THE BLOG

This is our place to share parenting perspectives, member news, community events and other ideas.


The AFC Blog presents articles written by our members and people from the local community. If you would like to contribute to the blog (just once or regularly), please contact Amber to get involved!

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Halloween is coming, which means everything is about to be orange, black, and covered in bats—including your local bookstore. If you’ve got a little reader who wants to get into the Halloween spirit, snuggle in with some pumpkin treats and check out these books:

    Table display of Halloween books

    Ages 0-2

    EEK! Halloween! – Sandra Boynton

    Scariness: 1/5 (for mild chicken-based tension)

    Even if your kid still prefers chewing books to reading them, this board book from perennial favorite Sandra Boynton is sure to be a hit.

    Llama Llama Trick or Treat – Anna Dewdney

    Scariness: 0/5

    Another classic children’s author with a reliable Halloween standby. It rhymes, it’s chewable, and it’s short. What’s not to love?

    Peek-a BOO! – Nina Laden

    Scariness: 0/5

    Does your kid like lift-the-flap books? Then prepare to be a hero for bringing home this extremely short but very pretty book. It’s so nice to look at you won’t mind reading it for the 500th time.

    Ages 3-5

    The Monster at the End of This Book – Jon Stone/Sesame Street

    Scariness: 1/5

    It’s not technically a Halloween book, but it does feature a monster and helps kids deal with facing their fears. It’s got a happy ending of course, but very nervous readers might get worried about seeing the monster at the end of the book—which (spoiler) turns out to be Grover himself. It’s been around so long I read this as a kid myself, and I still love it.

    Little Blue Truck’s Halloween – Alice Schertle

    Scariness: 0/5

    My kids aren’t old enough for Little Blue Truck yet, but I guess it’s a thing? Anyway, if yours love the original, this seasonal follow-up is supposed to be just as charming as the first book. It’s more focused on costumes than scares, so there shouldn’t be any spooky triggers for nervous little ones.

    Ages 5-8

    Room on the Broom – Julia Donaldson

    Scariness: 1/5 (if you’ve got a dragon phobia)

    A witch and her cat are flying on a broomstick when the wind blows away the witch’s hat. Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items in return for a ride on the broom. Cute, beloved by children everywhere, and the illustrations are great. From what I hear, this is the Kindergarten set’s #1 Halloween book.

    Peppa’s Halloween Party – Scholastic

    Scariness: 0/5

    You guessed it: Peppa throws a Halloween party. If you’ve got a Peppa fan in your house, this is pretty much a no-brainer. Bonus: It comes with stickers!

    Bonus book for older readers:

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Alvin Schwartz

    Scariness: 666/5

    DO NOT READ THIS BOOK TO CHILDREN. I’m serious. I’m a grown lady and this book (and its sequels) still scare the everloving daylights out of me. If the stories weren’t bad enough, the illustrations alone will give you nightmares, so don’t even flip through it in front of a kid. That said, I read these books for the first time when I was about 12, so if you’ve got a brave middle-schooler who can handle, say, The Walking Dead, by all means buy it. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    View through window of Halloween books table display

    So now that you’ve got your book list, here’s where you can pick up a copy in Alameda:

    Books Inc. 1344 Park Street

    A great selection of books, generous kids’ section, and friendly staff. My personal favorite for buying kids’ books on the island.

    Alameda Free Library multiple locations

    You can’t beat free. If you’re looking for a particular book, I recommend checking the catalog online first to make sure it’s available at your branch. Otherwise, the staff do a great job arranging seasonal displays, so you’re sure to find something.

    Wilmot’s Books 478 Central Ave.

    Looking for a deal? Wilmot’s stocks exclusively used books, so if you don’t have your heart set on any particular book, it’s always worth a browse.

    – Cari Trease


  • Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Parents, get ready to paaaarrty! This year, Halloween fun is not just for the kiddos. AFC is hosting an adults-only Halloween Dance Party on Friday, October 21 from 8pm to midnight at the spooktacular Officers Club. And if you don’t have a babysitter or a costume, don’t worry — see below! From tons of prizes to free babysitting (yes, FREE)— here are seven reasons why you should party with us on the 21st:

    1) We have an off-the-hook DJ in the House! AFC is excited to have DJ BeatThoz (@DJBeatThoz) at our party! BeatThoz, a.k.a Robert Katley, has played in major nightclubs all around the bay as well as venues like Oracle Arena, Regency Ballroom and Universal Studios, and has also toured nationally with Interscope Records. Now, he’s bringing the club to us with over 30,000 songs and state-of-the art-lighting! DJ BeatThoz is a daddy, too, and he and his wife, Laura, raised their kids in Alameda so he is happy to give back to the community by DJing this event. (PS: BeatThoz also does corporate events, festivals, school dances, weddings and birthdays—and karaoke, too!)

    DJ BeatThoz holding dj turntables

    2) FREE Babysitting (and MAJOR bonus points for babysitters). We know that finding a babysitter can be a challenge, so the AFC Babysitting Co-op is offering FREE babysitting for parents attending the party! Even if you’re not a member of the co-op, you can take advantage of this. Free babysitting “events” will be posted on Meetup.com. Space will be limited, so keep an eye out and RSVP ASAP to claim your spot!

    Meanwhile, parents who babysit on October 21st will receive 20 extra bonus points—and 10 more points for each additional child! Twenty points is like earning 10 hours of free babysitting! If you want to join the co-op, have questions or want to host a slumber party or do a group sit (with multiple couples who watch kids together), please contact Molly.

    3) No costume, no problem. You can: Join us for the first-ever AFC costume swap this Sunday OR just borrow something from the AFC costume bucket at the event!

    4) You can invite your non-AFC friends! Non-members are welcome — even your single friends from SF. Check out the FB Invite and share it with your friends today!

    5) No expensive entry fee or overpriced drinks. Unlike other events in the Bay, which charge $45-$100, AFC is only asking for $10 per person to help cover the venue and the DJ. And, if you want to get in FREE, then volunteer! We need members to work the door, decorate and bartend.

    Also, to keep this event easy on the wallet, there will be a community bar! Please bring a bottle of alcohol, some beer or a non-alcoholic beverage to share.

    6) Tons of awesome prizes! A long list of Alameda businesses have stepped up to support AFC so that we can offer an outstanding prize package to our costume contest winners— and more are getting added everyday!

    Variety of gift certificates lying on a stone counter

    Here are some of the businesses that have donated prizes and current specials that they are offering.

    Tuckers Ice Cream – two $20 gift certificates – Alameda owned and operated for over 70 years, featuring fall flavors, pumpkin and apple cinnamon swirl!

    Alameda Theatre – 2 free movie passes – Now offering a $20 Dinner and a Movie deal, Sunday thru Thursday.

    Alameda Wine Co. – 25 gift certificate – Featuring free corkage and BOGO on organic pizzas every Tuesday.

    Subpar Miniature Golf – $20 gift certificate – Check out their “Glow Golf”! Voted “Best Place to Host a Kids Event” by Alameda Magazine.

    Crispian Bakery – two $20 gift certificates – Decadent pumpkin cake now available at Alameda Farmers Market and the bakery on Park Street.

    Buti Yoga at Rhythmix – 5 Free Classes – Fuses dance, plyometrics and power yoga into a high-intensity workout. Try a class for free anytime.

    Therapy Gifts – two $20 gift certificates – Featuring creative, fun gifts for babies, kids and adults!

    Bladium Sports & Fitness Club – two 1-month passes and one personal training session with Judy Gomes – Gomes is certified in NASM CPT, Kettlebell Concepts, TRX and CrossFit. Also, Bladium is currently offering $100 off enrollment.

    Angela’s – basket with a bottle of wine and specialty items – Now offering organic chutneys, marinades and spice blends at the Alameda Marketplace & online.

    Lola’s Chicken Shack – $20 gift certificate – Offers “Dine and Donate” events for non-profits and will be hosting one for Wood Middle School on Tuesday, October 18th.

    East End Pizza Co. – $20 gift certificate – Happy Hour features deals on local craft beers and specialty cocktails.

    Linguini’s Restaurant – $25 gift certificate – Stop in on Sundays for brunch with bottomless mimosas.

    7) Fun with Friends! While these are all great reasons to join us, we saved the best for last: This party is a chance to have fun with your AFC friends, make new life-long friends and create some unforgettable memories! After all, that is what AFC is all about!

    RSVP now on Meetup or  Facebook 

    See you on the dance floor!

    – Kat Schuett


  • Wednesday, September 21, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Invites to birthday parties. Play dates with new friends. Potlucks. Halloween candy. Easter egg hunts. Family gatherings. Food swaps. These are events that most people take for granted. Food is part of almost every social interaction. And why not? There is a definite connection our brains and bodies have to food. We create memories around food, lasting impressions of meals once tasted. I still long for Italian pesto pasta from Cinque Terre (savored 5 years ago,) another slice of Carnegie Deli’s fifth avenue pie (eaten 7 years ago,) and true deep dish Chicago style pizza (demolished 9 years ago.) For many – food equals love, laughter, and happiness.

    All that goes out the door when you have a child with food allergies.

    Toddler boy smiling at the beach

    In fact, all the things I listed? They create a little panic in me. I have to be on my game when it comes to any and all social gatherings. During play dates, I constantly watch what children have. Is that a cheese stick in her hand? Is that little boy eating peanut butter crackers? I see gold fish ground into the dirt. We’d better avoid that spot.

    We also live in the world of Pinterest, where DIY projects are commonly encouraged. No one loves a good sensory project as much as me; but, I have to question each play space we attend. What’s in the paint? Is it made with yogurt? What ingredients are in this playdoh? The kids will be making peanut butter bird houses… better decline that invite.

    The thinking, planning & questioning, the worry and what-ifs… it can make your head spin. It can, at least temporarily, make one feel debilitated.

    But parenthood as a whole is like that, isn’t it? There are instances when I have felt exhausted, frustrated, or defeated — but I keep at it, doing my best to not let it affect myself or my son. My spirit is strong. I am well-abled. My son is the best thing I have ever given this world. I won’t raise him to be fearful. I WILL raise him to be brave, courageous, knowledgeable, thoughtful, kind, and most importantly… grateful. Grateful for the health he does have, the knowledge to make sound choices, and the people who love & support him no matter what. We live with food allergies, but it could be so much worse.

    In joining AFC, I gained an amazing support system. We have found so many friends who have taken the time to listen and learn — about food allergies and ways to prevent reactions. They never make us feel bad for asking they avoid the long list of items that could make my son very sick. They even bake or pack allergy-friendly foods for him. They treat it seriously, as if my son was their own child. I can’t quite form the words to adequately express my gratitude… because a thank you isn’t enough, but it’s a start. THANK YOU! We are so grateful for the village we have found in AFC.

    Interested in learning more about food allergies? Here are some resources:

    http://www.foodallergy.org/

    http://www.foodallergy.org/facts-and-stats

    http://www.foodallergy.org/file/child-reaction.pdf

    With Halloween approaching, please consider joining the Teal Pumpkin Project. Each teal pumpkin serves as a sign to trick-or-treaters that there is a non-food treat available. It just takes one simple act: offering glow sticks or small toys as an alternative to candy. This will help ensure every child can experience the fun tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween.

    http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project

    – Amber Prewitt


  • Wednesday, September 14, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The quest for kid-friendly adventures is never-ending. I’m always looking for fresh ideas about where Owen & I can spend some time away from our ordinary routine. So, when a college friend of mine relocated from back East to San Jose, I knew right away that I should introduce her to one of our favorites! Not only is Ardenwood Historic Farm perfectly situated halfway between her new home and Alameda, but it really offers up everything you want in an adventure for the little one: inexpensive and safe featuring animals AND a train! You really can’t go wrong with an afternoon at Ardenwood.

    Goat sticking its head through a fence

    This unique farm is part of the East Bay Regional Parks system. It is a fully-functioning farm run by a mix of staff and volunteers. Located about 30 minutes from Alameda in Fremont, the farm includes two small train stations, a Victorian garden, the historic Patterson House, and a variety of animals. Ardenwood is open 6 days a week, year-round with fees of $6 per adult and kids under 4 are free. Their website offers up a complete schedule of special events in addition to some printer-friendly educational materials if you want to pump up your experience a bit.

    For us, a typical trip to Ardenwood means planning for hours of jam-packed fun. I like to make sure I’ve got plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in addition to our usual kit. We usually go in the morning, just in time for opening, when things are calm and quiet. It’s great to hop on the first train of the day and enjoy a ride before things start to get  busy (which does happen on particularly nice days and weekends). Owen loves running wild and free around the property. There is a beautiful vegetable garden near Patterson House, and if you’re lucky, a volunteer will be available to provide littles with watering cans to help hone their gardening skills. Plenty of animals are available for viewing and through-the-fence petting. We are particularly fond of the goats but there are also pigs, sheep, cows, and bunnies. Chickens and peacocks roam freely… and the chickens are always on the lookout for crumbs left behind by picnickers. There isn’t any food available for purchase at Ardenwood, so you’ll want to pack a picnic lunch. They have several sites with tables or you can bring along a blanket for that full al fresco experience. And, of course, if your kid is as obsessed with big trucks & machinery as mine, they’re going to love the tractor display in the big barn by the animal pens!

    Ultimately, Ardenwood has become my go-to for a no-stress outing with my toddler. The relatively flat terrain makes this a great spot — even for early walkers (or very pregnant mothers). And, the low cost of admission ensures that I won’t feel guilty or frustrated if my kid is having one of those days, causing us to cut our adventure short. Considering the fact that Owen routinely requests a trip to the farm, I’d say this place definitely falls into the “Kid Tested, Mother Approved” category!

    Toddler boy standing in front of farm equipment with barn in background

    – Marissa Ramirez


  • Wednesday, September 07, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Alameda Family Collective is more than just a community built around kid activities. It’s a group with many kinds of meetups — all of which share the common bonds of parental exhaustion, tardiness, and sometimes the desire to speak with other adults. Daddy’s Board Game Night is one of the latest in a handful of adult-only, “dad-centric” activities to recur on the meetup calendar.

    Each month, 4-8 dad’s gather at someone’s house for an evening of tabletop gaming accented by snacks & drinks, and maybe a few drinks.

    So far there have been 5 game nights, running from around 8 to 11pm (sometimes later) and each adapted to the mix of gamer experience and interest of those in attendance. “Adapting” usually looks a lot like a pile of games and an informal vote, leading to 2 games being played. Everyone wants to make sure we all have fun, so we only propose games we think might be enjoyable for everyone.

    So far we’ve broken the ice with Apples to Apples, scaled to 9 at the table with Codenames, then moved on across subsequent meet ups to play 7 Wonders, Bang!, Kill Doctor Lucky, Lost Cities, and Wizard. The games have ranged from German boards to non-traditional cards, without a repeat from session to session. So far its been a great way to learn many different games. Nobody would snub Chess or Poker but it simply hasn’t come up.

    With game nights scheduled around 8pm on Fridays, there are alcoholic beverage options available to enjoy. Everyone is invited to drink, but it’s a low pressure environment. There’s also no pressure about arriving late or leaving early if that’s what needs to happen, but some games are hard to join in the middle. We usually hit a turning point around 10pm between games.

    The next event is on September 16th at 8pm. Please RSVP on Meetup so we can plan on having the right games available for the party size. Check out our Board Game Night Amazon List to follow the games we’ve been playing.

    Interested in Dad-activities but board games aren’t your thing? UFC Fight Nights, Beer Brewing, Movie Night, and Runs have all shown up on the event calendar. There are activities for Dads with the kids too—join us for a field trip to Berkeley for the Lawrence Hall of Science on September 25th.

    Prefer Mom-talk? Check out the Mom’s Game Night (next up on September 23rd).

    — Adam Ross


  • Wednesday, August 31, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This spring, I found myself floundering as a mother and wife. No matter how hard I worked to get ahead, no matter how hard I tried to push myself, and no matter how hard I focused my energy… I still just felt pregnant and tired and inadequate. I was letting everyone down – or at least that’s how things felt in the moment. I just kept thinking, ‘Something has to give!’

    My mother urged me to think about what I really needed for myself. After all, how can I possibly be the best “me” for my family if I only focus on things and people outside of myself? I decided to set up a summer Bible study for AFC Mommas, hoping it would give me some time to recharge my spirit. I’ll be the first to admit that it hasn’t been the most widely or regularly attended activity of the summer within our organization. Most weeks, it’s just me and one other momma sitting at a cafe on Park St. It may not be what I envisioned but, man, have I learned a lot!

    The book we used for the study “Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood” focuses on a different aspect of mothering each week. One week in particular explored the concept of patience.

    Patience. Patience. How often do I ask my toddler to “be patient” when I’m trying to get lunch ready for him? How often do I wonder aloud “Why are people so impatient?!?” when a driver aggressively swerves around me because I’m driving the 25mph speed limit? How often do I focus on MY OWN patience? The answer to those first two questions is – a LOT… which is way more than the answer to the third.

    So, that’s been my big victory as a mother and wife this summer. I learned that patience really is a virtue… and one worth focusing on each and every day.

    When Owen misbehaves, throws a toy, or won’t get in the grocery cart… I give us both a moment. I breathe. I channel my patience. I calmly, but quickly, strategize. I forgive us both for not being at our best. And, then, I handle the situation as calmly and lovingly as possible. When my day has totally crapped out and nothing is going right, I give myself a moment. I make some tea or simply sit down or hug my kid. I think about how one day is just one day. Overall, my life is good and I am blessed. I patiently figure out what does and doesn’t need to happen before bedtime. I focus on what matters – keeping myself & my family happy even if that means we order pizza instead of making some perfectly-balanced, nutritious dinner. When my husband and I disagree on a parenting strategy, I stand back and breathe. I think about my words carefully and try to make sure my husband hears, “I love you and we’re in this together.” as I share my perspective instead of just criticism and frustration. Patience is taking the time to do nothing, just for a second… Patience is slowing down enough to get it right…

    Sometimes I still fail at this. It’s an ongoing project, learning the skill of patience. But, I do know that I’ve been yelling a lot less. I spend less time upset, battling against my toddler when I could be working with him. The small stuff seems… appropriately small, certainly not worth sweat or worry. Kindness and patience are becoming an easy habit.

    Also, I have learned to be patient with myself most of all. I’m not perfect. I am very very flawed. I am going to make mistakes. I will never live up to my own impossible standard that I’ve set in my head. And that’s all ok. Right now, in life, I’m taking a moment. I’m being patient as my tired, (now very) pregnant body tries to keep up with my eager, happy heart. I’m trying my best to be my best in each moment, as they come.

    Patiently.

    – Marissa Ramirez


  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I have to say that the Alameda Family Collective Cookbook is just one of the many reasons why I love AFC so much. Composed of numerous delicious recipes, all contributed by members, this book has been helping me to come up with a wide array of new, fun, and easy-to-make meals. It has been a lifesaver (or at least a meltdown deterrent) during my second pregnancy.

    Lately, the Baby Banana Pancakes (contributed by Elizabeth Vina, page 79) have been an especially wonderful way to get my two year old to eat a more nutritious breakfast.

    Ingredients - Banana, Cinnamon, 2 Eggs

    This super easy recipe starts out with just 3 ingredients: 1 ripe banana, 2 eggs and cinnamon.




    Mashed banana

    Mash up the banana until cream – toddlers love to help with this step.




    Ingredients mixed in a bowl

    Next, mix in eggs and cinnamon. I like to add a fair amount of cinnamon as it negates any need for sugary syrup on the finished product. The batter will be much more runny than any typical pancake batter made with flour. (Yep, they’re gluten-free.)



    Pancake cooking in frying pan

    In a small frying pan, warm a couple teaspoons of oil or butter over low to medium heat until pan is hot. Pour in a small amount of batter. I usually  just eyeball the amount so that it looks a bit smaller than the size of my palm. If i had to guess how much to measure out, it would probably be less than 1/4 cup.



    Checking underside of pancake for doneness

    Cook the pancake for 1-2 minutes until flipping, the bottom should be golden brown. Now, because this batter is so runny, these can be a bit harder to flip. I have found that using an extra wide spatula really helps! The other nice thing is if they do fold over on themselves, they generally still cook through without issue. Finish cooking on the other side for another minute or so, and then voila! Banana pancake! They’re ready to be served.



    Toddler girl eating a pancake

    Amara definitely approves!

    I recommend eating these up while they’re still warm and delicious! They do cool quickly (which is nice for the kiddos) but are at their most scrumptious fresh-from-the-griddle. Honey, powdered sugar, syrup, or raisins might be a welcome addition for added sweetness, but – like I said – with generous use of cinnamon, it’s just certainly not needed!

    – Jessica Flash


  • Wednesday, August 17, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of the biggest challenges that we face as parents is finding balance. Time as a family versus time as a couple. Parenting when you have an appointment someplace that toddlers aren’t welcome. Being there for your kids in the pursuit of Perfect Mommyhood when you really just need an hour alone, at a coffee shop, with a good book, so that you don’t totally lose your mind. Oftentimes, fostering that balance requires a little outside help… but finding affordable, reliable childcare can be a seemingly impossible task!

    The AFC Babysitting Co-Op is here to help our members’ families overcome this obstacle. The co-op program puts a twist on the idea of “it takes a village” by arranging no-cost, quality childcare based on a points system. Families take turns watching one another’s children while developing a reliable support system and new network of friends. The group meets monthly for a potluck where participants can meet the other parents and children involved in the program. The current Babysitting Co-Op chair facilitates requests for childcare and tracks members’ available points using a website called Sitting Around. It’s really all very simple and fun…

    In addition to the usual system of submitting requests for individual family needs, Mali McGee – the new chair – has begun arranging group sit opportunities. Predetermined “Date Nights” will be added to the calendar and several families will meet in one location to babysit together. This allows one set of parents the chance to go out and enjoy time alone while the other set of parents enjoy an evening of social time together. The parents swap roles the next weekend. Group Sits will provide two opportunities for parents to have fun, while the kids enjoy play dates together! (The first “set” of Group sits are currently scheduled for September 17th & 24th and can be found on our Meetup calendar.)

    So, if you’ve been caught up in the struggle for balance or just need some extra help, the Co-Op may be the perfect fit for your family! Get involved by attending the next potluck on September 4th or contact Mali for more information.

    – Marissa Ramirez


  • Wednesday, August 10, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lola’s Chicken Shack

    Lola’s on Yelp

    Good for ages: 0+

    Kid-friendliness: 5/5

    Time to food: 5 minutes

    Highchairs? Yes

    Crayons? Yes

    Confession: We go to Lola’s a lot. Like, a whole lot. Like, the staff refers to my daughter as “Baby Lola” and gave her a Lola’s onesie on the house. So while this isn’t exactly an unbiased review, there’s a reason we go there so much, right?

    Toddler girl looking at plate of chicken

    Lola’s does one thing, and does it well: chicken and fries. Yes, there’s more to the menu (including a very popular mac & cheese dish), but they don’t call it a chicken shack for nothing. The chicken is hot and juicy, the fries are perfectly crispy, and the new Coca-Cola Freestyle machine offers about a billion different soda options for your little explorers.

    During the school year, Lola’s—like almost every restaurant on Park Street—is absolutely slammed with students during the lunch rush, so plan accordingly. But the rest of the time, seating doesn’t tend to be a problem, and they keep about a half a dozen highchairs on hand for the littles. There are also two coveted booths in the big bay windows, which are good for penning in restless children (or kids who flip out every time they see a dog, like mine).

    Toddler girl smiling eating chicken

    While I wouldn’t call it a kids’ restaurant (I take my friends there all the time, and we’re decidedly old), it’s extremely kid-friendly. The owners have three young grandchildren, and it shows. They offer free coloring sheets and crayons, there are two unobtrusive TVs on the walls, the music is family-friendly and not too loud, and the table numbers all have rebuses printed on the back. Plus, the food comes out fast, won’t break the bank, and caters to even the pickiest appetites. What’s not to love?

    Most importantly, the staff is wonderful and genuinely seem to like children. If your kid has a meltdown in the middle of the restaurant, you won’t get the stink-eye—they get it. But if you need to go, they make it easy to take your food on the run, or even have it delivered (by bike courier! How cool is that?).

    Bottom line: if your kids eat chicken, Lola’s is fast, affordable, and as (relatively) stress-free as eating with kids ever gets.

    – Cari Trease


  • Wednesday, August 03, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you love adorable, locally-designed kids’ clothing, we’ve got some exciting news! This month, Alameda momma and clothing designer Janel Andersen will be opening a unique children’s boutique in Berkeley. For over a decade, she has been making high-quality, covetable kids’ clothes as the owner/designer of Nohi Kids, Nktoo, and Little Bird, but her dream has always been a brick and mortar venue where she could build community, too.

    On August 15th, that dream becomes a reality. Situated on Berkeley’s hip College Avenue, Janel’s new store, Bird & Bean will feature a curated collection of kids’ clothing (including her own brands) along with the best baby products on the market and a calendar packed with family-friendly classes and events.

    Five babies playing on & near a couch

    ‘I love how [AFC] connects everyone – moms, dads, famililes, businesses, and the community as a whole. When I was able to donate some Nohi Kids clothes to a shelter during an AFC event last year, I realized that I wanted to be much more involved in the group.’ – Janel Andersen

    We are especially excited because Bird & Bean will be joining AFC as a sponsor! In addition to hosting events with us, the shop is offering members special discounts in-store (and online via Nohi Kids). Janel will also be arranging a Sip & Shop just for AFC Mommas on August 19th! Come enjoy Happy Hour and preview shopping – with snacks & champagne – the evening before their grand opening. It’s a great chance to visit this special new shop (and use that discount) while enjoying an early mom’s night out. Check out the Meetup for more details about this exclusive, members-only event.

    The store will be opening at the beginning of the week, but their big celebration is planned for August 20th from 10am-5pm. Early birds will be rewarded with coffee and pastries, and the event will include hourly gift certificate giveaways! Children can enjoy Buki the Clown’s face painting, balloon twisting, and magical comedy show. There will also be a concert by Irena from local group Little Folkies (who will offer music classes at the venue this coming fall). Enjoy a fun-filled Sunday trip to Bird & Bean with the whole family!

    The Alameda Family Collective is excited to celebrate this occasion with our new sponsor, and we hope to see you there!


    3212 College Ave

    Berkley, CA 94705

    (415)271-8924

    M-Sa 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm


    – Marissa Ramirez


- OUR MISSION -
AFC facilitates connections within a diverse community of families
by providing resources and opportunities for
social, educational and philanthropic engagement.

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