Pavement Coffeehouse

When it comes to coffee, I love local coffee houses. Don’t get me wrong though, when I’m in California I love an iced vanilla latte extra shot of espresso in a for-here glass mug at Coffee Bean. Guilty pleasure. But there’s something about the ambience, people and taste of frequenting a local coffeehouse. Spending my teen years in Venice Beach, my go-to cafe was – and still is – Groundwork on Rose Ave. I went there every day before school when I got my license and relished in knowing that my vanilla latte would be ready by the time I got to the counter. The baristas knew that if it was a “cold” (I’ve since learned what cold really means) day I would want it hot and on warm days I would want it iced. The familiarity, warmth and pride I had in supporting a local business made it my one of my favorite places to go.

I have been pleasantly surprised to find several local coffeehouses while in school and I’ve made it a habit of stopping by at least once per school day. My coffee house of choice was Blue State when I lived on campus and it is now Pavement Coffehouse (what used to be Espresso Royale Cafe or ERC which was always confused with the “Educational Resource Center”) since I have moved off campus. I love Pavement for its comfortable (yet competitive) seating, cool artwork, jalapeño cream cheese, always changing playlists and latte foam art. Their vanilla syrup is made in-house and their frequent buyer card gives you $3 off your 11th purchase.

I love the people-watching and recognize the regulars. I catch myself thinking “They’re here every day” and realize, each time, that I only know that because I too am there every day. Fashion is pretty standard; there are the hipsters, the book worms and the gym-sters and I have been all three. I’ve also realized that no matter the style, everyone looks better with a bookcase backdrop. Especially when that bookcase has actual books you can read while sipping on your Spanish latte and savoring your Tequila Sunrise bagel. The downfall of this cafe: 2-hour limit on WiFi. And I really think they could invest in some hooks on the high tops for our coats/purses. Other than those two small suggestions, Pavement will be one of my most-missed places in Boston and will forever hold my memories of early morning deadlines, meet ups with my roommate, afternoon treats, lunches on the go, people watching and late night tea dates.

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90s Kids, Again

Every season, trends get more and more extravagant and even tend to repeat. For example, I remember wearing crop tops when I was three years-old and then all of a sudden they’re all the college girl rage again. The same goes for graphic tees we tend to call “vintage” with images like the Ninja Turtles on them. Then there’s the reemergence of overalls that I think have surprised me most. I was all about the OshKosh B’gosh as a kid and now these onesies are extremely trendy – go figure! Never did I think I would be wearing them again but I also never thought I’d wear sneakers with jeans – huge taboo that has now become my go-to outfit for class.

These trends seem to be going from coast to coast and can’t be claimed as a west or east coast thing, which is beneficial for my wallet. I think I’d really have to find the perfect pair of overalls to try out that trend but I am enjoying this ode to the 90s.

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Salsit “Alexa” overalls, Sam Edelman “Genette” sandals, Ninja Turtles tank, gold chain necklace

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Me circa 1995

Looking forward to see how others style these throwback trends!

xx

@zoegillespie

All Black Erry-Spring

I went to New York last week to surprise my mom for her birthday and I am always happy to say that packing for NYC is pretty easy compared to other cities. No matter which season, New Yorkers can get away with wearing all black all the time. Before coming east for college, I was a fan of black but it definitely wasn’t a staple in my closet. Now, I find that everything I buy is black or some derivative of an extremely dark color – grey, purple, navy, etc. While black is convenient, it can be pretty harsh and overdone at times. I think all black outfits are sleek and cool but nothing brightens a mood on a crappy day like a wrist full of colorful bangles or a neon accessory.

For those of you not willing to give up black this spring, here are some ways to lighten your look without sacrificing your already stocked closet.

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xx

@zoegillespie

How to Make Cali-mole

I’m pretty sure I would add avocado to just about any food – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Omelets, sandwiches, burgers, salads, on toast, with Mexican food, or in smoothies, it all tastes better with the green stuff. Maybe it is the California side of me but I can’t go more than a few days without a good chunk of avo. That being said, it’s been difficult for me to find this fruit in Boston. Once in a while Trader Joe’s will carry a good batch but they take a few days to ripen and a busy girl like me doesn’t always have the time to wait.

In an effort to bring a taste of home to Boston, I have worked on my own personal recipe of guacamole. We’ll call it Cali-mole!

What you’ll need:

– 2 ripe avocados

– 1 small tomato, finely chopped

– 1/4 red or white onion, finely chopped

– 1/2 lime, squeezed onto mixture

– pinch of salt/pepper

* hot sauce, optional (but totally advised)

Mix all ingredients together to your liking; some enjoy guac on the chunkier side, others on the more blended – it’s all up to you! Helpful hint: leave the pits in the mixture to keep freshness (no one likes browning avocados, right?).

Need more explanation? This video via my Instagram should help you out.

Also, I really need this t-shirt:

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Enjoy!

xx

@zoegillespie

Fauxchella

Coachella Weekend #2 is upon us and I’m not sure about the rest of you but I am not ready for the second influx of Instagram photos, statuses and snapchats from my California friends bragging about attending. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate what Coachella represents and I truly am jealous I am not there. From the amazing assortment of talent, a weekend in the sun and experiencing a piece of history, it’s well worth the cost.

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Since its founding in 1999, Coachella has been an exciting musical festival showcasing big and small names alike interesting all types of listeners. Headlining acts have varied since its birth from Beck to Jane’s Addiction in the earlier years to Jay Z and Kanye in the later ones. It wasn’t until 2012 that a second weekend was added due to its success and because of its popularity, Coachella doesn’t even have to release a lineup to sell out tickets for both weekends. There is such a trust in this festival that consumers don’t even need to know who they’re going to see before spending $400+ on the trip (not including airfare if you’re stuck in Boston like me) – they just want to make sure they’ll be there to experience it. This California festival has become such a scene that for a large population it is more about being seen there than being there.

The purpose of this post is for the Fauxchella goers – the people who cannot attend but still want a taste. So below you’ll find my recipe for your own music festival right in your own apartment or backyard. It’s not nearly the same and it isn’t even in the relative sphere of goodness but, hey, you gotta work with what you got.

What you’ll need:

– A sick playlist (based off of the list above, of course)

– Floral headband

– High waisted denim shorts

– Sunglasses

– Face paint (optional, but a nice touch)

– A group of friends; it would be weird to do this alone

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Enjoy! #fauxchella

xx

@zoegillespie

Skater Boys & Girls

Growing up in Los Angeles definitely inspired my style to be very beachy and street-wear esque. Spending a lot of time on the boardwalk and skate park areas which are heavily influenced by the Dogtown era of Santa Monica made my shoe of choice at times pretty skater girl. In middle school I loved my slip on canvas Vans and colored low top Converse. Though my own kick game has evolved over the years I always appreciate the classic brands. I’ve also come to realize that the first thing I check out in a guy is his shoes. I mean, if his shoes are weird then he might be too.

From Converse to Vans to Nikes, I just love sneakers (As I type this in Pavement Coffehouse, I’m sporting my favorite pair of fuchsia pink Nike Frees.) Similar to what I saw in the style of London dwellers, Boston has made that love transferable because the Bean is such a walking city. While I still have my classic high-top Converse and specialty Nikes from Undefeated, I’ve added a few “crave” sneakers to my lust list.

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From left to right: Vans Sk8-hi slim, Jack Purcell, New Balance, Nike Blazers

I love how some of my favorite bloggers style their sneakers, like Aimee from Song of Style and Julie from Sincerely Jules, but I also turn to my college campus for sneaker inspiration and am always looking for new shoe looks from my peers.

xx

@zoegillespie

Finding California in Boston

As graduation approaches (32 days…), I reflect on what brought me to Boston and the amazing aspects of this city that I love – “snow days,” the architecture, school, my college friends, local beer. I’m also reminded of the parts of Boston that have been a struggle for a California girl like me. I have narrowed these characteristics down to three (very) important things, that I think most Californians would agree with me on:

1. Miserable winter weather

2. Pastel pants

3. Lack of great Mexican food

While I can’t control the weather nor the male population’s need to wear every trending spring pastel color in one outfit, I have searched far and wide for great Mexican food. And now, with only a few weeks left in this dynamic city, I can say that there is a place here that tastes like home: El Pelon.

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My friends are going to kill me for revealing their “top secret” taco spot but I feel it is my duty to pass on the knowledge that was given to me. Located in the Fenway area, tucked behind West Elm and dangerously close to Chipotle, El Pelon is a treasure to say the least. With indoor and outdoor seating, this place is perfect for any day of any season. I fell in love with their signature pescado tacos – crispy cornmeal and spice encrusted cod piled high with purple pickled cabbage, crunchy cucumbers, limed onions and their chile mayo spicy sauce (don’t forget to add guac!) – so in love that I went back three more times in one week. It’s a blessing in disguise that they don’t have a margarita menu.

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You might be thinking that these look/sound like tacos you could get anywhere. But the ingredients are so fresh, the combinations of tastes are incredibly original and complimentary and the menu provides options for everyone’s tastebuds. Unlike other Mexican restaurants in Boston that I’ve tried – I won’t name drop the lame ones – the meat is local and fresh, toppings are unique, recipes have been fine-tuned over the course of fifteen years and their salsas, guacamole and hot sauces are made in house. Not to mention their prices are fantastic – these El Pelon signatures priced at $7.50 may not be the $2 out-of-the-truck price points I’m used to but they’re pretty close.

I’m incredibly disappointed that after living minutes from this gem for two years it has only just been put on my radar. I finally have my favorite Mexican restaurant in all of Boston with only weeks left of living in this city but I know that I will make the most of it before graduation. In fact, all this writing has left me wanting some right now.

xx