All posts tagged: east bay

spice girl.Β 

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 ShopΒ and buy all the things. πŸ˜‹ 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 …

good morning.Β 

Hubs and I have started a coffee shop tour! It’s easy to get stuck in a routine, orΒ stay home because pajamas, but it really does feel good to get dressed for a coffee shop date and some strolling. Also, it’s nice to go somewhere together when it doesn’t involve errands or getting something done. We get to sit and talk with each other without distractions or responsibilities (even though some of the conversation might be what needs to get done when weΒ get home. Ha!). Explore along with us! Hal’s Office in Albany, California We ventured to Hal’s, a new kid on the block. Sit by the window on a sunny morning and take fancy pictures, people watch, dragon watch (yes, we saw a dragon pass by – it was Lunar New Year weekend), dog watch. The workers get excited when you order mochas “for here” because they get to practice their coffee art skills. Check out this beauty. We tried the cherry pastry and the sausage & cream cheese croissant, both by Firebrand. And to …

glenview gallivants.Β 

The East Bay is the best place for exploring neighborhoods and discovering all the flowers. There’s always something in bloom! The Hubs and I have put “walk new neighborhoods” on our list of fun things to do together. πŸ€— First up: the Glenview neighborhood of Oakland. See Glenview through my eyes…   Where should we explore next? Share your neighborhood stroll ideas below! 

Christmas treasures.Β 

Let’s be honest, I will travel for all things crafty. Now, Berkeley isn’t much of a trek, but I convinced my friends that we should visit uBe Art on San Pablo and Dwight for their holiday party and ornament decorating station. What a lovely art space! The gallery is filled with all kinds of art (watercolor, collage…) – each piece inspiring. Β The owner, Winn, is major friendly and all smiles. She had sweets and warm beverages for all, and a full buffet of craft supplies to create handmade ornaments. I loved all the gold and textures. I created a glittery acorn and a golden tag. My friend created a fuzzy snowman, which she gifted to me and is now the angel atop our Christmas tree. Head in to peruse the art, enjoy some conversations, or to get crafty — uBe has a line up of workshops, too. Are you creating your own ornaments this year? Share below!

beautiful bowls.

I love soup. Even if it’s warm out, I’m game for a hot bowl of comforting pho, chicken noodle, curry, hot & sour, egg drop, sinigang, soon do boo…Mmm. Feast your eyes on these beautiful bowls of comforting broths, tender meats, and fresh greens. Beef Noodle Soup While waiting out an oil change, the fiancΓ© and I found ourselves having lunch at Taiwan Bento in Uptown Oakland. I had the beef noodle soup which was especially delightful on this day because I hadn’t had it in at least seven months. The pickled greens, melt-in-your-mouth beef, and the sweet carrots provided a nice balance to a rich, savory broth. Recommendation: pair with the house-made soy bean milk. Korean Noodle Soup Ah, Spoon, one of my favorite East Bay eats for two big reasons. (1) They have delicious spicy tofu soup. I can’t get enough! And (2) they open at 10a so I can get a Korean soup fix for weekend brunch! On this visit, I had symptoms of an oncoming migraine and I was feeling dehydrated. …

tuesday market.

I love me some farmers markets. I finally visited the Tuesday market in Berkeley put on by the Ecology Center. I was very pleased. Lots of people walk to/from the market, and street parking is easy, too. My first stop was flowers. I only like flowers that don’t have that ‘flower smell’ and there just so happened to be dahlias – they just smell like plants. (That should go on a shirt.) Aren’t they gorgeous? Heck, I might just come back the Tuesday before my wedding next year and use these as my bouquet. Just put a ribbon on it! Onto the food. There are a few booths with ready-made foods including gluten- and soy-free baked goods by Triple Heart Bakery, Andy and Cindy’s Thai food, and vegetarian Mexican cuisine by Flacos. The star of the market is definitely the fresh produce, though. I mean, look at these veggies! Long okra, the cutest and chubbiest bitter melon I’ve ever seen, and beautifully vibrant red tomatoes. The selection is amazing. What is your favorite farmers market? …

fireworks!

One of my favorite things in the world is watching fireworks. Sparkles… Lucky me, there happens to be a holiday for that. Since 2009 my fiancΓ© and I have watched the fireworks display at the Berkeley Marina (Fun fact: This is also where we got engaged last year. Another fun fact: We just celebrated our one year engagement anniversary – Do normal people celebrate those?). Lots of people come out to sit on dirt and rocks to watch the show up close. There’s really no other way to do it. There are food vendors and rides and games for the littles. The first time we watched the show we were total noobs. We wore shorts and basically shivered all night; it is the Bay area after all, in the “summer.” We’ve since learned our lesson and have made some upgrades. We now dress in warm attire; we’re serious about wearing snow jackets, closed toe shoes (I prefer boots with fur), gloves, scarves, and beanies. We also come ready with our travel chairs, blankets, and neck …