Wednesday, April 29, 2015

avila beach

"We are always teaching our children, whether we mean to or not. Our children come to believe, probably unconsciously, that whatever is repeated regularly has significance" - Noel Piper 

Last Friday at the end of a long week we took the kids to Avila Beach for the evening. We browsed the booths at the farmer's market and the kids danced along to the live band. We split a cinnamon roll as we sat on the steps overlooking the ocean with plastic forks in hand. As the sun began to set we left the crowd behind and headed for our favorite little corner of the beach. The kids splashed in and out of the water and explored the rocky tide pools. When the last bit of light disappeared we headed home with sandy feet and happy hearts. 

Here's to making more space for laughter, family, adventure, rest, community and hospitality - and here's to passing those things on to our children. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

catching up

These last few months have breezed by and it has been ages since I've posted anything on the blog! There happens to be an exciting reason for my mini hiatus (which you will see below) but now I'm back on track and will hopefully be posting more frequently. 

It's crazy to think that I started this blog nine years ago! At the time, Aaron and I were newlyweds planning our move to Chile and the blog documented our travels and experiences in South America. When we later moved to Southern California I started to do more photography and then after our first daughter was born I was so inspired by DIY projects and crafts. Because of the popularity of one of my tutorials I eventually opened up an online Etsy shop and it has been so exciting to make and ship handcrafted necklaces around the world! We then welcomed our son and the blog became a place to share our family's adventures. Almost two years ago we took a leap of faith and moved our family to the Central Coast to work with a missionary organization (YWAM) and I documented our journey here. Over the years this little blog has morphed with me and has taken all sorts of different shapes. I enjoy having this outlet and I sincerely thank you for following along. Here's to moving onward and upward!

Because I have a few months to catch up on I thought it would be easiest to share a handful of photos off of my phone to do a quick update...

To start things off, as mentioned above, here is the main culprit for my hiatus :)
We are so excited to welcome our third little one this summer. My first trimester hit me pretty hard but I am feeling so much better now and am currently six months along. We just found out it's another little girl and we couldn't be happier! 
In January I turned the big 30 and we celebrated with a trip to LA. We visited the Griffith Observatory, the Science Center and China Town!
Talia is so interested in Chinese and Japanese culture so this was a very fun experience for her! 
The birthday celebrations continued with a girl's trip to Cancun. My sister in law's birthday is the day after mine so she, my mother in law and myself decided to celebrate together in Mexico! This was an incredible trip and we had so much fun together.
We spent a day at Xcaret which was an experience in itself! We went snorkeling, swam in underground caves, and here I am swimming in the natural pools with all kinds of different fish. 
We also spent a day exploring the island of Cozumel.
Around four months my little belly began to pop :)
My parents came to visit us for two weeks in February which was such a sweet time. The kids loved having their Yaya and Grandpa here and we really cherished having that time together with them. 
We loved showing them around our little area which included lots of fun trips to our favorite spots like...
Avila Beach
San Luis Obispo
Pismo Beach
and Johnson Ranch Trail
During this pregnancy I have had such a sweet tooth and this homemade granola with greek yogurt and fresh berries hits the spot! (recipe on my instagram account @sarahortega)
Over the last few months we have really fallen in love with young living essential oils. The more I learn, the more amazed I am with how well these oils work with our bodies. I've always been drawn to natural products and remedies but at times it just felt so overwhelming. 
I am part of a great team that helped to educate and support me and in no time these essential oils replaced our medicine cabinet and I swapped all of my chemical filled cleaners with just one bottle of concentrated thieves cleaner that we use for everything. I also said goodbye to artificially scented candles and air fresheners and replaced those with an oil diffuser that we use everyday. I even swapped out my deodorant and now use thieves toothpaste instead believe it or not!
I could go on... it is something I am passionate about because of the improvements I have seen to our family's health. We use these for sleep, stress, anxiety, cuts and burns, colds, energy, muscle soreness and they have also been a big help in my pregnancy! Education is so important and I understand how overwhelming it can all seem so if you are curious, interested or on the fence I would love to help in anyway I can. You can email me at hello(at) (You can also learn more about our family's favorite oils and oily tips on our instagram account @ortegaessentials)
And the belly continues to grow :) We can't wait to meet our little girl.
That's it for the catch up! Thanks for following along :)

Monday, November 03, 2014

avila valley barn

A few weeks ago we spent a beautiful Sunday evening celebrating Liam's "half-birthday." We took the kids to Avila Valley Barn and had the most wonderful time. They had so much fun exploring the corn fields and the apple orchards, running through the hay maze and of course feeding the animals. It really was a sweet time with our little family. We ended the night with some Thrifty's ice cream and we were all quite happy with that. I am so thankful for moments like these and making pause in our schedules to celebrate life. Here's to many more happy half-birthdays!

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