San Francisco and Bodega Bay

Back in June I went to California for my nephew’s graduation. I could only take three kids, which was really sad, but it allowed me to do a day trip in San Francisco that would have been a challenge to do with the whole crew. Though I love family vacations I have come to realize that I prefer doing city trips with just one or two kids in tow. 

First up, Bodega Bay. 

We ate at a small Crab Schack by the water, where you will eat the best crab sandwiches ever. The clam chowder was really good, too. 

Next Bodega Bay Beach. It was really cold for June, which is typical for this part of California. Bring a warm jacket and find some drift wood to shield from the wind. Still it was glorious to sit by the water. Smell the ocean air, and listen to the waves.

When we were done freezing we made our way back stopping at the shop “Candy and Kites”  to stock up on saltwater taffeys. It’s a great place to get kites and beach toys.

Making our way to Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa we drove by the church where Alfred Hitchcock filmed The Birds. 

Russian River Brewery was packed with people and they didn’t have enough seating for our large group. So my brother-in-law bought some beer and shwag for my husband and we went on our way. Their red sour is now my favorite, and I don’t even like beer. 

It was a fun day.

The next day we took the ferry from Vallejo to San Francisco. I recommend taking the ferry over driving. How else would you get these awesome views? Plus a ferry always feels like a vacation. In San Francisco you can walk to a lot of places or take Über.

We took the Ferry to Fishermen’s Wharf. But we didn’t stay very long. We had a lot things we wanted to do. We walked six miles that day. Along the way we saw Ghiradelli Square, a cable car, and Golden Gate Park. From there we took Uber to Market Street. From there we walked back to the Ferry Building.

One super nostalgic thing was my son (above) took his sister (above) to the Converse store on MarketStreet, and bought her a pair of Converse she designed herself. How sweet is that? (He is single, btw)

Our last stop was the Ferry Building. We had half an hour to shop before our ferry left. I had heard that the Ferry building has some really nice places to shop and eat, but I didn’t know they have Heath Ceramics. What a nice suprise! The quality of their dishes is light years better than anything I own.

So grateful for my brother-inlaw and sister-in-law who took me everywhere. It’s so nice to just get in the car and not worry about traffic, directions, and schedules.

My husband and I will be going back in two weeks. Can’t wait to visit some stores that were closed like Everlane and the General Store. 

Have a great day,


San Francisco and Bodega Bay

More Valentine’s Goodness With my Two Youngest

This February I really felt like stretching the whole Valentine’s thing. It was so fun to have red balloons left from my last shoot, and having them fly all around the house really brightened the dreariness of winter. Hurray for love!

Here are some more pictures I took of my two youngest. I was inspired by a photo shoot from the super creative team at Muku I saw a while back.

My girls are quite fantastic to work with. They were getting over a sickness and it took me two tries to get the shots I wanted, yet they were so cooperative. I guess they are so used to being in front of the camera….

The dress on Tashi with the blue sash is from Olive Juice. The dress on Lucy is a hand me down from the cousins. The patchwork rug is from Turkey. I bought them from my friend, she has more. Let me know if you are interested.

Have a lovely day,


More Valentine’s Goodness With my Two Youngest

Frankfurt Christmas Market


I have just gotten back from Germany and still relishing the sights and sounds of the Christmas markets there. The mulled wine, the fried breads, and pretzels. Bratwursts in every shape or form. Ginger breads, candied apples, chocolate covered marshmallows… If you are into Christmas, this is the time to go (if you don’t mind cold and cloudy days, and crowds of people…). The markets typically start in the last week of November, so airfares are really low for this time of year. Every town seems to have one; bigger cities like Frankfurt and Cologne have several. Castles often have their own little market on different weekends. I went to buy Christmas displays from the region Erzgebirge (high quality wooden handcrafted pieces), and to drink Gluehwein (mulled wine). Locals mostly go to eat at the food vendors. 🙂 Here are some pictures from Frankfurt.


Even Santa gets hungry sometimes…img_6150_mg_6703_mg_6707IMG_6152.jpg_mg_6700-1

There are children’s rides there, too. So it is really a place the whole family can enjoy. Just remember to dress warm.

Have you been? I hadn’t since I left Germany over 20 years ago. Being there again and smelling all these familiar smells send me down memory lane.

Have a wonderful Christmas season,





Frankfurt Christmas Market

Exploring Taos Pueblo and the Gorge With my Youngest

School is starting up again in my part of the world. Before we go back to shuttling kids and preparing lessons we decided to take one last trip to Taos. We took our Canadian friends who had not been to the Taos Pueblo. Only our youngest came along. She travels really well and generally makes herself at home anywhere. Watching her play at the Pueblo made me think of how children might have grown up there.


Currently only 10 families still live in the Pueblo. However lots of tribe members live outside but keep homes for ceremonies and for selling hand made jewelry, pottery, dream catchers, and other things. Thankfully, one person was selling lemonade, as it was getting quiet warm while we were there.  IMG_3211IMG_3217IMG_3229


She kept running from shop to shop chatting with the store owners…IMG_3239

The logs were a favorite…IMG_3248IMG_3252

After touring the Pueblo we headed to the Rio Grande River Gorge. On the way is the Taos Mesa Brewery, a really fun quirky place out in the middle of nowhere, with good food. And for  people like me, they have good cider, too. We happened to be there while life music was playing.


The Gorge. As seen from the bridge.


Not for the faint of heart…Hold on to your children!! Do not drop your lap dogs…

Lots of vendors along the road. But my favorite is this traveling bus/coffee shop.



A huge thanks to my husband for driving us 6+ hours and for being a great tour guide!! You are the best!

After the Gorge we took the High Road to Taos back to show our friends Chimayo. And we had some appetizers at the famous Rancho de Chimayo restaurant. A super cozy place. My husband bought their cook book so I can expect home-made chili sauce in my near future….


If you don’t mind being gone all day, this is how you can do Taos is one day. I have to say though, my favorite place to eat lunch in Taos is at the Bavarian.

Hope you all have a great start into the new school year!!


Tashi is wearing a dress from H&M, shoes from the Children’s Place.





Exploring Taos Pueblo and the Gorge With my Youngest

Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu, New Mexico

If you are visiting or live in Albuquerque or Santa Fe add this to your list of day trips. It is so worth it. From Albuquerque Abiquiu is about a 2 1/2 hour drive north. From Santa Fe it is only an hour away. The drive up there is beautiful.

Before arriving at the Ranch we stopped at Lake Abiquiu to cool off. It is a small man made lake, which is pretty much all you get in this state. But the water temperature was perfect on this hot day. Come here early on a weekend, it fills up fast in the afternoon. We shared the beach with several large groups.

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Leaving the lake the ranch wasn’t much further up the road. The drive was stunning.


The famous painter Georgia O’Keeffe owned a small piece of Ghost Ranch. She drew inspiration from her surroundings, going on long walks every day and painting what she saw. Being here it was easy to see how one would be creative living here.


There is a dude ranch on the property. I was told by visitors it was made for the movie City Slickers.

The Presbyterian Church owns the property now. There is a lot going on, plan to spend some time here: scheduled hikes and tours, retreats, different museums; there is a even a pool.


I asked my 12 year old to take a picture of me and my husband. I recently decided to be more intentional to not only take pictures of the kids when we go places but also the two of us.


The view from the parking lot.

We didn’t have time to really explore that day, which gives me an excuse to come back. Maybe stay overnight or participate in a creative retreat…

For us it was the perfect staycation destination. We are pretty much home this whole summer so I am trying to go on interesting day trips. This would also make a great field trip destination with the museums, or the art education.

Have a great day,


I’m wearing…

Dress: Madewell

Hat: Anthropologie

Tote: Madewell






Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu, New Mexico

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.


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,



Volosko, Croatia

Our VW Bus Christmas Photo Shoot

burton christmas bus

Last week I posted the pictures from our recent photo shoot with Emily. Here is the Christmas version.

getting the bus readywreath and presentsVW christmas busburton christmas bus -3burton christmas bus-4vw detail

For the bus I used a banner I made a couple of years ago. The presents are just empty boxes I wrapped in the same paper as in this photo shoot. I bought a roll at Costco years ago and it just doesn’t seem to be running out. The wreath I made out of styrofoam, yarn, and I watched a pompon tutorial on Youtube. I had no idea the wreath would fit perfectly over the VW logo. Nice surprise! Our friend Jon met us at the location with his bus.

Merry Christmas!


All pictures taken by Emily Mulder

Styling and Art Direction by me


Our VW Bus Christmas Photo Shoot