How I Spent $1 on a Halloween Costume

MONEY-SAVING TIP!

Since I’ve been reading More Than Just Making It and we had been chatting about finances over at my other page, I thought I would share a money-saving tip with you here.

It’s no surprise to you all that I’m not a shopper. I’m also not huge on a certain dress-up holiday. It was a challenge for me every year, BUT I have found my saving grace in this area – the Facebook buy/sell group that I run!

Last year I had a forest fairy and a Greek goddess or something like that – for just $10…TOTAL!

This year I sold that forest fairy costume. It was only worn 2 times for less than a few hours total. So if I do my math correctly, I spent $1 for the costume.

AND since I’m trying to think ahead for these types of things, I already have one costume for this year…a little spendier at $7, but definitely less than a new costume for more $$$.

What money-saving tips do you have when it comes to holidays and special occasions?

SF MoMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)

Captions by: Melody (10) and Norm (Dad)
Photos by: Dad Norm
More info here –> sfmoma.org

Before the SF MoMA

We got to ride on the BART train. I wasn’t so happy since I get motion-sickness. Once we got there, we walked, since we had to go to the Embarcadero station. We got special permission from the agent to go to Embarcadero since our tickets were damaged. I had to go through the emergency gate.

Lunch in San Francisco

Once we got there, we went to California Pizza Kitchen. Apparently, it’s also known as CPK. We sat at the bar and got great service. I got strawberry lemonade and my dad got Vitamin Water. Then, we ordered a half-pineapple, half-Margherita pizza, for us to share. I really liked it. Also, I got an extra napkin. I needed it since I was getting messy with my pizza.
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Off to the SF MoMA!!!

We walked to the SF MoMA. It was quite a walk, but worth it because we got a lot of pictures with all the pieces I liked. (I’ll tell you more about that later.) So when we got there, the lady at the front desk recommended we start at the 7th floor (the museum has 7 floors) and work our way down to the bottom.

FLOOR 7

We followed her advice and went to the 7th floor, which turned out to be a music floor! My dad and I both love music, so this floor was perfect for us. This floor also had a wheel that powered all of the other machines around it. Each one powered the other.

The next room had a big “lake” with ceramic bowls floating around in it.  Once one bowl hit another bowl, a bell-like sound was emitted.  The area was very peaceful and tranquil.
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We went to a room with a bunch of red cords next. Everyone was putting on headphones and walking alongside the cords. At first, I was thinking to myself, “Why are they doing that?” But when I put the headphones on, I understood. There’s an energy coming from the headphones and it sort of buzzes in your ear, getting louder, and LOUDER, and LOUDER as you get closer to the cords. I wasn’t too crazy about it since the buzzing was really loud, but my dad stayed longer. We ended up going back to the tranquil bowl place – which, luckily, did not have buzzing.
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The next room had a big box with a bunch of cans and strings all across the place. Think of the game Telephone times 100. I know it’s kind of crazy, but you can actually hear the person if you find the right can! It’s sort of like a maze. Sort of like life.
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FLOOR 6

One of the art pieces I liked was this water reflection painting.
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This art sculpture was so amazing. I couldn’t even figure out which side was the front of it! It was really complicated, and my dad and I both agreed it looked like a stack of dominoes. All stacked up, just in a complicated – very, very, very, complicated way.
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FLOOR 5

There were a lot of sculptures on this floor. If I was a namer for this museum, I would name this floor “the sculpture floor” because it’s full of sculptures. We also went to the Oculus Bridge, which isn’t a sculpture. We had to look way down to the first floor. I’m scared of heights! So I just stood back.

FLOOR 4

This is another painting that I liked. It was rainbow and hilly. There was also a distortion mirror you can look really funny in.
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FLOOR 3

There’s also a sculpture garden outside where there is a “one-way” sign and people who come from way back when.  My dad wanted to take a picture with them. I refused. No matter how much he told me. Note: I am never going to blend in with historical figures. The wall behind the figures is a “living wall” that consists of 21 California native species of living plants.

FLOOR 2

On floor 2 is the Norman Zammitt (Canadian-born American) painting. We both really liked it because it was colorful and looked like a sunset so we tried to take a picture but it didn’t work. Somebody took a picture for us.
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We also thought Emily would like this flower piece.
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FLOOR 1

Floor 1 was the Figure 8 brown statue. We went inside it (we were allowed to go in) but it took us FOREVER, it seemed, to get out!
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That was the end of our wonderful and exciting day.  Of course, our feet were tired and we were tired. But it was worth it. Because we love each other and had a good time together.

How far we walked: 4.88 miles

Have you been on a local mini-adventure lately? Where did you go?

 

A Mini-Adventure in San Francisco

A Note from Joyce: It wasn’t until a few years ago after our trip to Seattle when we decided we should have the girls explore our original hometown of San Francisco (where there is ALWAYS something new to discover!). We have done two almost-all-day trips with visiting relatives and we have also been on a few shorter mini-adventures. (You can find a few posts on our old blog.) For this mini-adventure, we decided to drive a few minutes out from Chinatown to see a site made even more popular (again?) by the Fuller House series.

We recently went to San Fransisco. It was a special occasion, of course, because we don’t go as frequently as we could. It’s funny because we live 25 miles away from San Fransisco. So to get to San Fransisco, you have to pass through the tolls. There are always a lot of people going through there, which makes me wonder if there is traffic, but every time there isn’t much as I thought there would be (at the time we go).

This is us on the Bay Bridge. They knocked the old one down on the other side. There’s the new Salesforce Tower!

This is the Financial District, which is where my dad works. The buildings are super tall. I wonder what happens when there’s an earthquake.

The reason we were there was because we had a family member’s anniversary celebration, so we went to our old church in Chinatown. Before that Emily and I went to Sunday School, where we did a Bible study. We definitely met a lot of people who knew us from when we were little. This is the prayer before the anniversary lunch at the church.

They gave a lot of speeches and there was even singing!

This is a mural which, evidently, used to be new and vibrant-colored way back when. (When my parents were little, probably.)

This is us in front of the church. The church is 4 stories tall. We used to go there before we moved, which is when I was 1. That was 9 years ago. But once every year we go back and visit. I have to admit, I do remember some people!

The church is near the border of Chinatown and Nob Hill(?), so afterwards we went into Chinatown more. This is what you think of when you think of Chinatown. We went and got some bread. There was a lot of people there, so we just got jostled around. The buns were really good. Compliments to the baker!

If you live in San Fransisco, another thing you have to endure is…the hills. We had to walk UP 4 entire blocks of hills back to our car.

We always find something touristy and fun to do when we are in San Francisco! This time, we visited the Painted Ladies. These colorful Victorian-era houses were certainly vibrant. My favorite house was the lilac-colored one, which you can’t see in the photos because it was farther down.

There were a lot of houses – blocks and blocks of them! People just publicly sat and took selfies. I couldn’t believe they did that because people actually lived in those houses!

That’s me standing in front of all of the houses. I wonder if they’ll ever fall apart. Aren’t they old?

Here’s all of us as a family on the hill across the street from the Painted Ladies. I think one of them, in the background, was getting redone.

Selfie time! We took a lot of selfies. I guess we are one of those people. But I did see someone with a selfie stick…

That’s Emily jumping. She likes to do that, and dance. I don’t do that, so when they asked me if I wanted to do that, I said no.

The pastel colors are pretty!

Such detailed designs!

And one more random church we saw on our way back home.

Epilogue: Not included in the photos…which is the rest of the day…we went to my grandparent’s house (dad’s side) which is also in San Francisco while my dad went to Costco. After that, we went to my other grandparent’s house (mom’s side), which isn’t in San Francisco, for dinner. It was a busy day, for sure, but one to remember. I had a good time.

Have you been on a local mini-adventure lately? Where did you go?

If you want to know a few facts about the Painted Ladies, read more at UpOutSF.

San Leandro Public Library [Library Tour]

The next stop on our Library Tour Summer Series is the San Leandro Public Library. (This post is by Melody with italicized comments from Mom.)

I’ve had a lot of great memories at this library. When I was little, even though my parents worked a lot, my mom rarely missed bringing the four of us kiddos to the library on Saturdays to check out our books before going grocery shopping.

When you enter the library, there’s a sign that says, “Public Library” and a gift shop/cafe (aka Bookmark Cafe) on the right side. (Shown above. It’s the little area sticking out behind the bike racks.) On the left corner, there is a Friends of the Library bookstore. On the left side, there is a hallway that leads to a theater and some meeting rooms(?). On the left near the entrance, there is a police department office.

One of our favorite things at this library is the chair with the mom and her two kids. The mom is reading a book. I wonder what book it is? (I’m not sure the stories behind these statues, but we see them at all the libraries, and hopefully, I can do some “then and now” photos of the girls with them through the years.)

There are tables at the library as well as chairs. It’s a great place to study!

We saw this electronic sign flashing different events.

After we saw the sign, we walked up to the second floor.

At the library is a map of San Leandro. One time we saw one of Castro Valley and we tried to see where we lived.

These are some clocks showing the time in all different parts of the world.

I’m not sure if I ever saw this part before because we don’t usually go to the second floor, but there’s a lot of chairs and tables. Perfect for reading! Or studying!

Here is another view from the second floor.

We saw another sculpture that we hadn’t seen before, which is a girl reading to a boy.

Another view from the second floor of the library.

One of the library’s rooms is the History Room.

Be sure to follow these rules if you’re there! I think they’re good rules for a library.

San Leandro Marina Park [Parks + Playgrounds]

Next in our Parks + Playgrounds Summer Series is San Leandro Marina Park.

This is not a complete recap of our time at the San Leandro Marina Park. We were meeting friends at the playground after we took our walk around the loop/Faro Point, but I miscommunicated our exact location since there are two playground areas. And then, since I handed Melody the phone to message our friends while I was driving across to the other playground, she left the phone in the car, so I only had photos from our walk.

One-Mile Loop / Faro Point

One of our favorite parts of this park is this loop that stretches out into the Bay. It is a one-mile loop with stations for your workout, like jumping jacks, sit-up bench thingie (not the technical term), balance beam, jump-over bars (also not the technical term), pull-up rings, and more! Here we are at the starting line. I feel like they need to add some encouraging words on the ground where they mark every quarter-mile. It is always pretty breezy so hold on to your hats and wear layers!!! There have been many morning walks here where my face would be feeling the heat, but that Bay breeze starts you off with a chill.

On this particular day, there were a bunch of seagulls. I have never seen this many in this area before. We had to dodge a few of them. Yikes!

Emily likes to scooter so there were times when she just went on ahead.

Seeing all the planes fly in to land at OAK is another favorite thing about SL Marina!

Here we are coming to the final stretch of the one-mile loop!

….but then we continue on because we are following a walking program on my health phone app and was trying to walk 1.45 miles. After you walk past the 1.0-mile marker, you can keep walking forward and to your right, there is another path. I mostly see bicyclists go in this direction, but there is also a nice size dog park. I’m not familiar with dog parks but it looks like there is a plenty of space to run around.

Play Areas + Picnic Areas

So besides Faro Point, you also have the actual park areas. The play area closest to the loop is for older kiddos. Between the two area is PLENTY of grassy areas for picnicking and running. There is also a volleyball area with sand. The last time I looked, there was a net, but I can’t remember if it is always there.

At the other end (where you most likely will drive in from), there is a playground structure for younger kiddos. There is a path that goes around the play area for any kiddos who want to scooter or bike around. There are two small water-spraying statues that kiddos can/will climb when the water is or is not spraying. There are restrooms close by but they are not the best, but I’m never about any public restroom anyway. :/ FYI: The toilet paper is the super duper thin kind where you can only really pull out one “square” at a time or just go really slowly, and there is only a hand-dryer blower thing. Bring your own tissues and/or toilet paper if you think you may need some for your kiddos.

You can reserve the picnic areas and they have really nice new-ish grills available. There is not much shade where the play areas are strangely and unfortunately, but there are LOTS of big trees across the border of the grassy field as well as some of the picnic areas.

We’ll most likely be back, so maybe more photos will be added!! 🙂

Website | Yelp 1 | Yelp 2 | TripAdvisor | Great Kids Park

We have seen some amazing parks and playgrounds and would like to visit them all, but since we don’t really have time to do that, please share your pics with us! And we’ll be updating with pics from our mini-adventures!

What are your family’s favorite activities at the park or playground? Swings, carousel, rock wall, train ride, tube slide, bridge?

The Three Bears [Afternoon Art]

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is the story for the third art project for the Afternoon of Art Summer Series . (This post is by Emily.)

An Afternoon of Art

We were excited about our third art project from Home Art Studio (2nd Grade) because it had many parts – drawing, cutting, painting, and gluing.

Supplies + Materials

These are the things you need for the project.

Things you specifically need

What We Did

We started drawing.

Design Time! Bowls…

…and spoons!

Sharpie Trace!

This is me sharpening the design.

And CUT!

My sis cutting out her spoons and bowls.

Next, we paint!

And done!

One lesson that I learned is to use a lot of water and a little paint.

Note from Mom: With the watercolor, a little goes a long way. Not much was needed for painting the bowls. Just use a teeny, tiny, little “drop” of paint. You can see in the pic that we used Lakeshore glue. That is all we have, but we highly recommend Elmer’s glue instead.

Here are the materials we used:

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. Read my disclosure policy here.

Pleasanton Public Library [Library Tour]

Pleasanton Public Library was the second library in our Library Tour Summer Series.

The front of the library had statues. The first one we thought was cool – a girl reading.

The second statue/s we saw was of a girl reading, too. I’m assuming it’s her brother she’s reading to. That reminds me of me reading to my little sister.

The last statue was kind of abstract – books stacked on top of each other.

This is the front of the Pleasanton Public Library. If you go there, please keep in mind: it’s not part of the Alameda County Library branches, so if you have a library card for those, you can’t check out anything from this one. (Or return, either!)

They’re planning to redo the entire downtown area which is where the library is. We saw some murals there just like in the Hayward downtown. Oh, and in the future downtown, there’s going to be a meadow! I’m excited!

Model of the future downtown – community center, City Hall, etc.

One of my favorite things about this library was that it had a whole entire wall dedicated to your finding a book! Located in the children’s section, the brochures are sure to keep you reading. (I took 2 home!)

There was a mural in the library. I love how it says “Track 9 3/4!”

There are baskets if you don’t have a library bag or forgot to bring yours!

On our way out we saw a seating area. I thought this was perfect for sitting to eat your lunch.