Living Local: Top Coffee Shops in LA for Writers

There are two things I absolutely love: coffee and writing. Sure working within the comfort of your own home sipping espresso can be great, but I think we can all agree it also gets distracting and sometimes we’re just itching for a fresh environment. Whether you’re a Hollywood screenwriter, a novelist, someone who needs to get their daily journal entry in, or just trying to get some good ol’ fashion homework done and need a great place to hunker down, look no further. I’ve listed the top three coffee shops and cafés in Los Angeles for writing.


First up is my personal favorite located in sunny Studio City, Aroma Coffee & Tea Company (4360 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604.) This place really has it all and offers many options for whatever kind of particular environment you’re looking for. You might notice this café has a “homey” feel to it, and that’s because Aroma was originally a house before being converted into a coffeehouse. Start off by grabbing coffee and a pastry in the front; I suggest their almond croissants for a sweet surprise in the middle! If you’re the kind of person who isn’t annoyed by noise or people, grab a seat anywhere from their tables in the open indoor area by the bakery, or wander outside to the patio tables to feel the fresh air while you work. While the servers will bring your food and drink to your table for you, Aroma doesn’t provide Wifi. This may be a downer to some, but frankly I like how Aroma tries to preserve the nature of working only with what is in front of you. Now if you’re the kind of writer who wants a more quiet and cozy space, head inside and score a table by the fireplace. Feel free to bring your laptop or notebook and settle in, because that’s what most people do in this room. This room was made for writers and because of the homey feel to this room, it’s a huge hit. Tip before you go: If you’re just ordering a drink or pastry, there is a separate line for that. Keep this in mind, it can save you valuable time if you’re caught waiting in the popular dinner time line!

Next on my list is the ever popular Urth Caffé (8565 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069) although there are a few other locations. The ambiance at Urth creates an environment welcoming writers, or all creatives for that matter. The interior of Urth is old meets new and it totally works. Whether it’s the decor or the perfect size mugs the lattes come in, grab a seat and start introverting. Urth is special because they exclusively carry their own brand of premium coffee. While this can run you around $4.00 a latte, that’s the reason everyone goes there! While it can get a little loud with the chatter inside, there are plenty of tables outside equipped with heaters to relax and see flashy Melrose. I’ve found that even though this café is alive and thriving with people, somehow people still manage to respect and even applaud the fact that you’re trying to get work done, they get it. Beware, Urth also doesn’t have Wifi which is probably in any writer’s best interest as it forces you to focus on your work alone. There are a few other locations than the aforementioned, so be sure to use the app to navigate to your neighborhood of choice and settle in. Be sure to try their Honey Vanilla Latte, it is out of this world!

Head northwest from central LA to Burbank and you’ll come to the third and final coffee shop on my list, Romancing the Bean (3413 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505.) Situated on quaint Magnolia Blvd, this little place is definitely the most sleek and modern on this list, but no less inviting to those who want to get some writing in. Spacious tables let you spread out your work and the hip decor is exceptionally unique, like the chandeliers, so you get that perfect balance of work and relaxation. There is indeed Wifi here so if you need the internet for say, “research” (a.k.a. to get distracted) you’ll be pleased to find it here with complimentary plugs under each table to charge your electronics. There is mainly indoor seating but there is plenty of room and never a crowd too distracting here. Lastly, we can’t forget to talk about the brew. The coffee is great hot or cold here and they even have the organic option for the health conscious. Be sure to ask for coffee ice cubes to make the perfect iced coffee on a summer day!

Whether you want to cozy up by a fireplace or prefer something more modern, surely you’ll find something that suits you on this list of top coffeeshops in LA for writers. Ready, set, write!

By: Samantha Skelton

My Summer Makeup Must-Haves feat. Bobbi Brown

I’ve been gearing up for summer lately because Los Angeles is getting warmer and warmer, and this year I just feel like summer time couldn’t come fast enough! I know, I live in LA so what do I know about seasons – but to be fair I did spend time in NYC during the “polar vortex” (let’s just call it winter) and once I came back, I had had enough of winter for about the next year! So lately I’ve been on the hunt for new makeup to compliment that summer time look and I found the best products! I’ve always been a fan of Bobbi Brown ever since my mom startin using her line when I was younger. She always comes out with the best, natural, and fun color paletes! So today I’ll show you two products I know I will be wearing on a daily once summer hits.


First, is the long-wear cream shadow stick in Golden Pink which can be found here. Up until now I haven’t found a better cream shadow that stays on for so long! It glides onto the eyelids so smooth, it feels like butter! You can always add more shadow on top for a more bold look, or simply use as is, which I have a feeling I’ll be doing all summer because my eyeshadow can be done in 30 seconds and it will still make my eyes pop! I especially love this color because it will compliment my skin once I (hopefully) get bronze over the summer!

I also just got another one of Bobbi Brown‘s blushes in Nectar which can be found here. I loved this bright color for the summer time because of the way it looks against my skin. It makes my eyes pop and doesn’t make my look so tired! I guess it could be used for spring too but since LA jumps right into summer that’s what I’ll be using it for! 

cream shadow




blush blush1 w5

What Drew Barrymore Does Right as a Business Woman, and Your Everyday Girl


What Drew Barrymore Does Right as a Business Woman, and Your Everyday Girl

By: Sam Skelton

 These days, what celebrity hasn’t come out with their own line of makeup, clothes, or fragrance? We’re not just talking endorsements-which twitter has exploded with- but celebrities designing their own line of…something, anything. Miranda Kerr has her own line of skin products called KORA organics. And last year Alicia Silverstone launched her own collection with Juice Beauty. Ever heard of that beauty line? Probably not. But there is one celebrity affiliated line that everyone is talking about, and that’s Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty line. She’s not just affiliated with the line, she’s the owner of the brand. She is the line. And while we love us some products from Miranda and Alicia, there’s a number of things Drew Barrymore does right as a business woman, and as your everyday girl that make her line standout successful.

A simple click on the Flower Beauty website and something strikes you as unusual. What is it?  The affordable prices? The bright colors? Drew showing us how to feel our best? No no, it’s the normality of it all. We feel like we’re talking makeup with our best friend. We feel like we just struck gold with products we don’t have to stretch our pocket for. And that’s exactly what Drew Barrymore set out to do. “On a business level, I wanted to give women the finest formulas. They deserve to have that level of quality, and I wanted to be the brand that delivers that to them.” You don’t have to trek to Nordstroms or Bloomingdales, Flower is sold right in Walmart. How much easier can it be?

The level of involvement that Drew has with her line is unlike anyone else’s. Example, her Tip Tuesday tutorials. The fact that Drew does them herself and they’re videos and they’re consecutive says something in itself. Complete dedication. Not just to her brand, but to the millions of women and girls who look up to her and the endless possibilities of what makeup can mean. And while the other aforementioned ladies do have videos up on their website, they are not nearly as hands on as Drew is. “The reason I have created this makeup line is because I have grown up in a make-up chair. I loved watching women in this aspirational environment. But it was and always will be important to me to send messages of empowerment.”

Speaking of empowerment, Drew puts herself out there in her videos which instantly makes her relatable. Sometimes she starts her tutorials with no makeup on. And that’s pretty fearless. I wouldn’t put it past other celebrities to quickly put on $500 foundation to cover up their blemishes, then start the video and act like their product did the work. No, Drew shows us that Flower is the real deal and it’s made for you and me.

Drew doesn’t push her line and she says that right on the website. “How do we do it? We do not pay for advertising. Where other beauty brands spend a vast percentage of the cost of their products on ads, we do not. Drew, as an owner of the brand, takes pride in promoting Flower, which in turn allows us to put all of our resources into the formulas and packaging, and not into advertising.” Very few products can say that and still be successful, but somehow Flower does that. Drew is so real about the line and her role in it that it naturally makes people want to purchase it. She even does giveaways through her Tip Tuesday tutorials. And as much as I would want to be a winner, I know that even if I didn’t win she made me want to go buy the product anyways. Bam, effective advertising.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get more real, Drew shows us that it is. The Flower website boasts products that are proudly made in the USA and are never tested on animals, with pictures to prove it. We can see Drew testing out color palettes, talking with the lab technicians who help make the product, visiting the manufacturer, and all the other behind the scene steps it takes to get Flower made. Has any other makeup line done that before? A few Google searches told me no other makeup line has put themselves out there as much as Flower. Now that’s brave.

So, add up all these factors and what do we get?  What makes Drew and her line more successful than anyone else is that she is relatable and so is Flower. Her makeup caters to anyone because you can dress it up or dress it down without the fuss of a hefty price tag. And while I adore almost any other celebrity turned business person and would never bash them or their lines (seriously- I would die for Miranda Kerr’s style), Miss Barrymore and her line demonstrate qualities others should take note of, no matter what business you’re in. She took a leap to produce a fun, empowering, brave line of makeup. From her “Skincognito” foundation to her “What’s the Daffodilly-O” nail polish, I can vouch that the line is flawless. If it took Drew to lead the way for fun-fearless makeup, then so be it. Flower will be hard shoes to fill. Or should I say lipstick.

Product review: Loreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Excess

So I love trying new makeup products and I recently bought a new mascara that I’ve never tried before. I currently use Loreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes and love it. I’ve been using it for a while and It really extends my lashes without making them clumpy. Recently I tried one of their new products called “Loreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Excess” and loved it! It is equally great as the one I use everyday, but it extends the lashes even more with a nice bold look. It doesn’t leave your lashes feeling too “spidery” or too clumpy either. Since it does extend the lashes more than the everyday one I use, I would probably use the Million Lashes Excess one for when I want to really do my makeup big and bold for going out. But if you like your lashes big and bold everyday, this is a great product!


Etsy: Hemingway

THE HEMINGWAY 1: Typewriter quote on 5×7 cardstock

Papa Hemmingway always did have the best advice. This cardstock quote is typed using a 1940’s Underwood typewriter. The “Vanilla Creme” cardstock measures 5×7 and is adorned with a brown rustic border to give it the perfect “torn and worn” look. It’s the perfect size for gifts, decoration, framing, or scrapbooking!×7




Urban Decay- 50 Mind Blowing Photographs to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

This post is dedicated to attention to detail. In order to be a good fiction writer- attention to detail is absolutely pertinent. If you’re writing a novel, you’ll want your descriptions of settings and where certain scenes take place to be intriguingly detailed, painting a clear picture for the reader. You want your details and insight to where things are taking place to transport the reader to another world. Now, I don’t necessarily mean literally- it doesn’t have to be some place other than earth, it can be something very common like a room- but make them feel like they’re in someone’s room they’ve never been in before. Every story is a different trip, and your attention to detail will be the determining factor on whether they take one or not.

If you’re having trouble finding descriptive words, here is a great website:

If you still need that extra push, consider these questions:

Why is this particular instance important? What were you doing?

What other things were happening around you? Is there anything specific that stands out in your mind?

Where were objects located in relation to where you were? How did the surroundings remind you of other places you have been?

What sights, smells, sounds, and tastes were in the air? Did they remind you of anything?

What were you feeling at that time?

Inspired by these photographs, I came up with a great way to tap into your creative side and make your descriptive detail flow right from your pen. Look at the 50 photographs I’ve posted below, and pick one. Now transpirt yourself back in time- or forward- and write a scene or story giving as much detail as possible. It can be from your point of view in the present or looking back- but just BE DESCRIPTIVE.

Link to the pictures:

Use the descriptive word list above if you get stuck and consider the following questions:

What was the view like outside the window? What trip you were on when you saw this picture? What happened right before this picture or right after? How did you get in that position/place? What did you feel when the sun hit that spot?  What did it smell like? What did this place mean 100 years ago compared to now? What took place in this picture? Did you know someone who used to live there? What were they like?

Share your descriptions in the comments and make sure to say which picture you chose! Happy Writing!