Blue Bottle LA

Blue Bottle Century City in LA.  This mall is very LA to me, open to the outdoors, so neat and clean.  This whole shopping center was recently redone, so you can also find the Eataly and La Colombe here, too.

Sideboard, Lafayette


For a year we drove by here and wondered what it was.  There wasn’t a sign on the front, but a nice porch and umbrellas.  Once we went in, we went every Sunday this fall.  Sideboard in Lafayette.

We grab a table, pick a baked good, and explore the toy shelf for kids.  Very family friendly here.  In fact, I had a few new moms meetups here over the summer.  Everyone has a favorite – morning bun for him, cinnamon bun for her.  And I rotate through the case trying everything.

Oh, the Cold Brew Fog

I kept seeing this advertised at Peet’s Coffee.  The Cold Brew Fog.  Did some middle of the night research when the baby is nursing and I’m getting to the end of the internet.

According to this article, it was a bit of an accident.  Cold Brew blended so you get this foamy top that sort of settles down.  Like the San Francisco fog.  No added milk, though you can get it as a latte (which I did the first time because I don’t like black iced coffee).  But with the blended goodness, it’s creamy.  Whatever it is, it’s delicious.

Walnut Creek: Apple Store

Things just don’t change as fast here as they do in New York.  This new Apple store?  I think it’s been in the works for well over a year.  But they spared no expense.

The goal of this trip was to walk to Dunkin Donuts for our morning coffee.   Almost 4 miles to and from in the suburbs?  Even I’m impressed by that!  We cut back through the shopping area on our way home and admired the new store opening that morning.

Some of this may be familiar from my Instagram post.  But for my readers, I’m including a picture of me.  Decked out in my comfy Merrell walking shoes, hat for sun protection, and baby carrier.  Nursing cover? Why bother, this is northern California!  Well, and no one was around at this very early hour.

Some More S’Mores…

BBQ with friends was the perfect excuse to bake.  S’Mores Bars is a go-to recipe for me, care of my sister.  I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this before.  It’s a kid and adult crowd pleaser.  The adults loved it and I got quite a few “wow these are great”.  Cutting them is a bit messy so it’s best they are cooled.  If only I had gotten a picture eating one, but they were gone too quickly.



10 Honey Maid Grahams, broken in half (20 squares) divided
3/4 cup butter or margarine
4 squares Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate
2 Cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
2 1/2 cups- Jet Puffed miniature marshmallows
1 cup Baker’s semi-sweet Chocolate Chunks
(aluminum foil and cooking spray)
Heat oven to 350
Line:  13×9 inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.  Place 15 squares in pan, with sides overlapping slightly.  Break remaining grahams into pieces.
Microwave:  butter and chocolate squares in large microwavable  bowl on high 2 min.; stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix well.  Stir in flour.  Pour over grahams in pan.
Bake :  30-32 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs.  (Do not overbake).  Sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate chunks.  Bake 3-5 min. or until marshmallows begin to puff.  Press reserve graham pieces gently into marshmallows.  Cool.  Use foil to lift brownies from pan before cuting to serve.
How to easily cut brownies:
For ease in cutting, dip knife in warm water and wipe dry between cuts.

Getting out with the little guy

Our little guy is 3 weeks old!  It’s already hard to believe.  But we’ve all needed to get out, which I think scares the people that see us more than we think about it.  He had a request for Chick Fil A on Day 3 (ok, so that was his sister).  Coffee, Ikea, Costco, Whole Foods 365 (needed to check it out), coffee and the farmer’s market.  He’s been a good sport.

Sea Ranch: Twofish Baking

A much needed getaway last weekend to Sea Ranch, north of San Francisco and right on the coast.  It was so quiet, you could hear the ocean and there was no TV.  And it was great.  Came back refreshed.  Both mornings we went to Twofish Baking at Stewart’s Point.  TripAdvisor said – Sticky Buns!  And so we did.  They were so good.  Warm and out of the oven.  Not the least bit dry.  We also had a bear claw and morning buns.  Mom and Dad really liked the Equator coffee.

We did lunch here as well – turkey and tuna sandwiches on their homemade bread.

Guests in The Bay

Had a great time with the White family who came to stay with use for a few days last week.  I’ve known Briana for…20 years??  Loved the 2 days off as well, was as being a total tourist in my own town.  We were busy, saw SF, Sonoma and Marin!  We decided we need to be like the Whites and get in the car and do drives to national parks.  Rodney documents their trips on Whynotjustgo.  Give us a few years, first.

Thursday:  San Francisco
We ventured into SF for our big Alcatraz tour, then ended up with lots of stops along the way.  Philz Coffee in the morning, lunch with Briana’s cousin, Ghiradelli square for ice cream, Lombard Street and the Painted Ladies.

Alcatraz was great and I was pleasantly surprised by the audio tour.  Highly recommend that.

Friday: Benzinger Vineyard in Sonoma
This was a find.  It’s a biodynamic vineyard, was really quite, had a great little tour on a tractor and beautiful views.

We all went out for dinner to Gott’s and then frozen yogurt.  There were actually 2 stops for ice cream because 2 of the girls wanted the place with the candy and gummy worm toppings.

Saturday:   Marin and Sausalito

This was the day we all ventured out.  After a stop at Philz for coffee and pastries to bring back home.  Mandatory stop at In n Out (this was the 3rd burger for someone on the trip – and no, not me!), then to Sausalito for ice cream, and a stop in the Marin Headlands were we parted ways.  Lesson learned, when S wants the sprinkle cone, she is really not going to want to share yours.



Randy’s Donuts: LA Century City


A bit delayed with this one.  When I saw the Randy’s Donuts kiosk at the Century City mall in LA, I had to stop.  Just one.  Always looking for a good donut, and life is too short to say no.  I got some sort of crumb one and brought it back to the office.  I didn’t eat the whole thing, impressed?

Gingerbread House: 1st One Ever!

We made a gingerbread house, a new holiday activity.  Granted, we bought a kit with the pieces already made.  Care of Trader Joe’s.  I did have to make the icing, so that counts for something.  Decorating left to Miss S.  I was curious what it tasted like so broke off the top of the tree one night.  Someone noticed.


And the finished product, prior to the tree piece going missing…