Local Business

Date Night Marin: September 2014

September 19, 2014

Date night in MarinWe all love our kids, but sometimes you just have to get away and do something as grownups. Enter the date night! In this new monthly series of articles, we'll be highlighting some of the best in fun activities and date destinations for Mom and Dad to do in Marin sans little ones. Do you have a favorite date night spot that you'd like us to highlight in a future post? Let us know.

This month, September, 2014, we're focusing on places where you can get food, drink, and great live entertainment.

Northern Marin

Sleepy Novato has never been considered a nightlife hub by any stretch of the imagination, but over the past couple of years, that's begun to change. Trek Winery, a family-run tasting room and wine bar in downtown Novato, offers award-winning wines and live entertainment on weekends. This month, Trek presents live music by Chime Travelers in the tasting room on Saturday, September 20 from 7 to 10 pm (no cover). On Saturday, September 27, the Marin Comedy Show presents standup comedy by Steve Mittelman in the barrel room ($25 reserved, $20 general admission). Trek is located at 1026 Machin Avenue. Visit them online at trekwine.com or call (415) 899-9883 for more information.

Get 25% off Everything This Saturday Only at Five Little Monkeys in Novato

September 18, 2014

Five Little MonkeysAs of this Saturday, September 20, there will be only 100 days until Christmas! To celebrate the occasion, Novato's independent toy store, Five Little Monkeys, is offering 25% off everything in the store on Saturday only from 9 am–6 pm. Get a head start on your holiday shopping!

Five Little Monkeys offers a wide variety of toy for kids of all ages, from babies to teens. Their unique selection of toys and children's books includes figures, dolls, dress-up, magic sets, musical instruments, games, and educational and eco-friendly toys, as well as well known brands like the Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Railway, Playmobil, LEGO, Schleich, Breyer, Rainbow Loom, and more. They also have a wide selection of classic novelties and joke gifts. It's our go-to place for fun and unique birthday gifts and special treats.

The sale is also taking place online. Use code 100DAYS14 to get your discount. The discount is not valid with any other offer, coupon, or discount, and is not good toward gift certificates.

Celebrate the Grand Opening of Teeny Cake Bakery in Novato This Weekend

September 12, 2014

Teeny CakeTeeny Cake is opening this weekend! Your favorite farmer's market cupcake booth is making a move to a permanent home in downtown Novato at 7400 Redwood Boulevard #101. Teeny Cake will hold its grand opening celebration this Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14, from 8 am to 4 pm, where they'll be serving coffee, espresso, tea, and of course their signature sweet treats.

Marin Mommies had a chance to take a sneak peek at the new Teeny Cake shop and to chat with owner and master cupcake baker Michelle Mahoney. It's in a great location and really looks beautful. My family is so excited to have this right in our neighborhood.

Michelle is excited to open up and be part of the local community and mentioned they'll be open early for coffee and breakfast treats like biscuits and scones. Of course she'll be offering her signature cupcakes in all her regular flavors, like classic vanilla, red velvet, chocolate, carrot, and salted caramel, as well as monthly featured flavors like organic pumpkin, caramel apple, and white chocolate peppermint.

Jessie et Laurent Delivers Delicious Meals Right to Your Door

September 9, 2014

chicken kuwayakiWouldn't it be great if there was someone to cook you and your family a great gourmet meal with fresh local ingredients, and have it ready for everyone to eat at the end of a busy day? Fortunately, such people do exist in the person of your friendly neighborhood meal delivery service!

For many busy parents, meal services, like Marin's own Jessie et Laurent, are a blessing. From new parents overwhelmed with the reality of a brand new little one in the house to families with tweens and teens and their attendant school schedules, sports, and activities, everyone can use a great meal delivered to their door. This way everyone in the family can still sit down at the table for a real stress-free meal together.

We recently had a chance to sample some of the offerings from San Rafael's Jessie et Laurent, a meal delivery service that's been feeding local familes since the 1980s. Run by husband-and-wife culinary team Jessie and Laurent Boucher, their creations are made from fresh local ingredients, and their weekly menus have a huge selection of really delicious sounding entrees for delivery.

Infant CPR Class Events at Whole Foods San Rafael and Mill Valley

September 1, 2014

Mill Valley Whole Foods EventAttention new parents! This week, Whole Foods Markets in San Rafael and Mill Valley will offer events for new moms and dads with an infant and child CPR class followed by a vendor fair featuring community partners including SoulCycle, fitmob, Stroller Strides, Urban Sitter, and Mill Valley Recreation, among others. There will also be free samples and a raffle for gift baskets and other prizes.

One-year CPR certification is included with the course. For both classes, the fee for the certificate has been reduced to $30 (regularly $45) for this special community event. Space for both events is limited, so register to reserve your spot now (reservation links below).

The Mill Valley event takes place at the original Whole Foods Market at 414 Miller Avenue on Friday, September 5, with the class from 9:30–11 am and the vendor fair from 11 am–1 pm. Register for the Mill Valley event here.

A New Salon for Kids in Marin: Purple Monkey Hair in Tiburon

March 25, 2014

Purple Monkey Hair TiburonGetting the little ones' hair cut can often be a trying experience, so a special salon dedicated to kids is always great to find. Southern Marin now has Purple Monkey Hair, a kids' salon located in the Boardwalk Shopping Center in Tiburon.

Opened by Marin mom Megan Marietti Heller, Purple Monkey Hair offers haircuts for kids (and the whole family, for that matter) using high quality natural hair care products. The salon is equipped to keep everyone entertained, with infant toys and even iPads loaded with movies and apps. Watch Frozen while getting your hair styled like one of the characters from the movie! There's even a custom shampoo table designed for relaxation—you can watch movies or photos on the screen above you while you get your hair washed.

Kids' haircuts cost $30 and include a shampoo, cut, blow-dry, style, and even extras like braids, sparkles, or colored gel! Each haircut includes an organic lollipop or other small prize and a photo. Other services, including adults' haircuts, teen cuts, and swimmers' detoxifying treatments are offered as well. Purple Monkey Hair is an official sponsor of the non-profit Locks of Love (which provides hairpieces for children with long-term medical hair loss), and offers a free haircut with a hair donation of at least 10 inches.

Volunteer to Help End Hunger and Food Waste in Marin with ExtraFood.org

March 23, 2014

Kerry volunteer at ExtraFood.orgLooking for a fantastic volunteer opportunity that helps feed those in need and reduces food waste in Marin? Become a volunteer food runner for ExtraFood.org!

ExtraFood.org is a local nonprofit dedicated to helping end hunger and reduce food waste in Marin County. Volunteers pick up extra fresh food from Marin organizations and businesses, like grocery stores, restaurants, congregations, events, and caterers, and deliver it immediately to nonprofit programs that serve the hungry. ExtraFood.org's services are free of charge. It's food rescue with "the human touch".

If you're interested, consider joining in to help the 30,000 residents of Marin who don't have access to a secure food supply, and in reducing the millions of pounds of food waste that go into Marin's landfills each year. You can do pickups and deliveries when and where it's convenient for you, or volunteer in other ways. (Pictured in the photo is volunteer and Marin mom Kerry McIntosh with some of the food delivery bags and ice packs used by food runners.)

Novato's La Michoacana Serves Up Mexican Style Ice Cream and Fruit Bars

March 15, 2014

La Michoacana ice cream NovatoA few weeks ago, my kids noticed that the new La Michoacana ice cream store in Novato was almost ready to open, so we made sure to come check it out on its grand opening weekend around Valentine's Day. Since then, we've been back a few times to this shop selling delicious Mexican-style ice cream, frozen fruit bars (paletas), and other sweet treats. La Michoacana offers plenty of well-crafted ice cream standards, as well as a lot of flavors that you won't find at other ice cream stores, so it's well worth a visit if you're in Novato.

Located on Grant Avenue, downtown Novato's main drag, La Michoacana occupies a brightly colored stylish storefront. The interior is equally bright and cheerful, with a clean, modern feel. There's plenty of seating, and even a kids' area with small-scale tables and chairs for the little ones.

La Michoacana offers so many choices on its menu that it's almost overwhelming. Perhaps the first thing to do is to decide what you want: ice cream or a paleta? Ice cream flavors include familiar offerings like strawberry, pistachio, and cookies and cream, as well as more exotic options like Mexican vanilla, pine nut, mamey (a fruit native to Central America), and piña colada.

LEGO Engineering Summer Camps at Play-Well Marin in San Anselmo

March 12, 2014

Play-Well gear driven LEGO carMy kids love LEGOs, so of course we're big fans of Play-Well, the amazing LEGO activity center in San Anselmo. Play-Well operates on the belief that kids learn best through play, and their activity center is a fantastic place for children to explore, problem solve, and create through the world of LEGO. My kids always have so much fun here they don't even realize they're learning about engineering!

Play-Well offers popular LEGO-inspired engineering summer camps, where kids in grades K–8 can play with LEGOs to their hearts' content and learn engineering fundamentals at the same time. Camps are designed to develop and enhance students' problem solving and critical thinking skills, expose children to concepts and vocabulary of engineering, architecture, and physics, and above all have a great time. Some of this years' camps include: Pre-Engineering using LEGO, Art and Architecture using LEGO, Ninjaneering using LEGO, Bashem' Bots using LEGO, Batman Mechanics with LEGO® Workshop, Jr. Robotics using LEGO, Mine, Craft, Build Survival Game using LEGO and much more. Check out their complete schedule here.

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