7 questions with kim praocam of LoveBirdsLA

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11.21.14

LoveBirds LA founder Kim

Growing up with a mom who still has two closets full of colorful, textured, patterned saris, it’s no surprise that I look for those same qualities in my clothes and accessories. The more color, the better, I say. So when I spotted the rich hues and prints of the handmade accessories from Kim Praocam’s LoveBirdsLA, it was like meeting my kindred textile spirit. Most of her fabrics are sourced from abroad and take me back to our time backpacking in South America and Asia. In fact, one of her now-sold-out clutches is the exact print of pillowcases I bought at the Chiang Mai market in Thailand! Like I said, kindred textile spirits.

Today Praocam talks baby wipes and training to be a Pilates instructor…among other things.

Name: Kim Praocam
Age: 34
Neighborhood: Los Angeles
Job: Mom/owner of LoveBirdsLA

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Coffee and a banana—my usual go-to in the morning!

What’s the best thing about your job?
I love being a mom and I am completely grateful that I can stay at home with him and work on LoveBirdsLA at the same time. LoveBirdsLA allows me to have a creative outlet. I get to surround myself in color and prints all day (along with diapers and baby wipes).

The worst?
The hardest part of being an entrepreneur is that you are working/thinking about your business continuously. There’s not much downtime so work/life balance can be challenging.

How do you tackle a creative block?
I always try and revisit my library of fabrics to see if anything jumps out and grabs my attention, something always does.

What are you currently reading?
Do children’s books count?

What’s your favorite spot in L.A. and why?
The Pilates studio. I’m currently training to be a Pilates instructor, and this is the only time I can fully concentrate on myself.

What was the most awesome thing about today?
I decided to turn my phone off today for a couple hours, and it was THE BEST!

You can also find LoveBirdsLA on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

industrial grind coffee

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11.19.14

Industrial Grind coffee in Hillcrest, San Diego // My SoCal'd Life, a lifestyle blog

San Diego’s coffee game has stepped up big time recently, and though I moved here only two-ish years ago, friends who’ve lived in San Diego their whole lives have noticed a change, too. The major players include Coffee & Tea Collective, Cafe Moto and Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, but there’s one hole-in-the-wall cafe worth adding to the list.

Meet Industrial Grind Coffee, a small-batch artisan roaster on Park Boulevard in Hillcrest. Owned by partners in work and life (and retired members of the Navy) Kathy and Barb, the cafe has an open-air layout with a front patio, cool back patio that’s designed with sauna-style wooden benches in stadium seating and fun details like benches decorated by each barista. Though that particular address on Park has operated as a coffee shop for about a decade, it wasn’t until four years ago when Kathy and Barb found it on Craigslist and—inspired by L.A.’s Intelligentsia—transformed it into its current form.

Since it’s just a 5-minute walk from my apartment, you’ll often find me there with Teddy (it’s a very dog-friendly cafe) and a cup of the Bettie blend, my favorite brew in the whole city. (I love that they offer an 8 oz. cup for just $1!) Customers also love their huge selection of gluten-free breads, but that’s not the only reason we all keep coming back. Industrial Grind feels like a home or someone’s backyard, and the staff is made up of some of the friendliest people in the city.

Take a look:

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6 recipes for cold weather

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11.17.14

Fall is upon us here in San Diego, and even though it hardly feels like it in the middle of the day when it’s 75 degrees (not that I’m complaining), the early mornings and nights are decidedly cooler. So between the temperature dipping and my recent trip to the East Coast, where it’s actually fall-transitioning-quickly-into-winter, cozy, comforting meals are top of mind. Here are a few I’ve been scheming to make:

Vegetarian pho // via My SoCal'd Life

A vegetarian pho that takes just 30 minutes to make (via Oh My Veggies)

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7 questions with taryn sutherland of twinkle & toast

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11.14.14

taryn sutherland of twinkle & toast

I love so much about Del Mar’s Cafe Cantata, but one of the details that caught my eye first was all the beautiful hand-lettering sprinkled on the walls. We can thank Taryn Sutherland of Twinkle & Toast for that. The San Diego creative has been featured in InStyle, as well as on Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty and many other major wedding websites for the artistic and playful touch she adds to banners, menu cards and all those fun details at events. Taryn also hosts calligraphy workshops so you, too, can get your hand-lettering on. (Check her Instagram for updates on future classes!)

Today she dishes on the juggling act that is being your own boss and a fine, cold IPA…among other things.

Name: Taryn Sutherland
Age: 28
Neighborhood: East County
Job: Owner & Designer of Twinkle & Toast

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Bagel scramble at Influx—always have to stop in there on my frequent run to Blick Art in Little Italy.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Besides that I get to do what I am most passionate about for a living (finally!), I like that I have the ability to call the shots—I can say yes or no to a project if I feel if I am the right fit or not. I have no limits as to where my company can go, unless I put them on myself. I’m also head over heels in love with this amazing network of San Diego creatives and wedding industry folk. I would not be able to do it without the strong friends I’ve made along the way!

The worst?
Not knowing when to stop working. As a business owner, you wear many hats. You juggle not just the fun creative stuff, but the accounting, emails, website updates, and all the other day-to-day details. I care so much about my company, I want to represent it with the respect it deserves—and it’s hard to know when to stop and relax a little!

How do you tackle a creative block?
Get a change of scenery and move to another project. I never want to force creativity. I also turn to my close knit group of creative individuals. We always have each other’s back for inspiration.

What are you currently reading?
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. Obsessed with the show (who isn’t?) so I figured I needed to read the memoir.

What’s your favorite spot in San Diego and why?
One of my favorite things about San Diego is its serious reputation for craft beer and all the fantastic breweries. I’m pretty happy anywhere that brews a bitter, hoppy IPA.

What was the most awesome thing about today?
All my days self-employed are always different but consist of many of the same things, like today: a run to my favorite art store, picking up some paper goods from my printer, collaborating with fellow wedding creative, planned out my next calligraphy workshop, and a client meeting. I love not being tied to a desk every day and having each day different and keeping me busy.

Thanks, Taryn! Happy Friday, y’all.

at home in new jersey

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11.12.14

IMG_9044

I was last home (or home-home, as I like to say) in New Jersey in June 2013 and thanks to a summer of destination weddings and work travel, it’s taken far too long to return. At least that’s what my mom says. (To be fair, my parents came to San Diego in that interim.)

On my last visit, I was in town for my cousin’s wedding, so with all the hubbub, I didn’t have much time to stop and appreciate the fine art of sitting in one’s pajamas all day and melting into the couch with snack crumbs scattered on one’s sweatshirt. No, this visit home was much more low-key and also an interesting eye opener because it’s dawned on me just how far away I live (and feel) from where I grew up. When I’d visit home-home from college in Chicago or working in New York, it was pretty much the same pace, look, feel and weather. But now that I live in the land of palm trees and perpetual sunshine and in a very different culture, I feel worlds away from where and how I grew up, and it’s given me a strange, disconnected feeling. I think it’s the first time I’ve realized, wow, I live all the way in California in an urban beach town, and that’s not ever where I thought I’d end up. Funny the turns your life can take.

That said, there’s nothing to get me back in the East Coast spirit quite like seeing my family, eating my mom’s home-cooked food, seeing the changing color of the leaves—my neighborhood is bursting with Technicolor happiness—and doing fun, frivolous things like shopping and getting manicures with my mom. I also managed to see my cousins and a close friend, who brings that home feeling back for me as much as family can.

Today I’m off to New York City for work and play, but here are a few snaps of suburban glory:

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