You probably know one of our favorite food bloggers, Shauna Sever, from her lovely blog Piece of Cake. Shauna also recently launched Bake Sale Bakery, a small batch baking and dessert catering business where she spreads freshly baked cheer beyond her blog. Now, take a break from everything else and explore Shauna’s family favorites in the Bay!

1. What is your favorite pearl of wisdom for a frazzled new mom to find her happiness?

As someone who tends to retreat when I’m under stress, I wanted to punch people out who kept telling me that I needed to join a mom’s group when I had my daughter almost three years ago. “I can’t pee alone!” I’d say, arms flailing. “How on EARTH am I supposed to find the energy to join a mom’s group?!” But you know what? Getting into a playgroup with my infant literally saved my life. I was new to the Bay Area during my pregnancy, and my husband and I don’t have any family in California. Finding a group of women who were going through the exact same things was key to keeping my sanity. Over the first year, the main group evolved and sort of branched off, and now I have three best girlfriends I would trust my life with and love all their children like they’re my own. We always marvel at where we’d be without each other, and the socialization we were able to provide the kids from a very early age is priceless. They’re all nearing three now, and have been buddies since they were three months old! Too cute.

2. Where do you shop for your kids clothes?

Target and the Children’s Place. My little girl is super, super tall and grows about six inches a day, so inexpensive, adjustable waisted pants are coveted. I’m not much of a thrift store person. Not very green of me, I know. I’ll save everything for the next girl.
3. Where do you like to catch a bite with the little one in tow?

We hang out a lot in Noe Valley on 24th Street for family dining, just because it’s so kid-friendly and near our home. Pomodoro is a favorite, because the food is fresh, seasonal, and consistent and it’s nice to have a good quality meal at a place that also has a kid’s menu. Good house wines, too. Toast is also great for brunch and lunch. An early dinner at Tortilla Heights is always a good bet as well. Just keep your kid away from the tequila.

4. What are a few of your favorite parks & places to visit with kids in and around town?

My friends and I love taking the kids to playgrounds that are on the smaller side, so we can chat and still keep an eye on the kids without sprinting after them the entire time. Julius Kahn up in the Presidio is great (and usually decent weather, too). There’s a small one near 9th and Ortega that’s terrific, and Sunnyside Playground is a bit off the beaten path, but is fabulously renovated with clean bathrooms and easy parking. When I’m feeling ambitious, we’ll head to the enormous playground in Golden Gate Park and ride the carousel. We have memberships at the Zoo and Discovery Museum, both of which always make nice day trips. We’ve also been out to Oakland to Fairy Land a few times, which is old school and charming and so much fun, especially as our little girl reaches prime All Things Princess and Fantastical age–she absolutely lights up there. And when you really want to guarantee a nap, the bounce house and trampolines at House of Air at Crissy Field can’t be beat.

5. Describe a perfect Sunday with your family.

Well, first of all, it would be a warm, sunny day in the city (I am assuming we can dream for this question, right?). Maybe we’d head towards Crissy Field, and pick up lunch at Blue Barn for a picnic. Or we’d head out to the beach and have lunch at Park Chalet outside–the husband and I would have a beer in the Adironack chairs as our kid runs around the lawn like a crazy person with the other little ones. Afterwards, we’d cross the street to the water and fly a kite and splash around. Maybe hit up Humphrey Slocombe or Kara’s Cupcakes for a treat. Then we’d head home and pray for a nap. For everyone.