Where to Go? What to Eat? in Los Gatos, CA with Breathe Together Yoga

This week, Jen from Breathe Together Yoga answers some questions about the studio and shares some local tips for when visiting the Los Gatos area.

Breathe Together Yoga's front of store
Image by: Breathe Together Yoga

Tell us a bit about your shop:

“Breathe Together Yoga is home to two beautiful yoga studios featuring over 90 classes a week with a curated lifestyle and home retail shop, the Mandala Tea House serving up organic teas, Verve Coffees, smoothies, and juices, and the Wellness Center with acupuncture, massage, and Ayurvedic consultations.”

People in class doing yoga
Image by: Breathe Together Yoga

What do you love most about your area and how long have you been located there?

“We love being nestled at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains and only minutes away from beautiful Vasona Park! We have been open for 9 years.”

Is your area known for anything in particular?

“Los Gatos is home to David Kinch’s Manresa as well as Manresa Bread, Vasona Park, and Netflix. A small town feel with great food and tech!”

What are some of your favorite places sights and activities?

Vasona Lake County Park
Vasona Lake County Park

Vasona Park – a beautiful enclave with a lake, walking paths, paddle boats.

Castle Rock State Park – ideal for hiking and climbers with beautiful views 

Take a peek at the Los Gatos Theatre with a beautiful art-deco look!

Can you tell us about some of your favorite places for food/drinks?

Mandala Tea House's Chai Tea Lattee
Image by: the Mandala Tea House

“Our very own Mandala Tea House. We make our own cashew and almond milks. Try our house Chai with almond milk, all made in-house from scratch!”

Non-Traditional Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Long gone are the days when Valentine’s Day breaks the bank and is riddled with the utmost corny and over-priced gifts…. it’s time to mix things up! From DIY-ing gourmet treats to taking a walk in the park, here are some one-of-a-kind ways to celebrate with that special person (or yourself of course!):

Flower bouquet with "Five Ways to Celebrate Valentine's"
Image by: Alana Rivera

Sweets for ya Sweet

Forget the basic Valentine’s day treats and sweets pumped with fillers and artificial sweeteners. If your partner enjoys chocolate, impress them this holiday with a personalized chocolate bar. With just five ingredients, you can whip up a gourmet candy bar that can totally be enjoyed guilt-free, courtesy of Minimalist Baker.

Picnic

Mid February might just be the best or worst time to embark on an outdoor picnic. For those who enjoy year-round sunshine and warm weather (aka: Southern California), take your lover (or yourself) for a walk through the park accompanied with a picnic including their favorite foods. If this time of year is not optimal for exploring the outdoors in your town, set up a cozy picnic indoors! 

Picnic blanket with basket
Kristina Paukshtite

Staycation

Roadtrip to a new destination in your area or explore the next town over.  If you really want to take it the extra mile, book one night in an airbnb to give yourself that getaway feeling. 

Ditch the flowers for flour

Ditch the reservations and create your own fancy dinner. Make your own memories by preparing a special recipe you’ve been dying to recreate. Check out this piadina recipe form Gozney for a great all-in-one, delicious meal that’s sure to impress. 

Gozney's Supreme Piadina
Image by: Gozney

Get sentimental

Nothing is quite more sentimental than recreating your first date. Relive the special day while reminiscing on sweet memories and simpler times. 

For more Valentine’s Day celebration ideas, check out our not-so-average 2020 Valentine’s Gift Guide

What We are Thankful for at Etta+Billie

As we reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday, the E+B team shares what they are most grateful for during this season. What are you thankful for?

Etta+Billie's Team

Sonia Leticia- Production+Operations Manager

“What I’m most grateful for this year is my little sister Samantha. She has been a huge supportive force for me this past year and I would be completely lost without her. We’re currently 3,000 miles apart but keep in touch every day and support each other through all kinds of ups and downs. I’m so grateful to have such a wonderful and inspiring human as my sister and best friend.”

Natasha Osmidoff- Studio Assistant

“I am thankful for my friends and family that not only lift me up but brighten up my days! I am also grateful for my ability to work and live in San Francisco! Oh – and I’m so thankful for my dog!!”

Jasmine Watt- Marketing Assistant

“This year I am thankful for my family. They are my closest friends and are always so supportive of me. Also, I am super grateful for my university and school-year. With it being my last year of college, I am especially thankful for the experiences and education I have received.”

Gianna Zamora- Production Assistant

“This time of year always provides a great deal of perspective for me when I look around and observe the close connections in my life. Of course I am grateful for my health, the privilege of living in a beautiful home in one of the dreamiest cities in the world, and the ability to nourish myself well. Beyond all of that though, I am most grateful for my family, my friends, my partner, the people who remain close even when there is physical distance between us. The family I was granted and the family I have chosen while on this wild ride of existence provide honest reflections of who I am and who I aspire to be. They are my guiding forces, my eternal heartbeat, and the love I receive from them is the most essential resource I have.”

Alana Rivera- CEO+Soap Maven

“I’m so thankful for my team and my small business community this year! After becoming a mom last year, things in my life changed dramatically (surprise, surprise!). Throughout everything, my team and my community helped ease the transition and offered so much support both personally and professionally. I’m so grateful to have them in my life!”

Etta + Billie Gift Guide 2019: Foodie Traveler Gifts

Gifts for the Foodie Traveler with natural skincare with culinary scents, cooking classes, brew and sip coffee bottle, and culinary travel journal!

A few gift ideas for the person in your life who loves to travel almost as much as they love food.

  1. All-Natural Skincare Travel Kit | Etta + Billie – $35
  2. Culinary Travel Journal | Nourishing Notes – $8 (buy multiples!)
  3. Dia de Los Muertos Cooking Class | Los Dos – $185 per person
  4. Set of Reusable Shopping Bags | Baggu – $36
  5. Soma x Ritual Brew Bottle | Ritual Coffee – $45 (coffee lovers rejoice)
  6. Evergreen Tangerine Soap | Etta + Billie – $14

Etta + Billie Holiday Gift Guide 2019: Zero-Waste Gifts

Zero-Waste Design conscious gifts including enamel bowls, cotton napkins, fabric storage bags, bar soap and plastic free natural deodorant.

We know A LOT of people who are trying to make a few lifestyle changes to reduce their environmental impact on our planet, which is pretty darn great. Here are a few of our favorite ways to go zero-waste without compromising on style (or practicality)!

  1. Natural Deodorant in a Paper Tube | Etta + Billie – $15
  2. Enamel prep and storage bowls with lids | Food 52 – $36
  3. Fabric Food Bag Kit for Storage or Lunch | Aplat – $62
  4. Cardamom Coffee Soap | Etta + Billie – $14
  5. Insulated Stainless Steel Coffee Flask | Hydro Flask – $32.95
  6. Cotton Color Block Napkins | Dot & Army – $26

The Story Behind the Scent: Etta+Billie’s Chai Tea

In this week’s “The Story Behind the Scent”, we are uncovering the story behind the creation of one of our most coveted holiday scents- chai tea! Alana Rivera, owner and soap maven of Etta+Billie will share the memories and recipes that brought this scent to life.

Etta+Billie's Chai Tea Soap Ingredients

Tell us about the inspiration behind the scent:

The inspiration for our Chai Tea collection comes directly from the beverage itself! Before I became a full-blown coffee addict, I drank a lot of tea. Especially black teas like Earl Grey and English Breakfast thanks to my experience living in England for my Year Abroad in college. While in England, I also had the chance to try a lot of Chai Tea thanks to the heavy influence of Indian culture. I absolutely fell in love with the complex blend of tannic black tea, pungent cardamom, spicy ginger, and sweet cinnamon. When I came back to California, Chai became my go-to if I wasn’t having an English Breakfast tea. Fast forward to 2009 and this delightful beverage became the inspiration for E+B’s first Chai product, the Chai Tea Soap. It’s still one of my favorite products to create because of the creamy textured top and delicious scent.

Etta+Billie's Chai Tea Line

What products does Etta+Billie offer in this scent?

Our Chai Tea blend comes in Soap, Body Scrub, Skin Balm, Room + Body Spray, and our Hand + Body Wash.

Were there any recipes/goodies that contributed to the creation of this scent?

There wasn’t a specific recipe but of course, I love a great chai tea & chai spiced goods. I’ve listed a few of my favorite ways to experience Chai below!

Authentic Homemade Chai Recipe
Image by: Foodess

Big Spoon Roasters Chai Spice Peanut & Almond Butter

Chai Spice Shortbread Cookies from Sunset Magazine

Authentic Homemade Chai from Foodess

The Story Behind the Scent: Etta + Billie’s Grapefruit Cardamom

In our new series “Story Behind the Scent”, Alana Rivera, owner and soap maven of Etta+ Billie, will take us through a history behind our scented concoctions. Here, she will recall the foods, memories, and people that have helped bring them to life. This week, we are talking all things Grapefruit Cardamom!

Etta + Billie Grapefruit Cardamom Body Scrub and Body Lotion

Tell us about the inspiration behind this scent: 

Grapefruit Cardamom was a melding of two flavors that I loved into something absolutely blissful.

My love of grapefruit began as a child. Every summer, I spent time at my Grandma Etta’s in Southern California. She would often serve me grapefruit in the morning and I came to love the way she would cut each section for me so I could scoop the tangy flesh into a bowl. Then, I would squeeze any remaining pulp to create “Grapefruit soup”. I was so hooked on this method that I would often refuse to eat grapefruit cut any other way. 

My obsession with cardamom didn’t start until I was much older. My first cardamom experience was in Indian cooking and then in a variety of pastries. I loved how the flavor is both herbaceous and spicy. With fresh green notes as well as a warm coziness. Once I discovered it, I couldn’t get enough.

Etta + Billie Grapefruit Cardamom Hand + Body Wash

Using my cooking experience and food loves as inspiration, I combined these two scents together. They work in harmony with each other to create something sweet, tart, spicy, and fresh. This combination is one of my very first and still one of my favorites today.

What products does Etta+Billie carry with this scent?

Our delicious Grapefruit Cardamom scent is available in Body Lotion, Body Scrub, Room + Body Spray, Hand + Body Wash, and our Skin Balm.

Grapefruit Cardamom Skin Balm

Were there any recipes/goodies that contributed to the creation of this scent?

Nothing specific, but I do love seeing this combination in recipes. I’ve seen grapefruit cardamom tarts, scones, and all manner of sweet things. I’m always drawn to this combination in cocktail form. 

You can find grapefruit cardamom cocktail recipes all over the internet and here are a few of my favs:

Grapefruit Cardamom Gin Fizz refreshing gin cocktail!

Grapefruit Cardamom Gin Fizz
Image by: The Modern Proper

The Remedy: a delicious whiskey based recipe.

Etta + Billie's Grapefruit Cardamom Rose Cooler Recipe

Etta + Billie’s Grapefruit Cardamom Rose Cooler Recipe on You Tube

Where to Go? What to Eat? in San Francisco, CA with Perch

This week we asked Perch owner Zoel Fages a bit about his shop and some local tips when visiting San Francisco’s Glen Park neighborhood.

Perch owner Zoel Fages.

Tell us a bit about your shop:

Glen Park gift shop Perch's window display.

“Perch is a collection of everything I love: new, vintage and international. I had always thought in the back of my mind that I would love to open a shop.

After 20 years in my career at Gap, I was bored, and at the same time a shop in our new neighborhood was moving out and the landlord was looking for a new tenant. The stars aligned and we signed a lease just days before the market crashed.”

What do you love most about your area and how long have you been located there?

Gorgeous bag options at Perch SF.

“Perch has been in Glen Park for over 11 years. It is the only neighborhood I would consider having a shop. We are a small neighborhood that feels more like a village than neighborhood. I wanted a shop located in a place where I could get to know the community and be a part of it. If Glen Park had a pharmacy, there would be no reason to leave. It has everything you need.”

Is your area known for anything in particular?

Apothecary shelf at Glen Park gift shop Perch.

“Glen Park is primarily known for Glen Park Canyon and the Bart stop. It is a part of San Francisco that most people do not even know exists. I certainly did not until I moved to the nearby neighborhood of Sunnyside.”

Describe your favorite places for food/drink in your area:

Holding a warm cup of coffee.

Almost any type of food can be found in Glen Park. The highlights are:

Gialina:  the best thin crust pizza in town, seriously! They also have great salads, pasta, and meat dishes. A must if visiting Glen Park. 

Higher Ground:  A crepe place that has been in the ‘hood over 30 years. The owner also owns a sweet Italian spot, Manzoni. He works both places every day – I don’t know how he does it.

Le P’tit Laurant: A small corner French bistro with classic French cuisine.

La Cornetta: My favorite taqueria! They offer the staples, but always delicious.

A Few Good Fried Chicken Recipes for National Fried Chicken Day

We’ve pulled together a few different recipes for you to test out just in time for National Fried Chicken Day.

Nashville Hot Chicken

Classic Fried Chicken

No fried chicken taste test would be complete without a traditional option like this one from The Spruce Eats.

Extra Crispy Fried Chicken

Apparently there is one ingredient that you can add to make your fried chicken super crispy. Read more about it and other fried chicken tips at The Stay at Home Chef.

Fried chicken with a touch of spice from Front Porch.

Nashville Hot Chicken

This addictive spicy chicken is a must if you ever make a trip to Nashville. But if you don’t have plans to head to Nashville anytime soon, you can make your own with this recipe from Saveur.