A glimpse at the weekend that was…I headed up to L.A. with some friends for Unique LA, a pop-up market hosted by Unique USA, an organization that brings locally designed and crafted goods to various cities in the form of tradeshow-style shopping events.
But first…coffee! Though my caffeine headache was looming throughout our morning drive, I held out for quality coffee that I knew I could find in the newly happening downtown LA area, where Unique LA took place. Enter: Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters. This location was elegantly minimalist, save for the lush plant walls by the patio, and shared a space with Juice Served Here. I’m so glad I waited; the latte and croissant were certainly worth the caffeine withdrawal. read more
Today marks the end of what’s been a really fun exercise in creating diverse and entertaining day-long itineraries for you. I spotlighted the design lover, the urbanite, the Zen seeker, the off-the-beaten-path foodie, and today I’m focusing on the hipster, that single origin coffee-drinking, suspender-sporting, vintage glasses-wearing, underground party-hopping millenial who loves to stay on top of his/her new fiction reading but also spends an obscene amount of time perfecting an Instagram shot.
And lest you think I’m turning my nose up at hipsters, it’s actually quite the opposite. Hipsters favor all things cool and trendy with a flair for the non-mainstream. And let’s be clear: I’m a hipster. And here are all my favorite hipster spots. Go on and enjoy the anti-establishmentarianism: read more
The best things I ate, saw, and did in July:1. Started a full-time job. After 2.5 years of freelancing, I’ve re-joined the 9-5 crew with a job as a staff writer at San Diego Magazine. I’ve been working very closely with the magazine since moving to San Diego in 2013, from freelancing to filling in for editors on maternity leave, so the transition has been pretty seamless. (I even have my very own office!) I’m excited to be working alongside people who geek out over magazines as much as I do and writing about my city. I said for a long time that my ideal job would be working for a city magazine because of the variety it lends, so I’m thankful to have the right position pop up at the right time. But just so you know, I’ll still be blogging and freelancing. The balance has been tough, but discipline, such as making Sundays a work day, is key. Each of these jobs is important to me, and I don’t want to let any of them go. read more
I get a huge thrill out of sharing recommendations with my friends, but offering tips on (what I think are) cool, under-the-radar, hardly-every-visited restaurants is my #1. And today we salute the foodie who favors all things hole-in-the-wall and hidden with a few less-traveled stores and sights to boot: read more
I used to think the best kind of San Diego staycation would involve a coastal location and view of the water. But then two weeks ago I stayed at Rancho Bernardo Inn, a resort located about 15 miles east of the water, and I realized that not once did I think about missing the beach.
That’s because RBI has created a SoCal oasis, one with lush, verdant landscaping (olive trees! tangerine trees! roses!), a gorgeous spa pool, and dreamy Spanish-style architecture. They’ve done something that’s hard to achieve: instill a sort of laid-back comfort to a space so decidedly luxe. Relaxed but regal, and very SoCal.
I was invited to a stay at Rancho Bernardo Inn as part of their INNfluencer program, and though last weekend’s crazy torrential rainstorm dampened things a bit on Saturday, the rain actually made the greenery smell that much better. #glasshalffull
Here, four reasons Rancho Bernardo Inn is oh so magical: read more
You love yoga, vegetarian/vegan eats, prefer nature over city blocks, and are well-acquainted with Whole Foods’ holistic supplement shelves. Whatever you want to call yourself—Zen seeker, hippie, yogi—this guide’s for you: read more
They call it “the sunny side of the Bay.” The area more commonly known as Tri-Valley—located 45 minutes east of the Golden Gate Bridge and comprised of the towns of Danville, Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore in Northern California—is a laid-back alternative to the more expensive wine country experiences further north in Napa. Prices are lower, crowds are smaller, dogs are welcome almost everywhere, and nothing feels commercial. It’s a slice of charming, pastoral Americana.
A few weeks ago, the team at Visit Tri-Valley invited me to check out the area for a weekend getaway. Along with my friend Cindy, we scoped out each hamlet-like town, toured the quaint downtowns, sipped wine amongst the vineyards, spotted cows along each drive, dined on farm-fresh eats, and even made our own bottle of vino to take home. All of that in 30 hours, and it was still a supremely relaxing trip.
Here’s where to go, what to do, and how to plan your getaway:
Last week we met the design lover. This week’s installment of my five-part city guide series is for the lover of all things downtown, urban, and skyline-dotted. From a waterfront park marked by the San Diego cityscape to a hip Italian eatery that feels straight out of Milan, here are eight ways to dine, drink, and play like a city slicker: