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Ten great Valentine’s Day menu options for every budget in Palo Alto

Valentine's Day in Palo Alto  


Maybe you are one of those organized, lucky or determined folks who have already chosen your perfect spot for Valentine’s Day dinner. Or if you are like me, you wait until the last minute to reserve a table, at an area restaurant, to spend some quality time while enjoying a great meal with your spouse. The wonderful thing about living in the Palo Alto area is that there are lots of dining options, and for Valentine’s Day, we wanted to offer lots of options based on menu, atmosphere and most importantly, cost. Here are ten great Valentine’s Day menu options for every budget in Palo Alto.



Madera Sand Hill Valentine's Day 

Madera at Sand Hill $125

Madera, located in Rosewood Sand Hill on Sand Hill Road, is a fantastic place to spend Valentine’s Day. Madera boasts of an intimate bespoke and romantic atmosphere and food that does not disappoint. With tantalizing menu items like Hawaiian Walu, Liberty Farms Ducks, and Lychee Rose, your special one will not be disappointed. Check out their $125 fixed price menu. To make a reservation contact: (650) 561-1540. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/579fd9ce03596ed4bfa11879/t/58866315d482e99da9a61c4e/1485202197691/menu_Valentines_2017.pdf


Sain Michael's Abbey Palo Alto Valentine's Day


Saint Michael Alley $95

Saint Michael’s Abbey is a known around Palo Alto as the most romantic restaurant and located in the heart of Palo Alto on Homer Street.  It offers a quaint and welcoming atmosphere with a menu that speaks volume.  Their $95 Pre Fixe menu features items like Tuna Carpaccio,  Grilled Filet Mignon with Truffle  Sauce and Thai Red Curry Carrot Bisque. Check out their menu http://www.stmikes.com/. To make a reservation please call: 650) 326-2530.


Couple Drinking Glasses of Cognac



Quattro at Four Seasons $275

Filled with romance this Valentines and looking for a great place enjoy Valentine’s Day Dinner? Quattro at Four Seasons offers the ultimate atmosphere and an inspiring menu of Wagyu Rib Eye, Sea Urchin, and White Truffle.  Come hungry, as you will be transformed through a seven-course culinary journey. The Pre Fixe menu price is $275. Book your table (650) 566-120.  http://quattrorestaurant.com/romantic-valentines-day-7-course-dinner/


Sea By Alexander Valentine's Day Palo Alto


Sea by Alexander Steakhouse $175

The Sea by Alexander Steakhouse is located in Southern Palo Alto on El Camino. This restaurant boasts of a fantastic marriage of land and sea. This Valentine’s Day they won’t disappoint. Check out their $175 Pre Fixe menu for more information contact (650) 213-1111. Link to Menu http://theseausa.com/files/TheSeaVDAY.pdf


Tamarine Restaurant Valentine's Day Palo Alto 


Tamarine $90

Tamarine, located on University Avenue, is a great modern place to spend Valentine’s Day with your significant other. Last year, my husband and I were lucky enough to get a table and to experience an amazing gastronomical feast while surrounded by beautiful artwork.  Their $90 Pre Fixe tasting menu boasts of  Seared Branzino Bass, Chocolate Fondue and Grilled Oyster Gratin, and worked disappoint the romantics at heart. Telephone 650 325 8500. The link to Menu https://tamarinerestaurant.com/


Calafia Palo Alto Valentine's Day



Calafia $80 Vegetarian,  $110 Regular

Calafia, located in Town and Country Shopping Center is a place where both meat and plant eaters can both enjoy a meal made to suit the palate With experienced specialists, Calafia café offers delicious foods farm to market foods in friendly relaxed atmosphere. The pre fixe vegetarian menu is $80 and the meat eater menu is $110. Telephone (650) 322-9200. https://calafiapaloalto.com/menu/#valentines-day


Dinah's Poolside Restaurant Palo Alto Valentine's Day


Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant $65

Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant is located in Dinah’s Garden Hotel Palo Alto, in Southern Palo Alto.  Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining options in a very relaxed environment. With menu items like sweet potato and lobster Bisque and Valrhona Chocolate Mousse. Their $65 Pre Fixe menu will not disappoint. Book your reservation at (650) 798-1314. http://media.dinahshotel.com/d/dinahshotel/media/pdf/2.14.17_Valentines_Day_menu_e78f8e.pdf


Buca di Beppo Valentine's Day Palo Alto



Buca Di Beppo $49.99

Buca di Beppo is located in downtown Palo Alto on Emerson Street, and if you and your spouse are Italian food lover, don’t hesitate to go Buca di Beppo for Valentine’s Day. Their appetizing menu items include heart-shaped lasagna and chocolate chip cannoli. The pre fixe menu price is one of the lowest at $49.99.  http://www.bucadibeppo.com/valentines-day-reservations/


Pampas Valentine's Day Palo Alto



Pampas $68

A very popular Valentine’s Day hang out spot, Pampas is located at 529 Alma Street. The atmosphere is a bit more festive than romantic, however the food is quite the experience and their $68 Pre Fix menu includes Unlimited Rodizio & Sidebar, Glass of Sparkling French Brut Call Telephone 650) 327-1323. Menu link: https://www.facebook.com/pampaspaloalto/


Vino Local Valentine's Day Palo Alto



Vino Locale $80.00

Vino Locale located in Downtown Palo Alto, is part wine bar part restaurant. And on Valentine’s Day what better place to toast the night away than a being surrounded by a myriad of art, wines from around the world and live entertainment. Vino Locale wants you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Pre Fixe tasting menu of $80. The four-course menu features items like Butter-Poached Lobster and Red Velvet Cake. Contact them at (650)328-0450 to book your table. Please see menu link: http://www.vinolocale.com/valentines-day/

My daughter and I are fighting intolerance and bullying by publishing a book




Sometimes you get motivated to do a project, influenced by the people who you are entrusted to take care of, your children.

I have been a bit quiet on my blog about a project that I have been working on for the past few weeks. It took lots of hard work, commitment, and determination, and I’m excited that I have, with the help of my 9-year-old daughter, taken on bullying. We have started a Kickstarter campaign to make this project a reality.





With the heightened incidents of bullying around the country this past year and the lack of tolerance that has been perpetuated in our communities, we want to encourage people, especially children, to allow love and compassion to influence their actions. We realize that we are at a crucial part of America’s history, where values are being challenged and bullying seems to be validated at a higher level. Let’s help our children reject that perception of how they should interact with others, and allow them to embrace everyone no matter what they look like.








My daughter, Reagan, was instrumental in creating this manuscript and directing the illustrations for our book, “Danny Trample for School President?”. We worked with a book designer who spent 11 years at Random House as head designer in their children’s book department and a Latin American illustrator who felt it was important to collaborate with us to bring this important project to life.




Our Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1602305837/danny-trample-for-school-president campaign will help us deliver our message of love, compassion, and unity to many children and concerned parents, guardians, and educators. Help us reach our goal while getting some really cool perks.

The funds raised will also help us publish the book in Spanish, help with logistics, marketing, promotion as well as fulfilling goal for our added perks. We feel truly blessed to be in a country where there are wonderful people who embrace everyone and not disqualify them as different. We would like to continue to influence our younger generation to always be upstanders and do the right thing.

Thank you!!!


Danny Trample illustrations


Danny Trample illustrations


Danny Trample illustrations



Decorating our very own mini house just in time for the holidays



My family was back decorating gingerbread houses at the Four Seasons this past Sunday. What a blast we had!

The best part about the experience was to witness the fun, intensity, and maturity my kids developed since their last experience, a year ago. They were so excited about decorating, that they were strategizing for weeks what candy they would use for different parts of their houses. My eleven-year-old was especially excited since he has developed the tradition of bringing his decorated gingerbread house to his classroom. This year he decided to go a step further and personalized it with his school’s name. My daughter, on the other hand, wanted to create something that she and her siblings can snack on until, well it’s gone.

Unfortunately, this year Stew was not able to join us since he had to leave town on a business trip to the East Coast, but nonetheless, we had fun.The kids brought a friend and, my dear friend and photog Charu, joined us with her daughter. We had a great group.



This year the crowd was definitely bigger. There was an ecliptic mix of people and interesting teams. There were the girlfriends, the co-workers, the neighbors, the older couples, a fraternity of men with beards, many young families, I even ran into a few families from my younger son’s school. Everyone was just excited as we were to attend this amazing workshop.



Once again, Executive Pastry Chef Eric Keppler did not disappoint with his step by step tutorial, on how to decorate your Quattro Perfect House: on creating the roof, icicles and hardscape for the gingerbread house. Then he went around giving feedback to each table. He starts preparing for this event right after summer, to make sure that he leaves no stones unturned to create a memorable experience for all.




With the help of a design team, the team at Quattro created a very festive atmosphere. This year the candy bar was circular with miniature houses and a winterscape in the center, and this layout created more of an intimate feel while the snacks and drinks were on an adjacent table. The bar this year was in the same room.


The Four Seasons Quattro restaurant team was there every step of the way to guide folks and to supply extra icing, drinks, or to extend compliments to everyone while they worked on their masterpieces. What a fantastic experience!

My children would not allow me to skip this event next year, so again we will be decorating our very own mini Palo Alto house just in time for the Holidays.

15 Amazing family-friendly Holiday events in the Palo Alto Area




There is no doubt that December is one of the most cherished months of the year – by both young and old. The reasons are quite obvious for everyone: fun-filled Holiday activities, religious traditions, family and friend togetherness, tolerance, generosity and goodwill. As every year, the Palo Alto community puts on its festive clothes and invites everyone to enjoy the seasonal merriness. So are you ready for some traditional wintery fun? Here 15 amazing family-friendly Holiday events in the Palo Alto Area that you can definitely enjoy with your beloved ones.

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Managing your kid’s screen time: Believe it or not there is an app for that


So much has transpired since getting back into our groove after an amazing summer: Our 11-year-old started middle school and making new friends; our 9-year-old daughter is now in 4th grade and getting in touch with her creative side; Ronan, our 4-year-old son is in his last year of nursery school and is obsessed with dinosaurs; Stew has been very busy with work; and I have been heavily involved in the Palo Alto Elementary Math Adaptation Pilot as a committee member; Konstella is doing great, as we continue to impact school communication around the country.  I am finding that whatever time I have available, I need to spend it wisely. So taking away and hiding kids devices, in hard-to-find places around the house in order to regulate screen time is certainly not on my ideal task. There is an app for that and it is called OurPact!


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Announcing Lemonade Restaurant Palo Alto opening this Friday



Lemonade Palo Alto


Great news Palo Alto, Lemonade Restaurant is set to open this Friday, June 24, at the newly redesigned 151 University Avenue location.


This will be Lemonade’s second of 6 planned locations in the Bay Area. The first opened two months ago in the Buena Yerba area in San Francisco, and more locations to open in Walnut Creek, Burlingame, Sunset and West Portal.  With  22 other locations in Southern California –  Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County, Lemonade is now heading North to share its highly popular restaurant concept with our Bay Area residents.

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Ten Great Gift Ideas for Teachers – thoughtful and for any budget!

gift ideas for teachers


Ten Great Gift Ideas for Teachers – thoughtful and for any budget!


The end of the school year is often marked by the graduations, promotions, saying goodbye, the anticipation of summer, and of course the presentation of teacher’s gifts. It is almost here, and before we take off on the lovely family vacation or make our abode guest-ready, we need to spend some time to help our children pick out thoughtful gifts for their teachers . Teachers have a demanding, yet rewarding job, and we want to show our appreciation by offering an end of year gift that will be thoughtful and carefully selected.


There are quite a variety of options, although sometimes it is challenging to figure out what is just right for your child’s teacher.  Take a look at ten of our ideas and don’t forget to involve the kids!


Cup or water bottle:

There are many kinds of cups and water bottles so it should be easy to find the perfect fit for the teacher. If you are on a budget, Target sells some inexpensive ones (as low as $6). They come in all shapes and sizes. If you want a sturdy, long lasting cup you can get a Tervis Tumbler. They run from $9 and up – they have tons of themes. If you want to personalize the cup, try Etsy. They have many sleek designs and can be customized, but that takes a little longer. A cup can be enough, however, it is always awesome to put some small things in the cup: lemonade packets, straws, gift cards, chapstick, candy.


Grill kit:

What a great idea! It’s good for those hard to think of male gifts. Get a bucket – inexpensive ones at a dollar store, or a sturdy one at any store that has a solid home and garden center. Add some sauces, a new spatula, a pair of tongs, some rubs, and a towel. Make it really personal with a favorite summer-time recipe.


Movie kit:

Who doesn’t like a movie? This one is a real winner because it encourages relaxing. Get a popcorn bowl or basket.  Your favorite craft store usually has plastic ones, or you can even try dollar stores. Get a movie theatre gift card or even a Redbox gift card at www.redbox.com/gifts.  Add a bag of popcorn and a box of Skittles or another favorite candy.


School supplies:

Not supplies for the classroom, but for the teacher. Give them a pack of their favorite pens or markers. If the teacher is the creative, colorful type, visit any craft store and get some colorful binder clips, pens, and paperclips. Get a practical or fun container to hold the supplies. If you want to add a personal touch, there are plenty of DIY projects for supply holders.


Personalized planners or notebooks:

You don’t have to splurge and spend $50 on a Graphic Image Planner for your teacher, but there are other ways to get a notebook or planner and have it personalized. It can be a small to-do notebook from any dollar bins at most of your craft stores. You can stencil, paint, or use stickers to put the teacher’s name.  She or he will love the personal touch that your child will put into creating this special gift.


Coffee Gift Certificate:

Buy a mug, from the Dollar Store or the local pottery shop, fill it with a Starbucks gift card that fits your budget. Don’t worry, if you give a teacher this gift and they don’t drink coffee, Starbucks sells a lot of other yummy treats. They’ll use it for sure!


Flower pot DIY: 

Buy a terracotta pot (any size will do). Have your son or daughter paint it – finger paint, sponge paint or with a design – you name it. Then, help them write the teacher’s name on it. Make a butterfly out of your child’s feet or hands. If you are really crafty, paint it yourself and have your son or daughter pot the plant! You can do inexpensive petunias or impatiens that tend to do better in the hot summer. Use waterproof paint if you want the design to endure.  


DIY photo gifts: 

Let your child pick out one of their favorite pictures of themselves and send it off to Walgreens or Walmart or Shutterfly.com to get an ornament (Of course it is not the Holidays yet). Or have your child make a frame out of popsicle sticks or paint a wooden one from the craft store ($1). The effort a kid puts in touches a teacher’s heart.


Summer themed bucket:

This is a great idea that you can tailor to your teacher’s personality. Here are some ideas of things you can put in the bucket: a book (your local library probably has some for sale), gum or mints, a towel, sunscreen, fun sunglasses, a magazine they might like, their favorite drink, small gift cards, candy (but not a lot). The options are endless.


Inspirational decorations/a personal message:

Teachers need motivation! You can buy frames and signs and key chains, bookmarks or anything similar with inspirational quotes. If you love DIY, try painting a canvas or a frame and use Modge Podge to secure the quote. Teachers also really personal notes from their students. Many teachers keep boxes or folders of notes from kids. They are some of the most cherished gifts for a lot of teachers.


A blog about a family of five in Palo Alto

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