Back To Basics

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I put this simple outfit together for a date night with a few basics I’ve picked from my closet. White boyfriend blazer? Check. Classic little black dress? Check. And street style sneakers? Check. All basic pieces but all very classic. 

Nordstrom blazer (similar here and here

Anthropologie dress (similar here and here

Adidas sneakers 

Photography by Aurora Heitman

Up Bay Finds - The Loft Thai Fusion

Happy Sunday! I'm starting a series called "Up Bay Finds" where you can find secret gems in the city of Vallejo, Mare Island, Benicia, Fairfield, and American Canyon. My husband and I have lived in Asia for many years before we came back to the Bay Area. So finding a good and tasty Thai restaurant to satisfy our palate and enough room to fit our family of five without feeling cramped was very challenging until we discovered The Loft Thai Fusion in Hiddenbrook Vallejo.

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This place has a very clean and modern look. My kids love all the legos, comic art on the wall, and not too mention the variety of food items on the menu. The price is pretty reasonable for a family of five as well.

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There are many healthy choices like this steak salad. But my most favorite dish is the sticky rice with mango. If you are driving up to Napa Valley for the weekend, I definitely suggest to stop at the loft Thai fusion for a quick lunch before heading to all the wineries. 

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Photography by Aurora Heitman

Galentines With Ashley Rose Conway

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Valentine's Day is next month so I thought this would be the perfect time for a Galentine's party with some of my mommy besties. Living in the wine country we tend to always go with a bottle of sauvignon blanc or pinot (my favorites) when dining out or entertaining. That's why I can't wait to attend the Macy's Culinary Council Event with Ashely Rose Conway of Craft and Cocktails. Where she is going to show us how to stock up your bar with the latest glassware, barware, accessories, and samples some of her signature cocktails. And nothing is better than a glass of yumminess when celebrating friendship!

If you love to entertain or are thinking of throwing a party, come join me at Macy's in Walnut Creek on January 27th at 2pm to learn all about crafting your perfect cocktail. RVSP details here.

Click here to learn more about Macy's Culinary Council.

 

"This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy's; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own."

Acacia House

To celebrate my husband's birthday, we went to Acacia House by Chris Cosentino located inside Las Alcobas Hotel. The food was excellent and their one-of-a-kind- margarita was exceptional! t was nice to be able to relax and catch up with friends after two stressful weeks from the Napa fires. Acacia House had a special menu item called the Napa Valley Spirit Menu whereby $10 was donated to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund in support of the victims of the fire. The food on that special was delicious and for a great cause. Cheers to great company and happiest birthday to mi amor!

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Trailer Life

We went to Sacramento for a couple of days to escape the smoke and get relief from the daily anxiety during the Napa fire. It was so nice to see blue sky and breathe clean air. And how cute is our puppy Stella! She is definitely making herself very comfortable in the trailer. 

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// J.CREW Amour Sweatshirt - Old Navy Denim (similar herehere, and here) - Halogen Slide Loafer //

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Girl's Weekend At Sea Ranch

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Last weekend my mommy besties and I drove to Sea Ranch for a girl’s weekend. We started with a walk by the ocean. The smell of the coast was so clean and refreshing and we immediately felt recharged! After our morning walk we went back to our vacation rental and made breakfast where we all go to enjoy it without any interruptions from the kids. We continue the whole day with bubbles, Mexican mules, chocolates, and yummy food. It was so nice not to have a schedule! The next day we drove to Point Arena lighthouse. The view on top of the lighthouse was incredible! A bit of cardio with the stairs, but it's totally worth it! 

We had such a relaxing weekend and can't wait for our next girl's weekend. Here are a few candid shots from the trip. Ever been to Sea Ranch? Have some suggestions? Leave a travel tip in the comments below!

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Spring Break Part II

We love taking the ferry to San Francisco for a day trip. We get to relax, talk and see more. And the anticipation of all the yummy foods waiting for us at the ferry building is usually the best!

Taking Uber to Japantown. 

Our favorite kind of mochi. So good!

Ramen for lunch at Waraku

Uber back to the ferry building.

Best part of our trip - Ice cream!

Missing you daddy!

The next day we spent the morning at our local library checking out books and reading stories. 

Spinach Manciatas from Azzuro Pizzeria for lunch.

Best margarita pizza in town!

Fourth Leaf Release Party

On Saturday my husband and I went to the release party for the 2013 Fourth Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon. Fourth Leaf Wines is a Cabernet Sauvignon from two distinct mountain peaks overlooking the valley floor; Howell Mountain and Atlas Peak. This is a partnership between Angelina Mondavi and Robert Mondavi Jr, 4th generation winemakers from a family legacy in the Napa Valley. The wine was delicious, reminiscent of what you would expect from a classic Napa cab, and is very limited. You can signup to their mailing list to get notified when it goes on sale at the beginning of November.

We had a great time meeting old and new friends and drinking exceptional wine paired with oven baked pizza by Cocina Milonga. To top it all off, I got to meet my mommy crush Amy Parker, the co-founder of theWhatlist, a weekly list of exceptional recommendations that you should subscribe to right now.

 

Camping At Burney Falls

“Keep close to Nature’s heart…

and break clear away, once in awhile,

and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.

Wash your spirit clean. ” – John Muir

We took the kids to Burney Falls State Park last week to culminate our summer. We pick this location because it's beautiful and family friendly. There is so much to do from hiking, swimming, boating, biking, scooting, and hello..an onsite general store where they dish out soft serve ice cream (hell yeah!). Below are some photos of our adventure. Have a beautiful weekend!

Our campsite.

Our campsite.

Lots of s'mores in here!

Lots of s'mores in here!

Campsite is not complete without our Alien "Pinky".

Campsite is not complete without our Alien "Pinky".

During our hike. It's a plus when kids can read and find their way.

During our hike. It's a plus when kids can read and find their way.

The famous Burney Falls.

The famous Burney Falls.

Every year we take a family shot in the same spot.

Every year we take a family shot in the same spot.

It's gorgeous out here!

It's gorgeous out here!

Hubby told the kids that these are the trolls from the movie Frozen.  ;-)

Hubby told the kids that these are the trolls from the movie Frozen.  ;-)

White sand formation.

White sand formation.

Stunning view of the lake during our hike. 

Stunning view of the lake during our hike. 

Did some reading by our campfire. This  book  is so good!

Did some reading by our campfire. This book is so good!

Love how tranquil the lake is in the morning. 

Love how tranquil the lake is in the morning. 

Getting some lessons from daddy. Love these two!

Getting some lessons from daddy. Love these two!

Relaxing and enjoying the ride.

Relaxing and enjoying the ride.

The famous bridge from the movie "Stand By Me." 

The famous bridge from the movie "Stand By Me." 

A must visit!

A must visit!

These two always together. 

These two always together. 

Cave entrance.

Cave entrance.

Temperature drops like 30 degrees when inside.

Temperature drops like 30 degrees when inside.

The end of the cave.

The end of the cave.

Can't say good bye to summer without getting a banana split from  Fentons Creamery .

Can't say good bye to summer without getting a banana split from Fentons Creamery.

 

Porches, Market, Buses and Trolleys

This weekend was super active with my kids.

Friday afternoon my oldest wanted to apply new patches from Monday Sparkles on a new stripe top, just in time for back-to-school fashion. School doesn't start until three weeks from now. Clearly she couldn’t wait!

On Saturday the kids and I hopped on a ferry to San Francisco. First stop was the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building. Then for lunch we had to get our empanadas and alfajores fix from El Porteño. We then took  buses and trolleys around the City, which is a great way to see all the action and because my kids love public transportation. 

On Sunday, we went to Porchfest in Napa, where small bands play in front of historical homes. Food trucks and music can’t get better than this! We ended our evening with homemade focaccia burgers - with the bread sourced in San Francisco's Ferry building!

How was your weekend? What did you do with your family or loved ones? 

Bodega Bay - Beach Hopping

Culminating our spring break, last Sunday we took the kids for an impromptu beach day. Our first stop was at Wild Flour Bread Bakery in Freestone near Sebastopol, CA. They are famous for their sticky bun, but my favorite was the banana chocolate chip scone. You can see the whole menu below. Make sure to bring cash (a lot of it...because you'll want to buy everything!). This place is definitely another gem of Northern California. Loaded with coffee, carbs and sweets, we beached hopped along the Sonoma Coast in Bodega Bay. Our favorite was Shell Beach, where we spent most of our time collecting sea shells and looking for star fish. Below are some shots from our day trip. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Private Tour at Quintessa Winery in Napa Valley

On Sunday we drove Up Valley to meet with our good friends for lunch at the Goose and Gander. After our wonderful meal our friends were headed to Quintessa Winery for a private tour and my family decided to crash the party (I love impromptu wine tasting!). Living in the valley we have driven by Quintessa Winery countless times but we never knew about the private lake in the back of the property. We learned how the winery got started by a husband and wife from Chile. Since I grew up in Argentina and visited Chile several times, I felt very much like home during our private tour. Not only is the wine amazing, but the property is breathtakingly beautiful. Quintessa Winery is a gem in Napa Valley!

 

Our Family Holiday Tradition - Gingerbread House in the City

Four years ago we took the kids to San Francisco to see the enormous gingerbread house at the Fairmont Hotel. Since then we've made this our family holiday tradition. We are big believers in public transportation so we usually take the ferry instead of drive. The kids love it. They get to ride in a big boat, enjoy the view, eat donuts and drink hot chocolate. We feel very fortunate to have this option available to us as commuting on the San Francsico Bay is hard to beat. 

Once we arrived at the Ferry Building we got fresh bread from Acme Bread Company and then walked to Philz Coffee for a cup of hipster coffee. We then took the cable car up California Street to the Fairmont Hotel. After the kids see the gingerbread house, write a letter to Santa and explore around the hotel we walk to Chinatown for lunch. This year we added one more stop - the San Francisco Cable Car Museum. I'm so glad we went to see how the cable cars work. It's pretty amazing and a must see. You'll be amazed at the mechanics and also learn a lot about the history of one of two National Historic Landmarks that move (New Orleans’ St. Charles streetcar line is the other). We ended our trip with ice cream back at the Ferry Building, and two tired parents. What is your family holiday tradition?