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My Evening Routine

During the week I’m up pretty early, and I truthfully don’t have much in the way of a calming or mindful routine in the mornings. It’s more about getting up and getting out the door. I do, however, have a lovely evening routine most of the time.

I’m a creature of habit, and while I may not do all of these every night, I do most of them, most of the time. What I love about having a relaxing evening routine is that as soon as you start it, your body immediately starts to calm down.

What I’ve found is that the more stressed and anxious I am during the day, the more I benefit from this nighttime regime. So, read on for a peek into an evening at the MCLV headquarters…

Evening Routine San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Bath: After making dinner and leaving the dishes for the boy, I head back to the bedroom. I start the water, add the Dr. Teal’s Epsom salts, and then pack my bag for the next day while the water fills up the tub. Once the water is ready, I either light a candle {currently addicted to Nest Grapefruit} or turn on the PureSpa Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser {favorite oils right now are peppermint, lemongrass, and Nature’s Shield, which is AMAZING}. I usually soak for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on what time I hop in.

Skin Care: After my bath, I do my evening skin care routine. You can read a full blog post on my favorite products and routine here. Here’s a super quick breakdown of the products that I use post-bath:

Yoga: Now that I’m relaxed and warm and happy, I like to do a few minutes of yoga. I usually just pull up a Boho Beautiful video and follow along, but sometimes I’ll try another instructor or use the Tone It Up app. Sometimes I only have the time or energy for 5 minutes, sometimes it’s 20 minutes. It varies.

Meditation: Guided bedtime meditations are a favorite of mine. While I don’t always love guided meditations, I’ve found that they’re a good option for me at night because my mind is so busy. If I’m left to my own devices, my mind is racing through my to do list and wedding plans and what I forgot to do that day. A guided meditation is a great way for me to focus on the meditation and get out of my own head. I actually don’t have a favorite, I just search on YouTube for what I need at a given moment, and lay back for 5-10 minutes of meditation.

Bedtime Prep: I used to hate lavender, but now I’m completely obsessed. Before bed I always use a lavender pillow spray, my current favorite is This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. And, speaking of pillows, I’m totally obsessed with my Slip For Beauty Sleep Silk Pillow Case. I’ve been using Slip for years and just got a new one, and I look forward to laying my head down every night.

Reading: I try not to be on my phone in bed as much as possible, though some nights I do better than others… But in general, I read a real live physical book before bed. With my anxiety levels it’s easy to lay in bed worrying and stressing myself out. What I’ve found is that reading something empowering and though provoking before bed helps set a healthier mentality going into the night. I have a tendency to have multiple books going at a given time and here are a few of the items on my bedside table:

I generally like to read for 20-30 minutes before switching off the light. 🙂

What do YOU make a part of your evening routine?

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2019 Kaiser Half Marathon

I was thrilled to kick of 2019 with my third Kaiser Half Marathon this weekend. It was a great, no-nonsense race, as usual, and I had a great time.

  • Course: This is one of my favorite courses in San Francisco. Mostly because it’s flat, but also because it’s beautiful. The Golden Gate Half and San Francisco Half are similar courses – Hilly with a trip over the Golden Gate Bridge. The Kaiser Half takes place in Golden Gate Park and includes a gorgeous few miles along Ocean Beach on Great Highway. Always a pleasure!
  • Organization: This is always an easy race. No expo, have your bib delivered, and minimal extras. But it’s well run and goes smoothly. There’s not much more than you could hope for!
  • Race Day Vibes: Our 8am start time was foggy and misty, but no rain. After 5k and 10k runners took off, it was time for the half marathon runners to cross the starting line. Lots of organizers and race day helpers around. TONS of people out on the roads cheering with signs and handing out waters. Great vibes all around.
  • Personal Performance: I like to push myself and have a great race, but with spinal and foot injuries, I don’t want to do any damage or hurt myself. I usually go out with a goal, but listen to my body. Yesterday I felt great, which was a pleasant surprise. I averaged ~8:26 and felt pretty strong throughout, even sped up a bit for the last three miles. I finished exactly 5 minutes faster than this course last year!

Next up – The San Francisco Half in July. Right after my wedding and before I head off for my honeymoon. 🙂

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2019 Intentions | Goals & Ambitions

New Years resolutions are something that people either love, or hate. I for one really love setting goals and having a to do list to help me stay motivated and on track. That being said, this year I’m reframing my approach to the start of the year by setting intentions rather than resolutions.

So what does that mean? It means that I’m focusing on my present rather than fixating on past mistakes or future resolutions.

Intentions Resolutions New Year San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

My 2019 intentions:

Be in the present: I can get caught up in worrying about future events or stressing about past behaviors rather than appreciating the moment, so I really want to start 2019 by making a conscious decision to be in the present and appreciating the now. A few of the ways that I can help achieve this is through daily affirmations and writing in a gratitude journal.

Be kind to myself: Making time for self care is important and something that I would like to make a priority in 2019. I have a tendency to think of other people’s needs before my own, but I can make small changes to ensure that I’m giving myself some time and attention each day. A relaxing evening routine with a bath is a great way to give yourself some love, as well as meditation and yoga.

Feel joy: As I mentioned above, I can get caught up in both the past and the present, rather than truly enjoying the present. For 2019 I will work on fully experiencing the joy in everyday life, rather than looking forward or back.

What’s YOUR intention for 2019?

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MCLV Running | 3K, 5K & 10K Challenge

Welcome to the new MCLV Running series! I’ve posted about running quite a bit in the past, see the list of posts below for more, so I thought it was time to start a series to celebrate my favorite pastime! Today I’m sharing the new challenge that I’m setting for myself. I mentioned it my 2018 Golden Gate Half Marathon post as well as in a training-for-the-injured post last year, but as a result of my injuries, I can’t follow a traditional training program. I can’t run three times a week, let alone four or five. What I can do, is one longer run on the weekend, and one Barry’s Bootcamp session with ~2 miles of intervals on a treadmill each week. This is a good combination for me and has worked well in the past.

Running Runner Race Challenge 3k 5k 10k San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food FItness Lifestyle Blogger

The challenge that I’m setting for myself is with the weekends runs is to work on hitting specific distances under set times. Below is a breakdown of what I’d like to accomplish before the Kaiser Half Marathon in February.

3k Challenge: (1.86 miles)

  • First – Hit 16:10 minutes, which is 1.86 miles at an 8:40 pace (If you check out my last race post, you’ll see that my latest Half Marathon pace was slightly below 9 minute miles)
  • Second – Hit 14:55 minutes, which is an 8:00 pace

5k Challenge: (3.1 miles)

  • First – Hit 25:52 minutes, which is an 8:20 pace
  • Second – Hit 24:50 minutes, which is an 8:00 pace

10k Challenge: (6.2 miles)

  • First – Hit 54:52 minutes, which is an 8:50 pace
  • Next – Hit 50:44 minutes, which is an 8:10 pace
  • Finally – Hit 48:40 minutes, which is a 7:50 pace

I’m not particularly fast, but this is a challenge that’s fun and exciting for me, and gives me something to reach/train for, that my body can handle.

Love to run? Check out some previous posts to get inspired!

And, if you’re interested in racing, check out these posts:

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Black Friday + Cyber Monday: Online Shopping

I don’t know about you, but I’m not one for waiting in lines or being a part of the insanity you see at Black Friday sales online and in the news. Give me a discount code and a website link, and I’m a happy little shopper. So, to help YOU with your shopping needs this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here are some sites to check out!

Black Friday Cyber Monday Online Shopping San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Designer Goodies:

  • Luisaviaroma – 20% off sale items with the code RS1120
  • Mytheresa – You can get 30% off with the code BLACK30
  • The Outnet – Their annual clearance has arrived and everything on the site is 85% off

Fun Pieces:

Workwear:

Accessories & Beauty:

  • Alo Yoga – Up to 70% off sale items and 30% off full prices items + free shipping
  • Charlotte Tilbury – Up to 50% off with new deals all week. I’ve been fully stalking Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show coverage and the ladies look AMAZING this year while working with Charlotte Tilbury so I’m deluding myself that I can achieve the same look with the same products. 🙂
  • Elemis – 25% off through November 26th. I have to admit that I’ve been dying to try out Elemis because so many bloggers and YouTubers rave about the line. But since Sephora doesn’t carry it, I just haven’t gotten around to it. Time to try the Dynamic Resurfacing Mask!
  • Gorjana – 20% off everything with the code CYBERSAVE20
  • Monica Vinader – 30% off the whole site
  • Quay – Get 25% off the whole site with the code BRIGHT25 through 11/27. Check out their aviators and oversized versions.

Home & Kids:

  • Etsy – 10%-60% off for Cyber week. I will be stocking up on roughly 10 million wedding related items!
  • Macys – 20% off on Cyber Monday + free shipping with the code CYBER
  • Serena & Lily – Everything is 20% off between 11/20 and 11/25 with the code GATHER. And between 11/26-11/27 it’s all 25% off with the code BIGDAY.

What’s in YOUR shopping back this week?

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