Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Tis the season for gift giving. From hostess gifts to presents for your family to picking up a “little something” for a friend you’re meeting for drinks.

Well, I’m here to help! Here’s my holiday gift giving guide to tackle everyone on your list this season.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide  Christmas Presents Shopping San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

The HomebodyPlaid Moccasin Slippers {cute & cozy, perfect for your favorite Netflix lover}

Beauty LoverTarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette {contouring and highlighting made easy}

The ExpectingBaby Coming Home Outfit {the cutest monogrammed set ever for the friend or family member expecting the big push to come soon}

TravelerAerie Super Scoop One Piece Swimsuit {a flattering, fun suit for her next travel adventure}

Coffee ObsessedGold Monogram Mug {a coffee lover’s favorite accessory}

Kitchen LoverInstant Pot Pressure Cooker {a killer tool for someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen}

Party Girl – It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector {the perfect way to counteract late nights and vino!}

CollectorGolden Glass Shadow Box {a chic way for a collector to display their favorite goodies}

Outdoorsy TypeFlannel Blanket Scarf {perfect for cozying up inside by the fire or stomping through the snow}

Beauty BabeCharlotte Tilbury Beauty Icons Set {a killer set for someone who loves quality skin care}

Helpful KidsStriped Kids Apron {perfect for the kid who loves to help mom and dad in the kitchen}

How many people are on YOUR shopping list?

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MCLV Style | Peter Pan Booties

Since I (finally) gave up heels in favor of being able to walk without excruciating pain {You can read the story here – The Painful Truth About High Heels} I’ve been on a seemingly full-time mission to find cute, flattering, versatile flat shoes.

You know the ones I mean.

A pair that you wear to work or out for dinner, and can – GASP – Actually walk in.

You can check out my Fall Footwear blog post for some of my picks for this season. Hands down, my two favorites are the Vince Camuto Karita Leather Block Heel Over The Knee Boots and Unisa Adivan Over The Knee Boots from DSW.

Peter Pan Booties Ankle Boots Trend Coat San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Streetstyle

Booties – Costume National

Metropolitan Watch c/o Timex

Gucci Crossbody Bag – The Real Real

Fit and Flare Sweater Dress – Eliza J

Trench Coat – Banana RepublicPeter Pan Booties Ankle Boots Trend Coat San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Streetstyle

{Photography by J. Villarete Photography}

Peter Pan Booties Ankle Boots Trend Coat San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Streetstyle

So when I saw these flat Peter Pan Booties on The Real Real website, I was thrilled. They have that delicate, feminine silhouette to them that makes them look great with dresses as well as slim-cut pants. They even look great with tights!

Plus they’re flat with a thick sole, which means that they’re comfortable for walking around the city in this time of year.

Sadly, this specific pair is sold out, but here are some similar styles:

What’s YOUR perfect boot?

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NatureBox | Healthy Snacking

When you love both snacking and nutrition – Sometimes you have trouble finding products that meet all of your daily needs. Enter NatureBox.

It’s a wholesale, membership-based snack company. You create an account online and your monthly $5 fee goes towards your snack picks each month and rolls over if you don’t shop.

So what do they have?


And what do they not have? Artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, MSG, or corn syrup. Just clean, wholesome, delicious snacks, minus unnecessary added chemicals, sugars, or processed garbage.

When they reached out and asked if I’d be interested in trying out some of their products, I couldn’t wait.

The website is super easy to use and you can sort by what you’re looking for, what you don’t want in your food, or your specific diet – Vegan, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, etc.

So what did I try out?

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

  • Garlic Plantains
  • Big Island Pineapple
  • Raw Almonds
  • Raw Walnuts
  • Sea Salt Cassava Chips

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you guys! Stay tuned and I’ll be doing a giveaway with NatureBox next week. You’re going to LOVE it!

What would YOU try first?

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The Balance Cleanse | Interview with Nutritionist Molly Alliman

If you’ve following MCLV for any length of time, you’ll be painfully aware that I’m a huge nutrition nerd. I love fitness, but nutrition is my passion. I see food as medicine and I don’t think that you can have a truly healthy life without thoughtful eating habits. That doesn’t necessarily mean time-consuming, it just means making better choices whenever you can.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to join the MNT Challenge and take the 10 Day Balance Cleanse with Molly during the program.

In case you needed yet another reason to visit MNT Studio, Miss Molly Alliman is that reason. She’s their in-house nutritionist, and you can find her on Instragram with the adorable handle ShakeThatMarshmallow, or online at The Balance Cleanse.

Since we’re heading into the hectic, food-and-booze-filled holiday season, I thought it was the perfect time to sit down for a chat with Molly and get some tips for how we can all approach the holidays more healthfully.

Molly Alliman Nutritionist Detox Cleanse MNT Studio San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Breakfast: Best healthy start to a busy day?

Always a smoothie! I tend to make mine very veggie forward with zucchini, cauliflower, or spinach and lately steamed and frozen butternut squash for winter. I use nutmilk as my base, adding ½ banana or berries and protein from nut butter or collagen peptides. Adding in some fat from avocado, hemp seeds or ground flax seeds.

Dinnertime: What’s your favorite quick and easy dinner when you’re home on a busy evening?

I have two. The first is breakfast for dinner. Breakfast tacos with fluffy scrambled eggs, nitrate-free bacon, fresh corn tortillas, black beans, sliced avocado and tomatillo salsa hits the spot. I also love making meatballs. They are so easy to make in 15 minutes, using ground turkey, chicken or grass-fed beef or lamb. I cook quinoa or brown rice pasta at the same time they cook, adding a boiled vegetable like asparagus or broccoli and drizzling with tahini on quinoa and pre-made pesto on the pasta.

Buffet: When you’re looking at a table of desserts and snacks at an event, what should you start with and/or avoid?

I always go for the meat and cheese first. I go for the sheep and the goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto hold the cracker. Go for it with the olives and nuts. Guac and chips are amazing. For desserts go for what is homemade, sugar and white flour are always best when made with love. If you are known to be tempted for seconds, put one slice or two cookies on your plate and then fill the rest with berries to continue to snack on the sweet. Depending on the event, I have been know to bring a chocolate RX bar with me to parties so I have my version of dessert with me 😉

Cocktail Time: With an endless stream of cocktail parties, events, and celebrations this time of year, what’s the best order at the bar?

I tell my clients to do one of the following:

  • Stay away from mixers with added sugar and instead stick to fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and soda water with a squeeze of lime. I like vodka or tequila.
  • If ordering beer, choose a local craft beer to get the benefits of fermentation. Commercial beers are pasteurized and therefore kill off all the good bacteria.
  • If you don’t want to drink and want to appear that you are, ask the bartender with a wink to give you soda water with lime in a cocktail glass.

Hydration: Any tips to encourage water drinking?

The trick is to actually trick yourself! I had a client who had a difficult time drinking water in the morning. She was always in a hurry to get out the door and rarely remembered. But she does take a shower every morning, so I had her set her alarm at night to remind her to place a full bottle of water in her shower. That way, when she woke up and got in the shower first thing… there was her water to drink! The morning is the most important time to drink water when your body is most dehydrated.

Molly Alliman Nutritionist Detox Cleanse MNT Studio San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Supplements: Is there a good supplement or vitamin that’s helpful for supporting the immune system during a travel-heavy season?

A good probiotic is most important for immunity, make sure you are buying one with at least 5 billion strains. I also love as taking Astragalus in the winter, it’s one of the most powerful immune boosting plants with a long list of benefits.

Eating Out: Do you have any tips for making better choices at restaurants?

I rarely order dishes with dairy when I go out to eat, unless I know where it comes from. To serve a large amount of people, most restaurants use pre-packaged or pre-shredded cheese that is processed and contains silicon dioxide as a separator. Instead order guacamole in place of cheese, avocado on your chili and also avocado on your bagel instead of cream cheese.

If you’re interested in doing your very own 10 day detox, there are a few fun options with Molly coming up. Check out The Balance Cleanse website and see whether the Winter Cleanse or New Year’s Detox will fit your schedule!

If YOU had a nutritionist at your beck and call – What would your first question be?

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Minimalist Challenge | Closet Cleaning with Poshmark & The Real Real

During my ongoing Minimalism Challenge I’ve been going through all of my rooms, every closet, and each drawer and cupboard in my apartment, and decluttering my spaces.

I’ve even cleaned out my every day handbag and my standing desk at work!

Poshmark The Real Real Consignment Vintage Investment PIeces YSL Yves Saint Laurent Handbag Manolo Blahnik San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Shopping

While I donated loads of clothing, jewelry, accessories, bedding, towels, and kitchen things to Goodwill {especially after the fires in wine country}, I held onto some of the higher end items to sell. Today I wanted to talk to you about the main two ways that I have sold clothing, jewelry, and accessories during my decluttering projectPoshmark and The Real Real.

Poshmark is a peer-to-peer buying and selling app. Once you create an account, you simply upload a picture of the item you’d like to sell, add details and a price, and list it. Easy peasy.

The types of items range from designer handbags to swimsuits to makeup and skin care. You can find brand new items {NWT = New With Tags} for a fraction of the cost. You can even make offers and bundle items together for discounts.

Selling is just as east as buying – Once an item sells you’re emailed a shipping label, so all you have to do is pack up the item and put it in the mail.

The Real Real is a San Francisco based online consignment shop. I LOVE the website and have bought from them for years – Check out my blog post Why I Shop Vintage and Consignment for more on my love affair.

While with Poshmark you’re setting your own price and talking to buyers yourself, The Real Real takes care of everything. They send you a consignment kit and you mail in the items you’d like to sell. They review them, take what they’re interested in, and send you back the rest. Then they set the prices, photograph the items, list them on the website, and you’re sent your sales on a monthly basis.

If you’d like a hands off approach to selling you unused items, The Real Real is the way to go. One thing to note though is that they only take certain brands, so you need to review their accepted designers list.

What’s YOUR favorite way to get rid of unwanted clutter in your closets?

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