Month: May 2018

pretzels.

Guess what, guess what! I’m super happy to report that I know how to make pretzels now (at least under professional supervision!). They are a lot of work, but so worth the effort. I took a pretzel class at Firebrand Artisan Breads in Oakland. Our instructor Colleen shared pretzel making secrets and tips, including preferred equipment and ingredients. We learned the science behind the ingredients, and how to appropriately use and efficiently throw flour to prep the work surface. We learned how to make, weigh out / portion, roll, and shape the dough. We made three basic shapes: knots, the Firebrand signature twists, and balls (stuffed with cheese!). A lye bath gives the pretzel a shine and some added orangey-brown color. This was my first time using lye, and I got some extra practice time because a few classmates didn’t want to try it. After the lye bath we added the toppings – sea salt, everything bagel spice, cheese, more cheese, paprika…. Then into the oven, a little cooling on the table, and taste test! We …

aloha.

I performed in my first hula show! I started official hula classes in January of this year after years of wanting to pursue hula but it was never the right time. Then, I found Halau Makana and realized that my friend Cat also wanted to get into hula. So we ventured together and now we are hooked! My first hula performance was at the South Shore Center on the Island of Alameda. 🙂 There were musicians, dancers, and this fun crowd. Backstage: (pre) Hula hair, don’t care. Plus some behind-the-scenes practicing. The synchronicity of group dance intrigues me. I grew up performing Philippine folk and liturgical dances in church, creating dance videos with my closest friends, and eventually joining a hip hop troupe in college. It felt so great to be on stage again (in the back, behind the advanced students, 😉). Thank you to my hula instructor Kumu Lani for teaching me hula moves and Hawaiian culture and stories, and for inviting me to perform at the Alameda Aloha Festival. And to my friend …

midtown bizarre.

Last weekend I popped up at The Midtown Bizarre, a monthly curated maker market held at Identity Coffees in Sacramento. I’ve had a booth here a few times now, and I love coming back each time. My booth: I had some Mom pennants for Mother’s Day plus a build your own flower crown bar. As a maker, I love how it’s a super easy set-up, I get to meet new (awesome!) makers, parking is a breeze, and…coffee! I tried the sparkling cascara (“coffee cherry tea”) beverage made with the dried skins of the coffee fruit. The coordinator, Vanessa, is super woman! Her family owns the coffee business and she curates the monthly markets. She also takes the best photos. This month I got to meet: Andie of Andie the Kitchen Witch. Andie’s body care line includes natural deodorants, salves and balms, body sprays, and even some stuff for pups. I got one of her ‘Headache Go Away’ aromatherapy perfumes. Sadly, I’ve already had to use it, but I’m happy to report that this stuff is amazing!!! David …

nearcation’s all I ever wanted.

For our second wedding anniversary, Hubs and I planned an almost 24-hour nearcation adventure across the Bay in San Francisco. Since we thoroughly enjoyed last year’s SF nearcation, and there is so much to see, do, and eat in the City, we decided to do it again. Plus, we lazy and didn’t want to drive or fly far away. 😉 This time, we stayed at Hotel Nikko. I love the art in the rooms and throughout the hotel, and the squishy beds, and the touch pad on the nightstand that welcomes you by name. They have the most amazing line of bath products, too; the custom scent is bamboo lavender, but to me it has notes of chai spices which I love. Also, I’m into the separate stand up shower and bath options. Note to self for future home. The hotel sits between Union Square and the Tenderloin. I made sure we stopped to see some of the mural art nearby. A lot of the ones I wanted to spot were either painted over or …

bath bombs and bon bons!

This year for birthmonth I celebrated with a chocolate factory tour, a picnic, a mini hike, a kava bar lounge session, and a bath bombs and bon bons party! The last mostly happened because I love alliteration. And themed celebrations. And crafts. 🙂 We had bon bon treats and ’90s jams all night. I found lots of bon bon options at Trader Joe’s (and I added edible shimmer to some of them for added fancy) and at a local chocolatier. I also found the tiniest plates for all the tiny foods. My maker friend extraordinaire, Angel, hosted and taught the bath bomb part of the evening. I have the craftiest friends! Check out all these fun supplies. The scent of the different essential oils filled the room. Ahhh-roma therapy! Ready to craft! But first, a wefie to capture this Breaking Bad moment. We started with a warm up craft: body oils. We filled these cute containers with base oils (I used sweet almond oil), Vitamin E (for a preservative), a few drops of rose hips, and an …

sunnies and snacks.

I love planning events, trying my hand at making different foods to share, and setting up activities for friends to try. For birthmonth I threw a picnic party – great friends and yummy snacks all afternoon made for a fun and relaxing day. For snacks I made tabbouleh, a green salad with tahini lemon dressing, sunomono cucumber salad, veggie wraps, and French onion dip. I also gathered shortbread cookies, nuts, mandarins, blackberries, chips, and black sesame crackers. My new fave (accidentally made) snack: what I’m dubbing “tabbouleh nachos” topped with Green yogurt French onion dip. I can’t wait to make it again! I set up some crafty play stations – origami and photo decorating. Plus park friendly activities – bubbles, lawn bowling, dominos, and sportsballs (Hubby taught me how to properly throw a football!). My niece also brought the Bean Boozled jelly bean game. Gross fun! And party favors because that’s how I roll: everyone got a pair of sunnies. More picnics please! What are some of your go-to picnic foods and activities? Do share!

earth day.

On Earth Day I hung out at the Makers Workspace Open Studios event for fun creative times. The space was set up with free activities and some of the artists and makers in residence had their doors open for visitors to browse and shop. Kyla of Impressed by Nature had a flower pressing workshop. We used her travel size flower presses and she shared all the basics of flower pressing. We pressed jacaranda, daisies, hydrangeas, and bougainvilleas. I can’t wait to open up my press in a month to see the end result! Christie and Veena of Floretta Designs hosted a flower crown making station and had bouquets for sale. It was all kinds of lovely. Plus, they had a backdrop for a post-flower crown making flower crown photoshoot (of course!). My kind of booth! It is safe to assume I wore my crown around for the rest of the day (and then I hung it on my front door afterwards!). Katie of Wandering Falcon held a nature drawing session, too. She had an amazing collection …