MCLV Style: Business Casual Attire

Getting ready for work can get fairly boring year-after-year, especially if you’re constrained by a set dress code. My office is a strict business casual arena and I wore dresses every day for years. Shift dresses, wrap dresses, and classic, ladylike silhouettes.

Recently, however, I’ve been branching out more into the wonderful world of separates.

Business Casual Black on Black Workwear Ladylike San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Cropped Black Tuxedo Pants – Vince

Mock Turtleneck Top – Amelia Toro

Ankle Strap Heels – Sam Edelman

Epi Cluny BB Handbag – Louis Vuitton

Business Casual Black on Black Workwear Ladylike San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by J. Villarete Photography}

Business Casual Black on Black Workwear Ladylike San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

I’ve found that playing with different pieces and mixing and matching separates has made getting dressed for the office a bit more fun. I tend towards black and white and prints, and love an eye-catching accessory.

These Sam Edelman shoes are endlessly comfortable, I have them in two colors, so they’re great for long days or nights out where I’ll be on my feet for long periods of time. And I’m still head over heels in love with my Louis Cluny bag. It’s much smaller than my usual handbags, which was by design, and is helping me move towards a more simplified, paired down daily haul.

Best. Christmas. Present. Ever. 馃檪

What do YOU wear to the office? Do you have a dresscode like business casual?

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Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials | 2018 Edition

After tackling the Fall basics that I was relying on earlier聽this season, I wanted to give you a peek into what’s in my closet for Winter 2018. There’s a lot of layering on top of the Fall pieces, but it’s still pretty simplified as I’m trying to create a more minimalist wardrobe for myself. {Which is, as I’m sure you can guess, an ongoing work-in-progress}

As I mentioned in the Fall Edition of my Wardrobe Essentials, my goal with this series is to help keep my closet and my day-to-day life simple. I was getting tired of all of the unnecessary extras and decided to launch a decluttering campaign for my life. And that trickled down into my closets and my fashion style.

I’ve always loved having great investment pieces, so it wasn’t much of a stress to simplify my approach to dressing a bit more, and I’ve really enjoyed the results. It probably helps that I wear a lot of black. 馃檪

My top three tips for preparing your wardrobe for a new season?

  1. Begin with a closet clean out. You don’t know what you’re working with or what you need or what should be replaced, until you clean things out.
  2. Stick to a palette. Whether its neutral shades or black or specific colors or prints, just find your personal sartorial palette. Once you know your hues, you can mix and match with ease.
  3. Practice one in, one out. That means not adding a new piece until you sell or donate an existing piece. This helps keep your wardrobe paired down and easy to navigate.

Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials Capsule Closet Fall Winter San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Without further ado, here are my minimalist essentials for Winter 2018.

What’s in YOUR closet to kick off 2018? Does a minimalist wardrobe appeal to you?

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My Healthy Living Journey

I love reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos from people who inspire me, talking about how they got to where they are and their healthy living journey. It’s SUCH a wonderful reminder that you really have to work hard to make changes in your life.

I feel like with social media promoting a filtered, beautiful view of daily life, it can be hard to remember what goes on behind the scenes. And it’s easy to compare your messy, imperfect life to that perfect view – And feel defeated. That’s why hearing about someone’s journey is so valuable, it inspires and motivates, and reminds you not to compare your Day One to someone else’s Year Three.

Looking back at my journey, I would probably break it down into three categories – Food, fitness, and perspective.

Healthy living journey San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

And while each journey is different, they all start by deciding to make some changes.


Or, in my case, having changes forced on you by a doctor.聽And that may sound聽dramatic, but it’s how it felt to me at the time.

While “gluten intolerance” is a very familiar phrase today, it wasn’t 10 years ago.聽Ten years ago it聽was a scary, weird, confusing diagnosis.

I didn’t know what gluten was, I didn’t realize how many foods it was in, and I pretty much thought that I was going to die without it.

However, as fate would have it, that ended up being a turning point in my life and the start of my journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

At that point in my life I was eating mostly take-out or pre-made foods, rarely cooked, and was sick all the time. The diagnosis meant that I had to learn about nutrition, learn how to cook, and learn how to feed myself. It was the start of my love affair with food blogs and day one of my nutritional education.

It was challenging, but oh-so worth it in the end.


My fitness story is a little unusual. I was a competitive athlete growing up and continually did at least one sport from the age of 6 until 19. In college I suffered a spinal injury that ended my college diving career and sent me down a very unhealthy path. I didn’t return to the gym for nearly five years after that.

When I finally returned, and took up running for the first time, I was quickly reinjured and went through the painful, time-consuming process of preparing for, undergoing, and recovering from back surgery.

However, I’m thrilled to say, that I really dedicated myself to fitness and rebuilding my body after surgery and while I’ve had setbacks, I’ve been remarkably healthy and active the past four and a half years.


If you think of improving your health as a “diet” or something short-term, that’s exactly what it’ll be. Excruciating and short-term. However, if you change your mentality, you can achieve long-term results and genuinely improve your health.

The goal should be to create a sustainable lifestyle that makes you feel good, gives you energy,聽and helps you get where you’re going. You shouldn’t feel deprived, because then you won’t be able to carry on with that lifestyle. But, that being said, you still need to be willing to make changes.

My suggestion would be consider your personal journey as a work in progress!

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Vegetarian Whole 30 Grocery List

Since I’m currently tackling a modified聽vegetarian Whole 30, I thought I’d do an auxiliary post or two to give you some more details about my meals, shopping, and how I managed a modified, plant-based version of the popular paleo reset.

I rarely plan my grocery shopping trips based on creating any particular meals, but rather, get items that can be used for a variety of dishes as well as my go-to staples. What you’ll notice about this list is that most of the produce can be used for simple dishes like salads, stir fries, and roasts.

Vegetarian Whole 30 Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Grocery Shopping Farmers market

With that in mind, here’s a grocery list for one of my recent trips to the Farmers Market.


  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Mixed greens
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic


  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Nuts, Seeds & Legumes:

  • Raw cashews, walnuts, and almonds
  • Raw, no sugar added almond butter
  • Raw pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds
  • Garbanzo, black, and kidney beans
  • Hemp seed protein
  • Firm tofu
  • Garbanzo bean flour

Oils & Healthy Fats:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocados

Have YOU ever tried a聽paleo reset?

Note: The vegetarian/vegan Whole 30 is a great way to reset your diet, but it’s not technically considered to be Whole 30 compliant. Why? To avoid dying I included some tofu and legumes. 馃檪

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MCLV Style: Airport Fashion

I have old-fashioned sensibilities when it comes to certain things and one of those things happens to be travel. Let’s just say, you’ll never see me at the airport in sweatpants or a pair of Uggs.

Comfort is important, especially on long trips, but I also like to be put together. Over the years I’ve developed a go-to uniform for flying and while the various iterations shift, the basics remain the same.

Airport Style Travel Traveling Wanderlust San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Ponte Knit Pants – Karen Kane

Tunic – Tibi{Similar styles here, here & here}

Loafers – Coach

Luggage – Longchamp

Airport Style Travel Traveling Wanderlust San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by J. Villarete Photography}

Airport Style Travel Traveling Wanderlust San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Comfortable Pants:

I used to primarily wear dresses when I traveled, but I didn’t like having my legs touch the seats so I traded them in for comfortable, but chic pants. I love these Karen Kane ponte knit pants {I have two pairs} because they’re flattering and easy to wear, and the lack of a button closure means they’re a bit more comfortable for hours of sitting.


When I travel I wear all black or black and white. This Tibi tunic made it into my travel rotation in 2017 {check out my Best Purchases of 2017} and I have it in two colors. It’s the perfect piece for traveling because it’s thick and doesn’t wrinkle.


Since I gave up my beloved high heels, I’ve traveled exclusively in flats or boots. These metallic loafers from Coach are great for vacation because they’re versatile and can be worn the whole trip. Plus – Super comfy.


I’ve been carrying the Longchamp le Pliage luggage for years and absolutely adore it. They’re durable and easy to clean, and they’re hold a ton of gear. Plus they fold up into little pouches for easy storage at home or once you’re unpacked on vacation.

Do YOU have a go-to airport style?

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