things to do
Paul and I went on our second date with HowAboutWe (remember the last one here.) HowAboutWe started out as a dating site but they also plan amazing dates for couples so you don’t have to. For our second date I chose: An afternoon Sailing in the San Francisco Bay. (I was also tempted by exploring SF by tandem bikes tour and taking a couples screenprinting class.) HowAboutWe is awesome because we actually get out of our dating rut and do different things to discover San Francisco instead of ending up at one of the same three restaurants we always go to. I’ve been so impressed with how easy it is to book things, we don’t have to worry about any of the back and forth, we just have to show up! Sailing on the Bay was awesome. I have this obsession with sailing and I’m not sure where it comes from. I think its the idea that you can have the freedom to travel and go wherever you want. For our sailing date we dropped the kids of at our trusty free babysitters and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. We showed up at the boat and met the captain. The weather was beautiful: sunny with a little of the famous fog. The Captain gave us safety instructions and then we were off. He saw that we were interested in learning so he took the time to explain what he was doing and what he was keeping an eye on and how to avoid other boats. He even let us sail and steer the boat. We ended up exploring some parts of the Bay we had never been to before and it got us really excited about taking sailing lessons next year! We had such a good time, it was relaxing and exciting and we drove back across the Golden Gate Bridge happy and excited to get back to real life. I love the concept behind this company, if you are interested in checking out this awesome service HowAboutWe is offering $50 off your first date.
This post is sponsored by HowAboutWe for Couples: a service that gets people in relationships on wonderful dates, tailored for two.
Photos by Paul Ferney
A few weeks ago we attended Crafting Community at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. It is hard for me to explain how special this event was. After two days of crafting, swimming, and playing, my kids were asking to never leave. The Ace Hotel is great for kids, but the Crafting Community team took it to a whole new level. Every detail of the weekend was executed beautifully, so that we didn’t have to worry about anything except for having more fun. From sunscreen and kids toiletries in our hotel rooms to healthy snacks for the kids nonstop throughout the day, these guys thought of everything. When we first arrived the boys discovered hundreds and hundreds of little Matchbox cars on the sidewalk. They had drawn a giant city out of chalk for the kids to race the cars on. It was little kid heaven! They also had hula hoops and colorful bouncy balls everywhere.
The crafting sessions were the focus of the event and they did not disappoint. The craft room was filled with so many beautiful, colorful supplies. So much thought and work went into each table, it was really impressive. Each project was led by awesome designers like Confetti System, Clare Vivier, and Kid Made Modern. At one point Moses was making a wallet out of duct tape and I realized the guy helping him was the designer Todd Oldham! After crafting we would head over to the pool for a bit and then eat before we would start all over again.
One special element of the event is that it really feels like a community. Each family’s photo is printed in the year book with their names and their family “theme song.” Since the event is over a few days we had a chance to have encounters with several new families and ended up making new friends. I can’t think of a vacation environment that fosters that kind of experience the same way. In the evenings there were lots of activities like Bingo, gourmet ice cream sandwiches, photobooths, button making, nightime movies in the pool, and a desert disco (a giant dance party!) The caliber of the activities and the quality and detail that went into everything was over the top. For example at the dance they played everyone’s family theme songs!
The icing on the cake was the canvas gift totes they gave us when we arrived. This bag didn’t have one thing that wasn’t beautiful or useful. Seriously, I am really picky about what I bring home since my apartment is so small and I brought back everything. Some of the items included: custom coloring and activity book, lots of art supplies from the Kid Made Modern line at Target, a pair of Converse (in each child’s size that they could custom color!), some Naef wooden blocks, a Target gift card, and snacks from Whole Foods.
The whole weekend I kept looking around and thinking, “Yes! Finally someone got it right!” Paul and I kept comparing the trip to a weekend at Disneyland and this was a million times better for parents and kids. We all made new friends, the kids were entertained, delighted and given a chance to do creative activities. The food was excellent, if anyone ever needed a nap we were 2 minutes from our hotel room. And on top of that we all had fun. I cannot vouch for this event enough. In fact I’m already planning on going back next year.
This post is sponsored by Crafting Community: creating immersive design experiences where families can play, grow and be together. But they didn’t ask me to vouch for it. Seriously, it was awesome.
Photos by Paul Ferney
Have you ever surprised your friends with a water balloon fight? I got this idea from my brother. To do this, just fill up enough water balloons for both “teams” (the more you fill, the longer the fight.) Separate the filled balloons into two boxes. Save one for yourself, and deposit the other on your friend’s front porch with a fun sign that explains what’s happening. Then, ring the doorbell and hide. Wait for your friend to answer the doorbell and read your sign before launching the first balloon!
Picnics are the best thing about summer except maybe for popsicles. We eat outside a lot but we made some more official picnic dinners the last few weeks and it was fun. Making a good picnic basket is definitely an art. Here is a little video we made that shows my favorite things to pack for a picnic. It was really fun to make! I hope you enjoy!
Giant Bubble Wands ($2 in store at Target), Frisbee, Dress (in store at Target), Plates, Cups (in store at Target), Utensils, Napkins (in store at Target), Perrier (in store at Target), Izze Soda (in store at Target), Nutella, Nilla Wafers, Salt & Pepper Chips, Picnic Blanket (from Mexico,) Picnic Basket (thrifted,)
San Francisco has so many really great urban hikes around the city. I’ve lived here almost 10 years and I’m still discovering ones I’ve never been to. Brita asked me to put together my favorite hikes in the city and test out their new water bottles, I was happy to. The Brita Water bottle has a filter in the bottle, which comes in super handy when you are stuck with a less-than-ideal water source. San Francisco is my favorite place in the world and even if you are visiting I recommend mixing one of these little hikes in with all the regular tourist sites. They all take less than an hour and have great sweeping views.
1. Historic Trail. This trail is great because it makes me feel like I’m not smack dab in the middle of a city. It goes through a really nice wilderness area and ends up near Sutro Tower. The trailhead starts at Stanyan and 17th and is just a set of wooden stairs tucked in between two houses on the street.
See more after the jump.