End Of Summer Clearance Finds

Summer is over, and  well, according to what the people say the first official day of autumn was September 22nd, which was 3 days ago. While I’ve pushed out all my autumn decor, and putting away my staple summer decorative pieces — retail stores have been marking down their summer inventory! Here are a few items that I’ve stumbled upon from UrbanOutfitters to Target!!

While shopping my at favorite retails, I always make it an effort to check out the stores backend of the store, or “end caps” of department aisle. UrbanOutfitters is one of my most favorite places to purchase marked down items. Whenever it’s the end of a season, retailers have to get rid of their previous inventory. UrbanOufitters apartment clearance items are a go-to for me!

While visiting Santana Row I had spotted a few ceramic mugs on the shelf. Stacked on top of one another, and mixed with a few political mugs. Mugs marked down to half the original price, is a definietly a home run. I had spotted 4 mugs that I was crushing over. A milk glass-esque mug, to 2 aqua and navy blue ceramic mugs. Originally $8, and cut down to $4.99, I knew I couldn’t pass them up.

See folks, I have a decorative mug problem. I collect mugs. And not just any mug. I like mix matching, simple mug coffee/tea cups. Usually mugs can cost you over $12.99 to $14.99. So seeing $4.99 for a cup is a steal!!! I ended up purchasing a “Natural High” mug, and a soft faint aqua colored mug. My personal kitchen style gravitates towards, soft, dainty, and eclectic. Really, I don’t have a name for it. If I like it, I buy it. I don’t like really giving a name to my style because it’s always changing. One minute I’ll love rustic pieces, another month I’ll be strictly all about vintage. What can I say? I can’t stick with one style.

I’ve come to terms that my house will never be at its finished complete perfect look. I’m always constantly buying more things every week. Yes. Literally, every week. From little small contributions to my home, my collection grows at a stable pace, with an evolving look, that turns to something new every time. Check out my newest page on my Home & Style page of my blog! From there you check out my interiors page, and see posts of my home!

Summer clearance mark downs are really fun. Something self-control is needed at hand. Example. If you find yourself at Target, and see all the fall/Halloween decor everywhere you look. It’s only September, and October hasn’t even hit. All the Halloween decor impulse shopping can honestly wait. Take your butt straight to the back end of the store and check out the Home & Garden clearance section. Marked down items from gardening tools, patio pieces, to fun summer picnic accessories. Check out these half dipped wooden coasters. Last seasons current trend of half painted pieces create a simple, modern fun touch to everyday pieces.

I scored the set of 4 coasters at $3.99 at Target. Each coaster had a wooden finish, with a half dipped painted touch from colors of white, aqua, coral, to sea-foam. A perfect pair to the set of 2 mugs I had previously purchased at UrbanOutfitters.

If you’re on budget with home decor, and need to spruce up the home, it’s all about adding small decorative pieces. At times, I lean on fresh florals to add life to my home, other times, I just need something new.

 

Check out the total of my new pieces:

 

UrbanOutfitters:

Natural High Mug, $4.99

Aqua Mug, $4.99

Target Coasters, $3.99

TOTAL: $14

A small amount does accumulate over time, as small purchases like these are made, but to me it’s all worth it. These coasters, and mugs have been in use everyday within my household.  What are your current end of summer marked down finds? Comment below!!

Autumn Details

Welcome back readers!!!! We’re now entering the season of fall as the first leaf falls to the ground –indicating it’s fall (autumn if you may). If you’ve been following me on IG, you’ve probably noticed I’ve already started pushing out my fall decorations. If not, please do follow on IG! There, you can see what’s currently going on, and usually a good indicator on what’s to come on an upcoming post. Sometimes, I get inspired by you guys! Yes YOU!! I get a few followers who comment, and always ask, “where did you I get that piece?” “How much?” “You made that?!” Yes! All those questions, come to me, and make me want to create a blog post covering all your questions!!

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If you’ve been following me for a while, autumn decorating is one of my favorites throughout the entire year! The orange spices, colorful hues, mustard yellows, and warm glow to decorative pieces give such cool and calm energy to the home. Also, my favorite feeling…Warm and cozy. Currently, in Sacramento, the temperature is still hot and toasty, but that wont stop me from decorating!!!! As some people love to easily jump into Halloween decor, I like to ease in autumn. Pumpkins, toasty faux leaves, cool metals, and yarn tapestries are what I have. This year, I’ve incorporated many of my gold accents as well.

You can check out my post on decorating with Gold Accents HERE.

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Last year, I wrote a post on being Frugal in Fall. This post, is quite similar, but just an updated version on how I’ve been styling my new home here in Sunny Sacramento. (If you’re new to my blog, welcome! You can catch up with my move to Sac HERE.)

Now, I’m a huge thrift store shopper, garage sale extraordinaire, an avid Craigslist shopper, and flea market goer. Antiques, vintage, secondhand, sold-as-is, and clearance are my main shopping goals before I go full retail. You can call me fabulously frugal. If you walk into my house, I promise you every since piece, item, furniture, picture frame, shelf, all once came with an awesome price, and pretty cool story at finding it. It’s literally my hobby, and job as the head of the home decorating team of my household.

Let’s start off my goals at approaching to shop for the fall season.

  • Walk Into Target
    Yes, you read it. Check out Target. Or World Market. Wherever a festive display of home decorating pieces are neatly and specifically arranged to make you buy. CAUTION: You may have to hold yourself back from purchasing all the cute items. BUT you don’t want to. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading my blog post at this moment.
    Walking into Target or Cost Plus World Market, is to gather inspiration. See items, up front, how they styled it (Props to all the visual merchandisers out there!!! I was once one, looong ago…) See the small vignette styled pieces. Also, take a close look at the prices. Those prices are what we’re trying to avoid.
  • Price Check
    Once you’ve gathered inspiration, go directly to the clearance/sale section. It’s usually at the back end of the store, or at the end of every aisle. See if there are any pieces from last year’s collection, or inventory they may be trying to get rid of.

Above picture:

Here are a list of items int he picture above – on where I purchased my autumn accessories.

(TOP Picture) Bronze metal pumpkin candle holder, Savers Thrift Store $2.99, faux pumpkin, Flea Market $0.99

(BOTTOM Left Photo) Leaf Candy Dish, Savers Thrift Store, $1.99, Outdoor Glass Gold Lantern, Target, Clearance $9.99 (Originally $19.99), Gold Tray, Target $11.99 (Originally $17.99)  

(BOTTOM Right Photo) Pumpkin candy jar, Savers $3.99, faux pumpkin, Flea Market $0.99

Folks, total everything up, that’s about $30 dollars! Minus, my gold Threshold trey, which I’ve had the past 4 years. Strictly, all fall decorations were a total of $20!! Cover 3 different areas in my home.

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This photo above is a vignette I’ve created on the top of an IKEA china cabinet I have near my dining area. I styled 2 wooden crates stacked on top of each other, paired with 3 birchwood branches. Both the crates, and birch wood branches were purchased on Craigslist!!!!! YES!! Craigslist! A common source where I purchase a lot of my best finds. Even the IKEA china cabinet it sits on was from Craigslist!!

  • What To Search 
    A fews years back I was into event styling. I’d help style, and assists a wedding planning in San Francisco over the weekends as well as being hired independently through close family and friends for their parties. With not much of huge budget, I’d source out to Craigslist and search for what I was looking for in particular. (i.e: Wedding Decor, Rustic pieces, crates, escort card holder you name it!!!!) From there I’d find countless brides, getting rid of their wedding stuff!! After that, the rest is history, and over the years, I’ve collected many,many pieces, which have become my festive/seasonal decorating.
  • Strangers Trash
    Oh honey, that’s where you’re wrong. It all depends on what you’re looking for. How is it that I’ve managed to collect so much through all these years? All secondhand, from people who no longed needed it, and just styled in new ways!!

So before you end up buying the entire home decor collection at Target, check your local thrift stores, garage sales, or Craigslist. You’ll never know what you’ll find! Happy hunting, and happy decorating!! Stay tuned for more decorating tips, and ideas this month all about fall!!!

 

Also be sure to check out more posts on my IG feed!!

Follow me @TiffanysTidings

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Autumn decor is back!!!

Gold Accents

I’ve been all about gold accents around my house!! They just bring a a simple modern clean look to the home. Gold accents also go great against color!! Sometimes when color is missing, hints and sprinkles of gold items help tie in the room together. Now, I know decorating with gold can get intimidating. It may be too bold for you…Hey, I was the same way.. So I started off with gold stapler from Target. (Yeah, you know that Nate Berkus Limited Edition Stapler that everyone has. Especially the gold scissors.)

Yes. I started off with something as small as a simple gold office accessory. And honestly guys, it doesn’t take that much to get the love of gold to get going. The obsession kept growing as I stepped into every retailer, and always saw gold accents, decor, accessories everywhere.

 

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During my last Craigslist flip of my bamboo desk, I styled the blue lagoon desk with some Target Threshold gold accents.

 

You can read more about my Craigslist Bamboo Desk HERE!

Click on the pic for a closer look and see the detailed step by step process of transforming this Craigslist find!

Decorating with gold accents don’t have to expensive too. Of course there are amazing decorative items at West Elm, Z Gallerie, and Restoration Hardware, but let me tell you. There will never be a time I shop at those retailers. Clearly because there is no way in hell I can justify any of their prices. So let me start off with some ideas on gold items you can DIY, or look out for when on a budget. Just remember, gold decor doesn’t have to be expensive.

DIY Gold

If you haven’t picked up yet on my blog, I’m in love with DIY projects, and being budget friendly as well. If I can make it vs buying it full price, I will. With that said, a good DIY project is so much full filling. If you like being creative, and enjoy the process of making something awesome– DIY it! Incorporating gold accessories don’t have to be items that sit on the shelf to be pretty and sterile. Make something, and place it in your home, being proud of your work. Try making a piece of art work using gold acrylic paint or spray paint or a functional piece too! Some ideas could be like these fantastic Pinterest finds:

  1. Geometric DIY Art (By: Sum Of Their Stories)
  2. Gold Painted Elephant (By: Build-Basic)
  3. Gold Dipped Bar Stools (By: HoneyBearLane)
  4. DIY Mirror Frame (By: Pretty Providence)
  5. DIY Abstract Art With A Golden Touch (By: LollyJane)
  6. Himmeli Geometric Sculpture (By: Ash And Crafts)

 

Street Cheap Gold Decor:

When I say street cheap, I mean free to less than $10 to basically nothing! It’s also goes with the Gold themed DIY. When you’re on the hunt for secondhand keep a special eye out for things you love. From gold textiles, figurines, and if you’re lucky, and vintage find! All these items and also be flipped, or they just need a good cleaning. Here are places to search if you’re looking for a “canvas” for a GOLD diy project.

  1. Thrift Stores
  2. Flea Markets
  3. Garage Sales
  4. Craigslist
  5. DollarTree/99 Cent Store
  6. Target DollarSpot

 

Affordable Gold | Retailers: 

I understand not everyone is into the hunt through secondhand. It’s just not you to search through thrift stores or flea markets. Here’s a list of my favorite go to budget friendly retail shops. (They’re also my favorite spots to go shopping at during the holidays!) —-Psssst, when gold decor comes out REAL hard.

  1. Marshalls/ TJ Maxx/ HomeGoods
  2. Ross
  3. IKEA
  4. Target
  5. Cost Plus World Market

What are your favorite gold items to decorate with? Are you a gold DIYer? Or do you just buy from your favorite store who has a wide selection of gold accented pieces? Comment below!

Craigslist Bamboo Desk

Everyone, my craigslist game is on! The family and I just got back from a week long vacation visiting the San Francisco Bay Area. After day 5, I was already craving to go home back to Sac just to settle down and gain back a normal routine. And guys, when we arrived..I made no plans to waste time and let my creative itch rest. The Sunday evening we arrived home, I hit Craigslist, and searched my tail off to something to transform.

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Photo from my Instagram account @tiffanystidings

Is it me? Or am I on fire on Craigslist?! Vintage Bamboo desk, that is screaming for a new paint job!!! ($30)

#Craigslist #Sacramento #FrugalFind#Thrifty #Secondhand #Used #Desk#BambooDesk #DIY

I’d like to present to you my latest Craigslist transformation. A vintage wooden bamboo desk purchased for $30 (Originally $40, but the lady spotted some cracks, and knocked off $10 bucks!)

So it all started with the intent to browse through Craigslist for a desk for my oldest son. The school year is about to begin, and with entering 4th grade, I wanted him to have a solid big boy desk. Well, my search derailed, as I spotted this fantastic vintage bamboo desk for $40. With a few knicks and chips, it was not bothered by the imperfections. I jumped to contacting the seller and arranged a pick-up for Monday morning.

The boys and I traveled about 20-25 minutes north from Sacramento to a town called Orangevale. A neighboring city to Citrus Heights. My 9 year old son helped me carry the desk into the car, and we went straight to the closest home improvement store for paint and supplies.

As we got home, I just used some wall spackle to fill in the imperfections of the desk, which was the reason the seller took off $10 of the original price. The wall spackle is something I had already after using it to fill in holes at our previous residence. Simply, using a joint putty knife (flat surface tool –basically the handyman version of a kitchen spatula) spread your spackle using the putty knife to the surface of your project. If you look closely at the above picture, I filled in the holes of the top desk surface, and also on the right corner side of the desk.

Spackling Process:

  1. Spead spackle.
  2. Set to dry. I waited 30 minutes since they were small areas.
  3. Scrape away excess compound from surface with your putty knife.
  4. With the blade at a 90-degree angle to the surface. Take care that you don’t remove the spackle from the hole or crack when you remove the excess.
  5. Use a damp cloth to remove any compound adjacent to the patch that you didn’t remove by scraping.

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After evening out our imperfections using the spackle, my son and I gently sanded down the desk, and also gave it a good cleaning with a wet cloth. After that, the painting process began. The color palette I decided to go for was a navy blue, and blue lagoon by Valspar.

The color selection was chosen upon my family room IKEA area rug.  (MARSLEV High Pile, Tuquoise, Beige Rug) Also, the main reason I was searching up desks on Craigslist was because my son needed a desk. This bamboo may or may not be his, but will be placed within our common living area, which can be used as a pop-up desk area for anyone to use besides mommy. Hehehe.

We painted the exterior of the desk in the Blue Lagoon, and interior (drawers), and dark mid-night blue. I also kept the bamboo hardware the original color, but gave it a fresh look with Krylon Satin Ivory spray paint I already had.

Paint Colors:

Exterior: Valspar Blue Lagoon (CI 189)

Interior Drawers: Valspar Dark Night (4003-4C)

Hardware: Krylon Color Max Spray Paint in Satin Ivory

Photo Aug 05, 12 01 00 PM

Before purchasing this desk, I had already knew how I wanted to style it! Gold, gold, gold!! If you’ve been shopping at Target lately,  I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed the College/Dorm Room decor and essentials. Over the summer, I’ve been slowly collecting the gold items at Target. From outdoor patio gold glass terrariums, gold candle holders, to the DollarSpot file and mail holders!

Speaking of dorm room essentials, please be sure to check out my latest YouTube video!!! Yes!! I’m back!!! Seriously, it’s been like a year! But I’m hitting it hard on all social media platforms that I’m able to handle! Check it out!

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YouTube

If you know of anyone entering college and moving into a dorm, first apartment,or on their own for the first time, please be sure to check out the video! (Like & subscribe!)
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Target has tons and tons and tons of gold embellished items. From the dorm room accessories and decor, to Nate Berkus office supplies and decor. After walking throughout Target I got exactly what I needed, with still a little more wiggle room to get more elsewhere (like my favorite discount retails: Marshalls/TJMaxx/Ross and also the thrift stores!)

I purchased this awesome desk lamp, and paired it with a Target glass terrarium I purchased a few months back. I love pairing surface items in three, or 2. “Grouping” items with different heights compliment each other quite well, especially when on a desk, table, or night stand.

Target Gold Buys

Desk Lamp: James Collection LED Task Lamp -Threshold ($29.99) 

Lantern/Terrarium: Lantern Gold Metal – Small Threshold ($12.99)

Geometric Candle/Pencil Holder:
Threshold ($4.99)
Magazine Holder:
DollarSpot ($3.00)

Photo Aug 05, 12 24 04 PM

I’m so happy with the way the bamboo desk turned out! Stay tuned for more Craigslist furniture flips and transformations, as I continue to furnish my house here in Sac! Happy August!

When In SF Explore

We’re back in San Francisco again, and can’t wait to explore!! Speaking of exploring, I want share one of the many go to happening spots for family fun — The Exploratorium!!!  As we settle in for the week of business and pleasure and push into the city, I also want to share my pit stops before entering SF.

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A few visits ago to San Francisco, we were able to experience the Exploratorium at Pier 15, hosted by Google! Being a part of the tech culture, the well distinct company invited us for a company offsite, inviting all families within the Google community. Located along Embarcadero, the Exploratorium isn’t just a museum; it’s an exploration of science that feed your curiosity!!

Exploratorium

Address:

Pier 15

(Embarcadero @ Green St.)

San Francisco, CA 94111

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When is San Francisco:
Landmarks:
If you’re unfamiliar with the San Francisco Bay Area, a one day must see is the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay in California. As part of Interstate 80 (880) and the direct road between San Francisco and Oakland, carries about millions of vehicles a day on its two decks!

Coming from the East Bay, visit Oakland & Emeryville:

Oakland/Emeryville sits on the east end of the Bay Bridge, which has pit stops of the Bay Street shopping center & my favorite the Emeryville Public Market.

The Emeryville Public Market is retail center with an emphasis on casual ethnic eateries, plus stores & services. Offering over 20 unique food retailers representing the diversity of San Francisco Bay Area. Guitar Center & Urban Outfitters too!

Emeryville Public Market

Address:

5959 Shellmound Street.

Emeryville, CA 94608

Public Market has recently been renovated, along with their renovation you’ll spot out a fantastic modern geometric mural, within the Public Marker Food Hall by artist Ollie Glatzer.

Check out the story behind the art HERE.

Twiiter:  @Public_Market

Instagram: @PublicMarketEmeryville

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Bay Street | Emeryville

Address:

5616 Bay Street.

Emeryville, CA 94608

Bay Street has fabulous stores, atmosphere, food and live entertainment.

Retailers include H&M, Sephora, Uniqlo, West Elm, several restaurants and a AMC theatre.

Now let’s talk about the exploratorium.

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First of all, the Exploratorium isn’t just for kids. Yes, it’s perfect for families to check out, but when I was a teenager, and in my early twenties, the Exploratorium was always a perfect date spot while exploring San Francisco. Just a short walk from the ferry building, this new location of the Exploratorium is in a convenient area! The price might seem high, but believe me, it’s more than worth it; you’ll be amazed by the things you learn.

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The Exploratorium holds countless exhibits to the point where it’s almost overwhelming.Time flies by quicker than you can imagine, before you know it 4 hours will have gone by in a flash.

Most exhibits are interactive, engaging both children and adults. You see some people spinning in chairs in one area, blowing bubbles in another, and then playing with magnetic black sand in another.

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It’s a hands-on and informative museum. The Exploratorium is gonna keep you on your toes!

San Francisco is such an amazing place to be! As a born and raised California girl, I cannot be more proud of be able to be raised here, met my forever man of my dreams, have my children at the same hospital I was born in, and go through the pages of life, tech life, and 50s homestyle living! Now, situated in Sacramento, monthly visits back to San Francisco make me love the city more and more, as well as my state!!

Thanks to Airbnb, my family and I are able to rent out homes, by the locals and actually “live there.” Check out my Airbnb post, on our visits from San Francisco to San Diego, this past month!! Click the Airbnb logo!

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Are you a frequent Airbnb traveler? Is Airbnb the latest lifestyle for you? Are you a host? Or just a well journeyed* traveler?

Comment below and share your story!

Storing Memories

Storing family video and photos can be very overwhelming. I get it. With today’s technology it can get pretty messy, if you’re not to comfortable trusting the cloud or internet. Many of the older generation, tend to get intimidated by technology. Trust me, my mom asks me to post her photos on her Facebook.

Here I’m going to share with you my process on archiving all my family photos and videos. Since having my first child in 2007, I first starting using Snapfish. Its a web-based photo sharing and photo printing service, where I’ve been storing all my photos, and also sharing them via email with family and friends.

*******Note, I’m no super tech saavy genius. This is just a process that works for me, and I’ve definitely grown along the way! So if you have a process that works for you, stick with it! This is just a process I’d like to share and hopefully inspire others who hasn’t created a system for archiving important digital family memories!******
My Family Photo/Video Archiving Process:
 
  1. Upload
    From anywhere your photos and videos are on, a point and shoot camera, DSLR, iPhone, iPad, upload and transfer your precious videos and photos to your home based computer. This system works for me on my iMac, it’s my headquarters for all my memories. I find it easier to transfer all my footage onto one machine, vs. having footage stored on multiple devices around the house.
  2. Organize in iPhoto & Desktop
    ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE. I’m very particular as I archive my footage. From separating all my events, “EJ’s Birthday,” “Lily’s Baptism,” “Picnic At The Park,” even if all those events happened in one day. I separate them! It may be a lot of work, and time consuming, but it’s worth it. Everything will be easy to find within your folders, and also, as they are carefully split and dated in your chosen photo storage site.
  3. Snapfish/Costco
    Since I found out I was having a baby, late 2006 I started storing my photos on Snapfish. It was a safe place to upload and share. This was before storing things on the cloud. To he honest, I don’t really use the cloud to store my photos and videos. Snapfish tends to scale down the photo to a weaker quality, but I’ve been storing all my photos here, there’s no turning back now. (I’m just stuck in my ways.)Snapfish
    Costco has been a safe family favorite. Many of my family members have Costco, and use their photo center. I remember the days when my mom and I would bring all the film rolls and fill out a whole bunch of envelopes right after a family vacation or during the summer. We would be outside filling out the envelopes and seal them ready to develop and pick-up in a week. Nowadays, there is no need to do that. We can just upload from the comfort of our home, and pick-up as soon as a few hours, at a cheap price!costco
  4. Video Clips, imported to iMovie
    We all take videos on our mobile devices— from our camera phone, using SnapChat, to Facebook Video. Point and shoot cameras have been my go to electronic to capture all the precious moments I share with my family. Video editing has been a new found hobby of mine. I’ve been recording snippets of our lives for so long, that now it’s time to compile them into video. There are days when I get soo overwhelmed with the heavy archive of digital moments just sitting on my desktop, that I spend countless hours in the night, just editing family videos. (No. Really.)Here’s my process of editing video to the upload, and sharing them with family.imovie

    1. Record
    2. Save
    3. Edit (I just use iMovie which is a movie editing application that came with my iMac)
    4. Upload to private* or public Youtube account.
      I’d prefer having a private account, becuase I’m sure not everyone wants their private lives exposed for the internet world to see.
    5. Categorize to playlists.
      From Travel, to Sports, School related, to Dance Recitals. You name it, you catergorize it! I simply have Family Travel, monthly vlogs, and two separate playlists for each of my boys.
    6. Share with family and friends
      There’s nothing better than sharing your family video via email. Send the link over to grandma and grandpa, and have them see what the kids are up to via Youtube! (Using a shared link.)

      youtube
      Aside from my Tiffany’s Tidings Youtube channel, I created another public channel, focused towards my family travel. A new lifestyle that we’ve adapted to since moving to Sacramento. Since our family is back in the Bay Area, the family and I travel back and forth every month to visit. As we do so, I record as the boys and I travel and discover our old hometown, and surrounding cities.

      If you’re interested in seeing our travels from Sacramento to San Francisco, come check out my channel! If you like what you see, hit the thumbs up button and subscribe!!

    7. Chromecast on a Friday night!!!
      The family and I love checking our family Youtube at the end of every month. If* mommy is consistent making videos, the kids simply queue it up, and Chromecast it to the tv. 
How do you categorize your family footage? What this process helpful to anyone? Or possibly similar? Comment below! I’d love to hear how other parents keep and organize all their family movies and pics!
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Sac Urban Art + Yelp Eats

One major appreciation I’ve been enjoying here in Sacramento is the street art! In every city, urban art is what adds to a cities identity and culture. Oakland, New York, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, you name it…It’s everywhere. For me, simple living, lesser crowds and culture has such a huge factor. I guess its the introvert in myself. I find myself exploring downtown Sacramento alone a lot. While the my man is working at home, the boys are at school I’ll tend to drift over to the heart of the city, near the captiol and wander.

Wikipedia describes Urban art as is a style of art that related to cities and city life, often done by artists who live in or have a passion for city life. In that way urban art combines street art and graffiti and is often used to summarize all visual art forms arising in urban areas, being inspired by urban architecture or thematizing urban live style.

Celebrating my 5 months here in Sacramento, I’d like to share a few pieces I’ve happen to take a picture of as I stroll the city. From not being originally from this city, I’m really enjoying it here. Little things like these make me happy. And it isn’t even a lot. It just really

 

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J St. (In between 25th & 26th St.)

 Here’s a Sam Flores mural Derrick and I came across after having lunch at Kru.

EATS: Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine

Derrick loved how the sushi rolls were pretty unique. Using top grade ingredients, the bf couldn’t stop raving about how unique Kru’s sushi was. “Nothing like I ever tasted before..” is a common tip from fellow Yelpers.

Kru’s Address:
2516 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816
(Midtown)

Upper Playground

(Picture taken via Pinterest Saved By Upper Playground)

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J St. & 16th (Corner to P.F Changs)

While waiting for dinner I spotted this piece on a door of what is probably an electrical box. I was telling my hubby, I’d love a piece like this of myself! I guess its the beauty of the woman, and the floral headpiece. I’m a sucker for urban art with whimsical florals and beauty.

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Across from Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, there is a parking-lot primarily filled with graffiti culture. It bleeds around the surrounding buildings from 16th to 17th, and J St. to Jazz Alley, into a garage, where no cars park, but is open to the public. Awesome graffiti art, in formal gallery spaces, definitely strike my fancy whenever we’re waiting for our table downtown.

EATS: When in Sac check out Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar!!!

It’s a local Japanese chain serving sushi, small plates & hot entrees in a stylish space!! 

his restaurant is located right across he auditorium, and there is a public parking lot across the street (with the graffiti!) for $5 flat rate.

They used a good reservation/waiting system. You just need to go to the hostess and they will text you when your table is ready.

Located in downtown Sac, this spot doesn’t look like your average sushi joint.  Spacious, two floors, the ambiance and environment is classy and trendy at the same time.
Mikuni’s Address:
530 J St #150, Sacramento, CA 95814
(Downtown)

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Stay tuned for more posts as I continue to discover more urban art around my new city!! I’m also aiming to share my favorite Sac EATS!! I’m excited to share with you that I’ve become a part of the Yelp Elite Squad for 2016!! Yay!!

I’ve been a little off the grid with my Yelp reviews since 2012 (?) I know, was I living under a rock or something? No. Not really. It was just really competitive to become a Yelp Elite in the Bay. (HA! Seriously.)

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You can check out my personal YELP profile HERE.

LINK:

http://tiffanymac.yelp.com

 

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Stay Cool For The Summer

Being a June baby, summer is my jam. If it’s one particular season during the year, that I am the most relaxed, and capitalize my time, and really know how to enjoy life its summer. Good vibes and tan lines are basically are you need, This summer, the family and I have a pretty relaxed summer. We opted out of two weddings!! Yes two weddings!! We decided not to attend. It’s not that we dislike the bride and groom, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying no.

From a rough summer last year, of having the hubby go though an achilles injury (from basketball), and not able to go out as a family all summer, that was extremely difficult for me. Family time is always needed. So last year, I focused my time and energy on self-help, health and happiness. I trained with a trainer, and trained all summer for runs (5Ks, 10Ks, and ended the year with 2 half marathons.) You can check out more of my health journey HERE.

This summer, the hubby is healthy and at a wonderful state of mind of becoming stronger more than ever. We’re in a new city, a new home, and explore every single day what’s around us. Financially, we’re ok. The move 2 hours up, from the Bay Area to Sacramento, took a huge bite into the bank account, but it was worth it. Vacations this summer may/ or may not happen, but we’ll see what we can do. But honestly, living in a new city….It’s been feeling like we’ve been on vacation since we’ve moved!!!!

Here’s some helpful tips on making summer great without packing your bags and buying a plane ticket to paradise. I promise you, summer isn’t all about the sand, and tropical climates!

Check out my OUTDOOR list for a free budget friendly summer!!!!
(Bay Area & Sacramento Favorites!)

  1. Hike
    Derrick and I love to hike. Especially with out 9 year old son Jaeden. Living in Sacramento, we’re closer to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite!! We’re also very close to Aburn, which has fantastic parks and recreation! When we visit family back home in the Bay Area, we always make sure to make a morning hike at Mission Peak! That hike definitely works you.Visit a local bookstore or bike store for trail maps, or check out Trails.com for hiking trails near you.
  2. Evening Stroll
    The hubby works from home, and can usually get caught up with a lot of work on his plate. It’s important to get outside and get some fresh air! Usually after dinner, the family will take a nice evening stroll around the neighborhood. It’s the perfect time and weather for it too, as the sun sets, and temperature is cooler.
  3.  Bike
    Biking is our new family favorite. Now, that both our children can ride on their own without training wheels we can enjoy bike rides all over town! Sacramento is actually the bike friendly city! Paved trails are everywhere, and take you anywhere in Sacramento to Davis to Folsom! Make a day out of it with packed lunches, lots and lots of water! If your city hosts food truck meet-ups or evening concerts at the park, biking would be a great option for travel!! (You don’t have to worry about parking!)

  4. Visit a National Park
    Save the date!!! August 25th!! Is the National Park Service’s birthday!!! They’re celebrating by giving everyone a FREE pass!!! Click HERE to find a park near you!If you’re in California this includes:
    Cabrillo National Monument
    Death Valley National Park
    Joshua Tree National Park
    Lassen Volcanic National Park
    Lava Beds National Monument
    Muir Woods National Monument
    Pinnacles National Park
    San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
    Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
    Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
    Yosemite National Park
  5. Hit The Beach (or the river!)
    Obviously, depending where you live you can visit your near by beach! Now living in the central valley, I’m a lot closer to the rivers. I actually live right across the Sacramento River! Chill out, grab your favorite book, sand toys for the kids, and floaties!!!
  6. Fruit Picking!
    I grew up spending summers cherry picking!! Although, the locals in my community have suggested apple picking at Apple Hills farms a little up North Sac. I personally have not done it yet, but do plan to visit during the Fall!!
  7. Plan a Picnic
    Sandwiches, salad wraps, hot dogs & hamburgers..Have a family picnic at a local park!
  8. Fly a Kite
    Head to an open field and have fun! My kids love kite flying!!
  9. Play in a Creek/River
    In the Bay Area, there was a park called The Frog Park (Rockridge/North Oakland). I’d usually take the kids there for the awesome play structure and sand box. But they had an incredible creek/pond like water area for the kids! Now, we’re closer to a river, so walking down the road takes us to nice little beach were the kids can splash and play in the sand.
  10. Check out Farmers Market
    Back in Fremont, we lived walking distance to the Irvington Farmers Market. It was definitely our family go to every Sunday, especially after an early morning hike. Here in Sac, in the melting pot of agriculture, Farmers Markets, are as popular as Starbucks drive thru’s!!!! Check out Sacramento’s Farmer’s Market’s HERE.

 

Well, that’s what I have for now. Stay tuned for more summer to do’s and activities! I’ll be sharing a lot more all summer long!

Also be sure to check out more activities I’ve done previous summer’s on my DIY >> Kids Crafts!!

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Pinecone Pineapple Craft

Garland

Watermelon Paper Craft

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Summer Routine

Summer has struck me real hard, and it’s been about 2 weeks into my kids summer vacation. I believe I’ve been doing a pretty good job keeping the kids away from the screen, and integrating a few activities, afternoon movies, and family board games. But there are stretches of free time.

With a sufficient amount of resources out there on the internet to keep kids busy (God bless Pinterest), let’s be honest… There is no way in h-e-double hockey sticks, that I can keep my two boys busy with back to back activities with creative crafts and outdoor water play. To be quite honest, my summer started off with sleeping in, cooking a semi-breakfast, then running errands with my kids for about 3-4 hours.

Am I just being too hard on myself?? During our summer days I’ll squeeze in a casual park visit after our errands. But, lately, mother nature has been blessing us extra hard here in Sacramento with some extra heat. After a few searches on Pinterest, I was inspired with a structured day by day weeks summer schedule. After creating this summer schedule, it’s definitely anchored my days adding a metal bolt to my day.

Check out my summer fun schedule! Hopefully this can help you out if you’ve been struck hard with summer open time.

Summer Schedule

You can download Our Summer Schedule HERE.

Thank goodness to a structured scheduled summer!! I’ve now structured my summer to a systematic day to day event routine, my children and I could follow together.

Happy Summer!

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Hello Sacramento!

It’s official! My family and I have moved to Sacramento! It’s been a long journey for us! But we did it! It’s been about 2 months settled in, and my family and I have transitioned very smoothly to the area. Leaving the Bay Area wasn’t as hard as I thought it would’ve been. But let’s start with why we moved.

Yellow Sacramento Bridge is the Tower Bridge that sits over the Sacramento River.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, I’ve always thought this was going to be my forever home. Of course I knew there were tons of great places out there in the world to explore and discover, but knowing that your childhood friends and family are only 10-20 minutes away is quite comforting. But not until you grow your own family.

See from, 2007-2012 my high school sweetheart and I struggled to make a comfortable home. We jumped from a small loft nestled in the intersection of Hayward’s Mission Blvd. & A St. (subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area), where oriental auto mobile mechanic shops, used car dealerships, and a WIC Family Grocery store rest. From the ghetto loft (raising a 2yr old son), we then moved to Fremont, CA just 15 minutes south of Hayward and rested in a 1 bedroom corner apartment, where Middle Eastern liquor stores were walking distance and countless Pizza N Curry deliveries were always made.

Once we were expecting our second son Tristan, we needed more space and moved back up North to Castro Valley, CA (25 minutes North Fremont,) a small village town, with mainly older retired veterans, and young working professional families. That was a transitional apartment while we were expecting our second son. At age 23, we managed to make these small apartments our home, and my recently graduated boyfriend started his career in Software Development. I at the time, was working full time as a Administrative Assistant in San Ramon for an ATM company. One of my most favorite jobs ever.

After living in in Castro Valley for about 6 months, with our new 3 month old baby son, and 3 year old, my parents offered a deal to live in a 5 bedroom home, that was supposed to be an elderly care home project, that didn’t fall through. We were only paying $1,000 a month! Note, 5 bedrooms, in Union City, CA. That was a deal. 3 years in a comfortable home (which didn’t feel like home, bc we were technically paying my parents), we moved out and found a 3 bedroom cute bungalow in Fremont, and then made it our own, with cozy personality, cul-de-sac memories, and neighborhood kids friendships with my grown boys now (5 & 8yrs old.)

 

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Now, fast forward to the present. We’re now settled in Sacramento, just North of Downtown, and across the Sacramento River. What brought us further up to Northern California and settling in Sacramento??? The overcrowded Bay Area. 2015 was all about reflection and patience for myself and my boyfriend who had ruptured his left achilles tendon during a basketball game. Mid-summer, he partially torn it again. Through the rough patches of year, and many hours of talking about “when I’m 100%,” or “When I’m able too….” so many conversations were about the future. The future that may not be nestled in the Bay Area, where we will take ourselves and our children, and start fresh.

In fall 2015, we already started searching. Searching for family friendly neighborhoods. Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, San Diego. We wanted an area with culture, diversity, and where the cost of living was a lot lower than the Bay.

“The Bay Area is where you want to work, and only want to work.” 

“The Bay Area is pushing out the middle class.”

“Work life balance is non-existent in the Bay Area. There’s a reason why Tech companies have all these aminities on site such as oil change, dry-cleaning, gym, free food… They don’t want you to leave.”

A typical 3 bedroom home in Fremont could cost you about $2,700 to $3,000 a month! $2,900 for luxury condos near BART.

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For a stay-at-home mother, with a partner who works remotely from home, even us too, are sick and tired of the over-used and abused culture in the Bay Area. We haven’t taken our children to San Francisco since 2012. (Due to the extreme traffic conditions.) It just isn’t worth it in our eyes. After the careful consideration, and much research, we settled for Sacramento. See, I don’t want to talk down the Bay Area. It’s an amazing part of Northern California. But it doesn’t fit in to our family needs. We can live without it, the 1hour and 50minute drive to visit family and friends is excusable, and still not to too far.

 

During our transition of relocating my family to Sacramento, it’s brought to my attention relationship standings with family and friends. Also, how I plan to tackle and approach our new life here. It all transitions well into turning 30 this year. My goals are crystal clear, and I love the new atmosphere in our neighborhood and community. Stay tuned for more Sacramento living with my Journey to 30!

 

 

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