Now that Wyatt is crawling everywhere and loves to be entertained, the days of laying in bed watching reality tv together in our pajamas are loooonnng gone.  If we spend too much time inside Wyatt gets sick of me and complains until I find something fun for us to do. In searching for some fun, inexpensive activities  I discovered how easy and simple it is to go to Avila Barn.

We were kindly gifted an Onya Baby carrier to try out and boy was it amazing. Mamas… check out this carrier it is our new favorite. Its design is by far the most versatile both front and back wear as well as forward and rear facing for your babes, chewable sides, zippers, and an awesome supportive waistband so your back doesn’t kill you after a long day!

Avila Valley Barn is one of our favorite places to go, its full of fat and happy animals, has a giant grassy area where Wyatt can crawl around, and is full of kids  so meltdowns are no biggie to the staff and fellow guests. Some days we go and don’t spend a dime, just a quick walk around the horses, goats, lambs and cows. Other days we stop for a sandwich and a sweet treat, and if we are lucky a delicious homemade olallieberry pie! Today Gavin had the day off so you can bet we took advantage of his wallet and willingness to let us indulge a bit in the goodies! We bought a bunch of fresh blueberries, nectarines, honey sticks (my favorite) and sat out on the grass watching Wyatt try all the different types of fruits. Best part.. the silent sleeping baby on the way home.  🙂

Days like these are such a reminder of the importance of family time, the simple outings may seem small but I’m sure one day we will look back and realize these little moments weren’t so little after all.

Happy Monday Everyone, hope your week is a happy one.


The Burkards


Leave it to my dad to always come up with the most epic ideas; for the second year in a row now we have gotten together and brought to life a pop-up BBQ shop solely for the Strawberry Festival in our hometown of Arroyo Grande. This festival is famous on the central coast of California, bringing in thousands of tourists and families to our area over Memorial Day weekend. It’s full of food, hundreds of crafts and display booths, and of course, strawberries in every variation you can think of!Click here to see all the details on the festival, we would love to have you stop by next year!

As always, when he presented the idea we were slightly unsure, that is until we saw the Mama Q’s logo (named after my mom Dana.) We quickly came to our senses and realized what an epic mini business this would be. In our very large family and friends circle we had no problem rounding up a great posse to make Mama Q’s possible, all of them are listed below 🙂

The Reizebos Family, Ventura cousins and Jordan, Sweet Anna Slaughter, Rob and Lori Gillespie, Steve and Mary Adlesh, our Serbian crew, The Hardy boys and Kim, Hailey, and our best little helpers, the Baron kids!

The night before the festival we ran around putting the finishing touches on everything and getting pumped up for whatever was to come the next day. We had  finished writing our large (and extensive) chalk board menu, salted the hundreds of pounds of meat and stuffed them into the smokers, set up the booth with the help of the Gyphon Society and poor Stacy Reizebos spent 3 hours making the chili. (Bless your generous heart, we love you!)

Let the meat sweats begin!! Tri-tip, brisket, ribs, pulled pork flew out of our booth all day on Saturday as customers ordered meal after meal… “Combo? Drink? Sandwich?” could be heard in the front as we swiped cards and took cash, delivering a hot sandwich with coleslaw and beans to our hungry fairgoers, for what seemed like every 10 seconds. At one point we even had my niece Edi, a 9-year-old, taking orders like a champ.

We spent the entire day laughing and smiling, answering the same question of where our restaurant was located more times than we could count! It took every customer by surprise when explained that we were just a big group of family and friends doing this for fun, one weekend of the year.

Having Wyatt there this year was an adjustment for the better, his naps were all in the front pack, I changed him on top of giant sanitary storage boxes (see below) and when my arms were dying and the orders were picking up my cousin Grace, the baby whisperer, took him and he slept for three hours on her…which was mama heaven for me!

We had such a blast all weekend, the genuine happiness of all of those that helped out was unreal, not to mention all of the happy bellies that enjoyed our food too! When your passion for the job overrides the longing for the money, success is bound to happen, and it did!

There is something so unique and special about our little town “AG,” it allows our big dreams (especially my dads) to also become our blessed reality and Mama Q’s is the greatest testament to that!