Senecio Stellata (Cineraria) Flowers

Gardening season has started and we want to talk about one of our favorite flowers, Senecio Stellata (Cineraria).

Senecio Stellata (Cineraria)

When we moved into our home it already had flowers growing everywhere, though we did not know how much until the next Spring, when the whole yard came to life. Cineraria flowers were by far the dominant species but we also have a variety of other local species to help our local bee population.  We have several hives maintained by our neighbors including this one.

Senecio Stellata (Cineraria)

Cineraria grows out of every bit of bare soil in our yard – even in cracks in the cement walkways just like weeds!

Senecio Stellata (Cineraria) San Francisco, CA

The cineraria flowers range in color from a deep purple to an almost white blue and grow up to 4 feet tall! The leaves can get almost as big as your hand and are bright, cheerful green.

Senecio Stellata (Cineraria) San Francisco, CA

They grow in large clumps creating a sea of flowers when in full bloom! The seeds look like little pompoms and blow all over the yard. Sadly, they wilt really quickly if you cut the flowers, so we do not recommend making bouquets out of them, otherwise you will find flower petals and seeds everywhere.

Senecio Stellata (Cineraria) San Francisco, CA

Cineraria, like our native species, does not require a lot of water or fertilizer but does need some special care. The most important thing, if you want to grow native wildflowers in your yard, is not to rip out the plants when they stop blooming but let them reseed. This does make the yard look less formal and more natural for most of the year but in Spring you will be rewarded. In the Bay Area, Cineraria can grow year-round so after it seeds you can trim it down and it may bloom again next year!

Senecio Stellata (Cineraria) San Francisco, CA

Weeding is essential as grass and other weeds will crowd out Cineraria early in the season but with care and patients your yard can become a sea of flowers like ours!

Happy growing!

Little Skillet SF

Is it so wrong I keep thinking about chicken and waffles after just one random encounter at little skillets? The chicken was so tender they must have been raised in some beautiful land where a hug is given out for free, waffles so sweet I strongly suspect they did something unnatural, not to mention illegal in most states, with donuts and drinks so stiff years of yoga would still make their downward dogs look like a plank. I sit in bed conjuring up the memory of piles of food before me with a burning drinking making it ways down my throat and wonder again and again, “Is this wrong?”

Joy from Little Skillets SF

Anthony’s Cookies

Want to bring out the inner monster within? Just go to Anthony’s Cookies and your inner cookie monster will spring to life in no time. Hidden near where Cesar Chavez street meets Valencia street in San Francisco, Anthony’s Cookies is one of the best a boutique cookie stores we have found.

Anthnony's Cookie San Francisco

With a wonderful menu of cookies to choose from you are sure to find a favorite. We love to get a mixed box (which is lovingly secured with neatly tied twine) but always make sure to get at least two cookies and cream.

Box of Anthony's Cookies

Anthony’s Cookies are cooked to perfection with high quality ingredients, elegant recipes and care. They have traditional flavors as well as seasonal specials like banana walnut. The chocolate chip cookie (the measure of any cookie maker) is exactly what one would expect -wonderful chocolate chip goodness wrapped in a well balanced cookie dough.

Anthony's Cookies unboxed

Its decor is clean and simple with seating up front to watch people stroll down Valencia Street showing off the latest fashion. Just get some cookies and milk then sit back and enjoy the City.

Anthony's Cookies store


1417 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Mon-Sat 10 AM to 8 PM
Sun 10 AM to 6 PM

Revolver SF

Revolver SF Store A store with a Hip Monster in mind, Revolver SF (now closed) has the latest fashion and wears. Want a black leather jacket that will make your friends jealous? Need that trendy little cat to fend off the cold night San Francisco wind? Revolver SF is the place to go. Before daring the fashion police in the Mission District it is a must to at least window shop at.

Revolver SF Cloths
Designs are modern and perfect for a night out on the town. Typical of their style is the Denham Spy Plus – Womens’ Biker Jacket shown left.


Revolver San Francisco
136 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
Store Hours: 12 to 8pm


Dorklandia Design Cute, quirky and fun Dorkland is a monster’s favorite. They have lots of crocheted creatures and monsters sure to be the favorite toys in the lair. Colorful and soft they warm a monsters heart. One problem is keeping the tempting creations away from your cat.

Dorklandia Designs
The merchandise changes frequently so be sure to check Dorklandia out on a regular biases. Their scarfs are a must to venture out on a cold San Francisco night.

 Recommended for Cute Crocheted Creatures
Web site
Store site

The Cats Are In at Borderlands!

All too rare today is a neighborhood bookstore. Alas, online giants like Amazon, along with ubiquitous brick-and-mortar chains like Borders and Barnes & Noble, have almost eliminated them all. The few left are often struggling with an air of defiant desperation you can smell from their outdated and disappointing selection.

Ripley the Cat at Borderlands
Ripley the Cat at Borderlands

Not Borderlands. This fine San Francisco institution, located conveniently in the Mission, is not only open 7 days a week from noon until 8 pm, but thriving with author signings, guest speakers, and other events. And did Monster mention it specializes in new and used genre literature: science fiction, horror, and fantasy? How cool is that? Not only can you keep up with new releases here, but also purchase periodicals or DVDs domestic and imported, find out-of-print or rare books, or at a bargain price, a sci-fi classic you’ve been yearning to curl up with!

Monster loves sci-fi and horror, especially those featuring Monsters! The selection is large and excellent, and Borderlands is so much more than a bookstore. Read their mission statement, and you’ll realize that they strive to be a “social and professional center for readers, writers, publishers, reviewers, artists and other individuals with a strong interest in the fields of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Macabre Fiction,” and succeed they did.

The staff is knowledgeable and helpful, and should you be looking for something specific, they will happily search for it for you, along with the Borderlands hairless cats, who may regally rest on top of the computer monitor or strike a pose next to the author/speaker. Either way, they bring a casual sense of community and family to the store. Monster thinks they feel like heated fuzzy peaches, odd but in a comforting way.

Visit Borderlands if you haven’t already, and please, if you find something you like, purchase it here! By helping to support it as a business, you also support it as a great neighborhood place for readers, authors, and even cats, to hang out.

Pointer  Store web site

Yummy Macarons at Paulette, Now in San Francisco!


There’s something about a macaron that renders it irresistible to almost everyone — especially Monsters! (What, aren’t you familiar with the Cookie Monster? Monsters are obsessed with dessert!) Is it the fluffy-as-cloud almond batter? Or the intense flavor of the melts-in-your-mouth filling? Or perhaps it’s the cute sandwich forms in a rainbow range of colors? It certainly doesn’t hurt that it is rarely spotted in a U.S. bakery that each discovery carries with it a special hint of decadent pleasure!

Six different macaron flavors from Paulette Macarons
Six different macaron flavors from Paulette Macarons: passion fruit, raspberry, sweet wedding almond, Madagascar vanilla, Sicilian pistachio, and a surprisingly delicious violet cassis.

San Francisco foodies have been coveting those lucky enough to reside near Beverly Hills, where Paulette Macarons has been a Mecca for macaron worshipers. Well, great news! Paulette has opened a store in the trendy Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco! Yay!

Hand-made daily with care by master pastry chef Christophe Michalak and air-transported from Beverly Hills, these little cookies come in a dozen flavors, from the traditional Vanilla and Pistachio to the less common Rose and Violet. Load up on your favorite flavor or try one of each. What’s your favorite flavor?

Additional Info

Paulette's signature box for six macarons
Paulette’s signature box for six macarons.

The Hayes Valley store offers limited indoor and outdoor seating, perfect if you can’t make it out the door without sampling a delicious macaron…or a dozen. Or, order online in case they run out of your favorite flavor!

Just when you think these little desserts couldn’t possibly be dressed up any prettier, Paulette comes through with cute gift boxes perfectly sized for two, six, twelve, or twenty-four macarons. Guaranteed to delight any friend, hostess, or birthday girl/guy/monster!

Pointer  Store web site
Pointer  Yelp reviews

Comfort Food at Blue Plate

Blue Plate San Francisco
Entrance to the Blue Plate

Blue Plate, a place for high caliber, organic, free-range comfort food, popular among the San Francisco hipster foodies who whisper its name in reverence. An understated front with an old-fashioned neon EAT sign underlines its coolness: business is good enough that no advertising is necessary. A place to see and be seen, its tight seating arrangement especially in the front section is not conducive for Monster gatherings (or even human parties with kids); luckily, the back dining section over-looking a backyard offers a few tables for large groups. Reservation is essential, as there is no waiting area, and one can only look cool and hip and nonchalant for so long while shivering in the cold outside its entrance, shooting longing glances at the clipboard wait list on the wall.

Food quality is definitely very good, though perhaps menu options are not what one may consider fine dining: think meatloaf instead of foie gras.


  • Macaroni and drunken Spanish goat cheese (side dish): a must. Perfectly cooked macaroni with cheese so finger-licking-delicious you’ll be wiping the dish clean.
  • Brussels sprouts (side dish): None of the main dishes comes with a healthy serving of vegetables. If you’re a fan of brussel sprouts (everyone seems to either love them or hate them), get the side dish here. It comes with just the right amount of garlic and a pinch of chili to make it interesting. The bread crumbs bring a hint of crunchiness and makes it pair very well with the Mac & Cheese (see above).
  • Meatloaf: Their signature dish, Monster-sized, or, large enough for two humans. Not your mom’s meatloaf — in a good way. It comes with mashed potatoes that hold their own. The green beans are so few one might wonder if the kitchen were running low.
  • Ribeye steak: Again, Monster-sized portions. Excellent meat, though the kitchen tends to overcook slightly: the rare looks more like medium-rare to me, the medium a tad well-done — not the best way to treat a top cut of meat.
  • Fried chicken: Nothing to complain about, but if that’s your thing, head over to The Front Porch a mere block away, which does it better. Or, there’s always Farmer Brown’s Little Skillet in Soma, where the food is so good the restaurant operates without tables or even cloth napkins.

Additional Info

Save room for dessert: chocolate cake with melted caramel, creme brulee, etc. Excellent wine list. Service is a bit hit & miss. The place is positively hopping and requests for more water or another glass of wine may take a while to get fulfilled. Can get loud.

Restaurant web site
Yelp reviews