Peralta Junction

My favorite part of living in the Bay Area is that there are constantly new things popping up. Needless to say, when I heard about the pop-up carnival that recently occupied a once-abandoned lot in West Oakland, I was dying to go.  Inspired by depression-era traveling circuses, the carnival featured works by local artists and lots of yummy treats, courtesy of a rotation of Bay Area food trucks -an urban amusement park brought to life each weekend in October and November.

Unfortunately the carnival has been cancelled for this coming weekend (its final) due to anticipated stormy weather, so I won’t get the chance to go. If it comes around next year, I’ll be first in line!


{Image by jessicasoupgarou}

What They’re Into with Bradford Crowder a.k.a. Uncle Beefy

The Bedlam of Beefy‘s Bradford, or as I affectionately call him, “UB”, is one of my all time favorite bloggers.  He lives in Washington state, so our friendship was a virtual one until we made plans to meet up in wine country a few years ago.  Needless to say, we felt like we had known each other for years and I became an even bigger fan.  Everyone here at Ruby Press loves his candid, thoughtful blog posts and loves the fact that he loves food as much as we do!  {Have you seen his baked goodies??  The man clearly has a wealth of talent in many arenas.}

Thanks so much for joining in our series, UB!  You’re one in a million and we’re so happy to call you our friend!  xx


What is the last thing you bought that you shouldn’t have?

God help me… more cookbooks! I’m probably around two more away from either opening up a cookbook shop or appearing on an upcoming episode of hoarders. I’m trying to stave off from getting anymore but I’m kinda aching to get the latest offering from
Ottolenghi, “Jerusalem.” It looks amazing!


What are your favorite places to shop, online and off?

Two local favorites for me are Sur La Table (in the Pike Place Market) and Watson Kennedy! (Luckily both shops have an online presence.) Sur La Table feeds all my foodie fantasies and Watson Kennedy, well, I just want to own the whole store – the merchandising is stunning!

(Watson Kennedy photo from here.)


If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Hands down, it would be the theme from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” It isn’t exactly the most masculine choice but it’s just so damned upbeat and optimistic that it’s impossible to pass up.


What is your favorite room in your home and why?

Despite the fact that it needs a massive redo (can you say “Harvest Gold” appliances?!), I love being in my kitchen. Especially during this time of year, there’s nothing quite like firing up the oven and stove and working up something tasty. And, hey, they don’t call it the heart of the home for nothing.


What is your favorite scent?

Oh boy! This one is kinda tough for me. There’s the whole “coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, bacon, fresh-baked bread” food scents. Then outdoor smells like the sea, fresh cut grass, the smell of a summer rain on warm pavement, or, up here in the northwest, the sweet scent of blackberries that wafts on the air in August. On a more fashionable note, papa likes to spray himself down with either Bulgari Black or Creed’s “Silver Mountain Water.”


What inspires you?

Currently, I find myself inspired by Kinfolk magazine, Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo, and Mastin Kipp. Kinfolk is such a great combination of aesthetic value and fostering an appreciation of the extraordinary in the everyday. Danielle, Marie, and Mastin are inspiring me in my mission to lead a more conscious and heart-driven life. Authenticity is always inspiring.


What’s one luxury you can’t live without?

Champagne. I mean, it doesn’t always have to be Veuve Clicquot but papa does love and indulgent glass (or four) of the bubbles. It’s a celebration of life in a glass!

Dandelion Chocolate

While waiting for a piece of the best toast ever at The Mill here in San Francisco, I spotted {and treated myself to} a few bars of Dandelion Chocolate. Yum!  I was thrilled when I found out the bean-to-bar chocolate makers are opening their first retail space in the Mission next week. Housed in the same former garage as Craftsman and Wolves and Abbot’s Cellar, the retail space will open a cafe side later this year, serving hot chocolate, coffee, and chocolate pastries.

If you aren’t in the Bay Area or don’t feel like spending three hours in this enticing food mecca, you can also order a few bars directly from Dandelion here.

{image by Molly DeCoudreaux}

A Festive Friday night in Berkeley

Here at Ruby Press, we are already in the Christmas mood {yep, we are listening to Christmas music already!}, so this couldn’t come at a better time…

Come visit Berkeley’s creativity emporium, Castle in the Air, this Friday evening {5 to 7pm} and join us in celebrating their holiday windows {they are known for them!} and all of the Christmas merchandise in the store.  Meet Castle in the Air owner Karima Cammill and co-host Honestly…WTF‘s Erica Chan- and of course we’ll be there sipping a little bubbly and shopping at a discount {25% off all merchandise except vintage} too!

Jambox, I love you!

We just got our sleek and chic new red Jambox {much smaller than it looks here- like 6 inches across} for the office and wow, we are kind of dying over how amazing it is!  Super easy to set up {seriously, 2 minutes?} and it lets us listen to anyone in the office’s iPhone library or without plugging it in to the box- with awesome sound.

I am a little embarrassed at how much I am freaking out over it.

{We bought ours here.}


I feel like every week that goes by I read about a new place in Portland that I want to go to – there’s the Waffle Window {spicy bacon cheddar jalapeno waffle – you will be mine}, Woodsman Tavern, Beam & Anchor…the list seems to go on and on! It’s also the home of Olo, a fragrance line with the best-smelling hair oil of all time, which also earns it some points. Do you guys have any spots I should see when I eventually make my way up there? Let us know!

{image from here}