things to do

My Perfect Moment in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of my favorite places to vacation. My first time was about five years ago when Paul attended a photography workshop there. To be honest, I had avoided going there before that because in my mind I thought it was going to be touristy and boring (compared to an international trip.) As we explored all the remote parts of the islands I soon realized how wrong I was. It felt exotic like an international trip and there was so many new things to discover but my cell phone still worked! We still had all the conveniences of America like everyone speaking English and not having to exchange money. Now we try to go once a year since we usually find amazing deals out of San Francisco. The pictures below are from one of my favorite experiences. After a long morning hike we went to Waimea Bay in the afternoon to lay on the beach and go swimming. I saw a bunch of people cliff jumping and decided to go. I climbed up to the top of the rock and looked around and the sun was setting and the crystal blue water was down below and the air felt warm. It was perfect! After I jumped I swam out a little in the water and realized I was swimming with a bunch of sea turtles! It was magical and one of those experiences I will never forget.

My Perfect Moment in Hawaii | Oh Happy Day!My Perfect Moment in Hawaii | Oh Happy Day!

Brought to you by The Hawaiian Islands.


Photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day

HowAboutWe: Ferry Building Tasting Tour

Paul and I finally had the chance to go on our third date with HowAboutWe for Couples this month (see our first and second dates here & here.) I really wanted to try the Edible Excursions Tour at the Ferry Building here in San Francisco. I know the Ferry Building really well (I used to work on the top floor!) but it’s been a while and a bunch of new places have opened up in the last few years. It was so great and we had such a good time!  If you haven’t heard about them yet, HowAboutWe started as a dating site but now they also plan awesome dates for couples! I love that their dates are so out-of-the-box – and help us get out of our dating rut of going to the same restaurants. It has seriously been a game changer. I would also love to sign up for this ceramics class or this trapeze class! They just launched in Los Angeles too and they’re adding new cities all the time. If they’re not in your city yet, it’s free to sign up and they’ll contact you once they come to your are.  Click here to get $50 off your first date — perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day, really! (expires 4/30/14)

Ferry Building Tasting Tour | Oh Happy Day!Ferry Building Tasting Tour | Oh Happy Day!Ferry Building Tasting Tour | Oh Happy Day!

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

How About We: Sailing

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.

How About We: SailingHow About We: Sailing | Oh Happy Day!How About We: Sailing | Oh Happy Day!How About We: Sailing | Oh Happy Day!

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

Crafting Community 2013

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.

Crafting-Community1Crafting-Community2Crafting CommunityCrafting-Community3Crafting-Community4Crafting-Community5

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

Surprise Water Balloon Fight

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!

Surprise Water Balloon Fight | Oh Happy Day!Surprise Water Balloon Fight | Oh Happy Day!

Photography by Kim A. Thomas for Oh Happy Day
Art Direction by Milan Shimono Lee
Styling by Caitlin Barker
Crafting by Stephanie Pressler