All posts filed under: Local Tourist

macaron night.

Macarons by Natalie and Yelp East Bay hosted a macaron decorating night. OMG so fun! Natalie created macaron kits for Yelp Elites and we spent the evening together apart decorating our macarons to look like dumplings and boba. Our kits came with everything we needed to fill and decorate a dozen macarons. Plus, a bonus Yelp macaron that you could have eaten right away if you just couldn’t wait! But in true Yelp Elite form, I resisted so it could be part of the photoshoot. 🙂 Before we got started, Natalie shared her dessert biz story and goals for the future. She’s already a published cookbook author, and has dreams to open her own dessert shop! Then, Natalie demoed how to fill macarons and decorate them in the cutest ways. She provided us with buttercream fillings in Cookies n Cream and Fruity Pebbles flavors, a trio of icing colors, and a food coloring pen, and encouraged us to get creative with our designs. My favorite techniques were the kawaii eyes (with the ‘sparkles’) and creating …


Earlier in the summer I attended a virtual spa night with Yelp Indy and Saidah of Shea Body Works. Saidah taught us how to create body scrubs and face masks out of common kitchen basics. As you can see from the screenshot, I didn’t participate live, but I was fully excited to learn all the things! Sharing my face mask experience today… All you need for a quick spa is: 1 tsp matcha (get the good stuff!) 1/2 tsp honey 1/2 tbs hot water a mug or small bowl cotton round/ball or mask brush spoon or small whisk Mix all of the ingredients. It will look a little soupy. Apply to face (and neck!) with cotton round/ball or mask brush, rub it in, and allow to sit for ten minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and allow to air dry or pat dry with a facecloth. Not so fun fact: The neck ages faster than the face. Protip: Anything you do to care for your face, you should also do to your neck! Saidah recommends …

virtual pop up.

As part of Craft + Work’s second anniversary, I participated in their virtual pop up! Craft + Work is a maker and workshop space in Pacifica, California. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to teach my felt and fiber workshops in their space over the last year, and though I’ve never actually gone to the beach in Pacifica, I always enjoy every visit to the studio! 🙂 At last year’s celebration there were seven vendors. This year, 20! And 10%+ of sales in our shops over the weekend were donated to two local organizations: Pacifica Resource Center & Pacifica Community in Action. In total we collectively raised and donated $800. Thank you to our supporters for shopping handmade and local! I set up my craft booth in my apartment! As part of the virtual pop up many of us hosted virtual shopping events or interactive crafty sessions – like my felt flower craft along! There was also a demo on how to make cold process soap with Starblast Co. Ooh, I also made lots …

flora grubb.

I found another plant store! Flora Grubb, located in San Francisco, is a hidden gem! When I think of San Francisco, I don’t think about gardens; I think about sidewalks and tall buildings close together. So it’s nice to see a garden store in the City! There are lots of ideas for landscape design, and a great selection of both indoor and outdoor plants. And pots! Plus, there’s a coffee shop inside. My friend and I were joking that we wanted to host an impromptu garden workshop in the space and then we stumbled upon a DIY planting station. She made a centerpiece for her kitchen table. And this plant baby went home with me: the peperomia argyreia or watermelon peperomia. Yes!

sample sale.

Jenny Lemons had a sample, seconds, and vintage super sale earlier this month. I snagged tickets to the VIP shopping hour for a less crowded shopping experience and first pick at all the goodies! There were lots of Jenny Lemons clothing for sale, plus other local designer goods like Nettle Studios and Harumi K. Also, limited edition Frankie (that’s Jennie’s pup!) tops. Jennie and co served light bites and bevvies, too. These mini cinnamon buns were so tasty. And everything in the shop was 20% off. Ooh la la! Shopping spree! Can we talk about these supah cute ceramics, too? In June, I’m scheduled to design the Jenny Lemons window display and host a pennant workshop for craft night, so I had a little pennant photoshoot after shopping. Eee, can’t wait! Support small! Support local! Support handmade! And more Jenny Lemons fun to come in June! 🙂

write that down.

New stationery store alert! Write That Down in Walnut Creek has everything lovers of the handwritten note are looking for! They carry some of my favorite things, like Letterfolk letter boards. Plus a selection of pens, cards, notepads, notebooks, calligraphy kits, … …books, list notebooks, coloring books, totes, wall art, … And since it’s Valentine’s season, lots of fun love day gifts and goodies. Here’s my haul: a pencil case by R.P.S (because can you ever have enough pouches?), a pack of banana thank you cards by Paula & Waffle, and self-adhesive wax seals by the Social Type (so clever, right?) Write That Down just opened last month, and they are adding crafty workshops to their schedule, too. Check them out!


Nom nom nom. Berkeley Restaurant Week! I tend to always miss it, but this year my friend invited me to a special kick-off event, and I actually made dinner date plans with my girlfriends to try a new restaurant in town. All the noms below. BRW Kick-off The special kick-off event was held at the Double Tree in Berkeley. Visit Berkeley hosted and invited influencers from the area. I met a travel writer, restaurant and art gallery owners, and overall nice people! There were bites from the Boathouse and wine from local wineries. I was seen without a glass of wine and someone brought me one! First class! If you get to visit the Boathouse I highly recommend the Brussels sprouts and the chocolate ginger crème brûlée. To top off the evening, Trumer Pils etched custom pint glasses! I got Crafterateur printed on mine. Shout out to my friend Jerico for inviting me to the kick-off! It was so fun! Fish and Bird Sousaku Izakaya Later in the week my friends and I enjoyed the …

the other rbg.

My “craft fame” brought me to this hidden gem: the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek! I was invited to teach a crafty workshop in the garden this spring so I came for a tour of the workshop space. If the weather is good I’ll be teaching out on the patio with garden views; if it’s cold we’ll set up indoors in the new event space. After my crafty workshop tour, I got to explore the garden! It is a beauty! The Bancroft family owned over 400 acres of Walnut Creek. The property was a fruit farm in the late 1800s and was passed down for generations. Eventually, the family sold much of the land and the last of the fruit trees were cut down. Philip Bancroft, Jr, encouraged his wife Ruth to take over the land with her plant collection. Apparently, she owned so many potted plants – she was an original plant lady! The garden now sits on 3.5 acres, and their original family home still sits on the property (you can see …

meet the maker.

For the last East Bay Yelp Elite event of 2019, we visited Melissa Joy Manning‘s jewelry shop and studio in Berkeley. In true Yelp Elite style there were of course treats (both to enjoy at the event and to take home!) and merriment! I invited my friend Connie to be my +1. It was her first Yelp Elite event! The evening started with jewelry perusing and shopping. The staff knows everything about everything and they were so happy to be able to share the Melissa Joy Manning process and code of ethics with us. There were many everyday pieces as well as more extravagant pieces, each carefully made in the back studio. I loved the look of the shop, too. There were vintage jewelry cases and inspirational design elements like ceramic hangings and geode wall art throughout the shop. Then, a behind the scenes look in the studio where their team of jewelry makers create each piece of jewelry sold in shop and online. Our studio guide Lisa shared the brand history, showed us around …


Favor in Berkeley is filled with colorful jewelry, treats, and gift items for all your fun friends! I visited last month during peak Christmas shopping times so they also had a great assortment of ornaments, too. There’s something to look at everywhere you turn. Take your time because there are some hidden gems – like felted mushroom garlands! And kitten zippered pouches and balloon animal ornaments! And appropriately inappropriate bracelets. And tequila necklaces. What a fun visit! The owner even treated us to bon bons and I went home with a mushroom garland. Have you visited Favor? Share your favorite gift shops below!