Karen Pagtama is a reality TV story producer by day and a miniature sweets jewelry maker by night (www.littlesweetthing.etsy.com) (if you are ever in need of cufflinks that look like macarons, you now know where to go). She is a Los Angeles native who loves sunshine and the beach. She still rents girly DVDs and works with a utility belt.
What's in your bag? When you pack for a trip, in your handbag, in the pockets of your jeans...?
In my handbag I usually always have (when I haven't forgotten) my iPhone, my wallet, keys, my lipstick of the day (which I usually always forget to reapply), DVDs I should return and pamphlets and receipts I forget to throw out. If I'm traveling for work I'll pack my iPad, my laptop, a camera, chargers, a small portable table, a utility belt to hold a walkie, lots of pens and an umbrella in addition to all the clothing basics. In my pockets, usually my phone or change.
You have five minutes to pack up -- for a trip of uncertain duration. What do you take?
Passport, jacket, wallet, phone, computer, camera and I'll probably grab a handful of clothing if I only have five minutes!
What is your most essential article of clothing?
Tank tops -- I usually never wear them by themselves unless it's hot out but I usually wear camisole like tank tops under everything. They just make me feel comfy!
What are the top five songs you need to have access to hearing at all times?
"One" - U2 (Cause it's beautiful)
"I Will" - The Beatles (One of the sweetest, most romantic songs ever)
"Yellow" - Coldplay (Reminds me of my boyfriend)
"Beautiful Day" - U2 (Keeps me positive and thankful)
"Firework" - Katy Perry (Pumps me up)
What is your preferred hummingbird beat/cities you like to frequent?
I love London though I don't get to frequent it a lot. One place I love going to frequently is the Los Olivos/Solvang area about an hour north of Los Angeles. Solvang is just a super cute kitschy Dutch village and Los Olivos is like a mini Napa Valley -- super romantic and beautiful.
What's something crazy that you did to follow your passion? (like, did you live out of your car for a month? Drive 10 hours to pick up a certain, weird material you needed?)
I have been known to frequent every Joann's or Michael's in a 30-mile radius at times when looking for crafts supplies. This isn't so "crazy," but I think one of the bravest things I did was show my jewelry to the awesome and highly influential Dannielle Kyrillos, a judge on one of the shows I work on who had a a segment on The Today Show. She liked my jewelry so much she featured it in her segment and it was one of the best moments of my life!
What is one tip you have for traveling -- a beauty tip, a survival tip, a culinary tip... ?
Definitely get your security check routine down when going through the airport. Make sure your computer/iPad is easily accessible to take out of your carry on and wear shoes that you can easily take off if asked to. A culinary tip would be to try local restaurants where you are visiting. Ask your hotel for a great local restaurant and not a tourist trap. Eat like the locals eat and try the most regional dish.
What makes you a good house guest?
I'm pretty polite and easy to get along with! Manners go a long way and I love getting to know people.
What's a recent or favorite meal you had while bouncing around the globe?
One thing I won't forget is eating spaghetti carbonara in Florence, Italy. It was like having pasta correctly for the first time. As soon as I took the first bite I thought "I've been having pasta all wrong up until this point!"
Where have you had your best night's sleep?
Always at home, though king beds in five star hotels are always a good night's sleep.
Who would you like to travel with -- three people (you guys can caravan together or on separate trips)?
I would chose my boyfriend because he loves to travel and see new places as much as I do. Plus, he knows me the best. Ahh, can I only pick three?! I would also take my cousin Josie, because she makes me laugh and she's always so much fun to be around. If I could take three more people and pretend it's one person I'd take my parents and brother cause I love them so much!