Chocolate Cravings: Dreamy-Creamy Chocolate-Banana Chia Popsicles

Chocolate Chia seed popsicles

I have these popsicles to thank for my kids’ growing interest in chia seeds and their strange jelly-like properties.

When that old chocolate craving hits lately we’ve been diving into these cool dreamy-creamy chocolate-banana popsicles. I’ve always liked the idea of homemade popsicles, but somehow they’re always a bit icy and never quite get that luxurious consistency I’m after. Well we’ve done it! We’ve finally landed on what is, at least for my family, the ultimate popsicle! These get extra bonus points because the flavor reminds us of the frozen chocolate bananas you get at the county fair or at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  Continue reading

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Hayes Valley Gems: Seesaw & Mandarina

We are always on the lookout for fun after school activities that are easy to pull-off, include a snack and are over by around dinner and “bathy time”.  A visit to Hayes Valley is part of our repertoire and we recently hit a couple of previously undiscovered spots.

Seesaw is a cute little play space and cafe for parents, caregivers and kids that opened recently and we had a great time there.  Read: the kids played side by side with the toys and games and the other mom and I got to catch up with minimal interruption from the kids. We nibbled on baked goodies and drank Four Barrel coffee. I am looking forward to the addition of  more food items to their menu so we can eat light meals there.  Seesaw also offers a bunch of fun classes, story times and date night drops-offs, so do check them out.  The space is warm, cozy and inviting and manages to be both kid and parent-friendly (which is often tough to pull off).  Where was Seesaw when Ria was younger and I could not figure out where to go to meet other moms and kids or just to hang out with her?

It was a rare warm day in San Francisco, one that you can actually wear a sun-dress on and not regret it, so we crossed the street over to Mandarina for some paletas (Latin American ice-pops).  My friend Luisa recommended it a while back and I am glad we finally checked it out.  We shared a mango popsicle and it was a refreshing after-school treat.  They have some pretty interesting flavors (mango-chilli?) and the cafe is clean, open and welcoming. Hayes Valley just become a whole lot cooler!

Hey There Popsicle!

Welcome to the “Popsicle Hut” (or “what happens when Stacie gets a hold of Luca’s craft supplies”). One of the best things about being a parent is having that extra excuse to indulge your silly side. Like spending a whole evening making a popsicle stick snack shack for instance.

I wish I could claim this as an original idea, but it’s based on a project from Martha Stewart.com along with some other pretty cool popsicle stick creations. The instructions are a little lacking, but in a way, I prefer that. It invites you to make the project your own. We actually had the most fun of all making teeny popsicles out of the project scraps — and thinking up funny flavors like Luca’s favorite, cherry eyeball surprise. [A popsicle fun fact: Did you know the popsicle was invented in 1905 in San Francisco by eleven year old Frank Epperson? It’s an interesting story you can read more about here.]

We have grand visions of a whole popsicle stick town, but in the meantime, playing popsicle hut is keeping us awfully busy. Tutti Frutti Sparkle or Super Lime Fantastic anyone?