About Caity

Welcome to MCLV! I'm Caity, a San Francisco based freelance writer, fashion, food & fitness blogger.

Author Archive | Caity

Skin Care Junkie | My Favorite Cleansers 2020

One of the fun things about skin care is that it’s an ever evolving industry. There’s always new data, new trends, new brands, new products. Always something new.

And while I definitely have some all time favorite skin care products that I go back to time and time again, I do love trying new brands and products. Finding a new holy grail product that your skin responds well to, is such a great experience.

Everyone has different skin and different needs, and different products that work for them. That being said, I thought that I’d share a few of my favorite cleansers of 2020. I’m a huge fan of super clean skin and have gotten in the habit of double cleansing in the evenings on days that I wear sunscreen {which is most days} or makeup {which is super rare these days!}.

If you’re curious about the value of cleansing and how best to approach the process for your skin, I highly recommend these YouTube videos:

On days that I do a double cleanse in the evenings, I use a cleansing balm to start, followed by a water based cleanser. In the mornings or on days where I don’t double cleanse in the evenings, I’ll just use the water based cleanser on my face and neck.

Here are a few of my favorites!

Cleansing Balms:

Water Based Cleansers:

Do YOU have a favorite cleanser? Share below please, always interested in trying new ones!

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MCLV Pregnancy | Second Trimester Exercise & Workout Gear

You can check out my first trimester exercise and workout post here to see where I started, but I have to say that things have changed quite a bit since then.

There’s a trade off as you finish the first trimester and head into your second – You have more energy and your nausea has {hopefully} started to dissipate, but you’re also starting to grow and feel changes in your body that can impact your ability to move and workout.

It seems like all of a sudden your clothes start to feel uncomfortable and your sports bras may not fit. And I don’t know about you, but when I feel uncomfortable, it’s hard to feel motivated.

The first thing on my shopping list was sports bras, I had to size up pretty early on. I loved the Aerie Twist Back Sports Bra, Aerie Offline Goals Sports Bra and the GAP Nursing Sports Bra. That sustained me until my belly “popped” at which point I needed to invest in some new leggings and a top or two. I didn’t want to overshop and started slowly, but ended up buying the following workout gear over the course of my 2nd trimester:

I found that all the way through my second trimester, I was able to fit into my zip up workout jackets. And I lucked out because once I grew out of them, it started to heat up and I didn’t need them anymore. I also wore my usual workout tanks and t-shirts through the pregnancy and I was surprised how well they held up to my growing belly. A little bit oversized and a little bit stretchy was the perfect combo and kept me from having to order too many new pieces.

Another thing that changed during my second trimester? The entire world! COVID-19 hit and shelter-in-place started. That meant no office gym or health club facilities for this mama-to-be. I was so grateful that I had most of the basics at home, but I did place a few panicked Amazon orders in the early days of quarantine to make sure that I had all the gear that I needed to get through my daily home workouts.

Here’s my hit list:

Around this time was also when, all of sudden, I had NO interest in app workouts. I’d been happily doing Tone It Up for months, but it wasn’t appealing to me all of a sudden so I started exploring other options. Check out my Home Workouts & Apps post for some of the workout-from-home options on the market. That post was great research for me and I enjoyed trying out new program and instructors. And you want to know where I ended up?

On YouTube.

I never would have guessed that that’s where I’d go, but it allowed me to change my workouts every day, try new things, explore different types of workouts, and get introduced to new instructors. I also fell head over heels with Dance Cardio workouts, you can check out my favorites here.

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MCLV Pregnancy | What I Eat In A Day [2nd Trimester]

Welcome to my 2nd trimester What I Eat in a Day. If you missed it, here’s my 1st Trimester What I Eat in a Day.

I would like to preface this post by saying that I was devastated to learn that “eating for two” is NOT actually a thing and that doctor’s closely monitor your weight when you’re pregnant. I mean, I get it, but it was still disappointing…

Anyway, you’re not here for the chit chat, you’re here for the food! So here’s an example of a good day of eating during my 2nd trimester. Note: Not all days were this healthy. Not all days were this structured. I did the best that I could and I’d say I pretty much nailed the 80/20 approach. 80% healthy, whole food based meals, 20% treats {though I was in quarantine so most of my treats were homemade, for better or worse}.

First Breakfast: This remained an important part of my morning since I woke up STARVING. Since my husband and I were working from home from the second trimester onward, I started the day by splitting a piece of fruit with him. An apple, pear, orange, or banana, usually with nut butter and hemp seeds or a handful of raw nuts.

Second Breakfast: Being home with full access to my kitchen for breakfast was amazing. I loved the freedom to really make what I was craving. Breakfast varied from protein oats or waffles to scrambles or yogurt with granola. The last one was a big favorite during this period and usually entailed:

Lunch: We got into a very civilized habit of eating a huge salad for lunch every day. I would usually add a side of veggies & rice, a veggie burger, soup, or a smoothie when it got warmer. Salad ingredients varied but usually included romaine hearts, spinach, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, and celery with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Afternoon Snack: Crudite and hummus or a handful of Skinny Pop and some raw trail mix. I also started making banana applesauce muffins {banana nut or blueberry usually} and those made a good pre-walk snack during T2.

Dinner: I had a MASSIVE craving for pasta for most of the second trimester and I made it at least one a week. Sometimes twice. Other than worrying about boring my husband with my recipes, I had no problem eating pasta multiple times a week. My favorite gluten-free high protein pasta is Banza. They even have a boxed mac n cheese that’s vegan and gluten free. I usually made a veggie filled sauce {zero guilt!} like this recipe, though I did experiment with a cashew alfredo sauce as well.

Dessert: I’ve always craved salty, savory foods over sweets. Boy did that change in the 2nd trimester! I couldn’t get enough of baked goods. Or gummies. And being home 24/7 meant that I baked A LOT. One week I baked 2 batches of cookies, a pumpkin pie {in April, weird I know}, lemon bars, and a birthday cake for my husband. Needless to say, once dinner was over, there were always numerous sweet treats to choose from. I tried not to worry too much about my sweet intake and didn’t beat myself up for skipping the dried fruit, though I did try to stay away from my husband’s stash of Oreos, Australian licorice, and Sour Patch Kids.

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Fall Fashion | Tunic & Sweater Round-Up

The Bay Area heat wave appears to be over and with the fog rolling back in and the temperatures staying down, it’s easy to start thinking about Fall fashion here on the West Coast.

I tend to have a Fall uniform of sorts – A tunic or sweater paired with slim fitting pants and a pair of boots. Easy peasy. Plus there are endless options for spicing this basic combination up. You can pair your top with jeans or faux leather leggings, go for split side tops or turtlenecks, and choose from booties or over-the-knee boots. Lots of options while staying true to a silhouette that you enjoy!

So, without further ado, here are some great tunic and sweater options to get you in the mood for Fall.

Sweaters:

Tunic Tops:

What’s YOUR Fall style?

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MCLV Pregancy | Pregnancy Morning Routine

I’ve always loved reading morning routine blog posts or watching them on YouTube. It’s fun to see how people approach a new day, see the good habits and positive ways that people like to start their days with.

But I have to confess that I’ve always been secretly resentful that, as an early morning worker bee, I didn’t generally have time for much self care, reflection, or any relaxing habits in the mornings. From the ages of 22 to 37, I’ve gotten up for work before 5am, and headed straight to the office. Sometimes without makeup, let alone after meditating, journaling, and leisurely sipping coffee on my porch while the sun rises.

With California’s 2020 shelter in place order, however, I’ve finally gotten a taste of the work-from-home life. I’m still starting work early, but without a commute to take into account, I’ve definitely had more of a morning routine since quarantine went into effect in March.

And, to top it all off, I started the second trimester of my pregnancy almost as soon as we were sent home from the office, so I was able to kick of T2 with a new sort of morning routine.

{So grateful to have moved out of San Francisco in the past year and to have been able to enjoy SIP with a bit more space and closer to nature!}

5:15am: Make the bed and change into “work clothes” which meant leggings and tunics until it warmed up, and then flowy dresses. I found that it was important to not wear PJs or loungewear for work, because changing after work was a good way to “end” the work day. If that makes sense. 馃檪

Wash face + apply skin care.

5:30am: Turn on computer and start work, sipping on water bottle w/ ginger + mint leaves. I had trouble with water during my morning sickness period, but once T2 started, I had no trouble drinking water on an empty stomach again.

After I finish my water bottle and take my probiotic and psyllium husk, I would have a glass of warm lemon ginger tonic.

Next up – COFFEE. Yes, the dedicated tea drinker was suddenly craving coffee. And after no caffeine during the first trimester, I was happy to add a Nespresso pod into my morning routine plus oat, cashew, or hazelnut milk. Delish!

8am: Breakfast! I LOVED having access to my kitchen all day and took full advantage, making whatever I was craving. Oatmeal, protein waffles, scrambles, yogurt with granola – All favorites during my pregnancy.

Up next – Supplements. I started the pregnancy very preoccupied with nutrients and supplements, only to have my doctor talk me back off the ledge. She said that my prenatal was great and that took care of most of it, so everything else was overkill. Here’s what I ended up with for the majority of my pregnancy:

11am: Workout time! I’ll be sharing a full post on my 2nd Trimester workout routine, but I was thrilled to be feeling great and able to continue my workouts the whole time. During my first trimester I talked about how fatigued I was and how important it was to listen to my body. During the second trimester I had more energy and motivation, and was able to manage a midday sweat session {in the office/nursery turned home gym} and a walk after work most days. I also LOVED doing dance cardio – Such a mood boost.

12pm: Lunchtime and reading the news.

What’s YOUR morning routine like during the year of Corona?

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