Hawk's Tavern Opens in Mill Valley

Hawk's Tavern

507 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley;

Chef Tyler Florence has recently opened an informal restaurant in Mill Valley called the Hawk's Tavern. A friend who lives in Mill Valley heard the local moms raving about it at her son’s school, so we decided to check it out on Sunday evening.

The stylish interior has a rustic warm feel with dark wooden floors and wood panel walls covered in beautiful black and white photography. There is a great porch for outdoor dining, but we ate inside at one of their circular booths at the back of the restaurant admiring the warm central fireplace.

Hawk Tavern bar area

Tyler Florence has created the Hawk's Tavern's seasonal menu of small plates which is prepared by executive chef Rob Lind, who also oversees the menu at Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco. There is beer on tap and a small selection of local wines.

My son ordered their mac and cheese before the waiter even had a chance to introduce himself, and ate it all up without any complaint. The kids menu also includes the usual staples; cheese burger, hot dog and a grilled cheese sandwich with a tomato soup which sounded good.

Hawk's Tavern dining room

My husband ordered the Fish and Chips which was small pieces of fish in an ale batter with big steak chips and tartar sauce. My brother in law had the Hawk Tavern Burger which came on a toasted potato bread bun with Point Reyes Toma and bacon. Both thought the food was good and enjoy washing them down with Bombardier English Ale served in traditional English half pint classes.

I ordered the Skirt Steak on a bed of lentils and roasted beets, crumbled ricotta, lemon and chili, with a side order of truffle fries, which was cooked well and tasted nice. “Nice” and “Good” describes a pleasant average meal. I guess after eating at El Paseo and regularly referring to Tyler Florence’s cookbook at home, we were expecting something a little more. But the meal was reasonably priced and we enjoyed the gastro pub experience which we would like to see more of in Marin County. We would perhaps order some salads or more side plates like the Burrata or the sautéed red kale next time, so we didn’t leave needing to eat more or craving dessert. Thankfully there was a frozen yogurt bar right next door, sorry Tyler we promise to come back next time to enjoy the Sticky Toffee Pudding!

For further information please see the Hawk's Tavern website 

Indoor Play at HABITOT

If you are looking for indoor activities to do with your children during this changeable weather, check out HABITOT in Berkeley. Habitot is a children’s play and learning center with various themed areas for plenty of exploration and dramatic play.

Children can dress up as astronauts and take a ride inside a rocketship full of lights, buttons, keyboards, and phones to call mission control beside it. 

They can dress up in other costumes in front of lit up mirrors and experiment with face paints. Take a shopping trip with their carts round the fresh produce market, or splash round with water in Waterworks area.

There is a great arts and crafts room which has a huge wall for kids to grab a paintbrush and go crazy on, or sit down for organized art and craft activities. My son enjoyed discovering GAK which is similar to Playdoh but has a sticky rubbery consistence (GAK Facebook page). We also played with glue and glitter together to make a picture of his name.

There is also a small soft play area called the Infant Garden for little ones which was perfect for my 8 month daughter who is less happy to sit in her stroller and wants to join in the fun by starting to crawl and cruise around.

HABITOT has some great resources like the good selection of books in their parenting reference library with their own parenting pamphlets on useful subjects like; learning to share, how to stop biting, and how to control anger (theirs and yours). Also a toy lending service which is a wonderful idea!

The discovery museum is a small part of the large building that has been hosting classes and art programs since 1998. The appearance of the museum and its play structures reflects how long it has been open, and they welcome donations to help update their exhibit. I just wish the toy store by the entrance wasn’t so close the play areas as my son just kept wandering into it and wanting me to buy everything he picked up. 

But HABITOT is good fun, especially on a rainy day and worth checking out!

For further information and opening times, please see their website

Baby & Toddler 

Weekly Activities Calendars

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

To view this week’s activities: Click here

Get Pinning on Pinterest!

I love pinning, pinning is addictive, I find myself pinning while the kids are asleep, pinning while watching TV, pinning at the park, pinning while I prepare food. What am I talking about? The best thing since slice bread, well in my opinion anyway, especially if you love beautiful visuals like me…Pinterest!

Mel & Liza Blog

Pinterest is an online service which allows its users to create various pin boards and upload your own photos onto them, you can, more importantly, search for pictures on the Pinterest site or pin photographs you have found online and build up “visual collections”. You can follow your friends through Facebook or Twitter or other like-minded “Pinners” and leave comments or “re-pin” the pictures they have come across to your own boards.

Party Ideas for Kids Blog

For years I have turned to magazines for inspiration and kept tear sheets and shelves of back copies of my favorite titles, something I will probably continue to do for some time. But now I can find beautiful pictures instantly and constant refer to them on the boards I have created in my Pinterest account.

North Hawai'i
Source: North Hawai'i

For example I love interior design so I have “inspiring interiors” and “home things” boards, I collect fashion inspiration for shopping and style tips in my “women’s fashion & things”, I love to collect ideas for parties and entertaining so have a board for that too, same for food, photography, travel, men’s things, also design and clothing for kids.

bakedBree.com blog

If you are planning an event like a wedding, a party or special dinner then Pinterest helps you with visual ideas and has links that directs you back to the site or blog it originated from, so you can read the recipe, shop for the items or read more about the article it came from.

Wonderful Joy Ahead blog

The people from Pinterest say it best:

“Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.”

You have to request an invite onto the Pinterest site and get an email shortly afterwards to set up an account and start pinning. Have fun getting inspired! 

Decorista Daydreams blog
Source: Decorista Daydreams blog link

Baby & Toddler 
Weekly Activities Calendars

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

To view this week’s activities: Click here

Who says a mom's bag can’t be stylish and practical?

A mom’s bag has to be full of everything you and your kids need for every situation when you are out and about every day. I usually carry everything but the kitchen sink on my shoulder and my husband constantly complains that he can’t find anything in my over-packed “Mary Poppins” bag. 

So I have recently organized the contents into individual clear bags for diaper changes, snacks, baby toys, toddler cars and trucks etc. and placed it all inside a stylish leather tote bag from ZARA

It has black patent leather side panels and contrasting short handles for over my arm nook and a long strap for over my shoulder. A stylish solution that my husband is happy about!

Check out H&M, Urban Outfitters, Kohls and Marshalls for other alternatives. 

Read what other moms use oncircle of moms website

Construction Site Themed Party

Birthday Party Idea

My son is crazy about diggers and trucks so I decided to have a construction themed birthday party for him. We held the party in the morning so set out a brunch food table with bagels, mini pots of yogurt and granola, fruit salad and mini blueberry muffins. Glasses of mimosa were served for the parents and our special punch of apple juice and ginger ale with fresh mint and slices of lime. I decorated the table with little yellow construction vehicles and hard hats, and displayed my son’s truck books around the kitchen.

Instead of using balloons I hung paper lanterns around the room in yellow, black and white. These can be reused again and again for parties, and also hung in the kid’s rooms as decorations. I also hung construction theme garland and personalized bunting to brighten up windows and a large mirror above the fireplace.

Of course the birthday cake carried on the theme, and after spending too much money in the past, I decided to order an affordable one from Safeway, which my son picked out and loved it!

Baby & Toddler 

Weekly Activities Calendars

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

To view this week’s activities: Click here

New Year New You: Schillinger Chiropractic & La Jolie Facials

A new year brings new resolutions, and this year I am hoping to take better care of myself so I can be a better mother and wife!

Schillinger Chiropractic & Wellness Center

1050 Northgate Drive, Suite 1, San Rafael; view website

Last month I pulled my back and neck muscles when lowering my baby daughter into her exersaucer while I was overtired which caused a pinched nerve and affected the strength in my hands. After suffering many days of pain I found a great local chiropractor called Dr. Mark Schillinger in San Rafael who gave me an adjustment that instantly energized me, unblocked the pain and gradually helped me back onto the road to recovery. For the past three weeks, I have been receiving three adjustments a week and the most amazing massages by one of their therapists.

An adjustment helps to restore the nerve flow and corrects spinal problems including the minor scoliosis that I developed from an accident five years ago and other problems I have acquired along the way from falls, snowboarding, a car bump and the general wear and tear of picking up and carrying kids.   

Our health is something we take for granted until something happens to threaten it and then we panic and seek help. I have learnt that seeing a chiropractor is something that will need to be a regular part of my life. I highly recommend Dr. Mark Schillinger and urge you to take a look at his website as potential patients can receive a FREE chiropractor consultation at the beginning portion of your initial visit to determine if he and his staff can help you.

Schillinger Chiropractic & Wellness Center is located in San Rafael and also offers workshops such as their “Vital Living Workshop” on Wednesdays to help you take care of your mind and body through yoga, meditation, stress management and nutrition

Check out his website Facebook page & Twitter

Facial by La Jolie

45 San Clemente Drive, Suite D100-C, Corte Maderaview website

After indulging over the holiday period and in my case eating too much sugar, the first place in shows up is on my face. I found a wonderful esthetician over a year ago that I wanted to share with you so you can carve out some relaxing time to yourself!

La Jolie is located in Corte Madera and offers the most wonderful facial by Lisa Perkins, who not only cleanses and polishing your skin but also offers a totally soothing experience that relaxes your entire body for a blissful hour!  Lisa uses the “Sothys” Parisian skin care line for her facials which includes cleansing, a mask, exfoliation, steaming while you receive a relaxing hand and arm massage, gentle extraction, another mask while you have a head or foot massage, eye care and moisturizing.

La Jolie also offers waxing and brow & lash tints, and currently you can get a free brow wax with a facial when using the promo code ‘Winter 2012’ when booking your appointment before March 31st. Also all treatments for first time clients are 25% off so treat yourself for the New Year! Also see her Facebook page for special updates.

Happy New Year and wishing you good health for 2012!

Baby & Toddler 

Weekly Activities Calendars

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

To view this week’s activities: Click here

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