Today we're chatting with Archana Ram, San Diego newbie and the blogger behind my soCal'd life. This former East Coaster recently spent 13 months traversing the world with her boyfriend before settling with him in Southern California. She's an avid hiker, freelance writer, new dog mom and DIY home improver . My favorite features on her blog are her monthly video recaps and her photo explorations of her new city.
Read on to get to know Archana!
What is your all-time favorite book?
What meal do you love to cook?
Breads—banana, mango, zucchini, whatever. There is something so simple but comforting about making a loaf and sharing a slice of fresh baked bread with people. This recipe for strawberry banana bread is a personal favorite.
What is your favorite food scene from a book?
It's not a scene, but a whole book! Every page of Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life made me want to suit up for the kitchen. I actually photocopied most of the recipes from the book. Try the pistachio cake with honeyed apricots. It's divine.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee. I so want to be one of those people that finds her zen through tea, but I'm sorry, I need more caffeine these days. I'm partial to Bru, an instant coffee mix sold at Indian grocery stores. The secret ingredient is chicory!
What is the last book you abandoned?
How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else. A friend lent it to me when I was in dire need of a new book, and yes, it had its inspirational moments but mostly read like a big brainwashing scheme to get me to like and drink Starbucks. (I don't like or drink Starbucks.)
Which author would you most like to meet for dinner, and what would you eat?
Julie Klam, author of the sweet but hilarious You Had Me at Woof. (She once wrote for Pop-Up Video!) I'd happily travel to her hometown of New York City to meet her for pizza at L'asso, which makes the best pie on the planet. We'd then go for a walk with our dogs obviously.
Where do you go to find new recipes? New reads?
I used to cut out recipes from magazines and keep them in a binder, then Pinterest launched so that's now my go-to source for meal ideas. As for books, I used to work at Entertainment Weekly and really trust their writers, so I check their book reviews and well as PAPER/PLATES' posts, natch.
Tell us about your blog—what inspires it? Why do you blog? What are your favorite aspects of it?
my SoCal'd life is a look at the food, outdoors and fashion that define a Southern California lifestyle, but from a newbie's perspective, as I'm a born and bred East Coaster. I moved to San Diego in January after backpacking around the world for 13 months all while documenting my journey on my travel blog,New York to Nomad. I loved the process of exploring, researching, writing and sharing so much that I wanted to translate that to this next chapter of my life, which is decidedly less nomadic. It suits me well because I tend to get more excited than most people when I find delicious pizza or a quaint bookstore and I have to tell everyone about it. Beyond being a great excuse to explore, the blog has also been a way to share this West Coast life with my family and friends back home.
What are your favorite blogs?
I read a lot of blogs. A lot. I love the DIY projects on A Beautiful Mess, the recipes on Smitten Kitchen, the cool minimalist vibe over at Smitten Studio, the California fashion on Sincerely Jules and the product round-ups on Oh Joy! I also love A House in the Hills, Lost in Cheeseland, Cookie + Kate and Design*Sponge.