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outside party!

Bebe is two! For birthmonth we celebrated with an outside party, which is just a fun way to say a party at the park, because Bebe absolutely loves the outside and often exclaims ‘Outside!’ when he needs some fresh air and room to run.

The sun sets so early, so we opted for an AM celebration and served breakfast snacks. I splurged and gave in to my dream of having utensil sets (IKEA for the win!) and (uniform) cloth napkins* for the occasion.

We set up a mini pancake bar, breakfast burrito tower (catered by Cafe 9ine!), fruits, chocolate scones, and a kale and cabbage slaw (a la Trader Joe’s).

We had Third Culture mochi muffins delivered to create a muffin tower in lieu of a cake. Friends also brought treats to share – donut and cronut holes, mochi donuts!

For after snacks, I prepared some nature-inspired activities (a scavenger hunt and a decorate-your-name-with-nature art station), set up coloring pages, and had my Instax camera for folks to snap hard-copy memories.

Favors were filled with some of Bebe’s favorite things: cars, snacks, markers, stickers! We used disposable loaf pans for structure and Pipette bento bags for reusable wrapping.

Thank you to my crafty lady crew for helping me get this party set up! I’m also thankful for open public spaces to explore, sharing time with friends, and celebrating another year of Bebe.

Do you enjoy outside parties? Share your favorite outside party venues below.

*This is an affiliate link. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.

kawaii snacks.

I took a kawaii snacks gouache workshop with Yay! It’s Vica! I love painting with gouache, but I’ve not been so great at including it as an everyday life activity. So I signed myself up for a gouache workshop to get some designated gouache time on the calendar. And I convinced my God-sister to join, too, so we could spend some creative fun times together.

Vica, designer of some of the cutest illustrations ever, walked us through gouache techniques and step-by-step tutorials of how to create her style of kawaii snacks.

This was a nice review of gouache but I also wish we spent more time painting snacks because, OMG, look how cute!

I felt so successful at this workshop because my paintings resembled Vica’s samples. We learned how to paint different bread snacks with animal features like toast cat and burger bear. Something new to me was the addition of colored pencil – in brown! I’m obsessed!

What cute snacks should I attempt next? Share below.

You can paint cute snacks, too! Supply list*:

*These are affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.

birthday parfait.

For Bebe’s actual birthday we celebrated at home with a “Birthday Parfait” (keke) and a balloon arch photoshoot! Here’s how you can throw a birthday parfait of your own.

Birthday Parfait

For our birthday parfait I gathered:

  • Yogurt – we like plain Greek yogurt
  • Fruit – we used blueberries
  • Granola – adds a nice crunch
  • Sweetener – I like using agave
  • Clear containers* – so you can see the layers
  • Spoons
  • Napkins

For funsies we also crumbled chocolate scones (leftover from our Outside Party!) on top. Sprinkles would be fun to add, too; it is a birthday parfait after all!

Balloon Arch

After learning about balloon arch strips*, I was hooked on making balloon arches! They make the balloon arch creation process so easy. And now there are so many balloon arch kits *, too; you don’t even have to think of a color scheme.

For the balloon arch I used*:

How to: Use a balloon pump to fill 100+ balloons. I recommend choosing multiple sizes of balloons to get a varied look across your arch. For more variation, fill some balloons ‘all the way’ and others ‘not all the way.’ I like to keep the balloons in more of a round shape; to achieve this look avoid overfilling your balloons.

Attach balloons to the balloon arch strip in any order, dotting with your larger, more focal point balloons. Hang your arch with fishing line. Use Glue Dots to connect balloons together or to attach more balloons; you can fill any gaps or give more volume to certain parts of your arch.

Use any extra balloons for a balloon drop! I finished the arch set up with our laser beamed sign and giant 2 balloon.

And there you have it – an easy party idea for a celebration at home!

*This is an affiliate link. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases made via linked items at no additional cost to you.

munching thru martinez.

Someone was chosen for jury duty and the same someone ate her way through downtown Martinez. Here are a few munchies and places to hang while fulfilling your civic duty.

States Coffee x Bread

I can never get enough States. I previously featured them here and I am still a big fan (PS They’ve got a few more locations throughout the East Bay now, too). Their Martinez space has expanded since my last visit so there is lots of room to spread out. I am currently obsessed with their Earl Grey Lattes, both hot and iced. Their savory toasts are always a yes, too. I definitely came here more than once during my jury duty service.

Taco Daddy’s

Get on over here for tacos, burritos, bowls, … and get here quick. The lunch crowd keeps this place busy. I later learned you can place your order online, so protip: do that instead! There is indoor and outdoor dining, but I took my lunch to the park a short walk away.

Ginger Thai

I could have brought my own lunch but I wanted to try all the things. In comes Thai iced tea and pad see ew from Ginger Thai. I got take out and lunched on the library bench to people watch and get some fresh air.

Barrelista Coffee

It was slightly misty, but fun to sit on the Barrelista sidewalk patio space with my Panino Florentino and iced rose latte. The mason jar comes with the drink, and if you bring it back on your next visit you get a cup discount. Oh, and I spotted a horse (an apparently normal Martinez sighting).

Guava Island Eats

On my last day of jury service I had an island bowl with guava noods from Guava Island Eats. So good. So full. I would come back to Martinez just to eat this again.

Assorted things I learned:

  • Metal forks are not allowed in the court rooms.
  • Jury duty can be a great break from work responsibilities.
  • Martinez has upped their snackage game.

Share some of your Martinez must tries below!

highlights and sneak peeks.

Happy New Year! I’m kicking off this year’s posts with a Top 4 highlights from 2022 + sneak peeks to some 2023 posts! You ready? In no particular order…

1. Reinstated (low key) birthmonth activities.

If you’ve been following along you know I enjoy multiple smaller celebrations throughout the month to accommodate schedules and to do new things with friends. Last year I threw a pastry picnic and a park pizza hang with a birthday white elephant gift exchange. Will definitely share more on both of these activities to jumpstart picnic season!

2. Attended online crafty workshops.

I miss in-person workshops, but I also like taking virtual workshops in my loungewear. Here’s a snap of my kit for a mushroom embroidery workshop. I’m looking forward to more creative projects for 2023!

3. Reinstated plane travel – with a toddler in tow!

I flew to Colorado for a work conference and brought the family along for the adventure. It was my first flight since 2019. I actually felt prepared to travel with Bebe, but I was not prepared for the cold! Check out this parka a scored at the local Target so I could go be a tourist in the Colorado cold. Looking forward to sharing more local and not-so-local tourist adventures with you this year.

4. Balloon arch tradition.

I made a balloon arch for Bebe’s first birthday, so I made one for his second birthday, too. Perhaps this is now a birthday tradition and also I’m low-key obsessed with balloon arch art now. I’ll share more on how we celebrated the big 2 and maybe you’ll see more balloon creations this year, too.

Here’s to more creative lifestyle projects for 2023! I hope you’ll create along. Happy new year to all!

slangin’ crowns.

I tripled my craft show participation this year from one show last year to three shows this year. Ha! I will admit, as soon as I sign up for a show now I totally regret it because of all the prep I envision, but I’ve drastically reduced my SKUs and edited what I bring to shows. I also really appreciate the ‘me time’ at events – even though I’m chatting with crafty friends and customers, I also bring projects with me and get a block of time to create in a fun environment filled with other creatives.

In August I participated in Hipline’s Sunshine Shop and Social. I decided to only sell felt floral crowns, which I love love love to create. Hipline hooked it up with tables, chairs, linens, and umbrellas, so I only had to bring inventory and display items. I managed to roll up with a small luggage and a tote bag. I thoroughly enjoyed a 10-minute set up and 10-minute break down. And customers loved the crowns! I even debuted a new item: the ‘mini crown’ now dubbed ‘the bun crown.’

Then winter craft show announcements started popping up in my Instagram feed. I wasn’t sure if I’d participate in any this year, but I ended up applying for and getting into two small events – the Malcolm X Elementary Craft Fair (I joined this market a few years back when my friend’s kid went to school here) and the Phoenix Alameda Holiday Market (also a market I’ve done in the past). I felt even more efficient at these shows. I rolled up this time with a large suitcase which fit both my display and inventory, and a folding table. Even with my table it was a 10-minute set up and break down. At Malcolm X there was a bake sale fundraiser for the school, plus musical performances by the school’s choir. Such a fun local event!

At Phoenix, I set up shop in the same spot I set up last time I did their holiday event. What a nice area with the pop of color from the piano and the cutest comfy couch for me to sit on. At this event I debuted mini holly wreaths which I created because I couldn’t find the correct size red balls for my holly clips – just the mini ones. They did really well; I’ll have to make them again!

Here are some scenes from Phoenix. My neighbor was Amy of Bernal Burrow, and I ran into Alicia of Tea and Toast Soap who recognized me as her weaving instructor at a Mischief workshop. So fun!

I keep my display and inventory in the luggage now, and it’s ready to go whenever and wherever! Thank you to all who stopped by my booths to say hello, made a purchase, enjoyed perusing my crowns, and cheered me on from afar this year. I love being able to share my felt creations with you! I’m excited for the potential of some shows next year with super efficient and quick set ups and break downs. Yessss. Any suggestions for where I should pop up next? Share below.

lego x target

#tbt To last winter when Target launched their Lego collab and I took a long work lunch to preview the goodies at Jack London Square in Oakland.

There was music, shopping, and a Spot, the Target dog (who’s actual name is Jack), meet and greet.

They even had Target themed dog house Lego kits for all the kids (big kids included!), like the one here, but mini.

I enjoyed the colorful textiles, …

…the Lego builds, …

…and giant Lego bricks! I wouldn’t say I’m complete AFOL, but I appreciate a good theme.

Lego fans out there, what was your favorite piece in the collection? Mine have to be the color-blocked throw blankets! The color combos inspire me to create.

Any fun and colorful pop up events happening in your area? Share below!

plants on plants on plants.

Does anyone else feel the need to move into a bigger place so you can take more plant bebes home with you from the local plant store? No? Just me? Oh. Well, here’s a round up of some plant shops you should patronize. Plants make lovely (last minute) gifts; find the one just right for everyone on your list.

Living Room Plant Co, Pacifica, California

Chill vibes and Royal Bee Yarn is down the street – a two in one shopping trip!

Flourish, Petaluma, California

So much to choose from at this plant shop including mini walis tambo (IYKYK).

Aquarian Plants, Benicia, California

Stop in before or after a bite at Aung MayLiKa.

Paraiso Plant Studio, Berkeley, California

Note: They recently opened up a flower shop across the way!

Pamana Plantas, Albany, California

Admire their living wall, attend one of their many monthly events, and don’t forget to look up at the hanging plant selection.

The Growing Groves, Davis, California

Worth the visit just to be inspired by the sitting area.

Have you visited any of the above? Have any to add to the list? Asking for a friend.

…./


—, Petaluma, California

Living Room…, Pacifica, California

ceramics with bebe.

I took Bebe ceramics painting at Brushstrokes in Berkeley.

For his first piece, since he was quick with the paintbrush, we did a collab and I tried to paint the rest of the piece with his initial paint splatter as my inspiration. We left the studio with a season pass and the intent to bring Bebe regularly to get some more painting time. He ended up painting an additional four pieces – one for each grandparent (for Christmas gifts!)

He painted a pair of mugs for one set of grandparents and a pair of bowls for the other. This time, Bebe painted the full pieces. We even got his handprint on a few of them.

On our visits, he also enjoyed looking at all the ceramic pieces, climbing up and down the studio steps, and exploring the studio environs. I would say he is a minimalist painter with a hint of Pollock.

Brushstrokes is a full service ceramics painting studio (they also have art classes and rental space) and I’ve been coming here for years. The studio fee, now at $16 a person, includes use of their space and materials, plus painting support from studio staff. They helped me get Bebe’s handprints on pieces! The cost of your ceramic piece includes glazing and firing in a week’s time.

This was so fun to do with Bebe. It was also great when friends came to paint together. Yes, for all those wondering, one ceramic piece was harmed during the making of this blog post, but Brushstrokes apparently adds that to the cost of running a business (we were not the first party to break a piece!) and all is well.

Here are the finished pieces. We’re excited to gift these to the grand-parentals; we’ll pair with some yummy treats, too. Shh, it’s a secret.

Bebe’s Summer 2022 ceramics collection:

Have you tried ceramics painting? Share below!

house of petals.

Oh hi, cute store! House of Petals is such a good find in Martinez because it’s run by cheery, welcoming staff who made me feel like I was entering their home. 🙂

This collab shop is run by two local ladies and it’s one part floral and one part home goods shop.

On my visit, the shop was filled with lots of merry and great host gifts and Christmas stocking stuffer ideas. There were baskets and woven bags, pillows, kitchen goods, plant accessories.

On the flower side, there was flower bar and a selection of floral decor (wreaths and garlands).

I went home with a few woven trees, a ceramic berry colander, and a hot toddy drink kit. I can’t wait to visit this well-curated and highly aesthetic shop again. Share a local find below! Yay!