Family Discount Tickets for Picasso at the deYoung Museum & "Who Doesn't Love a Cupcake"

Who Doesn’t Love a Cupcake”…is my motto in life but also the name of a talented cake company you have to know about for your next party!

Also this week, inspire your children with a once in a lifetime art exhibition happening in the heart of Golden Gate Park. The de Young Museum is offering you a great discount for all the family to see the Picasso exhibit. Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!

“Who Doesn’t Love a Cupcake”

I attended a birthday party recently and was so impressed by the selection of cupcakes served, not only did they look beautiful but they tasted so moist and delicious too. The children’s eyes lit up when they saw a plate of mini vanilla cupcakes brought out with little flowers on top, and proceeded to dive into them as soon as the birthday girl blew out the candles. 

The party had a garden theme and the children were encouraged to plant flowers in the back yard, so when the adult cupcakes came out, my eyes lit up as they had individual vegetables on top of each one made out of fondant icing. Others had little signs with the different vegetable names like carrots, peas and radish planted on top of the chocolate ‘dirt’ icing…genius! They were so wonderful that I had to share the talented duo behind these creations on this week’s post.

Photos by Adam Davies

The cake company apply named “Who Doesn’t Love a Cupcake” is run by Miranda and Paulette who are based in Santa Rosa, and they cater for most occasions that you can celebrate with a cupcake! Miranda and Paulette explain their story to The Marin Scoop:

How did your journey begin to create “Who Doesn't Love a Cupcake”?

“It all started with Miranda trying to find a Christmas gift for her stepmother, which she could actually use. Miranda bought the book ‘Hello Cupcake!’ for her because she bakes amazing desserts. By the following Christmas, her stepmother hadn't made any of the cupcakes so Miranda asked to borrow the book to make cupcakes for her best friend, Paulette's birthday.
Paulette had been making amazing fondant decorated cakes for Miranda's birthdays for at least 3 years so at the end of last year she decided that it was time to reciprocate.

The cupcakes were so fun to make and made Paulette so happy that Miranda decided to try to make each of the cupcakes at least once. Miranda made three on her own and then roped Paulette into helping her. By this time, they had purchased their second book, ‘What's New Cupcake?’ and they were out of control, making cupcakes for birthdays at work, holidays, and just out of boredom.”

Miranda says; “We discovered that you can't be angry when making cupcakes. It was fun and a chance to spend time together while making others happy. My fiancé's co-workers were the test dummies for most of the first attempts. We can never thank the boys at 'Johnny Franklins Mufflers Shop' enough for being brave enough to try some of those creations!”

When did you start making cupcakes for occasions?

“We starting making cupcakes for birthdays at both of our jobs and realized they were an instant hit. Our first order came in May for a Mother’s Day party and we realized that not only should the cupcakes look great, but if people were going to pay for cupcakes, they needed to taste great too. We started to experiment with recipes from scratch. We found a great spice cake recipe and make homemade cream cheese frosting and it was such a hit that we vowed never to use boxed mix or canned frosting again. Since then we have created many different cupcake varieties using both the books and our own imaginations, anyone up for a chocolate bacon cupcake?

What flavors and toppings do you offer?

Our cake flavors include chocolate, vanilla butter, lemon, raspberry, even ‘chocolate bacon’ with frosting flavors; chocolate, vanilla, almond, raspberry, strawberry and lemon buttercream. We experiment with flavored whipped cream frosting and have just developed a great cream cheese frosting for a spice cake, also an almond cake with chocolate almond whipped cream frosting. We use candy, fondant, and candy melts to create the different aspects of our creations. It is an exciting challenge to try to create the perfect sweet treat for every occasion.

What is your inspiration for your designs?

“Our inspiration is the people the cupcakes are made for and we look forward to the challenge of finding that special theme for each person’s special occasion.
We recently did mini cupcakes for a first birthday and it was the greatest feeling to see pictures of all the babies holding our cupcakes with huge grins on their faces. That is what we started making cupcakes for; we want to bring little bits of happiness to people in the form of beautiful and fun cupcakes!”

If you would like to learn more about “Who Doesn’t Love a Cupcake” go to their Facebook Page and place an order through Email or by telephone: (Miranda tel: 707-799-4325 & Paulette tel: 707- 483-5942)

Discount Offer:

“Picasso: Masterpieces from Musée National Picasso, Paris”

The de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Teas garden Drive, Golden Gate Park

Encourage and inspire your children with artwork from the world’s most influential artist by visiting a once in a lifetime exhibition in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park!

The de Young Museum in San Francisco is offering the lucky readers of The Marin Scoop a special back to school family discount to see “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris. The exhibition features 120 works spanning Pablo Picasso’s entire career – its art history up close and in person!

Receive a 20% discount on tickets for families by using the coupon id: PFAMILY when purchasing tickets on ‘de Young Museum website’ or in person at the museum box office.

Tickets must be purchased by September 2nd 2011 but are valid throughout the run of the show until October10th (limit is 6 tickets).

Mommy’s Treats


The clothing brand “Madewell” which makes great jeans and well-made separates from the J.Crew stable recently opened in San Francisco and will be opening another store on Aug 30th in

Also the affordable fashion forward brand "Express"will be opening in the Northgate Mall in San Rafael this fall…watch the space for info!

TV Shows of the Week

Stylist to the celebrities Rachel Zoe is juggling red carpet drama with pregnancy in the new series of “The Rachel Zoe Project” starting Tuesday Sept 6th at 10.00 pm on Bravo TV

The women with serious money are back for a second series; ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' starts Monday Sept 5th at 9.00 pm on Bravo TV

Baby & Toddler 
Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to do to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”. 

Little Froglet, Real Clothes for Real Kids (

Little Froglet's Ultimate Year-Round Jacket & Gap's Portobello Collection

As the kids go back to school and my son starts his first official week at preschool, we are experiencing cooler weather at the start of the day. Cloudy mornings in Marin and the East Bay until the sun breaks through, and there is always cold fog in San Francisco this time of year, but our kids still need to get outside and run around in the playground or backyard. Local mom Nicole Cibellis has come up with solution; the ultimate year-round jacket from her newly launched brand “Little Froglet”.

Also this week, Gap celebrate British heritage with the “Portobello Collection” featuring cool outfits for boys and girls that ooze cool Britanna style! 

Little Froglet

Little Froglet have designed a great year-round hooded jacket for boys and girls that matches practicality with style, just in time for the back-to-school fall season. The jacket has thumbholes in the sleeves that keep children’s hands warm while maintaining dexterity, an extra-high collar and a hood that will NOT fall off.

President and founder of Little Froglet Nicole Cibellis explains more:

“Having spent the past few years at the playground it wasn’t long before I saw the need for quality children’s activeware. I am continually inspired to create children’s clothing that is both functional and seriously fun to wear.”

Nicola Cibelis has worked for prestigious brands such as Williams-Sonoma, The Body Shop and Pottery Barn before becoming an entrepreneur after being laid off shortly after returning to work from maternity leave during the economy down turn.

“Little Froglet was a natural transition for me, I saw the market in the adult activeware changing and thought that the same need to happen in children’s activeware. I decided it was the opportunity I was looking for and it was time to start a company of my own.”

Little Froglet is based in Marin and its mission is to build a company with a conscience that is true to its customers, designing ‘Real Clothes for Real Kids’. Nicole explains the story behind the brand’s name:

“A Little Froglet is older than a tadpole but not quite a frog yet. We, at Little Froglet, have been inspired by this stage of a child’s life. Little Froglets have boundless energy, and we love to keep up with them. They are fearless, risk-takers, always searching to test the limits while rarely getting enough of playtime. We believe in fostering their creativity and individuality through their playfulness and wonder.”

The Little Froglet jacket is available in sky blue, raspberry pink and chocolate brown, sized 2T – 5T and priced at a reasonable $45.00. You can order it through the website; Little Froglet

GAP Portobello Collection

I am loving the new “Portobello Collection” at GAP celebrating British style with the Union Jack flag printed on boy’s hooded jackets, a backback and cap, also plaid shirts with stripy ties and Prince of Wales sweater vest (or waistcoats as us Brits call them) that look great with turned up jeans. 

For girls they offer the quintessential Portobello Road look; ribbon trimmed corduroy trousers, ruffle cardigan and a cute ruffle trim trench coat worn with ballet flat shoes. 

Check out these great window displays at Corte Madera The Village 
View the collection at Gap website

Mommy’s Treat

Movie of the Week

The movie “One Day” stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as two people that spend one day together – July 15th 1988, bonding on their college graduation. The movie follows them over the next two decades experiencing key moments over that same date in their lives, revealing the true reason they met that day.

Baby & Toddler 

Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to do to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”. 

Great Design Coming out of San Francisco: "White Alligator Designs" & "Tea Collection" Wall Decals for "weeDECOR"

There is such great design coming out of San Francisco, and I wanted to share a few companies with you who are doing exciting things that will inspire you and your creative flair at home.

This week I am featuring “White Alligator Designs” and “Tea Collection” Wall Decals for “weeDECOR”.

“White Alligator Designs”

Looking for unique and vibrant artwork and accessories for your child’s room?

Two moms from San Francisco have recently launched their own design company named “White Alligator Designs” that produce contemporary art and home accessories for children, yet sophisticated enough to appeal to adults. Graphic designer Julie Giles and founder Leslie Thorpe bring cool and contemporary colors to kid’s rooms with a line that includes wall art and coordinating pillows in two nature-inspired designs; ‘Dahlias & Daisies’ and ‘Rainforest Frogs’.

Founder and company lead, Leslie Thorpe explains more to The Marin Scoop:

How did you both come up with the concept and inspiration behind ‘White Alligator Designs’?

“It was a slow evolution. Our children were having a play date one day and I noticed the design on the t-shirt that Julie’s son was wearing. I asked her about it and she told me she designed it and had it printed. I was really impressed.

Months later, I was contemplating a return to work after taking years off to stay home with my daughter. I wanted to work from home and have some flexibility with my schedule so that I could maintain more or less a status quo at home.

Returning to my prior career as a health care and employee benefits lawyer would not allow me to have the flexibility I desired. After a couple of months of thinking about what I could do instead, I remembered the t-shirt that Julie had made and began to think about collaborating with her.

After months of thought, conversation and product development, we ended up with what is now White Alligator Design, LLC”.

Does your family life influence your designs and company ethos?

“Absolutely. We came up with concepts and designs that would appeal to our school-age kids. Both of our children are drawn to bright colors. Both of their rooms are explosions of color and energy!

Julie’s son loves frogs, lizards, bugs, etc. He has a pet frog named Biscuit that eats crickets and other insects. While my daughter loves visiting Biscuit and playing Super Lizard with Julie’s son, she spends her time tending to her fairy garden.

Frogs and flowers seemed like a great place to start.

Having children of our own, we want to make sure that we produce items that we feel good about using in our own homes and that we would buy for them. We feel strongly about using safe dyes on the pillows that we produce since we know that children will have close contact with these items on a regular basis.   

We keep production local, within the city of San Francisco. We could use cheaper options in other countries. But, it feels better to us to know that we are supporting our local economy, where our families live.  

Finally, our ethos is about having fun with family and friends and surrounding ourselves with items that inspire us. We hope that your readers will find fun and inspiration in our designs.”

Tell us about the printing process for your designs

“Our pillows are individually screen printed on 100% cotton twill using water-based Eco dyes. These dyes are safer than traditional screen printing since water-based Eco dyes contain no PVCs or phthalates. In addition, this printing process results in a softer finish since the dye soaks into the fabric and does not have a tendency to flake. The result is a safer, higher quality print.

Our wall art is digitally printed on blond maple wood. The machine that prints it is essentially a gigantic ink jet printer. This method ensures a wide array of vivid colors.”

"White Alligator Designs" prices start at $38 for pillows & up to $115 for artwork, for more information view website

Tea Collection Wall Decals for weeDECOR

Some friends of mine introduced me to the “Tea Collection” clothing brand for children a few months ago when my daughter was born. I am becoming a big fan of their designs so you can understand my excitement when I discovered that they are collaborating with weeDECOR to produce an exclusive assortment of Wall Decals.

Tea Collection is based in San Francisco and produces children’s apparel inspired by their trips around the globe. “From the iconic art and architecture of Barcelona to the graphic boldness of Brazilian street graffiti, they interpret their discoveries into beautiful, modern and consummately wearable children’s clothing for ages 0 – 12”. view website

weeDECOR also founded in San Francisco designs a broad selection of eco-friendly wall decals that are removable and reusable making it easy to design and redesign your child’s room as they grow and their tastes change. They are also matte finish so they look hand-painted on the wall without the mess. Their designs are made in the US from biodegradable fabric and do not contain harmful PVC’s like most wall decals made of vinyl! view website

Pam Webber, CEO and founder of weeDECOR says:

“Tea, a leader in children’s fashion, is well known for their gorgeous prints and colors. We are thrilled to turn those prints into wall decals for children’s rooms. We are especially honored to work with a fellow San Francisco company to offer parents more eco-friendly decorating solutions in the prints and palettes they have known to love from Tea.”

I can enjoy the print on my daughter’s “Tori Print” onesie (pictured below) long after she grows out of it by placing it on her nursery wall. Other designs include songbirds, origami cranes and elephants.

weeDECOR’s wide selection of designs are priced from $5 - $150 on weeDECOR website & offer a 10% discount to customers that submit photos of the weeDECOR decorated rooms on their website’s blog and FACEBOOK PAGE so get showcasing your creative flair and inspire other parents!

Baby & Toddler 
Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to do to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”. 

'Marin Antique Market', 'San Rafael Food & Wine Festival' & 'Adele' Gig in Berkeley

Sample some local wine and food on the sunny lawn at Falkirk House this Saturday, and then mooch round the Antique Market in San Rafael checking out some interesting designers alongside vintage furnishings on Sunday. Also British soul singer ‘Adele’ performs in Berkeley this Sunday. 

Have a great week!

Weekend Event Highlights

Saturday August 13th

San Rafael Food & Wine Festival’ from 12.00 pm – 6.00 pm at Falkirk Cultural Center, Mission Avenue (between D & E Street), San Rafael; view website

What better way to enjoy a sunny afternoon in San Rafael, but to sample some local food and wine on the lawn at Falkirk Cultural Center. Local wine and beer tasting with chef demonstrations, alongside local restaurants “serving up the best cuisine in Marin”, while you listen to “smooth jazz and classical music”. Admission is free but you need to purchase wristbands for food and drink tastings.

Sunday August 14th

Marin Outdoor Antique Market’, Veterans Auditorium parking lot at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael; free; (exit Hwy 101 at North san Pedro Road, left on Civic Center Drive) view website

I am a huge fan of rummaging for vintage finds around flea markets, and after being spoilt for choice in London I was very disappointed about the lack of markets in the city and Marin. But fret not, on the second Sunday of every month until October you can check out Marin’s great antique market; “Le Petit Marché” at the Veterans Auditorium parking lot at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael.

This Sunday you can take a stroll around the market and see a good selection of antiques, vintage furnishings and some clothing also designers selling decorative items like jewelry, accessories, re-upholster furniture, and interesting arts and crafts.

“Front Porch Design” specialize in full service upholstery and have a warehouse full of furniture waiting to be turned into stylish décor, I love their printed fabric used on these chairs below. For more information and to see their ‘before and after pictures’; view website

“A Mermaid’s Palace” makes home accessories like mirrors, lighting, picture frames and accessories out of seashells and rock crystal, my favorite items were the children’s ‘Mermaid Tiaras’ made out of starfish and shells (pictured right).view website

One of the first vendors in the west entrance of the market sells shabby chic furniture and accessories, the vendor’s wife makes these earrings and great locket necklaces out of old clocks decorated with silver birds or bugs.

You can take a break from your stroll round the market at the shaded seating area where you can enjoy refreshment and live music while pondering on that vintage purse or re-upholstered armchair you have your eye on.

Enjoy the Antique Market this Sunday Aug 14th also Sept 11th & Oct 9th.

Mommy’s Treats

I am so excited to see the British soul singer ‘Adele’ performing “Rolling in the Deep” and other songs from her amazing album “21” this weekend at the outdoor ‘Greek Theater’ in Berkeley on Sunday Aug 14th : Get Tickets

“Adore Home” is Australia’s first on-line home and lifestyle magazine, enjoy their Aug/Sep issue featuring aspirational homes, the latest home products and holiday destinations. Their travel story is about one of my favorite places in the world; Sydney! view magazine

“The Help” is a movie set in Mississippi during the 1960s about a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts the women involved at risk. Starring Viola Davis and up and coming actress Emma Stone; view website

Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to do to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”. 

Personalized Gifts from "Kidlandia" & Outside Yoga Class with Amanda Mount this Summer!

I was invited to meet the founder and CEO of “Kidlandia”, a great online company that allows kids and parents to create personalized kingdoms together, and I wanted to tell you more about their designs that can be produced on over 20 products and their new coloring app launched on the iPad this summer!   

I have also found a wonderful yoga class with Amanda Mount that is taking place outside this summer, which is the best way to decompress at the end of the day!


I was lucky enough to be invited to meet Brian Backus, founder and CEO of “Kidlandia” based in San Francisco. Kidlandia is an online destination that offers personalized gifts for children’s rooms that you can create with your child on the computer. Designing one of their unique maps and fantasy kingdoms is a fun and educational activity to do together full of “teachable moments” that engages your child in geography and their family tree.

Brian, tell us how and when was Kidlandia created?

“Kidandia was founded in 2008, based on little monsters that I have been drawing since I was 4 years old, when Dr. Seuss lived next door to my great aunt and he would come over for Sunday tea which was certainly an inspiration. Then I became a biologist and became very interested in eco systems and the way different animals all interact to create an environment. As I kept drawing I became obsessed with maps and was the navigator on a family vacations to make sure we wouldn’t get lost.

As an adult I started illustrating personalized maps and fantasy kingdoms for kid’s rooms for fun and for the love of it. I was very lucky that I could never keep up with demand. I was making them by hand and the commissioned work was very expensive, costing about $2,000 to produce. When I was a software producer working at Disney Interactive, one of my clients said; I am going to write you a check so you can do this as a company! We then realized that the platform could work for the Disney movies”

Kidlandia offers Disney designs such as Disney Princesses, Cars, Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, also the Nickelodeon brands; SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer versions, with more exciting licensing agreements to come!

We started doing them on various products such as placemats, posters, growth charts, and fleece blankets, but what was delightfully was that our own little characters called “Kreechurs” that we created sold just as well if not better than most of our licensed characters, 3 to 1 in fact”.

How can we create a personalized Kidlandia map with our child?

“When you find a product you like and find a design you like, for example a canvas scroll of a fantasy kingdom for a child named ‘Carter’, you can name the main city, the main mountain, a lake and ocean after Carter, as he is the king. The national holiday is his birthday, with an aspirational story about him, and other elements in the map can be named after his parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles etc. Carter’s brother is called Will so a plot of land is named after him called ‘Willtopia’ and so on.

It is essentially a family tree or a social network for a child, and you can add as many or as few names on the map as you like. When you work on a map it is a fun way to learn and engage a child in geography, you put their name on it and it instantly becomes more interesting to them.

Adding relatives who may live abroad gives the child a consciousness as too how far family are in relation to themselves. My sister lives in Italy and my children don’t get to see their cousins that often, so when designing your personalized map with your child you can add information in the text about the different places around the world and who lives where.

What is amazing about a map in terms of connecting to cognitive function is there are cues beyond text, such as ‘size cues’, ‘shape cues’ and ‘distance cues’; all kinds of things that will tell a child a piece of information which can be hard to get across just verbally.

The information you add to the map will stay in the cloud and you can add to it over time so you can see it as a project that grows with your child. It is about decorating on one level and family memories on another level. The work in progress or finished article can also be emailed to a family member such as a Grandparent so they can share in the joy of this unique piece of artwork. You can start a project as a poster and if you really love it you can invest in a high-quality fine art print on canvas that will be packaged in a travel-friendly tube for the customer.”

Kidlandia have recently launched their Kreechur Coloring mobile app for the iPad that allows children to personalize their favorite characters with touch screen colors.

Tell us about the new Kidlandia iPad app?

“The Kidlandia iPad app is a very simple but sweet coloring app, you can choose your favorite ‘Kreechar’ and color it in different colors from the color spectrum, and also create your own shade of color. Each character has a special story such as ‘Thumblebottom’ (pictured) who can’t stop talking, he is a gossip so you have to be very careful what you tell him, he also has big eyes and is afraid of the dark. In the future children will be able to create their own characters, as it is an art education application and creativity is very much the intention.”

The app offers hours of fun with this easy to use interface that features you favorite ‘Kreechar’ in 24 different castles and kingdom scenes, which you can share on Facebook or print them at home. The app is free and available at the iTunes app store, it will also launch on the iPhone and iPod Touch later this summer; click here to download app

Brian’s quest is to make a website that is fun for both the child and parent to use, to make the creative process a journey that you can both take together which is constantly evolving and can be stored in the cloud and updated as you child grow. It is a great company and there are exciting developments in the future for Kidlandia whose brand pillars are “Personalize it, Rule it, Make it!”

Kidlandia Discount Offer & Giveaway! 

The Marin Scoop is giving you the chance to get 20% discount on your Kidlandia online order by using the code “momblog20” on their website; view website

Also the first 25 people to email me with “Kidlandia Giveaway” in the subject line will be able to spend $35 on their website.

Kidlandia are also celebrating the launch of the Kreechar Coloring app with a giveaway of an iPad2 by entering a competition on their website or by “Liking” Kidlandia on Facebook at: Facebook page

Summer Yoga Class with Amanda Mount

As moms we know how important it is to carve out some time to decompress at the end of the day, and what better way to do that but to enjoy yoga in the outdoor setting of Oleander Park in Terra Linda.

Amanda Mount is a wonderful yoga teacher whom I met while doing her Pre-natal yoga class at Yogaworks in Larkspur Landing. This summer she is offering classes in the park every Monday and Wednesday at 7.00 – 8.15 pm.  Teaching will be adjusted to all levels so you just need to bring your matt and an extremely reasonable $10 donation.

Amanda says; “Benefits to practicing outside in the fresh warm air during the summer is saluting the sun during your sun salutations, watching the sunset, freedom with the open space and softness of the grace is more forgiving.”

I certainly agree and will be enjoying yoga in the golden evening sunlight, surrounded by rolling hills throughout the summer with the anticipation of Amanda’s new “Embrace Yoga” studio that will soon be opening in the Terra Linda Shopping center off Manuel T Freitas Parkway (by Three Twins Ice-Cream Parlor and Scotty’s Market). Amanda will be starting pre-sale memberships and teaching in late August, more information to come!

Directions to class: Exit Hwy 101 at Terra Linda/Freitas Pwy, turn right on Las Gallinas Ave and right onto Oleander Drive.

Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to do to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...