I’ve been pretty open about how it can be difficult to make friends in a new city, but that also means that when you see a familiar face or name, you get all the more excited.
That’s how I felt when I reconnected with Raluca State, a former agency publicist-turned-freelance PR consultant whom I worked with in my past magazine days. She had handled the opening of San Diego’s first Madewell, and we got to catch up there — about leaving big cities (her, L.A.; me, New York) for Southern California and if we miss big corporate life now that we’re both freelance.
Raluca is also the voice behind the amazing parenting/style blog WhatWouldGwynethDo. (Catchy name, no?) On top of all that, she’s a wife and mother of two. Oh, and she writes for The Huffington Post, too. Today she talks about meal planning, Southern California luxuries and her wild Friday nights.
Name: Raluca State
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Currently in: Carlsbad, CA
Professional title: mama of two, PR consultant and blogger at WhatWouldGwynethDo
I joke that menu planning changed my life, but in a weird way, it did. Every Sunday morning I sit down at my dining room table, coffee mug in hand, note paper and pen at the ready and pour over cookbooks, Pinterest and food blogs while I plan what my little family of four is going to eat in the days ahead. It has become oddly relaxing and also saves me random trips to the grocery store mid-week, helps us avoid tossing out too much wasted food and keeps our budget in check. It has also pushed me to explore new recipes (proud new asparagus lover right here!) and ignited a new passion for cooking and baking that I didn’t know could exist. I also share my menu plans on my blog and readers seem to love the ideas and inspiration.
Leaving my phone behind
I am super plugged in all day and most of the evening but when it comes to retreating to our bedroom for the night, no phones allowed. We agreed a while back that there really isn’t a place for texts, Tweets or even late night Pinterest in the bedroom so neither my husband or I ever bring our phones in there once we settle in for the night. They stay on the kitchen counter until morning, right where they belong.
Shopping for fresh flowers on a weekly basis is a true Southern California luxury. It’s so affordable and easy to fill your home with beautiful flowers and it instantly perks up any space, putting a smile on my face. I shop at Franco’s Flowers in Leucadia and Trader Joe’s and love to keep them all over the house – in the kitchen, the living room, my office, my daughter’s room.
Friday night face mask
Oh, how my Friday nights have changed…while I used to spend all week looking forward to a night out on the town with friends, now my idea of a perfect Friday night is dinner at home, kids in bed early, a big old glass of sauvignon blanc and yes, a little spa treatment. I am obsessed with Friday nights spent cleaning my face and applying a face mask, some eye cream, a serum, and letting all the stress and wrinkles from the week fade away.