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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 Mange | Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Dates

I love an easy dessert. Combine simple ingredients with a seriously delicious end result, and I’m a happy, happy girl.

These date-based dessert bites are a winner. Sweet date-y goodness mixed with rich chocolate and salty nut butter. What could possibly be better?

{Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Dates – Vegan, Paleo & Gluten-Free}

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Dates – Ingredients:

  • 12 whole dates
  • 1/4 cup of nut butter
  • Bag of chocolate chips or chocolate bar
  • Sea salt for finishing
  • Optional: Coconut oil

Directions:

  • If you’re using dates with the pits, remove the pits – Using a small knife cut a slit across the top of each date. Place the dates on a parchment paper or tin foil lined baking sheet, or in a large freezer safe dish with a lid.
  • Fill each date with your nut butter of choice and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • While they’re cooling down, it’s time to melt your chocolate. You can microwave it, but I personally think it turns out better if you pop them on the stove top in a small pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Stir until smooth and even.
  • Once the 15 minutes is up, take your dates out of the freezer and dip them one at a time into the melted chocolate. Coat each date completely before returning to the baking sheet/container.
  • After they’ve sat for a minute or so, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Let them set for 10-15 minutes in the fridge before eating.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge. If you don’t like to eat them cold, you can let them “thaw” for 5-10 minutes before enjoying.

Enjoy!

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MCLV Mange|Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffins

I can’t seem to stop baking. Our shelter-in-place has been filled stress baking and since I seem to have no self control when it comes to indulging in my homemade treats, I decided I needed to dedicate some time to making healthier recipes.

Enter these delicious vegan, gluten-free blueberry chia seed muffins. They’re light and just sweet enough, filled with tangy, antioxidant packed blueberries. You could easily substitute another berry if you have them on hand, or add nuts or shredded coconut. You can also play around with the flour and find a mix that you like.

{Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffins – Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffin Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour {I used a combination of buckwheat flour & almond meal}
  • 1/2 Cup of Oats
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup
  • 2 Chia “Eggs” {2 Tbsp Chia Seeds + 4 Tbsp of Water}
  • 1 Banana – Mashed
  • 1/4 Cup of Plant Milk or Water
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tsp White Vinegar
  • 2 Cups of Blueberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In a small bowl make chia eggs and set aside {~5 minutes}
  • In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients including the chia eggs, which should have gelled.
  • Combine the wet and the dry ingredients. Add in blueberries. Don’t over mix.
  • Spoon batter into muffin tin
  • Bake for ~20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
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Self Care in the Age of Quarantine

It’s easy to dismiss self care as Instagram models applying face masks, but in reality it’s something that everyone could use a little of right now. For some, self care just means doing nothing. Letting their brain turn off an enjoying a movie or video games or a book. For other, they need to turn inward and think a bit about how they’re feeling, what is impacting their moods, and how they can improve things for themselves.

Below are some of my favorite ways to give myself a little boost:

Working Out: I wouldn’t feel like myself without a chance to move my body every day. It’s an ingrained part of my life and while it’s changed and may not look the same, I am able to move each day. While treadmills and weight machines aren’t part of my daily life any longer, I’m able to stream workouts online and go for walks in the sunshine. Not sure about workouts? Check out this post – Home Workouts & Apps.

Journaling & Gratitude: I’ve been doing daily affirmations and maintaining a gratitude journal for years. It’s a great way to check in with yourself and start the day on a positive night. I also like to draft little to do lists before bed so that I’m not kept awake thinking about what needs to get done the next day.

Meditation: Apps like Calm can be lifesavers right now if you’re someone who benefits from daily meditations. It’s a great way to clear away the crazy in your head and release some stress. Sometimes I’ll just type 10 minute guided meditation into YouTube and try a new one before bed.

Create a Routine: One thing that I’ve heard a lot the past few months is people feeling listless or unsure what they’re supposed to be doing. Getting thrown off your routine can cause a lot of stress so try reestablishing a home routine. And stick to it! That means getting up at the same time, scheduling your workout or walk for the same time, eating at the same time, and most importantly, trying to go to bed at the same time each day.

Find Enjoyment: You may feel as though nothing can help right now, but put some time and effort into finding alternatives to things that make you happy. Miss restaurants? Try a cooking Masterclass or ordering a do-it-yourself kit from a local restaurant. Miss socializing or your family? Trying setting up Zoom dinners or Houseparty cocktail events. Not exactly the same, but you can feel connected. Miss group workout classes? Join a live class at an online studio.

If you’re facing abuse or violence please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. You can go to their website, chat online, or call them – 1 800 799 7233

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Home Workouts & Apps

In an era of shelter-in-place and social distancing, gyms are simply out of the question. So what’s a person to do? Skip their workouts for a few weeks before gyms open again? Hardly! It’s time to turn to home workouts and workout apps for your fitness needs.

For most of these programs and apps you can get a great workout with just bodyweight. But if you have a home gym or some basic equipment you can add to the burn or try different types of workouts.

I definitely do not have a home gym, but I do have some basic gear that’s come in handy this past week. If you’ve still got Amazon on speed dial, some of these basics may be good add ons to your next online order!

What’s next? Finding the right program for you!

  • Tone It Up – This is my go-to program since it’s so versatile. You can choose workouts based on muscle group, equipment/no-equipment, or workout type. They have everything from yoga & kick boxing to weight training, pregnancy programs & barre . (Free trial + $12.99/month)
  • Tracy Anderson – Dance-based workouts reverved by celebrities. I’ve done a few workouts and loved them, lots of reps and repetitive movements. Downside? This is a pricey program. (Free trial+ $90/month)
  • Megan Roup – New York based trainer’s newly launched Sculpt Society app was timed perfectly. It’s a dance cardio/sculpting workout at a good price. (Free trial + $19.99/month)
  • SWEAT with Kayla Itsines – Former known as Bikini Body Guide, Kayla has expanded her fitness empire with this new app. Includes nutritional recommendations and recipes if you’re interested. (Free week + $19.99/month)
  • CorePower Yoga – Yoga on Demand with new classes every week. (Free week + $19.99/month)
  • Alo Moves – Do anywhere yoga, fitness and meditation programs. (Free trial + $20/month)
  • Daily Burn – Large variety of workout videos (60 day trial + $14.95/month)
  • Physique 75 – Over 100 videos and new classes each week, high energy sculpting workouts (7 day trial + $24.99/month)

Do you have a favorite home workout program or app that I haven’t mentioned? Share it in the comments below!

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