All posts filed under: Explore.

dim sum and den sum.

One if my wishes for this year and for life in general is to spend more time outdoors. Lucky me I’ve got friends who love the outside, too. My grad school ladies and I explored Ed R. Levin park in Milpitas earlier this month. It was gorgeous out. There were only a handful of people roaming around; it was so peaceful. There are lots of trails and fishing areas, and apparently it’s a great spot for hang gliding… After our trek we ate adorable dim sum just a few minutes down the road. Nature (and dim sum) day complete. Have you explored the outdoors lately? Share your new favorite playgrounds below!

butterfly in the sky.

I was lucky enough to see the monarch butterflies while they were at their overwintering site at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Newark. As part of “butterfly season” the farm hosts monarch butterfly info sessions in December and January where you can learn all about monarchs, their life cycle, their migration patterns, and how we can help sustain their habitats and food sources. I probably learned about the life cycle in grade school, but hearing about the different stages from an Ardenwood docent was a different experience and I learned so much! After the lesson, docents take you out to the overwintering site to see the butterflies in person. Butterflies in the sky! And they’re up in this tree, I promise! I’m not one for insects, but butterflies are a definite exception. Monarch butterflies are fascinating! They migrate from Canada down to California or Mexico (depending on what side of the Rocky Mountains they reside) and back. It takes 3-5 generations of butterflies to complete the full migration loop. Each generation lives for 2-8 weeks, but …

shop feature: rare bird.

First shop feature of the year: Rare Bird in Oakland! I hadn’t visited until I taught my first class here last Fall, but Rare Bird has been around for over seven years now. And no wonder, shop owner Erica has curated an amazing collection of goods from all over. I visit and feature a lot of local shops, and to some, it may seem like the same old stuff, but each one really has it’s own style and personality. Rare Bird definitely packs a lot of patterns, boho-fab looks, and can be a shop for everyone. There are goods for the home including candles and wall art, a selection of menswear, these awesome speakers (made by Erica’s partner Matt!), goods for plant lovers, creatives, chocolate snobs, and so much more. And I love, love, love the women’s clothing and accessories collection. I cannot get enough embroidered dresses and tunics, and pretty patterned pouches! Next time you’re in the Piedmont area, give Rare Bird a visit!

twenty yay-teen!

Yay! It’s 20-YAY-teen! Hubs and I rang in the New Year whilst sleeping off illness. That’s how pro we are; we countdown in our sleep. 😏 But on New Year’s Day we managed to get out and enjoy the sunshine.We strolled near Shimada Friendship Park in Richmond. ‘Twas the perfect way to celebrate. Here are the first few photos of the new year. This rock was meant for me. Hubs said it looks like we bought matching plants and a giant rock just so I could take this picture. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and sunshiney 2018! How did you spend New Year’s Day? Share below!

NYC sunrise.

One of the highlights from my New York trip was waking up super early to watch sunrise on the Brooklyn Bridge. We never really got used to east coast time so we had fallen asleep around 3am that morning and woke up around 5:30am to get ready. On just a couple of hours of sleep, we took the subway to the Manhattan side of the bridge and walked towards Brooklyn, taking all the photos along the way. The bridge is just over one mile long. There were only a handful of walkers, runners, and cyclists which made it easy to stop for pictures every two seconds. Once we reached Brooklyn, we jumped back on the subway and headed to Manhattan to get some New York bagels…and then to take a nap! I think I’ve only ever seen sunrise three-ish times in my life — Once in the Philippines while taking a morning beach jog, once on a boat in the San Francisco Bay when my husband swam from Alcatraz, and another time in Lake Tahoe …

yay friends.

When in New York, you must go shopping in the middle of the night! I was impressed and also confused that so many people were out shopping so late. It must be all the Times Square bright lights keeping us awake. One of the stores I visited was Line Friends which is kind of like Sanrio. My friend and I didn’t quite understand it, but we knew it was super cute and we needed to go. We had a seen a few people walking around town with their adorable bags, so when we found out it was close by, we immediately put it on our list of places to visit. When you walk into the store, there is a giant bear named Brown who you can pose with. You know those giant Costco bears; this is way more giant and way more awesome. He was also dressed up for Halloween. Like Sanrio, there are characters and they come in plush form… And in all the merchandise you can dream up. Like headbands… Also, backbacks, phone cases, …

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!