I stopped into Apple Pie Maternity + Kids, a new consignment store on San Pablo Avenue, in North Berkeley and met the owner Tianna, her husband and their two toddler boys. She's created an adorable space for parents and kids, so stop by if you're in the neighborhood. Here are some of Tianna's picks for East Bay families.
What's your favorite playground in Berkeley?
My oldest son LOVES trains, and his little brother is proving to love them too. With that said, San Pablo Park is definitely a favorite because it has a great train play structure. I love it because the area with the train is gated. Another plus about the park is that it is home to the Frances Albrier Community Center which has great programs for little or no cost. We like to attend the Wee Play Drop-in Program and then head outside for some playtime on the train.
Been on any good kid-free dates lately?
My husband and I go bowling any chance we get. We both got our own shoes several Christmases ago and I got my own ball as an anniversary gift. I not-so-secretly dream of becoming a professional bowler. Anyway, the closest alley is Albany Bowl and we usually grab a drink before playing a couple games. Albany Bowl has great specials after 9pm on some nights, so our date nights end up being pretty cheap.
Tell us about a great kid's birthday party you've been to.
We were recently invited to a party at Pump It Up in Oakland and I left thinking, “I must have a party here someday.” Forget cleaning my house before and after a party or hauling loads of supplies to a park. I loved that the party started at 10:45 and was over by lunchtime. Easiest party to attend and throw in my book. I can see a party at Habitot or Studio Grow being just as easy. I do, however, like the one-room play zones at Pump It Up; that way guests are all in one place.
How do you like to spend a Saturday morning with your family?
We are at the shop on Saturday, so I'll describe our fave Sunday morning. Before kids, it was sleeping in. These days, I like to make cinnamon french toast with a loaf of bread from Acme, which is conveniently located down the block from Apple Pie, and get out for a walk through Shepherd Canyon or Redwood Regional Park, or take a ride on the steam train in Tilden Park. That kind of morning usually makes for a great afternoon family nap.
Do you want to share a discovery you've made since becoming a mom?
The Ecological Working Group (EWG) has a cosmetics database that lets you know the risks associated with ingredients in everyday things like deodorant, shampoos, baby wipes, body washes, etc. I am addicted to looking up items and making sure they have a green rating before I buy them. This is something that became important to me when I had kids, and I must say I wish I had cared sooner.
Cactus or Picante?
Oh my goodness, that is tough. If I am with my kids, I have to say Cactus because they make the perfect kid-sized burrito which equals less mess!
When you can get some time alone, what do you like to do?
I love popping my own popcorn on the stove using yummy coconut oil and taking it to see a movie by myself. I also thoroughly enjoy my time alone in the car on the way there and back. I sing in the car no matter what, but when I'm alone I swear I sound like the next American Idol.
Thanks for hanging with us, Tianna! See you at your shop!