It’s been awhile since I blogged with holidays, work, and just overall busyness! But ya girl is BACK and I thought it’d be fun to share our favorite local spots that we go to on a weekly basis. We live in Costa Mesa, CA (beach city in between San Diego and Los Angeles) and we LOVE it here! The traffic gets crazy and the cost of living is pretty ridiculous, BUT we are only two miles from the ocean, surrounded by the tastiest food, literally the best weather you could EVER dream of, and only an hour drive to downtown LA and a 2 hour drive to Joshua Tree, Big Bear, and Mexico- WORTH IT. We are not originally from here, we are native desert rats (Victorville anyone?!) but Orange County definitely feels like home now and we are so so so thankful to be living here. I get a ton of random social media friends from out of state that ask where to go/eat when they visit Southern CA. Most of these spots are picturesque and instagrammable, you should expect that from me, but others are hole in the wall places we LOVE. 



Daydream: only a 5 minute drive from us and we absolutely love coming here! It’s not a typical coffee shop- its a half surf shop half coffee shop so don’t expect normal tables and chairs to sit at when you walk in. I personally love coming with Hendrix for that reason though! He gets bored sitting at a table very easily, so thank you Daydream, for your velvet couches and OPEN space for my babe to crawl around. They also play their music on vinyl and sell vintage clothes in the back. YES PLZ


Sidecar: most of you have already been to or heard of it already but seriously- BEST DOUGHNUTS that go hand in hand with a side of Stumptown. I used to work here for fun 2 years ago during my slow photography season to get some human interaction while Zach worked and before we had a baby. I’ve been so spoiled by the freshness of their doughnuts that I refuse to buy from anywhere else! (unfortunately, no vegan/dairy free options but they DO have gluten free!) 


Common Room Roasters: right around the corner from Daydream but 100% different vibe. With their black walls and loud music blasting, this is good place to work!



Haute Cakes: if you’ve been following me for awhile, you must know my love for breakfast food. I could eat it all day, everyday! Their huevos rancheros are to DIE for along with their orange ricotta pancakes. They use fresh ingredients which makes such a difference, especially for breakfast food. (no box eggs for me!) They tend to get crazy busy on the weekends so I suggest getting there as early as possible!


Mother’s Market: a local grocery store with very few locations spread around Orange County and have an attached juice bar and cafe! Their breakfast is also soooo yummy and again- FRESH.


I’m going to divide this specific category in 2 different ways: cute & not cute (but TASTY!)


Seabirds: vegan, plant based restaurant but-wouldn’t-know-it’s-vegan ‘cause it’s so dang good! Located at the The Lab.

Taco Brat: as in bratwurst, not my child is being a brat, haha! The menu is split between taco/mexican food and then german/brats! Weird mix but so so good. We love coming here with Hendrix because it’s all outdoor seating with a tiny strip of lawn games so we can keep him entertained while we wait for our food. Don’t expect super authentic Mexican food but expect FRE$H.

Pitfire Pizza: Yummy pizza cooked in an stone fire oven (thats my favorite!) with good beer and even a speakeasy in the back! ;)


(The only thing we love more than fresh food is fresh ETHNIC AF food, oh my.)

Thai by Sushi on Fire: not a cutesy/must instagram place but the BEST pad thai I’ve had other than a small spot we ate at in New York, years ago. The drunken noodles are also bomb and will leave you drunk in love.

Fuji’s Famous Burgers: Asian/american burger spot that is known for teriyaki bacon cheeseburgers. They make all their sauces from scratch with secret ingredients. You’re welcome.

Cham Sut Gol: ALL YOU CAN EAT KOREAN BBQ, CAN I GET AN AMEN. We’ve tried other kbbq spots but this one is our favorite. Located in Garden Grove, it’s a bit of a journey to get to, especially at 5pm on a Friday night, but so worth it. We eat there so much that they ALWAYs recognize us *hashtag embarrassing*


Fishermen's Cove: We love being able to go to the beach during the week, all year round! We live closest to Newport and Huntington Beach but those tend to get crazy with tourists. (and those tourists litter! So sad.) We go to those beaches if we just want to go quickly but if we plan on being there for a few hours, we’ll pack up the car with food and blankets and drive 20 minutes to Fishermen’s Cove in Laguna Beach, off Cliff Dr. Laguna has also gotten super touristy because of Thousand Steps and the Montage (the Bieb’s favorite place to go to) so Fishermmen’s is our little quiet spot. Plus- if you’re driving south on PCH, this beach is BEFORE the downtown traffic! There’s a cool little cliff scenery spot next to a big yellow house that we love to sit at and watch the sunset! Let me know if you guys can find this hidden spot ;) 



PURRE: While I love Zara and Urban, I also love local boutiques that carry my favorite styles. My go to spot is Purre Boutique located at the Camp! I love that they’re active on Insta so I can see when they restock/get new things before I pack the babe up and go shop. They also have a good selection of face/body goods, jewelry, and candles!

Irene’s Story: another sweet, little boutique at Pacific City that carries similar stuff to the shop mentioned above but also slightly different. They carry more earthy, dusty colors and have such a good selection of soft sweaters! **one of my favorite sweaters I purchased from here that I pretty much wore all fall/winter**

Valerie Denise Photos (23 of 30).JPG

Petals and Pop: this is a floral shop with an Anthropologie/French feel that also sells home goods, cookbooks, darling trinkets, and a wide selection of florals. You can make your own bouquet or purchase a pre-arranged one. Oh, and they have a champagne bar, NBD. (also located at Pacific City)


These are all of our go to spots! There are so many other good spots I could've mentioned but at the moment, these are our favorites. We know most of the employees who work/own these businesses and love to be able to support local. If you visit any of these spots, let me know how you like them!