Friday, November 11, 2011


i love how bayley can't pronounce her s's
i love my wonderfully sweet husband and that her sent me flowers
i love staying at my mom and grandmas and spending time with them
i love thai chicken soup
i love lime
i love pinterest
i love baby kallies head tilt and wave
i love opposums
i love seeing the good in everything no matter what
i love sand
i love pottery barn
i love having lots of good friends
i love good news
i love zucchini bread
i love every second of this wonderful blessed life

Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas. ~Shoseki

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


today was a glorious day
it rained and we stayed home
we played "my little ponies" which consists of me chasing bayley around in circles and i am the scary zebra pony and she is twilight sparkles
we made cupcakes and i learned if you don't use a mixer, they turn out better
i really do love having all our stuff in storage because its helping me learn what i can do without and what i cherish and miss (my le creuset soup pot and mom's cast iron skillet)
i made lentil vegetable soup and crescent rolls and put a dollop of cream cheese inside the crescent roll and then put butter on top,  heaven!!!  oh and trader joes crescent rolls are the only ones i buy now, they are healthier and yummier.
oh and you know those spoons at japanese restaurants for miso soup, well i bought a couple at the asian market for bayley and they work great for soup.
we watched movies like "feck"  (shrek 3)  kinda sounds like a bad word when bayley says it, but i still love that she can't pronounce her "s's"  skip=kip  skeleton=keleton  skittle=kittle 
our library here has the most amazing selection of kids movies, better than any movie rental place.
we built a fort and i browsed pinterest because it's my new favorite internet addiction
at bedtime bayley has been saying her prayers out the window and its so sweet it made me cry the other night.  she thanks God for everything she loves and tonight it was cupcakes, cars and bubble guppies.  some nights its family and puppies, pillows and water.  i'm just so grateful that she is learning gratitude and how to practice it daily.  it makes my heart ooze happiness.
and since bayley didn't take a nap, she actually cut me off mid book tonight and said "mom, lets go to sleep"  you could say i was speechless considering last night i laid with her for over an hour as she tossed and whined and begged for another snack and drink and potty and back rubs.
the evening ended with adam and i laughing til we cried reading auto text correct. 

i have been getting really frustrated lately with bayley not listening and i really didn't like some of the things i was saying and my tone.  i was nagging, punishing, being way too harsh.  i realized that it is my problem how i react, not hers.  i am her parent and i am here to teach her, not dictate.  the thing is, most of the time she is teaching me way more than i am teaching her.  a three year old is living how we all should be living.  in the present moment, happy just to be exactly where they are.  so after reading up a little on the montessori method, i decided to try a new approach.  instead of getting all bent out of shape over something and saying something like "nooooooooooooooooo bayley, stop that right now"  i have started to remain calm but firm.  and if it's not that big of a deal, i either let it go or i ask her kindly. sort of how i would talk to a friend or coworker instead of "i need you to throw your candy wrapper in the trash" 
i try "hey bayley can you please throw your candy wrapper away?"  a lot of it is about tone, the second she senses my irritability, she is gonna up the ante big time. 
the more i started thinking about being kinder and more patient, i realized that a lot of time people are nicer to complete strangers than to their spouse and kids.  obviously families can have a lot of stress and no one is perfect, but i am starting to realize that this is a big deal for me.  i want to do whatever i can to minimize our stress so that i can be less snappy and irritable and more light hearted and thoughtful.  because what a huge difference i feel when i control the crazy lady inside me and now my child listens more often and we are both much happier.

pumpkin patch this weekend and more good good things  coming soon

peace out

Thursday, October 6, 2011

wherever you go, there you are

i think i can survive anything
after driving cross country with a bad case of bronchitis, being put on steroids that actually made me lose my mind and have a 48 hour panic attack, and settling into a place i've never even been...
i am alive
and doing quite well
except i really miss my mom, will you come move here please?

they say to give a new place a year before you decide if you like it or not.  we've been here a month and things are growing on me yet at the same time i am feeling my california roots tugging at me more often than i imagined they would.  i love the true autumn that the midwest has to offer.  i stop at every gold tree and take pictures like some crazy tourist at the Eiffel tower.  people stare, it's funny.  we are living downtown and can see the st louis arch out our window.  i am getting to know my way around downtown and can walk to the grocery store, library, starbucks and several restaurants.  i get lost everyday, it's the only way i learn how to find my way...eventually.

Bayley is taking it all in and sets such a great example of acclimating


doing yoga




i've actually been cooking quite a bit even though our kitchen is tiny, it's kind of challenging and fun

apple crisp





grand canyon



flagstaff, az

family photo  ha


easy healthy dinner that is cheap

-chinese chicken legs

marinate organic chicken legs in
soysauce (about a cup)
2 tblsp minced fresh garlic
2 tblsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil

bake on parchment paper on cookie sheet at 375 til browned well
40 min-hr depending on how big the legs

at the end melt butter on each leg and dot with honey
bake a couple minutes longer


-sauteed bok choy

bok choy is so cheap at asian markets  and so healthy

rinse well and chop in one inch pieces


heat olive oil in a pan on high and add bokchoy
toss and add more olive oil
add soy sauce
cook 5 minutes

serve with trader joes basmati rice







Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We're not in Kansas anymore

Well actually we are in Kansas
But Definitely a far ways away from California.
Funny though, last night I had the best Mexican food I've ever had. In Kansas!!
We've Gone through Arizona, new Mexico, Texas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Kansas, and today we hit st Louis Missouri!!
I'm almost a little sad that this road trip is ending, it's been kinda long, but it's brought me peace in unexpected ways.

Also, I am loving listening to Oprah and Martha Stewart on my xm radio.

Bayley loves watching my little pony on the iPad and playing games.

And I am sure Adam and miss kitty are jammin out to some nice country music in the jeep.

The past 2 nights we have had a jacuzzi and pool in our hotel which has been awesome, especially for bayley.

Today we arrive at our new home.

There's no place like home
There's no place like home
There's no place like home

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 2. Disheveled but happy

It's 645 am and we are at the canyon plaza resort
Next door there is a girl singing Adeles "rolling in the deep" and she's on repeat.
I am waiting patiently for my tiny pot of hotel coffee and really missing my 60 second keurig maker.
But I'm missing a lot of things and that's okay. Whenever I feel uncomfortable, or out of my element, that's when I know that the universe is arranging itself to accommodate my inner desires, hopes and dreams.
Comfort is good, but it's stagnant. Every once in a while my soul needs upheaval. Where I just leave it all up to God and know that these crazy days are what make up a life well lived.

Last night we ate dinner overlooking the Grand canyon, priceless experience. As I finished my glass of wine and approached the edge of the south rim, I got goosebumps. My jaw dropped and I just stood there in awe. If that isn't the best example of something made magnificent over time, then I don't know what is. I read that the bottom rock of it was over 2 billion years old. Baffles my mind. I wonder how cool I would be if I were 2 billion years old?

Oh and we saw bears and elk. Like 6 feet from our car. So freaking cool.

Bayley is a trooper, at 3 years old I know she kind of understands, but kind of is confused. But she just takes it all in and we do a lot of distracting and bribing with candy and presents. But don't worry, our new apartment is only 7 miles from a whole foods so we will be eating healthy again soon.

Next stop is albaquerque and I'm excited to see the red rock and another killer sunset and meet up with our friend.

My car is quite a sight, I had these dreams of being that super organized mom. The one with band aids and neosporin at arms reach. The one with ziplock baggies labeled for each day of the trip with goodies corresponding to the place we are at.
The one who has her shit together.
Nope, im lucky if I can hurl back a couple lollipops and a disheveled barbie.
Oh the barbies...
Looks like they had a long night on the town and now they all are crashing in random places in my car with fruit loops glued into their hair.
Maybe I'll try to organize?? Or maybe I'll leave it up to Adam, cause he's really good at that. Thank goodness!!

Signing off from 6500 feet.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Bayley likes to play with bugs
and a lot of times it's me who is scooping up the worm from the clayish dirt and placing it in a new spot, like in her hand or a pink toddler tupperware comtainer. yesterday as the movers packed every item in our house, i felt like that worm.
we are in the hands of a higher power and i like that
don't get me wrong, i had 7 panic attacks yesterday and drank 3 bloody marys at dinner

the unknown is freaking scary

but i know from experience that change always preceds growth

i have so many feelings going racing through my mind right now, but my exhaustion supercedes everything so that is a nice distraction.

so many times in my life i've felt like when something big happened, i was the only one who ever would experience such a thing and that no one else knew what i was going through.
now i know better
everyone on this planet is dealing with something "big" at one time or another and everyone is just doing thier best to cope with the "big" emotions and feeling that go along with it.
moves, births, illness, travels, graduations, losses, break ups, weddings
it's all just life. and there are always going to be the positives and negatives of all of it

so here i go

to me it's the biggest deal in the world, like it's gonna be on yahoo headlines tomorrow morning
"The Bernardi family moves to St. Louis Missouri!"

but i know better

last night in my hometown state

California you will be missed

lot's of love



I replaced the headlights in my car with strobe lights, so it looks like I'm the only one moving.
Steven Wright

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.” — Helen Keller

i always loved the light that shined in just so, illuminating the smudgy little hand prints on the window

Friday, August 19, 2011

a quote

“I have thought for a long time now that if, some day, the increasing efficiency for the technique of destruction finally causes our species to disappear from the earth, it will not be cruelty that will be responsible for our extinction and still less, of course, the indignation that cruelty awakens and the reprisals and vengeance that it brings upon itself…but the docility, the lack of responsibility of the modern man, his base subservient acceptance of every common decree. The horrors that we have seen, the still greater horrors we shall presently see, are not signs that rebels insubordinate, untamable men are increasing in number throughout the world, but rather that there is a constant increase in the number of obedient, docile men.”

—George Bernanos

Monday, August 15, 2011


i am in the process of organizing files on my computer...mostly pictures
like oh say 10,000 pictures
and let me start by saying that i am a schizophrenic digital picture hoarder.
who names files on thier computer things like "stuff" and "fun" with no dates??

i do

my brain hurts

here are some pretty photos








i went to blogher 2011 and it was so amazing!!

got to meet a blog friend, kelle. such a kind soul

had a fun date with my girl today and she picked out some fancy shoes


boy does she love her shoes

i had to pry her out of the nordstrom rack shoe department today

my girl is so outspoken these days

a mom said to her little girl "c'mon monkey" and bayley piped up and said in such a defending tone "she is not a monkey!"

these days are fun



19 days and we are on our way to st louis, missouri

i'm going to try to blog thru the craziness of it all, especially the roadtrip!!

2 suvs, a mom, a dad, a precocious 3 yr old and a cat that has anxiety in automobiles-----driving cross country

stay tuned as this southern california girl heads out to the midwest

Saturday, July 30, 2011


today we dropped bayley off at a new drop in daycare for the first time(i had to talk myself out of a panic attack) and as i expressed my upset with adam his oh so "adamlike" response was "it's only for an hour, they can't do too much damage" oh how i love his choice of words in these moments. at first it ticks me off but then it makes me laugh and lighten up. he gets me.

we started our new gentle yet firm "discipline" plan for bayley/us
we have so much going on, but some how this whole discipline thing has been hanging over my head like a dark cloud and eating away at me. i don't believe in punishments, but what i do believe in are consequences. life is one big set of consequences and if i can help my child learn how to deal with them then bring it on. i want to teach bayley that she is responsible for herself so she knows that she always has the power and choice in any given situation. i want her to take full responsibility for her actions and know that with any choice comes a consequence. i want her to feel empowered and know that her choices are amazing tools that can guide her to her dreams. that mistakes are forgiveable and we should learn from them, not hide them. i want her to know that she can accomplish anything she wants in life. i want her to have self discipline, self confidence and control over her emotions.
the funny thing is that this whole teaching her right from wrong is just as much about teaching myself right from wrong. i'm disciplining myself just as much as i am disciplining her. i might not dump cat food all over the floor or kick and scream over a cookie not had (well actually....) but i have just as much learning to do as she does. and i can say that it's extremely humbling, difficult and amazing all at the same time.

"I knew from feelings that I had to do something. And I did it. And I did it well. I did what made me feel better tomorrow even though it was very, very painful at the time. The result was beneficial. Doing those things today that feel good tomorrow."

~Thomas D. Willhite~

Friday, July 22, 2011

right now

right now i'm hungry
i've been browsing recipes and stumbled upon a salvadorean sauerkraut called curtido that i really want to make
and i also want to try the combination of smoked salmon, creme fraich and dill on rye toasts
oh and we are moving to missouri
i've never been to missouri, and i've never lived outside of southern california
this is going to be quite an adventure

my brain feels like the new york city subway system, things coming and going and it basically feels like it will never stop.  unless something crashes, and that is quite likely.
between potty training, baby root canals, moving across country in a month and trying to remain in somewhat of a routine i feel um..........slightly overwhelmed.  and i'm really good at being overwhelmed, sometimes i think i secretly like it or thrive on it.  except now, i really don't want to feel so crazed.  i'm trying to accept the fact that life isn't going to be "done" until i die.  and even then i will move onto a different life or realm with a different definition of "done". 
i'm always thinking "oh i'll be so happy when___________ happens"  but the more i wish ______ to happen the more i'm wasting away my present moment.   and there is always beauty in the present moment.
 i often get caught up in a really happy moment and want to bottle it up and put it on a shelf.  maybe thats why i have 2000 pictures i've taken from this month alone.  being in the present moment is the easiest thing and the hardest thing.  it requires no material objects, and it can be done anywhere with anyone or no one. i believe that the present moment is awareness and an honesty with oneself.   and that can be painful. 
sometimes i will be watching bayley play and dance and sing and i love it so much that it actually hurts sometimes because i know that it won't be that way forever.  so i have to remind myself of the delicate balance of it all.  being in the moment, planning for a beautiful future and knowing that the past exists only to teach us. 


Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture. If our thoughts are peaceful, calm, meek, and kind, then that is what our life is like. If our attention is turned to the circumstances in which we live, we are drawn into a whirlpool of thoughts and can have neither peace nor tranquility.

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

bayley said "mom come look!!"  and this is what i found


"this is such a pretty world"   -bayley


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

life 101

ahhhhhh  clicking that little blue button that says "new post" make my heart flutter. 

i have been quite busy and although i always seem to make room for my blogging, i have had some other matters to attend to.  i call it...
 life 101
lately i have been busy practicing the art of having an open mind and breaking bad habits.
 it's been really challenging yet extremely rewarding. 
i am learning that mistakes happen and i can choose to learn from them and move on or i can dwell on the crap.

i read A LOT and i've been noticing that all the books i read seem to have very similar concepts.  one being "like attracts like"  positive energy brings more positive energy and it's almost exponential.
i'm trying to focus like crazy on the good and accept the bad, learn from it and move on.

so here are some of my "tools" i've been using to help with my journey towards inner peace.

the artist's way

a course in miracles

non violent communication practice groups

dr wayne dyer

the concious parent

less wine and more vitamins

and a really good counselor and God.


so we have also been traveling and celebrating birthdays and time is just flying by!!
i can't "catch up" on pictures right now but i'm back at the blog




i can't believe that my baby is 3 years old!!

it's good to be back

Remind yourself that the greatest technique for bringing peace into your life is to always choose being kind when you have a choice between being right or being kind. This is the single most effective method I know for having a sense of peace. And you have that choice in all your interactions.    -wayne dyer

Saturday, May 14, 2011

a dent

i have so many pictures and so many thoughts and my mind keeps putting off a mountain of laundry.  instead of doing a little, making a miniscule dent. i just procrastinate and procrastinate.  i love writing so i'm not quite sure why i put off doing something enjoyable, maybe because i feel guilty.  guilty because i know i have a million other things i could be doing.  but you know what, this writing and blogging stuff is replenishing and as much as i'd like to think that i really am an energizer bunny and can keep going and going.  i'm not.  i need to be replenished with things i love to do.  and i notice that if i don't get replenished, i get very very cranky.  you know what else makes me cranky...not enough sleep.  so i'm going to bed.  another replenishing activity.  who knows, i might even get a pedicure tomorrow!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


i've been relaxing

mothers day post coming tomorrow....

and the winner of the Abbey Bernardi photoshoot is:
comment # 3  (generated by random number generator)

Leeann Vogt

"On a beautiful day, my favorite thing to do would be to go on a bike ride around town with Bryant. There is nothing like getting on your bike and just cruising around, the sun beating down on your face, the wind blowing by, no worries about any thing. Hmm this sounds so nice. It has finally stopped raining here in Michigan, it is currently 60 and sunny. My bike isn't here at school so I'll go for a run instead. :) I often find myself reading your blog if I’m sad, happy, or someplace in between. Sometimes when family lives apart it is "difficult" to keep in touch. Your blog makes me feel so a part of your life, my brother’s life, and that adorable niece of mine. So, thank you for filling that distance. While Bryant is away in Afghanistan I think I will send him random pictures of things that make me smile to try and fill the distance between us right now. It is the simple things that make us happy :) "

congratulations to my wonderful sister!!  email me at and we can schedule it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

a beautiful day and a give-away

it's a beautiful day outside today, we are getting ready to go explore

i am doing my first giveaway to celebrate the day!!

this blog is such a great creative outlet for me and i'm so grateful for all the positive feedback from friends and family


i'm giving away a photoshoot

a photo session with fully edited prints including:
1 8x10
2 5x7
4 4x6
8 wallets

locations include:
anywhere from san diego to santa barbara
and we will be in michigan from june 12th to june 24 around the kalamazoo area.

in order to enter just leave me a comment and tell me one of your favorite things to do on a beautiful day.  for 2 chances to win, link this blog post on your facebook and post another comment telling me you did.  please everyone enter!!!  if you win, you can also give the photoshoot as a gift to a friend or family member. 

well if you'll excuse me i have a little girl outside with a hose and a beautiful sunny day!!!

how we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives     -annie dillard

failures and triumphs

it was one of those days...

i woke up and didn't take a shower
gym clothes and no makeup
i even forgot to put on deodorant....stinky girl am i
i had a ton of things to do but didn't write them down
i left the house feeling scattered and overwhelmed
i had one of those horrible choking episodes(you know where you cough really loud uncontrollably for like 15 minutes) happen to me in starbucks and no one even cared except bayley who told me to "chew mama"
mango smoothie was everywhere for whatever reason
i went to the grocery store and probably did 9 laps, incomplete list.  i still forgot some things...
and bayley yelled "i want candy" at least 800 times imitating the brat angelica from the show the rugrats
i let bayley watch too much tv
potty training isn't going as well as it was last week
the sink was full of dishes all day
i didn't call and reschedule my doctor appt because i felt guilty for not showing up and not calling yesterday
i started making dinner too late therefore we ate way late
bayley fell down the stairs
adam and i both had difficult days which resulted in frustration and disharmony
i cried while i was barbequing chicken
i didn't take one picture

and now that i thought all my problems were done, my computer is going bonkers and i can't upload my pictures...

but i'm not going to let that get in the way of listing my gratitudes for today, because bad things happen but how we chose to deal with them shows our true character

so tonight i realized while lying in bed waiting for bayley to go to sleep how lucky i am
and instead of feeling sorry for myself and thinking that my mom skills or communication skills were subpar i thanked God for shelter.  i was lying in a warm bed and so was my child and we ate a nutritious dinner and reconcilled our problems and i felt SO MUCH BETTER.  i can always strive for more, but if i don't appreciate what i have at this very second, i will never feel like i have enough or that i AM enough.  i have to accept myself right now, mistakes and all and hope that others will do the same.  if not, they must not be worth the time anyways. 

so now i'm starting to understand the whole "fail more, fail better" quote
if i fail more and can accept my failure, then it doesn't really matter what happened or didn't work because i feel okay and i can accept things the way they are and forgive and move on.

and i am so happy that my husband did ALL the dishes tonight and that i didn't run away when we had a disagreement, we are such an awesome couple. 

so now i am going to soak in a lavendar bath with a glass of red wine and relax for 20 minutes before i tuck myself into bed. 

i think my photos uploaded now...enjoy













“There are no failures - just experiences and your reactions to them.”

-Tom Krause