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BeachToteEssentials

The number one reason summertime is awesome? How about getting the golden glow of a nice tan – a great pick-me-up to leave those doldrums of winter behind.  If you’re going out to the beach this summer, make sure to take these along with you:

1. Oversized tote.

This J.Crew tote is neutral enough that I wouldn’t feel guilty passing it off to Darren if I got tired of carrying it *ahem*. I like the versatile look of this one from Land’s End, which will take you into fall and beyond. Need something punchier? This Target tote has a fun print and won’t break the bank, and this PVC one will keep your goodies dry.

2. Oversized beach towel.

It’s happened to us all- you fall asleep on the beach, roll over, and face plant into a mouthful of sand. This towel is 39″ x 67″, so no sand-munching. I also like the tassels on this preppy number. Not big enough for you? This blanket has weighted pockets to hold down unruly corners, and this one folds into its own pocket.

3. Sunscreen.

I’ve tried the spray kind, and while convenient, it just doesn’t offer adequate coverage for me. This Neutrogena one can be used on both face and body (it’s non-comedogenic). If you tend to get sweaty, I recommend a waterproof + sweatproof option. I also use this on my face before I run outdoors, and it doesn’t budge. Don’t forget to protect your lips either! And if you’re still not an SPF believer, hopefully this NYT article will convince you otherwise.
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Hello friends! Darren and I spent an extended weekend in Destin, Florida- otherwise known as the Emerald Coast and/or The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village. We had perfect weather for one day out of our 36 hour trip, followed by two days of rain, rain, and more rain. Yesterday, our U.S. Airways return flight was cancelled *glares*, leading to a last-minute chaotic frenzy of airline phone calls. Nonetheless, we had a relaxing trip and would return to Destin again in a heartbeat! I’ll follow up with some tips for if you plan on visiting the area, along with a few beach-bound shopping picks. We’ve got quite a backlog of travel posts to share from Portland (and a few stragglers from our Philly trip), along with some new recipes and DIY, so check back often or follow us on Bloglovin for updates.

Destin, Florida Destin, Florida
Strong sun means floppy hats // Found this guy while walking on Crystal Sands beach

Destin, Florida- Back Porch destin, florida
Oysters were SO cheap down South- I’m talking $7.95/dozen, compared to $24 in the DC/MD/VA area (non-happy hour prices). Oh, and they were gimongo- the one on the right was the size of my hand. Gulp.

Destin, Florida- Vintij Wine Boutique and Bistro destin6
Visited a wine shop/restaurant called Vintij Wine Boutique and Bistro and had the most amazing shrimp and grits. The wines were pretty tasty too!

Destin, Florida- Boathouse Oyster Bar Destin, Florida- Boathouse Oyster Bar
Visited the divey-est of dives, Boathouse Oyster Bar. More cheap oysters, and fried gator bites (left)

Destin, Florida Destin, Florida
On Crystal Sands beach // Testing out some cool shades at the local Target during a rain shower

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Keep Portland Weird

We spent a fair amount of our recent four-day trip in Portland hanging out with family, which made for a bit of an erratic schedule. In lieu of a complete itinerary, we’ve boiled down the City of Roses into a checklist of 10 must-see/do activities if you visit. Without further ado…

waterfront, portland, or waterfront, portland, or
http://darwindiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/darwindiscovered_portland_10things-waterfront1.jpg http://darwindiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/darwindiscovered_portland_10things-waterfront1.jpg
waterfront, portland, or http://darwindiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/darwindiscovered_portland_10things-waterfront1.jpg

1. Run/walk/bike the Governor Tom McCall waterfront.

You’ll find fantastic views of the city’s many bridges. The backdrop also makes a great setting for a picnic.

portland saturday market, portland, or http://darwindiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/darwindiscovered_portland_10things-rose3.jpg

2. Visit the Portland Saturday Market.

Located by the Waterfront Park and Ankeny Plaza, the Saturday Market is a bit of a misnomer, because it’s open on both Saturday AND Sunday. A wide variety of arts, crafts, and food vendors can be found. The Skidmore Market is also located adjacent to the Saturday Market, so plan on spending a few hours perusing all of the goodies!

voodoo doughnuts, portland, or

voodoo doughnuts, portland, or voodoo doughnuts, portland, or

3. Grab a doughnut at Voodoo.

As they say, “The magic is in the hole.” The line extends across the block on weekends, but a bite of the Maple Bacon doughnut and Butterfingering (shown above) will make the wait worthwhile.

stumptown, portland, or

darwindiscovered_portland_10things-stumptown2

4. Wash it down at Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Quality roasts, great people watching, fair prices. They’ve expanded to NYC and Seattle in recent years, but this is where it all began. The cold brew comes in cool bottles, too.

international rose test garden, portland, or international rose test garden, portland, or

international rose test garden, portland, or

5. Visit the International Rose Test Garden.

It’s free and picturesque for all you budding photographers out there. The garden serves as a testing ground for new rose varieties, so expect a dazzling array of colors, shapes, and sizes. If you have extra time, the Japanese Garden is right next door and spans 5.5 acres of tranquility. Admission to the Japanese garden costs $9.50 ($7.75 with College ID).

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Happy Memorial Day, friends! Darren and I are still in Portland, so here are a few Instagram shots from the past few days:

Natty Boh and Crabs Darwin Discovered, Portland Instagram
Kicked off the weekend with Maryland blue crabs and Natty Boh //  Flew to Portland and met this munchkin for the first time (Darren’s niece)

image Nuvrei Patisserie and Cafe, Portland
Visited the Japanese gardens on a rare sunny day // Macarons from Nuvrei Patisserie and Cafe in Pearl District

Lardo, Portland International Rose Test Garden, Portland
Pork meatball banh mi sandwich, Lardo  // International Rose Test Garden

Multnomah Falls, Oregon Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland
Woke up at 5 AM to visit Multnomah Falls. Despite the rain, it was well worth the trip since we had the waterfall to ourselves for over an hour // Voodoo Donuts- Maple Bacon Donut…a gluttonous delight

If you don’t already, you can follow us on Instagram @winnie_dora and @thedarebear

Seafood Martini Recipe

Alcohol and seafood. Is there a better combination? Last summer when we were in Cancun, the resort we stayed at served seafood martinis as a late night bar snack. Sounds intriguing, right? Unfortunately, the ‘martini’ I received had zero alcohol and lots of brine. Consider me unimpressed.

Flash forward. We hosted a few friends for dinner recently, and the request was simple: seafood. Lots of it. The failed martini immediately came to mind, and I poked around the Internet searching for something similar (but better). The closest I came were these Seafood Dean martinis by Rachel Ray, but I wasn’t sold. So I went into the kitchen, added a few things here and there, and came up with this. If a Bloody Mary and ceviche engaged in some hardcore baby-making by the ocean, this is their love child. It’s super easy, super tasty, and looks cool. Enjoy! Read More

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