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holiyay!

Had to, had to visit the Brit & co Holiday House this year. What a cutie!

The venue is small and homey but packed with tons of colorful fun. At the front and headlining the welcoming committee are the featured local makers. On my visit it was Marley & Alfie and An Astrid Endeavor, super talented ladies with lovingly made goods.

I snagged a lucky horseshoe from Marley & Alfie! Ahhh! The coolest!

There was hot cocoa for all, free make and takes, and lots of backdrops and decorated nooks for all the photo taking.

Everyone got to decorate a postcard and take home shimmer frame.

There was a snow globe jar making station and a pom pom station, and for extra credit you can make pom pom earrings or a snowman.

I made earrings!

There’s a candy wall, a silver corner, a washi tape city, a white texture wall, a tassel /fiber wall, disco ball wall, a colorful geometric shape wall, a gold wall, an ugly sweater room, and a peppermint room – it smelled like peppermint forreals!

My favorite space was the Silent Night room which was very Yayoi Kusama. It was covered in mirrors and tealight-lit cones adorned the room. It was so meditative to sit and admire the glow.

And now I leave you with this.

Happy Holiyays!

colorful new york.

I loved all the opportunities to pose with iconic street art and various murals all over New York City. Even the floors were fun to snap.

Until we meet again, New York!

Filter by #erinbelledoesnewyork for all my NYC adventures!

only in new york.

Five days and four nights in a city that never sleeps with one of my favorite people! We logged more than 26 miles by foot, ate everything we saw, and soaked in all the sites. Here are some highlights from our New York adventure!

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Eee, can’t wait to go back and explore more!

Filter by #erinbelledoesnewyork for all my NYC adventures!

shop feature: local take.

You may remember previous posts about me popping up with craft workshops at Local Take (Clips! Terroriums!). Now it’s time for a peek into Local Take the store!

Owner Jenn carries over 140 local artists in her stores, including me (spot my felt garlands above). Jenn knows everyone. On this visit I recognized a few of my crafty friends’ goods, but it was exciting to learn of other makers in the area. I love the selection of art prints and colorful goods.

You can shop Local Take in the Castro and the Inner Sunset neighborhoods of San Francisco. The Castro location also participates in the now monthly Castro Art Walk on first Thursdays, and the Inner Sunset location hosts the annual Vagabond craft show in the backyard. Stop in for a handmade gift this holiday season!

moic.

I visited the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco. So, here’s a bunch of pink photos!

We arrived with ice cream pennants in hand reppin’ our favorite ice cream flavors. Before you enter the installation you are grouped with strangers and you have to come up with a team name. Behold: Team Toffee Ooh La La (minus two girls who didn’t want to hang out with us, lol)! I was named team leader, which was kind of stressful even though I consider myself a hype girl, ha! Too much responsibility; I just wanted to play!

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There were over a dozen rooms and attractions to enjoy – mostly in pink! There were ice cream fun facts on the walls, a ring toss where you can win a free scoop of ice cream (Protip: Let them know if you’re celebrating something awesome like a birthday and you’ll snag a free scoop without having to win one.), a juke box room with ice cream tunes, mochi ice cream to sample, a pink letter magnet room for spelling all the things, pink cotton candy (made a good beard!), a cherry room,…

…a gummy bear / lollipop room, a unicorn, ice cream with unicorn milk (uhh…), a tiny mirror room, a rock wall and pop rocks room, the famous sprinkle pool (I went in!).

After the sprinkle pool there was a room with air blowers to remove excess sprinkles, swings (for Boomeranging!), more ice cream (for purchase) and a lounge with seating and ping-pong, plus the gift shop.

Overall thoughts: This experience is definitely way more fun with friends. Highlights included the video stations (you can email the videos to yourself), the pink letter room (I bought a container of letters at the shop), and MOIC team members interacting with you throughout the experience. Lowlights: It was hot everywhere, the floors were scuffed and dirty (not cute for photos!), and traffic flow was not so good (many rooms had lines which probably added to the heat factor). But…we survived! And no sprinkles came home with me!

Did you visit MOIC? What was your favorite room? Share below. 

Select photos by Laura B.

wreath party!

Yay Cactus Jungle! Their team of cactus experts put together a succulent wreath class and I was lucky enough to snag a seat. They made the process super simple, taking on much of the prep.

We were provided with a container of succulent cuttings with different growing seasons. In theory, this would make the wreath look full year-round. There were lots of color variations, including some pink-colored succulents which I hadn’t seen before. Throughout the class our instructor shared a succulent fun fact and tips for taking care of our wreaths.

The wreaths are made of a metal frame and moss, and held in shape with fishing wire. Cactus Jungle presoaked the wreaths for us in a seaweed solution. Apparently, moisture awakens the amoebas that live in the moss. (Amoebas?! No one warned me about amoebas!!). We were given a lesson in wreath making safety at the start of class and we wore puncture-resistant gloves to protect us from puncture wounds (and keep amoebas from getting into our bloodstream and causing a brain disease and then us ending up on that show Monsters Inside Me, OMG) because look at these intense pins we used to secure the cuttings in place.

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(AH! Amoebas!)

I was super impressed with how my wreath turned out, and how easy it was to put it all together. Pro tips: work in triangles and start with the largest cuttings, filling in with smaller and smaller cuttings.

The wreaths came with a hanging hook and chain, and since the succulents were being held on with the giant staple-like pins, we could hang them up as soon as we got home. And in six to eight weeks when the cuttings will have rooted in the moss, I can remove the giant pins.

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I’m so excited to put this on display! I’m hoping I can keep it alive for a long time.

After class I did some shop exploring; it was gorgeous out! I wish I could hang out here all day and learn about cactus varieties and make so many more wreaths (but I’m scared of amoebas) to give as gifts.

coffee festival.

The New York Coffee Festival was happening the weekend we visited New York, and even though I’m not a big coffee drinker (caffeine, am I right?), I appreciate a good cup of coffee or fancy coffee drink. So, I convinced my friend, another avid non-coffee drinker, to accompany me.

It was pure caffeinated fun. Instead of having to visit different cafes around the city, the local roasters (and then some) came to us!

There were all-you-can-drink coffee tastings and lots of giveaways. Also exciting: treats, giant Bodum coffee presses, futuristic looking coffee makers, alternative milk samples, …

Plus: coffee liqueur bevvies, a photobooth, latte art demos, doughnuts, tea!

Check out my haul! Our goody bags came with a New York Coffee Guide. I’m already planning my next adventure to the city.

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Have you coffee shop hopped around New York? Share your favorite spots below!

Featured image photo credit: Lenniebelle E.