Category Archives: Design + Interiors

around san diego - Design + Interiors

The Best San Diego Home + Gift Boutiques

June 23, 2015

The Best Home Decor and Gift Boutiques in San Diego // My SoCal'd Life

Birthdays, weddings, barbecues—’tis the season for a party, and shopping at local boutiques has become my new favorite outlet for gifts that are equal parts thoughtful, unique, and often locally made. Here are my eight favorite spots in San Diego for something special: read more

Design + Interiors

inspiring california homes

January 26, 2015

Inspiring California Homes // Sarah Yates' Palm Springs abode via A House in the Hills

In New York I was inspired by fashion, but in California I’ve been completely enamored with homes—the living rooms, the backyards, the back patios, and even the entryways. From what I’ve seen in these last two years, people take a lot of pride in their living spaces (even when renting!) and use those spaces to reflect a distinct lifestyle, one that brings the outside in with a mix of bright colors, Spanish-style architecture, and inviting layouts.

Here are 6 looks I’m currently crushing on and for more inspiration, come follow me on Pinterest.

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Design + Interiors

featured on apartment therapy!

January 21, 2015

Bedside table styling // My SoCal'd Life // Photo by Found Creative Studio

What a pleasant surprise to wake up Monday morning and see that our apartment was featured on Apartment Therapy! My friends Jenny and Becca of Found Creative Studio had come over last month right before my family visited—so the apartment would be in the best possible shape—and snapped a bunch of photos for us. Now looking at this post, it’s so satisfying to share the progress we’ve made in two years. As one reader so flatly commented on Apartment Therapy, it looks like a “first apartment,” and I’m OK with that. It’s the first time we’ve cared about, curated, and collected pieces that are important to us, and I’m excited to see where we go from here.

And the timing couldn’t have been better. Seeing our wee abode on a site I love so much was a treat during an otherwise weird, anxious, bummed-out spell I’m currently experiencing. I blame Mercury retrograde! (If you seem extra loopy, incoherent, irritable, and altogether lost, blame the planet of Mercury, which is in retrograde starting today until February 11.) Why bring this up? So you know that even though these pictures make everything look perfect, rest assured that things are not always perfect, a disclaimer that I think most bloggers don’t say enough. (For instance, we cleaned for nearly a whole day to get our apartment to look this clean.)

Astrological mood shifts aside, you can read the full feature on Apartment Therapy. Plus, I’ve got more photos after the jump:

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Design + Interiors

farm to table photography workshop

December 8, 2014


Everything I’ve learned about photography, I learned through a combination of Eaman teaching me (after he studied the Canon manual) and blog posts of tips. I generally understand the lingo—F-stop, aperture, rule of thirds, bokeh—but have never been confident enough to shoot in Manual mode. But yesterday I attended a very cool donation-based photo workshop, hosted by Erin and Chris of Honest Films and the Leichtag Foundation, where I picked up some really valuable tips, met a group of fantastic women and literally ate dinner next to horses on a farm while the blazing red sun set.

At the Foundation’s dreamy 67-acre farm in Encinitas, we spent the afternoon learning about composition, light manipulation and more before experimenting with both indoor and outdoor settings. Like I said, I do know a little from practice, but that’s always been in aperture mode. Once Chris showed me how to shoot in manual, my mind was blown! It really does pay to be in control of all the elements. (No, I’m not going to post a tutorial. I’m not an expert yet!)

And once we finished our outdoor shoot during that beautiful golden hour, we all sat down to a vegetarian feast in a lush green field. We basically belonged in Kinfolk. The co-organizers, Gabi and my friend, Anabelle, arranged quite the spread: fresh pesto, cheese, wheat bread, dried fruit, olives and nuts not to mention all the desserts from our indoor shoot. It was one of my more awesome Sundays as of late. And in case you’re interested, this Thursday the Jewish Food Justice Fellowship is hosting a dinner and screening of the food documentary Fed Up at the property. These organizations are all about focusing on quality, seasonal, organic food, and how it can bring a community together.

Here are a few snaps of my snaps from the workshop:

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Design + Interiors

apartment update: new gallery wall

July 30, 2014

gallery wall // My SoCal'd Life

We traveled. We saw. We photographed.

We have about 15,000 photos from our 13-month backpacking trip, and we always knew we would enlarge and frame some of our favorites. We just didn’t know it would take us so long.

Last August we bought six large IKEA frames and this past weekend we finally assembled our second gallery wall. Huzzah! I’m really thrilled with the results. (I’m also thrilled that we enlarged the photos at Sam’s Club for about $6 each.) It’s a nice contrast—both in frame shape and arrangements—to the more freestyle gallery we have in the living room and has a huge impact when you walk through the front door.

That said, picking the photos was like choosing a favorite child (or dog), and that was really what prolonged the process. We just weren’t ready to commit! In the end, we covered a different country in each—not all of the ones we traveled to, but at least ones that meant a lot to us.

Here’s more info on each:

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Design + Interiors

a hillcrest nook

April 16, 2014


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:

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Design + Interiors

the most amazing miniature paintings

March 19, 2014


Thanks to A Pair of Pears, I recently discovered the awesome work of South African artist Lorraine Loots, and I just had to share. For every day of 2013, Lorraine decided to make a tiny painting (“for ants”)—everything from dogs to surfers to landscapes. Going into the new year, she’s continued the practice, and it’s a good thing she did—her miniature portraits are detailed, beautiful and a testament to creativity. Here are some of my favorites:

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