the drinks on Foodista and give one of these cocktails a spin – Drink Blog of the Day Archive.


MCLV in 24 Hours

How did you enjoy the Summary Saturday post last week? I think I’ll try to include a summary-style post once or twice a month going forward so that you can keep up with all of the outlets that I’m sharing information, posts, pictures, and my daily life on – So keep an eye out!

I loved reading the Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford interviews for Harper’s Bazaar, I found them totally engrossing. Not only is Bazaar my favorite fashion magazine, Karl & Tom are two of my favorite designers. I was struck by how structured both of their daily routines are, how organized and precise their plans are on a daily basis. Then I realized how similarly I structure my days, how methodically and precisely I plan out my time during the week – Minus the jet setting & high fashion obviously.

So, without in any way comparing myself to either of these gentlemen, I thought I’d share with you guys a 24 hour breakdown of a my usual days here in San Francisco, California.

BagMCLV

{Longchamp Le Pliage gym bag}

4am – Wake up, throw on workout gear, wash my face & teeth, feed the cats, and I’m out the door in 10-15 minutes. I always walk to and from work, its 1.4 miles each way, and I’ve found that it’s the perfect wake up at that hour. I pick out my work clothes the night before and fill a small Longchamp le Pliage bag with my clothes, shoes, jewelry, and accessories so that I can just grab it on my way out in the morning. Unfortunately the weather in San Francisco is frequently different at 8pm and at 4am so I always carry an umbrella and a pashmina or jacket.

Just in case.

5:15am – By 5am-5:15am I’ve gotten through a short interval workout or (these days) my physical therapy routine, showered, dressed, and gotten back upstairs to my desk. At this point I answer emails – both personal and business related, catch-up on social media (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…) and start writing a To Do List for the day. I try to limit myself to 15-20 minutes of play time before I start concentrating on work, but throughout the day I allow myself to check back in a handful of times.

{Sunwarrior Protein Smoothie}

5:30am – Breakfast time! Well… Breakfast #1 time anyway. Around 5:30am I make a smoothie, frequently one large enough to split into two bottles and “snack” on throughout the morning. I haven’t been very creative in the smoothie department the last few months and virtually every morning I’ve had the same smoothie: spinach, ginger, lemon juice, an apple, and vanilla Sun Warrior protein powder. Sometimes I’ll use kale instead of spinach and occasionally I’ll add a banana rather than an apple, the gist of it is the same.

8am – This is traditionally when I’ll break for some more social media and have some fruit. I’m spoiled beyond belief and my office supplies us with fresh fruit each morning, anything from apples, bananas, and melon to berries, cherries and pineapple. I don’t like the taste of coffee but I’ll occasionally have a coffee with coconut milk or an espresso in the late morning. I hate the idea of needing caffeine to wake up so I usually hold off until I’ve been at work for a few hours. I also love peppermint tea in the morning, and I’ll usually combine it with a green tea bag to get more health benefits.

1pm-5pm – I’m currently on a shortened schedule due to my spinal injury so I’m leaving the office around 1pm each day to walk home and then I’m working from home until 4pm-5pm each night. During this period I work, cook, run errands near my apartment like grocery shopping or picking things up from the cleaners, or I’ll go for a walk to Fort Mason and back. Something to stretch my back and get me out of my apartment so I don’t go crazy since I’m there all afternoon. I don’t like having a heavy dinner right before bed so this is also the time that I’ll have my largest meal of the day, usually around 4pm.

5pm-7pm – This is the part of the day that I look forward to most! This is when I blog, research, jot down notes, look at recipes, check the blogs that I follow, write, and enjoy all that social media has to offer for a couple of hours. I’ll munch on raw veggies and hummus while I lose myself online – Writing, reading, and enjoying myself. Occasionally I’ll forgo this downtime for dinner with a friend or an evening out, but usually only once or twice a week, I definitely like to keep to my routine as much of the week as I can.

8pm-9pm – Time to get ready for bed! Stretching, maybe a long soak in the tub, laying down with the heating pad, and reading are all part of my bedtime routine during the week. While I used to suffer from insomnia, I’m thrilled to say that I actually look forward to laying down these days. It’s a time to relax, take some deep breaths after a hectic day, and let go of the stress of the last 16-17 hours.

So tell me, what is your typical day like? Are yours as structured as mine?


What NOT to Wear to Work

While there are a lucky few whose office is home to casual/street-clothes appropriate attire, most of us are subject to more rigorous prerequisites when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. If you’re workplace adheres to a business or business casual dress code (and you don’t work in industries like fashion, music or TV/Film where more creative fashion is expected and accepted) there are some very basic Don’ts to keep in mind when you’re considering what to wear.

(1) No tennis shoes – Unless you have an injury, there’s no excuse for wearing running shoes in the workplace. Walking to work in comfort is 100% acceptable, but remember to change once you’re at your desk. And if heels are not your thing, there are plenty of other cute options that will keep you stylish AND appropriate.

ShoeCollage

{Left – Lucky Brand Ballet Flats $60 @ Victoria’s Secret, Center – DV by Dolce Vita Loafers $25 @ Amazon & Right – Charles Philip Smoking Slippers $60 {on sale} @ Saks}

Ballet flats, loafers, Oxford’s, flat boots and smoking slip-ons are all great alternatives to consider.

(2) No shorts! Yes, there are very cute examples of summer shorts/romper outfits out there right now, but those are for your much-deserved downtime, not for the office. Even “dressed up” with tights or heels, shorts are not appropriate for the office. Dying for something cool to wear other than a dress or skirt? Try a pair of capris a la Jackie O, just remember to avoid pairs that fit like a second skin.

Capri

{Wool Capri – $35-$50 {on sale} @ J.Crew}

(3)  No. Open. Toed. Shoes. Sandals, no matter how cute, are not appropriate for the office. Peep-toed pumps can be acceptable depending on the height and style, but flip-flops and sandals should be left in your closet until its time to hit the beach. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you would wear it to the beach, don’t wear it to the office. Cute, summery totes excepted of course.

Lacoste

{Lacoste Shopper – $95 @ Zappos}

(4) Be cognizant of hemlines and necklines. Nothing too short, nothing too low-cut. Put your hands down at your sides – At no time should your hemline rise above where your fingers are. For necklines I don’t think that there’s a hard and fast rule. Everyone has a different style that looks best on them and I believe that you should be true to that {boatneck, sweetheart, scoop etc}. As a v-neck girl I do two checks when I wear sweaters or wrap dresses: first, look straight-on in the mirror to be certain that your bra doesn’t show and second, lean forward and make sure that you between your top/dress and undergarments you’re not exposing anything unexpected.

PencilSkirt

{AGB Pencil Skirt – $25 @ Macys}

(5) T-Shirts – While I’m hesitant to issue a blatant ban on t-shirts, I will say that graphic, logo or burn-out shirts are a no-no. A well-made shirt with a basic or conservative cut is fine (tuck one into a high-waisted pencil skirt and add booties for a fun high-low look). Before giving a T the go-ahead for office usage be sure that it’s not see-through, the fit & cut are suitable (no midriff baring tops!) and that it’s thick enough to hang where it should.

Top

{Ann Taylor Wrap Top – $30}

As for my male readers, let me pass along my number one workwear related pet peeve for men. I work in a predominately male office where slacks and a button-down are the worn by one and all. Please note, khakis are not slacks. Yes, khaki/tan colored slacks are a great option to beat the heat, but Dockers or khaki cargo pants ARE NOT SLACKS. Sorry for the caps, I just needed to get that off of my chest. I know that for many people “rules of fashion” is something of an oxymoron, as the goal of the industry and those that love it is artistic expression, but work is one of the places where you need to adhere to someone else’s rules. So take a look at your company’s dress code and keep that in mind when you’re shopping for work clothes.

A great tip is to separate your closet into work and play clothes, hang the dresses, slacks, sweaters and blouses appropriate for work in one section so you and can get in and out in a hurry each morning!

Bonjour for now, I’ll be back to show you some great looks to try out at the office soon.


Guest Post: Low-Intensity Fasted Cardio

For Moi Contre La Vie’s first guest post please welcome Sean, a certified CrossFit instructor and self-taught health & nutrition guru, who will be discussing low-intensity fasted cardio. When he first mentioned this topic to me I thought it was extraordinarily interesting and immediately pounced on him to put it into writing.

Sean

{Yes – That’s Sean}

Enjoy!

For quite some time, i have prided myself in being physically capable of overcoming demanding physical challenges at will.  Whether it be lifting heavy weights, running long distances, or some other overtly masculine challenge.  For this reason, i use to laugh at myself when i was humbled by seemingly simple tasks, which in my goal of attaining general physical athleticism, i would overlook.  This was never more apparent than when i would visit places like San Francisco where walking for an afternoon, yes walking, would leave me feeling beaten down and exhausted (my tiny girlfriend waiting for me to pant my way up every hill was demoralizing in itself). Little did I realize, that in neglecting one of the most fundamental forms of human locomotion, I was passing up a potent and extremely valuable health and fitness tool.  One that requires a little time and very little effort.

Living in a place like San Francisco, where walking is a valid method of transportation, is dramatically different from than the suburbs in which i reside. Here, i can not think of a single person that walks, or even rides a bike, outside of the specific purpose of getting exercise.  Funny enough, i know overweight people who will ride their bike for two hours straight when it is exercise, but when it comes to the half-mile commute to work or the store, the only option is the SUV.  Not to say that i was any different, it is a habit that you learn.

Then, a few months back, I found an article discussing the topic of low-intensity fasted cardio exercise to augment training for gymnast.  (I have a strange fascination with gymnastics training methods, the level of skill and strength required for basic competency is astonishing).  The highlight of the topic was how low-intensity fasted cardio was a simple and effective way to keep fat off a gymnast, whilst not compromising their performance in the gym and permitting them to eat more.  I thought this was very interesting and saw no reason why it would not be just as useful for anyone who was interested in a simple method of losing stubborn fat (who isn’t?).

First off, what is low-intensity fasted cardio?  The “fasted” part of the equation should not be taken in any extreme sense of the word.  Your body will begin to enter a fasted state about four to five hours after you eat.  It takes about that long for your body to either use the nutrients you have eaten or store them.  By this time you body begins using alternative sources of fuel which are derived primarily from your liver and increased metabolization of fat.  Since most people do not eat while they sleep, they will generally wake up with blood rich in metabolized fat ready to be used for energy (There are numerous other steps in there, but that’s the basics).  When you eat first thing in the morning, your body essentially reverses this process, turning to the more energy rich food and re-storing the fats you metabolized.  Just because you freed the stored fat (metabolized) doesn’t mean you actually use (oxidize) it.  So there is an optimal time (when you wake up or if you want to not eat for a while) for your body to access your stores of fat.  This is where the bit about walking comes into play.

Pairing fasting with low-intensity cardio (low-intensity cardio can be just about any steady state exercise that doesn’t require you to breathe heavily – i.e. walking) is an easy way to capitalize on the metabolized fat that i just described.  Why walk, when you can do more work in less time by running or some other higher intensity exercise?  One, walking is easier to do consistently, especially when you don’t think of it as exercise.  I walk to get coffee or to by food for the day, not to work out.  For some reason, turning it into a necessity (I must have coffee) changes the walking from an option to a requirement.  This makes doing it everyday easy.  Second, fat is not the most efficient form of energy for your body to use.  Once you begin to cross over into moderate to higher intensity exercise your body’s ability to meet your energy demands through fat metabolism isn’t adequate.  It will generally turn to other richer sources of energy like muscle tissue. 

First, thank you for the guest post. Second, and more importantly, thank you for calling me tiny. 🙂

While squeezing in some walking time is always good for you, whether you treat it as exercise or just need some time to yourself, low-intensity fasted cardio seems like an extremely beneficial activity to try on for size. I’ll confess, while I don’t read traditional dieting books, I will read almost any silly book that talks about French women and their approach to food {French Women Don’t Get Fat, Two Lipsticks and a Lover, A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl…} The number one tip all of these books give you is: WALK! The French walk everywhere. If there’s a choice between taking the stairs or an elevator, they take the stairs. They walk to work, they walk to the market, they walk around their cities and towns rather than driving. In my mind this reinforces the benefits of walking and illustrates how the French maintain their slim figures.

Can’t go through the drive through if you’re walking!

Sean usually walks to the store in the morning or walks for a few miles along the river with his roommate, which sounds to me like an ideal way to start to the day. Unfortunately with a 4:30am start time for my days a leisurely stroll isn’t in the cards, however I have been lucky enough to live less than two miles from work for the last few years so I usually walk to the office, weather permitting.

So keep Sean’s advice in mind and hit the pavement or trail to burn off some fat in the am before treating yourself to a healthy breakfast.