All posts filed under: Explore.

eagle creek trail. 

I could hardly wait for this trip to Portland because I was going to go there with my adventure buddy – my Hubby! I was so excited to explore the Portland natures with him! Apparently, for our minimoon we hiked Eagle Falls trail and on this trip, our anniversary trip, we hiked Eagle Creek trail. Whaaaat? Pictures don’t do this trail justice, but imagine waterfalls, cool breezes, greenery all around, crossing creeks, … We made it to Lower Punch Bowl Falls, where stopped for a banh mi snack. We love us some dining waterfall-side. Next time, we want to do a day-long hike to Tunnel Falls and maybe check out some other trails, too. What are some of your favorite hikes? Share below!

stumptown.

For our first Portland stop we headed to Stumptown HQ for a coffee tasting which I then learned was actually a “cupping” session. Not a fan, but exciting, nonetheless. We learned how the pro coffee bean buyers smell, taste, and experience coffee beans in a blind test. I learned the difference between fragrance and aroma. Fancy. We also had a lesson in direct trade and fair market prices. After smelling the freshly ground beans and the brewing coffee, we each got a spoon and a spittoon and slurped our way down the tasting line, rinsing our used spoons in warm water between each taste. The whole thing was a germaphobe’s nightmare (and I won’t go into detail), but I participated still since I wanted the full experience. (Totally monitoring myself for potential contagious diseases now.) But back to the coffee. We tried five kinds of beans which are roasted in house at HQ. Honestly, it was really hard to focus on the fragrance, aroma, and taste when I was trying mostly to get the cupping technique …

bend!

Hubs and I went on a road trip to Portland, Oregon for our one year wedding anniversary. 1500 miles round trip! On the drive north we stopped in Bend, Oregon for an overnight stay at the Mill Inn. We had a little room issue upon arrival, but once things got sorted out we ended up in the San Francisco themed room – we felt right at home. The next morning we woke up to the smell of bacon and coffee… I want to throw breakfast parties like this! And have a tea station! His and Hers anniversary breakfast: frittatas, BACON, sausage, potatoes, greens, fruits, juice… Oh, and then we had waffles! You guys!!! The Mill Inn has the best waffles I’ve ever had – a light crispy, crunchy outside with a fluffy, moist middle. I might want to go back to Bend just for waffles. They make them to order and you can order one whole, one half, or one fourth! I don’t even like cherry things (love cherries, dislike cherry things) but the sauce …

horticulture. 

Happy Earth Day! Featuring a local nursery seems fitting for today. Behold: Berkeley Horticulture Nursery. It’s like a nursery dream! I had been here once before to purchase a garden pot and have been meaning to visit again. This is by far my favorite nursery in the East Bay. Helpful staff, suuuuper organized garden, awesome selection, excellent prices, and all the inspiration!   Time to tend to the garden! How will you celebrate Earth today? Share below.   

spice girl. 

Tell me what you want, what you really really want. I wanna (hah), I wanna (hah), I wanna (hah), I wanna (hah), I wanna really, really, really wanna…go to Oaktown Spice Shop and buy all the things. 😋 I’ve heard lots of great things about the Oaktown Spice Shop, and it lives up to the hype, y’all! If you weren’t a fan of cooking before, this has to be the store that turns you. There are so many kinds of cinnamons, peppers, salts, vanillas, herbs, and spice blends…so much inspiration everywhere. It’s like the Berkeley Bowl of spices. #eastbaylove The aroma is rich. As soon as you walk in you will be enrobed in a patina of fine spice dust. Mmm. You can purchase individual bags or jars of spices, or pick up a prepackaged gift box – think curry blends, BBQ rubs, or chai time mixes. Aside from the quality products, I love the displays of jars and baggies. Don’t you wish your spice cabinet could look like this? This is definitely a stop for …

temple time.

On a recent trip home we visited the Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights. The architecture and details in design made it feel like we went on a day trip to China. The temple has been around since 1988, but I only recently learned about it from my Mom who also recently learned about it from a friend. The temple is place of worship but also a place of calm and rejuvenation. It caters to visitors – All the statues and buildings had information cards, and there were many lists with proper temple behavior to follow, e.g. No pictures are allowed inside the temples. There are gardens, classrooms, and a cafeteria that serves vegetarian cuisine. I enjoyed exploring the grounds and tossing coins into the garden for prosperity. After our visit, my Mom shared some photos with friends. They thought we were on vacation, too. Where do you day trip? Share below. 

shop feature: scribble me happy.

Come peek inside Scribble Me Happy – the most colorfully cute shop and studio space in San Mateo. And maybe I’m a little biased because I have some Feed the Fish co products in store and also teach a workshop here on occasion, but you can’t deny it – it’s totally fun inside! Feed the Fish co pennants! There’s something for small and big kids alike. They carry locally made handcrafted goods in their shop and the owners Brenda and Stacie make a line of Scribble Me Happy goods, too. The giant feather is quite the show stopper! In the back, they hold events – like pop-up shops, workshops, art camps, and private parties. Who wouldn’t want to have an event here! There’s always a fun backdrop for picture taking, too. On my last visit — this sparkly aqua number. Where do you like to find handmade goodies? Share below!