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Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Tis the season for gift giving. From hostess gifts to presents for your family to picking up a “little something” for a friend you’re meeting for drinks.

Well, I’m here to help! Here’s my holiday gift giving guide to tackle everyone on your list this season.

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The HomebodyPlaid Moccasin Slippers {cute & cozy, perfect for your favorite Netflix lover}

Beauty LoverTarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette {contouring and highlighting made easy}

The ExpectingBaby Coming Home Outfit {the cutest monogrammed set ever for the friend or family member expecting the big push to come soon}

TravelerAerie Super Scoop One Piece Swimsuit {a flattering, fun suit for her next travel adventure}

Coffee ObsessedGold Monogram Mug {a coffee lover’s favorite accessory}

Kitchen LoverInstant Pot Pressure Cooker {a killer tool for someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen}

Party Girl – It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector {the perfect way to counteract late nights and vino!}

CollectorGolden Glass Shadow Box {a chic way for a collector to display their favorite goodies}

Outdoorsy TypeFlannel Blanket Scarf {perfect for cozying up inside by the fire or stomping through the snow}

Beauty BabeCharlotte Tilbury Beauty Icons Set {a killer set for someone who loves quality skin care}

Helpful KidsStriped Kids Apron {perfect for the kid who loves to help mom and dad in the kitchen}

How many people are on YOUR shopping list?

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December Meditation Challenge

This December I’m tackling a meditation challenge in the hopes of ending the year feeling more zen than I have for most of the fourth quarter.

I’ve talked about this before, and the benefits, but here’s a little summary.

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Meditating can:

  • Help keep you calm
  • Improve your sleep routine
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase concentration
  • Combat stress
  • Boost productivity

It’s also a wonderful addition to a morning or evening routine to add in a little “me time” that will improve your day or help you wind down at night.

So what will the challenge be for the month of December?

First, a morning meditation, followed by writing down my affirmations for the day. And Second, an evening meditation.

They can be short sessions, active Kundalini sessions, or long guided sessions. It all depends on what I need at that time and what will serve me best in a given moment.

While there are wonderful aps available, I have to admit that my go-to is YouTube. It’s incredibly simple because all you have to do is search what you’re looking for – 5 minute guided, 10 minutes of har tantric, sleep meditations, etc.

And what is my top trick for helping me achieve these goals each day? I set alarms and calendar reminders. It’s pretty hard to ignore an alarm that’s blasting and telling you to meditate! 🙂

Do YOU meditate on a regular basis?

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Shopping Time | Cyber Monday Sales


You may have been relaxing and enjoying the Thanksgiving holidays this past week, but that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on all the fabulous shopping deals out there. Welcome to Cyber Monday – The start of Cyber Week. You’ll LOVE these sales, so it’s a great chance to stock up on your favorite goodies and maybe even some holiday gifts…

Cyber Monday Cyber Week Online Shopping Sales San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness LIfestyle Blogger – What could b e better than 50% off of EVERYTHING? 🙂

Nordstrom – 20% off with free shipping and free returns. I have to confess that I have a HUGE cart filled already on the Nordstrom website, waiting for this sale! What’s in my basket? Bonobos for the boy,

Juice Beauty – I’m a huge Juice Beauty fan and am psyched for their 20% sale 11/24 – 11/28. At the top of my Must Have list? STEM CELLULAR Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer, STEM CELLULAR Instant Eye Lift Algae Mask, and this killer Anti-Wrinkle Solutions Kit.

ETSY– Up to 60% off during Cyber Week. I’m stocking up on my favorite cards from CheekyKumquat and The Paper Art Shoppe.

Ann Taylor – 50% off of everything on the website with the code THANKFUL. Which I am. 🙂

Revolve – Take an extra 20% off finale sale items with the code CYBER20 and up to 75% off of new mark downs.

Franco Sarto – 30% off plus free shipping with the code FRANCOCYBER30.

ASOS – 20% off everything on the ASOS website for the whole weekend – 11/23 through 11/30 with the code WIN20. They’ve got a great selection of athleisure gearAdidas track pants and leggings to denim jackets and crop tops.

Nasty Gal – 30% off of everything and next day shipping. Use the code LETSGO.

A few other favorites that I’ll be shopping? Sephora for some new Algenist goodies, Banana Republic for work tops, and snapping up a new pair of Saucony running shoes.

Have YOU gotten everything you needed for the holiday season between the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales?

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MCLV Travel Diary | What’s in my Carry On

Packing my suitcase may be an adventure for each trip, but my carry on bag is a breeze to pack, because it’s always the same.

What can I say? I’m a creature of habit.

So, without further ado, here’s what’s in my carry on:

I always take my large Givenchy Antigona – It’s the perfect size to fit my computer and all the essentials, and it has a zippered top which I need when I’m traveling. I also like to keep everything in pouches and bags to avoid spillage and to ensure that nothing gets lost or smooshed at the bottom.

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Makeup Bag – All the goodies that I shared in the My Daily Makeup Routine blog post will come along for the ride.

Beauty Bag – As I’ve gotten more interested in skin care, my in flight beauty routine has evolved. For long flights I’ll fly sans makeup and add moisturizers, maybe a clear mask, and try to keep my skin hydrated in flight.

Wallet – I still haven’t gotten round to getting a new wallet and have been using this cute little monogrammed GiGi New York pouch for over a year now.

Snack Bag – Nuts, bars, and supplements are on me at all times. Check out my Travel + Macros post for more on how I stay healthy while I travel.

Miscellaneous Bag – This bag actually lives in my purse regardless of the destination. It has everything I could need throughout the day from feminine hygiene products, Motrin, and nail files to a mini flashlight, ear plugs, and pasties. Like I said. Miscellaneous.

Cord Bag – I put my laptop cord, charges, my external hard drive, and other phone, pad, or laptop paraphernalia in this bag.

Laptop & Tablet – Entertainment on the go.

Last item in my bag? I always grab the biggest water bottle that I can find while I’m at the airport and shove it into the bag. I hate buying plastic bottles, but I do this when I fly so I can use the bottle for the rest of the trip without worrying about losing one of my favorites.

What’s in YOUR bag?

Want more travel and packing tips? You’ll love these posts:

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How NOT to Get Sick this Season

Working in an office is the worst as we head into colder weather because it seems like some new illness sweeps through every week and everyone around you is constantly sick. And since no one calls in sick, each new cold or flu bug becomes a communal illness.

So what can you do?

Read on for my top tips to avoid getting sick this season.

How to not get sick Musely Essential Oils Balanced Guru Beauty Skin Care Immunity Detox San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Balanced Guru Energy Mist Kit}

  1. SLEEP – When you become sleep deprived from the endless gauntlet of holiday soirees and cocktail parties and late nights at the office is when you’ll get sick. So make an effort to get into bed at a reasonable hour each night rather than relying on weekends to catch up on sleep.
  2. Drink water – Rather than reaching for sugary or caffeinated beverages, focus on water this time of year. Staying well-hydrated means that you kidneys will keep cleaning toxins out of your body, keeping your immune system up and running.
  3. Reduce stress – This is an intense, hectic, crazy time of year, so you need to put time and effort into relaxing. Schedule a massage, take a yoga class, meditate before bed – Just find a way to keep yourself calm and your cortisol levels low.
  4. Exercise – Even if you’re starting to feel like you’re coming down with something, you can still workout and help sweat the germs out of your system. The time to skip the gym is when you have a fever.
  5. Eat whole foods – Avoid high-sugar, high-salt, processed foods and focus on whole foods. The micronutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables will help boost your immune system, rather than putting stress on it like processed foods.
  6. Keep it clean – Wash your hands on the regular and be sure to disinfect your electronics from time to time. Sanitizing will help you avoid harmful bacteria and viruses that can be passed from dirty surfaces.
  7. Add honey – Not only does it sooth your throat, but it’s also a potent anti-oxidant. A local variety of honey or manuka honey are both great picks. Especially if you have seasonal allergies.
  8. Less alcohol – It can seem impossible to skip the wine and cocktails during all of the holiday parties this time of year, but alcohol consumption is hard on your immune system, so try sticking to water or a juice & tonic with a citrus twist.
  9. Essential Oils – Utilizing high-grade essential oils will detoxify and aid in boosting your immune system. Some good ones to try are lemon, lavender, peppermint, thieves {it’s basically Christmas in a bottle}, sandalwood, and tea tree oil.

What’s YOUR top stay healthy tip?

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