Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last minute getaway to Carmel and Monterey

We decided to cap off our holiday break with a last minute trip down to Carmel and Monterey. Since it was the week of New Years, there weren't a ton of options, but we found a small 1 bedroom beach cottage to rent on airbnb. We had never stayed in Monterey, but found that there were a TON of really adorable beach cottages to rent (check out neighboring Pacific Grove as well) at reasonable rates, many of which were walking distance to the beach and restaurants!

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Beautiful Day in Point Reyes

Point Reyes seems to be on everyone's list of favorite day trips in the Bay Area, yet both my husband and I had never been! To be perfectly honest, we had no idea that we were so close to such natural beauty (it's a little embarrassing)! I always imagined that the really breath taking beaches were all in Southern California. I was very wrong.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

My favorite recipes:

I have always enjoyed good food, and since having kids, the quest to search for the perfect balance of easy, healthy and affordable recipes has become a mild obsession of mine. I am far from being an expert in the kitchen, so I like to keep things relatively simple with a focus on fresh ingredients and whole grains whenever possible.

Below are links to some of my favorite recipes, which I will update as I find new favorites. Enjoy!

Breakfast Recipes:

Grain Dishes:




  • Toasted Corn, Cherry Tomato and Edamame Salad - Big hit with friends. Great for picnics. You can use frozen corn for convenience. 
  • No knead dutch oven bread  - This bread recipe is crazy easy! 3 ingredients and some warm tap water, no kneading, no fuss. Just mix it all together, let it rise overnight and pop it in the oven when you wake up. Check out a pic of when I made it here!

You can also see my favorite recipes on my Recipe Winners pinterest board.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nevada City Family Retreat

I was introduced to the Nevada City area this past Spring when a close friend of mine got married in Grass Valley (about 4 miles from Nevada City). I had never been to either towns and was immediately drawn in by the charm and beauty of the area.  When we needed a spot for a holiday weekend away with my family, I jumped at the chance to return to Nevada City! (Just a side-note...the pictures were taken with my iphone, before I got my nice new they really don't do the scenery justice)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

About Me


Hello and welcome to my blog!

My name is Audrey and I live in Berkeley, CA with my husband and our two little girls. I am starting this blog as a challenge to myself to start exploring the beautiful place I get to call home - Northern California. Five years ago, my husband and I were newlyweds, both working full time jobs, with no kids, renting a one-bedroom apartment and saving plenty of money each month!  We have since bought a home, had two beautiful children and said goodbye to our savings and hello to the sometimes overwhelming task of trying to entertain young kids on a budget. 

The real catalyst behind this challenge to myself has been the countless number of times that I have been asked by a co-worker on a Monday morning, "How was your weekend?", and my response has been something along the lines of "uuuhhh, I can't actually remember what we did...", followed by an enthusiastic "but I think it was good!". How does this keep happening!?? I spend all week eager for Friday afternoon to arrive so I can have my precious weekend, and then before I know it, it is Monday again and the weekend has come and gone. Part of this, I am sure, is just a side effect of having two young children and often being exhausted by everything it takes to keep a family of four up and running. The other part is not knowing what to do that is fun for the entire family and AFFORDABLE! So this is where the blog comes into play. Something that will hold me accountable (I hope!) and push me to find fun and memorable day trips/mini vacations to create memories with my family and hopefully be a resource for other families looking for affordable ways to have fun.

Happy Travels!

P.S. If you have any suggestions for new places to explore...please share with me! My email is

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Stinson Beach, CA

How I have gone this far into my adult life without going to Stinson Beach is beyond me! I even went to High School in Marin County, and still...never made it out to the beach. This past Sunday was our first ever trip to Stinson, and it was worth the wait. I didn't have extremely high's mid-December so I was prepared for freezing temperatures, strong winds and grey skies, but we needed to get out of the house and start exploring!! So at 8 in the morning we made the decision to take our first trip to Stinson!