Volosko, Croatia

This time last year I was in Croatia, and right about now I am really itching to go back. If the weather is as nice as it was for us, it is the perfect time to be there. No crowds, everything is still a little sleepy, however the locals are busy going about their days, which to me adds to the whole experience.

I imagine most of us have special places from our childhood that we are drawn back  to. Volosko is one of those places for me. It is a tiny fishing community right next to the resort town Opatija, where we used to go to the beach when I was a child. Small, narrow passages, a little harbor with colorful boats, art galleries, restaurants by the water, and in the last 10 years it has also become a foodie destination.

This is my favorite approach from the top, descending down into the village with these great views of the Adriatic Sea.

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I love this beach for the views but the water is not the cleanest, since it is nestled between the port city Rijeka and the harbor above. I found cleaner beaches with clear water in Cres and Mošćenička Draga. Those are all pebble beaches, so bring water shoes.

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Every pathway has a glimpse of the water. I love these narrow walkways, it feels so intimate. There will be laundry drying, cats sleeping, little flower posts everywhere. IMG_2868IMG_2844.jpg

There are great places like Plavi Podrum right by the water (above picture: the restaurant with the blue awning), but I wanted to try a new to me place. Konoba Tramerka was a great farm to table find through my favorite travel website Frank About Croatia. Tucked away in a maze of little passages it was not easy to find. But ask the locals for direction, they will point you to it. I loved the old brick building and the cozy atmosphere inside. My favorite was the appetizer punjeni njoki s pršut (Gnocchi filled with ham – local ham that is, as in they know the pig farmer personally). As I was drooling over their olive oil, my waiter immediately called his supplier and arranged a couple bottles for me. I brought two bottles of Mate home and wished I had ten more. Later I found out Donald Sutherland had dined there and raved about the Risotto. On my list for next time. konoba tramerka, voloskoIMG_3078volosko, croatiaIMG_2863volosko, green shuttersIMG_0651

How cute is this local mural, depicting Volosko?

My mom is heading there as we speak, I’m so jealous. Have you been to this area, anything I missed?

Have a wonderful day,

Sofija

 

Volosko, Croatia

Modern General, Santa Fe

I have a new favorite store in Santa Fe: Modern General. It has quality gardening and kitchen tools, but it also serves as a lunch and meeting space. And their smoothies are so good. And super healthy.

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I was surprised to see Hartwood here, a cook book from a restaurant in Tulum, Mexico. I’m kind of Tulum obsessed and I had seen the book mentioned on Instagram. So cool to find it here. modern general 4modern general collage

It’s a good place to bring kids. My youngest felt really comfortable here. And she liked that healthy smoothie, too. So now I’m thinking I need the recipe for my picky 12 year old who never eats vegetables. _MG_3726modern general 5.jpgmodern general collage 2_MG_3711

I love when a store owner puts so much thought into design and purpose. If you find yourself in Santa Fe, be sure to check it out. It is not too far from the plaza and the train station.

Have a great  day,

Sofija

All pictures taken by Sofija Burton

Modern General, Santa Fe

Desert Child

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to raise children in the desert. It is such a unique experience and one that I never anticipated. I grew up in Germany in a city near a dense forest. Everything was small, green, and urban. New Mexico is almost the opposite. It is vast, brown, you can see for miles and miles, and it is wild. There is hardly any grass, just a sea of rocks. I wonder if the surroundings will affect their views on life. Will they see this world as big and limitless and be eager to discover it?

Bringing Tashi to White Mesa made me realize how much at home she is in this terrain. There was no: “I’m bored, what is there to do?” She immediately started walking and interacting with her surroundings. She could have spend all day there.

 

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She found some chalky rocks and was delighted that she could draw pictures with them. IMG_2011

She decided the rocks would make excellent furniture. Here she is holding a couch, but it looks more like a telephone….IMG_2026IMG_2038IMG_3512

I have been reading a lot about forest pre-schools in Europe. Children spend all day outside in the woods. I guess my children have been going to rock school…

Have lovely day,

Sofija

On :

Pants: H&M

Top: Olive Juice

Vest: Old Navy

Cat Socks: Gymboree

Shoes: Hand me downs

 

Desert Child

On the Road…

There is nothing quite like going places with sisters. They fight, they annoy each other, but oh, they have so much fun. They are together and they know how to have a good time…

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars…”

-Jack Kerouac

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“Think of life as an adventure.”- Unknownphoto story 10 photo story 11 photo story 8 on the road 2

“Let the window down and feel the moonlight on your skin. “photo story 14

“I know there is a place for me somewhere out there…”

My hope for them is that they forge their own path and never stop being curious and adventurous.

-Sofija

Photography by Emily Mulder

Styling and Art Direction by Sofija Burton

Hair by Esther Burton

On the Road…

The High Road to Taos

In October my husband and I drove to Taos. You might remember that we have been to Taos quite a few times before in the summer. I was exited to see it in the fall with the leaves changing. Also, usually we drive up using the Low Road to Taos, which goes alongside the Rio Grande river. This time we decided to take the High Road. It is one of New Mexico’s scenic byways. It takes a lot longer and it is quite windy. Since in the past we have always come up with the kids who are prone to car sickness, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it. It was our anniversary and we left the kids at home.

In Pojaque we took the 503 heading north (it is easy to miss this right turn, if you are heading towards Espanola you have missed it). Nambe was our first stop. My main goal was to take pictures of the Catholic Churches (which is kind of an obsession of mine, I love their architecture) and the views along the way.

Here are  pictures of the Sacred Heart Church in Nambe. This is not the prettiest of all the churches, keep going, it will get better…

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Sacred heart Church in Nambe, NM

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The church is not original, it had to be rebuilt after a botched renovation. There is a pueblo nearby, which we did not drive to. We saw the church and then went on our way to Chimayo.

Chimayo is the highlight of the Road to Taos. Nestled in a beautifully green valley it is a town you want to linger in. There is a well known restaurant Rancho de Chimayo. There are also quaint weaving shops, below is Ortegas. Ortegas Weaving shop Chimayo, NMOrtegas Weaving Shop in Chimayo, NM

Right next to the weaving shop was a little museum with a cute little orchard.IMG_1443

The church Santurio de Chimayo, built between 1811 and 1816, is a pilgrimage site for thousands of visitors each year, especially on Good Friday. They were installing Christmas lights while were there. So cute!Catholic Church Santurio de Chimayo in NM

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The church is tiny, really, but so quaint and cute. I can see why it is so popular. There are a lot of touristy shops around it, but this Trading Post caught my eye.

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Between Chimayo and Cordova the views become quite breathtaking.

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We kept driving and did not stop until Las Trampas, which also has a cute little church San Jose de Garcia, completed in 1776.

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My ever so patient husband rolled with it, stopping every couple of miles so I could take pictures. He is a keeper! We realized this trip that we both really like road trips. He likes driving and I like to take pictures. We promised ourselves we would do it more often.

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After Trampas we headed towards Chamisal, which was quite enchanting with its golden colors. With my telescopic lense I took these pictures, which turned out to be my favorite.

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We kept going to Sipapu, but there was only the ski resort there, nothing too spectacular.

The plan was to end this post with pictures from the famous church San Francisco de Asis in Taos. However we got to hungry, had lunch in Taos, and then forgot to go back to it. 😦

I came back the next summer, so these pictures have a different light to them.

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That night we ate at a restaurant that also happens to be an old adobe church:

The Love Apple: Seasonal, fresh harvested, delicious, and so romantic!

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I hope you enjoyed coming along on this trip. Another reason to make New Mexico your destination.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

All pictures taken by Sofija Burton except for the one in Trampas. David Burton took the one that has me in it.

 

 

The High Road to Taos

Old Town Albuquerque Felipe de Neri Church

When my mom was visiting we went lots of places. I really wanted her to experience the rich Spanish and Native American mix of cultures here in New Mexico. It is so unique.

One of my favorite places to experience this culture is Old Town Albuquerque. Here is a photo shoot I did with my two youngest outside of San Felipe de Neri church right by the plaza.

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On Tasha:

Dress: from Mexico

Flower Headband: H&M

On Lucy:

Dress: Old Navy

Gosh I love taking pictures of these two. I have a lot more pictures from this summer to share, hopefully I’ll get around to posting them. School at our house is in full swing and this year I am giving it all my attention, which leaves me with very little time to be creative. But that is OK.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

Old Town Albuquerque Felipe de Neri Church

Taos Pueblo with Our Three Youngest

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My mom is visiting us from Germany, so exiting! We decided to take her to Taos, New Mexico for the day. Taos is a great place to visit for many reasons, one is the Taos Pueblo. It is one of the oldest Native American villages that still has people living there. I like visiting there, because the village is a walk in museum that is pretty relaxed. Kids can run around freely, off limit areas are clearly marked.  Native Americans sell their home made wares and go about their business. They are friendly and don’t mind people asking questions.
Taos Pueblo is a village with houses, a church, a cemetery, little stores, and a stream flowing through (which was the highlight for my girls). I was told that 2-4 families still live there, all the others live somewhere else, because of the lack of electricity. The houses get handed down to the next generation.
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PicMonkey Collage

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On Lucy (left):
Dress: Old Navy
Bracelet: from the local toy store
Sunglasses: Fossil
On Tasha(middle):
Dress: from Mexico
Shoes: The Children’s Place
Bracelet: from the local toy store
Sunglasses: H&M
On Ella:
Top: Old Navy
Pants: hand me down, originally from the Children’s Place

Be sure to check their website or call before you go, because they close for ceremonies and funerals. If you like to know how we spend our whole day in Taos go here.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

Taos Pueblo with Our Three Youngest

Cedar Crest, New Mexico

A couple of weeks ago Tasha and I hung out in Cedar Crest while my oldest son had a meeting at the Gutierezz Canyon Open Space. He will be doing trail work there this weekend for his Eagle Project. So proud of him! Anyway Tasha and I had some time on our hands, so I decided to take some pictures…
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Dress: Tea Clothing
Shoes: Crocs
I was ecstatic to find a field of wild flowers in New Mexico! Imagine that!
Have a lovely day,
Sofija

All pictures taken with my iphone 5.

Cedar Crest, New Mexico

Venice

I have inundated you with pictures of Croatia from my recent trip to Europe, but I haven’t told you that we spend one day in Italy. When you stay in northern Croatia, the border to Italy is about one hour away. So, in other words, you get in your car and in one hour you could be sipping expresso on the Italian Coast. I know, what a hardship!
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venice

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st marco plaza, venice

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Not sure if you have noticed that the pictures on top are looking into Venice from the outside. I would have not gotten those had I not gotten into the wrong boat. 🙂 The right boat would have taken us through the Grand Canal where you get those close up views below (we got those shots by walking from St.Marco church all the way back to where you come in). Sometimes it pays to be an ignorant tourist…

Have a lovely day,
Sofija

P.S. These pictures were the first I took with my Canon Rebel shooting in Raw. Shooting in raw means your pictures tend to be colorless and by editing them you bring out the colors you want. This is also my first time editing eith Adobe Lightroom thanks to my friend Emily, who has been encouraging me to do so. I feel like I have come a long way…but have a long way to go. At least I’m getting closer to the point where I can transform my pictures closer to the look I have in mind. Small steps…

Venice

Mošćenička Draga

Mošćenička Draga is a small town along the Adriatic coast in Croatia. It’s beach is a favorite amongst the locals from the nearby towns. The beach is secluded, traffic free, with several restaurants right by the beach. Perfect for families with young children. Some of the restaurants have little playgrounds to keep them happy.
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We ate right at the beach, soaking in the views. And taking advantage of the free WiFi at the restaurant and posting some pictures. Most restaurants we went to during our stay offered free WiFi which was so helpful for checking e-mails and posting to Instagram. We put our phone on airplane mode and connected to wherever we could. And speaking of eating right by the water overlooking the Adriatic sea, one gets used that really fast. Now I am back in ABQ and wondering what on earth I’m doing sitting in a parking lot (also known as patios)….back to reality.
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moscenicka draga

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What a beautiful little town! There are several little shops and a supermarket, but beyond that there isn’t much there. However it is the perfect spot for a family beach day.
-Sofija
Here are pictures of the same place from 15 years ago, before the digital age…

Mošćenička Draga