Sonoma State University

SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

With more and more occupations requiring advanced education, a college degree is critical to your success in today’s workforce. But earning an accredited college degree can also have a significant impact on other areas of your life. Simply put, getting a college degree can: earn you more $ on average; bring you better job satisfaction; boost your financial savvy; increase your chances of becoming a homeowner and getting married; help you live longer; bring you better health; boost your happiness; be a better citizen –– the list is endless! So then, which college is best for you? All depends on your goals, dreams, passions, and outlook. But there is one university in the San Francisco Bay Area that stands out above the rest: Sonoma State University. With the highest graduation rate among the 23-campus California State University system, #12 ranking for best college for transfers, #19 ranking for top public school in the U.S., #34 ranking for most beautiful campus in the U.S., and more, there’s a reason so many students and educators call Sonoma State home. My challenge: Promoting, increasing awareness of, and raising enrollment for this award-winning academic research institution. 

Project Management
Web Design
Content Management
Copywriting
Content Strategy
User Experience/Design

Division of Academic Affairs
Office of the Provost
About the Provost
Division At A Glance
Leadership Team
Student Success
First Year
Second Year
Third Year
Fourth Year
Graduate Programs & Contacts
Faculty & Staff Resources
Faculty Information & Procedures
Employment Opportunitities
News & Announcements
Contact Academic Affairs
Academic Programs
Faculty & Staff Curriculum Guide
4 Ways to Be Involved
Graduate Initiative 2025
Accreditation
Provost's Initiatives & Projects Under Way

––– COOLING POND BREWERY ––– Changing the way people experience the craft beer experience and appreciate the labor, love, and taste of craft breweries.

Cooling Pond Brewery

There’s a certain energy to visiting the Cooling Pond Brewery that makes it different from any other beer-drinking experience in Virginia. Maybe it’s the unmistakable aroma of the brewing process, the gleaming steel tanks, the boasting panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, or the opportunity to drink around like-minded beer enthusiasts who made a special excursion just to drink there. Or… maybe it’s the grit of the native Virginian family running this small, traditional, yet independent brewery every day that makes it one-of-a-kind. No matter how you view it, this is about a brewery that delivers a little something more than just fantastic beer (although it undoubtedly succeeds on that front, too). My challenge: Changing the way people experience the craft beer experience, and appreciate the labor, love, and taste of craft breweries. 

Project Management
Website Design
Copywriting
Content Strategy

CoolingPondBrewery.com
About the Brewery
On Tap

–ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND– Protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system and services of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Animal Legal defense fund

Even today, with animal justice reform in full swing and advocacy increasing across the U.S., billions of captive, farmed, companion, wildlife and endangered animals are still being slaughtered, killed, harmed, mistreated, neglected, and abused. Every year, 26 million are used for scientific and commercial testing in the U.S.; 58 billion chickens, 1.5 billion pigs, 517 million sheep, and 300 million cows are slaughtered for meat and dairy consumption; 85 billion fish and other sea life are killed; 1 million companion animals are abused or killed; and 6 to 8 million companion animals are abandoned.  Also alarming but a harsh reality, are the inhumane conditions these animals live in during their often short lifetimes. My challenge: Protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system and services of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. 

Project management
Web design 
Content strategy
User experience design
Presentation development
Digital asset management

––––––––––– PBS SOCAL ––––––––––– Helping change the life outcomes of Southern California’s foster youth, and increase fostering and adoption rates through interactive, never-been-done-before storytelling.

PBS SoCal

Did you know that Los Angeles has the largest foster care system in the country? 33,000 and counting. Did you also know that in January 2017, a state-wide law was passed in California that drastically wiped out many of the existing group homes causing the number of foster youth to increase and the demand for foster parents to increase as well? Alarming, but a harsh reality today. Everyone in the large and bureaucratic Los Angeles Foster Care System is trying hard to do the right thing and stanch a flood of parent-less children, but that does not always guarantee success or a happy ending. Sometimes every possible effort is taken to place a child in a loving forever home and at the 11th hour, their biological parents turn up and want them back. On the other end, the foster children themselves just want is to belong and be loved––something that is simple to say and frustratingly difficult to actualize. They lose parents at a young age and bounce from foster home to foster home, never finding stable homes, friendships, education, food or health. The problem has been ongoing for decades, but in 2016 Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) of Southern California decided to step in and launch its first-ever social impact initiative to raise awareness, educate audiences and increase the rate of fostering and adoption through local, statewide and nation-wide programming; the kind of programming that shares parent’s and children’s stories, tugs at your heart strings, and make you rethink what foster care means.  My challenge: Helping change the life outcomes of Southern California’s foster youth, and increase fostering and adoption rates through interactive, compelling storytelling. 

Digital media strategy 
Digital media management
Copywriting
Public Relations
Social media design & management
Multimedia production
Web design & publishing
Video strategy & production
Project management
Content coordination
Media relations/pitching

–––––––––– PROFLOWERS –––––––––– Reinvigorating the flower industry. Turning ProFlowers into an everyday reason to give, no matter the season, person, occasion, or location.

Proflowers

Flowers can be used to convey many different messages; “I’m sorry”, “I love you”, Get well soon”, “Will you marry me”; the number of situations where sending flowers are appropriate almost seems endless. There is just something about receiving a bouquet of flowers that makes people feel special, so sending them is almost always an excellent idea. Saying “happy birthday” with flowers can make that one day out of 365 days the best so far. Saying “sorry” with flowers when you’ve made a mistake can show genuine empathy. Meeting your girlfriend’s mother for the first time with flowers can warm her mother’s heart like no other gift. Cheering up a friend with flowers with when they are feeling down is a long-lasting token of friendship. So why don’t more people give flowers today? In a saturated product and gift market, flowers are often forgotten or limited due to their shelf-life. But that’s no reason to shove them aside and get a less genuine gift. My challenge: Reinvigorating the consumer flower industry. Turning ProFlowers into an everyday reason to give no matter the season, occasion, person or location. 

Social media design 
Copywriting and management 
Influencer management
Brand strategy

––– HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® ––– Turning the well-respected, old-school, on-shelf health brand into a more millennial-loving, digitally connected, everyday conversation starter for consumers everywhere.

Healthy essentials®

Taking care of your, and your family’s health is crucial to living longer, being happier, being more financially savvy, and so much more. Yet in today’s oversaturated health & wellness market, how do you find a credible and reliable source you love and would recommend to your own friends and family? Re-introducing Johnson & Johnson Family of Brands. Yep, it’s the same ol’ health brand that’s been around for generations, has helped and healed millions, and become synonymous with family and trust, but it’s not so “old-school” anymore. Johnson & Johnson Family of Brands has gone digital, social and community-wide across the U.S. and internationally. Now you can find all its brands – BandAid®, Splenda®, Rogaine®, Listerine®, CareToRecyle®, Tylenol®, you name it – online, thriving, socially connected and driving more and more everyday conversations than ever before. Now consumers are reducing last-minute trips to the drugstore. Instead, consumers are getting all the tips, tools, advice and health & wellness solutions they need from a vast online community of like-minded consumers and health experts from around the world. My challenge: Keep driving the well-respected, generationally-loved health brand into a more millennial-loving, digitally connected, everyday conversation for consumers everywhere.

Project management
Social media management
Digital web management
Content strategy 
Influencer management 
Campaign coordination

–– MEN & WOMEN’S ROGAINE® – Debunking the truth behind hair loss, and educating people everywhere on how to manage, prevent, and regrow hair loss.

Men & Women's ROGAINE®

Eek! Why is your hair falling out?! Hold on, don’t panic. Hair shedding is a part of every day life. Yes, it clogs up your shower drain. And yes, it means you have to vacuum every other day or your carpet turns into a hairy rug… But the fact is, hair loss is totally normal. Now it is true that men are more likely to lose their hair than women, mostly due to male pattern baldness (more on that later), but thinning hair and hair loss for men and women is common. The reasons can range from the simple and temporary—a vitamin deficiency—to the more complex, like an underlying health condition. So stop worrying and start planning. There are many cost-effective, proven, and confidence-boosting ways to treat both male and female hair loss. It just all depends on the cause. My challenge: Debunking the truth behind hair loss, and educating both men and woman on how to manage, prevent, and regrow hair loss through a little hair magic called ROGAINE. (and what do ya know?! they make it for men AND women!)

Social media design & management
Copywriting
Web design & development
Content strategy 

––––––––– NEOSPORIN® ––––––––– Turning a reactive, only-when-you-need-it booboo cream into a proactive, everyday health & wellness conversation starter among all ages.

Neosporin®

Yep, ouchies and boo-boos (no matter how old you are) are no fun and can be really painful depending on the injury. From recess rambunctiousness to after-school activities and weekend jaunts with the family, kids are naturally adventurous, which means inevitable scrapes and small cuts any time year. And what about adults!? They too can also be adventurous and prone to cuts and scrapes, no matter how careful or risk-adverse they are. Working out, moving furniture–even working in restaurants––ouchies happen. That’s why, it’s smart to keep adhesive bandages stocked and ready for when that inevitable time comes. My challenge: Turning a reactive, only-when-you-need-it booboo cream into a proactive, everyday health & wellness conversation starter among all ages.  

Content strategy 
Copywriting
Social media design 

–––––– CARE TO RECYCLE® –––––– Changing the way people view recycling, what it means for the future of our planet, and inspiring people of all ages to clean up their environment every single day.

Care to Recycle®

Changing the way people view recycling, what it means for the future of our planet, and inspiring people of all ages to clean up their environment every single day.

Project management 
Copywriting
Content strategy
Social media design 

Facebook
Facebook
Facebook
Facebook
Facebook
Facebook
Facebook
Facebook

––––––––– SPLENDA® ––––––––– Changing the way people eat healthy, even with a little sugar in their lives.

Splenda®

Changing the way people eat healthy, even with a little sugar in their lives. In 1 year, and with a little creativity and magic, helped catapult the Splenda® brand to the best-selling (healthy!) sweetener on earth (and, of course, in Splendaville).

Project management 
Social media design 
Copywriting
User experience design 
Content strategy

––––––––––––––– EBAY ––––––––––––– Giving eBay’s online marketplace a hipper, cooler reputation among millennials across today’s digital landscape.

EBAY

Today, consumers can shop online for vintage collectibles, toys, gifts, appliances, groceries, toiletries–you name it– because it’s easy, quick, convenient, inclusive, interactive, fun and cost-effective. But it hasn’t always been this way. 25 years ago when online shopping was first introduced, eBay revolutionized the shopping experience for avid collectors, focusing on selling vintage collectibles to whomever paid the highest price. Simply put, eBay was an auction site with many small vendors who sold hard-to-find items to a mass audience that they had never before been able to reach. Back then, avid collectors would go online to acquire a rare collectible that was impossible to find locally. They’d dial up the Internet, type in ebay.com, wait for the page to load, search for what they wanted, and spend the next day or two obsessively watching an auction. But eBay has come far since those days. Today, eBay is a vast online marketplace for buyers, sellers, socially connected audiences, humanitarian efforts, international influencers, authors, educators, public speakers, eBay Radio, and more. My challenge: Giving eBay’s  old-school, vintage-selling online marketplace a hipper, cooler reputation among today’s ever-changing digital landscape.

Digital media management
Social media design 
Influencer management 
Content strategy
Project management

eBayElectronicsBlog
eBayElectronicsBlog
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eBayElectronicsBlog
eBayElectronicsBlog
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eBayElectronicsBlog
eBay Garage | YouTube
eBay Garage | YouTube
YouTube
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instagram
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instagram
Twitter
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facebook
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Google+
Google+
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Google+
facebook
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Google+
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––––– HAMILTON BEACH® ––––– Changing the way consumers shop for appliances for their home, office, health, and lifestyle.

Hamilton Beach®

Yes, it’s meditative to slice and dice with a super-sharp knife. But do you know what can be even more satisfying? The high of blitzing through heads of garlic, mounds of rosemary, or a loaf of fresh bread for that warm quiche you’re about to make. Such is the power of a food processor from Hamilton Beach. And sure, it’s super convenient to pop in a dark roast coffee pod in a do-it-for-you coffeemaker. But do you know what can be even more satisfying? The heavenly aroma of ground fresh whole coffee beans dripping to your cup’s content. Such is the power of a single-brew coffeemaker from Hamilton Beach. So where can you get these out-of-this-world processors, grinders, coffeemakers, and more? A brick-and-mortar retail shop, or a fast, convenient online retailer like Amazon.com. On top of that, Amazon lets you shop for everything you need all at once, in one place and with a few clicks (instead of trekking across stores and aisles.) Why just buy a grinder, when you can also snag a coffeemaker, blender, toaster (yep, this one toasts up to 6 pieces at a time) and other appliances to simplify your life? My challenge: Changing the way consumers shop online for kitchen appliances with Hamilton Beach’s dedicated online store on Amazon.com. 

Copywriting
User experience/interface
Content strategy
Brand promotions
Product Development
Print packaging 

–––––––– PENN MEDICINE –––––––– Changing the way patients view Penn Medicine to be more patient-centered and cost-effective, to ultimately increase referrals, sign-ups, appointments, and more.

Penn Medicine

Technology has been leaving its fingerprints on every field, and no sector has been affected more than the U.S. healthcare industry. More digitally wired, consumer oriented, mobile friendly, and innovative than ever before, the U.S. healthcare industry is changing rapidly and catering more and more to a consumer-driven, millennial market. And what does today’s average consumer  look for in health services? Wearable tracking devices. Patient-centered care. Online support communities. State of the art equipment. Free information. Solid reviews and word of mouth.  Not to mention there’s also an overwhelming amount of health providers existing today–like Kaiser, WebMD, Cedar Sinai, Penn Medicine – who want to be present in our daily lives. because good health should be an everyday conversation starter. My challenge: Changing the way patients and audiences view academic medical centers, like Penn Medicine, to be more convenient, patient-centered and cost-effective. Turning offline, private conversations into online, welcoming conversations on the PennMedicine.org platform to increase referrals, sign-ups, appointments, service bookings, etc. 

Project managementPr
Web strategy and design
Copywriting
Social media management
User experience
Public Relations

PennMedicine.org
PennMedicine.org
PennMedicine.org
PennMedicine.org
PennMedicine.org
PennMedicine.org
PennMedicine.org
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PennMedicine.org
PennMedicine.org
PennMedicine.org

–––––– KEPPLER SPEAKERS –––––– Changing people’s daily lives, actions, decisions, purchases and consumption through the power of the spoken word.

Keppler Speakers

It’s true. Something as simple as a few words can literally change your life. Hearing a young man share his past suicidal life and how he finally got help, can change your outlook on mental health. Hearing a food critic explain the truth behind fad diets, can make you rethink your own diet. Hearing an environmentalist break down sustainable farming, can make you rethink the food you eat, where it comes from and what it means for the future of our planet. Hearing a revered radio broadcaster share her insights on race and how we talk about it as a nation, can change your view on fair broadcasting. Hearing a journalist share her harrowing experiences of working in the field, can motivate you to push for positive social change. Hearing a forgery and embezzlement expert discuss the art of the steal and how he once lived as a notorious fraudster in the 1960s, can change your outlook on fraud. Hearing a best-selling author reveal what it’s like living a writer’s life, can change your outlook on making a living doing what you love. My challenge: Changing people’s lives, actions, decisions, purchases and daily consumption through the power of the spoken word.

Content strategy
Marketing communications
Social media design
Web design & management
Media asset management

––––––– HEALTHLINE.COM ––––––– Educating and informing consumers everywhere on the latest health tips and tools through the lens of reputable health marketplace, Healthline.com.

Healthline.com

Progressive wellness providers, like Healthline.com, are paving the way in online health & wellness education, sharing knowledge from medical experts with mainstream consumers who are hungry for health guidance and direction. Yet, with all the competitive digital healthcare websites existing today, audiences are experiencing what we call information and choice overload. My mission: Educating and informing health consumers everywhere on the latest news, info, tips and tools on various health topics through the lens of a reputable online marketplace like Healthline.com.

Copywriting
Subject Line Testing
Brand Strategy

The Health Benefits of Psyllium
Vitamins for Energy: Does B-12 Work?
The Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency

––– RESTORATION HARDWARE ––– Making consumers rethink the real value of living luxury, and promoting Restoration Hardware as a premium, long-lasting and affirming lifestyle choice.

RESTORATION HARDWARE

To say that the luxury consumer landscape is becoming more complex is an understatement. In fact, where there was once one typical luxury consumer, there are now many different types of consumers (millennials, to be exact), and they all want unique things from luxury brands. Restoration Hardware has a design, taste and style to meet a wide grandparents to affluent couples to career-driven millennials to well-groomed families. And there’s also a psychology to why people buy luxury goods. The physical appeal of luxury goods is undeniable – the leather is softer, the shoes are more comfortable. A luxury good can go a long way in increasing self-esteem or providing a sense of belonging. The sentimentality of the item – the memory or pride or feeling that comes from having purchased a genuine luxury good – is part of the reason that we seek authenticity. Simply put, treating yourself to fake something is like not having treated yourself at all. My challenge: Making consumers rethink the real value of living luxury, and promoting Restoration Hardware as a premium, long-lasting and affirming lifestyle choice.

Public relations
Brand strategy
Media relations & pitching
Copywriting

–––––– SourceAmerica® –––––– Changing the way employers view the work performance of people with disabilities, and increasing the hiring rates of people with disabilities nationwide.

SourceAmerica®

Changing the way employers view the work performance of people with disabilities, and increasing the hiring rates of people with disabilities nationwide.

Speechwriting
Copywriting 
Media relations & pitching
Event Coordination
Marketing Communications

– RICHMOND GRID MAGAZINE – Featuring Richmond, VA at its best, from startup owners to creators to civic leaders, and all the the talented people and small businesses along the way.

RICHMOND GRID MAGAZINE

Sharing stories about everyday people who are inspired by a purpose beyond themselves, is the best thing we can do to show the heart and soul of a city. Like Richmond, VA. Located 90 miles due south of Washington, D.C., the small town feeling but industry power house of a city has more to its name than just Virginia Commonwealth University, the Richmond Squirrels, and Phillip Morris. Inside the rustic, 100-year-old brick warehouses are bustling craft breweries offering the latest hoppy brew in the region. Down on the riverfront past the highway lies the James River, a busy river teeming with paddle-boarders, rafters, swimmers, campers and after-work crowds. My challenge: Featuring Richmond, VA at its best — from startup owners to creators to civic leaders – and all the the talented people, small businesses, and community organizations along the way.

Media outreach
Project management 
Content strategy
Article development 
Copywriting

–ADAMS MORGAN MAIN STREET– Changing the way people view the vibrant, bustling, ethnically diverse Washington, DC neighborhood.

Adams Morgan Main Street Group

Changing the way people view the vibrant, bustling, ethnically diverse Washington, DC neighborhood. After 9 months of planning, festival was well-received garnering a crowd of 40,000, 75 nationalities and 10 media impressions, including the Washington Post.

Social media outreach 
Project management
Media pitching & outreach
Copywriting
Event coordination
Local business development

#753: Camp In Santa Barbara

My photographer and journalist friend Diana and I decided to go camping around Santa Barbara this past weekend. (Diana was really the savvy camper and enthusiast there, I was mainly going to get out of the city, unplug from work and cheer her on her practice 18-miler runs as she trained for her upcoming marathon.) Little did we know, the campground we picked from Trip Advisor’s recommended list was nestled in a valley between two tall mountains meaning we were setting up camp in a wind tunnel.

Well, we got a wind tunnel, plus some. The 25-30 mile-an-hour winds (at least) ravaged the sides of our single man tents all night long, like tree branches slapping a window pane. I think I slept a total of 2 hours, both nights, and it showed; if the bags under my puffy eyes weren’t telling enough, the gulping of my french roast sure ratted me out.

But despite our terrrrrible sleeping experience, we made up for it with adventures around Santa Barbara.

  • The Santa Barbara Mission.
  • Breakfast on Diana’s portable grill (of course, she brought one).
  • A tour of the 4-star Baccarat Hotel and cat nap at the pool (if anyone asks, we were in Rm 450)
  • A driving and walking tour of Downtown Santa Barbara where there was no shortage of urban wineries, Mexican cantinas, college students, terracotta-roofed skylines and moseying surfers.
  • A brief hike to the top of Santa Barbara highlands.

#752: Play Host in San Diego

After Jackie and Will’s pomegranate, farm-inspired wedding came to a bittersweet end, old roommate Caleb and his friend Rachel told me they had one day left to soak in the Southern California sunshine before their flight. With 24 hours at our disposal in my former city, I played host.

#751: Wedding on a Pomegranate Farm

It’s been one month since Jackie said “I Do” but it feels like yesterday when I took that first step inside the big tree, walked down the isle and took my place alongside the bridal party. One of my best friends, Jackie, was getting married and I was lucky enough to be one of her bridesmaids. Her venue? One of the coolest places I could ever imagine. She picked a pomegranate farm in a tiny town outside of Temecula, California as her and Will’s spot to say “I Do.

I can’t say enough about this amazing woman, life-long friend, former college roommate and fellow road-tripping groupie, Jackie. Or her amazingly sweet, kind, funny husband Will.  I’ve known them both for over 10 years, since Richmond VCU days.

The weekend was a confluence of food truck delights, pomegranate-infused drinks, old college memories, drunken dance parties, matching bridesmaid tattoos (fake, let me assure you) and bittersweet goodbyes to friends I hadn’t seen in 10 years and probably wouldn’t see for another 10. Overall, despite the lack of cell phone reception, the gravel ground that permanently tinged my peach bridesmaid dress, and the chilly weather, I had a blast. I crashed in the same bed with my old best friend, Caleb, stayed up dancing all night, even squeezed in a bachelorette-style girl’s day at Glen Ivy Spa to celebrate the bride-to-be.

Can’t wait for my own wedding. Wonder if I should go for a pineapple plantation or apple orchard…

#750: Stand on Top of Torrey Pines.

Do you know where one of the best spots is to watch a San Diego sunset? It’s a tough call (there are so many in this city), but I do. It’s atop Broken Hill at Torrey Pines State Reserve. Torrey Pines has three great things (plus more, I’m sure): the rarest pine tree in the nation, amazing sculpted sand cliffs, and literally a “key-hole” in the sandstone rock. Interestingly enough, these sedimentary rocks used to be the ocean seafloor millions of years ago. Now they’re high on a hill overlooking the same ocean.

#748: Surf The Original Dog Beach.

I surfed, I dogged, I conquered. The tide was low and my Surfline app was translating that to good surf weather. So I gathered my brick of a Costco 8″ board and trekked to the famous, original Dog Beach. Where surfers surf, dogs can be dogs and man can play with their best friends. Turns out, I made friends with dogs and shoals.

#746: Party on a Denver Rooftop.

When your little brother turns 27 and you realize your 30-year-old self isn’t getting any younger, drastic, fun measures need to be taken. So we decided to throw Kevin an epic 27th birthday on a Denver rooftop. Luckily, we knew a guy with a sweet view to the Denver skyline (hi, Sal!). Let the fun and corn hole shenanigans begin. Pro-tip: if you need spirits to liven up any party in Denver, Argonaut has everything you can possibly imagine.

kevin on the rooftop

#745: Pass A Bottle to Mr. Jones.

Laguna Beach wasn’t all beaches, billionaires and babes. Somewhere in the back of a tiny, hole-in-the-wall dive bar called The Marine Room, I found a funky, blue grass band and a man who defied the Southern California norm and rocked the house. And when I say rocked, I mean the pulsating, still-ringing-in-my-head kind of rock. With a unique guitar twang, a token tambourine man and a Johnny Cash, freight train-like sound. Awe-struck and smitten, I randomly and spontaneously slid a beer bottle across the wooden table to Mr. Jones. Secretly hoping he would say thanks but knowing he’d probably only grab it and go, he did neither, actually. Instead, much to my dismay, Mr. Brad Jones turned around smiling and said hello back. I might have died and gone to heaven.

#744: Eat A SlapFish.

I’m always on par for challenging my inner taco snob. And today I came face to face with my match, the Slapfish Taco. These magnificently stacked noshes hail from a tiny location in downtown Laguna Beach, and if you blink you might miss them. BUT you certainly CAN’T miss that intoxicating smell of grilled mahi mahi or those seasoned chowder fries walking down the street. Though the menu was simple, it took me forever to order. Finally I decided on the Ultimate Fish Taco. With grilled mahi mahi, corn tortilla, cabbage, avocado mash and pickled onion, there was only one word to describe: yummy.

slapfish taco slapfish taco outside

#743: Taco Me Tuesday, San Diego.

Think I found my new mission in life: Try every single taco joint on the West Coast and decide, once and for all, which taco looks, smells and ultimately TASTES the best. Well today, that mission was accomplished: Pacific Beach Fish Shop –– a small unassuming dive on Garnet Street, decorated with string lights, tall barista tables and cardboard-style plates –– satisfied every spicy, Mexican Mamacita bone in my body. I mean, just look at this deliciousness. #notsharing

fish taco ceviche

PB fish shop logo

#742: Take Every Foodie Liberty Here.

San Diego has been waiting for the Liberty Public Market to pop up for a while now, but this lucky duck (*slowly raises hand*) moved here just in time for its grand opening. So today I came, I saw and I, well, half conquered what my belly could hold. And let me tell ya, this market is a foodie connoisseur’s dream. A confluence of Philly’s Redding Terminal Market inside LA’s Grand Central Market inside San Francisco’s Ferry Building inside San Jose’s San Pedro Square. Like a Navy barracks-turned public market where flying colors meets tasteful flavor meets barn yard style meets world-class, San Francisco-like culture. Now, if only I could pick this place up and bring it with me where ever I retire.

(amazing photos all by @liberypublicmarket…these are too good not to share!)

Cookies montsers cupcakes at LPM color me yello

#741: Join An SD Writer’s Group.

Attending a meetup, networking event or writer’s group always guarantees you meeting a mixed bag of people. Today’s random meetup with the Ocean Beach SD Writer’s Group was all that… and more. 10 minutes after ordering my Dirty Cuban (think Dirty Chai with less milk, more espresso.), I was surrounded by a hodge-podge of writers from all walks of life:
An ex-stripper-turned blogger.
A token hippie.
An ex-military officer-turned fictional mystery writer.
A retired author-turned Amazon best-seller.
And a fellow doggie-clutched copywriter also life searching.
One hour and a cold coffee later, I learned the ultimate can’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover lesson:

Everyone has an interesting story to tell, but not everyone is a good storyteller. 

#740: Vote In A California Election.

DO I WANT TO VOTE?! UMMMM… let’s just say, Frank –– my ardent, democratic roommate –– and I were soooo excited to vote in this year’s primary election and show our disdain for one nominated party in particular, that we named our apartment internet Wi-Fi name accordingly. You can imagine who we both voted for.

“Trump Your Own Horn.”

yes i want to vote

#739: Rum Smuggler’s Cove.

Jack Sparrow might be stopping by later. Because here, the rum is NEVER GONE. My San Francisco bestie, Eddie, told me about this exotic rum joint with the most rum in the world, Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco. I didn’t believe him, at first. As if the front door wasn’t inviting enough (think single red light on a single outside door on a tiny side street), the dark and gloomy dungeon like entrance made me even more skeptical. BUT after walking in and ordering a rum cocktail of sorts, my mind was blown. The Goonies… no One-Eyed-Willie… no Jack Sparrow would have been proud.

eddie and lauren

#737: Catch A Show At The Indie.

It really is true. Great bands become great by starting off in small venues. Walking down the narrow hall of The Independent (a venue I never knew existed until about 10 minutes ago), I was immediately star-struck by all the glossy, framed photos. Green Day, Beck, Springsteen, Billy Joel, Lenny Kravitz all played here once upon a time. Wow. I wonder what band I’ll see next who will really be somebody in 10 years. Two hours, two lagunitas and three new spotify playlist tunes later, what I found was: a confluence of neon on neon on more neon with mix of psychedelic colors, beats, hairstyles and drinks all merging together in one indie experience.

on a usual show night

(Inspiring photos by: @TheIndependentSF and @ShowBams)

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#735: Yappy Hour At Internos.

Ya know those friends you don’t see for a while, but it’s like yesterday when you catch up? Keren and I picked up like it was just yesterday when we were sitting on the sand with margaritas in Cabo San Lucas. The topics of conversation ranged from boyfriend woes to freelancing gigs to doggie troubles. Three hours, one quattro formaggi pizza and a bottle of delish robust wine later, it turns out, there was one thing we both were missing in our lives: dogs. Hers had just passed away, and I was only dog-sitting for one week. Nonetheless, dogs add a quality of happiness to your life you just can’t describe.

#734: Meet a Famous Designer.

She was just as divine as I imagined. And her vine-covered, cottage-esque chateau was too. Tucked away in the California countryside, it was like something out of Southern Living magazine or Travel Channel or Dream Listings. My dream house. And my new boss’s house. Who knew a little leap of faith on an unexpected freelance gig would lead me to working with a famous designer in her own home studio? Am I dreaming? Don’t wake me up yet if I am. This is too good to be true.

#733: Hi-Rise View of Petco Park.

Aunt Mollie and Uncle Ray were in town last week visiting their old stomping grounds where they had lived for 4 years, my surfer and boat-bound cousin, and my new San Diego home. Funny, even after 4 years of them being gone, they were still well connected. So connected, they scored a 2-week stay at a penthouse overlooking San Diego’s ball park, Petco Park. Yep. That close. Any closer, and they could have caught a fly ball. Jealous? Maybe…

#732: Crave Dunkin’ Donuts In SoCal.

Aunt Mollie will always be the funny, happy-go-lucky, wicked awesome aunt from Boston I remember.

“Hello sweetie. So I tried that coffee place across the street but wasn’t impressed. Was wicked expensive. Get that California craft shit outta here. Where’s the Dunkin’ Donuts? Let’s go find one.”

#731: Explore Cabrillo Nat. Monument.

When I say we explored San Diego’s Cabrillo National Monument, I don’t mean for fun. My outdoorsy and adventurous roommate Frank went exploring here yesterday yet lost his keys somewhere on the rocky beach. 3 long miles of rocky shoreline, that is. Clutching flashlights and liquid courage, we came back here this morning bright and early to hopefully find said keys. Fingers crossed they’re not fish food. Yet. Hello Lost & Found!

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#730: Visit A Bookstore, Built of Books.

Officially named “The Last Bookstore” this quaint Downtown LA bookstore might as well be THE LAST bookstore with the inside walls built entirely out of books. Yep, 22,000 sq. ft. of books With the demise of most bookstores around the country except for Barnes & Noble, you’d wonder how this place was still in business. But it’s still very much alive, and kicking and defying all odds.

counter of books

walkway of books

#729: Drive Up CA’s Coastal Route.

It’s America’s most popular roadtrip for a reason. Many a honeymoon has been spent, a novel born and a virgin road trip consummated (*raises hands in excitement*) along the Pacific Coast Highway’s breathtaking, winding coastal route. Travel Channel says it’s ideal to drive the Pacific Coast Highway from North to South. But like the unconventional traveler I am, I did it from South to North. Survey says? Mind-blowing scenery, quirky stop-offs and that wind-in-your-hair serendipity of wondering what the next bend in the road will bring.

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