west elm’s new local shop + my favorite local finds



West Elm local shop // My SoCal'd Life, a lifestyle blog

Last night West Elm San Diego launched its local shop, a pilot program that brings local artists and their handcrafted goods to a bigger spotlight. A few locations across the U.S. have already launched their own iterations, but yesterday I got to see San Diego’s curated collection, which includes home decor, accessories, and gifts from all over California.

Ever since moving to San Diego and becoming invested/inspired by the city’s creative community, I’ve had a big urge to shop local and support small businesses. West Elm Local is such a cool way to bring these brands to the forefront.

Here are a few of my favorites:

West Elm Local // air plants via My SoCal'd  Life

These air plants by Bird and Feather, comprised of San Bernandino-based Marianne Gardner and Sean Maginity, come in the coolest hand-painted containers.


apartment update: new DIY projects to share




First things first: I’d be thrilled, honored, appreciative, and oh-so-glad if you take 1 minute (even less!) to fill out this easy six-question survey about My SoCal’d Life. I’m a new and growing site, and want to make sure I’m writing, covering, and sharing to the best of my ability. Thanks in advance!

OK, back to the post. Our apartment has turned into a bit of a DIY factory this past month. It all started with an abandoned door we found next to a dumpster by our apartment that we decided to turn into a headboard. That was a long, laborious, but ultimately rewarding DIY that I’ll share soon, but that whole process motivated me to finally attack some lingering—and much easier—projects on my list. The truth is, I can be quite lazy. And though I do Pin a lot of crafts and love the idea of making something myself, I often don’t have the patience or gentle touch.

But once I got started with one, I got DIY fever.

The gold mug above is maybe the simplest DIY on this planet. Make a pattern with tape, spray paint with choice of color, and coat with ceramic sealer. But because I am so lazy and it took me months to go to Michael’s and get that dang ceramic spray, I only just finished it. But I love the end result! It’s easily my favorite mug for morning coffee.

And as for the three other projects…


my rituals: floral designer alexis foster of leaf it to lexi



Leaf It To Lexi floral designer // My SoCal'd Life, a lifestyle blog

The penny trick: You can remedy droopy blooms by tossing a couple of pennies into the vase. The copper reacts to the plants, and just like that, the stems start to straighten out. I owe this bit of flower power to Lexi Foster of Leaf it to Lexi, who hosted a class on florals and building terrariums at my local West Elm just a couple of weeks after I had moved here. She was sweet, knowledgeable, and incredibly welcoming, which was very much needed for my new-to-San-Diego excitement/nerves.

Since then, I’ve followed her work from weddings—check out this sustainable kumquat tree centerpiece!—to magazine covers to features on sites like Style Me Pretty and 100 Layer Cake. She has a knack for color and incorporating non-flower elements, so it’s no wonder that pretty much every arrangement of hers is Pinterest-worthy.

And between daughters who surf and parents who make and sell their own jam—it’s clear that she surrounds herself with a lot inspiration. Today she talks about her favorite book, cooking ruts, and the bliss of laundry day.


a hillcrest nook




Near our apartment is a gorgeous canyon that leads to an even more gorgeous solitary street lined with lush greenery, charming Sapnish colonial architecture, and interesting details, like a mini library and some sort of Asian script etched on a huge stone. It’s one of my favorite places to walk in the evenings when the whole area is bathed in yellow light. Here are some snaps from yesterday’s stroll:


weekend recap: birthday edition




For most 20- and 30-somethings, having your birthday fall on a Saturday is the perfect opportunity for a crazy night out. For me it meant brunch, a picnic, Mexican food, and falling asleep before 11 p.m. It was my idea of perfect.

At the start of the weekend, I had given myself one goal: Do not think about work, errands, exercise, or fussing over the dog. Lately I’ve had more trouble focusing on enjoying the moment, and it often feels like I’m moving from one errand to the next, without absorbing a thing. My mission was to live in the present, forget about to-do’s, and remind myself that all those “pressing” things could wait.

But even on my own birthday I couldn’t relax! I woke up knowing the dog needed adequate exercise before being crated throughout the afternoon. And then, “I should really go to yoga tomorrow,” followed by “We should really finish that DIY project by Monday.” Ugh, I couldn’t even sit still on the day where I have full license to be a waste of space. Ay carumba. I struggle with this ADD and guilty feelings more and more lately, and I know it’s something I need to work on. Maybe I should start taking baths or meditating or something. Ideas are certainly welcome.

But I am happy to say that, whether I finally made good on my goal or the previous day’s calorie assault did me in, I was quite the couch potato on Sunday. I watched maybe five episodes of Locked Up Abroad and ate Tex-Mex leftovers for breakfast. Gross-sounding in retrospect but quite delicious on a lazy Sunday.

Here are some scenes from turning 29:


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