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Tips to Decrease Stress & Help You Sleep

Winding down at the end of the day used to give me anxiety. As the light faded outside and I knew that bedtime was coming up, I’d start to get tense.

Falling asleep and quieting my mind used to be a huge source of stress and I dreaded going to bed every night.

I’m thrilled to say, however, that is no longer the case. Now I look forward to my wind down and my nighttime routine, and I look forward to getting a great nights sleep.

The only downside to learning these little tricks and developing a routine that you enjoy? You get a little cranky when you stay out too late or mix up your schedule and don’t have time for your routine!

Sleeping Mask Stress Sleep San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Succulent Sleep Mask from ThreeSchatze via Etsy}

My Top Tips to Decrease Stress & Promote Sleep:

  • Turn off electronics & avoid harsh artificial lighting for an hour or more before bedtime
  • Bath/Shower/Sauna/Hot tub can help your muscles release tension
  • Essential oils – Either in the shower or bath, or using a defuser, these can be a great way to create a calm, relaxing space. Eventually you should start to relax as soon as you smell your nighttime scent each day.
  • Meditation & Breathwork – Give it a go! There’s an app or a YouTube video with your name on it. See my tips here.
  • Set a schedule – Rather than waiting until your show ends or until you stop scrolling through Instagram, set a time that you will stop other activities and begin winding down. I set an alarm!
  • Magnesium – I like Natural Calm, but you can also eat magnesium-rich foods with dinner or take a supplement. What magnesium does is help your body lower your cortisol {stress hormone} levels, which has been shown to help you relax and sleep better.
  • Try not to eat for 2 hours before bed. Especially if you have a sensitive stomach, like me, because a full stomach can keep you awake.
  • Keep your bedroom stress free – If you’re in a dorm, shared space, or studio apartment this can be a challenge. Your goal should be to try to keep your sleeping space, or even just your bed, as a calm, relaxing zone. No phones or laptops in bed, no TV, no fighting, no bill paying etc. Keep the stress and worry outside of that space to avoid having those emotions boil up every time you get into bed.

Do YOU have a

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September Favorites | Autumn Preparation

Hello, my name is Caity and I love Autumn.

Perhaps, as a Scorpio, I was destined to love this time of year, but there are so many things to love that I may have gone that way regardless of the date of my birthday.

I love the falling leaves, I love the changing weather, I love breaking out scarves and jackets and boots.

Here’s my Autumn preparation list that I started working on this month to get me ready to enjoy my favorite season in style and comfort.

Seasonal Tea:

My tea drawer still has some of my favorite flavors from last year that I’ve been hording during the off-season, so I’m stoked to finish them off and pick up some new ones.

My favorites are pumpkin spice, candy cane, and gingersnap.

Pumpkin Spice Almonds Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian Fall Autumn Favorites San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

 

Pumpkin:

Don’t judge me.

I may not be a traditional basic bitch who loves Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, but I LIVE for pumpkin recipes.

Check out my Yummy and Fall Pinterest Boards for some inspiration and stay tuned on IG Stories for some pumpkin recipe attempts starting this week!

Here are a few {vegan, gluten-free, paleo} recipes that I’m dying to try:

Scented Candles:

While peppermint is one of my favorite scents and I use it year-around in my favorite diffuser, I always look forward to candy cane candles coming out this year of year.

And evergreen.

And gingersnap.

Want to see some of my previous favorites? Healthy Junk Food, Workout Gear, Skin Care Products, Healthy Recipes, Activewear, and Healthy Essentials.

How do YOU get ready for Fall? Any traditional Autumn preparations going on in your house?

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Skin Care Junkie | Natural Beauty & Hair Products

Welcome back my beauties! This Skin Care Junkie post includes natural, vegan, and/or eco-friendly hair care and beauty products that I think you might enjoy trying.

So, without further ado…

Juice Organics Shampoo & Conditioner:

Juice Organics is a subsidiary of California-based skin care giant Juice Beauty and features a range of hair products featuring organic aloe, coconut, jojoba and argan oils, and without parabens, silicones, or sulfates.

I was excited to try out their repairing shampoo and conditioner. If you’ve been following MCLV for any length of time, you’ll know that I LOVE playing with different hair colors. From redhead to platinum blonde, I’ve tried a number of different hues. I’ve been going au naturel for nearly a year now because my hair is so damaged. The blonde especially really took its toll. So I’ve been living on products like Juice Organics to try to refresh my locks. They don’t have a strong scent, but are thick and creamy. I love how my hair feels after I use them – It’s super soft!

Maple Holistics Vitamin C Serum:

A Vitamin C serum has been on my Must Try list for a while now. Why Vitamin C? It’s an antioxidant which means that it helps neutralize free radicals, the little bad guys that tear down your cells, and helps strengthen your skin. You eat blueberries and other sources of antioxidants to keep your body healthy, and you can topically apply antioxidants to achieve similar results for your skin.

This serum from Maple Holistics is made from Vitamin C, Aloe Leaf, Vitamin E, and Algae extract. I’ve been applying each morning before my moisturizer and sunscreen, and have noticed some evening out of my complexion. I’m quite pale so redness can be pretty visible, and I’ve liked how this serum has reduced that.

 

Skin Care Junkie Beauty Skincare Hair Products San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen:

Collagen is something that your body creates naturally, but the production decreases as you age, and the elasticity of your skin decreases. Consuming and topically applying collagen, similar to Vitamin C, is thought to be an effective way to help combat the aging process.

Algenist is a eco-minded Bay Area skin care company that I discovered a few years ago – I swear by their sunscreen – So I was tickled pink to see this new Genius Liquid Collagen product. It’s a vegan, plant-based collagen product that contains 13,000 beads of microalgae oil per bottle.

I like the smell and the texture, and it feels pretty wonderful on your skin, though it can be sticky for a few minutes while it absorbs. I’ve been putting it on before bed for a few weeks and loving it!

Volition Beauty Helix AM/PM Eye Gel:

Volition Beauty is a very cool new company that has the lofty goal of creating real products for real people. You can even submit ideas since it’s an online collaboration platform. And, bonus, their products are cruelty-free!

The AM/PM eye gel is a collagen-rich product that helps brighten and smooth the under eye area. I love eye creams and trying new products, and even I was impressed by the de-puffing accomplished by this little gel! This one is definitely going on my rotation.

Are you a big fan of skin care and beauty products? Check out some of my other Skin Care Junkie posts: Alaska Glacial Mud Mask, Sibu Sea Berry Seed Oil, Musely Hydrogel Eye Mask & Raw Beauty & Coconut Oil.

Do YOU have a favorite natural beauty brand or product?

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Disaster Relief: How YOU Can Help

Around the country right now people are struggling to recover from the recent disasters while others are trying to figure out how they can support the relief efforts. A friend of mine recently put together a well-written, well-researched piece on how people can help and I wanted to share it with everyone else who is trying to do their part right now.

Disaster Relief Helping Support Hurricane Irma Harvey San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

To my Friends and Family:

I’ll keep this as brief as possible.

Its difficult and time-consuming to figure out how best to donate our dollars and/or time in an impactful way. Best intentions can easily go to waste, or worse, to fraudsters.

In light of the Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, I’ve attempted to tackle this question:

What is the most impactful way I can alleviate the suffering caused by hurricanes?

This is what I found:

  1. In the immediate aftermath of an event, THERE IS USUALLY A GREATER NEED FOR MONEY THAN FOR VOLUNTEER HOURS.
  2. There are many meaningful, needy, and impactful places to give your money.
  3. If you don’t have a specific cause that you believe strongly in, but still want to help, donating to a respected and established fund is probably the best course of action.

If you would like to donate ASAP, these are some funds that I would recommend:

These are the causes that I donated to personally:

Local:

National:

If you want to volunteer, this will be a huge help, though likely more so in the coming months (and years):

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who may be interested in supporting these efforts, and remember, everything helps.

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MCLV Travel Diary | Toiletries

My general packing mentality is to plan well and pack light – And that applies to toiletries as much as it does to my ‘no more than 3 pairs of shoes’ policy.

I never check bags so my toiletry kit contains lots of minis and travel or sample size products. I love trying new things while I’m on trips, as well as packing my favorites. However, I will confess, that when the boy plans to check a bag, I will hide some of my full-sized beauty essentials in his bag. That’s especially helpful on tropical trips since it allows me to bring ALL THE SUNSCREEN.

Toiletries Traveling Wanderlust Packing Travel Diary San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Pack Beauty Skin Care Hair products

Here’s a peek at my current travel essentials:

What’s in YOUR toiletry kit?

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