All posts tagged: east bay

keep moovin.

One of my goals in life is to go on more hikes, so when my friend suggested a last minute one, I was all over it. We ventured to Tilden Park, entering via the Tilden Nature Area (by Little Farm). My friend made sure we got in some nice views and a good sweat – that means uphills! My personal goal was to walk for at least 5k; we did 10k! (And then I drank a well-deserved Thai iced tea afterwards. ;)) There were lots of wildflowers, and I stopped to take photos of my favorites (of course!). We saw a dam, a lake… …and my share of cows for a lifetime. Apparently the cows roam free and feed on the land. There was a herd that was walking on the same trail as us; we  let them pass by while we waited on the sidelines. I was legit scared and ready to run if needed, but they just moseyed right on by. Excited for my next hike. There is so much to explore. Where are …

ashkenaz.

Hula time! For my second hula performance with Halau Makana we danced at Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center. Ashkenaz has music and dance events six days a week; the last Sunday of each month is dedicated to Ethnic Dance. Pre-performance I asked Hubby to take a photo of me in my Halau Makana gear and pre-hula hair. He took a mirror photo O_o, and then a real one… Behind the scenes! While I was waiting my turn to practice our routine, I enjoyed the sweet sounds of soundcheck (our band was awesome!), watched some of the performances, and helped get costumes ready. Check the space! Ashkenaz has been a Berkeley establishment for 45 years; imagine all the sharing and community building that has happened over the years in this space! I performed the same dance as my first performance, but this time we had different costumes: Red! Ooh la la. I had so much fun performing with these ladies. And to start a tradition – selfies with Cat! Since I was only in one dance, …

earth day.

On Earth Day I hung out at the Makers Workspace Open Studios event for fun creative times. The space was set up with free activities and some of the artists and makers in residence had their doors open for visitors to browse and shop. Kyla of Impressed by Nature had a flower pressing workshop. We used her travel size flower presses and she shared all the basics of flower pressing. We pressed jacaranda, daisies, hydrangeas, and bougainvilleas. I can’t wait to open up my press in a month to see the end result! Christie and Veena of Floretta Designs hosted a flower crown making station and had bouquets for sale. It was all kinds of lovely. Plus, they had a backdrop for a post-flower crown making flower crown photoshoot (of course!). My kind of booth! It is safe to assume I wore my crown around for the rest of the day (and then I hung it on my front door afterwards!). Katie of Wandering Falcon held a nature drawing session, too. She had an amazing collection …

shop feature: pippa & co berkeley

Hello pink flamingo. Hello balloon bar. Hello Pippa & co! Pippa & co Berkeley is now open in the Elmwood (my old hood!) and it is everything! It’s just like their first location in Alameda but with more space to put even more party decor! I visited on soft opening day; owner and party extraordinaire Lisa was in the house! A sprinkle/confetti selfie wall. Coral shelving units. Honeycombs galore. Pineapple everything. Patterns, patterns, patterns. All. the. things! I can’t wait to visit again! Even when there is no party to plan, it’s such an uplifting and inspiring store to be in. Until next time, Pippa & co!

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 …

good morning. 

Hubs and I have started a coffee shop tour! It’s easy to get stuck in a routine, or 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 we 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. 

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. 🤗 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. 

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.  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 fiancé 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? …