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.


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.


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.


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! 



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. 



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. 



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. 


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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A Pinterest-Inspired Plaid Holiday Dinner

That's a wrap! So many people helped us pull this off, with a big thanks to my bestie, Abbie! This year's holiday friendsmas dinner theme was inspired by lumberjack vibes. Of course, with big help from Pinterest to piece the vision together.

Prior to the set up, the girlfriends of our friend circle gathered our Christmas decor together, along with chalkboards and mason jars used at Abbie's graduation party last year to get everything we needed. For the decor we did buy, we found a lot of it at Target dollar section and Ross, so it really wasn't tough on the pockets.

Our group circle sticks together like we're family, and with many of us millennials working around the holidays, we don't all get a chance to go home. We found it really important to keep that collective feeling and make the holidays special here, so we did rent two long tables and 20 chairs so we can all eat together. Honestly, it made all the difference to eat at one table.

The DIY decor was nothing in comparison to the ambiance and amount of laughs we had. Everyone brought well-thought out dishes, great gifts for white elephant and overall very positive vibes. It was a big reminder why you keep good friends close, and that the holidays really do have the potential to reconnect you together if you don't let the holiday craze get in the way. 

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Thank you to my friends for helping bring this together!