welcome to the latest edition of girl crush. today i share with you my friend, jessica forsyth. whip smart with the face and physique of a hollywood starlet, jess, as she’s known to her friends, is as down to earth as they get, and is also one of the best dinner companions and coffee dates around. as managing editor of coast magazine, she’s always in the know regarding the latest and greatest around town. but most of all she’s just an overall rad chick.

let’s get to know a little more about jessica:

name 5 bottom of the jar products.

obagi-c therapy night creamjergens natural glow lotion with spf 20jo malone nectarine blossom and honey colognemoroccanoil treatment for hair, and eyeco skinny liquid eyeliner.

who is your style icon and why?

penelope cruz. everything about her is stunning. she’s incredibly beautiful, but she never goes overboard and embraces rather than tries to change her natural beauty and heritage. i love that.

what is your summer fashion must-have item?

i’m currently in love with floral skinny jeans. i don’t have a pair yet (i’m searching for the perfect fit and pattern) but j brand and paige have really cute ones. they’re on the bold side, but i’m almost positive that wearing them would make any day better.

finish the sentence..i can never leave the house without:

sunglasses. i’m a ray-ban loyalist, and don’t usually stray from aviator-inspired styles. i’ve had (and lost) several pairs, from ones that mysteriously disappeared at a christmas tree farm to the ones now at the bottom of the lake of the ozarks in missouri, but i keep going back to them.

and lip gloss. my favorite is neutrogena moistureshine lip soother in glaze. it has sunscreen and it smells like summer berries.

what advice would you give your 25-year-old self?

you mean last year? haha, i wish! but really, i’ve found that you do get older and wiser, and i value that immensely. my 25-year-old self would have known that “everything will be all right in the end, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.” that’s not to say that i’m still working on living that mantra and truly believing it, but i’m getting better at it. having faith, that is. my tendency is towards skepticism.

i’d also tell myself that there’s a difference between giving up and knowing when to quit. we’re taught to never give up, but there comes a time, whether it’s in a relationship, job or friendship, when it’s not an admirable character trait to persist, but actually detrimental to continue. it’s a fine distinction, but a valuable, if not painful, lesson to learn. but i’m sure my 25-year-old self wouldn’t have listened. she was (is?) pretty stubborn.

and to not believe everything that everyone says about you, internalize it and then have an identity crisis because that’s not who you know yourself to be. you know who you are. that’s enough. everything else is just noise.

lastly, don’t ever let fear dictate your decisions.

what are your favorite things about living in southern california?

lately, the winter is my favorite thing about southern california. which is odd for someone (me) who can’t get enough of the sun and heat. ever since my boyfriend and i have lived at the beach in newport and now huntington, i find myself craving the cooler months when the tourists and crowds are gone and the beach is empty. it’s heavenly in the winter.

i also love inland southern california. i grew up in a very rural part of northern san diego county, with avocado groves and all kinds of citrus and fruit trees and dogs, with swimming pools and hot summer days, dinner with all the doors open, spanish-inspired architecture, and happy hours under the gazebo. the quiet is what i love most, when you can hear the wind blowing through the trees and nothing else. it’s a side of socal that many don’t associate with this part of the world, but peaceful, rural living is still possible here and it’s like a drug for me.

what are your least favorite things about southern california?

probably the usual things – the constant pressure to look a certain way and have certain things and act like it’s no big deal. i’m sure if i lived in missouri, for example, this would be less of an issue, but there would be other problems. like the bob dylan lyrics say, “don’t go mistaking paradise for that home across the road.” it’s not the worst thing in the world to feel pushed to eat better and get outside and work out and socialize and love every minute of it. but i think there’s a balance in there somewhere. sometimes i just want to close all the shutters, snuggle with my love, watch a movie, drink a snobby microbrew, and eat heavily buttered toast for dinner, with a brownie sundae for dessert. and not have to talk about how i feel guilty about it later. because i really don’t.

you are managing editor of coast magazine, a part-time law student, and you and your boyfriend just moved into a new house together? how do you juggle everything and stay sane?

define “sane,” ms. katie. you have seen my tense shoulders, have you not? in my better moments, i try to prioritize, and when that fails (because everything is equally important and i can’t decide which is most important), i have learned to embrace the fact that i am doing the very best i can. sometimes i feel like i’m doing a lot but i’m not doing a great job at anything, which is frustrating, but, as my boyfriend says, “don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.” i try to do the best i can and move on. there’s no point in beating myself up for missing a law school class due to work or not getting the best grade in a class because there were other things going on in my life that needed attention. my general rule is that my relationships with the people i care about most come first, always, and everything else is second.

you recently interviewed queen noor of jordan, what was that like?

incredibly nerve-wracking! i’ve interviewed a lot of people – some very important people – for coast and other jobs, but never royalty. add to that queen noor is extremely intelligent, beautiful and, for lack of a better word, regal, and i definitely felt like a small fish in a big pond. but once i got over my nerves and managed to ask a question that actually came out sounding like english (i assume so, because she answered), i found that she was very warm and interesting and, actually, interested in talking to me. it was empowering and exciting to be able to have these kinds of opportunities.

you get to do all the restaurant reviews for coast magazine. what are your two top picks right now? high budget and low-budget?

low-medium budget: we just discovered the corner in huntington beach, which is a new favorite. it’s a casual chef-owned restaurant in an unlikely neighborhood (corner of adams and magnolia) and it sort of smells like a dive bar, but the food is amazing and so are the cocktails. and the kitchen is open until midnight on friday and saturday. hurray!

high budget: if it’s for a special occasion, my favorite spot is still studio at the montage laguna beach. it has it all – gorgeous view, super fresh, seasonal food prepared with attention to immaculate flavors and an incredible wine list. it’s definitely not cheap, but your time there will be memorable, and that’s what matters.

what’s been your favorite story to cover for the magazine?

my favorite was story from a few years ago about a man who raises cattle out in silverado canyon. they’re all grass-fed and he sells the meat at farmer’s markets. he was like oc’s last cowboy – short on words, with big boots and a big truck and a big laugh. he took me out on his property to see the cattle and i traipsed around in heels through manure trying to catch every word he said (i was clearly unprepared for the territory), but what impressed me most was his incredible knowledge about food and nutrition and how important our diets are to our overall health, which is why he believes so strongly in raising cattle on a grass diet. it was so unexpected and a really fun story to write, and an amazing photo.

i also just interviewed a woman who quit her high-powered job in the medical device marketing industry to restore her grandparents’ grove in the hills of santa ana. not only is she restoring the property, but she’s also donating all the food to those in need, and she’s a caretaker for her 98-year-old grandmother (a responsibility she took on when she was only 20 years old when her grandfather died). many people talk about living a life that they’re truly proud of, but she actually did it, and is seeing where it takes her.

people are just inspiring.

yes they are, and so is miss forsyth.

thank you so much for letting me crush on you beautiful friend.