Making Terrariums with Paxton Gate

I can't tell you how long I've been wanting to take a terrarium class! Luckily, Hype App was hosting experiences for a few of their San Francisco influencers, and I received an invitation to attend a class with Paxton Gate. Paxton Gate, a store full of natural world inspired oddities and curiosities has two store locations in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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We were welcomed into a naturally lit cozy classroom on the second floor of their building. Wren, our knowledgable instructor had all the materials set out for us upon our arrival. We began the day by introducing ourselves and sharing our inspiration for taking the class. Some of the attendees had been returning visitors from Paxton Gate's previous plant classes, so at that point, I already knew I was in good hands.

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We finally got to get our hands dirty! Following her lead, Wren showed us the essential parts of a bog, the ideal environment for carnivorous plants. Unlike others, carnivorous plants such as Venus Fly Traps, Sun Dews and Pitcher Plants need to consume insects because their soils usually lack nutrients. The insects help them stay nourished, and surprisingly, it's more novelty. They really only need about 3-4 small bugs a year to survive.

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Wren had all the details visually written on the board for us, which made it extremely easy to follow. The class was so informative, I had to start taking notes on my phone so I knew how to keep my new little plants alive! She set a solid foundation from telling us about each plant's origin, the importance of layers and design and most importantly, aftercare.

Along with meeting several others taking the class, my new friend and fellow Hype Influencer, Nick Ryan was curating a minimal bog. He kept it creative and made it his own! 

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BUILDING A BOG

I have the hardest time making decisions sometimes, and it didn't help when we were given so many (and I mean MANY) fun choices! We got to pick from a variety of rocks, plants and moss to incorporate into the bogs. With so much creative freedom, each of us participants went home with a terrarium as unique as ourselves. 

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THE END RESULT!

Isn't it adorable?! My newest little plant bbs have been holding up well thanks to having this great class, and it's been fun to watch them catch little bugs around the home. In short, take a class with Wren! She is THE BEST! I know sometimes it's hard to justify paying for a fun class in SF when you can DIY and Pinterest, but I can't express how valuable it was having her botany knowledge and guidance each step through the creation process. 

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PAXTON GATE'S PLANT SECTION

After the completion of the class, I walked down the street to Paxton Gate's main location. The store is incredibly one of a kind! I found myself wandering the back of the store and into their patio. The whole back section was full of plants and I was tempted to bring something home, but I knew I had three new plant bbs to take care of, and I was so excited to bring them home. 

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Thank you again to Paxton Gate and Hype App for hosting my experience! 

Don't forget to follow me on the Hype App! @kimiko.marie

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Highlights from Femme Fair

#THEFUTUREISFEMALE

I'm still buzzing from all the girl power vibes! Abbie and I had the opportunity to attend Femme Fair, a San Francisco blogger bazaar. The event was hosted by Stacey, Christina and Mel, three incredibly badass style bloggers. The hard work and energy they put into the event was noticed by everyone in the room. Every little detail of the event was intentionally planned, from the handcrafted welcome sign to the #femmefair floor decals. We. Were. SHOOK.

We had a chance to swing by a little early, and got to mingle with other female entrepreneurs, bloggers and creatives from the San Francisco Bay Area. It felt so good to get to know others in the creative community, in statement of Women's History Month and proceeds that supported Planned Parenthood

There are so many bomb things to point out about the event, but here are a few favorite highlights!
(All the links are listed at the bottom of the post!)

The Treats

Our inner foodie came out to play. For those of you know that Abbie and I grew up together, you might also know that our parents raised us to appreciate all kinds of food. It's kind of ingrained in our DNA. The food and drink sponsors for Femme Fair offered a very balanced selection! We loved the Y.So.Sweet cotton candy treats, Campari America's refreshing aperol spritz and the SweetGreen salads.

A Photobooth Worthy for Beyonce

Can we talk about this photo booth really quick? Have you ever seen one styled as cute as this?! Let's be real. Between the vintage vespa, the fluffy clouds and floral throne, this photobooth set the bar. So, you know we had to take a few... okay, maybe several, pictures here! 

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DJ THAT GIRL

DJ That Girl's set was the perfect soundtrack for Femme Fair. From 90's and 2000's hip hop and r&b throwbacks to iconic girl power anthems, it was lit. 

The Wall of Empathy

In addition to the trendy aesthetic, the wall of empathy was an interactive way for attendees to contribute to the GRL PWR vibes. If you look closely, many of the leaves have gold writing on them. Attendees were able to grab a leaf, write an empowering statement with a gold sharpie, and place it on the wall. We made sure to participate. 

Overall, we had a hell of a time. It was inspiring to see what creative collaboration could truly accomplish, and yes, you know we definitely left with some new pieces for our closet too.

It sounds like there is a Femme Fair 2.0 in the works, so follow @femmefair on instagram to stay tuned for the next round! You can bet, we'll see you there.

Our Chokers: Victoria and Marie
Hosts: Stacey, Christina and Mel
Drinks: aperol sprtiz by Campari America
Cotton Candy Cones: Y. So. Sweet
The Wall of Empathy: By Praise of ComePlum, Styled by Claire Xue
Salads: Sweet Green
DJ: Dj That Girl
Event's Creative Director: Claire Xue
Swag Bag Haul: blog post coming soon!

Modern Hawaiian Brunch at Aina

I can't stop raving about this place! It's been almost a week, and I'm still craving to go back. Over the weekend, Abbie invited me to brunch with her family for Aina's San Francisco Restaurant Week menu, and little did I know I'd come across one of San Francisco's best. A hidden gem to say the least!

Aina, a modern Hawaiian Eatery is located in the city's Dogpatch neighborhood. Its worth the trip and you've got to try this place to really understand how delicious it is. Each dish we ordered was packed with flavor, and had such a unique hawaiian twist to everyone's favorite brunch classics.

Aina's SF Restaurant Week special menu!

Aina's SF Restaurant Week special menu!

Everything we serve is from the land and rooted in what the land has given to us. We cook with the seasons and with love, using fine dining techniques and local ingredients from the Bay Area as well as specially imported ingredients from Hawai’i.
— Quoted from Aina's Philosophy

The Malsadas

portuguese style doughnuts, coconut sugar, filled with guava custard
(regular menu item)

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Breakfast Potatoes

kennebec potatoes, furikake, compound butter, sunomono, micro mustard greens

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Spam Musubi "Ssam Style"

Stone Valley Farms whole hog spam, boston bibb lettuce, kimchi, short grain rice, egg yolk furikake

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Auntie's Banana Bread

house made banana bread, papaya puree, kinako sabayon, sesame honeycomb and fried curry leaves

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Kalbi Loco Moco


slow braised kalbi short rib, smoked honshimeji mushroom jus, short grain rice, sunny side up eggs, hearts of palm pico de gallo, cilantro, pea tendrils
 

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Kalua Pork Belly

pork belly, slow poached eggs, short grain rice, sunshine kabocha squash purée, flowering kale, chicharron

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If you are looking for a new brunch place to try in San Francisco, this place is a must! From the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly to the gooey sweet malsadas, you are in for quite the treat.

Next time, I'm making sure I go back with an emptier stomach and promise to get my hands on their guava mimosas! YES! GUAVA MIMOSAS!

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