SARK and Andrea and The Tail of the Yak

SARK and Andrea, at Tail of the Yak, shot with my Canon S95 point and shoot

Tail of the Yak, Berkeley, CA, shot with my Canon S95 point and shoot

twine, shot with my Canon S95 point and shoot

glitter at Tail of the Yak, Berkeley, CA, shot with my Canon S95 point and shoot

I love it when I feel transported by a place, when I feel out of time and like I am traveling the world on a great adventure. I felt like that yesterday strolling through this amazing store in Berkeley called Tail of the Yak.

SARK and I were walking, going no place in particular, when she pointed to the store. What’s that place? she asked. I immediately grabbed her hand and shuttled her across the street. OH my god, I have to show you this place! They buzz you in. I always feel so lucky when they unlock the door.
I have been to this place dozens of times but I am amazed every time– the color, the curios, the exquisite papers, the red butcher’s twine, the rare birds (real life ones) and whimsical fabric puffs sitting in bowls. They have beautiful perfumes, satin ribbons and fancy glitter. They have letterpress stationery, gold leaf garlands, sealing wax and weird vintage stuffed animals. At first glance the store seems fussy until you look a bit further and you realize it is deeply artful, curious and full of magical things. God, I love this store.

And I love SARK! It’s true that anything you do with her is a little adventure. In true SARK form, we passed by a boy with a clipboard raising money: “I’m trying to raise money for my school basketball team… ” he droned, and I found SARK correcting him, “No! You ARE raising money for your team. You’re not trying, you ARE raising money.” He smiled shyly and repeated, “I AM raising money for my team.”

Yesterday was a doozy of a day. Those few hours on the town were like oxygen. It reminded me that good friends, beautiful things, gorgeous places in nature… it can be just the gift we need to pull us out of the hard places. I felt rearranged.

Today was Ben’s turn to have a hard day. I laid down next to him as he was falling asleep tonight and he sobbed and told me that his friend has been calling him a “chitter chatter box” every day. This was like the saddest possible thing you have ever heard. I felt so bad for him. After Matt and I coached him about what he could say next time it happened, I kissed him and told him that I know one thing for sure: That we are going to wake up tomorrow and feel so much better, that it’s going to be a brand new day. I’m going to make sure of it.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. Alison

    you are a wonderful mama!

  2. Marcia (123 blog)

    Aaawww, you are special and Ben is too.
    Tell him one day when he’s making pots of money for all his talking, that boy will be super jealous 🙂
    BTW on all my reports the teachers always said, “Marcia is a good worker but she talks too much.” Well, I am now a speaker – I get a little kick about how I get paid to speak!
    Although am not making pots of money!

  3. Micheline

    I think a tiny little piece of my heart broke off when the other kids called Ben a “chitter chatter box”. Luckily he has you guys to constantly show him that he is perfect just as he is.

  4. nina

    I love that SARK is still SARK-y outside her books, if that makes any sense. And I adore chitter-chatter boxes…you’re the best mom.

  5. elizabeth

    Ben is very lucky to have you…..being a parent is so difficult sometimes, but I find our children help us to see the world differently and they allow us to grow.
    I’m so glad you had a fun girls’ day out!

  6. Erin

    Hi Andrea
    I have to know – what did you coach him to say?
    Long-time reader, first-time commenter,

  7. Cheryl M.

    I’m with Erin…what did you coach him to say? I’m dying to know now. 🙂
    I think I would give a digit off my left foot for a store like that!

  8. andrea

    You guys are so sweet wanting to know what I told Ben to say. Just simple things like:
    -It hurts my feelings when you call me that.
    -Name-calling isn’t okay with me.
    -I don’t like that. It hurts my feelings when you say that. Please stop.
    Don’t you wish we adults could say that kind of stuff to each other? It gets more to the point than most of the stuff that comes out of our mouths, right?

  9. Brian

    I love that photo of you and SARK. Big smiles!

  10. Mel

    Just a bit envious. Sounds incredible. Both hanging out and the place.
    So sorry to hear about Ben, he has a special place in my heart since he and my daughter Dharma share birthyear and birthday. Dharma fell out with a friend recently, it was awful and they haven’t made up at all before they broke for summer… 🙁
    (P.S. that photography business that I set up 6 months after I took Mondo Beyondo … and because of Mondo Beyondo… has started to take off, just thought you’d like to know.)

  11. Mel

    Aw, BLESS Ben. I shall be thinking of him tomorrow and wishing good things for him – just the good stuff and nothing to make him feel sad.

  12. LD in PDX

    Oh! Tail of the Yak! I haven’t heard that name in years! I LOVED that store when I lived in Rockridge!!!! Ohhhh thank you for the memories/smile. That place is magical! And I am sending lovely comforting thoughts to your boy.

  13. Stephanie Levy

    Two magical ladies in a magical place – I want video 😉
    Good luck to Ben – my daughter Sophia sometimes has experiences like this in kindergarten too – and oh how we want to protect them. xo

  14. Elizabeth

    Tail of the Yak sounds like the title of a storybook. Such a great name for the sort of store it sounds like.

  15. Anne-Marie

    I’m not sure I could survive walking in to that shop – I think I would hyperventilate.
    It’s so hard when kids have problems with their friends, isn’t it? I hope Ben is able to sort things out. My stepdaughter, who’s 14, regularly has friend dramas and it’s tough to watch her suffer over them.

  16. jennifer

    I love Tail of the Yak.
    Poor Ben. I remember feeling like that. I’m glad he has two great parents to help him through the funk.

  17. quigley

    what a lovely shop Andrea! Sounds like a fun day – reminds me of when I was reading Harry Potter and those magical shops that would just appear down the twisting windy alleyways. Hoping you are well xxquig

  18. Sarah

    I’m not sure I have told you this before, but I am happy to let the world know that having tea with you and SARK is on my mondo beyondo list! I can’t wait to make that one come true!

  19. Amy Komar

    I feel transported by this post!
    Thank you Andrea ((xo))

  20. richele

    tail of the yak is one of my all time favorite stores. I think about it in an oddly regular way and I’m in Southern California AND I haven’t been there in about 10 years.

  21. Wendy foster

    This is my favorite store in the world! I have even called and given them an amount of money and asked them to send me something, just Anything!

  22. oprolevorter

    Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?


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