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Christina of Tide & Bloom

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My Salon Suite Facial

You may have noticed that I haven’t been showing my face as much as I used to – there are less style posts and less selfies overall (instastories don’t count). The reason for that is doublefold; the first is that I no longer work at Anthro so I’m not constantly buying new clothes. That’s a good reason. The second is that I’ve had a lot of trouble with my skin lately. Somehow in this year alone, I’ve gotten more cystic acne than ever before in my life!

I turned 30 this year and I have no idea if that has anything at all to do with it. I thought I had a skincare regimen down last winter and then sometime earlier this year.. things just began erupting. Not only that, but because of all the activity and how easily my skin darkens, I’m left with dark marks of pimples past. So there’s just crap all over my face! Relative to actual acne, I know it’s not that bad. But for me with the history of my skin, it really has been the worst (this picture doesn’t feel like it really portrays the worst I’ve had).

My Salon Suite came to my rescue, like the universe answered my prayers! They offered me a complimentary service of my choice and of course – duh – I wanted to see an aesthetician. I needed someone who could look at my skin objectively and help a sister out. I had never heard of My Salon Suite; it’s sort of like a boutique beauty office where you can have the opportunity to work with as many or as few beauty professionals in one space as possible. The suite set up allows each expert to set up their own suite and be their own boss. The lovely aesthetician I spent the morning with is named Donai with D’Vivre Beauty and she was telling me how much she really enjoyed having the freedom My Salon Suite provides to her, allowing her to branch out as an independent entrepreneur.

There’s not really many pictures because essentially it’s a dark and meditative room where I had it, but this is actually why it was so relaxing. I spent an hour and a half there with Donai working on my skin and me asking every question that came to my head, like a skin therapy session. The products she used on me were great – honestly I don’t know what they are but they’re all natural. I remember hearing papaya and pineapple (because those words get me going) enzymes and natural oils. She’s the expert – not me!

Donai also does massage therapy soooo it didn’t hurt that during my mask time, she also gave me a neck and head message. YAAASSSS. It was just wonderful; Donai talked about her goal being that she wants to give people the power to take care of themselves, to treat themselves, and feel beautiful. Yes it’s about the skin but it’s also about the way you feel and how it emanates outwards. She was pretty amazing. Her own journey into becoming an aesthetician started when she was dealing with her own skin issues. She found that there was so much information out there that it was too overwhelming and she decided she was going to figure out her skin the right way – which led her to here.

My skin is still on the road to recovery, but this facial got me on the right path and using My Salon Suite was easy. I’m a believer! Now how soon is too soon for another facial?…

If you’re feeling like you need a little pampering, please check out D’Vivre and book an appt ASAP! Before those winter feels really set in…

brush sushi izakaya

Alright, alright. Let’s get something clear! People think I eat out ALL the time and try new stuff ALL the time and it’s simply not true. Now that food bloggers and food instagrammers abound in the ATL, I am 100% certain that I am right in this respect. When I go somewhere new, it takes effort. I’ve settled into a comfort zone for most types of food so I have a mile-long list of places I want to try. Thankfully I finally made it (thanks to some good friends) to Brush Sushi Izakaya in downtown Decatur for brunch! Brunch? Yes, Sunday brunch at Brush Sushi. 

Another thing people think is just because you’re Asian means you’re an expert in all Asian cultures or foods. Also not true. I don’t know what I don’t know; all I know is what I like! I’ve been intrigued by Brush’s brunch for quite some time via social media – the menu is a little intimidating but I knew if I went hungry then I’d definitely find the right stuff. 

Fried octopus? Delicious. Maybe not my favorite preparation of octopus (because come on, have you had the Optimist’s octopus?) but still cooked well and tasty. The next dishes though were my favorites — katsu don, the matcha french toast, and the souffle pancakes. The Katsu Don is a bowl of fried pork cutlet with egg and green onion. Simple hearty and really tasty; I’d actually much more prefer this for dinner on a cold night though. So comforting!

Ben got the Katsu Sando which essentially is a fried chicken sandwich. This was probably our least favorite out of everything but given the bar set by the best dishes, this doesn’t mean it was bad! It was just a bit too saucy and sweet for our particular liking. We were missing the crunch of the fried chicken.   

The hands-down standout dishes were the brunchiest of everything – and on the sweet side! Matcha french toast was lovely, cut up into easy-to-eat-with-your-hands portions. The sweetness of this was balanced by the matcha so it was just a nice treat that I don’t think I’ve had anywhere else? Same goes for the souffle pancakes which were AMAZING. AMAZING. So fluffy, not too sweet, simply a delight all around.

Final verdict? A good brunch! Perhaps not the most versatile, but I think if you’re in the mood for a particular dish (ahem – souffle pancakes) then by all means. There wasn’t a wait, it was low key and easy in terms of the service. There was also a variety of ramen available but we didn’t sample those. So given that it’s kind of a drive and kind of a specific type of a brunch, I don’t think I’d be going there too often. I also feel that the menu skews very hot, as in a lot of the dishes and also the miso soup are dishes I’d prefer when it’s cold outside – but that’s just a me thing. Either way though, it was a treat to have a different kind of brunch experience. Definitely worth another visit.

Movie Love: Columbus

As you might be able to tell, writing blog posts doesn’t come as easily to me as it used to. And it’s not for a lack of content – on the contrary, it’s for a lack of time due to the abundance of content. Travels plus personal life moments plus trying to focus more on the here and now (people right in front of me) have led to a lot of life experience without feeling the need to ruminate or document. When I saw the movie “Columbus” upon the recommendation of my Art Dealer boss, I was prepared for the possibility that I could love it so much that I NEED to write about it. So here it is.  

30 is the new 25: my third-life crisis

I might be exaggerating, but the last few days I’ve really felt exactly how I felt about five years ago. So aptly named, the “quarter-life crisis” is something that us milennials know a thing or two about. I thought that it was behind me, but here I am feeling it all over again. How come no one tells you that this never stops happening? Maybe it does, but we just get numb to the feeling of it. Wish I could say I was.

I’m about to turn 30 next week and I sure as hell don’t feel like it. Have you ever had to answer that ice-breaker question – “if you could be any age, what age would you choose to be?” I have always answered 32. In my mind, this was the age, that magical age where things felt just right. You know what works but there is still so much life ahead of you that you are still driven and excited. I’m getting closer and closer to my “ideal age” and getting scared that I just won’t feel that ideal.

In the last five years, I’ve tried so many things and traveled down a lot of little winding paths. I learned so much about my boundaries and my priorities – I do feel like I’ve grown up and yet still, I feel very insecure about my future. I’m just not sure where to go next because I am so deeply aware of the potential I’ve yet to realize. Sometimes it can be paralyzing; knowing that you can be so much more and it’s right there for you to grab it if you’re brave enough. If you’re focused enough.

There’s no answer and I know that. I just have to work through it, continue living in the moment, and my life will go where it’s supposed to go.

[ photos courtesy of Lindsey LaRue Photography and Beautiful Wild Design ]

boccalupo

Inman Park. Italian food. Covered patio. These are all words that entice me and probably every other 30-something living in Atlanta. 

Despite what my Instagram may have you think, we actually don’t eat out really all that much. Save for BuHi, but that doesn’t count! Asian food is my comfort food so BuHi is like going to a cozy mom and pop shop down the street. At least that’s what I tell myself. For Ben’s birthday, we decided to revisit a restaurant we had remembered enjoying – BoccaLupo.
I can’t remember what was in this cocktail (this is how old I’m getting) but I do remember that it was tart, bright, and Florida themed. I really really enjoyed it. The cauliflower appetizer was delicious but I was disappointed by how much it cost given that it wasn’t a huge amount and the flavors weren’t revolutionary. A roasted cauliflower is always good, but when you pay double digits for a vegetable appetizer, you kind of want it to be extraordinary. Or at least a healthy amount. The picture above is the full amount that was given to us.
What we DID feel was worth it was the pasta. Oooohhhhh that pasta. I’m a real sucker for flat wide pasta; something about the mouth feel I think just really hits the spot. With the ragu, it was just delectable. I finished the whole. Thing. Ben’s pasta (below) was lovely but mine was totes better.The good thing about not ginormous portions is that there was plenty of room for dessert. And it was Ben’s birthday so that called for TWO desserts!! What can I say. I like to indulge.

All in all, BoccaLupo was good but I think our choices from the menu were just not the top notch ones. I guess that happens when you don’t frequent a restaurant often – you are more likely to stumble onto some things that are not their best. I think it’s also a challenge given that the restaurant scene is growing exponentially in Atlanta so everyone is asking themselves, what is gonna make me come back here? I like this place, but do I love this place? Hard to say.

jang su jang

Oof. I’ve been taking some long breaks in between blog posts. To some degree it’s willful but I also think that time has just been zooming past me. Since the last time I wrote, I’ve been breaking in a “new” job. Well technically it’s an old job I used to have, but I’m new to it again. I’m in the process of figuring out my true routine and also wondering if there exists such a thing. But that’s for another post.

THIS POST is centered around a delicious Korean dinner I had out in Duluth. I’m trying to get back on the train of trying new stuff instead of wading in my comfort zone. Tasting and experiencing new things is a big part of my life and something that really motivates me to blog, to instagram, and ultimately to make art. I can’t make new work unless I feel new myself.

Jang Su Jang. SO GOOD. I’m not an expert in Korean food – like by far one of the asian cuisines I’ve had the least experience with – but this shit was bananas. We were a table of two but we ordered four dishes because… because. Thankfully I had a friend of mine who is actually Korean guide us in our choices. This led us to try many a dish we definitely wouldn’t have just picked out ourselves. 

pj party

Silly title, but I feel like I’m wearing men’s PJs. And I don’t hate it.

I gotta say this is probably my favorite kind of outfit. The silhouettes are figure flattering while the fabrics are breathable and elegant. If I had a whole closet full of these pieces in a variety of colors, I probably wouldn’t need much else!

If you think you’re too short to wear pants like this, let me remind you that I’m just about 5’4″ and wearing heels in these photos. I typically wear a size 4 or an XS in Anthro clothes (and often in petite sizes), but I got these pants in a standard small. It’s loose but seriously comfortable and gives me just enough fabric for the slit to only reveal itself when I’m walking or sitting.

And I mean, this top? Come on. I can wear it with white pants, I can wear it with joggers, jeans, skirts… so much!

copper eyes

I did my makeup one day and it randomly came out bomb dot com. It’s always when you’re not trying that hard that it comes out pretty awesome. But really, I’ve been doing much of the same old stuff with just some small tweaks. I’ve been mixing the Pur Cosmetics Bare It All foundation with my Infallible Pro Glow foundation for the just-right mix. It gives the Bare It All more glow and the Infallible more lasting power. WIN WIN.

And then the secret to the eye shadow is just that I have a really great quality palette. This March Jacobs All About Last Night palette is one I got last Christmas and the shimmers are to die. Using my finger to apply straight onto my eyes is the best and I often get compliments when I wear these colors. The orange-y copper is my favorite because I’ve been all about the warm tones lately. Rusty red, orange copper, bronzed brown, rose gold.. all of those kinds of colors are perfect for summer. I apply shimmer to the lid and then use a brush to apply a matte shadow to the crease to blend out the entire look. Two shadows is all it takes for some depth.
To top it all off, a reflective gold highlighter to pull the whole face together. Bronzed to the heavens, just like I want. I don’t go overboard, just enough to make me feel like I got a little something going on. I still use the Benefit Cheekathon palette for Hoola bronzer and a mix of blushes. Oh! And I forgot to say I’ve been using Smashbox Primer Water to prime my face before application; this plus setting with Kat Von D LockIt powder has been my go-to daily routine.
If I manage to do one more finishing touch, it’s mascara and a bit of lipgloss. I don’t do mascara often because ALL mascara runs on me (I really mean all.. maybe it’s just my lashes) but I’ve been liking this Aloette A-List Lash if anything at all. Aaaaand that’s it! Well I also did my brows, but that’s nothing remarkable. All in all, this was actually a simple look, but with lots of blending and the perfect hues I felt super pretty in it.