All posts filed under: Local Tourist

beadazzled.

Short story: I found a bead store and bought a bunch of beads. I hope Bebe doesn’t eat them. Owned and operated by Lilian Leung, this Solano Avenue (Berkeley side) shop – Beadazzled – boasts two rooms of beads and findings, handmade jewelry (by Lilian!), and a space to create. On this visit I reupped my collection of Miyuki beads, memory wire (love this stuff!), and nylon jewelry cord (which I actually use for making garlands). I also learned that kids like to put stuff up their noses – Lilian shared that her grandchild once put a bead up their nose. D’oh! As far as crafts go, Bebe and I have drawn together, painted (more on that soon!), and he’s seen me work on a couple macrame pieces. I hope one day we can craft together with tiny materials, hot glue, and scissors. 🙂 Hurry, name some toddler-friendly (beaded) craft projects!

baskets and bees.

The last in-person crafty workshop I attended was held at Royal Bee Yarn in Pacifica. The shop is filled with yarn (of course), craft kits, and gifts. They also had bee-utiful spice wall. And as if a yarn store and a creative workshop weren’t enough, there was also a neighborhood event happening the same day and Royal Bee was hosting a few handmade vendors in their backyard space. Clearly I was drawn to the baskets as is apparent by my camera roll. I adopted two baskets! I now officially have a designated farmers market bag and Bebe has a travel book basket (Start ’em young.). Discover any fun creative shops lately? Share below.

back at it.

Oh hi! It’s been a minute and I’ve got a backlog of fun local finds and creative pursuits I want to share. I am not fully back to the level of explorations and crafts pre-pandemic and pre-baby, but I’m easing my way back with a different capacity and mindset. First, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve visited a few local pop-up markets within the last year or so, including Handmade Pacifica (featuring my friends Roberta, Chelsea, and Melissa!) and one across the street from where I live at the Senior Center (that’s super local!). And, get this: I participated in my first in-person event in two years – the first Small Business Love Holiday Market hosted by Pamana Plantas, The Dance Floor, and Fonda, all businesses on Solano Ave in Albany. This definitely took a lot of mental preparation and months of getting accustomed to life with Bebe, but I’m here for it, as long as it’s low key and no one tries to high-five me. Also, aren’t you so proud of me for …

sunflower.

Since I’ve been back to work full time I’ve found myself working long hours most days. So I’m doing my best to carve out some days where I can take a break. I’ve been averaging one day off every two months. It’s not much, but it’s a start. I’ve spent my days off with my little family visiting somewhere new together. So far, we’ve gone to the beach in Pacifica, strolled a Petaluma neighborhood, and went sunflower field hunting in Dixon – featured here! We even made a music video. There are so many sunflower fields in the area. Take your pick! Just note, the ones we spotted were all on private land so we stayed on the outskirts of the property, was careful not to damage any of the plants, and of course did not take any blooms. It was such a treat to catch a glimpse in real life. What do you like to do on your days off? Share below!

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 …

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 …

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 …

more places.

More outdoor spaces to explore in the East Bay! Because eight wasn’t enough. Keller Beach Park, Richmond / A small beach that’s worth the visit. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy watching the resident squirrels find and munch on human snacks. San Pablo Park, Berkeley / There’s currently construction and upgrades happening at the park, but there’s a huge lawn area – perfect for setting up a socially distanced picnic and enjoying the sunshine. Willard Park, Berkeley / Aww, I used to live near Willard Park. I even had a crafty birthday party here one year. There’s a playground and lots of grassy areas. I’m particularly fond of their redwood trees. Strolling the neighborhood is lovely, too, because there are so many things blooming year-round. Point Pinole Regional Park Dotson Family Marsh, Richmond / The scenery is a bit dry, but I loved it here. An hour before sunset there wasn’t much of a crowd, and the trail is wide enough to stay a good distance away from folks going the opposite direction. There’s a …

holiday macarons.

Raising Bebe is no walk in the park, but he slept long enough for me to enjoy a little macaron decorating session with my Yelp Elite Squad and Macarons by Natalie. Remember when I decorated boba and dumpling macarons? This time we enjoyed decorating a few holiday designs in Hello Kitty, Baymax, and corgi shapes. Like last time, we picked up our kits from Macarons by Natalie headquarters. Each kit came with macaron shells for a dozen cookies, three types of filling (red velvet, peppermint mocha, and snickerdoodle), assorted icing (red, yellow, green, and white), sprinkles, and a food marker. For the event, we donned our best ugly holiday sweaters and holiday hats, and Natalie demoed a few macaron decor ideas for each character. I tried to create Hello Kitty Santa… Tahdah! All the macarons! Almost too cute to eat! This was such a fun event, and technically my first holiday party of the season! In my world it barely feels like December, so this was a nice reminder that Christmas is coming! 🙂 Are …