The Ultimate San Francisco Bucket List

A friend of mine is planning to follow her son, a recent graduate, out of state. Before she moves, she's making an effort to visit as many San Francisco attractions as she can, figuring that she's unlikely to return to the area often in the future. And despite living just outside of SF for 25 years, there are plenty of places she hasn't yet explored. I was helping her brainstorm a bucket list and wanted to share it with all of you. Obviously, this isn't an exhaustive list of every single cool thing to do in San Francisco; instead, I consider these the most iconic things you can only do in SF and that it would truly be a shame to miss.

"Cindy!" you might be saying. "You have included TWO seafood items on this list!" I know. As someone who doesn't eat seafood, it might seem strange that I would include clam chowder and crab as San Francisco must-do items. But both are iconic, an important part of the SF experience. If you're a fellow seafood-phobe, try a tiny bite of someone else's. I've eaten clam chowder and crab in San Francisco and I never have to again. But I can say that I have!

I've been working hard to update my list of recommended places to go in California. It's taking forever, but this post gave me the motivation I needed to complete the San Francisco section. There, you can find links to everything I've listed above and more. And as we visit more locations in San Francisco, I'll continue to add anything else that I recommend. Despite living near San Francisco my entire life and spending a lot of time exploring, there is always more to see and experience. San Francisco is a city like no other and I'm so glad to live where I do. 


Coffee Filter Folklorico Dancer

Mexico celebrates their independence on September 16 (not May 5, as some mistakenly believe). Celebrate Mexican culture with a craft featuring a beautiful folklorico dancer.

Coffee Filter Folklorico Dancer


  • 4 dyed coffee filters (tutorial here)
  • skin tone construction paper 
  • scissors
  • craft glue


Color the coffee filters and let them dry completely. Fold three coffee filters in half, then layer them inside each other to form the skirt. Set the skirt aside. 

Cut the fourth coffee filter in half, then accordion-fold it. Crease it well, then twist the waist area to hold the folds. 

Cut a head, neck, and arms from the construction paper. 

Add hair by cutting black construction paper to match the shape of the head. Add a piece on top for a bun. Nothing should be glued at this point. 

Take time to refine your shapes. I slimmed up my dancer's face and snipped the blouse to give the impression of sleeves. I put her hair more upright and made her belt smaller. I also gave her legs (both from the same piece of paper, but the light is making it look like two different colors). 

Cut out black shoes. When you're happy with how everything looks, glue it all together. I added a fun flower brad (affiliate link) to her hair as a final touch. You can add a face; I chose to leave it blank.  

To my Mexican and Mexican-American friends and readers, I wish you a joyful independence celebration on Monday!


Plaid's Let's Paint Live - Sunset Cactus

Check out my cactus painting!

This painting was the third I've done from Plaid's Let's Paint Live events. (Click to see my starfish and my other cactus.) The cartoony style of the cactus is unlike anything I've ever painted before, which is exactly why I was so excited to jump in and try it. I always learn so much during these paint events and they always take me out of my comfort zone.

Plaid hosts Let's Paint Live nights on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 pm Eastern. If that time doesn't work for you (it's only 4:30 pm here in California), just watch the recording whenever it's convenient. (As a plus, you can hit pause.) The next FREE Let's Paint Live is Chrysanthemum, by the fabulous Priscilla Hauser, on Thursday, October 3.


A Visit to Glashoff Sculpture Ranch

About 8 years ago, our family started to notice fabulous custom mailboxes popping up in the agricultural area in our city. New ones showed up each month or so. Now nearly every rural property in our area has its own personalized mailbox made from reclaimed materials, each the work of local artist Phillip Glashoff. We'd been admiring Glashoff's work for many years. His whimsical sculptures are all over our area - in restaurants and offices, in the lobby of the Downtown Theater, and in homes. His art is instantly recognizable, yet each piece is one of a kind. 

Last weekend, we made an appointment to visit Glashoff Sculpture Ranch, where Phillip Glashoff lives, works, and displays his art. It is incredible. 

Glashoff Sculpture Ranch is in the Suisun Valley, less than 10 miles from our house, in the heart of wine country. 

The road into the property is lined with dozens of whimsical characters. 


Artwork is on display in every corner of the ranch. There is so much to see. 


Every sculpture starts with reclaimed materials, which Glashoff sources from junkyards. He collects materials he knows will be useful, but doesn't start with a design. Instead, he lets the materials guide the artwork. When you look closely at a sculpture, you recognize the gears, silverware, springs, pipes, garden tools, and other items that inspired the piece.



I am smitten with the many animal sculptures. 

I love the musical instruments, too. 

I love this photo that Steve took...

Yes, that's a full-size real car. 

And it wasn't the only one. 

Here are some oversize keys to go with the cars.

Hey, another Liberty Bell replica

This assortment of mailboxes is for sale. I tried, but it's impossible to pick a favorite. 

We had such a fun time exploring Glashoff Sculpture Ranch together.

I highly recommend a visit to Glashoff Sculpture Ranch. Visits are by appointment only; field trips are available as well. We can't wait to go back and see what's new!


Cub Scout Pack Pride Pin

I've been cleaning out my Cub Scout leader stuff and passing it on to our local pack. I've unearthed some items I'd forgotten about, like the Pack Pride Pins our Cubs made during their Blue & Gold. In that post back in 2013, I told you I'd share a tutorial in a future post. Oops. I guess this counts as a future post, six years later! Affiliate links below.

Cub Scout Pack Pride Pin



Sort out the beads you will need. Each Pack Pride Pin needs 4 yellow beads, 10 blue beads, and three number beads. 

Cut a piece of lanyard lace approximately 18" long. Fold it in half and use a cow hitch to attach it to the safety pin. You'll now have two cords hanging down securely from the safety pin.

String one yellow bead through both cords and push it up toward the safety pin. 

For Row 1, lace three beads (blue-yellow-blue) on one cord, then lace the other cord through the same beads in reverse order. Pull both cords snugly.

For Rows 2-4, follow the same steps as Row 1, but replace the yellow bead with a number bead (blue-number-blue). Pull snugly after each row. 

For Row 5, repeat the steps from Row 1. 

String the final yellow bead onto both cords and push it toward Row 5. Tie off the ends with an overhand knot or a square knot. Trim the cords if needed.