MCLV Travel Diary | Vacation Planning

It’s nearly that time.

The weather is starting to warm up. You’re starting to have (more) trouble concentrating at your desk. Social media is filled with beautiful people posing in beautiful locations… That means time for Summer vacation!

So, as we’re heading into vacation season, I thought I’d do a series of posts to help you prepare, pack, and execute a killer trip. There’s nothing worse than forgetting a vital step in the process and feeling like your trip is ruined.

MCLV Travel Diary Vacation Planning Wanderlust San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger How to Pack Plan

Handbag – Givenchy Antigona Satchel

Striped Bikini – Polo Ralph Lauren

Black Straw Hat – Ted Baker London

There’s lots to cover, so let’s get going!

Travel Documents:

You’ve planned the trip, now it’s time to make sure you can get there!

  • Photo ID and/or passport {make sure they aren’t expiring within 6 months of your trip!}
  • If you’re renting a car, do you need an international drivers license?
  • Do you need a travel visa?
  • Will you be purchasing travel insurance?

Travel Warnings:

Before a trip to a new country, or even a new city in a country I’ve already been to, I like to do a few quick checks to make sure that I’m totally prepared.


These may seem like no-brainers, but you’ll be glad that you made sure to check!

  • Weather – Be sure to check the weather! It’s easy to fall into the trap of “it’ll be warm” and not check the specifics. Especially when it comes to tropical locations, because being aware of storm and monsoon seasons can make all the difference in the world!
  • Food – I like to review the restaurants and shops near my accommodations before I leave using TripAdvisor. That way I know that I can find something to eat in a pinch. I also like to pack a snack bag for my trips.
  • Language – If you’re going somewhere that speaks a different language, it’s a good idea to learn a few helpful phrases. Apps like Duolingo are a great way to brush up on or learn bits of new language. Even if everyone is predominantly able to speak English, they’ll appreciate the occasional please and thank you in their native tongue.
  • Stay in Touch – I always use WhatsApp when I travel internationally, no data fees or international phone plans necessary, just download the app and text whenever you have WiFi.
  • Currency – Be sure to check on what the local currency is at your destination and do some research on the best exchange rates. Often times your bank will have a good rate and you can just use a local ATM. Which brings me to my last tip – Update your credit card company and/or bank with your plans so that you don’t get fraud alerts while you’re traveling.

Next up – Packing! Stay tuned for posts on packing your toiletries, clothes, and extras to make sure that you have everything you need, but aren’t bringing the whole house!

What’s YOUR most important item to tick off when you’re getting ready for a trip? Am I missing anything?

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Running Shoes Round-Up

One of the great things about running is that it can be as simple as lacing up your running shoes and heading out the door. Because, really, shoes are all your need. No gym membership, no equipment, just you and the road. Sure, you can find all sorts of fun toys and accessories and gear for running, but they’re not necessary.

Today, I thought that I would share some of my favorite running shoes that I’ve worn over the years. Everyone needs something different from a pair of shoes – We all have different feet, we have different training regimes, we run on different surfaces. That being said, most of the top companies have multiple styles and options that you can choose from once you’ve narrowed down the brand.

So, in no particular order, here are my top shoes of the last five years:

Running Shoes 10K Run 10 Feed 10 Women's Health Magazine Macy's Feed Project San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Workout Gym FitLife Running Runner

Brooks Ghost 10 – This is my current pair of shoes and I ran my February race in them. They’re incredibly cute, comfortable, and fairly lightweight and compact. One thing that I’ve noticed is that they’re better for shorter distances if you have high arches, I start to get an ache around 9 miles on concrete. They’re also great for classes with running segments like OrangeTheory or Barry’s Bootcamp.

Saucony Guide 9These babies are one of the longest lasting pairs of shoes I’ve ever owned. I trained in the Guide 9s and did 3-4 races in them, with zero issues. They’re a little bigger than the Brooks in terms of “bulk,” but they’re still not an incredibly heavy shoe. They’re heavy-duty enough to really handle road running though, and I never had any pain or blisters with them.

Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 11 – I really enjoyed these shoes and ended up buying two pairs of the Wave Inspire 11s. These are more similar to the Saucony Guide 9 in terms of size and weight, and almost as good for standing up to road running.

Brooks Launch 3 – These are very cute and quite lightweight, but I found them a bit too minimal for the pounding your feet undergo during an intense road run. These ended up becoming a walking shoe for me, that I wear to walk to and from the office each day.

Do YOU have a go-to brand of shoe for running? Any pairs I need to try?

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NatureBox Giveaway | Calling all Snack Lovers

Welcome back to another NatureBox giveaway! If you missed the first two giveaways, here’s a summary – NatureBox is a wholesale, membership-based online snack company. Once you’ve created an account, your monthly $5 fee goes towards your orders each month, and rolls over if you don’t get around to shopping during a particular month.

The website carries all sorts of goodies – From vegan snacks to low sugar treats to paleo items. And the website allows you to sort all the yumminess by diet and eating style, so that you can find what you’re looking for.  Some of their best-selling items are cheddar caramel popcorn, vanilla bean wafers, vanilla almond clusters (YUM), and mocha almonds. What I really love about this site is the variety of items – I’ve ordered everything from almond butter and oatmeal to raw nuts and trail mix packets. All great for Summer traveling!

Some of my personal favorites are the cassava and plantain chips, and the crispy coconut squares. I’m completely addicted! I also like to get raw nuts and dried fruit, and mix them together to create my own healthy trail mix concoctions for easy after-dinner snacking. 🙂

NatureBox Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Snacking Snacks


This amazing company has offered to team up AGAIN for another killer giveaway. Read on for the rules on entering and what you can win!

The Giveaway:

  • Free lifetime membership to NatureBox
  • Free shipping on your first order
  • AND a $50 credit to get you started!

How to Enter:

Using the giveaway graphic below you can join this content in a handful of different ways. Follow NatureBox or Moi Contre La Vie on FacebookTwitter, or Tweet a message and you’ll be entered to win.

You can enter as many times as you’d like and the giveaway will be open until March 7th and then I’ll announce the winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are YOU a snack lover? Hurry up and enter this giveaway!

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Trendy vs Chic: How To Be Stylish

Anyone can be a slave to new trends, it doesn’t take creativity or style to dress in a runway look head to toe. So what is style? What does it mean to be chic and stylish rather than a fashion victim?

Trendy vs Chic: How To Be Stylish

How To Be Stylish Retro Fashion Starts San Francisco Fashion Blogger Street Style Style is a very personal concept, it can be different for everyone. It’s about knowing your body type, knowing what looks good on you and knowing what you’ll be comfortable wearing. You can ignore every trend that ever graces a magazine cover and still be a fashion icon.

After all, good style is eternal.

Regardless of whether you consider Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Vreeland, or Lauren Hutton to be your ultimate style icon, there is something  that each of these women possess. She is true to herself and has created a style that is inherently “her.”

What are the basic guidelines that a lady must follow in order to be stylish?

[1.] Know thy self – Take a good, hard look in the mirror and understand your assets & limitations. What are your best characteristics – Great shoulders? Long, lean legs? Christina Hendricks curves? Find a style that plays up your assets. Yes, you can mix up your style each season and incorporate great new looks to keep things fresh, but you need to first have a good understanding of what you can, can’t, and shouldn’t bother trying to pull off. Do you have short legs? Consider that skinny jeans and mid-calf boots have the potential to make your legs look truncated. On the curvier side? Ruffles and busy tops can give you a top-heavy silhouette. You don’t need to be built like Gisele to look polished and put together, you just need to know how to work with what you have!

How To be Stylish Trendy vs chic Retro Fashion Icon Kate Moss

[2.] Find your sweet spot – Once you know what works best for you, the next step is to create a style that is totally your own, a home base of sorts that you can always start with or go back to. Whether you love Twiggy-style shift dresses, menswear with a feminine twist, a darker pallet, or retro, ladylike silhouettes, make the look yours by adding personal touches. If you’re comfortable and confident in your clothes, you’ll have every eye on you as soon as you step into a room. Wear your clothes, don’t let them wear you! My personal look is very classic and a little formal, I love dresses and skirts, but with a bit of an edge. My favorite looks are traditional with a modern twist, like a chic LBD with funky pearls and patent leather booties.

How To be Stylish Trendy vs chic Retro Fashion Icon Alexa Chung

[3.] Invest! It’s always fun to try new trends – If you’re careful with them – But a large portion of your clothing and accessories budget should be devoted to more classic, long-term pieces. High quality basics that you will be able to use season after season, which can easily be spiced up with the newest handbag or sunglasses. A trench coat, great jeans, a button down shirt, a Little Black Dress, these are the building blocks to a great wardrobe, regardless of your style. When you see pictures of Jane Birkin’s bangs and little tunic dresses, Audrey’s trenches, Coco’s pearls, or Bianca Jagger’s suits they still all look chic and modern. Why? Because they were stylish women, not slaves to trends.

Some words of wisdom to think about when you’re considering you personal look:

  • “Style isn’t about change; that’s fashion’s job. Style is about knowing yourself, knowing the image you want to project, and finding the look that suits you the best for your goals.” TLo from Tom & Lorenzo: Fabulous & Opinionated
  • “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Coco Chanel
  • “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” Yves Saint Laurent
  • “Attitude is everything.” Diane von Furstenberg

Have you seen the Audrey Hepburn movie Funny Face?

There’s this phenomenal dance number with Kay Thompson, who is one of the highlights of the film, called How To Be Lovely. Whenever I think of being stylish and chic, I think of this scene and it makes me laugh. This is a great reminder that fashion is supposed to be fun!

How To be Lovely


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Spring Style Round-Up

It’s finally starting to feel more like Spring around these parts, which means pushing the outerwear towards the back of the closet and bringing out dresses, lightweight layers, and some more color. One of the benefits of tending towards more classic styles is that you can repeat pieces season after season. Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite Spring styles from the last few years to get you in a sunny frame of mind!

Classic Summer Style Little White Dress Winter White Spring Style Trendy Mondays San Francisco Fashion Blogger Street Style

{The Little White Dress never goes out of style. I love this sleeveless version with pockets! Similar styles here, here, and here.}

Spring Fashion Trends Stripes Fringe Poncho Cape Overalls Pinafore Wearable Technology Prints Mixing & Matching San Francisco Fashion Food Fitness Beauty Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Shopping Online Fashion

{While I’m not really the denim overall wearing type, I do love a good pinafore. For me the key is picking one in a neutral, easy to style hue like black, white, or nude.}

Le Tote Black and White Printed Wrap Dress San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Nothing says let’s play outside quite like a printed wrap dress – I adore this version!}

Summer Dresses Polka Dots San Francisco Fashion Blogger Street Style

{Midi length dresses are a favorite of mine this time of year – I love polka dots, stripes, prints, and solids!}

Printed Shift Dress Bay Area San Francisco Fashion Fitness Food Lifetstyle Blogger Street Style

{Colorful prints and Springy shift dresses are my go-to on weekends during Spring and Summer.}

What’s YOUR go-to style this time of year? Or do you change it up every season?

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