How to Spend a Day on the Bay: Boatsetter + Snacks

How to Spend a Day on the Bay: Boatsetter + Snacks

Spring is coming! Rain, it was nice to see you, we really needed you, but now it’s time to play and frolic in the beautiful Bay weather again. January is practically over, which means with Valentine’s Day decor already hitting the shelves at Target; Easter and spring will be in our faces faster than you can say “Bon Weekend!” .

Here is a fun, unique way to spend a day in the Bay. I’m giving you a head start so you can be the first of your friends this spring to have the dopest #sundayfunday.

Airbnb for boats

Yes, there is an Airbnb for boats. Of course. 

As a blogger, I usually turn to blogs when I want to try something, go somewhere, or need inspo. For my fiance’s birthday, I wanted to put something special together, so I turned to some of my favorite blogs:, , and , just to name a few.

Along my research, I came across the idea of having a party on a boat (duh). That led to another rabbit hole of finding a dinner cruise, and then then there she was: .

In short, Boatsetter provides an easy boat rental experience where you can pay by the hour to drive a boat if you already have a boating license, or you can add the captain to your rental as well. There are no monthly membership fees, it’s free to join, and get this… they are almost completely international!  

You can filter based on your budget. I filtered on the cheapest hourly rate and was able to find a boat that fit 6 people. I split the cost with friends who were down & promised them beer and snacks (of course).

How we spent the day:

We met our captain at the Berkeley Marina and sailed under the Bay Bridge and back, which was a good 4 hours. Our boat was named Blue Haven and it was equipped with a small cabin that housed a cooler, small kitchen sink, some built in benches and a small restroom.

I jumped down into the cabin and served my friends plates of munchies and handed out beer and wine that we kept down in the cooler. We couldn’t exactly walk around, and had to basically just chill out in our chosen seats — no biggie, we were on a boat!

We brought our portable speakers and blasted Nirvana, we were feeling nostalgic ;). After, feeling completely toasty and high on life (because that’s what partying on a boat does for you) we stumbled in a Lyft to Casa Latina Bakery.

After lunch, we made it back to the city just in time to crash face first into our pillows and take a siesta. Day drinking always knocks me out.

It was a great time and all the friends I invited had a blast and couldn’t believe how easy it was to coordinate all of this. Not only that, but everyone thought I had the best snack spread. πŸ˜‰

The Best Snack Spread: Using items from Trader Joe’s

Being Filipina and Mexican, I am always 1) hungry and 2) feeding people. Raise your hand if you know the type… Needless to say, when I entertain people, I am always afraid of running out of food. My friends love this about me; my wallet, sometimes not so much… Since I was shifting the bulk of this birthday bash budget towards the boat experience, I wanted to still make sure I had a substantial amount of food without breaking the bank.

With that said, I wanted to share my picnic spread for 6 people.

The key to making a party spread is that you have to have a balance of substantial food and sweets, especially if people are drinking.


  • Nutella Sread with Strawberries
  • Chocolate covered pretzels


  • Lentils and Bruschetta Dip with water crackers
  • Hummus and Carrots
  • Lemon Basil Pasta Salad


  • Wine, red and white
  • IPA beer
  • Water – Never forget!

This picnic brought to you by Trader Joe’s:

The day before, I went to trader joes and purchased items that required the least amount of preparation. Everything was already pre-packed or made, like this bowtie pasta. I just threw about 3 of these packages into a Tupperware to serve 6 of us.

Of course, who doesn’t love the samples at Trader Joe’s? A while back I tasted this sample below with their steamed lentils and bruschetta sauce.
This recipe is delicious and so easy to make. It’s filling, and when garnished with some fresh basil, everyone is asking what it is, like you’re some kind of culinary god or something. Seriously.

Simply mix the two together, with proportions to your liking, and serve with crackers. Read more about this “more filling appetizer” from the Conscientious Eater Blog

If there is one thing the bay area loves to do, is brunch. I get invites to bonnet brunches, wig brunches, costume brunches, and murder mystery brunches… we love to brunch.

So the next time you are looking for something to do with your crew, get on boatsetter, pack a picnic and sail away.

7 weeks without instagram; 5 more positive changes

7 weeks without instagram; 5 more positive changes

I wrote a post 3 weeks after I quit both my instagram channels listing 5 positive changes. It’s now been 7 weeks without instagram, here are 5 more positive changes:

  1. I quit my facebook. Now I’m even MORE productive at work. Funny thing is, I still have the urge to type in everytime I open a web browser…but then I remember I don’t have it, and so I just go to work. How many times have you opened up google chrome to research or get something done and you get sucked into a facebook rabbit hole before you remember what you actually went online to do?
  2. I’ve discovered more internet. Funny to say, I know, but it’s true – there is so much more world wide web out there to be discovered, why spend all your time in one place? It’s like moving out of your parents house for the first time and realizing that there is so much more world beyond your hometown.
  3. I don’t live through my phone screen anymore.
  4. I’m more engaged in conversations, I have more things to say, more opinions to try out.
  5. I can create with less anxiety, I feel more confident in what I make; there is less fear of being judged.

My favorite quote this week:

“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.”


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A Clothes Swap Party: Why it’s important & How to Throw One

A Clothes Swap Party: Why it’s important & How to Throw One

The More You Know

This post is a difficult one for me to write. Mostly because I can’t exactly recall the moment when my perspective changed and became definite. It’s all been a slow awakening and I’m still navigating my way through the facts.

I’d taken an environmental science class during my time at Pasadena City College with a very passionate teacher who didn’t teach one thing out of the textbook. She showed documentary after documentary on the agriculture industry and how it was polluting our water systems. She took us on field trips to the Salton Sea, a once thriving lake resort now an apocalyptic wasteland due to pesticide pollution; and she encouraged us to eat raw vegan, which I attempted but failed many times over.

I then moved up to the Bay Area, and continued to ignore the facts while increasing my carbon footprint. Then I met my fiancΓ© in August of 2015. At the time, he was vegetarian thinking of switching over to veganism. Having a baseline knowledge of the benefits of this lifestyle, but a lack of self discipline, I was interested in trying it again β€” it’s much easier with a partner. And from there the knowledge just kept pouring in and everything else from then until now is a blur.

I lightly knew the facts about the fashion industry β€” as they parallel those of the meat industry; and just as I started to avoid certain food corporations on my vegan-ish journey, I also started to avoid certain brands such as Forever 21 knowing that ultimately, they were just bad for my health and my planet.

The connection for me was this:

If it takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat (PETA), and your supermarket has 20 pounds of meat stocked on their shelves for Brand X , times 100 supermarket branches across America then that equals to 4,800,000 pounds of fresh water used to produce this week’s shipments worth of meat. Keep in mind, Brand X’s 20 pounds of meat is sitting next to Brand Y & Z who also have 20 pounds of meat stocked at all times, in all 100 supermarket branches across America. Not to mention the gross amounts of pesticides draining into our water systems, and the amounts of chemicals that are injected into the meat we eat (but that’s a whole different story, and blog post).

THEN, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year β€” approximately 1.3 billion tonnes β€” gets lost or wasted.

That’s a whole lot of resources, pollution, and animal torture for nothing.

Now take that same equation and translate it to clothing. Did you know that it takes 2,720 liters of water to produce one cotton T shirt ( and about 40,000 tons of dye gets discharged into the water systems of these poor countries producing these shirts? Think about how many T shirts are stocked at your favorite store, and how quickly they cycle out with the different micro-seasons β€” 52 micro-seasons to be exact (Huffington Post).

THEN the average American throws away about 81 pounds of clothes equaling to about 26 billion tons of textile waste in our landfills. Most of which is made from synthetic material that isn’t biodegradable.

The people that make our clothes make less than $3/day and have to work insane amount of hours while enduring mental, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse from factory managers.

That’s a whole lot of resources, pollution, and human enslavement for nothing.

Knowing these facts and thinking through these consequences, has made me cringe a little bit every time I think I want to step inside of H & M or Urban Outfitters. Because believe me, I LOVE fashion and I love changing my looks! I now feel trapped in what I know, and this world I live in where every move I make is hurting everyone else down the line. It’s insane.

But just like my approach to veganism, you have to take it one step at a time, and slowly. You can’t expect to make a complete change and be perfect 100% of the time. But we can choose to be aware and make an effort to make the right decision. Which is why I decided to throw a clothes swap party.

Here is How I did it:

  1. I sent out a facebook invite two months in advance because I was planning it during prime summer vacation time and I wanted to get it on everyone’s radar.
  2. Then I had to lock down a location which was the hardest part. I looked at places on Peerspace and consulted with my network to find the most affordable location.
  3. Two weeks leading up to the event, I started to post articles and videos on the event page to give a little reminder to those attending, and spark some interest.
  4. Did you know there are rules to a clothes swap party? I didn’t. But apparently there are many ways to frame a clothes swap party and here are a few that I liked from Pinterest:
    1. You can only hold 5 articles of clothing within the first 15 minutes, then everything after that is a free-for-all.
    2. Separate items by value and swap items based on the value you contributed to.
    3. Everyone draws a number out of a hat and takes turns in the order of which they drew. They get a certain amount of time to shop, where they place a tag on the items they like. Each item has a max amount of tags it can receive and shoppers will have to rock, paper, scissor battle to win that item.
      • I liked this one (although it sounded a bit messy and drawn out) because it reminded me of that Christmas game White Elephant, and could be a bit competitive and fun.
    4. I created a short Powerpoint presentation to share a few facts and video campaigns that really spoke to me (see them below).
    5. *Most importantly* Provide adult beverages and snacks.

Lastly, I made it clear that my hope was that they walked out of the event with a different perspective. Many of them were pumped once I gave them some context as to why it was important we were there. I am not an expert, merely a peer learning along with them. Most importantly, we had fun, and I hope to plan this again in the next six months.




A Week in my planner: Vertical Categories & Weekly Headlines

A Week in my planner: Vertical Categories & Weekly Headlines

Memory keeping and journaling is one way I spend my time off screen during the week. I find it soothing to exercise my brain in a creative way that is functional and expressive. Here are some things I tried in my planner and journal this week.

Memory Keeping & Journaling

Currently Pinning & Other Inspiration

I was very inspired this week! I did a lot of browsing on the train and wanted to log the details. These might come in handy when I need ideas to blog about.

Keeping Up With Current Events

I saw a bullet journal instagram a while back where they wrote down the biggest headlines of the week. I thought it was a great idea… especially with all the breaking news we’ve had!

Functional Planning

Vertical Categories

This week in my planner, I tried breaking down each section in the new mini layout by three categories: personal, wedding, and blog. It wasn’t very effective for me, so next week I am going to use a different vertical breakdown: morning, afternoon, and evening; this will include work and personal plans.

The Hourly Layout

In my work planner, which is a separate section in the same planner, I tried to use the grid layout as an hourly, but didn’t find it very effective since the space was too small. This week I decided to keep it as simple as possible and use the top section for meetings, and leave the bottom grid for note taking and general list making.

Other ways to use a vertical layout:

  • Social media channels
  • Meal planning: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Events, to do, and daily highlights
  • Your plans, your partner’s plans, and other family members
  • Work, chores, fitness plans and tracking
  • High, medium, and low priority

How are you using your planner for 2019?

Happy planning!

My 2019 Planner Set Up

My 2019 Planner Set Up

Happy 2019! It’s planner season, my favorite time of the year πŸ˜‰

As a planner addict, I watch SO MANY planner videos. It’s true that I am deep in the planner world, and I am not ashamed. Ha ha! One of my creative goals for a while has been to create my own planner video, and so voilΓ , here it is! I hope you enjoy and find some useful tips in here.

A Logo for Academic Resilience Academy

A Logo for Academic Resilience Academy

This post is long overdue. I finished this back in October, right when the holiday craze in my world started to pick up, so I didn’t have a chance to reflect back on this process until now.

The Backstory

This project was sort of a wake up call for me as an amateur artist, realizing that I really have no idea what I am doing. I had to use so many work arounds to get the image in my head onto digital paper. In addition to my technical challenges of not knowing how to use Adobe Illustrator, or any type of illustrator software, there was the fact that this logo project wasn’t as clear cut as my last project. What I mean by that is that the name of the business didn’t have any obvious “drawable” words in the title, or mission.

Designing the Logo

Academic Resilience Academy is a one-on-one tutoring service in the Napa Valley area with a mission to transform student’s feelings about academics from anxiety and stress to curiosity and resilience. I asked the founder to give me a list of words that came to his mind when he thought of ACADEMIC RESILIENCE ACADEMY and this is the list I used to generate doodle inspiration:

  • Resilience
  • Challenge
  • Triumph
  • Growth mindset
  • Struggle is learning
  • Positive
  • Encouraging
  • Playful

The Draw-spirations

I was aiming for a chalkboard look; the airplane symbolized upward movement, optimism, and the light bulb symbolized that ah-ha! moment one gets while learning. But I was so discouraged by the way these turned out, it didn’t look anything like I had planned out in my head.

Then I discovered the instant alpha tool on my MacBook Pro photo editor. This changed up the whole game! Now, I was able to use my own hand on paper and transfer my actual drawings onto my Tayasui Sketches Pro to add color, then transferred that drawing onto Canva to give it the final text and shape touches.

The Final Logo

The final logo has a lightbulb with budding leaves, symbolizing growth and that ah-ha! moment that I associated with learning. I was very pleased that I was able to turn in something that actually looked like a logo. The first two drafts had me worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew.

Photo Source:

After turning in this project, I started to think that maybe this was the wrong direction, an over ambitious one at that, but then the owner posted this picture of my logo on business swag, and seeing my illustration on the real deal made me feel very excited and ready to take on a few more challenges.

Moral of the story: just keep drawing.