We are, at heart, travelers. Voyagers. Wanderers. One of my life goals is to one day leave it all behind, albeit temporarily, and take off for a trip around the world for a year with my family. It’s crazy, but I genuinely believe a trip around the world with kids would be one of the most enriching, rewarding experiences a parent could offer their child. Just adding to the bucket list, my friends…
While the world offers tantalizing opportunities for exploration, discovery, and eye-opening experiences, we are fortunate to live in Northern California, one of the most incredible places on earth (in my humble opinion). As jet setting is not always in the cards, we enjoy taking local trips with family and friends to one of the many towns, parks, farms, or other incredible locales within driving distance. Last year strawberry picking was such great fun, we decided a fall trip to the apple orchards was in order. We opted for Chileno Valley Ranch in Petaluma about an hour and 20 minute drive from either San Francisco or Oakland.
What an incredible way to spend a fall Sunday! Not only did the ranch have an incredible variety of apples to pick, but also farm animals, fresh eggs, and grass fed beef for purchase.
There were lambs a plenty.
And plenty of hens.
Hay bales are fun for climbing + jumping. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Listening to toddlers describe all the noises farm animals make is reason enough to visit a farm occasionally.
And, then there was the main attraction… the apples.
In terms of pure beauty, the Arkansas Black took the prize. Unfortunately, they were not yet ready for picking and were thus off limits. Bummer. I would have loved to have tried one of these beauties.
Tasting the fruits of her efforts.
Feeding the apple cores and rotten apples to the cows (these were some seriously happy cows!).
The fruits of our efforts.
Communing with nature. A quiet papa-kiddo moment before heading home.
And now, what to make with all those apples? We have plans for frangipane tarts, apple juice, and perhaps some apple sauce… any other ideas?
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After spending the last few days in New Orleans I came home with plenty of inspiration. Yesterday as we were walking home from brunch I realized that it would be great fun to plan future Ella Lou collections after cities I have visited and found particularly inspiring. New Orleans home are some of the most beautiful and vibrant homes I have ever come across in the United States. I'm mulling over how to translate the inspiration they provided me into an Ella Lou collection.
Bonjour! I was recently asked by a journalist to provide a few shots of my daughter and I playing with Ella Lou products for an upcoming article (more about that later) and realized I didn't have any. I have hundreds of her playing with my Wanderlust Playmats, wrapped in a pestemal, or hugging pillows. However, because I am typically behind the camera, we didn't have any of us together. We decided to make an afternoon of it and made an appointment at Blink for a quick photo shoot.
On my most recent trip to Paris, I asked my close friend Vanessa, a particularly savvy Parisian, for a list of her favorite Parisian kids stores. Having recently developed our line of Wanderlust Playmats, I am increasingly interested in well-designed children's products and spaces. The Parisian children's stores did not disappoint. Here I share a few of my favorites.