Tag Archives | San Francisco

Shopping Time | Black Friday Sales

If you’ve ever waited in line for hours or witnessed the utter madness that is Black Friday in stores, you understand my preference for online shopping to take advantage of Black Friday sales.

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{Fabulous illustration by Jacqueline Bissett}

Macy’s is NOT messing around. They’re rocking a Black Friday Preview from 11/16-11/21 with an extra an extra 20% off. And that’s not even the main event, which begins 11/22 and goes through 11/25 with the code HURRY. Everything from family pajamas and kitchen essentials to kid’s clothing and killer boots.

The Saks Fifth Avenue sale is something you do not want to miss if you love designer goodies. Up to 40% off their designer selection. They’ve got ladies clothes, shoes, menswear, and handbags all on sale. Run, don’t walk.

You should end the year strong at the gym and prepare for a fit 2018 with all the best Nike gear. EPIC25 gets you 25% off until 11/28. I’m loving these running tights and running shoes.

J. Crew is offering 40% off everything through 11/26 with thanku.

Shopbop is offering 20% off orders of $200+, 25% off orders of $500+, and 30% orders of over $800 at Shopbop from 11/21 to 11/26, plus up to 75% off sale items. And believe me, they’ve got the goods. Leather skirts, over-the-knee boots, and killer jeans – Everything you need for this season.

Topshop has what you need. Up to 50% off and free shipping 11/22 through 11/27. They’ve got great brands like Ivy Park,

Urban Outfitters is living for BOGO. Buy one and get one 50% off through 11/24.

Ann Taylor has 50% off of everything with the code THANKFUL between 11/22 and 11/24. Sweaters and jewelry and ponchos – Oh my!

What’s on YOUR Black Friday shopping list?

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MNT Studio | #MNT10 Challenge

I absolutely love undertaking new challenges. I enjoy my workout routine, but it’s great to mix things up and really focus on something new for a short period of time. So when MNT Studio {check out their new studio launch here} reached out to see if I wanted to try their #MNT10 Challenge this Fall, I jumped at the opportunity.

And if I hadn’t been 100% in already, they have an on-staff nutritionist who would be offering recommendations on diet for the duration of the challenge!! I’m nothing short of a nutrition nerd and LOVE getting a chance to talk to knowledgeable professionals on the topic.


MNT Studio Challenge Pilates Barre Bootcamp Reformer Fitlife Fitspo San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Workout Gym

The Challenge:

Take 10 classes in 14 days.

That type of commitment definitely involves some planning and reorganizing of your schedule this time of year. But not only did this challenge rock my body, it also gave me a great chance to get to know the instructors, explore the studio, and bond with other patrons.

The Classes:

During my last doctor’s appointment my orthopedic surgeon suggested that I needed more Pilates in my life. And while I may not always agree with doctors’ recommendations, that was one suggestion that I was happy to follow-up on.

I tried a handful of different classes during the 10 days, but was sure to load up on lots of Pilates!

  • Power Pilates: Ob-SESSED. Alison and Carly kicked my booty in these classes over the course of the challenge and I always left feeling like I should have a six-pack by the end of each class.
  • Barre: This class is a great combination of moves that tones the WHOLE body. The abs, arms, legs, and booty are all getting worked.
  • Reformer: I was really excited to try reformer and found it both challenging and fun. This is the class that I had the most concern about in terms of my back injury, but there were zero issues. I left feeling very strong and flexible, which is a great combo.

The Nutrition:

I tend to eat a fairly clean, healthy, whole food-based diet, so I wasn’t planning on making any huge shifts or changes to my day-to-day diet. But I do love trying new smoothie recipes and mixing things up ingredient-wise, so I headed into the cleanse excited to see how I would feel with the small shifts.

Stay tuned for a full blog post on the cleanse as well as an interview with the fabulous nutritionist Molly who works with MNT Studio!

MNT Studio Challenge Pilates Barre Bootcamp Reformer Fitlife Fitspo San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Workout Gym

The Results:

Going from taking classes a few times a month to 12 classes in 14 days definitely took its toll. I was sore and exhausted.

The first week was especially hard, building up my endurance and retraining my muscles for Pilates, barre, and reformer, which I don’t take on a regular basis. But by the first weekend I was feeling strong enough to tackle two classes in a day – Pilates bootcamp and barre. I found week two to be remarkably easier, I was still sore, but more a pleasant “I had a great workout” sore, rather than a “I can’t walk, someone help me” kind of sore. 🙂

While I definitely loved these classes and really enjoyed tackling such a demanding challenge, I have to say that the best part of this two weeks was learning just what I am capable of.

I felt strong. I felt tough. I felt resilient.

Have YOU ever tried a challenge? If not, would you?

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MCLV Style | Cape + Thigh High Boots

I lived in my black Vince Camuto thigh high boots last season so I knew that this Fall I wanted to pick up a pair of neutral hued ones.

I actually feel pretty good about the fact that I waited until Fall 2017 to pick these babies up, because I definitely wanted them earlier this year. And I was rewarded by finding them on sale at DSW!

It’s the little victories, right?

Cape Over the Knee Boots Thigh High OTK San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Adivan Over The Knee Boot in Taupe – Unisa via DSW

Black Fit n’ Flare Dress – Eliza J

Cape Blazer – Mural from Nordstrom

Snakeskin Clutch – Michael Kors

Cape Over the Knee Boots Thigh High OTK San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by J. Villarete Photography}

Cape Over the Knee Boots Thigh High OTK San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

My Fall and Winter uniform is over-the-knee boots and either a dress or a tunic and slim pants.

Errands, outings, shopping, dinners… That’s my go-to look. Perhaps it’s a bit boring that I don’t mix things up more, but it’s like a uniform. I get ready quickly, always feel comfortable and confident, and I’m cozy once the temperatures start to drop.

Here I paired my favorite little black day dress {LBDD – Totally a thing} with a sleek cape blazer, and my thigh high Unisa boots. I love the combination of a tailored, traditional top with a more bohemian bottom half.

What’s YOUR go-to uniform this time of year?

Need some new boots this season? Be sure to check out my Fall Footwear | Boots & Booties post!

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5 Ways to Stay MOTIVATED

I’ve talked about motivation and inspiration and fitspiration a lot over the years here on Moi Contre La Vie. But since I always get questions from followers, friends, and family about how I stay motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle, I guess I’ll have to keep writing about this topic. Which is fine by me, because I think it’s an important obstacle that we’re faced with almost daily.

So, which that in mind, here are my top 5 ways to stay MOTIVATED:

Set Goals – I don’t know about you, but I’m competitive as all get out. Having a goal, and smashing that goal, is serious motivation for me to keep at it. Start small and work your way up to larger, more meaningful goals. Maybe start with working out twice a week, or going for a short walk after dinner. Then aim for 20 minutes of activity a day. You may find, that in a few months or a year, you can throw yourself into goals that you never thought possible like a fitness challenge program or running a race.

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Reward Yourself – I love setting and reaching goals. But I especially love it when reaching that goal means getting something that I’ve been looking forward. Like a new piece of activewear or a massage. Treating yourself to something nice is a great way to stay motived to reach your goals. {Check out my Rewarding Yourself post for more ideas!}Group Effort – Find a friend or a family member to help hold you accountable, or join a challenge or online community. It doesn’t matter whether that means downloading an app or texting back and forth or having a weekend running buddy. You will be amazed how inspirational it is to hear about everyone else’s progress, it really keeps you going.

Calendar It – Set a routine for yourself. Making fitness a part of your every day life, no matter what, will make it much easier. Try thinking about your workout like going to work – You just do it, even if you don’t want to. One trick that I’ve learned over the years is to block off the time on my work calendar so that I don’t schedule something else. I go to the gym every day at 11am, no matter what.

Remind Yourself WHY – If you can’t remember why you’re doing this, you won’t be able to sustain it. So hold on to the reason that you started this journey and when you feel your motivation flagging, pull that reason back up to the forefront. Are you trying to get healthier and avoid chronic disease? Are you trying to reach a goal for an event or birthday? Do you want to spend quality, healthy time with family or a significant other? Try to remember why this is important to you and how it will benefit your life.

J’Adore – If you LOVE your workout, you’re going to want to do it. So find something that you look forward to. Try different classes, or a personal training, or pick up a new active hobby. From boxing to running to zumba – There’s something out there that you’ll really truly enjoy. So go find it! 🙂

How do YOU stay inspired to lead a healthy life?

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What I Ate Wednesday | Tracking Macros

I first tried out the concept of tracking macros last year – Thank you Brittany! – And have been on and off for the last 12 months. After reinjuring my back over the Summer, and seeing the inevitable adjustment to my diet and exercise routines as a result, I realized just how helpful tracking my macros is to ensure I’m consuming enough fuel every day.

When I fall off the macro wagon, I find that I eat less protein and fat, and more sugar. It’s a great way to make sure that I’m being conscious about my dietary choices rather than winging it. And best of all, I feel more satiated and less bloated when I’m tracking.

Since I’m back to tracking every day and really enjoying the results, I thought I’d share a What I Ate Wednesday to show you what kind of foods are fitting into my program.

Early Morning:

While I don’t consider myself an Intermittent Faster, I do tend to have a 14-16 hour fasted period overnight. That’s mostly due to my schedule though, I go to bed early and can’t sleep with a full stomach, so I don’t usually eat after 6pm.

The first thing that I do when I wake up is have a full water bottle. Once I get to work I have an Irish Breakfast Tea, black with no sweeteners, and more water.

9am-10am: Scramble

I’ve been on a meal prepping kick lately and have been making huge batches of veggie scrambles on Sundays to eat for breakfast the whole week.

I use whatever vegetables I have on hand to bulk them up and tend to top them with Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning or Green Dragon Hot Sauce. I like a little kick.

This week’s scramble included green spinach, cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers, shallots, red onion, garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, and lots of turmeric. I tend to alternate between using eggs and tofu.

What I Ate Wednesday Full Day of Eating Vegan Vegetarian Paleo Gluten-Free San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger


12pm: Smoothie + Oats

I train at 11am so after my workout I make a protein smoothie with plant-based protein. For healthy carbs I’ll either add some oats to my smoothie or if I’m more interested in eating than drinking, I’ll make a little protein oats bowl to go along with the smoothie.

My go-to smoothie combination right now is:

It’s an easy combo and is both delicious and filling. Oat-wise, I’ll either add 1/4 cup to the smoothie to thicken it up, or I’ll mix 1/4-1/2 cup of oats with maca, cinnamon, chia seeds, and maybe scoop of Orgain protein powder. Vanilla of course. 🙂

3pm: Protein Pancakes

I tried making protein cookies last week, but I didn’t find them very satisfying. I really look forward to protein pancakes so it’s a better choice for me.

You can find my favorite recipe here. I’ll usually top with FluffButter or almond butter.

5:45pm: Salad + Veggie Burger

We’ve been having ourselves a bit of heat wave here in San Francisco so I’ve been craving salads and refusing to turn on the stove. {No air conditioning in SF!}

I usually do a variation of this Chopped Vegan Taco Salad because it’s such a great combination of produce, fiber, and protein. I add in extra veggies when I have them or chop up a veggie burger and toss it in.

Dressing hack: When I’m too lazy to make my creamy avocado dressing, I’ll just mix 2 tablespoons of guacamole with an Italian vinaigrette. It’s easy and tasty.

What I Ate Wednesday Full Day of Eating Vegan Vegetarian Paleo Gluten-Free San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

6pm: Dessert

My go-do dessert lately has been a banana soft serve bowl with powdered peanut butter and a chopped up Vega protein bar. It’s like a healthy sundae. So good.

But if I’m feeling lazy, or have – GASP – run out of bananas, I’ll have caramel rice cakes with Fluffbutter.


After dinner I usually have a tea – Either Yerba Buena Tea Co.’s Turmeric tea or a Sleepy Time variety. Plus more water.

Do YOU want to see my healthy sundae recipe? 🙂

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