Author: Erin G.

tasting, tasting. 1, 2, 3.

Hello Yelp Elite badge 2021! We’re already more than a third of the way through 2021 so I best recap some tasty Yelp events! So far I’ve been able to participate in a virtual beer and snack pairing, yogurt tasting, coffee run, and sushi take out! All the Yelp Elite events, though still virtual, are still deliciously fun! Here’s what I’ve been snacking on… Anaviv’s Table and East Brother Beer One of the first Yelp Elite events of the year was a virtual beer and food pairing with Anaviv’s Table and East Brother Beer, both located in Richmond, California. Anaviv’s Table, pre-pandemic, was a communal dining experience (they sat 12 max per seating) that focused on featuring local food from nearby farms. Today, they sell goods market style and a select nosh offering. East Brother Beer is a local favorite brewery (I enjoy their house stout!) among many of my friends, and it’s a family friendly spot, too. This was the first event with a delivery option for the tasting menu and if I have …

oh hi 2021.

Remember when I took a stamped calendar workshop in Seattle? I loved the idea and wanted to share the experience with my family. We had originally planned for this to be our activity for Christmas Craft Camp 2020, but guess who stored away their craft kits through the winter and start of spring? Yuh, all of us. So for Mother’s Day we brought out our crafts for another virtual Mom’s Day activity – a bit late for a calendar craft, but still just as fun. For my calendar, I used gouache! I not-so-secretly want to be a surface designer so I decided to practice with pattern play. I tried to vary shapes and colors throughout the calendar, but I clearly had some favorite patterns – splotches and stripes for the win! My very favorite design out of the twelve months is March. It might stay March all year. 🙂 I can envision this as a fabric print! I have a long way to go before I can be a legit surface designer, but this was …

cookies at the claremont.

To celebrate being fully vaccinated I met up with my basically-family friends for an outdoor cookie decorating event at the Claremont hosted by East Bay Provisions. The Claremont had converted part of their parking lot into an outdoor restaurant and event space. It was the perfect weekend to be outside! Each ticket came with a dozen sugar cookies (we received kitten, bear, turtle, and butterfly shapes), four icing colors, assorted sprinkles, popsicle sticks, and hand wipes. Our host came around and provided a quick demo. I was hoping for more direction, but it really was meant for open play. Since I do much better looking at samples, I watched my niece decorate her cookies first and was inspired by her creations. My favorite technique was piping out splotches of color and then taking one of the popsicle sticks to drag the color across the cookie. It made it look like watercolor and blended the colors (almost) seamlessly. I really liked how my bears turned out! In the end, they all tasted the same so we …

bloombox.

What better way to celebrate another pandemic wedding anniversary than with Matilda’s Bloombox! Ever since I spotted Matilda’s seafoam truck at a local craft event adorned with the prettiest blooms, I’ve wanted an excuse to treat myself to a box (I mean, ya, this one is also for you, too, Hubby). What a delight! Each box comes with a beautifully designed information sheet with details on each grower and each flower/herb, plus owner Emily’s suggestions for how to prepare and arrange the blooms in your vase of choice. I love that each flower/foliage is sourced from local growers, the box is hand delivered, and it’s also a fun DIY activity. Matilda’s Bloombox is not a subscription, but rather you select in advance which weeks you’d like to receive a box and you are charged upon delivery. They give a preview a week or two in advance to give you time to say yea or nay, and when it’s delivered, there’s no address label on the box – it’s like a friend left you a surprise …

homegirl.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas, mother figures, and future moms! This is my first Mother’s Day, and the only craft I was able to put together in the last month was this iron-on letter onesie for my little. It’s super simple and you can gather all your supplies from your local craft store or craft closet. Materials and tools: Onesie or any clothing item of choice (I recommend washing before applying letters) Iron-on letters (Pick your fave font and color) Scissors Iron (Remember I have a dedicated craft iron now? Ha!) Ironing board or other heat-tolerant firm surface Towel (A tea towel works nicely) I made a similar top for myself many years ago to celebrate my mom. Mine said Mommy is my Homegirl. I was inspired by a Gwen Stefani bag I used to own that said Gwen is my Homegirl. Cut out letters and arrange as you wish. Remove the protective backing; the letters should stick in place. Place a towel on top of the letters, then firmly press with the …

annie’s.

One day I’ll have a garden of my own. For now I have a patio with potted plants and places like Annie’s Annuals and Perennials to enjoy. This was my first time at the nursery, and I almost didn’t make it in time. I was the last person allowed in ten minutes before closing. It wasn’t enough time to explore the whole nursery, but it was plenty of time to be in awe of the plant varieties they carry and take lots of pictures. The nursery is large and packed with so many different kinds of plants that there’s a guidebook! It’s like the Disneyland of nurseries. I feel like I could learn a lot about flowering plants from hanging out in the nursery and talking to the staff. Each plant has an info card with care tips and photos of the blooms, too. I love me a good info card, and I will stop to read all of them. I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to make any good plant decisions in my …

one of everything.

The traveling baking company Blooms End popped up at Morningtide. This was my first time trying this local bakery and it did not disappoint. Per usual, all great pop-ups at Morningtide draw a crowd. I made sure I was in line at the start of the pop-up (it’s even better if you come earlier). Also per usual, I shopped Morningtide after I got my pop-up goods. 🙂 Mary Denham, the baker and visionary behind Blooms End, put together the most delicious array of savory and sweet creations for the day’s festivities. The menu was released the day before and I knew when I got to the front of the line I would order one of (almost) everything. I ended up getting one of every croissant (minus one because she sold out of the chocolate croissants by the time I got to the front of the line), plus cookies (chocolate chip and white chocolate-marcona almond). Check out this croissant line up: croissant (plain) chocolate coffee-cardamom monkey meyer lemon-breakfast tea twist blackened date-graham-chocolate quince & manchego roasted …

that’s a wrap.

I tried my hand at making beeswax food covers. I’ve been wanting to learn how to create my own for some time, and now I know I’d rather just buy them premade. Ha! It’s a messy craft! Jenny Lemons teamed up with Cara of Cara Corey Designs for their monthly craft night to bring an evening of creating these reusable, sustainable, and super cute beeswax food wrappers. Cara reviewed materials and shared all of her wrapper making secrets. What’s great is you can use scrap fabric – so if you’ve got a fabric stash, this is a fun way to use up material, or a good reason to buy more cute fabrics! Per usual, Jenny Lemons prepared craft kits. When I learn a new craft I love having a kit with all the supplies ready to go (even though I totally have a stash of fabric, beeswax, buttons, and embroidery floss!). The kit from Jenny Lemons included: Jenny Lemons fabric squares Beeswax pellets mixed with jojoba oil (portioned for each piece of fabric) Buttons Embroidery …

smorgastarta.

Throwing back to a savory birthday cake I made for Hubby’s birthday last year because it seems like a great Springtime snack! I’m always looking for savory alternatives for cake. We eat normal cake, but we love savory foods more. Plus, it’s always fun to try something new in the kitchen. One year for Hubby’s birthday I made “ice cream sundaes” but out of mashed potatoes and sausages. This last birthday: smorgastarta, Swedish sandwich cake! Instead of making one normal sized cake I made a few mini ones. I cut out bread circles (and made cinnamon sugar toast with the excess!), then made fillings. Many recipes call for lox which would have been so delicious but I was pregnant at the time, so I found inspo for vegetarian fillings. I created three: Roasted beetroot + dill + honey + salt and pepper + cream cheese Roasted red peppers + Colby Jack cheese + salt and pepper + cream cheese Avocado + lemon + salt and pepper + cream cheese Making mini cakes allowed me to …

seed paper.

It’s Baby’s First Valentine’s Day so we put together a little something for all his baby friends. Since babies can’t indulge in your typical Valentine’s sweets, I picked a non-food Valentine’s treat: seed paper in heart confetti form so friends can watch love grow all year long. (Aww, sweetness.) I am a big fan of nature confetti – what I’m deeming as dried leaves or fallen flowers harvested from the same area where you will toss the confetti – so I am all over this biodegradable confetti! I found this seed paper from Botanical PaperWorks. It came in so many colors – I picked three colors to mix and packaged them up. Here’s how I put it all together — I gathered: Seed paper confetti (I picked hearts but you can choose other shapes or punch out different shapes from full sheets of seed paper instead) Bag/pouch (I had 4” x 6” plastic bags in my stash. You can also source something biodegradable if you want to keep with the earth-friendly theme) Tag design (I’m …