Guest Post: Garden to Fashion by Starlet

Hi everyone, my name is Starlet, and I am guest posting on The Marin Scoop today. I blog at Can You Come Home and I run an online handbag shop, Meridian110. I write about garden to fashion where I take elements from the garden and bring out the fashion in them.  I love connecting the two worlds, nature and fashion, as a part of our lifestyle.

Today I want to share with you a rich and fun fashion trend that I spotted in the garden. Or rather, a wonder of nature spotted in our style world =)

One color blocking, so many ways! 


When I saw this adorable mini pansies in the Berkeley Botanical Garden, I immediately knew that I had to do a fashion spread for it. Another proof of nature being the inspiration of our fashion trend! So cool, no?

Do you dare dress up in color block?
  1. Giambattita Valli color-block dress $1635 $818 from My Theresa 
  2. Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique S/L Drape Sleeve V-Neck Color Block Dress $80.99 from 6PM 
  3. Runway Zuzanna color-blocked dress $478 from BCBG 
  4. Reverse Color Block dress $62 from Singer22 
  5. Coco Love Pleats Excuse Me Dress $57.99 from ModCloth  my pick!
I love the bold contrast between the purple and electrified yellow. It's so fun and unexpected. While BCBG is always my go-to, in this round up, the pleat dress from ModCloth is my favorite. It's an effortless and cute way to take color blocking from day to night.

Accessorize in Color Block

  1. DVF Mimosa Snake Embossed Clutch $475 from Nordstrom 
  2. Irene Color Block Hobo Bags $148 $88.80 from Hobo 
  3. Asos Priscilla Platform Color Block Leather High Shoes $146.59 $72.43 from Asos
  4. Gianvito Rossi yellow purple contrast-trim suede shoes $1016 $847 from Matches
  5. Genuine Rare Ametrine Diamond Ring $1799 $949 from FineJewelers super popular (other style has been sold out, and I can definitely relate why!)
  6. Purple and Gold Stripe Self Tie Bow Tie by Elite $45 from 
To ease the fear factor of working with bold colors, you can inject them in limited amount with accessories. Match with any neutral colors or pair with same-family-hues, you can create a gorgeous ensemble that will catch the eye.

There you have it: color blocking in garden inspired fashion. Thanks Sophie for having me today. I really enjoyed hunting these fashionable pieces, there were plenty that it was hard to narrow it down! (Plus, I cannot say no to bold electrified hues!). So, let us know, which one of these contrasting color pieces is your favorite? 

Movie Review of 'Won’t Back Down'

This week’s guest post is written by Rachel Shapiro, who kindly attended a movie screening of the movie Won’t Back Down hosting by Circle of Moms.

Movie Review: Won’t Back Down

For moms especially, this movie is a tearjerker! Won’t Back Down is a story about hope and doing everything in your power so that your kids have a better life, a stronger education and a brighter future.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Jamie, a mom determined to find a better school for her second-grade daughter with Dyslexia, even if it’s means she has to start a new school herself. Without a college education, Jamie works two jobs in Pittsburgh desperately trying to support her daughter’s education. Unable to pay the private tuition, her daughter, Malia is forced to switch to Adams Elementary, the public school nearby where she struggles in the classroom and receives only criticism and abuse from her dead-beat teacher.

Won't Back Down review - The Marin Scoop

Jamie, driven to make a change no matter what it takes, teams up with Nona (played by Academy-Award Nominee Viola Davis), a mom and teacher at Adams who has lost sight of the great teacher she used to be. After some convincing, Nona joins Jamie for the sake of her son who gets bullied in school for being “slow.” Together they rally parents and teachers in hopes to convince the school board to let them turn Adams around, for the betterment of their kids. It’s a story about fighting for what you believe in, not for selfish reasons, but for sacrificial reasons.

No matter how many obstacles they stumble upon, and despite many temptations to give up, they won’t back down! The whole cast is great, but Gyllenhaal and Davis give outstanding performances. They are believable and relatable. You find yourself rooting for them the whole time. Examples of moms that we should all strive to be –ones who fight to the bitter end for their kids.

Overall, Won’t Back Down revolves around a great script, is extremely well directed and includes a standout cast (which also includes Holly Hunter, Rosie Perez and Ving Rhames). Two minutes into the movie, you are hooked! The film captures your attention immediately and draws you into the story till the end. With a splash of romance, a large dose of hope and a message to make a difference, Won’t Back Down is a movie worth seeing!

Watch in theaters September 28, 2012.

The Marin Scoop aims to provide unbiased editorials. However, I wish to disclose that from time to time I may receive free products or other compensation from companies for blogger reviews.


9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
No Early Birds, Please
Furniture, collectibles, clothing, household items, tools, art, bikes, holiday, shoes, baby & kids items, and so much more!!!
There will be lots of baby equipment, kid's clothes, toys, parenting and non-fiction books, almost new Ergo carrier, Flip Camera, designer jeans and clothes at 5 San Pablo Court (The Hideaway).  So make it one of your first stops for juice and muffins!
The Hideaway neighbors
DIRECTIONS TO HAMILTON: Highway 101 to Novato, Take the Hamilton Field Exit to Nave Drive, Turn onto Hamilton Parkway and follow the signs.
Print a map of the participating homes at
Model Home Furniture for sale by Barker Pacific at Hangar 4 off of Hangar Avenue at Hamilton.  
Sale starts at 8:30 to 1:00 p.m. 
CASH ONLY. Bring a truck. All sales final.
Pick up a Garage Sale Map at the Hangar Sale!  OR
Print a garage sale map at
Hangars in Hamilton - Model Furniture  Sale

I Need Your Help!

I have recently started a new full time job and finding the time to update this blog, in addition to my freelance writing on Miss A and looking after two young kids is becoming more of a challenge each day. 

As time is precious I would love to hear what YOU the reader think about The Marin Scoop and want to see more of!

I would really appreciate your feedback by answering the following questions or other ideas related to content and style:

What topics would you like to see more of?

What topics would you like to see less off?

Would you like to keep updated on facilities and family friendly events happening around the Bay Area?

Is there anything new you want to see on this blog?

Please put your answers in the comments box below this post, Tweet Me, or comment on Facebook

Sometimes it is good to step back and listen to those of you who following this blog and understand the reasons why you follow it.

Thank you for your help and for supporting The Marin Scoop! 

Sophie Davies 

Amazing Babies Moving 5 Day Developmental Workshop

WHEN: Monday August 13th – Friday 17th 2012

WHERE: Dominican University Campus, San Rafael

Attend a 5-day engaging training with founder and director of Amazing Babies Moving Beverly Strokes who is an author and leader in the field of developmental movement education. 

This 5-Day Developmental Movement Program is designed to enhance the skills of educators, professionals and parents. The ABM/Educator integrated curriculum will provide you with an understanding of the vital links between movement development, expressive communication and self-motivated learning in the baby’s first year.

Learn more about the two-part Developmental Movement Framework that is the most effective way to communicate this important information to actively support parents, caregivers and babies. Participate in this exciting program:

- Explore the developmental movement patterns that provide optimal brain-body connections in babies and optimal movement in adults.

- Develop your movement observation skills to read the baby’s subtle communication cues for appropriate responses in social interactions.

- Learn about our baby research in Video and Photo Vignettes that will provide a new understanding of the baby’s intentions in action and social interaction.

Amazing Babies Moving Workshop - The Marin Scoop 

What Early Childhood Educators say about the Program:

“Watching the babies and then doing those movements myself and noticing how much I concentrated to do them, whereas the babies do it so naturally.  That brings a great understanding to how and why they move”. Caitlin Duplassie

“I liked it when we did the movement, then observed the babies do it.  It connected the concepts more clearly for me”. Anita Price

Beverly Strokes offers a signed copy of my book (used in Early Childhood Education Programs) a copy of my DVD (also in 5 languages) and they pay each parent $50 for their time and travel. Parent and Grandparent or Caregiver is also welcome.  

For further information see their website or email

The Dailey Method® in Novato Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

Looking for an exercise class that will give you a long, lean and strong body?

The Dailey Method® is a unique combination of ballet barre work, core conditioning, muscle strengthening, yoga, and orthopedic exercises. This challenging one-hour class effectively strengthens tones and lengthens the entire body.

The Dailey Method® is located just off HWY 101 in Pacheco Plaza Ignacio, South Novato and will be celebrating their one year anniversary next week by offering FREE classes and childcare to the local community.

Dailey Method studio in Novato

The Novato studio is the second location in Marin and owned by Marin native; Anne-Marie McMahan, and in partnership with The Dailey Method, and Maggie Sapienza is the Manager. Anne-Marie is a health and fitness enthusiast, who has been practicing Yoga for over 10 years and competed in many triathlons. As a new mom in 2006, Anne-Marie was in search of the perfect workout that would return her body from the effects of pregnancy.  She found what she was looking for after completing her first Dailey Method class.

“Nothing changed my body like the Dailey Method", says Anne-Marie. "Being a new Mom, I wanted to get my body back and nothing I had ever done gave me these results this quickly.  It is truly transforming to your body and your mind”.

Dailey Method - The Marin Scoop

The Dailey Method® started in 2000 and currently has 39 studios open in California, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, Canada and Paris, France.
Other local studios include Corte Madera, Santa Rosa, San Francisco (Downtown, Cow Hollow, Mission-Castro, Berkeley, Menlo Park; see website for all locations.    

The Novato studio will be celebrating their one year anniversary with raffle prizes, refreshments, discounts on retail, and more! Reserve a space on their website for the following classes with childcare taking place on Monday and Tuesday:

Monday, August 6th: 8:40 am – 5:30 pm

8:40 am
9:50 am
11:00 am
4:30 pm

Tuesday, August 7th: 8:40 am - 5:30 pm

8:40 am
9:50 am
11:00 am
4:30 pm

The Dailey Method® offers classes seven days a week – visit our website for a class
schedule and two new specials for first-time clients.

WHERE:       The Dailey Method (NOVATO)
                        Pacheco Plaza
450 Ignacio Boulevard     
Tel: 415.506.4439

PARKING:    FREE Public Parking

Pixar Workshop at Children's Creativity Museum on Miss A

My son and I checked out the Children's Creativity Museum in downtown San Francisco yesterday, it was great fun so I wanted to share an article I wrote about it on Miss A

Pixar animator Austin Madison will be hosting a storyboarding workshop there soon: Click Here to read all about it and how the register!

Children's Creativity Museum - The Marin Scoop

Miss A  is one of the largest and fastest growing online destinations for women. Miss A covers the latest on entertainment, style, food, family, city events, fashion, beauty etc. in 21 major U.S. cities. Miss A informs and entertains an audience of more than 95,000 unique visitors monthly, and nearly one million unique visitors each year. Miss A continues to grow organically by building a powerful online network of women with a team of more than 30 editors and hundreds of writers.

If you want to follow my articles and find out what is going on in and around San Francisco then please “Like” Miss A San Francisco Facebook page , and for those who want to follow what is going on around the country please “Like” Miss A Facebook page and follow Miss A on Twitter.

I'm very excited about this new opportunity, and if you have a San Francisco related or family friendly story idea for me to cover, let me know. (see "About Me" in sidebar)


Sophie Davies 

Going For Gold - Olympics Gift Ideas!

As we gear up for the Olympics starting this Friday, I thought I would share some fun gift ideas for you and your family members to get into the spirit of the games and go for gold!

(Photo credits clockwise from top middle)

1.     Medal T-shirt (6 – 24 months); Poconodo
2.    Olympics Print; myMzone
3.    Team USA polo dress $55; Ralph Lauren
4.    Special Edition Line of Team GB LEGO Minifigures
5.    New Balance “Patriotic 574” sneaker, $69.99 New Balance
6. Vintage Olympic cover story of Lucy Lui In Harper Bazaar magazine.

Mr Men & Little Miss Books

I used buy lots of bits and pieces from the Dollar Store for birthday party goodie bags, but once I had made up 10 - 15 goodies bags I realized that I had ended up spending too much money on a bunch of things that would probably get thrown away.

I now think giving the children an affordable book as a party treat or birthday gift is personal and means more. We are big fans of the Mr.Men & Little Miss book series by Roger Hargreaves in our house; as my husband and I grew up with them in the U.K and they are celebrating their 40 years anniversary. 

I like to choose characters that represent each guest; such as Little Miss Giggles, Mr. Bump, Little Miss Sunshine, Mr. Funny etc.

There is also Mr. Birthday and Little Miss Birthday for the birthday boy or girl…perfect!

The Mr Men & Little Miss Books are about $3.99 each and you can find them on

"Like" them on Facebook

Looking for more children’s books to enjoy? Read my Children's Book Reviews

Rivertown Revival 2012

The annual Rivertown Rivival  takes place at The David Yearsley River Herritage Center in Petaluma this Saturday, July 21st. Our family had so much fun at the event last year that I wanted to share our pictures and let you know what you can expect to see this year.

The Rivertwon Rivival is an art-based, thematic festival (think the Old West meets the Victorian era) that celebrates the history of the Petaluma River, and raises funds for the River Heritage Center. 

This community festival includes over 100 musicians, an art boat flotilla, art boat drag races, local food vendors, lots of children’s activities and even $5 wedding ceremonies!

Their “Kidstown” will include activities, crafts and entertainment for the preschool and early elementary school set designed by Heidi Overman, and a special area with magic tricks and special craft projects for tweens and teens designed by Margaret Kuffel.

This year, Kai{Squared} has volunteered to be the wedding coordinators at the festival. Danielle and Kiri have designed an authentic wedding site that will host approx. 20 fun and whimsical $5 weddings and vow renewals, starting from 11am.

Everywhere you turn there will be volunteers and visitors in costume, circus performers, dancers, magicians, theater troupes and aerialists. A great deal of effort goes into every aspect of this experience from hand-painted ticket booths, to signage, dock creation and custom built stages.

1. Live music acts on three stages, this is the Channel Stage at the entrance of the festival
2.  The flotilla and art boats will begin at approx. 1 pm.
3.  The Arts Council of Sonoma County and local artists have prepared many art installations.
4.  $5 weddings ceremonies coordinated by Kai{Squared}
5.   My son particularly loved experiencing the vintage tractors and carts last year!


Riverown Revival

The David Yearsley River Heritage Center, Petaluma
(near McNear Landing or Streamer’s Landing Park)

11.00 am – 7.00 pm 

Style Scoop - Candy Pink Ombre

Our next two weekends are booked up with girl’s birthday parties, which has put me in a girlie mood.

The ombre trend is popular at the moment and I think it looks especially cute on little girls. I found this soft tulle dress by Chasing FireFlies which would be perfect for a special occasion, and at an affordable $58.00 it would look great with candy pink or metallic shoes.

For us moms, a maxi length dress is ideal to keep cool in during the summer months, as you can throw it on for an effortless look at the park, pool or school run. It can be easily transformed into a smarter look by accessorizing it with a belt, beads or statement necklace. This pink and coral striped maxi dress from GAP also comes in violet or royal blue, and would also work with this pink ombre scarf from Forever 21 if you are heading into the cooler city. 

1.    Living etc. magazine view website
2.    Pink ombre scarf, Forever 21, $6.50
3.    Pink & coral maxi dress, GAP, $74.95
4.    Pink ombre tulle dress, Chasing FireFlies, $58.00
5.    Ombre swirl cake by Glorious Treats blog 

Keep the kids Cool this Summer - Shady Park in Marin

As the temperatures soars this week most families will be hitting the pools, but I thought I would share some suggestions on cool parks in Marin to take the kids to, where they can play in the shade without fear of burning.

Miwok Park, 2200 Novato Blvd, Novato 

Miwok Park in Novato is surrounded by huge trees so it feels like a little cool haven where the kids can cool down while playing on the climbing structures and in the sand box. 

There are plenty of great trees to climb and lots of picnic tables making it an ideal place for a large play group or birthday party. If you feel like an adventure, walk down to the Creek and go for a walk in the water and hunt for fish, rocks and other treasures.

Marinwood Park, 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael

Creek walking - The Marin Scoop
Marinwood Park is an ideal place for a cool play date. There is a great playground with a sand box shaded from the hot sun by large trees, and surrounded by an open grass area, picnic tables and a BBQ area (available for group bookings).

For fire truck fans there is the Marinwood Fire Station next door (also available to hire for birthday parties).Their friendly staff usually comes out to greet the little ones and offer them a sticker, even a chance to sit in the driver’s seat and pretend to ride the fire engine!

The Marinwood Community Center has a preschool with a great reputation that offers kid’s classes and workshops all year round like children's music classes and toddler mini sports. Check out details about these and their regular family-friendly Music in the Park on their website on  The swimming pool also has a small warm tot's pool that has a gated grass area with loungers and large parasols, perfect for a little group get together!

Also running behind the park is Miller Creek which is a wonderful stream that is great for little ones to take a walk in the Creek’s running water searching for rocks and fish in their crocs or rain boots hand in hand with Mom or Dad!

Terra Linda, San Rafael

Weezy's Grass fed Shed - The Marin Scoop 
The Terra Linda Community Center not only has a great outdoor Tots Pool, but it is next to the hidden Terra Linda Park. The park has an open grass area to run around in and a large shady tree to enjoy picnics under. 

You can find the Terra Linda Fire Station next door, where the kids love to see the shiny Fire Engines sat outside.

There is also a perfect view of the fire station from a great local mom owned business across the street called 'Weezy's Grass Fed Shed', 621 Del Ganado. It is a great place for a lunch where you can try their mini organic sliders and sweet potato fries (cooked in rice bran oil). 

For a sweet treat, head to 'Three Twin Ice Cream', ice-cream parlor at 641 Del Ganado for an organic scoop of Madagascar Vanilla, Strawberry Fields, or my favorite flavor, Bittersweet Chocolate!

Freitas Park, Montecillo Road, San Rafael

A fun alternative is to take the kids to Freitas Park, Montecillo Road (next to the Kaiser Hospital in San Rafael) which has a water sprinkle structure. The structure looks like a giant red coil that is controlled by a hand print sensor that varies the strength of the water. Toddlers enjoy running through the sprays of water showering them from every direction.

Once dried off and in need of lunch or a snack, the Northgate Mall is a just few minutes’ drive away. 'Panera Bread' is a great place for a delicious variety of sandwiches, soups and salads with patio seating. 'Berry Twist' opposite Panera Bread and offers a variety of frozen yogurt such as pomegranate & green tea with lots of fun toppings, in a cool modern parlor, that also has outdoor seating.

Millennium Playground at San Anselmo Memorial Park

San Francisco Blvd (off Sir Francis Drake Blvd), San Anselmo

If you are looking for a park that the children can spend hours having adventures while discovering new areas and hidden corners of the playground then check out the Millennium Playground in San Anselmo Memorial Park.

The playground was built by a team of volunteers in May 2000 and was designed by the local children to reflect various San Anselmo themes. It has a variety of complex designed castle fortresses that represent the Seminary Tower and Town Hall Tower which are a lot of fun to get lost in. There is also a train depot with a wonderful wooden train, a giant dinosaur, sand box, swings and various slides that pop out of the wooden structures.

San Anselmo Memorial Park also has grassy areas, a picnic area, several sports fields, tennis courts and clean bathroom facilities.

Are you a fan of these parks or have any other suggestions on cool places for the kids to play in Marin, share your feedback by leaving a comment! 

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