The Perfect Place to Picnic

One of my favorite weekend activities is to pack a big basket full of picnic essentials (looking at you, baguettes, cheese, and fruits) and head to a nearby park. Thankfully, the Bay Area is full of perfect places for a perfect picnic so there is never a shortage of spots. Whether you’re visiting the Bay Area on vacation or are a local and just need some inspiration, keep reading for my list of favorite picnic places.

Palace of Fine Arts: Since the Marina is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco, I love spending the afternoon at the Palace of Fine Arts. Directly across from the pond is a big grassy field where you can lay out a blanket and enjoy your picnic in the blissful sunshine.

Crissy Field: A picnic with a side of Golden Gate views? Yes, please. Just be sure to pack a few extra layers for this destination, as it can get pretty windy by the water.

Lake Merritt: Ahhh, Lake Merritt. My happy place. Pretty much whenever I need a little space to clear my head, I drive the 15 minutes over to Lake Merritt and make my way around the lake. Since it’s so close my apartment, it is my go-to spot for a weekend picnic.

Cavallo Point: Just across the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll find Cavallo Point. Typically when we drive out here, we get brunch or drinks at the Cavallo Point Hotel but I’ve also thought that the grassy area would make an ideal picnic spot.

Alamo Square Park: Recently renovated, Alamo Square Park is one of my favorite parks in all of San Francisco. Not only does it have amazing views of the Painted Ladies and downtown San Francisco, but it’s also situated in one of the cutest neighborhoods of all time, Hayes Valley. Pro tip: Pick up salads and rosé from Souvla and then walk up the street to enjoy your lunch in the park.

 

These Days

This month’s These Days is birthday-themed, as the last couple weeks have been birthday celebration upon birthday celebration (and I’m not mad at it!). From Wine Country to Bolinas, I loved absolutely every place that I celebrated.

The weekend before my actual birthday was probably my favorite of all. My sisters flew in from Los Angeles and together with two of my best girlfriends, we drove up to Sonoma. We brunched at Sunflower Café and then wine tasted at Bartholomew Park Winery. If you’re ever looking to settle in at one winery and spend the whole day in the sunshine, look no further than this one.

To celebrate on my actual birthday, my boyfriend and I both took the day off work and headed north to Bolinas. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s because the locals like to keep it under wraps and have even been known to remove all traffic signs to keep tourists out. Despite their best efforts though, we came with our cameras in tow and were truly charmed by what we saw. A birthday filled with sunshine and stunning architecture? I’ll take it!

Apartment Refresh

About to say something pretty shocking: It’s been almost 6 months since my last apartment refresh—can you even believe it? As soon as I realized that, I knew I needed to check in with you all on the latest additions to my apartment. Keep reading to see what I’ve changed!

While we used to have three succulents situated above the glass cabinet our dining room, they were not getting the best light and I was having to replace them quite frequently. Finally, I decided to move them and replace them with cookbooks and my favorite wine.

One of the plants has now made its way to a sunny corner of our kitchen.

Couldn’t help but brag about just how big my Vogue magazine stack is getting!

Current nightstand essentials: A delicious candle from Candlefish in Charleston and my Beatles book.

These colder nights call for an extra quilt on the bed.

I’ve had my eye on this straw basket for quite some time and I’m so happy it has found a home in our living room.

Look Back on Summer Adventures

From beaches to bougainvillea, this summer has been filled with so many memorable adventures. While our trips to Santa Fe and Southern California, as well as our weekend getaway in San Francisco, were certainly the highlights, we’ve also really enjoyed staying local and soaking up the sun. I’m planning to savor every second of this last month of summer, but here are some of my favorite photos from the season thus far.

Favorite Oakland Spots

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Having officially lived in Oakland for three years now (wow, can’t believe how fast time has flown!), I feel like a roundup of my favorite spots is definitely past due. Below, I’ve outlined some of my top restaurants, shops, and sites, and you can also follow me on Instagram to see more of my whereabouts on any given day.

Hope you enjoy, and maybe I’ll even see you around town!

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I love just about every single shop in Temescal Alley, but Esqueleto may very well be my favorite.

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Boot and Shoe Service is, simply put, the best. Go there for a boozy breakfast or for a boisterous dinner. They don’t take reservations, so I’d recommend getting there on the earlier side for dinner to beat the crowd.

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Like I said, I have a thing with Temescal Alley, especially Crimson Horticultural Rarities. It’s pretty much a known fact that if I enter this shop, I leave with a new plant friend.

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There’s nothing like Jack London Square on a beautiful sunny day. There are so many yummy restaurants to try–Forge, Bocanova, and Haven being my favorites–and the views just can’t be beat.

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When Will and I moved to Oakland three years ago, we knew immediately where we wanted to live: Rockridge. Not only is it super conveniently located to public transportation, but it’s also the most charming and quaint neighborhood I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Walk up and down College Avenue for the full experience, and don’t be shy about stopping into every little boutique you pass.

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Did I mention how much I love Temescal Alley? This book shop is a gem.

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You can grab a cup of Blue Bottle coffee pretty much anywhere in the Bay Area, but the one on Broadway is definitely the prettiest. Trust.

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Oh, Lake Merritt. I feel like I could write a lengthy poem about you. Not only is the lake itself stunning, but there are also tons of shops surrounding it that are equally as wonderful.

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Last but definitely not least, head to Trouble Coffee for Instagram gold. You can thank me later.