I’ve been getting a lot of questions on where I like to shop for my little kiddos. So I wanted to share one site that is always a winner for me. DLK also know as Design Life Kids. They have the best carefully curated collection of children’s fashion, accessories, toys and decor for the modern aesthetic loving family. Carrying brands like Mainio, Nor Folk, Tiny Cottons, Dumye, Mint Rhapsody and many more urban labels. Whether you are shopping for yourself or looking for a gift, you can always count on them for unique items leaving your wallet empty but your heart content. Here are my current picks from their site.
Happy Friday! It’s been a while since I posted a recipe. Lately, I’ve been trying to eat healthier and in search for new dishes to make this sweet treat caught my eye. These Coconut, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Popsicles are paleo, primal, vegan, dairy free, grain free, gluten free, egg free and soy free! Need I say more?! It does take some time and love to prep but I’m pretty sure it’s totally worth it. I guess I will be spending Sunday morning popsicle making.
[post by Samantha Du Quan]
Okay so I had a month long celebration for my birthday but not by my choice. I tell you why it was a month long. I think everyone around me used my birthday as an excuse to get together to do things especially my girlfriends. I didn’t mind it though because I got some great meals and big fun out of it. But if it was left to me I wouldn’t do anything. The perfect celebration would be a quiet night at home with my boys.
During my childhood, hands down Full House was one of the best shows on T.V. I always wanted to be DJ Tanner and wished uncle Jesse could be my uncle. I mean come on it was based in San Francisco and one of the painted ladies was used in the intro as their home. How could a native like me not be into something like that?! So when I was looking for a good park for a picnic with my girlfriends and their tots, Alamo Square right in front of the painted ladies was the perfect spot.
It’s crazy that the four of us all had our second and third child only months apart and unplanned. Lucky right? Not only did we watch one another grow up but now we get to experience motherhood together. So we try to take advantage of this time in our lives to get together with the kids as much as possible. This way they grow up close and become best buds just like their mamas. Well at least that’s what we hope for.
I went to Trader Joe’s and spent only $35 for everything. I picked up some cold cuts, fruit, cheese (they have a mushroom Brie that is insanely good), bread/crackers and drinks. I don’t think picnics have to be fancy and over complicated. One of the best things to do if you want to keep it easy and simple is having a potluck. My girlfriends and I usually do that for most get togethers. A good tip I learned is to use your flat sheets (obviously ones that you don’t plan on using on the bed) in place of a blanket or mat. They are usually bigger in size and can easily go in the wash after being used.
I also cut and washed everything the night before and put it all into one big container. It’s so much easier to transport this way. Bring two cutting boards and you have yourself large enough surfaces to layout all your food. It also looks so much cuter this way.
Look at these guys horsing around. It made me so happy to watch them play so well together. Such hams! They don’t know it yet but when they get older they will understand how lucky they are to have one another. It’s not always going to be easy for them to make new friends when they start school but at least this way they have each other.
My gf scored this awesome tee at the Renegade Craft Fair. It’s from Saffron and Kumquats. So fitting for the occasion.
♦♦ Our beats for the day: Let me In-GroupLove
[post by Samantha Du Quan and pictures by Kirstina Sang]
Some Saturdays during the summer you will find us at the Ferry building farmer’s market where we like to eat lunch. We can usually count on the weather to be 10 degrees higher than by our house. It’s also a great place to pick up fresh flowers.
Lately, Taye and I have been living in our new Hugo loves Tiki sweatshirts. SF natives know that no matter how hot the day may be, it is always smart to bring an extra layer. Our weather is so unpredictable that it could be warm in the morning but as soon as Karl the fog rolls in, everything changes. Visitors: you’re welcome. You will thank me later for this tip.
Pressed Juicery is always a must when we are there! Below little man has been obsessed with basketball. Probably more so since the Warriors won the championship. So as you can see he’s practicing his moves in those pics. The jumping one is one of my all time favs.
[post by Samantha Du Quan and photos by Kirstina Sang]
We LOVE ice cream just as much we love FRIDAYS!!!! What are your plans this weekend? We spent a day during spring break having an amazing lunch in the dog patch then headed for ice cream at Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous. Seriously one of the cutest ice cream shops in San Francisco that offer ridiculous flavors like pink Squirrel, candied violet and buttermilk lemon. I had the thai tea and salted mango and it did not disappoint. And being 8 months pregnant, hands down I was in heaven. For sure one of our favorite pastimes as a family is visiting all the ice cream shops in SF.
Decisions, decisions, It was so hard to decide on what flavors (notice I said flavors, not flavor. You bet I got double scoops!) You’ll see my happy ice cream face down below.
Can’t believe it’s Spring time already. Stripes is an easy staple for this time of year. I probably can safely say I have a drawer of stripes in my closet. It’s such a timeless and classic print that you can never go wrong with.
[Post by Samantha Du Quan & photos by the lovely Kirstina Sang]
I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter! We sure did. Just wanted to share a couple of pictures of things that we did here and there. We had our annual Easter Egg hunt with all of our friends. This last week was also Spring Break for our little man so I convinced my husband to take a day off during the week so we can spend some quality family time together. I’m glad I pushed because it was great to see how happy little man was when he woke up and saw both of us in bed on a weekday! He spends most of his days playing at preschool with his friends so it’s a real treat when I get to spend as much time with him as possible. Everyday during the week he would say, “thank you mama for taking me out!” My heart just melted each time. Exploring the city with a toddler being 8 months pregnant wasn’t easy but it was well worth it just to see him smile.
Just last year he would be super scared to climb anything at the playground but since he started preschool, it has really helped him conquer his fears. Now we can’t take him to a playground without him climbing all the structures. My heart beats a little faster when I see him so high up but I’m also super proud he is becoming so fearless!
It’s not often we get to have lunch as a family on a weekday but we decided to head over to Piccino’s in the Dogpatch. A girlfriend of mine kept telling me how this was one of her favorites. Man I wished I discovered it sooner. The food was absolutely amazing and the yellow building had so much charm inside and out. If you do make it out you have to try the Mushroom Pizza with Egg! I mean just look at his face in the picture above. All the food was definitely toddler approved because he ate everything! This doesn’t always happen. After you can head next door to their coffee shop to grab a cup and sweets.
I found Ironman and Olaf eggs that we stuffed and packed in his Easter basket. Oh and I also found a Big Hero 6 sticker book in the one dollar section of Target. The kid went bonkers.
We invited T’s friends over for our annual Easter Egg hunt and potluck. We really lucked out because the weather was beautiful and the kiddos had a blast! It was also a good excuse for the parents to catch up and have a little fun of their own too. Oh and since we got him this Iron man hoody, it has been on it’s 4th day of rotation. I don’t think he’s planning on taking it off ever. I found this toothbrush at Target that lights up for 60 seconds to push kids to brush until the light goes off. Brad thought I was crazy when I brought it home but it was his idea to turn off the lights. It was hilarious watching Taye brush his teeth in the dark with this glowing toothbrush while he dances. He absolutely loved that thing. I wonder how long until the novelty wears off?!
All in all we had a wonderful week and spending all this time with my little man made me love him even more, If that is even really possible.
[post by Samantha Du Quan]
Oh YES! It’s Friday. What are your plans this weekend for Easter? We are having our annual Easter Egg Hunt for the kids in our backyard. We are about 80% settled into our new place but we still have a couple of boxes to go through. Our plans to decorate is to build slowly. We are trying to live a clutter free and hoard free life going forward.
It’s been a while since I shared a recipe. I came across this one the other day and it looked sooo good. Being half Vietnamese I’m pretty picky and judgy when it comes to my ethnic food. But this one looks pretty legit. I can’t wait to try it. I love Spring rolls so I’m easily persuaded when it comes to anything wrapped up. These guys took what’s normally the filling of a Banh Mi sandwich and put it into rolls. Clever! It’s with tofu so calling all Vegetarians and Vegans, this one is for you. Check out the full recipe here.
Happy Eating and have a fantastic weekend!
[Post by Samantha Du Quan and Images from Minimalist Baker]
Happy Monday friends! Today I’m excited to let you know that I’m featured on an awesome traveling and eating blog, The Collaboreat. It’s a site where bloggers from everywhere contribute their favorite eats from all around the world. It’s also a place to create your guide for any upcoming travel plans you may have.
When they asked me to introduce one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, I immediately thought of Plow in the Potrero Hill. If you haven’t been you must put this place on your list but don’t say I didn’t warn you, there’s usually a 1-2 hour wait.
So head on over to The Collaboreat and read my post and discover a few more new places to mark in your travel book.
Happy Travels & Eating!
1299 18TH STREET SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94107 (415) 821-PLOW(7569)
breakfast + lunch:Tuesday – Friday, 7AM – 2PM
brunch: 8AM – 2PM
[All photos by Rhythm K Mohan]
Are you a coffee lover and do you live by #butfirstcoffee? If the answer is yes this post is for you. Lately I’ve been busy meeting new friends at the cutest coffee shops in SF. I don’t know if it’s just the latest trend for all these hot coffee bars to pop up but whatever the reason, I’m glad they are opening. I love all the charming details of the interiors and most of all the amazing specialty cup of joes brewed with love. I’m not coffee obsessed but I do enjoy having a good drink and enjoying the company of creative people. Here are a few that I love right now in the city. I hope you can take some ME time to visit one of these spots!
Russian Hill: Saint Frank Coffee
Inner Sunset: Hollow
Cow Hollow: Wrecking Ball
Alamo Square: The Mill
Mission: Stable Cafe
Soma: Sightglass Coffee
Outer Sunset: Andytown Coffee Roasters
Last week I spent 48 hours in LA for a business trip for my upcoming project. Can’t quite tell you all about it just yet but I promise to give you the inside soon. We literally flew in worked, ate, slept (all for the hustle) in two days. I barely got to kick up my feet but along the way we still got to see some great things that I manage to capture. I love LA for all the creative people and places.
We got hooked up to stay at the Line in K town. It’s a super cool boutique hotel with the best dinning options like the Pot (korean food) and Commissary (healthy eating in a greenhouse). Two must eat places and you don’t have to go far. I mean where else can you get Spam, eggs and rice for breakfast?! They also have a small Poketo store in their lobby for awesome Knick Knacks. Below is the Art District. I love Apolis and Poketo definitely two of my favorite shops to check out for inspiration.
[Post by Samantha Du Quan]
Each year the Fairmont hotel creates a magical Gingerbread House with thousands of home-baked gingerbread bricks and more than a ton of royal icing and candy décor. The house stands more than 22 feet high and 23 feet wide. And the house is surrounded by a ton of other beautiful holiday decor all around the hotel. They even set up a stand where you can treat yourself to hot chocolate and ginger bread cookies which are out of this world. This is something that is free and not to be missed during the holidays in San Francisco. We decided to take little man and make a day out of it.
Taye’s Outfit: Denim Jacket (similar) // Purple Cords // Shoes Writing a letter to Santa asking for Olaf, Bicycle with pedals and a Reindeer. And he even drew a little special picture for Santa. Everything looked so good he tried to pull it off a couple of times. I had to watch him closely. I actually grew up in this neighborhood, Nob Hill when I was younger. So walking around this area brought back a lot of memories. After the gingerbread house we decided to catch the Cable car down to pier to have some lunch. Any chance this little boy gets to ride the cable car is a real treat. The Powell and Hyde cable car takes you straight to the Buena Vista Cafe, the birth place of the Irish Coffee. Another must on your SF list of places to go. It is a bar/restaurant but because they serve food too your little ones are always welcome. They even have a kids menu. And the good news is that it’s so loud and lively in there your little gems can cry as loud as they can and no one will hear a peep. And folks you know it’s crab season so we had to order the specials. Brad had the omelette and I had the crab melt. I wished so badly I wasn’t pregnant so I could have a taste of the Irish Coffee. But the melt satisfied me just fine!
♦♦ Taye’s beats for the day: Seasons (waiting on you)- Future Islands
Sometimes it’s just fun to make old traditions new again. If you follow my blog you know how much this kid loves Easy Breezy! So since it’s the holidays and the best time to splurge, we decided to take little man to Ghirardelli Sqaure at Fisherman’s Wharf for an Ice Cream sundae. And it was also probably to feed my craving or should I say the baby’s.
Side note, I’m 18 weeks in this picture and that night I realized I couldn’t button my jacket anymore. Ugh guess I have to buy a maternity coat after all. This baby is coming fast!
Just a tip if you ever decide to go for a treat. There are two entrances to this place. The upstairs and the downstairs. You will always see a long line downstairs and probably end up waiting at least 30 minutes to get in. What you should do is go upstairs because they have the same menu and there usually is no line then head down to the cafe. The only thing is you don’t get the fancy glassware but more importantly you get the same Sundae! After we devoured our ice cream we took a walk around the square to look at the lights and the tree. Oh how I just love this time of year!
I think it’s safe to say he really enjoyed himself. I wonder what he wished for?! I bet it was either Disneyland, Olaf, or his new bike with pedals. I think this kid loves lights just as much as his mama! Hope you are all enjoying your holiday. I know it’s cold outside but bundle up and get out there!
♦♦Taye’s beats for the night: Gooey-Glass Animals
So far I’m really enjoying the holiday season, are you? I love this time of year because you get to meet up with friends and family to celebrate by eating. This is the third year of our Annual holiday brunch with the Wicklands at the Presidio Social Club. I met my dear friend Christine about 10 years ago while working at Nordstrom. She has since become a very dear friend of mine. Just a beautiful person inside and out. I can always count on her to be there for me no matter near or far. I find it rare to meet new people at an older age and really stay connected with them.
She now has a family of her own and lives in Seattle but we try to get together for this brunch every year to catch up and meet any new additions to either family. This year we got to meet Lucas their first born. It was such a treat and he was such a good baby. I can’t wait for next year already when we will be adding one more to the brunch. Also we can’t wait to visit Seattle after number two arrives to visit old friends and my old home.
♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: All I want for Christmas-Mariah Carey
I’m always thankful for everything in my life but this year, I am most thankful to all you friends who have supported me through this blog journey for the last year. I feel incredibly grateful and can not wait to share more adventures. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving. Eat well and stay safe!
I love this time of year so very much. There is a crisp in the air, the beautiful orange and brown leaves falling from the trees and breaking out all the sweaters again. Although when we recently took him to our cabin in Sonora, it was definitely not sweather weather. It was around 70-75 degrees every day. We walked around in t-shirts and shorts. Nice but I was really looking forward to my autumn outfits.
We love the city but sometimes it’s just nice to take the boys out to the woods and let them explore. They go from playing with trains and balls to playing with dirt, plants and rocks. They are covered in filth when they come inside but it’s so amazing to see the smiles on their faces from their outdoor adventures.
Dad and son skipping rocks! What’s kind of sad to see is how the drought has affected this pond. Normally where they are standing would be two feet of water at least. I’m really hoping for more rain this year. More rain equals more snow and snowboarding. Which means more trips to the cabin for us. Above, you can take these two grown kids out of the city but you can never take the kids out of our hearts! Below, how sweet is this?! He is pushing his cousin Evan on the swings. He knew how to push gently too. Such a sweet boy. Taye is wearing: RVCA trucker hat, Earth Cadets shirt, Zara kids pants, New balance sneakers Above, the boys playing with the cattails. They were shoving these in each other’s faces. I loved that he brought them back and said it was for me but my allergies were going nuts. This kid loves to cook. I’m so glad he does because when he gets older he can cook for us. Here he is helping me make turkey macaroni. Look at the concentration in cutting mushrooms. Such a natural.
♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: Go Outside-The Cults
Happy Halloween!!! I love this version of a deviled egg that looks like eyeballs. Perfectly creepy to add to your scary dinner tonight. I’m assuming the avocado and wasabi together must make it taste kind of like sushi or not. You can get the recipe here. I can’t wait to see pictures of all your halloween costumes. Be safe while trick or treating and or partying. Have a spooktacular weekend!
We celebrated 2 years this month and went back to Brix in Napa where we had our reception dinner. And it was such a treat that they sat us at the same table as last year. They have the best Sunday buffet brunch if you haven’t tried it yet. I say this every year but I really can’t believe another one has passed. 2014 so far has been yet another interesting one. So many ups and so many downs. But what always is consistent and true is we never give up. This man has stuck by my side through everything I have been going through. I know I have not been easy to deal with at times but he never gave up on me. And for that, I love him.
I think it’s really easy for two people to give up on their marriage especially when times are hard and that makes me incredibly sad. Especially when there are children involved. However, I understand that when you have given it your all and it’s still no different, then maybe just then should you consider throwing in the towel. After all, your children could never be happy if you are not happy with yourself. Same goes for a marriage, if you are not happy with the person you have become and growing into then your partner will never do the same. I couldn’t see it then with my own parents but I do see it now.
Every time I look at this blog, I see how happy my two boys make me and what a special little family we have made. I can’t wait to grow old with my partner and watch my kids fulfill their dreams. And I promise to never give up on myself and my family, no matter how hard it may be at times.
Taye is learning how to use a fork and knife. He’s getting there and it’s so awesome to see how proud of himself he gets when he does cut a piece of his food. Brix’s beautiful herb and vegetable garden. They use these fresh items every day in their kitchen. I can’t wait to have one of my own in the future. Taye couldn’t get enough of picking these tomatoes. I had a hard time stopping him from eating them. Life is short! Why not give free hugs. Hug your parents, hug your friends, hug a tree and why not hug a pole?! LOL The day he stops smothering me I will seriously have a meltdown. I don’t care what people say he will always be a mama’s boy. What’s wrong with that?!
Giving Grandma cookie kisses. Taye decided long ago that he would coin “cookie” as her name. I just die every time he says it. It was so special that she came with us to celebrate. Family is always first and everything to us. I think we got a thumbs up from a kid who is a picky eater. If he gives good reviews then you know the food is good. See you next year Brix for number three.
♦♦ Our beats for the day: Stay with Me- Sam Smith
Are you going to eat your way through the weekend? If you are planning on entertaining friends or family this weekend at your pad, I found the perfect starters for your spread. How cute would it be to do a two-bite Crostini bar with wine pairing. You could do a beautiful display by placing them on your marble or wooden cutting boards. These will be such a hit your guests will never want to leave. Which may be a bad thing for some. I can’t wait to try these for my next party!
Image via Trouve Magazine
Happy Friday! How is everyone?! Great I’m hoping. Boy my schedule has been super crazy ever since I got back from Maui a couple days ago. It was so nice to relax and check out for a week but as usual it’s always hard coming home from a vacation and going back to the grind.
Today I wanted to share a simple meal I often make for my family from Dash of East. It’s one of those recipes you can count on when you are super tired and short on time but tastes amazing. What I love most about making Soba noodles is how you can add pretty much anything your heart desires to it. Posting this picture makes my mouth water. Tonight I will be heading out to Outside Lands and I am beyond excited. Any plans for this weekend?
Whatever you do have a fantastic and delicious one!
Hope your week is off to a good start. I just wanted to share a couple of pictures from one of the busiest weekends we’ve had so far during summer. Each day and night was filled with some kind of event. The good thing about keeping our kid out all day is that he gets real tired so bedtime is not a big struggle. And if I can recall, I feel asleep with him at 8 PM two days in a row. I guess that helps my insomnia. A little side note, why is it that I can always fall asleep no problem during the weekends but never during the work week?!
The picture above is a total cliche but yes we are cheesy family sometimes and we do take our peanut to the mall to have ice cream. Below are pictures from the Summer Renegade Crafts fair at Fort Mason. It seemed much busier this year. And just like every year it never fails, we always come home with some goodies.
Ellie Fun Day blankets and swaddles
Bracket cake toppers and party gear
Earth Cadet organic and recycled home goods
A Jenn Kindell piece I was dying to take home
Bryr handmade clogs
We went to a birthday party at Acro Sports in the city. Great non-profit organization and gynamsium for kids to help promote physical activity in the city.
Ended up at Off The Grid Picnic at the Presidio again. I guess we can never stay away. Too much good food and fun! Have a great rest of the week.
The other day another mom asked me if I had any suggestions on snacks and I totally blanked. Luckily I did manage to come with a few but I realized after that conversation that I often struggle coming up with ideas as well. So I decided to do a search on easy and healthy solutions. Here are five that I really like and will be trying in the near future. What snacks do you make for your kids? Do tell.
It’s officially summer here in the city but what to do? Whether you are a local or visiting, here are a few great events with or without kids. And they are all FREE! Check it. I know we will.
→If you love walking into a sea of local market makers then you must check out Renegade Craft Fair. It will be held at Fort Mason on July 19th and 20th from 11-6 PM. Admission is free so you can save the money for all the goods you will find. Some of my favorites will be there: Bryr Clogs, Ella Lou, EllieFunDay, Petit Collage, Three Bad Seeds and many more.
→My kid is truly asian because he loves noodles. So we are super excited for the Ramen Street Festival on July 19th and 20th brought to you by the Ramen Yokocho Association. It will be from 11-6 PM on both days in Japan town. Admission is free and you can have all the ramen you can eat for $8 a bowl. Go and get your slurping on.
→We are members at the Academy of Science and no matter the season we love visiting. From May 16- Nov 30 you can catch the new exhibit, Skulls. Learn how scientists use the Academy’s vast collection of skulls to uncover clues about life on Earth. There are more than 500 skulls for adults and kids to touch, examine and interpret.
→Every family loves free live entertainment in the park. So why not head over to the Yerba Buena Garden Festival. All summer they are offering hand-picked entertainers to perform in their open air garden. The performers include classical, world, and jazz music, contemporary and traditional dance, theater, children’s and family programs and cultural events reflecting the rich cultures and creativity of the region. And if the kids aren’t tired you can head over to the Children’s Creativity Museum in the same park.
→One of my dreams is to have a movie night in my own backyard. But since I don’t have the space just yet, there is Film night in the park to make up for it. From June-Septmeber, there will be different movies played in parks all across the city. It’s free to attend and such a cute idea for date night or family night. Check out the site for movie and location schedule.
[Left to right]
ONE: Always repining from this lovely lady, Myan Duong is a must follow on Pinterest.
TWO: Mother Mag is one of my new favorite web reads.
FOUR: I’ve been writing lately to Beck, Morning Phase album.
FIVE: So glad Outerlands is open again and looking even better than before.
SIX: Mark your calendars for Poppytalk for Target collab.
SEVEN: Sarah from Smitten Studio is my blog crush of the moment.
EIGHT: My new summer staple from Everlane.
NINE: IGer tenthousandthspoon makes food look too good to eat.
Have a good weekend! ♥ S
Hope your week went well. If not, don’t you worry it’s Friday!!! As you can see from my last post Taye is starting pre-school this fall. Because of that I’ve been obsessing over what to do for his school lunches. It makes me
a little very stressed out to think that I have to start packing his lunch after being spoiled by our current daycare and their awesome free meals. So I’ve been searching high and low for great ideas on websites and magazines. Today I came across this absolutely fun and cute blog, LeeSamantha. [yup that is correct her name is Samantha too! I was meant to find her] She creates whimisical, colorful and imaginative meals for her 2 daughters. I’m not sure if I have the patience or skills to remake any of her creations but they sure are fun to look at. I wish she was my mom. Here are a few that I love! We will be on lock down for this long weekend because potty training will be in full effect. Wish us luck . Enjoy the long weekend!
[image source: Leesamantha]
Ok about Mother’s Day, I know, I know you must be thinking that it was like years ago but better late than never right?! My two boys planned such an amazing fun-filled Mother’s day for me that I am still recovering from it now. It’s been hard to come up with this post because there is so much I wanted to share and talk about but I didn’t want to babble. They really made me feel special and loved. I get happy and giddy just thinking about that weekend.
My day started with a nice picnic at Crissy Fields. The weather was gorgeous. I was fed, got to relax and just hang with my boys. Wait I totally forgot that my weekend celebration actually started with these beautiful flowers after a long hour of peaceful me time. After the picnic, I got to go home and do absolutely nothing but to get pretty before my surprise dinner. They took me to one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Foreign Cinema. I bet you never knew this place was kid friendly judging by the fancy décor. Well it is and in fact really open to kids. They even have a 3 course kid menu. And every night when it gets dark they play a movie on their brick wall. Seriously what a dream! I really want that in my back yard one day. And if that wasn’t enough queen bee treatment, they managed to also surprise me with a new Clare Vivier Wallet. What can I say? I’m a really lucky gal who has the sweetest boys and I love them dearly. Life is wonderful because of them!
[These two pics above were taken by my little photog. He has such talent and I’m so happy that he shows so much interest in photography. Well maybe it’s more like an obsession with the iPhone. In any case, I can’t wait to share my camera collection with him as he gets older. Hopefully he will be willing to go with me to search for more.]
[They also have a cool Modern art gallery in their space that you can admire or rent for private events.]
[What a cutie! Walking out the door with swagger and like a boss! Love him!]
♦♦ My beats for the day: Sweetest Thing- Lauryn Hill
Last weekend we traveled to Sacramento for a baby shower. It’s about an hour and a half away from San Francisco so we decided to spend the entire day there. It wasn’t hard to find something to do because Taye’s obsession lead us to the California Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. To be honest I thought it was going to be a snooze fest but it was pretty damn cool. Even someone like me who is not in love with trains can appreciate it. The highlight for me was seeing my little man’s face light up as he walked inside.
[Peanut learned how to sort mail on the mail train and also got to ring the dinner chime in the dinning cart. I really appreciate all the volunteers who work there and make the visits special.]
[You can also get tickets to go on the summer excursion train rides along the river. It’s 45 minutes long [another chance to kick up your feet and relax] and runs every hour.]
[In the evening we ended up in Davis, my old stomping grounds during my college years. I took the boys to Mikuni for some Japanese grub. A wave of nostalgia swept over me while I was sitting there having dinner. I really miss those days when you didn’t have so many responsibilities and life was just simple. We had so much fun we decided that our next train excursion will be with Amtrak, maybe a trip on the Coast Starlight to Seattle and Portland. Stay tuned.]
♦♦ Taye’s beats for the day: Slave to Love- Bryan Ferry
Happy Monday! Hope all you beautiful mamas got spoiled rotten yesterday on Mother’s day. Just sharing a couple of pictures from one of my absolute favorite things to do. Flea Markets!! I love immersing myself into aisles and aisles of what some may call junk but I find beautiful. Brad thinks it’s a perfect setting for an episode of hoarders starring moi but I find these lost items mesmerizing. I get so much thrill from finding one of a kind goodies it’s like a drug for me. If you feel the same about them check out Treasure Island Flea every last weekend of the month. Or you could just go to hang in the sun and partake in Food Truck Fare.
[So glad we managed to get one family picture without my hair covering my face. It was super super windy but that didn’t stop us from taking pictures with our beautiful city as the backdrop.]
[Asian kid alert! He has now mastered the peace sign in all pictures. Thanks Grandma.]
[See what I mean?! I love love this picture of these two.]
[Great view of the Golden Gate Bridge too! Taye loves that thing. Every time he spots it, he starts shouting “Golden Gate Bridge!”]
[Found Amy Perrier from Bernal Burrow who makes custom Marquee letters. I’m thinking about getting one for Taye for his room in the future. I also found Tiny Toast who makes really cute poufs for kids but sorry I didn’t get a picture.]
[Ahhh my man caught me at my finest. To the left: I call this mommytasking. Always working and doing 5 things at once. To the right: We have professional modeling. How to look windblown. Gorgeous haha]
♦♦ Taye’s beats for the day: Alive-Empire of the Sun
TGIF! I’ve been home under the weather so I just wanted to drop in to say hi. It’s been a while since I shared a recipe so today this one comes from my talented friend Michele and her Baby Food-e blog. She seriously comes up with the most amazing recipes intended for babies and toddlers but I swear adults love them too. I really like this one because it combines the two things that Taye loves: Avocados and Blueberries. I consider myself a good cook but I definitely suck at baking but this recipe seems dummy proof so I’m excited to give it a try. Have a fantastic Mother’s Day weekend! xo
♦♦ Taye’s beats for the month of April: Radioactive-Imagine Dragons
Where do I begin? First off, I see that you guys really enjoyed the last interview I did with our first Makers. That’s fantastic and did I ever say thank you? Well thank you a thousand times for always being so supportive of The Hip Kid. There are no words to tell you how appreciative I am. I’m excited to tell you that I have locked in my second family. I can’t tell you who it is but it’s gonna be a good one!
Last week Taye was out for Spring Break from his daycare so I took a couple of days off to spend some quality time with my little man. I know most people would take advantage of days off to veg out but for me it’s a totally different story. Any time I get days off, I start mapping out all the cool things I can do with him. Why wouldn’t I? He is one of the best partners to have when exploring our beautiful city that we love so dearly.
We are members at the Academy so I try to take him as often as possible. We were there 2 times for Spring Break because it was raining which makes it the best place to stay dry. His favorites are the Penguins, Aquarium and the Early Explorers cove. And I can barely pull him away from the Touch Tidepool every time we are there.
Later that day we met up with the lovely Jeanne from Shop Sweet Things and her adorable daughter Hayden for a playdate at the new Glen Canyon Park playground. It’s completely brand new and a great space. Taye has always been drawn to Hayden since they first met and even though she is a year older they still play well together. I think he looks up to her as a big sister. Hayden was such a doll! She had no problem holding his hand down the slide since he was super scared to go alone. Or maybe that was his way of flirting? Who knows. Froyo from Easy Breezy was the perfect way to end their playdate. Since we discovered it last month, we have gone there a total of 5-6 times. Yup don’t judge us.
I’ve heard so many great things about The Mill so it was time that we gave it a try. I took Taye there for breakfast and I’m so glad I did. I think he throughly enjoyed it too. Josey Baker [yes his last name really is Baker] has fresh bread coming out of the oven daily. And with it they make delicious toast 4-5 different ways. We had Walnut toast with almond butter, fresh strawberry jam and sea salt. Ah YUM! And their Almond Latte was pretty darn close to the most incredible Flat Whites I had in Australia. Taye and I can’t wait to take the husband there. Right above you can see one of the thousands of selfies that Taye took during our breakfast. This is his new found obsession. Uh-oh.
We visited Appa at his work for take your kid to work day. In honor of Earth week they had Workshop SF come out and do DIY terrariums with the kids. It was so much fun and such a great idea.
We had lunch at the Mijita in the Ferry Building. It was the first time that I had the Mushroom Quesadilla and it was BOMB! Taye really wanted to share the fresh Strawberry juice with me. Above you will see the winner for cutest little pout all because I told him he couldn’t run around the restaurant and also because I told him that the man will be coming over if he doesn’t sit down. Mean I know, but it got me this adorable picture.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be Spring Break without Pizzeria Delfina with grandma. If you haven’t tried it you are definitely missing out! So are you overwhelmed just reading about all the things we did. I was certainly pooped after but all the laughter and smiles all around made it well worth it.
♦♦ Taye’s beat for Spring Break: Blue Moon-Beck
Okay ever since I was introduced to this little secret heavenly gem of a place just a little ways across the GG bridge 8 or 9 years ago, I’ve been hooked. It was definitely love at first site for my tummy. I try to make it out here as often as I could especially when I crave crab. Not only is the food out of this world, the location is utter perfection. Fish is nestled right in front of a spectacular waterfront in Sausalito making it a chill atmosphere. What more can you ask for on a sunny day?! The outdoor and indoor space makes it child and dog friendly too so its suitable for the entire family. Bring them all! Believe me this is not your regular seafood joint that’s stuffy and uptight. They have a passion for the oceans and rivers sustainability which always guarantees a fresh meal. It matters to them where their Fish are coming from and the manner in which they are caught. Wonderful dishes are created using small farmers and organic fruits and vegetables. Just two tips you must remember before heading out there. One: Get there EARLY. The door opens at 11:30 AM 7 days a week and the line starts forming at 11:00 AM. So if you are a late starter be prepared for a long wait. Second: It’s CASH only. Yes I know, if there was one thing that is completely negative about this place, this would be it. Although they do have an ATM inside their restaurant.
[This is the outdoor patio and as you can see there are already people staking their claim on tables before they open. Beauty of a view right?!]
[And they have a kids menu too for all the younger Seafoodies. Notice how my kid only cares about his fries. Screw the picture!]
[come on oyster get in my mouth]
[They also have a good selection of wine and beer on tap which comes in pint, quarts and pitchers.]
[My little dog lover enjoying his walk with his friends. I’m so lucky he is such a happy little man! P.S. I’m also guest blogging over at The Kim Chronicles today.]
♦♦ Taye’s beats for the day: June-Wild Belle
Call me cheesy but I love egg hunting. I mean what kid [or Adult] doesn’t like searching for treasures especially ones that you can eat! Before having kids my girlfriends and I would actually do the hunts with each other. So now that we have kids it’s double the fun. This year I decided to take it outside at Midtown Terrace playground and I’m so glad I did because the weather was beautiful! We couldn’t ask for a better day, it was almost a little too warm at times. I prepped 250 eggs for the hunt for about 12 kids. Yes I went a little nuts. Always better to have more than not enough when entertaining. I just didn’t want the kids walking away with only a handful in about 2 minutes of hunting like I use to. Instead they walked away with 2 baskets worth after a 1/2 hour. It was so excessive some parents were sitting and eating out of the baskets while their kids were still hunting. It was hilarious. After we received some really nice texts and emails from some of the parents saying how much fun their kids had. This made my day. I’m so glad Taye has so many awesome friends, Aunties and Uncles to share these special occasions with.
[All of the Easter decorations and supplies were from Target [$1 specials] and OhJoy for Target. I think I spent about less than $100 for everything.]
[How super cute is little Evan in her Sunday best for Easter. Can’t wait for her to run around next years collecting two baskets full of eggs]
[You can’t be at the park without playing a little baseball. This was the funniest thing watching Matthias pitch while Taye hit the ball. These two are going to take over the field in a couple of years. Watch out SF Giants!]
[Thank you to all the families that came out and celebrated with us. We can’t wait to do it again next year.]
[Lastly, these two monkeys sneaked off to the Fire Station across the street and took the most amazing picture. Fire trucks= Happy Boys!]
♦♦ Taye’s beats for the day: The Mother We Share-Chvrches
Happy Friday! I’m spending a little me time today. To all my mama friends please remember to do this once in a while, it will save your sanity and make you feel refreshed from all the kid craziness. [or just life craziness]
I’ve been thinking of what Easter goodies to make for Taye’s little friends at school this year and found this cute recipe on Pinterest from Two Peas and Their Pods. I love let me repeat L♥VE popcorn [sweet, salty, buttered all of it] so this is the perfect thing for me to make and I love the pastel colors from the m&ms. Just need to come up with a cute way to package it. Any ideas crafty g-friends?
P.S. For younger kids to avoid choking, try substituting the popcorn with Cheerios. Also super cute and yummy I’m sure.
Have a fantastic weekend! The Quans will be at the Cherry Blossom Festival.
We strongly believe in the benefits of eating organic and it is a huge part of our family life, especially after having a kid. Not only do we support our local and small farmers we want to make sure we are doing our part in taking care of our environment. After all, don’t we all as parents want to make sure we leave a healthy world for our children before we make our exits in the future.
What does eating organic mean? Just making sure that there are no pesticides or chemical fertilizers being used and that it is non GMO (genetically modified). I understand that living this lifestyle can be costly and like all average families we have a budget to stick to when it comes to food each month. So we try to be smart and splurge on the things we need to and spare on others that we don’t when it comes to buying organic.
Here are two lists to make shopping easier!
Last month me and six of my girlfriends took a trip to New York for my BFF’s birthday. I was really looking forward to this trip because I was in need of a break from Motherhood and family life. [so I thought] Traveling seven deep is a bit crazy and can get very intense at times. I mean just imagine seven girls with different agendas/interests talking over one another but no one is listening. **cray** hectic**And not to mention having to take two cabs every where we went = pain in the ass! But anything for a girls trip and NYC.
I feel really lucky to have a group of home girls that I’ve been friends with for over 10 years. What makes us work is that we are all completely different. Not one of us are alike. We all have different taste in everything so it keeps it interesting. These beauties are not like your typical girly girls. They are tough, strong-willed, opinionated, no fuss, don’t take themselves seriously kind of girls who just love to have fun! In a sense we are like dudes. No. really. Not to mention we could probably out eat/drink most of them. No shame. But we still keep it classy. Ha!
Although there were moments on the trip I found myself a bit disconnected to the rest of the group. I don’t know if I was just overwhelmed with too much on my mind or if I’ve just grown super attached to my own family. When I was younger I would have no problem having fun on an all girls trip but I’ve got to say spending time with my little man and the Mr. has taken over as my number one priority. At one point during the trip I went back to the hotel for some me time. The first thing I did was face timed my boys. And naturally I cried when I heard my little man’s voice and saw his handsome face. I really missed them. I was actually a bit homesick.
Don’t get me wrong I had the time of my life and gained a six pack from all the laughing. I also enjoyed all the deep conversations about random topics and I know each chance I get to spend with my g-friends is a treat but this trip made me realized how much I’ve grown as an individual and how my life has changed.
[late night subway excursion for the Halal Guys]
[our home away from home during the playoffs for the niners]
[Ippudo for some fancy ramen but I don’t know what happen to my picture of it. Use your imagination]
[we missed the cronut train but still waited in line for some sweet treats]
[Flight club. I was on a mission for dunks and air max]
[Momofuku Ssam Bar **YUM**]
[credits: photos by the hipkid and my talented g-friend L.Y.]
Happy Monday! Is it Friday yet?! It rained all weekend but we still managed to squeeze in so much in two days. Taye started coughing again and I was sure that we would be on house arrest and hanging out with a cranky toddler but luckily it seem to only be a little bug. [knock on wood] He’s still in a really good mood and down to do things which is the most important part. I was reading the other day and found this random fact: did you know that on average kids get sick up to 8-10 times per year? [I’m pretty sure that the majority of it happens during the winter season] That’s cray cray! I don’t remember being sick so often oh wait, come to think of it I was sick a lot but I just thought it was my weak immune system. Here are some great tips on how to keep your kids healthy on Parents.
I’ve been waiting patiently for the rain to arrive so Taye could rock his new Hatley raincoat and Native rain boots. Although I failed to get him an umbrella. He was shouting out “mamella” all day when he saw people walking around with umbrellas. So cute. This kid was super excited to play in the rain. He kept opening up his palms and catching it. He has yet to discover opening his mouth to catch it but I’m sure it will happen real soon. It’s amazing how much he can say and how we can have a full blown conversation. His latest thing is “slow down, drive slowly mama, it’s dangerous. the car is coming. okay?!” I mean really, he’s a genius right? Oh and if I tell him not to do something, he looks at me and says, “ok mama I won’t do it. I’m sorry” This isn’t on all occasions like I wish though. What a fun age.
We even managed to get some alone time and do some cool things with our friends. Hopefully the rain decides to stay for the week and let the sun return for our upcoming three day weekend!
[I had this amazing salad last week that I tried to recreate. **chickpeas, cucumbers, granny smith apples, salami and cherry tomatoes with a lemon vinaigrette dressing. I got to say it was pretty darn close to what I had.]
[we had a fun PaintNite date with another couple where we got to paint and drink at the same time. it was so much fun and I would totally do it again. The paintings above were the ones done by professionals and we were suppose to copy]
[I’d say we did a rather stellar job. I think people would pay for these. wink*] [we met up with Kim Chronicles and her husband for some Korean food and Soju at Dan Sung Sa in Oakland. Great way to end the night with good food and great friends.]
Enjoy your week!
Happy Friday! I’ve never been really big on Valentine’s [CHEESE] day because I believe you should tell/show people you love them every day. But I’m not going to let my opinion stop my kid from loving it. He can form his own opinions of this day when he gets older. Here are a few ideas of what I do plan on doing with Taye and some are just too cute not to share ♥ Enjoy!
To help celebrate the year of the horse, I found a traditional recipe on The Sweet and Sour Chronicles that I want to try this weekend. My kid loves noodles so I’m pretty sure this will be a winner. Chinese New Year is full of rituals including eating Long life noodles which symbolize longevity. It will be a great way to teach him about traditions and get him to actually enjoy eating what I make. My mother was proud because we swept away all of our ill-fortune by thoroughly cleaning the house and we all got haircuts before today. But my all time favorites are the giving and receiving of the Li Xi [red envelopes] and the big family feast the day of CNY. Yum can’t wait to eat. So from my family to yours, we wish you lots of luck, prosperity and good health in 2014!
Gung Hay Fat Choy and have a fantastic weekend!
when it starts to get cold outside i love to make potato leek soup. it’s actually really easy to make even though it looks so elegant. i like to disclose now that by no means am i a professional cook nor a good one for that matter but i like to pretend to be Giada from time to time to impress my family. i would call myself an amateur, semi homemade, on the fly kind of cook. i usually spend hours seeking out the best recipes but never really follow them. i think cooking is more fun when the outcome is unpredictable. besides practice makes perfect. come on let’s be serious, it will never be perfection the first time around. and the best part about this recipe is that my little guy loves it! this is my go to recipe when i am craving for it. [the only thing i don’t use is the white wine] p.s. to my hubby if you are reading this i need to take a class in food photography. [wink wink!]
[my version of a bouquet garni]
[this is what the soup looks like before the immersion hand blender. i received this one for Christmas one year and it’s become one of the best gifts ever. i can’t live without, it’s a must have to add to your kitchen tools.] [these bowls are the best for a less mess meal. look at this guy, that’s my kind of dinner date!]
[credits: photos by thehipkid]
lately trains and buses are the two things that Taye has been constantly talking about. the other day, he asked me if i could take him on the bus. how could i say no! so this past weekend we took him on an excursion around the city. and just our luck, it was one of the most beautiful fall days ever and so perfect to play tourists as we trek around. San Francisco is a city where you really don’t need a car. you can travel all across town by our muni, street cars and cable cars. but don’t say i didn’t warn you, be prepared you may meet some interesting characters. mostly harmless but definitely entertaining. it will just add a little more excitment to your ride. judging by the pictures, i would say my little man had a ton of fun!
we got off at the ferry building to grab lunch and explore the farmer’s market that goes on every saturday while the weather is still tolerable. of course we had to grab some pressed juicery, can you tell my kiddo is obsessed with their juices. [i know i know i’m going to get a juicer real soon] by the way this picture was taken right before he poured the entire bottle over his face. this is what happens when i turn around for 1/2 a second. and this was only the beginning of our day. oh the joys of being a parent!
next up, we hopped on the street car and headed over to Fisherman’s Wharf. never fails. wherever there is music, this kid will dance. love him so much for always making us laugh.
seriously Christmas tree already?! WOW the holidays are really here full force!
i will never get sick of riding the cable cars. truly blessed to have this at my disposal at any given time. and here is a tip for you, don’t go and wait in line at the turn abouts. you will waste your time. just walk to the next stop and you will be able to get on without waiting for hours. we only did it because it was his first time and we wanted to let him see the cable cars turn.
♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: Pompeii-Bastille
[credits: photos by thehipkid]
a couple weeks back Brad and i celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. i seriously can’t believe it, time has really zipped by! it hasn’t been the easiest at times but now that it’s been a year, i can honestly say we’ve become even closer. to me a good marriage is like your favorite dish that you make from scratch. you have this recipe and the first time you make it you follow it to the tee but you realize when you taste it, it’s not what you expect. you know something is definitely missing. so you alter the recipe by adding or subtracting a different ingredient each time you make it. and at every attempt you get better at it and it starts to taste even better than the last time. then soon enough you’ve master the perfect recipe. as for us, i need a lot more practice at it. [years and years] i’m just really blessed that i get to take this journey with my two best friends, Brad and Taye Taye.
we got married at City Hall and had an intimate dinner at Brix in Napa. so as a tradition, we’ve decided that each year we will celebrate by going back to Brix on our anniversary. this time around we’ve decided to take peanut with us. if you have a chance take my word for it, go try their brunch buffet. you won’t be sorry.
[someone loves to eat and loved that he was able to pick out his own food]
[the hubby asked me to pose and this was my akward attempt to look sexy. classic dork move. i think i’m going to stick to being a mom]
[he makes us read the good night construction site book every night before bed. so when he found this bulldozer, he was beyond excited]
♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: Sweet Disposition-Temper Trap
[credits: all photos at Brix by thehipkid
wedding photos by Onelove Photography
Dress by Sarah Seven
Make up by Hille Yung
Hair by Melisa Hall
Flowers by Lila B. Design]
1. KICKEE PANTS footies|2. HONEST natural, green laundry detergent|3. WEAN GREEN glass food containers|4. ADEN+ANAIS muslin swaddles|5. BABY BJORN babysitter balance bouncer|6. CALIFORNIA BABY super sensitive shampoo and body wash|7. NOSE FRIDA snot sucker|8. BORN FREE eco bottles|9. CLOUDB giraffe sound machine|10. GREEN TO GROW burp cloths
OK we confess. we made ice cream sundaes and strawberry & blueberry yogurt popsicles on a school night. you probably think we are crazy but it was super fun! it also was sort of a tiny intimate launch party for the hip kid. what better way to celebrate than to throw a ice cream social. i guess the hubby told him on the way home from daycare that he was going to have ice cream. because the minute he walked thru the door he said two words «MAMA & ICE CREAM»definitely my kid! then he saw the popsicle garland and started dancing. such a cute sight! ok half way thru it i was thinking to myself what did i get us into. and why did my girlfriend agree to this madness. these kids are never going to bed. but just seeing them so happy it was all worth it. why not do something out of the ordinary weekday routine?! show your kids some spontaneous fun and let them eat ice cream on a school night! by the way, the kid was so happy he feel asleep in less than 5 minutes at his usual bed time.
[papersource has the best DIY kits. this popsicle garland only took me a 1/2 hour, super easy. i like to keep all my crafts for future parties]
[my girlfriend made these strawberry & blueberry yogurt popsicles with her zoku quick pop maker. all you need is blended fruit and greek yogurt and it only took 7 minutes to freeze. yummers]
[looks like someone got popsicle all over his socks. i think we have a winner]
[we even had time to do a little arts and crafts for Halloween. OoBLECK. have you heard of it? it’s a sensory activity <remember-touch with your hands not with your mouth> it is super easy and guaranteed fun. it’s basically 1 part water to 1.5-2 parts of corn starch. add some food coloring to make it more festive. warning-might be more fun for parents. ha]
♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: If so- Atlas Genius
[credits: photos by thehipkid]