MCLV Style | Easy Summer Dresses

I love a good Summer dress. Well, to be fair, I love most dresses. I mean, what’s not to love? One piece and you’re done. Easy peasy.

But I have to say, after months of leggings, I’m especially ready to break out the warm weather frocks this year.

So bring on the easy Summer dresses! {Some of these are on SUPER sale, so be sure to check them out!}

Floaty Florals:

Casual & Easy to Wear Frocks:

Midi & Maxi Madness:

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MCLV Pregnancy | Pregnancy Safe Skin Care

When you get pregnant there’s a lot to worry about. There’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot to do. There’s a lot not to do. It can be overwhelming.

Luckily, I have been interested in skin care for years and had already started to transition over to clean brands and products that are better for both myself and the environment.

A few of the no no’s that I read about that pregnant women shouldn’t use are: Benzoyl Peroxide, Fragrances, BPA, Hydroquinone, Formaldehyde, Parabens, Phthalates, Retinoids, Salicylic Acid, Thioglycolic Acid, Chemical Sunscreens, and Botulinum Toxin.

Some of those I expected – Botox & Retinol – Others were more of a surprise, like Benzoyl Perioxide. Others I don’t think should be in any products and you should throw away bottles if you see them on a label (Formaldehyde, BPA).

Luckily, my core skin care routine, minus the retinol, was in the clear. Below are the pregnancy safe skin care products that I used, and loved, throughout my pregnancy:

Eyes:

Serums:

Moisturizers:

Sunscreen:

Cleansers:

Masks:

I was pretty happy with what I found and I’m sure that I’ll keep using these brands and products for years to come!

What’s on YOUR beauty shelf?

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Mood Boosting Dance Cardio

Whether you’re still sheltering in place, don’t want to renew your gym membership, or have just started to enjoy working out from home – I’ve got a fun, mood boosting workout for you.

Dance Cardio!

Upbeat workouts, great music, and an instant smile. I’ve come to really enjoy these workouts over the past few months and I mix a few into my workout routine every week.

Below are a few of my favorite YouTuber’s that are sharing free dance cardio workouts that I think you’ll enjoy!

The Studio by Jamie Kinkeade:

An amazing round-up of different styles of dance cardio-based workouts on their YouTube channel. And if you love them as much as I do, you can also buy on-demand classes on their website.

MadFit – The workout channel for YouTuber Maddy Lymburner

Her 90’s and 2000’s dance workouts are EPIC, such great moves and music. And she has a bunch of shorter one-song workouts that you can pick and choose from.

Pamela Reif

This YouTube legend has started adding dance cardio to her repertoire and they’re such a fun way to mix up your workouts.

What’s YOUR favorite workout right now?

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MCLV Pregnancy | What I Eat In A Day [1st Trimester]

What better way to kick off the MCLV Pregnancy series than with a What I Eat In A Day post? So, please consider this my pregnancy announcement. 馃檪

I’d like to preference this by saying, everyone’s needs are different {both in pregnancy and outside of pregnancy}, this is just an example of what I personally ate during a day in my first trimester. You should always talk to a doctor about your nutritional needs and you should talk to them before making any dramatic changes to your diet.

A few things to know about me and my particular pregnancy during the 1st trimester. I had morning sickness off and on between weeks 5 and almost 12. When I got it, how poorly I felt, and what helped or made things worse ALL changed daily. There was no cure or quick fix, but in general I did find that lots of small meals and making sure that I never got super hungry was helpful.

Also, I was plant-based prior to the pregnancy and planned to remain so during, which meant that I did a lot of research, read a number of books, and talked to my doctor about ensuring that I met my micro and macro-nutrient needs on a daily basis. That meant variety, variety, variety. I ate a large variety of whole foods each day, and tried to mix things up as much as I could.

First Breakfast: Apple or banana w/ almond butter sprinkled with cinnamon & hemp hearts

Second Breakfast: Smoothie – Mixed berries, vanilla protein, ginger, ground flax seed, chia seeds + Psyllium husk

Lunch: Kale Salad – Kale, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, sunflower seeds, avocado, and turmeric ginger dressing

Afternoon Snack: 2 brown rice cakes with hummus or avocado & Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Dinner: Veggie Stirfry – Zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower & tofu cooked with olive oil and topped with coconut aminos and sesame seeds, served over a mixed rice & quinoa combo

Dessert: Homemade raw trail mix – Cashews, almonds, walnuts & pecans with no-sugar added apricots, banana chips, and raisins. And sometimes a salty snacklike popcorn.

Morning Sickness Snacks: If I started to feel nausea coming on, I kept ginger chews, dried fruit, and stock drops in my purse.

Looking back at this, as I’m finishing my second trimester, I’m a bit impressed by my restraint. Treats became a larger part of my life during the second trimester/quarantine.

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MCLV Mange|Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffins

I can’t seem to stop baking. Our shelter-in-place has been filled stress baking and since I seem to have no self control when it comes to indulging in my homemade treats, I decided I needed to dedicate some time to making healthier recipes.

Enter these delicious vegan, gluten-free blueberry chia seed muffins. They’re light and just sweet enough, filled with tangy, antioxidant packed blueberries. You could easily substitute another berry if you have them on hand, or add nuts or shredded coconut. You can also play around with the flour and find a mix that you like.

{Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffins – Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffin Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour {I used a combination of buckwheat flour & almond meal}
  • 1/2 Cup of Oats
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup
  • 2 Chia “Eggs” {2 Tbsp Chia Seeds + 4 Tbsp of Water}
  • 1 Banana – Mashed
  • 1/4 Cup of Plant Milk or Water
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tsp White Vinegar
  • 2 Cups of Blueberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In a small bowl make chia eggs and set aside {~5 minutes}
  • In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients including the chia eggs, which should have gelled.
  • Combine the wet and the dry ingredients. Add in blueberries. Don’t over mix.
  • Spoon batter into muffin tin
  • Bake for ~20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
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