Our Coastal Trip: Part One

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We recently took a trip down the Oregon and California coasts. We spent four nights camping, traipsing through Redwoods, exploring small coastal towns, and spying on recently released baby sea lions at Point Reyes. What a treat it is to have all of these immeasurably beautiful places so close by!

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Our first day was spent driving down the Oregon coast. We made stops at the Hobbit Trail, at Heceta Head Lighthouse, and at Samuel H. Boardman State Park. Lighthouses are my absolute favorite and I loved seeing the inside of the lightkeeper's old lodgings (which has now been converted into a Bed & Breakfast)! I'm also always a sucker for coastal flowers.

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The coastal highway was completed in the 1930s and this bridge (above) was one of the final construction projects before it was opened to the public.

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Growing up on the Gulf coast of Florida makes for such a stark contrast to the brisk, foggy Pacific coast. My heart will always hold a special place for the Gulf waters, but the Pacific is completely majestic in an entirely different way. Thanks to some of the best travel and camping companions, Jeffrey and Josh!

Kitchen Tour

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Our kitchen was pretty tiny, but we (usually) found ways to make it work! It's also one of the places where we tried hard to implement more low waste practices, which sometimes requires quite a bit of forethought and compromise (enter: stacks upon stacks of reusable dish cloths that don't necessarily have a practical home).

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I won't pretend to miss this kitchen too much, but I do feel a certain fondness for it when I look at these images. Our eat-in space conjures some of my favorite memories — cramming together with my sister, brother-in-law, and nieces to have family dinners. My nieces would sit on our mismatch chairs with stacks of pillows underneath their seats so they could reach the table. My brother-in-law would stand at the counter because there wasn't quite enough room to fit that final chair. Happy, humming chaos is the very best kind and I'm so happy our little studio apartment was able to hold all those moments when we were full and bursting out of its confines.

P.S. Here's our living room tour, if you'd like to take a peek.

Review: Alima Pure Liquid Silk Foundation

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I was recently on the hunt for a new foundation and decided to try something new. I have a complicated relationship with foundation. I often feel that it doesn’t deliver in the way it should, which is to blur imperfections, even out skin tone, and blend seamlessly, while still allowing my actual skin to be the star of the show. In short, I want a foundation that doesn’t look like I’m wearing foundation (and I think that’s what many of us want).

Enter Alima Pure Liquid Silk Foundation. I’ve tried a few of their other products and like their commitments, their ingredients, and I also happen to think they offer pretty reasonable price points, in terms of the green beauty world. I’ve been using this product for just over a month, so I thought I’d share my thoughts with you. I hope it’s helpful.

(For those in a time crunch, scroll all the way to the bottom for a short recap on my thoughts.)

H O W  I  U S E  F O U N D A T I O N

  • I apply it once in the morning and don’t reapply for the rest of the day.
  • It sits on top of toner, moisturizer, and a daily sunscreen.
  • I like minimal to medium coverage with the option to build.
  • I use it in targeted spots. I apply it to my undereyes (to counteract darkness) and around my nose and on my chin (to counteract redness).
  • I like to blend it in with my fingers or a damp beauty blender.
  • I prefer liquids over powders or creams.
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W H A T  I  L I K E

  • The consistency is good for my skin. It blends seamlessly with my skin, doesn’t settle in fine lines, and doesn’t get cakey throughout the day.
  • The coverage is light/medium. This has the ability to act a lot like a tinted moisturizer, which I love, but could easily lean more full coverage if that's what you're after.
  • The color match is good.  I ordered mine in the shade ‘Pearl.’ I really thought it was going to be too dark when it arrived at home, but it’s actually perfect. Their website mentions that each shade is flexible and has the ability to suit a range of skin tones. I think this is true!
  • The shade range is inclusive. I’m often bothered by the fact that big companies don’t seem to make an effort to offer products that suit a wide range of skin tones. This particular product comes in 10 different shades, with each shade offering the ability to flexibly suit a spectrum of skin tones.
  • A little goes a long way. I use a very small amount (think smaller than a pea) for application under my eyes, around my nose, and on my chin. Sometimes I even have a little bit leftover on my finger. I don’t even know how this is possible, but it is.

W H A T  I  D O N ‘ T  L I K E

  • It doesn’t apply well with fingers. It gets too grabby and cakey. Application with a beauty blender solves this problem easily, but I do wish that using my fingers was an option here.
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T L ; D R (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

Overall, this is a great foundation! It’s easy to use, the consistency is great, a little goes a long way, and the shade range would work well for a wide variety of skin tones. It doesn’t apply well with fingers, but applies beautifully with a beauty blender. I would recommend this foundation and purchase it again (although I’ll probably try the Kosas Tinted Face Oil next)!

*Above: that's me after wearing it all day!

For Your Tuesday

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Tuesdays are my least favorite day of the week. They often have the tendency to drag and they don't come with the promise of a fresh new week or the hope of a weekend on the horizon. So here's to infusing your Tuesday with something a little special, just in case you tend to view them as a little lackluster, too.

I cannot wait to try this BBQ Bean Bowl from Minimalist Baker (image above). Minimalist Baker is one of my favorite cooking resources, especially since I'm in the midst of an elimination diet. The recipes never compromise on flavor and I love Dana's approach, which feels simple, doable, and replicable in my own kitchen.

This thread on The Impossible Task was really illuminating for me. I think we should all read it.

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I can't wait to check out this new book by Jacqueline Woodson. I have a feeling this could be a great classroom read or a worthy addition to any home library shelf. Here's a little glimpse of what lies inside: "Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes — and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway."

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And finally, I'm usually very sad to see summer go, but I'm actually feeling eager to welcome a new season this year. I really enjoyed this post about caring for ourselves during times of transition.

Songs As Time Machines

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Who else can listen to a song and be immediately transported to a memory or past season of life? "Round Here" by Counting Crows takes me right back to my childhood. The entire New Beginning album by Tracy Chapman takes me to a trip I took with my family when I was around six or seven years old to Charleston, South Carolina. "Absolutely Cuckoo" by the Magnetic Fields is a song I had on my MySpace(!) page shortly after Jeffrey and I started dating in 2007. Every time I hear a song attached to a memory, I am truly shocked at the power it has to take me back to a specific time and place. So, I'd love to know: what's a song that has a powerful memory attached to it for you? Tell me in the comments below.