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MCLV Weddings | Advice for the Newly Engaged

Welcome to the new MCLV Weddings series!

The number one thing that I realized when we began to plan our wedding is that I had absolutely no concept of the sheer volume of things that would need doing. Things that I didn’t even know existed. I primarily blame myself, 35 years of disinterest in weddings doesn’t exactly prepare you to take the plunge…

That being said, I wanted to keep a positive attitude, stay on top of the timeline, and end up with a fun party at the end of the planning process. And since I am a classic Type A personality, I immediately started drafting spreadsheets, Googling checklists, and making To Do Lists. Since I found some great websites and blogs, and learned some lessons, I thought it would be helpful to round-up those online resources, along with what I’ve learned along the way, to benefit future generations of wedding planners.

As this is the first post in this new series, I thought I’d start with a little {unsolicited} advice for the newly engaged.

Engagement San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Set Your Intention(s):

Regardless of whether you’re like me and a bit unsure about the whole wedding thing, or whether you’ve been planning a princess wedding since you were a kid, there’s an important thing to remember. It’s not about the wedding – It’s about the marriage.

Especially if you find yourself getting caught up in the whirlwind of momentum and losing sight of the end goal, this can be a helpful little affirmation for you. While we all love a great party, the party isn’t why we all go through this insane process – Building a strong, happy marriage is the ultimate objective.

Bask:

I beg of you – Upon getting engaged, take a moment to stop and smell the roses. It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement and all the questions people are asking and start planning immediately. But you have a lot of planning to do, so why not stop and enjoy being engaged for a bit? There’s no rush. You’ve just found the person that you want to spend your life with, and that’s huge. Hold them close. Enjoy the excitement together.

Communication:

Planning a wedding is an extremely stressful, time consuming process that involves lots of people, and an endless number of decisions. You spend so much time worrying about everyone else that you tend to lose sight of your own wishes and desires. I highly recommend sitting down with your partner before things get underway and discussing what you want. I wrote down a page of questions early on and we sat down and went through them. What’s important to you? What doesn’t appeal to you? What traditions do you want to uphold?

Get an idea of what page you’re on and check back in with each other throughout the process to make sure that you’re still a united front. It was important to me that I not be the one doing everything, so we made sure to schedule appointments and meetings when we could both attend. We were also extremely lucky to have our families involved and helping out.

Make It Fun:

We happened to get engaged right in the middle of a period where many people around us were getting engaged and married. Which meant tons of helpful advice and suggestions and tips. We even got spreadsheets and binders sent to us!

One of my favorite recommendations was about handling all of the details and decision making. Rather than handling it all ad hoc and answering questions as they came in, this couple set aside time to do it all at once. They opened a bottle of champagne, toasted, and worked through the list together. We’ve been doing that and I highly recommend it. It’s a great way to stay united and keep it fun.

Be sure to stay tuned for some fun posts on wedding dresses, accessorizing, beauty & skin care, and more!

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Skin Care Junkie | Hydrating + Calming Winter Skin

Today we’re here to talk about Winter skin and some products that are great for hydrating and calming your skin this Winter. Between the low temperatures, snow, rain, and wind – This isn’t the best time of year for your face, neck, and hands. To avoid dry, irritated, or cracking skin, here are some of my tips, tricks, and favorite products.

Drink more water – Seems like a no brainer, but this time of year it’s easy to cozy up to your coffee mug and forget to add water to the equation. If cold water sounds awful, try warm water with lemon or adding some other fruits. Spa water, if you will. 

Cream Cleansers – Swap your gel or foam cleanser for a cream cleanser. It’s a great way to give your skin a little TLC. Try some Korres.

Add a Serum – Using a serum with hyaluronic acid can help your skin retain moisture and give it all-day hydration. I love this Drunk Elephant Vitamin C Serum.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize – You don’t want a lightweight moisturizer this time of year, you want a heavy duty cream moisturizer. When in doubt, turn to the experts – Kiehl’s.

Add Oils – It took me a while to get comfortable with facial oils. I worried about looking greasy and getting break outs. But I have to say that adding an oil to my regime has made a world of difference. My current favorite is the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. It’s amazing!

Night Cream – Your body does a lot of healing overnight so you want to treat your skin and use a rich, luxurious night cream before bed. My go-to right now is REN Overnight Recovery Balm.

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, Natural Beauty & Hair Products, Mix Rx Apothecary Collection, Balanced Guru Facial Toner, FRE Skin Care, HerStyler Hair Styling Products, Favorite Anti-Aging ProductsTravel Beauty, Current Beauty Must Haves, Daily Beauty RoutineSelf Tan Luxe Face Oil, My Latest Sephora Order, My Favorite Cleansers, 5 Minute Makeup Routine, Monthly Favorites, and Evening Skin Care Routine

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Skin Care Junkie | Evening Skincare Routine

In case having an ongoing series titled “Skin Care Junkie” wasn’t a tip off – I love skin care! 🙂 While I may wish that I had gotten interested in it earlier, I’ve really enjoyed learning about products and trying new brands and creating routines and rituals for myself. I’m always adding in new products and experimenting, so my routine is constantly evolving as I discover what works best for me. Here’s a peek into my nightly routine with an updated evening skincare routine round-up.

First up – Always remove your makeup! Some people swear by traditional makeup removing products, others prefer oil-free. I actually like to start with makeup removing wipes. I really like Josie Maran Bare Naked Wipes and Neutrogena, both work well and are gentle. Plus wipes are great for traveling since there’s no liquid!

After you’ve wiped away all traces of makeup, it’s time for a full face cleanse. I have found a handful of amazing cleansers {check out My Favorite Cleansers for more}, and am currently rotating between Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser and Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser.

Skin Care Junkie Nighttime Routine Evening Beauty San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Next is a toner – I like to use witch hazel or Balanced Guru Facial Toner. It’s just a way to calm your skin between cleansing and moisturizing.

In the evenings I apply an anti-aging product with AHAs and/or retinol. These products are great for fine lines and wrinkles that are already forming, or as a preventative measure. Note: These products can cause sensitivity in your skin so you should only use them at night, they can cause your skin to burn if you use them before heading outside. A few of my current favorites are the Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum, Alpha H Liquid Gold, Ole Henriksen Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum, and Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid.

Once the AHA/retinol goodness has absorbed, I start moisturizing. First up is eye cream. My current obsession is Dr. Roebuck’s Down Under Collagen Boosting Eye Treatment. This feels AMAZING going on and absorbs quickly, I really love it.

Skin Care Junkie Nighttime Routine Evening Beauty San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Second up is skin moisturizer. A few of my favorites are Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream, Caudalie Resvertrol Lift Face Lifting Soft Cream, and Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer.

What’s YOUR evening skincare routine?

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, Natural Beauty & Hair Products, Mix Rx Apothecary Collection, Balanced Guru Facial Toner, FRE Skin Care, HerStyler Hair Styling Products, Favorite Anti-Aging ProductsTravel Beauty, Current Beauty Must Haves, Daily Beauty RoutineSelf Tan Luxe Face Oil, My Latest Sephora Order, My Favorite Cleansers, 5 Minute Makeup Routine, and Monthly Favorites.

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Skin Care Junkie | Monthly Beauty, Makeup & Skincare Favorites

Welcome to a new Skin Care Junkie post! Going forward, I’ll be sharing a round-up of a few of my favorite beauty, makeup, and skincare products for the month.

Skin Care Junkie Favorites Essentials Must Haves Beauty Skincare San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

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, Natural Beauty & Hair Products, Mix Rx Apothecary Collection, Balanced Guru Facial Toner, FRE Skin Care, HerStyler Hair Styling Products, Favorite Anti-Aging ProductsTravel Beauty, Current Beauty Must Haves, Daily Beauty RoutineSelf Tan Luxe Face Oil, My Latest Sephora Order, My Favorite Cleansers, and 5 Minute Makeup Routine

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October Intentions | Goals + Plans

As I mentioned in my Project Comeback post last week – This Summer was amazing. Filled with weekends away, events, weddings, and fun with family and friends. That being said, as we head into Fall I’m not feeling my best. It’s been a wonderful few months of fun, but I didn’t do a great job of taking care of myself this Summer. Enter – My October Intentions!

Fall is my favorite season and I have plenty to look forward to the rest of this year – So I want to feel my best so that I can truly enjoy every minute.

October Intentions Goals Plans San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

  • Tone It Up Fall Fitness Challenge: I’m looking forward to this 31 day challenge with the lovely ladies of Tone It Up. I downloaded the app (there’s a deal on the first three months now!) and have day one under my belt. Follow along on Instagram, I’ll be sharing my workouts and thoughts on the experience.
  • Nighttime Routine: Perfecting my nighttime routine has been a goal of mine for the last few months, but I tend to fall off track on weekends or when I travel. This month I want to focus on sticking to my routine each night. This often includes a bath, a 10-15 minute yoga routine, 3-5 minutes of guided meditation, and no phone in bed.
  • Self Care: When I’m busy and stressed, I have a tendency to forget to take care of myself. The little things – Like drinking enough water, writing my daily affirmations, and getting adequate sleep – Tend to fall by the wayside. This month I will make a conscious effort to spend a few minutes each day checking in with myself and seeing how I feel and what I might need.
  • Train: With all the travel this Summer, I haven’t been consistent with my running. I’m tackling the Golden Gate Half Marathon the first weekend of November, so I need to log some miles this month to prepare myself. I don’t do traditional training programs, since my body can’t handle that much running, but I need to do better than I have been doing lately.
  • RELAX: While I love Fall and look forward to this season all year-long, it’s also a very stressful period. Q4 in the financial world is a rough one, and work has already started to pick up. So, with that mind, I’m going to put some time and effort into relaxing each day. From bathes and yoga to getting enough sleep and reading good books.

What are YOUR intentions this month?

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