Family vacation | Pittsburgh and Cleveland

We’ve been a bit quiet on the blog the past week as we took our week-long vacation in the actual Midwest and East. This trip kind of snuck up on us. When we first received the invitation to his cousin’s wedding in Pittsburgh, Mr D and I went back and forth quite a bit. We wondered whether Caleb would be old enough and whether we’d all be up for such our first big trip as a family of four. Then plans were made to visit Mr D’s great-uncle in Cleveland, who will be turning 96 this year, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have the kids meet him. All in all, the D California contingent heading east would number eleven!

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Into the Weekend

From Carissa

It’s official, I signed up for the Houston Marathon in January 2017. Not sure whether it was because of a lapse in good judgement, getting caught up in the hype of wanting the free “In Training” t-shirt before it ran out, or just plain wanting to prove that I could do it again. Official training on an 18-week schedule begins this week, and although I know that I am able to accomplish this goal there are definitely some things I need to be more consistent with this time around and good nutrition is high up on my list. I need to remember this list of post-run eating mistakes as I’m guilty of quite a few of them.

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The non-wedding wedding dress

It’s wedding season, and nowadays a lot of women are saying that they don’t want to get the typical wedding dress nor do they want to spend a lot of money on something they may wear only once. I came across the exact same dilemma when Mr D and I had our San Francisco wedding (nearly seven years ago now, yikes!). I didn’t have a lot of time to find a dress and quite a small budget. Looking online, any dress that had the label “wedding” or “bride” in front of it was at least $300. Unwilling to spend that much, I took a day off from work to trek across San Francisco in search of the non-wedding wedding dress.

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Into the Weekend

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From Carissa

Having the kids at home every day during the summer means running around trying to get the daily chores and errands, only made slightly more challenging because I have to tow them along with me. If you’ve ever tried to stick to a grocery list with two kids, it’s a near impossible thing what with all the sugary cereal and treats that call for their attention. Breanne, a home-schooling mother of three, came up with a list of ten simple things that restore and refresh her.

Summer means trying to stay comfortable in the heat and humidity of Houston. Shorts, tank tops, comfy tees are the go-to pieces that are in constant demand in my summer wardrobe. As for shoes, flip flops seem the easiest to slip on but sometimes I would rather not look like I was headed for the pool, wanting a more put-together look if we are headed for the grocery store or visit to the library and park. Lindsey writes on her blog about the sandals that have seen her through the summer and new ones she is loving.

Even though summers are challenging since the kids are home with me, it does provide a respite from the hurriedness we feel during the school year. With the busyness of school work and extracurricular activities, violin lessons and concerts, it sometimes feels like an uphill battle trying to keep up with what needs to get done. Alexandra Kuykendall, a blogger and author, writes about reflecting before making choices instead of not saying “yes” to everything that comes our way. I will certainly keep this in mind in the upcoming months when things get hectic again.

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From Melissa

It’s always been my lifelong dream to be published, and while I go through phases of being really focused on my writing, I have yet to complete a novel that I can feel completely passionate about. So, I’m always in awe of working women who are able to make their own dream come true and fit their writing into their already hectic lives. Alison Heller, a lawyer and mom of two, talks about why and how she wrote her first novel.

I’ve been a fan of Shini Park’s blog, Park and Cube, for years now. As a fellow graphic designer, I admire the simplicity and boldness of her images. In this article, she gives a cool, easy-to-follow tutorial on how to incorporate handwritten typography to your photos.

Despite the additional space our new kitchen layout has afforded us, I’m still always on the lookout for kitchen tools and gadgets that are either serve multiple purposes or don’t take up too much space. These appliances fit the bill perfectly, and are great-looking as well.

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Give Dad the gift of good face

dad

In the early days when Mr D and I were dating, we drove down the coast to one of our favorite places, the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was a warm day, and on the way back, we were holding baby wipes (Mr D keeps them in the glove compartment to keep his hands clean from job site visits) to the car’s A/C vents to and holding them to our faces to try to cool down. The only problem now, I said, is that the wipes will dry out my skin. Mr D was puzzled. The wipes have lotion in them, don’t they? That’s what it says on the packaging. I looked at him, equally bewildered. Yes, but whatever’s in the wipe cleans babies’ bottoms, I said. It’s not meant for your face. Is there a difference? Mr D asked. It was then I discovered that Mr D was using body lotion to moisturize his face as well. Oh dear.

Every now and then, guys need help when it comes to shopping for skincare. Mr D is wary/afraid of using my products ever since he saw their price tag—even though I assured him that they weren’t anywhere close to what expensive skincare actually is. He’s also hesitant to use them because some have a scent that would bother him if he were wearing it. So, we went and found products he would be comfortable with price- and scent-wise. Thankfully, there are a lot of great skincare lines made just for men out there, available in all price points. What better gift for dad than protecting and caring for that face you love!

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Dove Men+Care

With prices starting at $5, this line is sure to appeal to the budget-conscious. It also has the added bonus of being readily available when making drugstore, grocery or Target runs. Face Lotion $5.89, Target

Everyman_Jack Every Man Jack

Dark wood-grain packaging and non-flowery scents like citrus, mint, and cedarwood will ensure your products don’t get mixed up on the bathroom countertop. Eye cream $12.39, Amazon

LOccitane

L’Occitane

While on a tour in France, I met a friendly couple who swore that L’Occitane’s shaving gel was the best. As he was in the beauty business, I’ll have to take his word for it. Shaving gel $22, L’Occitane

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Kiehl’s

I’m a Kiehl’s fan myself, and their men’s line also uses blends of natural ingredients to address different needs. I also love the gift sets they put together. I think Mr D would be the Minimalistic Man: “essentials he’ll use, nothing he won’t”. The Minimalistic Man $91, Kiehl’s

Clinique

Clinique For Men

Using gunmetal instead of its signature minty green or cheery yellow, Clinique For Men takes the brand’s 3-step cleanse and moisturize and simplifies it. Maximum Hydrator moisturizer $34, Sephora

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Jack Black

This brand has everything from anti-aging skincare to hair products to a pain relief balm. Their Pure Science line is vegan and paraben-free. Dragon Ice Relief and Recovery Balm $23, Nordstrom

Aesop copyAesop

Most of the products here are unisex, and the fragrances suited for everyone. Their Moroccan Neroli Shaving Duet includes lovely notes of orange, clove, and sandalwood for extra luxury. Shaving duet $80, Aesop

 

 

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