Labor Day In Los Angeles

Due to my crazy schedule of going back and forth to the Bay Area, and desperately needing a mommy daddy date this past Labor Day weekend, I’m going to take back a few years ago to a Labor Day getaway weekend Derrick and I had. It was our first weekend away together with two boys at the time were the ages of 4 & 10 months.

RoadTrip

This throwback, kind’ve brought me to tears as I was going through my Facebook ‘On This Day’ feature. Just about 5-6 years ago, having the opportunity to travel on a quick 3 day weekend road trip was so hard to come by. Now, to this day. It still is difficult to achieve. Be parents with full time jobs, children in after school activities and such has become harder, then it was to raise an infant and toddler back then.

Parent readers, if you’re new to parenting with young children…..Let me hit you with a parenting truth. It get’s harder. Or maybe it gets easier. It all depends. But as we parent our young beautiful children we brought to the world, we also have to find the balance with our love life. Our part of our grown up lives to explore and discover…A few years ago, we decided to take a weekend road trip to Los Angeles. Here’s a quick overview of what we checked out and visited while visiting Southern California.

VeniceBeachPIN

Derrick loves Venice Beach. If I could describe Venice beach in a nut shell….Think Berkeley hipsters or Haight/Ashby locals from San Francisco, hanging around the beach. From vendors, local food spots, recreational beach activities, and more!!

Venice is a residential, commercial and recreational beachfront neighborhood on the Westside of the city of Los Angeles. Venice was founded in 1905 as a seaside resort town. It was an independent city until 1926, when it merged with Los Angeles. (Wiki)
VeniceBeachBike

One of our favorite things to do while traveling to different cities, is renting out bikes. Anything from taking your own car, or being in a motorized vehicle exploring the city, is the best option to take in the city…And actually ‘see’ it. It’s the same concept as walking around your own neighborhood. Walking/ taking a light jog around the neighborhood, may give you another perspective of your local area.

For a few bucks an hour, rent out a bike from Venice Beach and bike the boardwalk all the way down to Santa Monica Beach!!! Enjoy the sun, breeze, and fun cool people watching.

VB2

Vendors with cool shades, to souvenir shops fill the boardwalk!! People from all over the world come visit sunny California, for the beaches to the celebrities of Hollywood.

VB3

Venice has always been known as a hangout for the creative and the artistic. In the 1950s and 60s, Venice became a center for the Beat generation. There was an explosion of poetry and art.

Venice is today a vibrant area of Southern California and it continues a tradition of progressive social change involving prominent Westsiders (Read more from VeniceBeach.com)

Exploring Venice Beach is alreays refreshing to us. Being close to the ocean, seeing artistic people express themselves through art, and expression, and also the cool locals that bring and make Venice Beach all together. During this time visiting, (as it was literally our first time traveling without both of the kids) it was a great reboot/ to our relationship as a couple, and as parents. The long 6-7 hour road trip gave us time to talk without being interrupted, and other times, just to sit and think, and reflex in quite peace.

All that sounds, so simple, but oh so so needed to parents…

SanteePIN

Another spot we checked out was Santee Alley in Downtown LA. Located in LA’s Fashion District they have everything from clothing, toys, knock-off purses, to Halloween contact-lenses.

Santee Alley is one of the most popular retail shopping areas in the LA Fashion District, best known for its festival-like atmosphere and amazing bargains. Santee Alley’s 150+ stores and vendors sell everything – apparel for the entire family, accessories, toys, perfume, gift items and much more! (Explore Santee)

Santee Alley is an actual alley, located between Santee Street and Maple Avenue, from Olympic Boulevard to 12th Street. It is open 365 days a year, including all holidays.

Santee Alley Address: 

319 E Olympic Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Santee1

As far as the toys, pretty much everyone is selling the same thing just walk a few more feet and the next guy is selling the identical thing. Which helps in negotiating. They have tons of clothing here for men and women especially. Everything here is negotiable so don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. Chances are they’ll give it to you at the price you want otherwise walk away and look somewhere else.
LA1

The food is like your usual Mexican Street food. From fresh fruit, already pre packed and freshly cut for the day, to bacon wrapped hot dogs all from street vendors.  It’s all for the experience and the culture that lives within Downtown LA. Don’t miss out on all the tasty treats! It’s definitely something we enjoyed as a couple. LA3

 

Check out more of our family travels here on the blog! Click above to Life & Family to Family Adventures. I also created a page for San Francisco, and Sacramento. Both two of our most frequent spots we travel too.

 

I also try my best to upload my family vlogs as we visit different cities. This is something new, I’ve started within the summer. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a balance in created and editing on top of the up keep for my blog. But if you’re more of a visual person, and want to see San Francisco, and the discoveries here in Northern California, check out my newest YouTube Channel –different form my craft channel!

 

youtube

 

Writing On The Wall

As we’re here in San Francisco, the hubby and I love exploring the city in ways we’ve never done before. Besides the typical go to landmarks and touristy hot spots…We like taking a different route. A past visit to San Francisco a few years ago, we took a Art of Tag class hosted by a local San Francisco Art Gallery.

We purchased off one of those off beat companies similar to Groupon and LivingSocial. We arrived to SoMa, was introduced to the art and history of graffiti.

tAGpin

1am1

1AM Art Of Tag (1.0 Class: Covering the history of Graffiti)

1AM 

Address:

First Amendment

1000 Howard St.

San Francisco, CA 94103
(SoMa)

1am2

(Info provided and taken from 1AM)

The art of graffiti class covered a quick intro of the history of graffiti and how it changed over time. We took a mural walk tour through the streets of SoMa in San Francisco, and saw landmark pieces and productions followed by a group wall collaboration with your class creating a piece yourself!

1am3

With a swift introductory of the spray paint can, our instructor quickly sketched out letters, for us to fill in.

Further classes will allow hands-on time to discover your own personal style!

This was a condensed class of all their classes and graffiti tours put in one. 1AM hosts classes from:

Art Of Graffiti 1.0

Graffiti Tour: Underground Culture

Street Art

Street Art Tour: Art In Public Spaces

All classed range fro $40-$70

See more 1AM class & tour info HERE.

1am4Getting hands on experience on a public wall, with an experience artist was one of the coolest things. As a “bedroom artist,” myself, I have played around with spray paint….Not just on furniture, but on tiles, wooden slabs, using stencils and lots and lots of tape. I guess I needed that urban street experience to add to hit. Whenever I tried freehanding spray paint, I’d get a little too controlling over the entire process. I’d freak-out when the liquid paint would drip. But thats the point. Some art mediums are all about being messy right?!

1am5

Above and below is Derrick and myself, getting into the world of tag. If I had one artful wish —it would be owning my own studio art space. To goof off, create, in any medium. I’d definitely love to experiment more and more with graffiti.

1am7

Filling in space was my favorite. Maybe because its soo easy, and you don’t have to worry about fading. Something that I can do with color pencils, and acrylic paint, becomes so hard when on spray paint. No joke. Try.

1am10

The little things I noticed with our art of tag teacher, Nate (Nathan Tan) was the classic black sketch book, and definitely the passion he had right along with telling us the history of tag. I loved the casual, informal approach he had to the entire thing, but with the casual form, and mannerisms, the passion was definitely there, and knowledge.

1am8

1am9

Here’s the final product of the collaborated wall art of the class. Don’t be fooled by the white sparkle and shine. If, that weren’t there the art piece would have been pretty flat. Thanks to our teacher Nate, for sprucing up the piece. Haha

Dream

What are your kind of out of the box dates you do with your partner? Different forms and experiences to experience a new city, or town you’re visiting. Let me know! I plan to share more experiences of our personal day dates/ date nights with you on my blog!!!

Also, be sure to check out my latest YouTube channel, as the family and I travel to and from Sacramento to San Francisco (Bay Area)! We always try to make every visit fun, and family friendly. But if daddy and I, get the few hours in the day to explore and have a day date or evening, you can count on us on exploring more night time happenings!!!

 

youtube

SFPin

If this is something you like, check out my channel! See our family travel happenings!

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.

ExplorePIN

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

explore1

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

BayLogo

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.

exploratorium

explore3

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.

explore2 2
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.

explore

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!

airbnb

Airbnb1

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!

Lakeside Lounge

In past summer vacations, the family and I were really consistent in going camping. We would travel up north to the redwoods (Humboldt Redwoods), and also up to Nevada County (Scotts Flat Lake Campground) Although being around the redwoods was amazing and majestic, the family and I weren’t always down for the long 5+hour drive.

California’s northwestern edge has spectacular network of parks. Half of the world’s coast redwoods, the world’s tallest living things, (which grow over 350 feet!) So, if ever in California, please be sure to check out our beautiful redwoods!

Our favorite type of camping is definitely the kind when we’re near a lake! Scotts Flat Lake was our go to for 2 years straight. It’s a destination for outdoor fun and activities, open year round, and conveniently located between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe!! (One extra PLUS why we moved up to Sacramento! We love the outdoors!!) Camping between the June, July, and August summer months are the prime time frames to visit!

One of our favorite camping lazy day agendas, which is always on our itinerary is lakeside lounging.  Whether or not your a child, pre-teen, twenty something, or senior citizen, there is always something to do at the lake! Here is a list I’ve created for summer activities to do at the lake! Chill out, relax, and soak up the sun!!!

Lake Activities

Water Activities :

Sailing

Kayaking

Canoe

Sail Boating

Jet Skiing

Wak Boarding

Paddle Boarding

Fishing

Camp

Shore Actives :

BBQ

Picnicking

Volleyball

Badminton

Play Frisbee

Building  Sand Castles

camp4

Some lakes also support annual no motor days. Enjoy a day on the lake without all the noise or waves. These days always draw a crowds. Support the local boy scouts by grabbing a hot dog and relaxing on the lake (Hosted at Scotts Flat Lake). Paddle Board demos, sail boat rides are provided as well as kayak and canoe rentals.

camp2

Lakeside lounging is one our favorite past times. With the kids growing much older, I want to continue the tradition of “outdoor living” (camping Hehe). I feel blessed to have been raised by a family who loves being outdoors, as a child I remember going camping or staying a few days in a cabin in Yosemite. So many memories….Something I want to share with my kids now.

camp5

Check out more about Scotts Flat Lake HERE.

Scotts

Scotts2

Do you love summer camping?

When is your favorite time to camp?

What are your favorite camp grounds?

Comment below!!

 

 

Midwest Visit

Exactly two summer’s ago, the family and I have a paid trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. Why Ohio? Well, the hubby at the time worked for a wonderful startup company called Ahalogy. The company offers a performance content marking solution for enterprise. They help marketers (such as bloggers like myself) connect with consumers via meaningful, data-driven content. The visit to Cincy, was originally a business trip, for the hubby, but turned into a welcoming family vacation, as at the time we were considering moving to the mid-west. Which, coming from the West coast, leaving the Bay breeze, beaches, mountain ranges, and hot-pot of cultural diversity was a huge toss up. BUT once you break it down to the cost of living…And seeing the remarkable culture and housing provided in Cincy, it’s a very hard decision to make.

Anywho! Back to my trip intro…Ahalogy was kind enough to cover our traveling expenses, and hospitality. They offered their company apartment to our family, located in the heart of the Oakley neighborhood. The neighborhood is filled with young professionals, and situated close to neighboring areas for young families to take short walks to city favorite book stores, boutique shops, brunch spots, weekly farmers markets, and many many different coffee shops within each block.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Here were the boys at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport, waiting for our flight back to San Francisco.

Is it me? Or do you enjoy the “On This Day” feature on Facebook, where you see past memories and posts you’ve made? I honestly love it!!! Here’s an Instagram shot of the boys. It was my first time traveling with the boys, alone!!! No help from daddy, no help by my parent. It was awesome. 5 hours with a 3 & 6 year old boy was quite easy. I give it up to the parents who fly with young ones. I guess I was lucky.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 3.34.32 PM

Airport ready with these boys.

#CamerinoBoys #JetSetters#ParentingSolo #ParentFlyers

#Cincinnati #OH #CVG #Ohio✈️💺🎒🎫

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Upon our arrival to Cincy after taking a red eye from San Francisco, our first stop wast taking a walk through the Theodore M Berry International Friendship Park. Located in downtown Cincy, its a very narrow green space named for Cincinnati’s first African-American mayor, with long walking & bike trails. Coming from a city in the Bay Area that is nestled between the Silicon Valley, culture and scenic, and major public areas are uncommon. So after our walk around International Friendship Park, we were basically shocked, and in love with Cincinnati already.

Cincinnati has a wide area and selection of riverfront parks to hang out at. One popular playground my boys liked was located in Sawyer Point, directly beneath the “Big Mac” bridge.  The playground is a huge wonderland for children of all ages to explore.  The playground is enormous, with a wide variety of activities for adventure!!  There are musical instruments, a climbing wall, a truck to drive, slides galore, swings, ramps, steps, ladders, passageways, nooks, crannies, tunnels and so much more!

Playground Parent PLUS: It’s located under the bridge, it stays pretty shady at the playground, which is nice in the summer July heat!

Cincy3

The boys walking through Saywer Point’s playground.

Saywer Point Park

Sawyer Point Park & Yeatman’s Cove are a pair of side-by-side parks on the riverfront of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The two linear parks stretch one mile along the north shore of the Ohio River.

705 E Pete Rose Way,

Cincinnati, OH 45202

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

One of a kind crossing….

 Out of the nine bridges crossing the Ohio River, this is the only one that is purple.
The Newport Southbank Bridge, popularly known as the Purple People Bridge. It stretches over the Ohio River, connecting Newport, Kentucky to downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Wikipedia
Read more here: Purple People Bridge
Now, coming from a city where bridges are commonly used only for automobiles, and never for pedestrians it was hard for me to believe there was such a bridge just for people. Yes, I know, it makes me seem like I live in bubble.
BUT FUN FACT: when we visited Cincinnati, we were considering to buy real estate there! We saw about 4-5 homes that week we visited.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Here’s the boys at age 3 & 6 at the time (July 2014) at what we thought was Devou Park in Kentucky. Our GPS accidentally took us to the property of the Children’s Home (Of Northern Kentucky) which we had thought was the park. This grassy green area in Kentucky overlooks to Cincinnati.

Devou Park

Address: Covington, KY 41011

Devou park is a massive park with an amphitheater, golf course, lake & museum, plus sports fields & trails.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Have you ever been to the Midwest? Especially Cincinnati, Ohio? If so comment below! Everything from the people, culture, homes, communities, coffee shops are oh so what amazing! After our visit, I was obsessing about traveling to other cool small/town cities with hip low key culture….

Check out more posts on my Family Adventures page!! I’ll be posting a part 2 to our Cincy trip on Family to-dos, and our favorite spots!

BLOG_Signature

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

 

IMG_0059

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)

IMG_0060

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.

IMG_0061

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)

IMG_0062

 

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.)

Badge

You can check out my personal YELP profile HERE.

LINK:

http://tiffanymac.yelp.com

 

BLOG_Signature

Live There

Since the move to Sacramento, the family and I have made a few visits back to the Bay Area. It’s nice to sleep at the parent’s house, and go back to what was once your normal routine. To take familiar roads/streets routes to your favorite coffee and ice cream shop. It’s always special and nostalgic to go back home. But there are parts of me not missing it. The Bay definitely is more crowded then Sacramento, and that’s what reminds me why we moved. But what about other cities in the Bay Area where I never lived? How about living there temporarily?

This upcoming month has quite a bit of traveling. The hubby, has a San Francisco business trip every month. During his stay, the company covers his expenses using Airbnb & Uber. So what better way for the kids and I to hop on that opportunity and change up the pace of living here in Sac, while we’re still on summer vacation? Airbnb has been our go-to hospitality route.

 

Airbnb San Francisco AGENDA

Today, the kids and I will traveling to meet daddy in San Francisco. Our current plans are to stay a night together, have fun the Mission, sleep, and enjoy brunch. The kids and I will continue to explore once daddy heads back to work. Since we are somewhat natives to the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ll be dropping the boys off to their grandparents house back in the East Bay (approx. 45 minutes away from SF w/o traffic)

Coming back to the Bay Area, is really refreshing for me. I have the help of my parents to watch the kids, as my hubby and I can focus on us as a couple. I’ll be taking BART (Bay Area Rapid Transportation), back into San Francisco, as my hubby has his car nestled at the Airbnb spot. All moving parts, are all carefully planned out, and set into place. A lot of coordination. but really simple.

airbnb-local-recommendations

After moving to Sacramento, our visits back to the Bay Area, are a lot more high quality. As we use Airbnb, Uber, and other parts of local transportation, there is more of a appreciation to this place, that I wasn’t able to enjoy while living here. Not many peers understand, why we left the Bay Area. But at this point, there is no need to explain, for them to understand. We visit consistently, and explore places than we ever could.

Out decision to relocate to another city, was mature, well thought out, and the best for our family. With this move, and new lifestyle of Airbnb’ing back to San Francisco, we’ve gained a lot more than actually living and paying to live in San Francisco.

 

FUN FACT: We’ve met more people within the past 4 months of living in Sacramento and heading back to San Francisco, then we ever did living in the Bay Area, and being stagnant. Social circles were at a dead stop. Growth within our peers were moving at different paces, and we were unable to relate. Why live like that?

 

Airbnb1

 

Airbnb is a place to explore places you would have never visited, and experience them in a way as if you actually lived there. Many Airbnb spots we’ve stayed in including, Portand, OR, Seattle, WA, Sonoma, Santa Clara, and San Francisco, all have been very accommodating to us. The hosts, tend to host families. Living there, is all what they are about.

Airbnb

The best part of Airbnb is choosing the right place for you! The hubby and I Chromecast our laptops to the main TV in our home and share our browsers. We poor a glass of wine/ lately, beer…Crafts beers for him and enjoy looking through different places for our next trip. We join and settle on a collaboration of our interior likes and styles. He like, modern industrial, I like that with a touch of boho chic. We’re definitely an eclectic couple! Overall, we always find the right place for us. Sometimes, we’re not able to find the Airbnb spot we like, due to availability. so we always settle for safe, clean, and location. It always works out in the end.

So theres my upcoming summer plans. Aibnb to San Francisco every month!!! Stay tuned for something special, as I’m adding more videos to the blog. Something separate from tiffanystidings video, but more personal travels. Subscribe to the channel below and stay tuned for future content! I’ll be sharing our travels, discoveries in Sacramento, San Francisco, and maybe just maybe San Diego, if we can squeeze that in to our busy summer……….

Trust me. You wouldn’t to miss out. I’ve been working hard on my video editing skills. (HAHAHA) 

 

youtube

Subscribe to the channel above! It’s my personal travel channel, of the local happenings I come across from fun family spots, Airbnb interior tours, and much more!

 

BLOG_Signature

What’s HOT |Off The Grid: Sacramento

sac-riverwalk-scene-1024x362

In addition to my previous post of ‘Slaying Summer‘ and doing cheap affordable things during summer vacations are food truck meet ups. In the Bay Area, Off The Grid was a very popular weekly public lunch and dinner event within your local community. With free entry, music, community, and family fun, Off the grid serves too all. Just show up, and select from a wide range of food venders available! All ages and taste buds welcome!! If you’ve been following the Family Adventures portion of my blog, the last place my family and I traveled to was the Pacific North West. While visiting Portland, we were huge fans of the food pods! Food pods & taco trucks are my favorite kinds of “eating out medium!”

You can check out my PDX Food experience HERE.

Soak up the sunlight this summer, and travel to your nearest food truck spot! Off The Grid, currently cater’s to California, but I’m sure there are tons of food truck mania meet-ups. During the summer, you really do have more hours in a day. So make some good use of those extra rays! As my family and I are current new residents to the Sacramento area, we are searching on what’s good in town. A fabulous summer vacation isn’t the only option to do between June-August. Tap into a real sense of r&r, and use this simple and easy idea of checking out food trucks! Choose what flavors suits you, and make the most of the kick-back season!

#GetAwayWithoutGoingAway

When I found out that Off The Grid was coming to Sacramento, I nearly screamed! So many great experiences I had at many different locations in the Bay of food and company were rushed to my brain. Having something oh so familiar, to my new city is really exciting. A bit of familiarity, into a new area for my family to discover. Not only that, the location Off The Grid: Sac had chosen was the popular River Walk in West Sacramento! Only 10 minutes away from home, and just about at 25min (mile) bike ride!!

Sac

With about 20 vendors, bars, cabanas (which you can reserve for a whopping $75), and music all along the river, from 11am-4pm, that could easily be you simple Summer Sunday, with not that much effort!! BUT of course, if you like being a little summer ready, and no so hot & bothered by the nasty heat you can always be prepared with some summer essentials….like THIS.

OffTheGrid

Here’s the thing about Off the Grid Sacramento, there’s nothing more relaxing than hanging out with friends and family on a Sunday afternoon as the sun shines, and the kids are running around the open grass field, or cruising down the pavement with their skateboards and razor scooters. We often get hung up on the formalities of throwing a party, or meeting at a nice sit-down place. Let that all go, and just declare a local taco truck meet up. Invite co-workers, neighbors, and start you own “First Sunday” tradition!! Email & text everyone a reminder that you’ll be meeting at the local food trucks for a stop-by- and hang-out every first Sunday.

#MakeSummerMemories

Be sure to follow Off The Sac (@offthegridsac) on Instagram!

River Walk Park

 

Hope your summer is easy and relaxed just as mine. What are your favorite summer traditions that don’t cost money?! Is it fabulously frugal such as meet ups at the park? Evening walks? Comment below! And happy summer!!

BLOG_Signature

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!!

Step3

Pinecone Pineapple Craft

Garland

Watermelon Paper Craft

BLOG_Signature

30 On The 30th

My better half has finally entered his thirties!!! I find it incredible that I’ve been with him for half of his life!!!!!!!!! That’s 15 years people!!!! So I asked him what exactly did he want to do for his big 30. While others may want to celebrate BIG like Last Vegas, flying out somewhere exotic and having the time of their lives…..He just wanted a relaxed weekend getaway. Thank’s to Airbnb we were able to find a modern glam studio apartment within Santana Row, within the Silicon Valley. An outdoor shopping mall in San Jose, California and close by to Westfield Valley. Located along Stevens Creek Boulevard f the Winchester Mystery House is just to its west, across Winchester Boulevard.

After settling down in Sacramento, we were desperately due for a weekend getaway away from our home, and the children. Our focus has been heavily set on the kids the past 3 months, as they transitioned into their new schools, and started little league. (Oh! Did I forget to mention, I volunteered myself as team parent! Which I think was a big deal on my end. Transitioning into a home, and balancing out 11 families.) The man, knew we were in need for some distressing from out life in Sacramento, and so we headed straight back to the Bay Area, dropped off our children to the parentals in the East Bay, and were off to Santa Clara.

airbnb

*2016 UPDATE*

Check out more posts here on our Airbnb stays

HERE.

Airbnb1

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Morning View from our Airbnb, Santana Row, Santa Clara, CA

His birthday eve dinner was spent at El Jardin Tequila Bar & Restaurant, located at the southend of Santana Row. Upon our arrival, a Spanish band started to play. I couldn’t think of any other way to enjoy our Friday night together. It reminded me how wonderful it is to get one on one time with your significant other. Perfect atmosphere, location, and weekend away from the kids, rejuvenates us as a couple, and makes us as a couple appreciate each other more.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Address:

El Jardin Tequila Bar & Restaurant

368 Santana Row

San Jose, ca 95128

(West San Jose) 

I created this cool little “what we got” at the bar. let me know what you think. I think it’s pretty cool, if only Yelp did something like this within their posts.

ELJARDIN1

 Are you turing 30 this year? Were you born in 1986 like us? Comment below and share with me how you celebrated or plan on celebrating your 30th!!!

And…… Happy 30th birthday Derrick. You are the not only my friend, boyfriend, baby daddy, or partner. You are my best friend. You are always there for me, supporting me, encouraging me , listening to me. You are so essential to me that I cannot imagine my world without you.

Happy birthday