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Mar 15

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin and Bay Area

St. Patrick’s Day is much more than just an excuse to drink green beer. Created to observe the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, the holiday has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon. While it maintains its roots as a commemoration of St. Patrick, St. Paddy’s Day has transformed into a celebration of all things Irish. Wearing green, participants of this holiday around the world take to the streets for a day of celebration. Looking to celebrate St. Paddy’s in your hometown? This blog will explore how to show your Irish spirit in Dublin and Bay Area.

Dublin

In a city named Dublin, you would expect for there to be quite the celebration for St. Patrick’s Day. Living up to its name, Dublin, California, home to our Perch and Fielding residents, boasts one of the biggest celebrations on the West Coast, drawing in as many as 80,000 people to experience the festivities. From bagpipes and Celtic rock to Irish Dance, the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Festival has everything you need to celebrate St. Patrick’s legacy.  

Another great event in Dublin is the Shamrock 5K Fun Run & Walk. End this certified 5K course with a post-race celebration, including refreshment, entertainment and more!

Bay Area

For our Glass Bay residents in Newark,there is no shortage of St. Paddy’s action in the Bay Area. The self-proclaimed largest Irish celebration on the West Coast takes over the streets of San Francisco for the 2019 SF St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Complete with floats, marching bands and Irish dancers, you don’t want to miss this Celtic jamboree.

Calling all four-legged friends! Bring your party animals over to Patrick’s Park for their St. Patrick’s Day Dog Parade. With 100% of proceeds going to Rocket Dog Rescue, this is a great opportunity to spend time with your fur babies while benefiting a great cause. Attendees can also practice their downward dog with DOGA (dog yoga) led by Move With Mairin.

The many Irish pubs of San Francisco also go all out for St. Paddy’s Day. Check out this link for a list of great places to enjoy that green beer you’ve been waiting for.

A fun event in the San Jose area is the Go Green St. Patrick’s Day Run at Hellyer Park. With a half marathon, 10k and 5k, there is a race for everyone.  Sign up here to show your St. Patty’s Day pride by wearing green and running for that pot of gold.

Enjoy St. Paddy’s Day with a San Jose flair at Tres Gringos Cabo Cantina. The 15th Annual Irish celebration will be a fiesta to remember, including green Coronas and green 80 oz. Fishbowls. Register here and remember to arrive early.

 

Mar 11

Get Your Spring Cleaning On: Tips for Sustainable Living

2019 is the year of finding joy in cleaning and organizing, and nothing will bring more joy than doing your spring cleaning in a sustainable fashion. Get ready to dust off your cleaning supplies and put them to use, or say thank you and goodbye to the ones that won’t make the sustainable cut.

Here are our top five sustainable spring cleaning tips that will put money in your pocket,

and leave your house spotless.

  1.    Start with what you already have:The first step to your sustainable spring cleaning is to come face to face with your cleaning supplies and become familiar with their ingredients. It is time to say goodbye to products with harsh chemicals, such as formaldehyde (a known carcinogen!) and 1,4-Dioxane, and time to say hello to natural and organic supplies. Here are some green suggestions to use around the house.
  2.    Ditch the Swiffer and sponges: Now that you’ve gone through your cleaning products, it’s time to look at all of your disposable cleaning aids; think your Swiffer, paper towels, and disposable sponges. Trade the one time use materials with items from around your house. Remember your old t-shirt that has holes in it and is just sitting in the closet? Well, now is the time to pick it up and put it to use. Not only will you make more space in your closet by repurposing this as a new reusable dusting rag, but you are also saving money by skipping a trip to the store to replenish supplies every time you clean.
  3.    When life hands you lemons, use them to clean: Lemons are high in citric acid, and have a low pH and antibacterial properties. That’s right, from making an all-purpose cleaner to polishing copper, lemons can do more than just make lemonade. There are many ways to use lemons to clean – check out this list of 10 ways you can use this fruit to make your house sparkle.  
  4.    Remember, your baking soda can be used for more than just baking cookies:  Baking soda’s best kept secret is that it is a multi-purpose product and isn’t just for what its name implies, baking. Baking soda is an effective abrasive for mold removal, can be added to dish soap to scrub off baked-on residue from pots and pans, and can be used for its odor absorbing properties. You might have a box in your refrigerator to keep things “fresh”, but try sprinkling it into your carpet to keep odor out.
  5.    Save costs with vinegar: Vinegar is another cooking ingredient that does it all. It is a natural deodorizer, stain remover, and can be used to make floor cleaning solutions and all-purpose cleaners. Cleaning supplies are expensive, so save money by learning about 28 different ways to use vinegar to clean your house.   

 

Mar 04

Celebrating Fat Tuesday From the Comfort of Your Own Home

Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” has transformed into a cultural phenomenon over hundreds of years after originating as a religious holiday. Marking the last night of indulgence before the Lenten season, Fat Tuesday is known for its vibrant parades, floats, and eccentric celebrations.  While the epicenter of Mardi Gras in America is New Orleans, Louisiana, turning your street into Bourbon Street is easier than you think with these tips:

Whip up some traditional Mardi Gras food

Beignets: Start your Fat Tuesday with New Orleans’ take on the donut. This fried dough

(with no hole) is topped with powdered sugar and will melt in your mouth while melting your heart.

King Cake: No party is complete without cake.  King cake, however, isn’t your typical cake. Covered in the festive colors of Mardi Gras, this Mardi Gras essential even comes with a baby.  Yes, a baby. Adding a King Cake to your Fat Tuesday celebration is easy with this recipe.

Jambalaya: No dish carries the essence of New Orleans quite like jambalaya. Jambalaya is a melting pot of ingredients and is prepared differently depending on where you’re cooking. This mix of meats and vegetables in rice is a staple meal in Cajun culture.

Look the part.

Masquerade Masks: Originally used to hide the identity of revelers, masks are a fun way to bring the French Quarter to your own Mardi Gras celebration. Grab your mask and party like it’s 1857.  

Costumes: The Mardi Gras ensemble doesn’t end with the mask. Whether you are in New Orleans, Los Angeles, or Kalamazoo, you have to look the part before you can celebrate correctly. Throw on those purple, green, and gold colors and hit your town in style. If you’re feeling creative, here are some fun DIY costume ideas.

Float on.

Parade with your “Krewe”: Mardi Gras is known for its elaborate parades. Organized by “Krewes,” these extravagant parades showcase the colorful history of New Orleans and Mardi Gras culture. Known for its “throws,” Mardi Gras parades include a tradition where Krewe members throw trinkets and beads at the crowd as they pass by. Round up your krewe, grab your beads, and hit the town.

Floats: Floats have been an integral part of the Mardi Gras parade since its inception over 100 years ago. While Krewes often spend thousands of dollars and many months preparing professional floats, these DIY floats can spice up your Mardi Gras celebration and is a great activity for kids!

Finding a Fat Tuesday near you.

Although nowhere rivals New Orleans during Mardi Gras, many other cities create their own rendition of Fat Tuesday.  Check out this list of the best cities for celebrating Mardi Gras. If you aren’t ready to pack up and head to the French Quarter for the celebration, finding Mardi Gras celebrations near you is easier than you may think. Head over to Long Beach for this year’s Mardi Gras at Shoreline Village to experience the culture and cuisine of Fat Tuesday.