Portrait Project Catch-up

eloise: some nights we take dinner down to the beach and enjoy the sunset as a family. You are a happy, little sand elf… jumping, running, buidling sand castles… it’s lovely to watch.

eloise: You are quite the nature girl. Picking up worms, climbing rocks, wading through creek water and appeasing your Mama when I bring out the monthly bird box.

eloise: You love to dress up like animals and princess’. You imagine yourself as something other than Ellie, every day. “Who are you today?” we ask. “I’m an owl named Juliette today.”

Eloise: I love taking you to different cultural events and festivals. I love learning about cultures and traditions and I want you to love it too. So far, seems like I’m doing a good job. šŸ˜‰ (This photo is from the Carpinteria Dia De Los Muertos Parade).

Eloise: This halloween you wanted to be a Tasmanian Devil. You have been slightly obsessed with the T-devil Wild Kratts episode for quite some time now and so Mama made you a T-devil costume, per your request. I love that you can be a princess one day and the next, be just as interested in obscure animals the next.

Homeschool Club and Nature School

We’re dabbling in home schooling around here. We started in September and with a few other mamas and their wonderful children, we’ve created a weekly “homeschool club”, as the kids are calling it. Once a week we meet up and concentrate on one thing, usually something nature related and I do an art project, read some related books and then we the kids play afterward. Later in the week, Ellie and I join a bunch of other mamas and do a nature class with our local natural history museum. We’re both enjoying our new routine, learning new things together and getting some time with friends.




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 orchardĀ  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.Ā  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.