A Weekly Ritual

Every week we stick to a routine. A series of outings that help us stick to the rhythm of our days. Outings that coincide with all the things we do inside, like laundry and dishes and painting and reading and playing. Every week, we head out to the local swap meet. We check out all the “junk” and if we don’t find any treasures, we head to the beach across the way to enjoy the sand and surf. But, before we head to the swap meet. We always watch the train go by. See, the swap meet is right across from the train stop and for over a year now, it’s been something Ellie has loved to do. Something that never gets old for her. So off we go to sit and watch that train go by and wonder where the people are headed. Even if that train is 30 minutes late… we’re there waiting for it.

train stop


look right

look left

still waiting



and off to the beach…
happy chica




Flea Market Finds

Every Wednesday, you’ll find Ellie and I at the flea market. We spend the morning strolling through aisles of vendors peddling their antique or unwanted wares. We wait for the train to come by and wave at the commuters getting on and off and then head back into the marketplace to see if we can find any treasures. I look forward to Wednesday Flea Market day every week. I’m a sucker for garage sales and thrift stores and this is like one big thrifted garage sale rolled into one. Some days we leave with nothing and others we find fun little treasures for our home collections. We bring our treasures home, spiff them up and bring new life to them.

This week we found a few things:

Some lovely fabric scraps

vintage fabric


fabric bundle


Some New (old) records. I love George Winston and was excited to find his very appropriate Winter to Spring record as well as Autumn.

george winston finds


And we found this fun addition to our musical instrument collection for Ellie.



ellie likes it


Some decent Flea Market finds today!





A Peaceful Day


chasing the ball

sunlight ball chase




down the hill


light shines through


branches lit up




hike up






the path


An afternoon getaway to a park high up on a hill. The sun light peeking out in between the branches of the trees. Kicking the ball up the hills and down the hills and practicing a new skill with eagerness and excitement. Taking a walk down a dirt path and checking out the view. It was a busy Martin Luther King Day at the park. So many families enjoying the warm winter California weather and the day off of work. But even with all of the people, it was oh so peaceful and serene. A perfect afternoon getaway to reflect and to be.

An Afternoon Beach Jaunt

(Thank you for all the uplifting words from my weekending post. It’s hard to let go of some things when you have a vision of how you want things to be. Your words helped me take a step back and instead, breathe in all the good that’s surrounding me). 

When you are feeling overwhelmed and out of sorts and like nothing is going quite like you want it to, it’s so nice to have the beach at sunset to retreat too. Ellie and I did just that this afternoon, before dinner. We snuck away and walked together down the beach. It truly filled my heart with joy, watching this little girl explore the sand between her toes, find mangled seaweed washed onto shore and run (as best as this 16 month old can) down the beach and up and down the dunes. We left all the holiday projects behind. We left the sad, yellowing Christmas tree and the half-finished cards still waiting to be sent out and we walked down the beach. I chased my sweet, active baby girl and drew her name in the sand and showed her shells and pointed out the waves and the gulls and the beautiful sun lowering into the sea. It was a glorious afternoon. A glorious Christmas-time memory I will hold dear.



pure joy




look what i found


the sun




pink hues


eloise sand




back shadow




walking away


a feather


pink hues




playing in the sand


a bunch of sea something




top of the hill




all quiet


birds at sunset









mammal hall

bears oh my!

lookiin at spiders

through the screen



tinkertoy fun



in the garden

walking and idleing

playing in the creek


i found a rock!

on a log

goodbye museum!

We had a wonderful weekend and spent a very special Sunday down in Santa Barbara at the Museum of Natural History. We had never been and found a real treasure! It was very child-friendly and Ellie seemed to just devour every new room we brought her into. There were areas for her to crawl around within the museum and there were children’s books about certain subjects (like insects) in many of the rooms as well. We got to see mammals of North America, birds, giant squid, minerals, real live insects and Ellie explored their tinker-toy lab which she thoroughly enjoyed. There was an amazing outdoor area with rocks to climb on and sticks to build with and even a little stream with buckets for children to fill water and rocks with. It was a lovely place to visit and I’m certain we will return.

*joining Amanda for Weekending!

Around Town: Botanical Gardens

the map

walking the trail

We took a little hike the other day to check out the newly opened Ventura Botanical Gardens. Right now it’s mostly California shrubbery and wildflowers but the city has major plans for a full Botanical Garden that will include many different walking trails and different flora throughout. The views from this hike are lovely and although the trail was rather crowded with families and their dogs, it was nice to see so many people out enjoying the outdoors and the trail still seemed rather quiet and peaceful.



keep walking

spring flowers


a view

baby and a view

honey comb

yellow flowers

daddy and grumple

looking out

under trees

touching the tree


heading down

more flowers

wild flowers in rocks

bye bye trail

There were some beautiful little wildflowers hidden and scattered throughout the trail. We came across a honeycomb from a bee hive that was strewn out along the trail. It was a neat site to see and photograph. Ellie didn’t seem to enjoy the hike as much as we would have liked her to. Half way down the trail she was done and let us know. We hope as she gets older she will enjoy taking these little hikes with us. I know we enjoy being outside in the California open.