It was quite the busy weekend this second weekend of October! Birthday parties, festivals and Scottish highland games!
Friday we met up with friends and went to the 30th Annual Avocado Festival. I had went ahead and painted something again for their t-shirt contest, but didn’t win. (I actually don’t think my style is what they are looking for anyway, but its always good practice and gets me out of my element). Here was my submission:
It was a really fun night hanging with friends and watching Ellie enjoy herself.

Saturday we were back in Carpinteria for an Elmo birthday party! Another fun time celebrating with friends!
On Sunday we took the morning and went to the much anticipated Scottish Highland Games and Festival. Jeff’s lineage is Scottish and we discovered all sorts of new things about his ancestry. I even got him to buy a kilt and officially join his “Clan”.

An all around great weekend!! Love this little family of mine and our fantastic weekends.


“Here stands a good apple tree
stands fast at root, bear well at top
Every little twig, bear an apple big
Every little bough, bear an apple now
Hats full! Caps full!Threescore sacks full!”
-Traditonal English verse

This past weekend we took our second annual trip to the Avila Barn Apple orchard. We had been talking about Johnny Appleseed as soon as September hit and Ellie was anxious to pick her own apples, bring them home and make apple cake (after reading this book) and apple butter (something I try to make every year). We met up with my best friend and her family and headed to the orchard  and farm on the warm almost autumn day. Ellie got to feed goats and sheep and ride a pony. And then we took a hay ride over to the orchards and picked away. We brought home ten pounds of apples to enjoy! Before we headed home though, we spent the rest of the day relaxing by the beach in Pismo. Ellie and my friend’s son enjoyed exploring the tide pools and running around the beautiful beach. It really was a fantastic day. Here’s last year’s trip. It’s fun to see the differences!
Sunday we spent cleaning up and getting chore done, but then on Monday, Jeff took a half day and we took Ellie to a surprise live show of The Wild Kratts! Ellie was so excited! I thought it might be a little overwhelming (it was kind of overwhelming for me), but she seemed to just love it! I made her the shirt. We scoured Target for one but to no avail. So we bought a blank T and I did up a quite doodle of our favorite brothers.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!

Our Summer in a Nutshell

It has been very difficult keeping up with this blog. I think about it often. I want to come back here daily, like I was doing so long ago, but finding the time has become such a trial.  I’m either busy with day to day Ellie and Me things or crafting, or painting, or re-watching Outlander for the 30th time (or reading the books)… it goes on and on. The fact is, I just need to make time for documenting in this space again. I thought I’d start by catching up on photos from our summer. It was such a busy, wonderful three months. I can’t believe autumn is only weeks away now. However, you can already feel it in the evening cool air.

Our summer started off with the busiest month, June. After my husband’s birthday in late May, my mom and I were invited to New York City for a quick weekend to be apart of a fantastic charity event.


After returning from NY, Jeff, Ellie and I headed up to San Francisco for my dear friend and mentor’s wedding. We enjoyed our mini vacation in beautiful northern California. I showed Jeff and Ellie my Alma Mater (San Fran State University), went into the city to enjoy some sightseeing and stopped in Monterrey on the way home, for a trip to the aquarium .
And believe it or not, the following week, we all got on a flight and headed to Boston for a week long trip to see Nana and Papa.
We came home after a whirlwind month of June and I celebrated my 35th birthday, with lots of fun Scottish goodies. Yes, everyone knows these days that I am a little obsessed with a certain show called Outlander.
July started with a bang! Ellie rode her bike for the first time all the way through the annual push me pull you parade and then she got to stay up for her first ever fireworks show. She was very excited!


After the fourth, we enjoyed the lazy days of summer. Lots of beach days, swimming and summer play.
August came quickly and with it, Ellie’s fourth birthday. She’s heavy into Disney and Princess’ these days and so we thought a first trip to Disneyland, despite the scorching heat that an August visit brings, would be a fantastically fun way to celebrate.
(painting of Ellie by my Grandmother)

Well, now you’re all caught up! It was a really nice summer. Busy but lovely and fun. Hoping I can get back into the habit of writing in this space. I so miss documenting our days.

Another 52 Project catch – up!

eloise: On our way to the Annual Fourth of July parade. This is the first time you rode on your own bike, all the way through!!

eloise: The Princess Days. I thought we would make it out unscathed by Disney but you are in it. Deep. Trying to embrace it and roll with it and make sure there are lots of other influences as well. You do make a lovely (albeit messy) princess though.

eloise: It wouldn’t be summer time without a messy fudge sicle photo!

eloise: Happiness is your first Disneyland parade! Happy Birthday sweet girl!

eloise: One thing that makes me feel better about the Princess thing, is that you have always managed to wear that ball gown AND want to help Dada hammer some nails in the garage at the same time. I love that about you.

Eloise: You are so curious about animals lately. You want to know more about the Tasmanian devil and the Aye-Aye and are getting more into the monthly birds, Mama makes for you. I love helping you extend these interests and watching you explore the world in a new way.

eloise: Bug girl extraordinaire!

Eloise: It wouldn’t be summer without the throw up bug. Fighting this yucky bug for the last week or so. Off and on not feeling so well. I hate seeing you sick but you are a sport and we do get to catch up on cuddle and movie time.

eloise: End of the summer water play at our local splash pad. You sure are a ham! (notice the giant boo boo patch that you insisted on having after getting a slight scratch). You are quite the ham but also quite the dramatic. A true four-year old.

Catching up with the Portrait Project

Busy, busy, busy… I can’t remember a time I wasn’t this busy in my day to day life. Making things, selling things, parenting, preparing for homeschooling, planning, and more making and parenting and of course throw some cleaning and laundry in the day to day too. I don’t know how mothers do it all, because I’m certainly playing “catch-up” constantly.

One more thing I’m behind with… this year’s Portrait Project. Let’s try catching up shall we?

eloise: You are taking an American Ninja Warrior class on Friday mornings. (i.e. gymnastics or jumping around on big pieces of foam). You are very serious about these classes and listen intently to the instructors. It’s fun to watch you learn new ways to move your body. And of course, the outfit is ridiculously cute.

Eloise: A bright and warm day in San Francisco. We stumbled upon this Frida garage door and Ellie immediately did a Frida dance in front of it.

Eloise: Another shot from our trip to San Francisco. This little one loved the wedding selfies she could take. She kept going back for more. I love the scraped knees and sneakers. Classic Ellie.

eloise: The following week in Boston, at Nana and Papa’s house. This kid was all about the pool. Swimming like a little fish and loving it!

eloise: One more crazy girl swimming photo from Boston. Food in the mouth, excited beyond belief to be able to swim and adorable in her new swimsuit. This photo says Summertime if I ever saw one. (p.s. Doesn’t her face in this one mimic the swimmy she was wearing in the last photo?)😉

Potter and Monet

Catching up with our artists-in-residence, after Frida Kahlo came and went, we had a little special guest from Beatrix Potter. She came right after Easter and of course around that time we were also heavily into Potter’s stories. Our favorites being (Peter rabbit, Jeremy Fisher and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle).
We read some lovely books about Potter and learned all sorts of fascinating things about her. Mama had her own Potter books too!

We sketched things we found in nature, like Potter did. And painted our own bunnies and favorite animals.

And with this Potter set I put together for Ellie, I kept getting inquiries about a full set for sale. So, after working with the ever wonderful Raeshaun from Monkey and Bean Designs, who came up with the beautiful wooden figures, we created a set for sale.

After Beatrix Potter, we moved on to Claude Monet. We talked  a lot about lily pads and blues and greens and what we felt when we looked at his art. We worked on a large Monet inspired painting for quite awhile. Adding a bridge with tape and then removing it when we finished painting.



You can find a Monet set for sale in my shop as well. We’re really enjoying our artist series and it’s been great fun to create these kits for sale as well.