January Favorites

One of the new series that I’m going to be working my way through this year is a round-up of my monthly favorites!

From new beauty products I tried to all-time favorites in the kitchen to workout classes to new restaurants.  I’ll be checking in each month to give you a peek at what I loved and couldn’t live without during the previous month.

No Cow Bars – I try a lot of bars. They’re great if I need a little protein boost to hit my macros at the end of the day, and they’re a total lifesaver when I’m traveling or running around like a headless chicken on weekends. Bars are great because they’re easy to store, and a quick/easy source of healthy nutrition. I have recurring favorites that I buy time and time again, but I really like giving new brands a try as well. These No Cow Bars are an unusual texture, but really tasty and filling. My favorite flavors so far are Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Dark Raspberry Truffle.

January Favorites Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian Beauty Skin Care San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Products

Shiseido Benefiance Eye Cream – I talked all about my Winter Skin Care Routine a few weeks ago and one of the real favorites from that all-star line-up was the Shiseido Eye Cream.

Adidas Neo Sneakers – If you follow me on Snapchat {if you don’t – it’s moicontrelavie} you’ll know I’m a huge fan of my Adidas Neo sneaks. I have them in three colors. Since foot injuries ruined my love affaire with ballet flats and heels {The Painful Truth About High Heels} I’ve been wearing my Neos daily. They’ve held up wonderfully and are still cute and comfy!

Fluffbutter Salted Caramel Sundae – Oh. M. Geeee. This dairy-free protein peanut butter is amazing. But, full disclosure, the bf made a face when he tried it… But he has a sugar addiction so I’m pretty sure his taste buds are shot. 🙂

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll – I’m a huge fan girl when it comes to distance runners and after finishing Born To Run I ordered a bunch of other running books that I’ve spent years going through. More recently I read Eat and Run by Scott Jureck and after that ultra marathoning love fest, I had to read this one.

What were YOUR January favorites? What do I need to add to my Must Try list for February?

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Bissinger’s Chocolate | Valentine’s Day Made Easy

Are you looking for the perfect, easy-but-thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift? Why not go for a classic – Chocolate!

Enter Bissinger’s.

Originally created in Paris, the company has been a favorite chocolatier for European nobility, like King Louis XIV, for over three centuries. Their luxurious confections are created in small batches, using their age-old recipes, and only the high quality ingredients.

Bissingers Chocolate Valentine's Day Gifts San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Luckily for us, Bissinger’s has come to the Bay Area just in time for Valentine’s Day, and they shared some exciting new treats at the Fancy Food show in San Francisco last weekend.

Didn’t make it to the expo? Bissinger’s products are now available at a few local spots – Whole Foods, Draeger’s, and New Leaf stores.

And don’t worry. Even if you or your beloved aren’t huge chocolate people, they have some seriously yummy non-chocolatey treats like gummy pandas and caramel glazed pecans.

Bissingers Chocolate Valentine's Day Gifts San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

I got a chance to take some of their goodies home and between me, the gummy lover, and him, the chocolate lover, we were pretty happy.

So what did we try?

  • Blackberry Hibiscus Gummy Pandas
  • Pomegranate Gummy Pandas
  • Raspberry Gummy Pandas
  • Carmelized Blood Orange Chocolate Bar
  • Coconut Caramel Chocolate Bar
  • Coffee Toffee Chocolate Bar
  • Dulce de Leche Chocolate Bar

And let me tell you… They were divine!

I had a few bites of the different chocolate bars and more than a few bites of the gummies, and they were all delicious. I have to say that the Carmelized Blood Orange and the Dulce de Leche were something to write home about.

What’s on YOUR Valentine’s Day list?

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MCLV Style: Mod Black & White

Have you ever seen a blogger or celebrity or… Anyone really, and just *loved* their outfit. And more than just loving it, you wanted to run home and try to recreate it in your own way?

So… Yea, that happened with this mod look from the always flawless Jenny at Margo and Me.

Mod Black and White Over-the-Knee Boots San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Margo and Me Modern Feminine

Mod Fit & Flare Skirt – Derek Lam 10 Crosby

Black Turtleneck Sweater – Madison & Berkeley

Flat Over-the-knee Boots – Vince Camuto

Round White Retro Sunglasses – Jeepers Peepers

Mod Black and White Over-the-Knee Boots San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Margo and Me Modern Feminine

I love the combination of pieces and the laid-back California girl Winter vibe that they create. The oversized turtleneck sweater paired with a slightly flared skirt and some killer over-the-knee boots.

Et voila!

Mod Black and White Over-the-Knee Boots San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Margo and Me Modern Feminine

{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

I, of course, rendered the look in my trademark black & white by pairing a printed skirt with a black turtleneck and black thigh-high Vince Camuto boots.

I especially loved how the silhouette and color scheme ended up feeling very mod. I decided to up the ante with these round, white sunglasses – Ultra mod!

I love getting inspired by someone else and letting their amazing style influence a new look for me. When was the last time YOU tried putting together a look based on one that you saw online or in a magazine?

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Beauty & Makeup 101: Sunless Tanner

This edition of the Beauty & Makeup 101 series is all about sunless tanner.

Let me preface this by saying that I have resisted the concept of a sunless tanner, or a tan of any kind, for many, many years. When pressed I’ve made Irish jokes, referenced gorgeous fair-skinned beauties like Nicole Kidman who make fair skin look amazing, and I’ve even trotted out a family history of skin cancer as an explanation for my pale, pale skin.

But the time has finally come!

Beauty Make Up Skin Care 101 Lotion Sunless Tanner Fake Tanning San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Beauty Blogger

As with the first post in this series, Beauty & Makeup 101, the impetus was the SF Symphony Gala. I love running outdoors and have spent the Summer running races and tackling lake-side trails.

The unexpected side effect? Sports bra tan line!!

So I popped over to my favorite salon – The Social Beauty Co. – For an organic, paraben-free California girl spray tan. And it got me curious.

After that I did what I always do – I turned to Sephora for answers. Thus securing yet another year of VIB Rouge status.

I have a problem kids.

Beauty Make Up Skin Care 101 Lotion Sunless Tanner Fake Tanning San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Beauty Blogger

{Pictures from Beauty Must Haves Pinterest Board}

After reading product reviews and checking ingredients, I decided to try out two different products to help me with my tanning aspirations. Both by Tarte, which is a favorite brand of mine.

I also got a chance to try out two drug store versions – the Neutrogena Build a Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning and Bondi Sands Wash Off Instant Tan. Both worked out pretty well, though Tarte is my favorite so far!

Do YOU have any tanner tips? What’s your favorite tanning product or brand?

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Blogger Confessions {XVII}: College Edition

Welcome back to the blogger confessions series! Its been a while… 🙂

This Confessions post is all about college factoids and ridiculousness from my four wonderful years at the University of California at Berkeley.

When I was in college I had very definite plans about joining the CIA. I also wanted to be the first female accepted in the Navy SEALS.

I lived in Rome, Italy for the Spring semester of my Junior year studying Art History. Which, incidentally, was not my major.

While Berkeley was ringed by cute little cafés filled with students studying up a storm, I was a library girl and routinely studied in the smaller History and Classics libraries. Fewer people, more table space, and I frequently needed to locate more arcane texts for my papers and studying sessions.

Confessions UC Berkeley College University San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

I joined UC Berkeley as a member of the diving team but due to an injury – The same spinal injury I’m still dealing with today – I never got a chance to represent UCB in competition.

I wrote an Honors thesis for each of my majors and the subject of my Classical Civilizations thesis is, in part, the basis of one of the novels that I’m working on writing right now. If I had gone straight into a PhD program after my undergraduate program as I’d originally anticipated, it may have been the basis for my dissertation.

Missed on the other Blogger Confession posts? Check them out here.

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