Wedding Guest Essentials

Being a wedding guest isn’t always a cake walk. Between transportation, housing, and attire, there are a number of boxes to check off before you even arrive at the event. And what’s worse than realizing that you forgot something? To help us all get through wedding season in one piece, here’s your wedding guest checklist.

Wedding Guest Attire Dress Code Checklist Wedding Season San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{My favorite luggage – Longchamp Le Pliage Nylon Expandable聽Travel Bag}

First things first…

  • Check the dress code
  • Then check the dress code again
  • Still not convinced you know what to wear? Reach out and ask another guest or the bride/groom. They’ll appreciate it in the long run, even if they’re busy.

Rehearsal dinner outfit –聽Be sure to take into account the weather, venue & dress code. Always better to be on the dressier side if you’re not sure.

Toiletries – I’ve got you covered with a full toiletries packing How To here.

Downtime outfit(s) – I have a terrible habit of packing for events and forgetting that I’ll be killing time in between. Check out where you’re staying and what you’d like to do and pack accordingly. I like to workout when I can and hit the hotel pool if there is one.

Wedding outfit –聽Same as the rehearsal dinner, take into account the temperature, time of day, dress code, and venue. You don’t want to wear spiked heels on grass, you don’t want excessive cleavage in a church etc. Check out my MCLV How To: Wedding Attire post for some dress code decoding. 馃檪

Accessories – I always bring a wrap and a cropped jacket or cardigan for Spring/Summer weddings. If there’s a temperature shift at night or if you feel under dressed, that’s a great way to cover up a bit. I also like to pack a back-up pair of shoes just in case. Plus sun glasses for daytime events!

Invitation – I’m a huge fan of bringing the invitation with me. You’ll have the times, website information, location, and dress code all in one place. Never a bad thing!

Extras – Creating a little “emergency kit” is a great idea for wedding season. These are things that it’s always good to have, even if you don’t need them, someone else might.

What do YOU make sure to pack when you’re traveling for a wedding?

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Affirmations & Gratitude | A Beginner’s Guide

Writing down affirmations and keeping a gratitude diary are two of my secrets for maintaining a balanced, positive outlook on a daily basis.

Are these foolproof?


Stress happens. Bad moods happen. But these two practices help me start my day on the right foot, which can often improve my ability to tackle the hurdles that inevitably come up throughout the day.

Affirmations Positive Gratitude Journal Positivity San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger


An affirmation is a positive thought that’s written down and repeated. The goal is reinforcing your positivity through repetition. It may seem a little strange to write the same thing over and over, but you’ll discover that it can be very empowering.

Two key things that I like to keep in mind when I’m writing new affirmations are:

  • Use the present tense
  • Be positive!

Not sure what I mean? Rather than “I will start being more assertive” you would instead write “I am assertive. I will ask for what I deserve.” You’re not going to make a change in the future, the change has been made and you’re going to reinforce that mental switch through your affirmation.


Some people are great about laying in bed and going through a mental聽list of things that they’re grateful for each day. Or finding another time throughout the day to focus on this topic.

I for one, like to write it down. I set a calendar reminder for myself that goes off every morning and I pull out my gratitude journal and jot down聽what’s on my mind.

You can even combine these two practices and write down your daily affirmations and what you’re grateful for in the same place each day.

Are these practices that YOU think you could benefit from?

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Post-Workout Beauty Hacks

As someone who very regularly leaves the office midday for a workout or a run, I thought I’d share some of the post-gym beauty hacks I’ve learned over the years.

While I’ve definitely returned to my desk with a bright red glowing face after a grueling run, for the most part adequate preparation and a few minutes of pampering is enough to get you back at work looking fabulous.


Whether you have a locker, a gym bag, or just a giant handbag, having the right products on hand is important. So save those Sephora & Nordstrom samples, they’re the perfect size!


I always take a COLD shower after a workout. Especially after a run since I’m prone to ending up with a red face. The cold water not only feels amazing, but helps cool off your body and reduce redness.

Post gym beauty hacks makeup skin care gym workout fitness fitlife San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Image from Workout Motivation Pinterest Board}

Skin Care & Makeup:

I hate hate hate piling on makeup after a sweat session. Not only does my skin feel radiant afterwards, but the products also just slide right off.

So I keep Josie Maran Bare Naked Argan Wipes at the ready to clean up any messes, my Laura Mercier聽 Secret Camouflage compact for touching up under the eyes {my problem area for sure}, super moisturizing lip balm, and last but not least聽deodorant.

I also have sunscreen in my bag for when I do midday runs. I apply Algenist Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF 20 around 5am each morning, but reapply with Algenist Ultra Lightweight SPF 50 before a 12pm run.


My two hair tricks are (1) Make sure you have hair ties & sporty headbands on hand for during and after a workout, and (2) DRY SHAMPOO.

Note: You want hair ties that don’t kink your mane, I’m a huge fan of France Luxe’s line of non-damaging L. Erikson Grab & Go Ponies. You can find them in my bathroom, my desk, my purse, and my gym locker!

Seriously, if you workout as often as I do, you know that the struggle is real to follow your stylist’s “don’t wash your hair everyday” commandment. Enter dry shampoo. My favorites are Kevin Murphy, L’Oreal, and Macadamia Dry Shampoo.

What’s YOUR favorite post-gym beauty hack?

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Tips to Stay Motivated at the Gym

Staying motivated at the gym isn’t easy. I love working out, but there are still plenty of days where the couch sounds waaay more appealing than sweaty sports bras, guys with no boundaries, and expending energy I don’t have.

But even when it sounds hard or I’m sore or tired or hungry, I can often times motivate myself to get to the gym. Here are my tips that you can try next time you’re not the mood.

Change Your Mentality:

Stop thinking of your workout as auxiliary and thinking of it like you do work – It’s non-negotiable. If you’re hoping to change your life for the better and start living a healthier life, then your workouts and your healthy food aren’t short-term or fad, they’re an important part of your daily life.

And that means you need to change how you think of them. Your workouts are like going to work – Unless you’re sick, you should go. BUT if you’re sore or recovering from an injury, you should definitely listen to your body and adjust accordingly. Killed it the day before on leg day and aren’t up for a Pilates class? Just walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes. Can’t make it to a class across town because you got stuck at the office? Do a little bodyweight workout at home!


Hold Yourself Accountable:

Find an accountability partner! If you do well with a community, join an online challenge like the ones hosted by Tone It Up or聽other online trainers.

What I’ve found works well for me is doing weekly, and sometimes daily, check-ins with my best friend. We text pictures, inspiration, and聽recipes to each other, motivating聽from a distance. Between social media and one-on-one check-ins there are lots of options to keep yourself inspired, so you can find which way works best for you.

Set Goals:

I’m definitely a Type A personality and I love me some goals. I like lists in general, and nothing thrills me quite like checking something off. Hi – I’m a nerd!

Need some other tips to get you started? Check out these posts on goals and rewarding yourself so you can find a way to make this work for you!

Find Your Inspiration:

I’m an extremely visual person so when I’m feeling tired or unmotivated – I head straight to Pinterest, Instagram, or聽Snapchat.

I create motivational boards on Pinterest that keep me inspired and remind me what I’m working for each day. Workout Motivation is my favorite!

And I follow some seriously kick ass ladies on Snap and Instagram – A few minutes of looking at killer photos or watching their stories is just the kick in the booty I need to get myself to the gym.

What’s YOUR tried and true way to stay motivated at the gym?

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MCLV Mange | Nourish Bowl

I’m not sure what the technical definition of a nourish bowl is these days. Or if there is in fact a hard and fast definition. But for me, a nourish bowl is similar to a kitchen sink salad – It’s throwing some healthy, delicious foods into a bowl and enjoying the shmorgishborg.

My favorite way to enjoy this meal is a mixture of raw and cooked vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and/or grains. There are an endless number of combinations to try out and聽an endless number of ways to top your bowl. Plus, if you’re not veggie inclined, you could easily add a non-plant based protein of your choice.

Rather than go through the countless variations, I’ll just tell you what I ate in the bowl below. Enjoy!

Nourish Bowl Buddha Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Recipe


{Vegan // Vegetarian // Gluten-Free // Paleo}

Nourish Bowl:


  • Roasted veggies – Here I went with聽broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes
  • Raw veggies – Mixed greens & purple cabbage
  • Toppings – Hummus, avocado, sunflower seeds & balsamic



  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Wash & chop desired veggies
  • Spread vegetables on a lined baking sheet and put into the oven at 450 for 10-13 minutes per side, mixing them at the halfway point. Here I roasted broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes. Spray/coat with olive oil or coconut oil and add your favorite spices and herbs. I tossed these with olive oil, chopped garlic and shallots, cumin, and sea salt.
  • Once your veggies are roasted, throw them over a bed of greens, add in any other raw veggies you’d like, and decide how to top.聽I like to keep my bowls simple and healthy, so I usually add hummus, avocado and balsamic, then sprinkle with some red pepper flakes and Go Raw sunflower seeds.
  • Other options? Add tofu or simply top with your favorite salad dressing. Simple can be delicious!

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series here to see what you鈥檝e missed so far.

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