Joan’s Pumpkin Patch

IMG_6608Micah didn’t have school last Friday because of Parent/Teacher conferences.  So before Jason left for his men’s retreat that weekend, we all headed over to Joan’s Farm & Pumpkin Patch in Livermore for some quality family time.  I like visiting pumpkin patches on a weekday to avoid the crowds.  They have more activities on the weekends, like gem panning and hay rides, but there’s still plenty of things to do for the kids during the regular week.

We packed a lunch and found a shady spot to eat at one of their picnic tables.  After lunch, the kids climbed and played around the straw bales.IMG_6573IMG_6569IMG_6574

Jumping!IMG_6588

We fed the goats, sheep and chickens. Food for the animals is 25 cents/cup.IMG_6599IMG_6600IMG_6601IMG_6605

Which came first?  The chicken or the egg?IMG_6606

Lots of other fun things to do…IMG_6617IMG_6620IMG_6614

Micah loves corn on the cob!IMG_6623

So many pumpkins!IMG_6613IMG_6626

There’s also a maze that the kids ran around in, but I didn’t take any pictures.  They had a great time getting “lost” and trying to find each other.

Time to go home!IMG_6629

We didn’t buy any pumpkins at the farm, but we have a few at home that we got from family and Trader Joe’s.  =)

Which pumpkin patch(es) does your family like to visit?

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Toddler Ramble @ Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

On Friday, I took Rebekah to the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center for their Toddler Ramble class.  We’ve been to the Interpretive Center many times before, for their Summer Bay Camps, Micah’s 4th birthday party, and the Leopard Shark Feeding Frenzy, but this was our first time there for their toddler program.

Toddler Ramble is for kids ages 1 to 3, held on Friday mornings from 10:30am -11:15am. The cost is $5 per child.

Here’s the description from their website – Enjoy Friday mornings with your child at the Interpretive Center. Your little one will discover the shoreline through crafts, books, and hands-on experiences. Every month there is a new theme, with each week exploring that theme through different activities. Parents and caregivers grow as facilitators of nature education along the way.

This is the description for the month of September –
September is one of our warmest months at the shoreline, and this month we are exploring temperature and how some things are warm, cold or even hot like sunshine.

It was nice to spend some one-on-one time with Rebekah.  She tags along with me when I run errands, go to bible study, and MOPS, but it’s also fun for me to tag along with her during her activities.  When Micah turned 1-1/2, I took him to toddler classes at Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward until age four.  About 1-1/2 years ago, they started this toddler class at the Interpretive Center and I’m so glad they did.  The naturalist does a really great job and the kids have so much fun.  Btw…Rebekah loves the classes at Sulphur Creek too.  =)

Here are pictures from our day at the Shoreline…

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Feeling and playing with different textures and shapes
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Checking out the big aquarium
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Bottles filled with warm and cold water (theme is cold/warm/hot)IMG_6467 Exploring with ice (cold!)IMG_6473Having so much fun pitching the ice
IMG_6478The water is at low tideIMG_6470She kept coming back to the ice
IMG_6479Taking a little stroll (hot weather)
IMG_6474Bonus! Someone from Sulphur Creek came to release a Canada Goose they helped rehabilitate at their center.IMG_6481Out of the blue bin and back home!IMG_6482IMG_6486

I loved tagging along with my little girl and creating these special & fun memories with her. =)

Off The Grid – Hayward

When Off The Grid began a few years ago, I was excited and disappointed at the same time.  Excited because there was a central location where street food vendors could park their food trucks, and patrons could have an appetizer at one truck, their main meal from another truck and order dessert from the next truck over.  Disappointed because Off The Grid was in San Francisco and I live in the East Bay.

Now, Off The Grid operates 21 weekly markets in the Bay Area and the city of Hayward is one of them.  We live next to Hayward so I was pretty excited to learn that OTG was so close. You can find the food trucks on Monday nights, from 5pm-9pm, on the corner of Mission & D Streets.  There is also free parking available in the parking garage across the street.  Most of the vendors are different each week.  You can find the vendor schedule on the OTG Facebook page.

One Monday evening, I convinced Jason that we could quickly drive to Hayward, order the food, and then drive home to eat our dinner.  Since it was close to 5pm, I knew that the lines would be short…and I was right!  The trip was quick but much was accomplished during our short time there.

It says “San Francisco,” but we were in Hayward.  =P
IMG_5280I don’t remember how many trucks were there, but it could be as many as 10 trucks on a given night.IMG_5282IMG_5281

I looked at the vendor list before we headed over and knew that I was interested in at least 5 different street food vendors.

This is the Tender Pork Belly (with Turmeric Pickled Daikon & Green Shiso) Bao from       The Chairman Truck.IMG_5288

Sashimi Sushi Burrito from We SushiIMG_5291Kamikaze Fries from KoJa Kitchen                                                                             (Crisscut Fries topped with Korean BBQ Beef, sautéed onions, kimchi, green onions and drizzled with our red sauce and Japanese mayo)IMG_5287

Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts and Lavender Lemonade from Go Streatery and a Double Chocolate Creme Brulee from The Creme Brulee CartIMG_5284

We enjoyed everything, but I especially loved the Tendor Pork Belly Bao, the Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts, and the Double Chocolate Creme Brulee.  Omg!…the double chocolate creme brulee was so delicious!

As we were leaving, the crowds and lines were definitely getting larger.  Since we had the kids with us and it was getting close to their bedtimes, I was glad that we brought the food home to eat.

Would I go again?  Yes!  It would be a fun Girls Night Out and Couples Night Out!

Do you have a favorite street food/food truck vendor?

Old Oakland Farmers’ Market

During our visit to MOCHA, Bekah and I got the chance to walk around the Old Oakland Farmers’ Market that was happening at the same time.  I love Farmers’ Markets and was excited to see what kind of vendors & booths were there.  IMG_5583

This one caught my eye.  I want to try the Seoul Dog the next time we’re there.IMG_5584IMG_5585I picked up a loaf of our favorite olive bread at Phoenix Pasta.  Their shop is located in Berkeley, but they have a booth at a number of farmers’ markets in the Bay Area.  (Phoenix Pasta was one of the stops on our FoodieMoon.)IMG_5588

The Hummus Guy has a good assortment of hummus, pita chips, and olives.  I picked up a bag of their lemmon pita chips (so yummy!), the Roasted Garlic & Chives Hummus, Cilantro & Jalepeno Hummus, Pitted Kalamata Olives and Spicy Green Olives.IMG_5587

For lunch, I ordered a chicken sandwich from the Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie truck.  The chicken was moist and very flavorful.  As a side, I got their Rosemary Roasted Potatoes sprinkled with sea salt, which was also very good and full of flavor.  IMG_5589IMG_5616Definitely looking forward to visting this farmers’ market again.  They have it on Fridays, from 8am-2pm, Ninth Street (between Broadway & Clay).

Some of my favorite Farmers’ Markets: Kapiolani Community College in Hawaii, Hillcrest Farmers’ Market in San Diego and our local San Leandro Farmers’ Market at Bayfair Center.

Do you have a favorite farmers’ market?  Please share!

MOCHA – Museum of Children’s Arts

Enjoyed another Mama and Bekah day out when we visited MOCHA (Museum of Children’s Arts) in Oakland.  We used a voucher that we got from last year’s library summer reading program, so our admission was free (normally, it’s $8/child & adults are free).  They have a great open studio for kids age 18 months and up.  We visited just in time before our voucher expired.  The last day open at their 9th street location was on May 18th and they will re-open at their new space on Clay Street in August.

IMG_5608Bekah played with play dough, drew with markers and had the most fun painting for the first time.IMG_5593She likes to draw circles.IMG_5596IMG_5598IMG_5607

I love the big t-shirt smock.  It really protected her top and pants.  Can’t say it protected her arms or the bottom of her shoes though.  😉IMG_5613So many colors to choose from…IMG_5614We stayed for a couple of hours before heading home for Bekah’s nap.  There was also the Old Oakland Farmers’ Market going on right outside MOCHA and we picked up a few things from several booths.  I will write a separate post about the Farmers’ Market.

Except for the parking ticket that I got (didn’t realize that it was a white loading zone only), we had a great time!  Can’t wait to visit MOCHA at their new location!

Little Farm at Tilden Park

Bekah has a real interest and love for animals so the two of us met up with some friends and made a visit to the Little Farm in Tilden Park.  This was our first time at the Little Farm. We packed a bag lunch for ourselves and a bag of celery to feed the animals.

IMG_5504IMG_5508We had heard about the cows and their long tongues!  Bekah had no fear of the cows (at first) and quickly ran up to them to get a closer look.  After she fed one of the cows a stick of celery, she was more cautious about being so close to them.

IMG_5490You can only feed the animals celery and lettuce. I’m glad I didn’t bring carrots, apples or bread!IMG_5505

IMG_5500She would get really close to the goats and then drop the celery in front of them.  She wasn’t scared to pet them though.  =)  The cows and goats loved the celery and the bag was gone in no time.  IMG_5502A bunny looking at a bunny…IMG_5507

We also saw pigs, chickens, ducks and sheep.  There’s a visitor center next to the Little Farm and a small playground next to the parking lot.  Parking is free.  We explored the visitor center for a little bit and then had lunch near the playground.  It was a very warm & sunny day.  Bring water, sunscreen and hats if you decide to visit on a sunny day because there is little shade in the farm and playground areas.  It’s a very fun place to bring the kids to and I’m looking forward to going again (along with my five-year old too).

Micah: Color Me Mine Date

You’ve probably heard of Color Me Mine but if you haven’t, it’s a paint your own pottery studio.  I took Micah there for the first time for a mommy and son date.  They have so many things you can choose from to paint…plates, mugs, vases, banks, frames, etc.  Micah chose a whale bank.  He must have known that his mommy loves whales.  =)

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We left the whale at the studio for a week so it could be fired.  This is how it turned out.  IMG_5464

I think it turned out great!  Such a cute little whale.  Now, what should Micah and I do for our next date?