In the City

Squash and Bay Clubs by Kate Brightbill


School starts on Monday, but we are savoring our last few days and remembering our summer fun!! One of Sophie's favorite weeks of the summer was her SQUASH CAMP at the ever-so beautiful SF Bay Club. She started the week barely able to throw her "magic ball" against the wall properly, and only hitting the return once, and by the end of the week, she could actually play a match with her squash coach Charlie! Since camp, she has been tossing a ping pong ball against our walls and use a ping pong paddle to return it -- not effective, but it's a valiant effort to keep the skills she acquired! (she tries to find walls without pictures, but since I've finally finished my gallery walls, it's a little trickier, haha!) We need to get this girl some real squash supplies. ;)

I actually took VIDEO during squash camp! I'm such a picture person that I hardly ever switch the lever to take video, but when your firstborn is in her first sports camp, you want the in-action video proof of the improvements she made! I'm so used to seeing princess Sophie, and fashion Sophie, and creative Sophie, but now we have Sporty Sophie too. I love sporty Sophie! 

SO. Here you have it... our video chronicling Bay Club squash camp! Enjoy!!

ALSO! They have academic year classes for those of you who want to start getting your kids involved in sports regularly! HIGHLY recommend!

Coach Charlie!! 

Coach Charlie!! 

* Post 2 of 2 in collaboration with Bay Clubs. We received complimentary camp and services from the Bay Club in exchange for writing about our experience. Post is NOT sponsored. ALL opinions are my own. The Bay Club is amazing, and I am recommending it to friends in real life as well as to you!

Weekending + Sun Safety by Kate Brightbill

StyleSmaller || LandsEnd

This weekend we hit some seriously high temperatures in San Francisco. Saturday was what I would call "weather perfection," with 70's low 80's... Sunday was basically unbearable for this pregnant girl, and I spent most of the day inside with windows open, dividing my day between crunching cups of ice and eating popsicles. SF doesn't really know about that thing called air-conditioning, because frankly- we don't need it most of the year, but those few days of sun rays beating on us and we all wonder if we should have invested in AC regardless of the fact that 360 days of the year we do not need it. 

We beached it up on Saturday for a couple hours. We were over by the bridge at sports basement on a hunt for the perfect backpack for my husband, and it only made sense to take ourselves to the beach if were were going to be out there anyway. My girls are beach bums... particularly Sophie. She would go all the way in the cold water if we let her, even on the chilly 50 degree days... she is a total fish! I love it. 


*(though maybe not if I showed her the insane shark + surfer video from the weekend- did you see that??? SO glad he was safe!!! And another side-note: we debated at length whether the SF bay has sharks, and researched the answer- yes, small harmless bay sharks, not legit terrifying ones, phew) 

We packed a bag of only the essentials. Water- (because the girls love to chant 2-4-6-8 everybody hydrate!), my favorite beach towel ever (monogrammed with my initials because it seems every mom should be allowed to take ownership of at least a few little things in their life that little hands can't claim, yes?), sundresses, shades, hats (SUN SAFETY), and got ourselves cooled and sandy until we were all losing our charm.... then we headed home for some nice afternoon naps. Ahh, perfect. 

I'm going to be terribly honest and tell you that- though I'm super cautious with my girls and their hats and sunscreen, I can be a bit lax with my own application and other sun precautions. I don't burn (thank you, 50% Mexican blood for that!), so it doesn't seem quite so urgent to re-apply as often as I do for my family. I have, however, been humbled this pregnancy in more ways than simply adding numbers rapidly to the scale.... To my mortification, my skin has been getting some dark sun spots near the freckles on my cheeks. Aghhh! I know some of this will go away after the pregnancy, but it is SUCH an essential reminder to me: none of us are immune to skin damage and melanoma!! 


Shortly after I noticed my new skin imperfections, LandsEnd reached out to me about spreading the word about MRA (Melanoma Research Alliance), and their summer sun safety awareness campaign... It was meant to be. I received the prettiest, extra-soft lightweight swim tee to protect my body- it can cover any swimsuit and be worn in-water or out. I love a good tan, but I love the idea of preventing splotchy skin spots and - for goodness sakes- melanoma- far more! The LandsEnd swim tees are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV protectant- they are a UPF 50 sun protectant. 

I don't know if it's because I'm in my 30's now and thinking more responsibly, but this REALLY matters to me these days. I do not want to become a statistic- are you aware that skin cancer has increased 30% this year? YES. I know. 

SO, what can you do? 

  • First of all- cover up! Slather that sunscreen on your children AND yourselves! And USE SWIM TEES (right now is the best time to buy because they're all on sale!!).
  • Grab some sun UPF products for yourselves... I will literally be wearing mine all the hot days of the year.
  • Share pics of you being sun savvy in your swim tees and tag @LandsEnd on Instagram and Facebook... for every picture tagged with the hashtag #LandsEndSunSavvy, LandsEnd will be making a donation to the MRA! 

Sun safety is kind of a big deal. Weekend away, vacation away, but be summer safe!!

Ps. LandsEnd swim tees are perfectly stretchy, so I recommend ordering exactly your size- no bigger, and if you're between sizes, size down! They're priced as low as $12.99. so it's seriously a no-brainer. :) 


This post is sponsored by LandsEnd. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support us! xx

Tech Trend: wRipple App by Kate Brightbill


I think if I didn't have a lifestyle blog about life with kids, I would want to write about food. I literally take pictures food daily. Ahh, I bought fresh food and veggies at the farmer's market! Definitely photographing this. Oooh, I made tacos and fresh mango salsa-- you can be certain I'm grabbing my camera and snapping the evidence. ;) 

Then there's eating out. All the restaurants, all the foodie flavors! San Francisco is still that gold mine from '49- only now it's a foodie mine. I want to try it all, and blog it all. Who doesn't love eating great food? 

So. We want to eat well, we want a good deal, and we want to know what our friends are having too. What to do? 

There's an app for that (you knew that line was coming, yes?). 

It's the wRipple effect! SF- this beautiful city- has launched an app to share WHERE we are eating + a fabulous deal for that spot at the same time. I don't know about you, but I'm on my phone googling deals whenever I retail shop... but there's never really been any streamlined discount app for FOOD. wRipple is an app to keep the discounts accessible on my phone- no need for cutting and carrying our dollar savings anymore! 

Let me tell you how it works:

I'm always craving something in my current very-pregnant state, so let's say today I'm craving Burmese food. I go to SOMA StrEat Food Park and that beautiful LilBurma truck is just sitting there calling my name. Samosas and noodles, YES please.


I whip out my phone and open my wRipple app-- ooh! A deal... right there for me! 


I shared the deal with all my Facebook friends (who also LOVE GOOD FOOD), got a barcode on my app that was scanned by the LilBurma employee, and voila! What's that you say? I can have that Pellegrino just sitting there calling my name in the San Francisco sun for free? OH, and $1 off? Well, if you're going to insist...


Obviously sharing is caring, so my darlings got to partake in the meal too. I love their affinity for ethnic food. :)


To download wRipple, just follow this link.

Be sure to follow wRipple on social media for all the info and deals at your fingertips! // Twitter . Instagram . Facebook


This post was sponsored by wRipple. All opinions are my own. If you like good deals, this is a fantastic app for you!! Thanks for supporting the companies that support us! xx

Healthy Comfort Food + Thermometers by Kate Brightbill


If someone is going to offer cooking lessons, I am going to take them. 

The Hillside Supper Club and Braun Thermometers hosted a little event in the city the other day, and I am soooo glad I went. I left with the best thermometer I've ever seen {my children cannot handle the in-the-mouth version we currently have, and this one just taps against their forehead and DONE!}, and a good grasp on making healthy hearty soup and pot pie. My family is thankful in advance, and judging by the cold and flu patterns in 2014, it won't be long before we put the thermometer to great use.  

Sometimes cooking certain dishes is entirely too intimidating. Homemade pasta? What? I could never... but oh, we did. Chicken pot pie? No way... but yes, we also did that. I think the biggest lesson I'm learning this year regarding the kitchen is to "TRY IT. You might like it!" I know that expression is generally regarding the eating aspect of the kitchen, but for me- eating diverse foods has never been the problem. ;) I just don't want to try cooking recipes that just may not taste good... 2014 says TRY. 

SO, here are the things I've learned from my day at The Hillside Supper Club

{*unsponsored, though we got goodies for the kitchen and thermometers to take home}

  • Eat at the Hillside Supper Club. I'm craving their homemade pasta so much that I've added a pasta maker to my Christmas wish list. There is nothing like it. 
  • Spend a little time at the beginning of your week prepping things. Dicing and seasoning veggies that can be used for soups or pot pies or as sides on your plate make day-of cooking that much more manageable! 
  • Doughs are not as intimidating as they seem. They're only a few quick ingredients, and you can have fresh, unprocessed pastas, pie crusts, etc etc. 
  • Don't just toss meat bones. Simmer simmer simmer, and you'll have brilliant chicken stocks. My mom has been trying to teach this to me forever, but I'm a repeat offender of just tossing the bones. No longer, my friends, no longer. 
  • GET A BRAUN THERMOMETER. I had this "under the tongue" traditional thermometer until last week. As I've said many times, my girls have been sick repeatedly this year. I avoided the thermometer at all cost-- the fits my sick little patients threw when I inserted that stick under their tongues were ridiculous. Now, my medicine cabinet has a thermometer that I merely need to press to my child's forehead {and I can allow them to keep sleeping!! Imagine!}, and their temperature shows directly on the screen. It's colored red, yellow, or green based on their numbers. I'm sold on this forever. PS. No need to worry if you have run out of germ-blocking sleeves.

All in all, a fun, successful day. Cooking classes and fabulous thermometers are my new favorite things. 


In The City: Waterbar by Kate Brightbill

Waterbar #sanfrancisco

There are places in San Francisco that we go for the view, places we go for the food, and then there are places we go and get both at once. Waterbar, I'm talking to you. 

When family comes in town, we like to put our best foot forward. This often means a fun and extra nice dinner. The last time my father-in-law was in town, we tried Waterbar. It's VERY nice when you take a chance on a place you've never tried and it all works out in your favor! 

We ate outside, which is a WIN. Sweeping bay bridge views under yellow umbrellas with the cityscape on the other side. The landscaping out there is fantastic... 

Then we have the food. 

Waterbar #sanfrancisco
Waterbar #sanfrancisco

I took these pictures a couple months ago, and whenever I scroll through my iphoto library, I stop at these pictures and I crave these meals. I am not even joking. SO good. Fresh fish, flavor fusions, and garnish that make them beautiful and extra tasty. Incredibly delicious.

And did I mention those bay views? 

San Francisco

If you have family in town: Waterbar. If you need a nice date night: Waterbar. If you're in SOMA: Waterbar. Mmmm.

Waterbar #sanfrancisco

Waterbar: 399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 

*Not sponsored, nothing free. I just like talking about food and San Francisco. xx

Yesterday by Kate Brightbill


I basically have nothing to say about today, because my weak stomach has come down with another flu {apparently it's my three month cleanse?}. I'm on the upswing now, but allow me to remind you that the taste of gatorade is terrible, and nothing great has come from this sort of sickness. I think if someone in my slightest vicinity has been exposed to a flu, chances are that I'll catch it. Hopefully Sophie has the healthiest kindergarten class of all time next year! 

Anyway, yesterday was fantastic, and I have some pictures from our day, and then I'll probably uhhh, go back to bed? I've only been up about two hours total today, {if the couch counts as being up, ha}! It's time to go rest more, if that's even possible. ;)


Munchkin was hosting a little event at this adorable store called Aldea Ninos, on Valencia. The kiddos were thrilled to stop in and grab cupcakes, then grab for every toy and game they had, and I was thrilled to have a little preview of a new favorite baby shower gift


These girls are two peas in a pod. They're joy. They were singing and laughing and entertaining people everywhere we went, and I am so thankful for them in my life. I miss them since I've quarantined myself here. Can't wait to wake up perfectly healthy tomorrow. So thankful for most days being healthy.