River Of Deceit

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Recently went shopping with my mom and went way overboard at H&M. I found out too late, but if you bring old clothes there, they bring them to UNICEF and take 15% off your order. More info about that online, but that’s pretty cool. I wish I knew that before I spent $170.

These boots (I actually got 2 pairs of boots while I was there. Had to talk myself down from 3, but I may go back for the others) are surprisingly comfortable and super cute and so not expensive. I cannot find any of them online, but there were many boots of all kinds available in stores so go to your local mall!

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Everything I am wearing otherwise is old, but you can still buy these Express jeans here and this trench from Chicwish here. I bought this coat over 4 years ago maybe even 5, so they must just keep restocking this piece. It also took nearly a month to receive because it ships from China, but they seem to have grown and expanded so maybe they are shipping from other locations now at this point. They do have a US office now. Either way, it was a fantastic purchase. I love this piece, and it’s GREAT for fall. It’s worth it to get it.

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Now on to more fun topics since I am not on here as often…STRANGER THINGS. We are all done watching it now and by “we” I mean “the world”. It was so good and so fun. I watched most of Beyond Stranger Things as well because I don’t want it to end. But alas, time to binge new stuff. I just started Riverdale which is great if you liked Pretty Little Liars I feel. I watched about 10 episodes already, and I love the setting of it. It seems almost from the 50’s but in a gloomier kind of way…the way they talk, act, and dress sometimes, but it’s not. I like the way they created that feel though. I don’t make my wife watch those ridiculous high school shows so her and I are watching Mindhunter when we are together. It’s really interesting so far and about serial killers, which fascinates me so I am glued to it! We went to a couple bars that serial killers frequented when we were on vacation in California and one of them from Santa Cruz is on the show so that was really neat to see.

Today is the last day for 20% off for Sephora VIB Rouge members! I placed an order already, but I might do another small one of essentials. My first order was all new stuff I wanted to try. Actually none of it was makeup, just skincare. I am having trouble buying more makeup because I just can’t get through it enough, unless it is something totally original that I don’t already own in any fashion. Did you guys shop the sale? If so, tell me what you got!

California Dreamin’

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I was really excited about this part of the trip. We took the drive to Big Sur from Santa Cruz (see previous post here for that portion of the trip), which consisted of nothing but breathtaking views and a peaceful silence. Unfortunately a mudslide closed the road about 30 miles down so instead of driving all the way through to Pismo Beach on Highway 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway) for hours, we had to turn around and drive back north and get the freeway. I was very bummed about this, but what we did get to see was beautiful so it is definitely worth it to still drive it as much as you can.

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I was super stoked about seeing the Bixby Creek Bridge. Did you watch Big Little Lies? It’s from the opening credits.

Once we finished this drive and hit the freeway, a few hours later we arrived in Pismo Beach which is just outside San Luis Obispo.

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We used the Hotel Tonight app to get our hotel rooms same day, and it worked out really great. We loved every hotel we stayed at, and the more you use the application the more discounts you get.

We arrived to our hotel just in time for this sunset.

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We were super exhausted, but were only in town for the night so decided to drive into San Luis Obispo just ten minutes inland to grab some dinner. Turns out it is a really cool, quaint college town. The main strip is lined with fun bars and restaurants and tons of shops. I really liked it there a lot, and wish we had more time.

In the morning, we headed towards Los Angeles, stopping first in Santa Barbara for some shopping. We drove through Malibu and took some photos, but headed straight for our hotel in West LA to settle in. We were here for 4 days so I’ll keep it brief, and just touch on the highlights.

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We did a day in Santa Monica, walked the pier which was very nice and entertaining. The beach here is crowded so we saved our beach time for Venice.

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This was always my favorite beach in LA. It is just soooo massive; you’ll always feel like you have a ton of privacy. Before leaving Venice we drove down Abbott Kinney (shops and the like) and stopped to walk through the canals.

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It is so cool here. All these houses right on the water with little boats. There were so many little crossways (google map it) and you can walk through everything as well. Very neat.

Being the rock music lovers that we are, our fav spot was the Rainbow Bar and Grill on the Sunset Strip. We spent a couple nights here bogarting the jukebox and taking in the memorabilia from Lemmy’s Lounge. I used to love this spot when I lived here, and I used to see Lemmy at this bar all the time. RIP.

We drove Mulholland Drive which drives through the hills and lands you down in the eastern part of the San Fernando Valley. Then we toured the Valley a bit (Ventura Blvd) as well which is also really nice, more town than city (but so incredibly hot).

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When we left Los Angeles, we stopped at Long Beach for lunch which is pretty close to LA, but we liked it so much there we stayed the night.

We went to Pike which is a bar that is owned by the bassist from Social Distortion and that was in a really hip neighborhood full of vintage stores and vegan restaurants. I even scored some small, soft Iron Maiden tees for cheap!

Long Beach was super special to us. We think it was for sure one of our favorite towns. It has a LOT of beach space (like Venice) and never appears crowded as a result. There is also a busy side of town that is full of every store and chain restaurant you could ever need. Then there is a small, quiet part of town that has dive bars and vintage shops. Plus, they have a street of gay bars. We always have the best times there. It’s got everything.

Obviously, Sublime music and art was everywhere as well.

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After LB, we headed for San Diego. Right below Long Beach is Seal Beach and Huntington Beach which also seemed worthy of our time, but we didn’t stop.

I legit took no pictures in San Diego which is crazy, I know. I used to live here (and Los Angeles too) so it just felt like I was visiting home. I showed my wife all around…downtown, Hillcrest (gay neighborhood, fav bar was the Gossip Grill on University Ave which was a fun street), Old Town (Mexican restaurants), and all the beaches. Everything was gorgeous as always. Our hotel here was my favorite by far. Great spot and amentities, but the internet connection like everywhere on the shore of this whole state was horrendous.

We rented our car in San Francisco from the previous post and turned it in at the San Diego airport the morning we flew out. I HIGHLY recommend renting from Alamo. It was the easiest pick up/drop off, no extra hidden charges, and just great and simple customer service. Other rental places like Enterprise and Hertz charge you about a $500 fee for dropping off in a different location and Alamo did not. I booked online with a credit card and everything went so smoothly.

I also strongly suggest a trip like this. I cannot wait to tour some more on the road. It was a lot of fun and just so beautiful. Quite an experience!!

Lost In The Shadows

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If you follow my Instagram, you saw that my wife and I recently spent two weeks in California. We started in San Francisco and made our way down to San Diego. Of course it was amazing, beautiful, and fun so I am going to share as much as I can with you. Mostly because I always look up travel blogs before I go away for any recommendations and advice (I certainly did for this trip), and now I have so much to offer you should you ever find yourself in any of these magical places.

Unfortunately we booked San Francisco before knowing it was fleet week so hotel prices were jacked up, and we had to Airbnb. I believe this is the preferred way to vacation for most people these days, but not me. I am too much of a germaphobe and diva for that so I wouldn’t be able to recommend it. Ours was just old and in desperate need of some TLC but clean at least. I’m sure in other circumstances I may have liked it a bit more, but needless to say we used hotels for the rest of the trip to be safe.

Alcatraz was by far the one site I was most excited for in San Fran.

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There is so much interesting history here, and IT IS A MUST SEE. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s so, so cool. Go and stay as long as you can, and take in all the stories!

We also visited Fisherman’s Wharf and the piers around there. It was all nice to see, but pretty touristy so not much to report about. Walk around and take in the sites, but otherwise meh.

Did you watch Parenthood? If so, then the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is probably just as important to you to see as it was for us. Unfortunately it was ridden with some heavy daytime partying. I saw drunk fights in the streets and tons of people high out of their minds. Like, before dinner time. It seemed pretty gross and so we didn’t stay long, but the DollsKill store is there!! I had no idea.

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Pictured below from top to bottom: Four Painted Ladies, the Full House house (with a random family in front taking too many photos), the view from the top of Lombard Street (cooler to look at on a map than to actually go to…pain in the ass, terrifyingly steep roads and too many people), the view from the top of Twin Peaks, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

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We rented a car on the day we were leaving San Francisco and drove to all the sites in the 5 pics above in about a couple hours. We wanted to hit the road early ish, so we saw, we took pics, we took in the view for a few minutes and then…onward! These are all easy to find on a map or by googling.

I highly recommend Castro the gayborhood of San Fran. Food and wine was great at this quaint little wine bar, Lark, right on the main strip of this part of the neighborhood, then bar hop after. We liked all the bars we hit.

 Next stop was Santa Cruz! We were super excited for this town because of The Lost Boys. My wife found tons of sites from the movie that we went around and visited. The boardwalk was closed unfortunately, but we still enjoyed it.

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We had such a great time with the people in this town. So friendly. Something I’ve always loved about Cali.  We went to very divey, local bars, and they were so welcoming and sweet. Can’t wait to go back. I miss it already.

I’ll leave this here and follow up with more info on the rest of our trip soon!

Behind The Sun

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Just got these sock boots finally. I have been wanting a pair forever, but strangely enough I hate splurging on shoes unless they are completely unique. These boots were not even $35 at Forever 21 so I was stoked when I saw them. I wore them out last night, and they are very comfortable as well. Granted I wasn’t standing all night, but walking was a breeze.

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These are my fav black mom jeans. Well, they are the only ones I own, but they are so perfect I don’t feel the need to find any others. I wore them last night in the outfit above, and I wearing them again today. They’re a must-have. Buy them here!

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Master Of Puppets

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I am not really big on blogging lately. I’m just going to do it whenever I feel like it, and I probably won’t take as many pictures because it’s a pain, and I’m tired. So! When I post, you’ll know I mean it 🙂

I needed to share these hair products with you all. Pacifica is a cruelty-free dream. Their packaging, the smell of everything, and it all works so well!! I’m really huge on hair masks, and I am loving this one so much. It’s strong and definitely does the job, but surprisingly doesn’t weigh down your hair. It’s pretty great.

Also, I was getting dandruff from other shampoos I was trying…Not Your Mother’s Thickening and Ouai Repair, and when I switched to this shampoo and conditioner from Pacifica my scalp was saved!

I know everyone is ready for pumpkin, but I like coconut all year round. The smell of vacation is necessary, so these are going to be new staples for me. I’m excited to try more too!

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I also am all about Marc Jacobs these days. Cruelty-free luxury brands are not an easy find, and I am mega grateful Marc Jacobs is one of them because their products are aces. This gel liner has been my first try at replacing MAC since they aren’t CF. ALL MY LINERS ARE MAC; I HAVE A MILLION. So this was scary, but this gel liner does come in many colors and finishes. I got satin finish black to start, and it is definitely better in my waterline than all my MAC pencils. It goes on so easily and stays. I am sold!

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Here’s some shopping links because I know that’s some of my favorite things a blog provides.

Jeans – ASOS (ASOS mom jeans are the best; I have like 5 pairs)

Ring Finger –  The 2Bandits

Middle Finger – Rogue + Wolf

Index Finger – Wanderlust & Co. (does get discolored after awhile, but still a fav)

Happy September! Fall is around the corner and so far the weather is beautiful. Hello, “leather” jackets!

Reap What You Sow

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Got the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette from my wife for my birthday. The lighting makes them look different in both my pics, but you get the gist. I have been using it everyday. It’s so pigmented and if you’re into a reddish, brown/orangey autumn eye look, this palette is for you. I highly recommend it. I’ve tried about 75% of the colors, and I have no complaints about any of them. I had some trouble blending the darker color “Ashes,” but other than that, they are all a breeze. I’ve been building up all the mattes in my crease and then using the darker mattes in my outer corner. Then I have been using the shimmer shade “Scorched” on my lid, and it’s pretty beautiful!

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I’ve been pairing my Naked Heat palette with Kat Von D’s Lolita liquid lipstick. No shocker there. I pair everything with that lip. It’s just so good.

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I have been dying to try Frasier Sterling jewelry for a while. The website is vague about the materials they use which I don’t like. I think we should know what we’re paying for, but their stuff is so cute so my wife picked these ones out for one of my birthday gifts. I believe the middle one came free with her purchase which is pretty neat, but the bottom one is so beautiful. I am stoked about them all!

I also got some clothes so hopefully I’ll have some outfit posts with them soon.

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How cute is this wine glass that I am obviously not using for wine?? Urban Outfitters sells them in a set of two, and they’re adorable. Also buy this watering can from H&M here. It’s such a great size. H&M has some really nice throw pillow covers right now. I think I want to start buying a bunch and switching them up once in a while so I feel like I’m redecorating, but I’m not really doing much. Loving this pink theme they’re selling now!

My birthday weekend coincidentally had two amazing concerts back to back. Friday we saw Converge with Amenra. Neurosis headlined, but we had to miss them. No big deal. I mainly went for Converge who never disappoint. I never heard of Amenra before the show, but they were awesome. The venue was small and the body order was super prevalent, but I’m glad we went. Then Saturday we saw the Melvins locally. That was super fun. I haven’t seen them in nearly 10 years. It was a room full of 6 foot tall men though so in actuality I barely saw anything at all. Story of my life.

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Boys Don’t Cry

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This is a pretty staple go-to outfit for me. I ALWAYS grab a white top if I have nothing else in mind. They’re my favorite at the moment, especially with a plaid shirt for that extra 90’s feel. Shop similar shirt here.

These “socks” are a god send for summer. My feet always get so hot, but I am not big on summer shoes so these are perfect to allow my feet some breathing room. Buy them here!

This past weekend was the local tattoo convention so I was stuck with this tacky pink bracelet accessory. Please excuse it! Anyways, it’s been hot as hell (too hot for this outfit frankly); and we just celebrated my birthday yesterday, which means I will soon do a post with all the amazing things my wife got me. She’s so good.

HAPPY AUGUST!

Make You Feel Free

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Cute new fake plant babies! I’m doing a good job of killing the real ones I have so I took a break from buying those and invested in some fake ones for more decor.

I got the sansevieria one from Target and it came broken which you can’t see in the pic so don’t order from them. They packed it horribly.

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This day was gloomy as you can tell from the lack of lighting I had, but still fairly warm and humid so this outfit was perfect. I didn’t want to wear jeans because we planned to go to the beach at night. I recently found these dark olive green trousers from Missguided, and I LOVE them. They are so comfortable and affordable. I never wear pants that aren’t jeans so this is a fun change. I find their sizes run big so normally the smallest size is still too big on me, but these can be worn lose and look good so it was okay. I bought a jacket from them that was so nice, but waaaaay huge. To return it cost me $16 so I am not buying heavy or big items from them like coats or shoes ever again.

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Anyways, that’s it! Just wanted to quickly give these pants a shout before too much time went by and they sold out or something 😀

Two Headed Dog

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I haven’t worn my Lime Crime Red Velvet Velvetine lipstick in ages, but I ran out of my classic Stila Beso and decided to use one of the many millions of other reds I have instead of going out and repurchasing just yet. I forgot how good this one is. I ate and drank and it never budged.

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Charm Necklace – Urban Outfitters

Chain Choker – Urban Outfitters

Cross Choker – Vanessa Mooney

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These Topshop jeans are on mega sale at Nordstrom. Definitely size up! Topshop does run small, I can promise you that.

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Veins and Veils

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These are my latest favs for summer. My Clinique powder in the green case that I always rave about has taken a backseat since it isn’t cruelty free, but I still use it sometimes to touch up since I already bought it eons ago. It is so good for touchups and bringing your makeup back together after a long day, so if anyone has a CF dupe please tell me.

Anyways, now that it’s the season of aggressive, hot sun, it is even more important to incorporate SPF into your makeup routine. I have been using this Farmacy Green Screen over my MAKE primer and before my foundation. Farmacy products use naturally derived ingredients so I am stoked to slather this on my face every morning. The Mally Beauty Face Defender BB Cream also has SPF so it’s perfect for summer, especially since it’s not as heavy as foundation (yes, I know you should be wearing SPF all year round, but I tend to not see the light of day in the winter a lot. Hibernation). This BB cream is so light. I bought it in “Light”, and it also comes in “Fair” which must be for dead people. So all you pasty gals out there should definitely purchase this. The “light” is a bit too light even for me! But it is not the best product to use if you want your makeup to last allll day on a long day.

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These summer cuties. Honestly the quality of these sandals is not fantastic, but for $40 I think they are great. I bought these last summer and shockingly I found that there are limited quantities still for sale here.

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I am a sucker for packaging so I bought a ton of these Colourpop  x REVOLVE products including this pack of lippie sticks. These are so nice on your lips, you barely notice them and they are not at all drying (not matte either). I like these better than the liquid to mattes by Colourpop. Way too drying for me to wear. This pack is a nice mix of reds, pinks, and browns. Major heart eyes for it. Tootsie and Cami are my favs. $30 for 6 lipsticks and a gorgeous box for storage is a bargain.

Purse – Express

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