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Santa Fe Summer

Posted by Ashley Etling on

"I am walking on sunshine."


Grab a colorful hat, a pair of sunglasses, a few friends, and head south for some elevated (6k ft) sunshine in Santa Fe, New Mexico this summer.


Caci Grinspan, Rancho Encantado  


From art and hiking to relaxing Santa Fe is full of delight. Here are a few we love:

A stroll down Canyon Road. Be sure to see Kevin Boxes main gallery (keep an eye out for the horses). 

- A visit and lunch at the Georgia O'keffe Museum.  

- A cooking class at the Santa Fe Cooking School. 

- A hike at Ghost Ranch. 

- A bit of cheese tasting at the Cheese Monger. They offer classes as well. 

- A day at the spa or poolside at Rancho Encantado. 

- An evening of relaxing by a Cedar fire (really, it gets chilly at night). 


Enjoy!! And send a postcard. 


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From the Studio Series: Color Rules

Posted by Viola Sutanto on

“I never met a color I didn’t like.” ~ Dale Chihuly

pantone color swatches

Today's post is the third of our "From the Studio" series, where we share how we create MAIKA products: from inspiration to finished product. Interested in learning more? Check out our previous posts here and here.

I love color. LOVE. I've often been asked how I select the colors for our products. The truth is, there is no exact science to the process. In the exploratory process, I don't edit myself. I sketch, apply colors that speak to me, and just let the paint flow. While I am constantly aware of color trends, I tend not to restrict myself to what the industry deems as the color of the year, or month.

pantone TCX swatches

As we begin to refine the patterns that will likely make the cut however, we do ask these questions to guide our final color decisions:

  • What type of product is the color used on? Is it a carryall tote where we need to consider the user's outfit? Or is it a pouch where we can afford to be more experimental since it's more likely to be placed inside a bigger bag?
  • Who is the user? Our dopp kits are gender-neutral but we certainly kept in mind that we have more men using those compared to the pouches.
  • When is this product being launched? During the Spring/Summer season or Fall/ Winter?

Pantone TCX swatch book for fabrics

At this point, we also look at how our selections look together as a collection. Do the colors work together, but also stand out well enough as standalone products? Do they speak to the MAIKA brand? If the answer is yes, then we start matching the colors to Pantone TCX swatches which we use as a standard for color-matching during production.

For those of you who are not familiar with Pantone swatch books, there are tons of options out there. Each book is used for specific color-matching purposes, based on the material the final product is being printed on. In short, there are swatch books made for color-matching on different types of paper, fabric... you name it. The book we use is Pantone TCX (aka Textile, Cotton edition, Extended Range) , made specifically for cotton color-matching.  

strike offs fabric

Based on the colors we have specified, the factory then sends us "strike-offs", which are samples that we review and approve before production happens. At this stage, we look at these strike-offs not only to make sure the colors are accurate, but also check for quality of printing.

Sometimes (ok, often) it takes more than one try to get things just the way I like it. But when we get to this stage of the creation process, it's so uplifting to see our designs finally coming to life. 

Till the next post... live colorfully!


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Denver's Devils Food

Posted by Ashley Etling on

"Life is sweeter with sweets."


Summer is full of sweet travels locally and globally. If you are in Denver this summer be sure to check out Devils Food for a sweet or savory treat. 



The cookery and now its very own next door neighbor bakery are located in the quaint Washington Park neighborhood. The lovely staff and decor make it a welcoming place to eat in or take it to go for a picnic at the park. 


The carrot muffin and pour over coffee quickly became a solid routine breakfast after a jog in the park. Enjoy! 


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Favourite Spring Hikes

Posted by Viola Sutanto on

Tennessee Valley Now that the weather is warming up in the Bay Area, we've been motivated to get back into our routine of weekend hikes. These are a few of our favourites:

Tennessee Valley
Length: 3.4 miles
Level: easy
Bonus: Minimum hills. Maximum views. Enough said.

Nimitz Way Trail at Inspiration Point
Length: approx. 4 miles
Level: easy
Bonus: Panoramic views of the Bay Area, although be prepared for crowds during the weekends.

giant redwood treesMuir Woods
Length: multiple trails from 0.5 - 10 miles. See trail descriptions here.
Level: varies
Bonus: Walking under the giant redwood trees is pretty awesome; the Dipsea trail is strenuous but ending it at Stinson Beach is epic.

DIY trail mix

Photo: healthy maven

Since we are almost always hiking with the kids, we've learnt these are essential for a successful hiking session:
• plenty of water
• snacks: trail mix (make your own!), bars, bananas or apples, baby snacks
•  sunscreen is a must!
• hats
• insect repellent
• sturdy shoes

MAIKA adjustable rolltop backpack

The best part? They all fit nicely into our MAIKA adjustable roll top backpack.

MAIKA backpack interior lining

Not only is it lightweight enough to lug around for a few miles, seeing how we've had more than a couple of accidental spills, we're pretty happy about the waterproof lining.😉  

Happy Trails!

All photos courtesy of MAIKA unless otherwise stated.


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Mother's Day Muffins

Posted by Ashley Etling on


Nouveau, blossom, beauty is what comes to mind when thinking about transitional seasons from winter to spring. Each bring with it a beautiful story of life, growth, and change. The change brings with it ruby red strawberries bursting with flavor, blueberries begging to tumble into pancake batter and mouth watering peaches ripe for pie baking. Until then reaching for a comforting banana or three keeps one happily awaiting the summer bounty. Especially with Mother's Day around the corner. Make it a special one with these mouth water banana muffins to be enjoyed in bed. 




Vanilla Extract




Oat Flour

Nut Flour

Baking Powder and Salt



Grab a large bowl. Smash bananas with a fork till blended. Then add vanilla extract and mash for another minute leaving some banana chunks.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3 Med Bananas

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract


Add walnut oil, eggs and honey to the banana mixture, whisk together.

If you lean more on the savory side, friends generally add a 1/4 cup of honey. I lean on the sweeter side leaving me with an overflowing 1/2 cup of honey. I used a raw gently filtered colorado honey for these muffins (lick your fingers delicious). 

Tip. Add honey to measuring cup after walnut oil.

½  C Walnut Oil (or Olive or Coconut Oil)

½ C Honey (or Maple Syrup)

2 Med Duck or Chicken Eggs

Chicken eggs work beautifully as well. I simply got lucky and stumbled across duck eggs at the market; they are generally bigger and richer in flavor. 


Mix flours, baking soda, salt and walnuts in a separate bowl. Learn more about flours HERE.

3/4 - 1 C Oat Flour

3/4 C Walnut Flour (or Almond Flour)

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1 1/2 Tsp Salt

1/4 C Chopped Walnuts


Mix wet and dry mixture. Coat muffin pan with walnut oil  or with baking cups or parchment paper. Then fill  3/4 full with batter and top with slivered almonds or walnuts. For this batch I used marble ramekins. They worked beautifully. 

Bake for 20 - 22 Minutes (pending on elevation and oven).



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