My Life In Coffeeshops

_DSC1954With the proliferation of popularity amongst social media, the respite of coffee shops and their appeal to customers far and wide is something I can always support.
The relationship I have with coffee shops has been transformative over the years; from stealing wi-fi at Starbucks on a regular basis to engaging with the elderly at my neighborhood Pannikin to now embracing the craft coffee culture and it’s widespread viral presence in today’s public domain, these spaces have always remained a place of this idea of “home-base” for me.
I was introduced to this idea of a home-base in my 6th grade English class. My English teacher at the time had giant letters scripted upon the white board of the classroom that just read “HOME BASE.” She then explained that her classroom, this space we share, is a safe place of ideas and conversation. In this space we do not degrade one another because our opinions are different, we seek to find similarities between ideas and talk about their common space. From that moment on, this arbitrary but philosophical idea of a “home-base” was something I was always seeking.
I found that feeling of a “home-base” in one of two places: a studio environment and a coffee shop.
My life in coffee shops thus far has always been one of connection, collaboration, and creation. I’ve spent my formative educational years spending my weekends in coffee shops, studiously plugged in and tuned out or gathering together amongst my cohort delving deep into the politics and study of design.
Nowadays, post-grad life, I spend my life in coffee shops unplugged and tuned in to the people that inhabit this space. I’ve read a lot of design articles from various parts of the interwebs about the rapid spread of coffee houses and their picturesque atmosphere and how much design thought goes both into the physical space and the business model when it comes to the creation of these environments. I’ve siphoned through the literature but at the end of the day the cathartics  I get when I step into a coffee shop (third wave, obviously) is second place to how I feel when I’m dancing.
I was first really initially introduced to this craft coffee culture around four years ago when I would spend my days in East County San Diego at this coffeehouse called Kaffee Meister. I grew fond of the space because it was quiet and the open window interface that was adjacent to the neighboring park always eased my mind in the greatest of fashion.
Fast forward two more years in 2014 and my caffeine journey became elevated when I decided to spend a couple weeks in Auckland to become reacquainted with who I really am (but that’s another story). I spent a majority of my alone time as one would predict, in coffee shops. The space I frequented was Atomic Coffee Roasters and I would just spend hours, watching people interact and having incredibly personal and intimate conversations with the baristas that worked there. I’ve met some great people in the walls of this establishment and although it will be ages until I meet with them over a cup of coffee, their impressions are clear and distinct in my mind. I’ve also fallen deeply in love with flat whites and pour overs in the land of the Kiwis.
Accelerate that timeline of 2014 two more years again and in 2016 I’ve re-fallen back in love with coffee shops. Although my hometown scene surrounding coffee is still in its progressing stages, the dynamic landscape of all these coffee shops with a unifying but diverse mission to offer a great cup of caffeine and perhaps conversation is something I only hope aims towards longevity. In trying times where all we ever do is live vicariously through our phones, it’s nice to have some real face time, in person, with a hot steaming cup of black fuel to reawaken your senses.
I actually had a more concise outline for this blog post, but I decided to throw that wayward and just go with my gut in the composition of it. I hope you all don’t mind the random stream of consciousness, I guess you can pen me down as a regular Holden Caulfield.
Indelible Gratitude,

Refractory Relations

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

I’ve been reading up on the dynamics of relationships recently (of all kinds, both romantic and platonic) and although I don’t believe in most “hocus pocus” of sorts, I have a strong sense of analytical prose when it comes to reading other peoples’ body language. Through my experience as a dancer (currently in dormancy because this adult life is really kicking my ass right about now) I’ve learned how peoples’ body shapes coincide with how people feel, think, act. etc. How facial expressions and eye movements could possibly be the most earnest of demarcations when it comes to formations of opinion. Sometimes though, people come at you left field and take you completely by surprise.
But anyways, as I was thinking, I’ve come to know a certain individual over the course of a couple weeks and I’m still perplexed by this person. Let’s call them, Person A.
Person A communicates with me through direct, intense eye contact. The sort that is extremely rare and extremely soul revealing. For me, the constant contact with Person A was incredibly nostalgic, almost addictive. Knowing myself, once I’m into something, I’m basically “balls deep.” Just intense curiosity mode.
We got to know each other on a Sunday night and it was really the first interaction that wasn’t loosely based around the confines of where we work, and everything just felt…right. Our conversations were dynamic and deep and covered a plethora of topics that I never really took a moment to speculate before, and there was just something refreshing about it.
You know that moment when you leave a conversation with your mind reeling and your heart full? It felt like that. It. Just. Felt. Nice. I told Person A a lot of things that I never tell people when I interact with them for the first time. It felt good to be vulnerable and to trust someone with information that is near and dear to my heart. It felt extremely cathartic and so memorable that I was basically smitten with the moment (not the person, just the moment) and when we live in this high-paced life of technology it’s nice to be able to just look into someone’s eyes knowing they’re not anticipating an upcoming tweet, notification, snapchat, etc. It was experiencing someone in an old school way and I loved it.
Then come Monday and things began to change our dynamic. Person A was communicating in via side conversations. Eye contact was minimal at most, and conversation went from a “balls deep” perspective to really trivial subjects.
I’m not saying that this completely blind sighted me, I’m getting acclimated to the idea that people need to recharge (I definitely do) but I’ve been really independent for a long time that a deep face to face conversation was such a good refresher from the everyday norm of discussing the weather forecast.
I think I just needed a dose of real conversation to regain my humanity, because nowadays I just feel quite robotic and pragmatic. Sometimes a tin man needs less oil and more heart, to say the least.
This post wasn’t any sort of cohesive at all, but my brain has been rattling at this situation for quite some time and I just needed to release it from my conscious once and for all.
Hopefully this friendship-relationship (because friendships are relationships) will work itself out soon. I just need to develop a social circle outside of work that I don’t have to drive 2+ hours for.
Until then, wish me luck on developing adult relationships!
Indelible Gratitude

Falling Back Into The Urban Fabric


A night last week was a turn of events that lifted my spirits in the most connective way possible. My previous post about “Intimacy” and sharing a human experience left me feeling despondent with a craving to discuss bigness, not business. I missed observing all the walks of life that inhabit the fabric of the urban environment. Lately though, I got my “dose” just as unexpectedly.
My cousin invited me to a multi-medium art show in the heart of a bustling downtown and I almost hesitated because I didn’t want to go alone. Had I made the decision with my fear I would have missed out on a soul-soothing experience.
The event was called “FUTURES” and it was sponsored by the organization This showcase featured artists of all different mediums. From makeup and fashion to music and dancing this event had it all. It took residency in the House of Blues performance venue for a night and it was something to experience as with anything that is ephemeral in nature.
I was uncomfortable at first, because I came alone and didn’t know anybody except for my cousin whom was busy selling her handmade jewelry, but after a beer I became more conversational (huzzah for a little bit of carbonated liquid courage eh?) and I met some creative souls over conversation I won’t forget.
I had conversations about things I missed talking about when I was in college. Amongst these conversations were topics of the following:
  • The importance of narrative driven design
  • Instagram and the consciousness of light, shadow, tone, and texture of a photo
  • How to write socio-political rhymes for a modern “twerk & bae” audience
  • The materialization of an idea and the logical process of starting
I sound so elitist with my art & design jargon, but I just miss talking BIG ideas; things regarding the creative process whatever the medium may be. I still have hopes to search for conversations like the ones I had that memorable night. Or maybe my INFP personality is just overly-romanticizing things.
Whatevs, I’m slowly sipping away at my flat white and enjoying this pitter patter of the rain that is currently storming through the Southern California skies. Here’s to a Lazy Sunday of mental preparation for this beast we call Mondays.
So, this is to you, my reader/subscriber to my thoughts.
I hope you find yourself in good conversation over this next week. We all need it.
Indelible Gratitude,


All I ever wanted in life was to reach out and touch someone. Not with my hands, but with my heart.”

– Tahereh Mafi

Over the weekend was a real in-depth soul searching queue of events for me. I couldn’t explain what brought on this inundation of speculation but my mind, as it naturally does, began to wander. As I sat there in silence with my thoughts  and the anxiety of worry began to chip away at my mood. I began to question what it is I ought to do in life.

What is the best situation for my personality? Am I really in a place of personal achievement right now? What makes me happy?

And there…that question resonated over and over again. What makes me happy? I looked over at this postcard that a dear friend of mine from college sent to me and I realized that’s what makes me happy. Intimacy.

Not in any sexual innuendo kind of way, but the emotional kind of. Having heart to heart conversations over coffee. Eating brunch for hours on end talking about anything and everything. Knowing that someone accepts you for all your bizarre idiosyncrasies; that’s intimacy. I’ve been in a really defeated kind of mood lately and that’s when I realized that I lacked intimacy and connection on a regular basis.

Hopefully in the near future more caffeinated conversations come my way.

How would you define your intimacy?

Indelible Gratitude,

– Kat

Winter Skincare


Last year brought about a lot of changes in my life and a current obsession I have (besides re-watching all the seasons of Friends) is simplifying my skincare routine.
I was first acquainted with really taking care of my skin around nineteen years old. I bought my first Clinique 3-Step Skincare kit for my overactive, acne-prone skin and fell in love with the therapeutic process of taking care of my skin. Count down six years later and I’m still obsessed with process as ever!
As the seasons change dynamically (as much as it does here in Southern California) so must my skincare. My usual skincare archetype is oily-combination, but with these drier colder months my skin has needed a lot more moisture as most of us do.
I went to the Aesop store in Abbot Kinney and met with a sensational sales clerk/skincare guru named Luchia and she took care of me and my skincare needs so thoughtfully.
I came out of the store with: Amazing Face Cleanser, Bitter Orange Astringent, and the Oil Free Hydrating Serum. Let me tell you, I am completely smitten with this skincare range. Although its pricey, it’s well worth it. The herbal, non-perfumey smell and the additional no-added dyes does work wonders on my sensitive skin. As the months got colder, I layered the Josie Maran Argan Oil to really give my skin the extra moisture it needed.
For extra deep cleansing I add in rotation my Clarisonic Skincare brush that’s been with me for a couple years and is essential in the makeup removal process. In addition, I’ve recently discovered cleansing balms for the first step of makeup removal. It’s a step to get acclimated to, but the process is very soothing to me (call me crazy, but it feels like I’m having a facial every day!).
On days where I feel like I need to get the extra gunk out, I highly recommend The Face Shop White Clay Dry Mask. It’s the kind that dries and you peel off like a Biore pore strip. It’ extremely satisfying, let me tell ya…
The newest addition to the lineup is the Aesop Primrose Kaolin Clay Mask and it gives off a  warming sensation as it dries (which lets me know its working its magic) and washes off with warm water and a washcloth.
I wish I took before pictures, but here’s the current status of my skin in visual format.



*Sidenote: These photos aren’t photoshopped, I took them in good light during the morning, and all I have on is moisturizer. Just added my blog watermark at the left corner 🙂

Anyways, what things to you put on your face to make you feel 100%? Leave them in the comments or tweet them to me!

Indelible Gratitude,