Our Kind of Real.. more like real bad luck! Yup. You heard it right, I promised I would keep it as real as possible so yes, the 1954 Corvette is currently in the shop. Thankfully nobody was hurt, it was due to the battery dying so it was out of my control,  and the damage isn’t as bad as it could have been. (Staying positive if you can’t tell)  After crashing we were able to bring it back into the garage just fine. There was nothing we could do at that point so, we decided to continue our girls day without the Corvette and head to our destination, The beautiful Madonna Inn .

I took my nieces Edi and Maile out for a much needed dessert date. Living in a male dominated household from my humans to my fur babies, a little estrogen is always welcome…especially when it comes in the form of dressing up and eating fancy desserts. We ordered the champagne cake (Lacking the pink swirls), triple ice cream sundae, and strawberry pie for lunch. Well presented and delicious is a deadly combo and boy did we scarf all three plates down fast. Days like these are so wonderful, I remember that it isn’t just about me and what I can do with my own children. Its important to me to invest time into my nieces and nephews because people in my family did that for me and we are so close because of it.

It was a lovely afternoon, full of pink, smiles, laughs and the best part, totally affordable. Someday I would love be able to stay the night there and enjoy everything Madonna has to offer, but for now we will be fancy and dine in the bakery!

If I can inspire you to do anything this week, it would to take the time to treat your nieces and nephews out for a date, write a letter to them, or reach out in some way. After all, family is the most important thing we have.


The Burkards

This past week we made our way down the 101 in a big old pink rickety camper van. A 1950’s Studabaker rigged with a camper is quite a rare and slightly terrifying sight to see. As the wind blew, the camper swayed from side to side and the smell of burning fuel lingered as we sat 50 mph in the slow lane crossing our fingers we wouldn’t break down. We decided to go to the port at Avila Beach and camp on the cliff overlooking the beautiful ocean. The smell of the salt and the sand in our toes was soul food at its finest. There is something so detoxifying about the ocean, we walked the beach and found starfish, watched the dogs play, and thanked our lucky stars Wyatt didn’t think the sand was food. As the wood fire burned we sat around with family and friends, talking about life over chicken kabobs and Coors Light. Before we knew it our friends had gone, it was 10:30pm and Wyatt was sound asleep in my lap. We sat there reflecting on the trip and he laughed and agreed as I said, “this is why you work so hard, so we can truly live nights like these.”

We work to live, we don’t live to work.


Burkard Family


Adventure is an adventure no matter how small. As a new mom and wife with a husband who works full time, recreating the amazing adventures that grace our social media platforms seem nearly impossible. The vivid images of unbelievable destinations can be so inspiring, yet so unrealistic for our lifestyle. Not long ago in conversation with Gavin we realized that adventure to those amazing travelers is so different than our kind of adventure. Sure we would love to travel the world, take months off at a time and see the amazing spots this world has to offer, but if we did that we would miss out on the part of life we love and cherish the most. Our adventures are little, they are feasible for us in this stage of life. We have limits but we also have endless opportunity to create something out of those limitations. After all, finding adventure in those little things is the greatest adventure in itself!

Port San Luis Obispo was our choice of adventure this week. Located about 2 miles past Avila Beach, “Port Slo” is easily accessible and a perfect place for a family afternoon. Years ago we would spend our time at the pier on a date to Old Port Inn, and with a Wyatt now we decided to head into the fresh fish market! We checked out all the fresh and locally caught fish, the fisherman showed Wyatt his first crab, and we walked the pier and laughed at the seals. It was such a great little adventure for our little family, hope you mamas can add this to your list of mini adventures! Happy Saturday!


Burkard Family




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!