Johnson's | "The First Year"

7 New moms; a collection of funny, unique and heartfelt stories.

Fida and fussy Logan (2)

Fida and fussy Logan (2)

Johnson's "The First Year" is a 4-piece episodic series about pregnancy and the first year of motherhood, childhood and development.

Namita reading a letter to her two daughters about their first year of life

Namita reading a letter to her two daughters about their first year of life

Each mom is unique in her own way, but they all, of course, share one thing in common; An undeniable, unwavering, and unconditional love for their children.

"I love you."

"I love you."

This project is schedule to be posted by Johnson's via social media later this year.

Austin's First Fête

Though I've yet to visit Trinidad and Tobago, LargeUp's Sounds from the Caribbean event at SXSW furthered my incentive to make the trip. This party proved to be a highly-accurate representation of the party culture and vibes that pair themselves with the world's biggest block party.. And apparently there's an annual Carnival in Hollywood; this year's falls on June 27th. Another little taste.

Photos by yours truly and brooklyn Shanti   |   Read the full article on LargeUp here

The event also made headlines on Rolling Stone's : 50 Best things we Saw at SXSW 2015:

At Friday’s LargeUp “Sounds of the Caribbean” showcase, headliner Machel Montano performed for a full hour, jumping, waving and dancing so hard that even on a 57-degree night, you could see the steam rising off his body.
— Rolling Stone

To be on stage, dancing with the likes of Machel Montano, Kabaka Pyramid, and Mr. Vegas was a dancehall, reggae and soca lover's dream come true.

Some of my favorite snapshots from the show below:

Next Stop: T&T



Morning Fun with Milo

What started out as a lunch meeting with my good friend Anastasia Pellecchia, ended up becoming a photoshoot with her adorable schnauzer, Milo. All photos were taken by Anastasia ("Stasi"), a senior at LCAD and future graduate student at Vermont College of Fine Arts. You go, girl.

Randy Valentine - "Carry On"

I couldn't fall asleep tonight without posting the lyrics and link to listen. From the cadence of its performance, to the quality of its recording, to the power of its lyrics, this song is inspirational in every aspect. Not ashamed to admit that it lifts my heart and brings me to tears whenever it comes on (usually, on the joint). Thank you, Randy. Artists like you deserve every ounce of support you receive.

My father told me

don't let them kick, don't let them trick, don't let them break you down


So, if there's a mountain in may way, it's got to move.


It might get hard, it might get tough

Remember that the likkle that you have is enough

To carry on...

Randy Valentine   |   [website] / [LISTEN] / [facebook]   |   SPOTIFY


SideDoor Update

The adventures at SideDoor are scheduled to continue on March 1st, 2015, starting with Sunday Brunches every week from 11:30am - 2:30pm, and Thursday Nights from 6:30 - 9:30pm. I promise to post playlists periodically, and, as always, feel free to email me with inquires, comments, questions. Much love, Kelsey.

[Email me]

November, already?

As I sit here at 1:05am, restless, on the morning of my first-ever trip to Seattle, I've decided to write this post. I'm not sure if it's the excitement, or all the incredible J.C. Bean's iced coffee I consumed earlier this afternoon, but somehow the sandman missed my door this evening.

Today has been magical. It's been one of those days that's so normal that it, in it's own way, is exciting. I guess the normalcies that come with any "regular" day have a way of shedding light on its nuances; like the freshly-fallen autumn leaves (funny, I don't remember there being seasons in Southern California), or the new scents that attach themselves to chilly weather.

Fall always smells like a campfire, even when there's no log or chimney in sight.

I planned this trip to Seattle to 1.) chase the rain and 2.) visit family (one uncle, one aunt, and three cousins), that recently moved. My cousins are very special to me. I was just telling my mom that it's been "forever" since I'd seen them last. She quickly reminded me that it had only been three months. This may be true, but three months in kid time is three years, really. The amount they grow in this 90-day span is profound. I probably won't even recognize them.

I've heard that the Pacific Northwest (or "PNW," apparently) is quite a beautiful place. Portlandia is reason enough for me to visit.  

Before I go, I leave you with this. A blurry, yet somehow beautiful, photo taken with my phone from the inside of a plastic bag while paddleboarding in a certain harbor two days ago. Ten cents and a sizable piece of pocket lint to anyone who guesses which.

Until next time. Wishing you a wonderful day, filled with nuances.



disclaimer: I was not paid to mention JC Bean's, but I will say this; it is the best coffee in all the land.

SideDoor Sundays (and Thursdays)

Per request by a few of the lovely folks at SideDoor, I will be updating my blog with the dates & times that I dj at the restaurant. SideDoor, the quaint gastropub that surrounds either side of the Five Crowns restaurant, can be found on the southbound side of Pacific Coast Highway, nestled in the charming town of Corona Del Mar. On Thursday nights (7pm-10pm), and Sunday brunches (11:30am-2:30pm), I provide musical entertainment for gents and ladies who enjoy the incredible truffle fries and bottomless mimosas (amongst other goodies) that are served by the ever-so-pleasant staff.

Here's what the month of October has in store:

Great music, to be expected by yours truly every Sunday Brunch and Thursday night.


October 16th: Porktoberfest (even better than Oktoberfest). And entire pig s being roasted and shared amongst patrons. For $79, you can join the fun. And trust me, it will be fun.

October 31st: Halloween Masquerade. 1/2 the restaurant will be a dancing frenzy, the other half will be a frenzy of food. Invite your friends, neighbors, ghosts and ghouls. A magical evening of costumes and splendor awaits you.

See you there!

-The Girl with Two Names

Notes on Summe

For the past six summers, I've worked at the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach. Before that, I was a member for eight years, and I very strongly believe that the Club shaped who I am as a person today. My mentors taught me to be a confident individual and leader and with integrity. Nothing I can think of is more rewarding than being able to return the favor to current BGC kids. Many of the teens I worked with this summer have been attending the Club for as long as I've been a member, so I've had the privilege of watching them grow up and blossom into bright, charismatic and unique young adults. Coming home from work every day, I would reflect on all of the profound, hilarious, and sometimes obscene things they would say. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that most life lessons I've learned are from people much younger than me.