Berkeley | Adventure Playground

Take a quick glance at the photos below (ignoring the title text!) The place may look like a large junkyard. But in this junkyard, kids can have a hammer, saw, and paint like it’s Neverland! Zipline across the yard passing by two boats, and you can pretend to fly like Peter Pan. Gather your kids, be prepared to get dirty, and let your imagination run wild! Welcome to Berekely Marina’s Adventure Playground!

Adventure Playground

Address:

160 University Ave.

Berkeley, CA 94710

 | Yelp | 

Adventure Playground is a 40 year old park, located in heart of the Bay Area, sitting at the edge of the Berkeley Marina. With FREE admission, parents with older kids, have a park open to creative hands, and open to imagination. Written as one of the Top 10 Best Playgrounds in the National Geographic, Adventure Playground has won the heart of many parents and children.

There’s fun in the simple things. A wonderful way to exercise cause and effect with our children. Parents (moms in general) come in your dirty/gym clothes, this isn’t a place to look cute, but to get down and dirty with your kids, grabbing a hammer, nails, and some paint!!

Explore the playground, adding additional details with the wood located in the back. Add on to the already built playground, or find an open space, and create something on your own.

Open during the weekends during the school year, but open all summer months long! Adventure Playground was a destination as my family had our annual summer visit to the Bay Area, while we stayed in San Francisco. My boys (ages 6 & 10), had an excellent time, where we didn’t want to leave. I was so unprepared, not knowing my children wanted to stay hours until closing.

Be Prepared During Your Visit!:

  1. Dirty Clothes/Gym Clothes
  2. Sneakers/Tennis Shoes
  3. Bring Extra Clothes
  4. Baby Wipes
  5. Snacks! Already prepped lunch!
  6. Cooler – Water bottles/Juice Boxes!

My boys loved working with the hammer and saw (mommy – overlooking everything.) NOTE, this isn’t a place for young young children. Seriously, this park is definietly for the older kids. But whatever parenting style you are (helicopter, ghost, no-boundaries) your children will have fun regardless!!

Overall, I can see why this is ranked as one of the Top 10 Outdoor Playgrounds in the nation. You can come knowing that your kids will get dirty and might rip their clothes, and with having two boys, that is the most important thing. Knowing that you’re kids will have FUN!! Adventure Playground in Berkeley  is just another reason why I love the Bay Area so much!!! Wish I had this as a child! My boys are so lucky their mama will always find a time to take them when in town!

 

East Bay Hidden Gem | Alameda Beach

I’ve been getting a little homesick from the Bay. Although, I love my life here in Sacramento, there are days where I’m completely missing the San Francisco Bay breeze blowing through the air. Along, with the beaches! Running everyday was never a problem for me in the Bay Area, because the weather was always good. I ran out of my house most days, and on weekends, I’d drive to the nearest Regional Park or State Beach — which was in Alameda | Crown Memorial State Beach was my beach. It’s like having a beach in the middle of suburbia, something not very common in most places. The entire beach encompasses a number of other beaches. It is also pretty clean as far as I can tell, whenever I came out for a morning run, or with my children.

Where can you find a long stretch of beautiful beach with frequent bathrooms, a gorgeous view of downtown SF, free available parking, and right across San Francisco? Alameda, CA!!! The whole area has a very relaxed vibe, and the water near the whole entire shore is pretty relaxed, without much of a rip tide.

For those not familiar with Alameda, its a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It is located on Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island, and is adjacent to and south of Oakland and east of San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay. Think, old suburbia, on an island, tucked away between Oakland & San Francisco!! Definietly, a hidden gem in the Bay!

Alameda Beach

Crown Memorial State Beach 

Address:

1451 8th St.

Alameda, CA 94501

Crown Memorial State Beach is a state park in the city of Alameda on the shores of San Francisco Bay. It is operated by East Bay Regional Parks District, under a cooperative agreement with the State of California and the City of Alameda. Take your kids, pack your sand pails, and enjoy a good book. Crown Memorial only attracts, good vibes, families, runners, and those just looking to relax and enjoy the SF View. (Can you tell why I miss the Bay soo much?!)

Officespace In My Purse

 

Happy Sunday fellow readers! It’s been awhile since I’ve been on blogging, but it’s always been on my mind! So much has been going on, with the school year, the kids, and also working part time at two jobs! YES TWO!! This mama is back in the game! As some of you know, I’m an Instructional Assistant to a Kindergarten class here in Sacramento! I’m in the same Unified School District with my own children, which is great because, we their off, I’m off! Our vacations are totally in-sync!!

As for my newest job, I work for one of the general hospitals here in Sacramento as an Administrative Assistant!! If you’ve never had a position within the healthcare world, boy oh boy, their interview process wasn’t that rigorous as I thought it would be, but it was the job steps in getting cleared through Human Resources, and the hospital. Very very step heavy, and something I’ve gone through. Anyhow, you’re girl is back into the work world doing two things that make me happy, provide for my family, as well, as keep me in check in life, routine and schedule.

Speaking of schedules, now having 2 jobs now has be driving to and from places like a mad woman. Gym in the early AM, dropping off the kids to school, going to job 1, fitting in groceries, getting my second work-out in, prepping dinner, bringing the children to karate, then going to my second job…Everything has me working from my car. And with that, I need a journal, and a few basic office supplies always on hand.
Here’s a post on basic stationary I keep handy as this mother works 2 jobs, and balances out life as a wife, mother, and employee. Daiso EDITION!!

“The Japanese dollar store,” is known for their cute, “kawaii” designs that make everything in their retailer different from the normal dollar general retailer. From stationary, health & beauty, Japanese products, to kitchen & dining. Enter at your own risk, as Daiso may surprise you!! I’ve been able to avoid Target for the longest time because I’ve shifted my mind-set to Daiso everything. #DaisoHack #AvoidingTarget

From the cutest stationary sets, of normal standard sized envelopes, to the cutest, tiny-itty,-bitty panda printed envelopes you can find!!! So kawaii ya’ll!!!!

High quality pencils, pens, calligraphy pens, markers, colored pencils, to journals, planners, wallets, and office supplies. Majority of things costing $1.50!!! I also scored this cute pencil zipper case ($1.50!) It fits perfectly in my purse which holds my laptop, along with files for work, and other planners I normally hold.

I’m seriously a walking-wanna-be-kindergarten teacher, with office flare. Ok, ok..That was my attempt to be a little funny. But girl, look at that white, and black graph-print pencil case! Does it scream Etsy/UrbanOutfitters inspired?! You would have never known it was from Daiso, it I didn’t mention it! I’m planning to purchase a whole bunch, just cause it’s $1.50!!! HELLO, I see make-up bag, bags to hold my ear-buds, and other cords, and also tampons! YUP. A little TMI, but shoot! For reals ladies!!!

Being a busy working mom on the go, phone-calls, appointments, meetings, all come up to the surface when in my car. So having my little travel friendly office supplies on me in my purse, comes definietly handy, as I can simply, pull over, or while I’m wait

Be Our Guest

Every summer family from out of town come to visit us here Sacramento. With having a guest bedroom to spare for our once-in-awhile, guests I took it up to my inner interior designer to add more decorative details to the room. I took inspiration from my past Airbnb visits from Beverly Hills and San Francisco. A little bit of some high end inspo, with some budget-friendly-smart shopping items.

If you’re a fellow reader, I’m sure you’ll remember the gold table I was crushing over with my 90210 apartment home. It was a CB2 Gold Bistro Table in stationed in the kitchen nook. That week in Los Angeles, I made that table my work table! If new to the blog, you can check that blog post  | HERE |

The above table, can be purchased here at CB2

Watermark Brass Bistro Table ($249)

The patio/ bistro table gives any living space that modern feel perfect to sit one and a laptop, or two, to enjoy a cup of tea or a meal! From the smooth surface, to sleep style, you can sit comfortably anywhere!! Mix match with chic bistro metal seats, or even a wooden chair!! This table in my June Airbnb was my pop-up kitchen nook office. I fell in love with it, onced I arrived in LA, and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

SO! Enough with the drooling. CB2 priced this brass bistro at almost $250! YIKES! A hell-to-the-NO. Here’s what I did in my guest bedroom to create this similar look.

For starters, you always need to start with the big ticket items. For this living space being a guest bedroom, we obviously needed a bed. Now, to be honest, we only get about 4-5 visitors that sleepover during the entire year, so investing in a fancy bed wasn’t needed. The husband and I purchase this simple pullout bed from IKEA. (Not pictured – due to real life problems | My laundry was all over the daybed, which I wasn’t about to fold, to take a picture of. Sorry. Not sorry.)

Here’s the pullout sleeper sofa we purchased from IKEA | HIMMENE |

HIMMENE Sleeper sofa, Lofallet beige

Cost: $449.00

This sofa converts into a spacious bed quickly and easily. When you pull the underframe upwards, it folds down the backseat and creates a Full to almost Queen sized bed.

Now, that we have the main bed situated, everything else was pretty much easy to add. A lot of wall space was needing decor, but also functional items for my guests. Here’s was I’ve added on my walls:

  • Circle Nautical Wooden Frame Mirror | Clearance Find @Target ($11.98)
  • Chalk Sign | Marshall’s ($8)
  • Faux Greenery | Michael’s Craft Store & DIY
  • Wicker Basket Plates | ALL Thrifted ($1-$2 Each)
  • Ornate Brass Decorative Piece | Thrifted ($3)

Creating budget friend living spaces may sound difficult to many, but when you block out the distractions of “high end,” and quite expense items from West Elm to even some Target brands such as Nate Berkins, I can understand blowing your budget may come easy. BUT no fear here!! Tiffany got’s you!!! Keeping an eye out for clearance items, and checking your local thrift store will always have items for you. All you have to do is be open to the hunt!!! I promise you, being fabulously frugal isn’t scary. It’s a wonderful way of saving!!!!

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on inexpensive ideas during vacations and get-aways for the family! I’ve have tons of experience on saving and finding great alternatives that work for the family and of course, your wallet!!

 

 

Summer Floral Crown

How adorable are summer floral crowns? During the summer days at outdoor markets, music festivals, to summer bbqs, there’s always an occasion to wear these dreamy bohemian crowns. Here’s a tutorial I’d love to share, as I made a bohemian flower crown, for the perfect for a summer city wedding. Nothing to fancy, just love, city hall, and a touch of boho.

All the following items can be found at your local craft store. They can also be found at WalMart in the craft department, and also at the DollarTree!! Yes! The DollarTree/Dollar General/99 Cent Store!

What You’ll Need:

  • Floral Tape
  • Scissors
  • Wire Pliers
  • Twine/Decorative Neutral Ribbon
  • Faux Florals
  • Hot Glue

Directions:

  1. Starting with preparing your flowers, start by cutting the flowers down off their stems using your wire pliers. Leave enough length to work with, as we need them to bend around the head.
  2. Flowers should be cut by the neck, and long greenery stems should have a longer length. Repurpose the green leaves from rose’s as well! They are great fillers towards the end of the project!
  3. Arrange all cut pieces to in groups.
    This helps create an easy work method, for easy efficiently, and careful creative selection. I’d place all my florals together, separating the roses large pinks and small white in separate piles.
  4. Once separated, start designing your floral crown. Carefully select different sizes, and place them together.
  5. Place large greenery stems towards the back, which would be against the head, and the small dainty florals, towards the outside.**Having the florals facing outward will look more visually compelling, along with having a strong dynamic look, so while creating your floral crown, also we aware of the weight distribution. Try to avoid compiling heavier rose buds to one side. Regardless, the floral crown will look amazing no matter what!!
  6. Cut, snip, trim as you go. Once you find the grouping you like, start wrapping the floral tape around the access stems. Gather as you go, similar to a french braid.
  7. Continue wrapping the floral tape along with each access stem until you reached the start point.
  8. Tighten, and reenforce for floral tape if needed.
  9. Try on your floral crown, and fix the weight. However it feels, is how it’ll fit for you, or whoever will be wearing it. If it’s comfortable on your head, it’ll definietly be comfortable on another.

And voila!!!  You’re ready to wear your floral crown!! The perfect easy accessory for a music festival, wedding, bridal shower, or photoshoot!!! Secure the floral crown if needed with bobby-pins. Otherwise enjoy your new bohemian style floral crown forever!!

 

My VERY Last Donut

We all strive to have that summer body. But what happens when you total up all those cocktails, beer, carnival food, summer BBQs, and vacation eateries all into one?! Calories galore!!! Depending on your diet, and your health goals, it’s not just summer that gives us the pressure to be fit and lean. The holidays come around the corner, and ta-da – by the new year, you just gained 10lbs!!

During our last visit to the Bay Area, the kids and I were able to explore a few of my most recent bookmarks on YELP! One of the places we visited was a recently opened donut shop just down the street from our old home.

GoNutz has been the Fremont craze lately. The IG worthy donut shop gives life to the city of Fremont. With poke places, aćai joints, and beer gardens, donuts just add to the list!!! Let’s eat with our eyes shall we?

Go Nutz With Donuts

Address: 

41093 Fremont Blvd.

St. 102

Fremont, CA 94538

| Yelp |

Have you gobbled all the donuts with your eyes?!?! Isn’t it amazing?!?!? GoNutz, definietly was my last time eating a donut. I love donuts, I love sugar, I love bread. BUT sure do love my body, and strive for healthy livings. So indulging in something such as a sweet and decadent donuts was totally worth it, as i enjoyed a weekday morning with my children. It’s all a balance.

_____

Are you on a current health and wellness journey? Getting fit, starting a new diet, enrolling in a new gym, or just hiring a personal trainer are all the first stages of surrendering to the self love you want to get – to get the better you. Check out my Journey To 30. 

My Journey to 30 was a diary of my health and wellness journey through the lens of someone who was hungry for a goal. Since then, I shook of 40lbs off my 5’ft body. If that sounds something you’re going through or interested in, please check it out!! I’m still continuing the same lifestyle, but just don’t document my journey as much. If you have any questions, please comment below, or email me at [email protected]!

 

Easy Embroidery Hoop DIY

You all know I love to thrift. Thrifting this summer has been a weekly thing for me, as I hunt through the racks and shelves of my local Goodwill. One of my focuses when looking around at a thrift store have been embroidery hoops. This wooden hoop is ideal for embroidery, for use as a stretcher of fabric, painting and more!

In this post, I’ll share with you the easiest craft you can do with this wooden hoop. Available in numerous sizes from 4″-14″, you can fit your project with ease.Typically at the craft store a standard embroidery hoop will cost you around $1.50. At the thrift store, you can find these for about $0.19-$1 if you’re lucky. Let’s get started!!

Supplies:

  • Embroidery hoops
  • Scissors
  • Printed Fabric
    I used these decorative fabric napkins from Target on Clearance for $2!
  • Hot Glue Gun

Directions:

  1. Take your embroidery hoop and loosen the notch to release the second inner hoop.
  2. Place your decorative fabric or napkin on top of the smaller hoop.
  3. Take the outside hoop and place on top of the fabric.
  4. Push down the outside hoop, having the fabric pull down, tightening in the inner hoop inside.
  5. Tighten the outside loop notch.
  6. Once fastened, take your scissors, and trim around the hoop, leaving a 1.5″-2″inch space between cut and hoop.
  7. After cut, use your hot glue and apply on the edge of the back exposed inner hoop.
  8. Quickly fold extra fabric over the edge of the applied hot glue. This will tuck the extra fabric away from the front of the piece.

And that’s it!!! Hang with a push pin in any fun layout! Since the fabric were originally napkins (sold from Target), I placed my group of embroidery hoops in the kitchen to give it that casual, fun and bright vibe.

Take this craft and make it your own, use children prints, modern patterns, or go the distance and paint your own print on a blank fabric! The skies the limit with embroidery hoops!! Hang and enjoy where within the home!! Happy Wednesday everyone!!

 

Exploring Potrero Hill

All you already khow every time I visit the San Francisco, my husband and I always book in Potrero Hill. The neighborhood feels alive during the day despite being mostly residential, which is WHY WE LOVE IT! There is a steady sidewalk culture of people coming and going. Mama’s pushing strollers, people walking to work down to the Design District (that’s where my husband works!), and other constant foot traffic of people going the the Mission District, DogPatch or Soma. It’s also in between to two hospitals (Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay.)

There are just enough amenities that you can walk to right out our door to buy wine, take the kids to a park, or sit at a sidewalk table for lunch. SF locals who have lived in the Castro, Cole Valley, Mission, South of Market, Hayes Valley, and even the Richmond District  — all bustling and vibrant parts of town —but none of them feel as homey as Potrero Hill.

During our weeks stay, the husband went to work, and the kids and I explored the neighborhood. Obviously, this wasn’t our first time here, but the location of the Airbnb was new. A new street, we haven’t been on, and a few other street views we haven’t seen just yet.

One afternoon the boys and I were walking up to an open space to get a better view of the city, and we stumbled upon the ‘Little Free Library,’ bookhouse along the way. This house was so adorable, we actually have one in our neighborhood in Sacramento, its definietly a cool program, especially during the summer. The little library was like a large bird house with a glass door. Just a few selected books are placed in there catering those who enjoy love novels, travel, cook books, business, and also kids books for toddlers, and elementary school aged.

The Aibnb I stayed at, had an amazing selection of San Francisco books as well! One of my favorites was Victoria Smith’s (sfgirlbybay) book! I’ve been following Victoria for years!! I still remember the day’s of reading her blog, getting so inspired to just snap a few shots in San Francisco, and just uploading them to my own desktop as wallpaper!! YES! BEFORE INSTAGRAM!!!

Internationally popular design blogger SF Girl By Bay comes the ultimate love letter to San Francisco. This gorgeously photographed lifestyle guide gives the reader an insider’s tour of the City by the Bay through Victoria Smith’s unique lens. Organized by neighborhood (like Potrero Hill), each chapter features enchanting photos of hidden corners, local color, landmarks, and hot spots!!!

See San Francisco: Through the Lens of SFGirlbyBay

Follow Victoria on her other social platforms, so m u c h eye candy! You’ll love it!!

Blog | HERE |

Instagram | @sfgirlbybay

| Twitter | Pinterest |

By: Victoria Smith (sfgirlbybay)

You can get your copy of ‘See San Francisco..’ on Amazon Prime | HERE |

As my boys and I continued our walk around Potrero Hill we walked toward the Starr King Open Space, along 23rd, and up the hill towards Carolina. Star King Open Space, a lesser known “park,” with a great view! While not technically a park, the area is protected from development and meant to be enjoyed by the entire community, including the wild animals. 

Where it’s located: Near 23rd and Carolina streets in Potrero Hill.

While everyone loves Golden Gate Park and Dolores Park, San Francisco also has over 220 parks and open spaces! If I wasn’t staying in Potrero Hill, I would’ve never found this hidden gem! Thanks to my Airbnb host who provided the cutest tiniest book about Potrero Hill, and all it’s cool happenings!

 

Airbnb With A View

The family and I are back from another awesome San Francisco trip. We were welcomed back to Sacramento earlier this week, with a warm and toasty 100 degree hug!! Yuck! I know! Completely different from the Bay Area breeze! Our San Francisco weeks trip was filled with art, culture, food, city scapes, neighborhood exploring and well, the bay breeze!! We were so excited to have our annual San Francisco Summer trip, because we got to escape the nasty heat in the 916!! After moving to Sacramento from the Bay Area, one thing is certain, the San Francisco Bay Area has  t h e  BEST weather!!!!! The Bay breeze blows throughout the entire Bay Area from Oakland, Walnut Creek, to the Tri-City East Bay.

Visiting the Bay Area is always special to me. Not only am I near my friends and family, but also my birth place. Living in the Bay for 30 years, I’ve been surrounded by multicultural cities, the melting pot of west coast in food, and also you’re just a few hours either direction to the wine country, Tahoe, and Yosemite!

If you’re new to blog, welcome!!! I’m happy you’ve found me!! Just to give my new readers some content, I’m Tiffany, and my family and I constantly visit San Francisco. We’re a family originally from the Bay Area (Born & raised), and now settled in Sacramento! My husband works romotely from home in Sac, but makes this monthly visits back to San Francisco. Soo…..Since, it’s summer, or when schedules work out for the kids and myself, we’ll join along with my husband to SF, and stay in an Airbnb!

Our Airbnb was set comfortably in the middle of Potrero Hill, which is our favorite neighborhood in the entire city to stay at. Walking distance to coffee shops, playgrounds, and many different restaurants. The quite neighborhood also has amazing views of the city from every street! (Some, not even tourists know of!!!!)

Potrero Hill feels like keeping a secret. There are no undiscovered neighborhoods in San Francisco, but residents of the Hill have something special, which is why the family and I consistently keep returning. Perched on the southeast side of the city, it’s on the way to nowhere. It feels isolated from the rest of town, but walking distance west to The Mission, or going the DogPatch on 3rd. Taking walks anywhere perfectly frames the downtown skyline, even the Bay Bridge, and the ships on the bay and the blinking lights of Oakland toward the East.

LIKE this Airbnb?!

Here’s the link to check out more details!

Book your stay now! | Apartment With A View

Stay tuned for my next upcoming post on kids friendly things to do in Potrero Hill and other spots within the Bay that are FREE!!! Great kid activities for the kids and cost nothing!!!

Liked this post? Well, I have more Airbnb travel posts all on my Family Adventure‘s Page of my blog!

CHECK IT OUT!! | HERE |

Since I’ve been making more and more trips back to San Francisco since the move to Sacramento, I just had to create a separate page for my San Francisco trips. You can see it all | HERE |

 

5 Ways To Feel Younger

Let’s face it, growing up is hard. Finding the perfect career, finding the love of your life, growing a family, raising children, buying a house, saving for vacations, the list goes on. Life really wears us down. I mean, I work part time, but also handle many stay-at-home mom duties, the rest of the day. My children’s lives take over my own personal goals, which to this day, I still have trouble balancing. As we’re getting older, and so as our offspring, life passes by. Here are a few ways to feel and look much younger, fresher and more lively so life doesn’t break us down early on in life.

I love my age. Old enough to know better, young enough to not care. Experienced enough to do it right.

To through it out there, I’m 31. I hit my thirties just last year, and have been a parent for 10 years. I laugh when young twenty somethings tell me their tired. Because, when I was 24, already had a 3 year old, and newborn. I don’t want anyone reading this feeling like they are holding a special card saying their life is unique and that’s the reason why you feel so so tired. Well, truth is, we all have 24 hours in a day, and it’s up to you to run the day, or the day runs you.

  1. Cook More.
    Cooking your own food, in your own kitchen, not only gives you life skills, but also helps budget money, and saves time from going out and buying unhealthy food at you’re not preparing.
  2. Watch What You Eat
    Food is fuel. Eat right feel amazing!

  3. Sleep Enough
    Beyonce get’s 24 hours in a day too, and she has newborn twins and a 5 year old. Somewhere in her day she still manages to be a great wife, and mother, daughter, sister, and entertainer. Trust me, she’s tired too. We all are. Whatever your work schedule or lifestyle is, 7-9hours is definietly enough to get those ZzZz’s.
  4. Exercising Regularly
    In two weeks, you’ll feel it.
    In four weeks, you’ll see it.
    In eight weeks, you’ll hear it.

    Fall in love with taking care of your body. Period.

  5. Maintain A Positive Attitude
    You are what you think you are when it comes to aging. Seniors who think of age as a means to wisdom and overall satisfaction are more than 40% likely to recover from a disability than those who see aging as equal with helplessness or uselessness.

Feeling younger, and loving your age isn’t rocket science. It’s all common traits we all know, but its all about the attitude and how much you really want to feel great and feel alive. Money isn’t a factor. And don’t let that run you. If you can’t afford to take that SoulCycle class, or new trendy gym downtown, take matters into your own hands and work-out at home. Waking up, get up, and tackle these 5 things. Feel good and feel great!