April Resolutions & May Goals

Happy May!

Yesterday was May 1st – Also known as May Day – Which was, in ancient times, a Spring celebration of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. I’ve never actually had the opportunity to celebrate, but I envision a bright explosion of Spring festivities with flowers, dancing, and singing. Doesn’t that seem like a wonderful way to celebrate the changing seasons?

So why am I talking about May Day?

Because rather than panic because the year is ALMOST HALF OVER, I’m trying to just be excited for beautiful weather, peony bouquets, and outdoor activities.

Time to set some Spring goals for myself!

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{What I’m Loving Lately: The Real Real}

Simplify:

I continued working on my very serious Spring Cleaning goals this month. Between Poshmark and Thredup, I’m doing a great job of re-purposing pieces from my wardrobe, many of which I never even wore. Which just reinforces just how serious I’m about not creating more waste.

And I’ve also been making Goodwill donations at my local drop-off center – Everything from kitchen equipment to storage pieces to accessories.

Be Grateful:

As 2016 ticks by and my drive to travel continues to increase, I realize just how lucky I am to have the opportunity to see the world. Visiting new places, seeing sights that I’ve spent years reading about, trying new foods, exploring exciting cultures… It’s a privilege, and I’m nothing short of grateful that I get the chance to make these trips.

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 {A Morning Routine & Greeting the Day}

Give Back:

This month I was excited to share one of my favorite local organizations with you – The SF Marin Food Bank. It’s a really well-run organization that is making strikes in the fight to end hunger, and there are many great ways to get involved. Check out this post and see how you help!

Have YOU looked back at your 2016 resolutions since you made them? Have you tried setting some new goals this year?

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Giving Back: SF-Marin Food Bank

After a trip to Africa to learn about ASKenya last month, I thought we’d stay closer to home for April’s Giving Back post.

I’ve been working with the SF-Marin Food Bank since it was just the SF Food Bank!

Not only have they been around for 27 years, but they have a great rating over at Charity Navigator. What does that mean? It means that when you donate to this organization, virtually all of the funds go to the organization itself rather than towards administrative costs or fundraising. In the case of the SF-Marin Food Bank – 96.5% of the charity’s total expenses are spent on the programs and services that it delivers.

San Francisco Food Bank: Giving Back

So what do they do?

With 130 employees, 25,000 volunteers, and 450 partnering organizations in the Bay Area, the SF-Marin Food Bank is working every day to fight hunger. That means they’re collecting, packing, and distributing food, as well as offering programs geared towards supporting children and families, seniors, and nutritional education.

There are a number of ways that you can get involved that range from monetary donations and supporting the meal-a-month program to workplace & corporate sponsorships, hosting food drives, and volunteering.

With locations in San Francisco and Marin, local food drives, events, and work-sponsored programs, anyone interested in getting involved with the SF-Marin Food Bank here in the Bay Area can find a way!

How are YOU giving back this month? Do YOU have a favorite organization to support right now?

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Vegan Protein Powders I Love

I try to mix things up regularly when it comes to my diet. I tend to eat similar, if not the same, foods on a daily basis, so I like to mix in new products to complement those meals. Like… Vegan protein powders!

I use vegan, plant-based protein in smoothies, oats, banana soft serve, raw desserts, and baking.

Why?

The human body uses protein to make enzymes and hormones, and to build bones, muscles, skin, blood, and even cartilage. Eating high-quality, easily-digestible protein on a regular basis does everything from helping you maintain energy levels & manage weight to improving your workout recovery time & keeping you satiated after meals.

Dairy-Free Nutritional / Meal Replacement Shake: Tasty Vega One Nutritional Shakes are packed with dairy-free protein, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, greens, digestive enzymes, and Omega 3s.:

So rather than have the same protein powder every day, I mix in different versions and try out new brands.

Here are a few of my all time, tried and true, favorite protein powders.

Clearly I’m a fan of vanilla… 🙂 I think it’s just the easiest to mix/mask in foods. What do you think?

Do YOU have a favorite protein powder? What do you use protein powders for in your daily life?

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Roadtrip Essentials

The two main keys for a successful roadtrip in my mind are being comfortable and being entertained. After the long list of roadtrips last Summer and this Spring’s gauntlet beginning, it seemed like a good time to offer you some suggestion and see if you can tell me anything I’m missing!

Get Comfortable:

The right clothes are key. For late/early trips, I prefer something stretchy. If you’re getting in the car for a late night voyage, or getting up at the crack of dawn, comfort is paramount!

And by stretchy I mean my Victoria’s Secret Sport Stirrup Pants. I’m obsessed.

Midday trips are usually comfortable pants and a tunic top, or a lightweight dress.

Stay Hydrated:

Water bottles are an essential for me on a daily basis and especially if I’m heading out-of-town.  Flying wreaks havoc on your skin, so water is all the more important if you’re airport-bound.

And it’s great how many places have water fountains or water bottle filling stations these days, it makes it much easiest to pack a reusable bottle when you’re hitting the road.

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{Images from Wanderlust Pinterest Board}

Snackage:

Healthy snacks are the key to avoiding hangry outbursts or emergency drive-through excursions while you’re roadtripping. Some of my favorites are:

Interested in more healthy snack ideas? Check out Traveling & Eating and Traveling.

Entertainment:

Music, books on tape, and games are all good options. At my mother’s suggestion I recently downloaded Audible and absolutely LOVED listening to The Martian during our last two trips. 10.5 hours later…

It’s an especially great option if you’re heading off the beaten track and won’t have wifi or radio service.

What do YOU need for roadtrips? Am I missing anything?

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MCLV Style: Knits & House of CCUOCO

After falling in love with this black & white printed wrap dress and this nighttime-ready metallic dress, I was thrilled to also find this fabulous marbled knit cardigan in my Le Tote box.

Knits are the perfect lightweight layering option for Spring in the Bay Area – Easy to layer and easy to style.

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Knits c/o Le Tote

Cropped Black Jeans – Paige Denim

Red High Heels – Stuart Weitzman

Graphic Tee – House of CCUOCO

Marbled Knit Cardigan Open Cardi House of CCUOCO Le Tote San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

And what better way to style knits than with my favorite graphic tee from House of CCUOCO?

Black & white with a splash of red is always the answer. Trust me.

Marbled Knit Cardigan Open Cardi House of CCUOCO Le Tote San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by Garry Alexander}

This is the perfect fun, versatile t-shirt because it’s so effortless to dress up or dress down. Pair it with a pencil skirt and faux leather jacket for an evening out, or with cropped jeans and a cardigan for your next weekend adventure.

How would YOU feel about knits and layering for Spring? Have you tried Le Tote yet?

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