It’s My Birthday! (And so long 2013)

What a year. If you’re new here you can catch up on our roller-coaster 2013 right here. And if you’ve been around awhile you know why we’re so excited to wave “so long” to this year. I’m honestly thankful for all of it. Really. No, seriously. :) But I’m hoping we can exhale a little in 2014. As believers we grow through serving, and we grow through trials (among other things), and I’m ready to get my hands dirty serving others. I’d much rather grow that way! And for a big chunk of this year I’ve felt like we were so busy holding onto the rocking boat that we weren’t reaching out and helping other people the way we wanted to. We are blessed to be a blessing though! And I’m excited to see what opportunities this new year holds.

I wanted to write a long, introspective birthday post about this year, but then I got the flu and seriously can’t string many words together that make sense right now. Ha! Oh well. Anderson’s family is here, and thankfully they’re helping entertain Kingston, so I can rest.

Anyway, on to more fun topics – our recent family pictures! We were going to do them at home again just like last year but decided to change things up a bit. I told Anderson I really wanted the pictures to be meaningful and “us,” so he mentioned taking them at one of the restaurants we really like, and I was like “Yes! McDonald’s!” Honestly, I hate McDonald’s, but it’s Kingston’s favorite place in the world. If we ask him, “Do you want to go to ________ or McDonald’s?” He always picks the golden arches. Doesn’t matter what the other option is. We know they serve grey meat and their fries last for two years in the floorboard of a car, but whatever. We’ve been there more in the last year than I have in the rest of my life. So we met Sarah Eddy at the fine dining establishment and did our thing. And we ended up with some of my favorite pictures ever!!

Happy New Year, y’all!

January 14, 2014 - 9:17 am

pinkcoffeephoto - Ha! Thank you JB!!

January 12, 2014 - 3:19 pm

jackieblair - so cute lynds!!! you definitely made the style work!

January 4, 2014 - 7:13 pm

pinkcoffeephoto - Thank you so much Amanda! Yes-All photoshoots at McD’s from now on. :))

January 1, 2014 - 10:53 am

amanda m - Girl! Those are AMAZING! I LOVE Kingston’s expressions. You can totally tell he is in his happy place. That should be a lesson for moms if they want their kids to smile for family pictures to take them to a place that makes them happy. Love. Love. Love.

December 31, 2013 - 9:30 pm

pinkcoffeephoto - Thanks Rachel!!

December 31, 2013 - 9:27 pm

Rachel - Happy Birthday Lyndsay!
And Happy New Year’s!
Such gorgeous photos :)

December 31, 2013 - 1:56 pm

pinkcoffeephoto - Every. Single. Time. :)

December 31, 2013 - 1:54 pm

Mary - I’m happy to know my husband isn’t the only man getting on the kiddy playgrounds : )

December 31, 2013 - 12:35 pm

pinkcoffeephoto - Aw-thank you Molly!

December 31, 2013 - 12:30 pm

Molly Swanson - Seriously, the cutest family photos ever!!!

December 31, 2013 - 12:04 pm

pinkcoffeephoto - We love you Mom!!!

December 31, 2013 - 12:03 pm

momma Hyatt - Can I just say I love this family. I am so glad to be apart of your lives. These are great pictures.

December 31, 2013 - 11:59 am

pinkcoffeephoto - We loved working with you Sarah! Thank you for these photos. I’ll cherish them always!

December 31, 2013 - 11:55 am

Sarah - May I just say that this post just totally made my day. Y’all make me smile. Most of all, I love that you wanted to capture the real, the true, the beautiful times in life even if McDonalds isn’t your dream place. Y’all are incredible parents and Kingston is the cutest! Blessings and beautiful times to y’all in this new year!

A Few of My Favorite Beauty Products

This obviously isn’t the kind of topic I normally blog about, but this year has seriously taken a toll on my skin and hair. (Hello, stress!) So I’ve experimented a lot more than normal with beauty products and thought some of you would enjoy a little review. So here are four of my favorite discoveries from 2013:

1. Wen Cucumber Aloe Cleansing Conditioner
Please tell me I’m not the only one who can’t change the channel every time a Chaz Dean Wen infomercial is on tv! I’ve basically memorized the script. The last time Anderson caught me watching one he was like, “Seriously? Again!?!” My hair hasn’t been the same ever since Kingston was born. I tried cutting it all off and letting it grow back, but it’s just kind of lifeless. So earlier this year I finally bit the bullet and bought a bottle of Wen. I kinda wanted to love it but kinda didn’t, because it’s NOT CHEAP! Turns out it’s the most amazing hair product I’ve ever used. My hair had zero build up, was super voluminous, and really shiny. It also felt crazy soft and my normal “shedding” was so much less the whole time I used it. But here’s the bad part – I went through an entire bottle in two weeks. $32 on shampoo that lasted two weeks. You have to use it exactly like it says on the bottle. And for me (long, thick hair) that meant 15-17 pumps every time I washed my hair! That’s a lot of product. I tried skimping a few times, and my hair was super greasy and gross. Another factor for me is that I pretty much wash my hair everyday. I can’t seem to figure out a way to work out and sweat and not wash my hair daily. Dry shampoo just doesn’t do the trick. And honestly, when people tell me they do that I get super grossed out. Ha! How do you people sleep with sweaty head?! When I ran out of that bottle I hurried to Sally Beauty Supply and bought the knock-off version they carry, Hair One. It was about $10 and was just okay. Better than my old shampoo but not even close to Wen. Bummer!

Bottom Line: I LOVE this product, but I won’t be spending over $60 a month on my hair anytime soon. If you can swing it, I totally recommend it though!

2. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
I haven’t been very good to my skin over the years, and it’s totally starting to show. Mainly in the form of wrinkles all over my face. Boo! Having a golden tan seemed so worth it at the time though. :) I’ve used foundation primer before – mainly for special events when I want my makeup to be flawless for hours. But Smashbox is the best one I’ve ever used! It works like an airbrush on the face. Totally smoothing lines and filling in pores.

Bottom Line: Buy it!

3. Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner
We were on one of our multi-weekly trips to Target when I picked up this conditioner. I usually make fun of products that have “Brazilian” in the name, because we silly Americans seem to think they have all the secrets when it comes to health and beauty! But I was out of conditioner and in a hurry. So I opened it, smelled it, and based solely on the delicious smell, had to buy it. Total winner! The conditioner has made my hair silky soft and smooth with hardly any frizz. I had the ends of my hair lightened over the summer, and they’re starting to look a little frayed, but this product completely smoothed them out. Also, my hair usually gets really big when I blowdry, so I have to use a straighener or curling iron to tame it. But since I started this conditioner I can just blowdry and maybe use the flat iron in just a few spots. I didn’t pick up the shampoo, because I have plenty of that left, (why do I never run out of both at the same time?) but now I’m dying to try it!

Bottom Line: If you have dry ends or frizz it’s definitely worth the $6 to try this conditioner.

4. Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
I read this review about Glamglow and was totally sold. This product is amazing! A little pricey, but so worth it. The tub is only 1.2 oz, but I’ve had it since October and still have about half left. I use it twice a week, and it makes my skin soft and glowy. It does everything it says, and you really can see it sucking the gunk out of your skin-so gross! I’ve used it as a spot treatment too, and it makes a blemish disappear in no time.

Bottom Line: This stuff lives up to the hype!

Next, I want to try some heavy-duty wrinkle creams, especially for the eye area. I’ve been using this one for months and can’t tell even the slightest difference. Time to bring in the big guns! Has anyone had a good experience with LaMer? Or any other wrinkle creams? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

PS – This is not a sponsored post. :)

PPS – I’ve been sick in bed (on and off) for two days, so if this sounds like it was written by someone under the influence, it was. Back to bed for me…

December 30, 2013 - 1:12 pm

Katie - I love WEN! But my hair isn’t as thick or long as yours and I don’t wash my hair daily so I can make it around 3-4 weeks per bottle. This is the 2nd time I’m seeing about the GlamGlow stuff. I might have to pick that up!

No suggestions on the wrinkle cream, but I need some desperately so I’ll be watching the comments! ;)

December 30, 2013 - 12:14 pm

Marlena - I’m with you on Wen. My hair is almost down to my lower back right now and it was just too much. And I hate that because I was also a converted skeptic! The Sally stuff was too gunky for me. Didn’t like it at all.

December 30, 2013 - 11:30 am

pinkcoffeephoto - Thanks Becky! I’m going to try the Neutrogena for sure.

December 30, 2013 - 11:13 am

Becky - On the very fine lines- Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair with Retinol SA works ok after about a month of continuous use…. So glad you posted- I’m going to pick up glam glow this afternoon, I somehow missed this!

Merry Christmas!

Love came…

to save.

to heal.

to redeem.

to restore.

Love. Sacrificial, unconditional love.
That’s what our family is celebrating this week!

Merry Christmas to you and yours. :)
Love, The 3 Almeidas

December 27, 2013 - 11:04 pm

Andrea - Merry Christmas

December 25, 2013 - 10:27 am

Rachel - What a GORGEOUS Christmas card!!
Love the creativity.
Merry Christmas Almeidas!!

December 25, 2013 - 7:50 am

Rebecca - Lyndsay – I love your card. YOu always come up with the best ideas.

December 25, 2013 - 7:49 am

Anna - Merry Christmas, Almeidas!

Merry. Merry.

We do the “Merry and Bright” thing around the Almeida house at Christmas! Here’s a peak at some of my favorite decorations this year. I think we’re ready!!

December 25, 2013 - 7:51 am

Anna - The record and vintage tree are my favorite! My grandma had trees like those.

December 23, 2013 - 2:14 pm

pinkcoffeephoto - Thanks JoJo!!

December 23, 2013 - 11:07 am

jojo - I love it all!!!! So fun!

The Varzoni Family

Do you believe that God puts certain people in your life at just the right time? That’s totally how I feel about the Varzoni’s. We’ve known them for a long time but have become close friends over the last couple years, and I’ve learned so much from them. Mainly about having a giving heart. This family has been through it lately, but they continue to be some of the most selfless, giving people I’ve ever met. I’m so thankful for our “Brazilian family” here in Jacksonville!

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