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!

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.

Freshly Squeezed

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Did you know that I write a newsletter?

I send love letters to my subscribers' inboxes (sometimes) weekly; mostly when I have something to say and never when I don't. I usually write something very personal. It's cathartic and therapeutic to do this. I've always been more inclined to share than to not. And sometimes I get replies to my newsletters and that's my favorite thing.

If you'd like to subscribe, I'd love to have you. This particular publication is for women only, mostly because I find it much easier to be open and vulnerable among other women.

Subscribe here. See you there. XO

For Your Wednesday

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The month of July was a tough one. Between my sister and her family moving, a move of our own, some frustrating medical appointments, and the ongoing state of our country, I feel a bit like I've been wrung out to dry. In case your spirits need some lifting, too, enjoy some warm fuzzies below.

Rupi Kaur's poetry (one of her poems is featured above) is powerful and accessible. I've never devoured poetry quite like hers. She also has a wonderful Instagram.

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This new children's book — called All Are Welcome — is an incredibly beautiful portrayal of representation and inclusion in a school community. This would be a lovely first day of school read for teachers in their classrooms or for families who want to start the year off on a joyful foot.

This bat video about had me in tears. I love the part when one baby nuzzles another baby.

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This coconut date shake (!) is absolutely delicious and the perfect thing to blend up right before a summer evening walk!

Sending so much love to anyone who needs it. XO