Moments in Santa Cruz

Life in Santa Cruz is much different than life in Manhattan. In fact, one of the only ways that it’s similar happens to be one of my favorite things about NYC: The people. Minus, of course, the always-moving mentality and attitudes. There are a lot of artsy and eclectic types here in this cozy, super free-spirited town by the Pacific.

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We’re adjusting nicely. Our routines lately consist of testing our green thumbs in our yard out back, soaking up the vitamin rays of warmth and light (with plenty of sunscreen), spending lots of time with family, and of course, days and evenings on the beach.


So much time on the beach.


Between the medicinal properties of the ocean, the peacefulness almost wherever we go, the insane California sunshine, and my personal favorite-the produce-we’re all feeling really, really good.


Being surrounded by people who love and care about us is pretty fantastic too.

This is what life is all about.

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It’s taken a bit longer to adjust to some things; We miss our friends in the city the most. There are plenty of children in our new neighborhood, but Jack and Zoe are anxious for school to begin and for our days to find a little consistency.

Driving everywhere is probably my least favorite. While the kids no longer get car-sick (hallelujah), the car is still a torture chamber for Beau, even four weeks later. Car trips need to be timed correctly because he almost always falls asleep.

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We visit the local nursery frequently, head to the grocery store with the pink car-carts, anxiously await weekly visits from the local hero/garbage man, and we even took a trip to the local mall yesterday (new least-favorite).

It’s all so very s u b u r b a n. And I like it.

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Our new neighborhood is positively dreamy, especially if you’re a child. Horses and a farm on the left, and a little ways down there is a park with plenty of hungry ducks.

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Not to mention the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the adjoining pier. Home of the Lost Boys, my favorite childhood memories, and hopefully theirs too.


Also most notably, Justin is settling in nicely at his new practice; It is pretty spectacular to see him in his element.


We still need to buy a laundry machine set and a couple of cars, but we have yet to find that tree that grows all the money, so we patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) wait. We are so fortunate in all ways, it’s hard to be frustrated.

I keep finding myself looking around and wondering if this is really my life, and when our ticket to go back to NYC is booked.

Not that I want to go back. It’s all very, very surreal still.

Join the Conversation


  • We’re coming to visit! xo

  • This speaks so true to me right now as we’re on month three of our new life in Florida after moving from the DC suburbs. While I don’t have the culture shock of leaving a city and now driving everywhere, I completely feel like I’ve been plucked up and dropped in a strange land. Surreal is also how I keep explaining it to people. It doesn’t help that the beach is here, I’m surrounded by palm trees, and everything is “planned community”-gorgeous. Just makes me feel as if I’m on vacation since I have also just left my career to stay at home. I love your photos and watching your kids explore new landscapes. I do miss living vicariously through you in the city life, but I love the sense of calm exuding from your photos now. It’s hard not to love a California lifestyle! Glad you’re enjoying it!

  • Such gorgeous photos! So glad to see you are all adjusting to life on the opposite coast

  • So good to see your beautiful photos again and know that you all are adjusting to life as suburbanites on the West Coast… the beach looks so beautiful…wishing you much happiness in your continued adventures in Santa Cruz!

  • Which car are you driving nowadays? I’m looking for a chic family car 🙂

  • This is wonderful. I still feel like it’s not real that we’ve moved to the coast, too, and I can’t wait until I feel like a regular because I love it here. We have a lot of empty rooms in our home still because we used all our money to move and buy the house! But all the things will fall in place, what matters is that you’re all there together. Love your photos. Also someone here just gave Ivy a home-made mermaid costume and I can’t wait to get her in it.


  • I love seeing your pictures on IG and this post is amazing! All the pictures – your kids looking like they’re having the time of their lives, YOU looking absolutely amazing (it’s not possible that you had three kids. You look so good!) and your husband enjoying his dream job – make me just smile. You’re doing a great job mama!

  • How beautiful, all of it. I’m sure it feels so weird sometimes, and so very different all of the time, but that’s the beauty of it all, right?

    Congrats on the move and making the adjustments somewhat seamlessly.

    Keep the pictures coming!

  • The kids look like they are having a blast! Beau looks like he’s grown so much. I’m glad that you all are gettin adjusted and developing a new routine. A big move like that takes some time to get used to.

  • I am sure it’s such a huge adjustment for you all but I am guessing being close to family really helps.

    Your photos are gorgeous as always. Even the one with the garbage truck. 😉


  • Welcome home, mama. xo

  • I’ve never lived in NYC or California, but my heart has always been with California. Every time I’ve been there its this overwhelming feeling of being where I’m meant to be. I hope I make it there one day, but in the meantime I love your photos and imagining the sand between my own toes, the waves crashing on me. You’ll get used to it and fall in love with it all over again!

  • Beautiful photos. I didn’t realise that was where the Lost Boys was filmed. LOVE that movie.

  • I love looking at your gorgeous kids in your gorgeous photos. It’s a definite switch to from East Coast to West Coast, but how great is it that you guys get to move closer to family and live near the beach! What’s great about social media is that no matter how far we all move from one another, we’re only a tweet, Instagram pic, or Facebook post away! x -pam.

  • Amazing photos! Looks like fun 🙂

  • I found you on Instagram and love following your feed so much that I forget you also have a blog. It was great to read how you all are settling into your new world. Sending you and your crew much love and helath in the next school year. P.S. Let me know if you ever find that Money Tree. 😉

  • Olá Jessika,nos brasileiros adorar seu blog!!!
    Suas fotos realmente ser lindas…
    E claro aguardar mais ansiosos para ver essas fofuras!


  • Having been born and raised in Santa Cruz, I just wish I could move back there someday, but I’m stuck here in Washington D.C. which is about as different a culture as you can get from the good folks back home. You never know how good you have it until you move away and live somewhere else! Get out and enjoy the redwoods too. Your kids will love the steam train at Roaring Camp in nearby Felton.

  • Have you checked out the Tea House Spa on Elm Street? Great little place to have a nice relaxing soak in a hot tub and drink some hot tea. They also offer massages. I know moving can be awfully stressful and it’s a great place to de-stress.

  • One of my biggest regrets is moving OUT of Santa Cruz to raise my daughter in San Fran. The energy of SC is like none other in the world. Close enough to city culture but far enough from city pressures. Riding bikes to the beach, watching the sunset, super chic flea markets, dinners under the stars…miss it all. You have blessed your kids immeasurably. We’re so happy to have you in our orbit! 🙂

  • Welcome to Santa Cruz! Glad to see you’re exploring and enjoying all the wonderful things our community has to offer. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our friend Vanessa’s boutique on the Westside–Cameron Marks Boutique. It’ll give you a little shot of city fashion you’re probably craving. 😉

  • Parabéns, família linda. Deus abençoe vocês!

  • Great post. I too moved from the DC area to San francisco and really miss some of the things especially friends and family. You have a beautiful family.

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