Sundays Are for Coffee Shops

Sundays are either for relaxing or catching up on all the homework you put off until the last minute. Usually going with the latter, I’ve picked up a Sunday routine that has made my pile of work look less daunting – studying at coffee shops. In a perfect world, I’d wake up at the crack of dawn, eat a healthy breakfast, hit the gym and tackle my assignments by the afternoon. But, in reality, I wake up in the afternoon. I’ve come to realize that just because I get a late start (usually a really late start) to my day, doesn’t mean that I have to waste the rest of it! I’ve always loved studying in coffee shops, so I was lucky enough to find the perfect one only a few weeks into my first semester of college. As second semester is slowly getting the best of me, I’ve spent a good chunk of my time at:

Communal Coffee 

2335 University Ave

San Diego, CA 92104

I always like to start my Sundays at Communal Coffee. I’m not a big coffee fanatic, but I love this coffee shop for their music, vibes and extremely nice customer service. They have amazing avocado toast and caprese toast, which becomes even better when you add egg and proscuitto. Their savory croissants with turkey and jalapeno cream cheese are definitely worth the try, too. For you non-coffee drinkers, like me, they have a cool selection of iced teas and pressed juices. If you’ve never tried lavender syrup, I completely recommend adding it to your drink – it’s delicious! Try their toast flight, which has avocado and egg, caprese and lavender honey. 

I also like studying at Communal Coffee because of their layout. The coffee shop has a backroom full of tables, bar-style seating and a bench tabletop by the window. Whenever it gets too busy inside, you can take your drink and homework outside to their outdoor tables. I love how the minimalistic decorations and bright, natural lighting makes the coffee shop look open; it creates a positive, happy atmosphere. Communal Coffee has become my favorite place to study because I always manage to get into work mode right away!

Not only are they a coffee shop, but they’re also an in-store floral boutique. Besides flowers, you can pick up candles, cards and knick-knacks. They also share their outdoor area with North Park Nursery, which sells mini succulents for roughly $3!

Featured Image by Sabrina Kim.

In the Closet of: Ayana Jimenez

Meet Ayana:

24-year-old Ayana Jimenez was born and raised in the Philippines, but she moved to Seattle, WA last summer. I met her at Coachella Weekend 2, and her style was too good not to capture. Two out of three of her outfits were original creations – she’s in the process of creating her own clothing line! Ayana loves to travel, dance and take photos. She was most excited to see Bon Iver at Coachella. Her dream job would be a professional dancer. In ten years, Ayana hopes to be “settled in,” hopefully by the beach.

How would you describe your style?

My style usually goes with how I feel. It could go from bohemian to sexy, girly to preppy, casual to elegant. Mixing and matching color palettes is my favorite thing to play with.

What inspires, or influences, your style?

I get inspired by my surroundings – color palettes of buildings, landmarks, sunsets, trees, deserts, skies, etc. Some [of my styles] are influenced by past fashion trends.

How did you decide that you wanted to start a clothing line?

I simply wanted to create clothes that inspire the free spirit – something that could work for everyone.

How would you describe your line? What kind of pieces are you hoping to put out?

I don’t have a line at the moment. [My cousin and I] are in the process of experimenting, and hopefully we’ll slowly put it out when we’re ready. For the line of dresses, we were thinking of something that has a gypsy, island girl feel to it, with subtle, elegant cuts or slits here and there. We want a lot of looks that tie around the body and waist, so it can work freely for anyone. My cousin, Alexis Jimenez, is currently working on a collection of sexy and elegant robes.

What has been the hardest thing about this process? What has been the most fun?

It’s a challenge to find the right fabrics and patterns. The fun part is seeing the actual product come to life.

Where do you see your clothing line going?

We could see it starting out online, and then moving into boutiques. Hopefully, we’ll be partnering with brands in the future.

What’s your favorite current trend?

Tattered jeans and denim. I love seeing sneakers!

Featured Image by Alexis Jimenez.

In the Closet of: Coachella

Coachella has officially come to an end, and my friends and I had the amazing opportunity to go to Weekend 2. After hearing about the surprise guests and seeing all of the amazing art structures, venues and outfits at Weekend 1, our expectations were high – and they were all totally met! SDSU students Alexis Jimenez and Rafia Rehman shared their thoughts and opinions on Coachella, festival style and their favorite looks

Looking back at both weekends, what would you say were the most common pieces? What items stood out to you the most?

Alexis Jimenez: A lot of people wore maxi dresses, sheer or mesh materials, bralettes and those Western-looking buckle belts. Cool, unique sunglasses with different colored lenses stood out to me a lot.

Rafia Rehman: Most people wore bandanas, shorts, skirts and crop tops. The items that stood out to me the most were the accessories people added to their outfits, like jewelry and glitter. Those can really turn any simple outfit into an original look.

Who, or what, did you take inspiration from when you were putting your outfits together?

AJ: Jhene Aiko. I like her style a lot – it’s really chill, but she always looks chic and put together. I also went for a ’90s, kind of a retro vibe for one of the days, and I pulled inspiration from Tommy Hilfiger for that. A lot of people go for the “gypsy,” hippie look at Coachella, but I wanted to look different. I wanted to be comfortable but still look cute, so I kept that in mind when I was creating my outfits.

RR: Woodstock, definitely. I was going for that carefree, 70s vibe.

What was your favorite look at Coachella?

AJ: I really liked the retro looks. I saw a lot of people wearing vintage pieces – vintage Gucci tees, old band shirts, sneakers with denim.

RR: My Day 3 look was my favorite. It was the most comfortable and it felt the most original to my style.

Which artists were you looking forward to seeing the most? 

AJ: Gucci Mane. He was the only rapper I’ve been wanting to see that I haven’t already [seen]. I was really excited to see Jai Wolf’s “Indian Summer” because that song holds a lot of memories for me. I saw Kehlani at the Pemberton Music Festival in Canada last year, but it was cool to see her again last weekend. She’s one of my favorites. Seeing Bon Iver perform “Skinny Love” was an amazing experience. I always tried to play it on my guitar; never worked out, but hearing it live was enough for me!

RR: Mura Masa, Francis and the Lights, Porter Robinson, Bon Iver and Kendrick Lamar. Francis and the Lights is such a quirky performer – he was fun to watch. I really wanted to hear NAO’s “Bad Blood” and Glass Animals’s “Gooey” – both were amazing.

Who would you have loved to run into at Coachella?

AJ: Aimee Song and Rocky Barnes. They’re my favorite bloggers, and it would’ve been cool to see what outfits they came up with. Vanessa Hudgens came back to Coachella for Weekend Two. She’s been deemed the “Coachella Queen” the past few years because of her festival style, so it would’ve been cool to see her. She was posting on Instagram, so I was trying to look for her outfit in the crowd!

RR: Rihanna. She’s fierce. I look up to her as a woman and a fashion icon.

What advice would you give to people interested in going to Coachella next year?

AJ: Bring a bandana because you’ll be literally inhaling dust for three days.

RR: Be prepared for there to be a lot of people. Plan out who you want to see so you can figure out how to get to everyone. Eat before you get there, and bring snacks – the food is ridiculously expensive! Don’t forget to hydrate.

Featured Image by Alexis Jimenez.

Harper’s Topiary Garden

Location: 3549 Union St., south Mission Hills. Where Vine Street meets Union Street.

San Diego is home to many unique places, including various art venues. Inspired by trips she has taken, Edna Harper has creatively reshaped the bushes and vines in her front yard into imaginative animals and creatures. The garden is free for anyone to see, but it is private property – so no touching. However, I definitely recommend swinging by to view the amazing artwork and to find your favorite creature! Take a look at some of the pictures I snapped when I visited the garden.

Featured Image by Sabrina Basurto.