Get me outta here! – In Real Life #2

It’s a cruel world we’re livin in, and Mama is planning her escape. For serious. It’s week 2 In Real Life, a vlog of sorts where we look at the fun, frustration, faith and FOOD from the past week.

He’s the 10 Sensory Activities for Toddlers post mentioned in the show, and here is
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Beauty.

Thank you everyone for your feedback on this new video series. We value your suggestions are are fine tuning accordingly!


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  1. I live in St. Augustine, FL. It’s about 45 minutes south of Jacksonville. It’s the nations oldest city and has an incredible “natural” community.

  2. I live in San Diego currently and my husband and I actually really want to move to FL! San Diego can be nice but it really depends on what area you live in, and it is so stinkin expensive! We live out in East County because it’s all we can afford but we really do not like where we live. We are only about 20-30 min. from downtown SD but it is more like the desert out here and nothing like what most people picture SD to be. It is way too hot! If you can afford one of the nicer areas, then yes, this would be a great place to live. For us though, even though we live in one of the cheaper areas of the county, we have been looking at housing prices in FL and are realizing that we could get a similar house to what we’re in now, in a much nicer area, for about half the price.
    I am part of an amazing Christian mommy group though, and we absolutely love our church (actually there are a lot of great churches throughout all of SD county). I think those are the only things I will really miss if/when we move.

  3. “Mama Dinosaur”–that is SO cute! Adorable with a capital A.

  4. Hello! As far as moving, I’ve been to all of the 3 places you’ve mentioned extensively. My suggestion for you would by far be San Diego! Not just because I was born and raised there but because it will be the best place for you to maintain your healthy lifestyle. San Diego is chalk-full of juice bars, natural grocery stores etc. Jacksonville still has a very strong southern influence, being that it’s so close to Georgia, and they are all about their fried chicken, etc. Just wanted to give you my two cents in case it was helpful:) Best of luck!

  5. I started following you on Facebook and YouTube about a year ago and appreciate and enjoy all your posts. I have lived in San Diego for the past ten years and love it.
    I grew up in Hawaii, San Diego is the next best place to leave weather wise and vibe wise. I suppose cost if living is higher (but growing up I’m Hawaii I’m used to that) but I have been saying all winter when I see friends posting about sub zero temperatures that I will happily pay my sunshine tax to stay away from all that! My husband is from here and we are currently raising a 2 year old and 2 month old and are very happy with the area we’ve chosen to live, about 20 minutes inland from the coast. There are crunchy communities in every city so I’m sure you will be happy wherever you end up! And as you’ve alluded to, it’s not so much where you are but who you are with. 🙂

  6. OMG please move to Fayetteville, Arkansas!! We’d love to have you!! 😀

    • Hi, hope this isn’t too weird but I also am from AR, been trying to find crunchy mama groups in AR do u know of any?

      • I can’t even find a mom group for Fayetteville AR.

  7. Ireland. I love rainy days. They’re my good luck days! I also ADORE the sea. Sometimes I think I was meant to be a mermaid. 😀

  8. Love these videos! I wanted to tell you that I exclusively pumped for my son for 18 months. Just like your friend he had issues with being at the breast so I pumped every 3 to 4 hours every single day for 18 months. Let me tell you what, that is a full time job but I was so happy to give my son my breast milk as opposed to formula.

  9. I exclusively pumped for my princess for 9 months (till she was 12 months) after she got nipple confusion. 🙂 So worth it!!

    I day dream EVERY day of living somewhere sunny! I am from North Idaho, which is beautiful but cold 8 months out of the year. We usually only have about 2 months of hot or warm weather. I would love to live somewhere tropical and beautiful and warm, Jamaica comes to mind. I would love to let my daughters see the ocean!

  10. I have lived in Jacksonville FL my entire life. This past weekend we went to RAM (riverside arts market) which is a farmers market with local merchandise for sale. We also spent some time at the beach, library and zoo. Today is a lovely 80 degrees and my chicks (a new two year test run is allowing single family homes to have chickens) are spending their first time outside. We have a wonderful children’s hospital, tons of farmers markets and local farms to go picking. The beach. I love where I live, Southside, which is more of a central location so everything is just a short drive. If you have any questions email me, like I said I was born here.

    • I am looking to move to florida and would love to discuss locations as you have mentioned many things im interested in. 🙂 i have two boys under 4yo and my SO is a fisherman.

  11. I have lived in San Diego, CA and let me tell you I’m not sure why my husband and I moved , but we both long to be back in the warm weather just as you do! It is one of the reason we went to natural living besides the health factor because it is so much easier when you can go to farmers markets all year round! We live in NH now and we feel the cold and will be feeling it for the rest of the week! Brrrrrr…

  12. Firstly! You are amazing! Thank you so much for all you share! Secondly! Follow your heart and what makes your hearts’ sing! 😀 We live in Hendersonville, NC – about 30 minutes outside of Asheville – amazing folk, beautiful… but my husband asked me that same question and it turns out the area of Bath, England is where we are most likely moving too! *** I do know of an AMAZING natural chiro in Mills River – just so you have that on hand if you move to NC… 😀

  13. ASHEVILLE, NC! That is my suggestion. Florida is just too hot. Never been to Cali, but I was raised in FL and there are 2 seasons there, hot & hotter. In Asheville (very close to where I live now) we have 4 mild seasons, the changes in season are always welcome, people come from all over the world to hike here, the most species of salamanders found anywhere in the world, very diverse culture of people depending on how close to the heart of the city you are, but small enough to know all of your neighbors well. There are also a few really good real food restaurants, some great real food grocery stores, and an awesome year round farmers market. Highly recommend AVL!

    • Thanks for feedback! We just booked a place in Asheville to visit in April 🙂

      • Genevieve hope you have a great visit in Asheville, but don’t discount Florida based on one persons opinion. For kids Orlando Florida is honestly the best place you could live. I have been here for 5 years now and my kids are the exact same age as yours and are both a boy and girl. I’ve been following ur blog since it started and have never really felt compelled to issue a strong opinion. But I’m telling you Orlando is the best place to have kids. Do some research and check it out.
        Doing a great job btw 🙂

  14. My husband and I actually just “escaped” to San Diego in December! We picked up our family from Nashville, TN – selling a business and a home – and moved here after dreaming about it for nearly 10 years. It took us a little less than a year from decision to the actual move. More expensive in many respects – yes! But the *quality of life* that we are experiencing makes it so worth it for us. No regrets! Best wishes to you in your decision-making process. 🙂

    • WOW! You go girl! Love hearing this 🙂

  15. I grew up about 1 1/2 hours from Asheville NC and went to college there. I love it! Beautiful city and the right ratio of preppy to hippy. They just got a Trader Joes in and there’s a great Whole Foods there. Downtown Asheville is so much fun. There’s a large movement in Asheville towards natural foods and taking good care of the environment. With so much beauty around, it’s hard not to be conscientious! Lots of outdoor activities and local farms. I highly highly recommend Asheville!

  16. Well, I can tell you one thing, you won’t want to move to where I live. It was 0 degrees this morning, and there is something like 4 feet of snow on the ground. Guess where? Maine!! But I love it here… it’s home, and even though I sometimes gripe about winter (and this winter has been unusually bad), I don’t want to move away ever. I lived in Norman, Oklahoma for a few years when we were first married, and while it was a great experience, it was never “HOME” to me. Call me crazy, I am glad to be back in Maine, cold winters and all!

    Great job pumping! I did that the first few months of my second son’s life, and it really has been beneficial now that he’s 11 months and losing interest in nursing. I give him frozen milk in a cup, in addition to nursing a few times a day, so he gets the extra benefits. Boys, you gotta love ’em…. both of mine hit a point where they didn’t want to sit still long enough to nurse, no matter how often I offered!

    • Good for you for still giving in sippy cup! Awesome for them 🙂

  17. I lives in San Diego for a few years growing up. While the weather is awesome, and it is a wonderful place to visit, I would not recommend it as a place to raise a family. The cost of living remains high and California as a whole is in seriously trouble finacially. I knew when I lived there that my values didn’t align with most of friends. I am a Christian and my family placed going to church a priority while my peers did not and I was considered pretty unusual. Maybe it was area I lived in San Diego. I do highly recommend it for vacations though!

  18. Asheville is really pretty, but it does get cold temperatures and snow during the winter…that comes with being in the mountains. On the upside, the Biltmore is fun to visit in the different seasons and the Blueridge Parkway provides lots of fun adventures and beautiful scenery. Just a forewarning–school tends to be closed early or on 2 hour delays when there is a threat of snow or when it snows.

    • Hahaha! I don’t mind some snow. It’s just the subartic temperatures that get to me 🙂

  19. Oh and I’m going to throw out another perk for Asheville: it’s close to the Charlotte airport! I’m from Oregon and now live in Georgia. I knew that moving meant I would forever be spending a fortune on travel home to see my family, but the closer you are to a large airport, the better. The downside with California is that LA is so massive, it can be so stressful for you to get to the airport to leave and to pick up your family when they visit you. Plus, Charlotte has direct flights to all these other major cities. If I want to leave from my city, I have to fly to Charlotte or Atlanta, then start the real journey. It seems simple, but adds so much stress. (I’m sure you’ve thought a lot about moving and don’t need my two cents, but I’d rather you have too much information than not enough!)

  20. I’ve been to and love all the cities you mentioned, Genevieve! Asheville is nice because it gets a little chilly in the winter, but not so terrible that you want to run for the hills (or beach.) It’s a refreshing chill. Jacksonville is great, but try to come visit in the Summer. The humidity is something you have to experience before diving in. It’s intense! After about 5 years in the South, however, I will say that I enjoy the humidity (most) of the Summer now. It’s an acquired taste:) I think San Diego is amazing, but agree the cost of living is scary. I’ll be praying for your family as you make a decision!

  21. I live in NC and I have to say the winters are wonderful but the summers can get unbearable sometimes. I love it here though.

  22. As someone born and raised near Asheville NC, I feel like you and your family would thrive here! Plan a trip, come and see why I will never (Lord willing) call anywhere else home! I have watched your videos for a while on YouTube, and I think Asheville would be a great fit 🙂

    • Thanks honey! Appreciate your perspective since you live there. We booked a trip and are visiting in April. We shall see 🙂

  23. Love the new series!! I love the real and raw emotions shown!! I live in jacksonville, Fl! Born and raised. I love it! It is such a cultured city that you can be near the beach, have country land, and more in city within a short amount of time from each other. We will be moving a smidge out of jacksonville (literally only 10ish minutes highway) to have more land and more land. Excited to see where you guys will go. 🙂

  24. great show! May I suggest Arizona?:) I do feel bad when I talk to family in Wisconsin… and then I think- hey! you can move too! I feel bad when its 80 degrees and sunny and they are in the middle of the polar vortex…
    I pumped for my first baby for 10 months. she refused the breast because she was bottle fed in the NICU for 3 days and didn’t want to work for her food after that. so I exclusively pumped, everywhere. I pumped in public bathrooms, while flying on an airplane, even while driving the car across counrty (hook me up hubby!) I would never wish to do that again, and yes, I now loath the pump. Luckily my next two babies were great nursers, but I still hated having to occasionally pump for my “freedom”…:)

    • So thankful your next 2 babies took the breast!

  25. I love your videos! My baby is 16 months now and I’m still watching … Literally as I’m pumping right now at work. Lol

    I live in LA, by the way, which has awesome weather too! And I’m not sure what mike does(?), but it’s a great town for anything artistic, videos, etc. we have a great church here too if you end up I so cal. 😉

      • Good luck Kelda.

  26. I like your new show format, it’s like a catching-up-with-a-friend chat 🙂

    I was very excited to hear you say San Diego, California! That’s where the Navy has moved our family this past summer! We are house hunting right now (to buy) and it is crazy expensive!!! A lot of homes are being flipped right now but they’re getting purchased very quickly. But, it can be done and the weather here is wonderful. Although, it has been pouring rain all night and morning while being very windy too. Weird. The busyness of San Diego County can be overwhelming but it has so much to do outdoors! Coronado is fun for a “vacationy” weekend… Balboa Park is beautiful and fun and the zoo is a favorite right now. The Whole Foods is in La Jolla which is a nice area but I stick with Trader Joes for our budget. Oh, just thought of this: cloth diapering is a pain with the hard chlorinated water! Nellies detergent worked well though. If you end up in San Diego, I would volunteer assistance for your show 😉 hehe.

  27. We went to college in Asheville and it is truly heaven on earth! Four real seasons, unbelievable natural beauty, thriving arts scene, very cool folks abound and surrounded by amazing small towns and homesteaders! When you visit, make sure to stop by French Broad Chocolate – some of the ingredients are grown by classes at one of the local elementary schools!

    • So sweet! I heard the food in Asheville is amazing 🙂

  28. I’m always dreaming of moving! Jacksonville is so humid. Yuck. I’ve been there twice during the summer and it wasn’t nice.

  29. Hello mama natural,

    Crunchy mama here from Jacksonville, FL. I love your vlog and think you guys are awesome. Let me correct you that it gets VERY hot and humid here during the summer, but when the beach is just down the road, who cares? Right? If your kid are going to public school you definitely want to look into St. Johns county. The schools there are rated top in FL and a lot of families live in the area (we are building a house there right now). It is close to jax beach and st. Augustine beach and the house prices are very reasonable. I get local fresh organic produce delivered to my house year round and there is an awesome local grocery store called native sun that only sells organic or non gmo products. There is only one holistic pediatrician office in the area, called progressive pediatrics. They are pretty good over there. There are tons of churches so I am sure you would be able to find one you like. I hope this gives you some food for thought. Keep up the good work.

  30. N.C. Yay! We love the Smokies!

  31. Jacksonville is a wonderful city with lots to do! My husband is in the process of being medically retired from the Army and we are looking into moving to Jacksonville as well once his time is up. There is a little bit of country outside the city that we plan on nestling our own little home in and starting a big garden and getting some chickens and fun stuff like that. I can’t wait!

  32. Check out St. Augustine, Florida it’s just south of Jacksonville our counties schools rank best in Florida and they have a Public Montessori and three year round farmer’s markets.

    • Yes! Based on all the feedback, it sounds like that’s a nicer area for families than Jacksonville.

  33. We here in Florida feel for you!! I’m from Indiana raised in Destin Florida but currently live in Orlando. I would never live up north ever again once you leave you will wonder why it took so long :). I’m a lover of the ocean and if I could live anywhere it would be back in Destin in a community called “Destiny by the sea” living on the ocean is a dream of mine and a lifestyle I miss so much! Good luck with deciding where to move! 🙂

  34. Wow, I was a bit shocked to read you are planning an escape. I mean about the whole moving away bit. I just remembered you often talking about your mom being near and helping with GRiffin and also mike parents being close. I have moved around a bit too and now that I have a daughter I really miss having my mom and dad around. They come to visit as often as they can and we visit them, but having them near is different. I would just love it if they could see more of her. Same goes for long time friends that are somewhere else and are having kids now as well, we miss out on all that too. Yes, we have new friends where we live now but that is not the same. Then the other thing I thought of.. I can totally understand you being fed up with the weather, but I was thinking about your “lovey dovey video” you did with mike a few years ago, in the snow making snow angels !! So move somewhere where there still is snow, just less !! Being able to play in the snow is so awesome ! I loved it as a kid and I still love it now ! I always want to be somewhere where they have season !! I really like Williamstown Ma. Mountains, season and nice city nearby and also seashore !

    • I would miss my family something fierce! That’s why I want them to move with us… LOL! We’re going to all visit in April and see. My brother lives in Nashville so they would probably move closer to both of us if we ended up in Asheville. I don’t mind some snow… and I hear that Asheville does get some. It’s just the day after day of sub-arctic temperatures that are getting to me 🙂

      I finally made peace with winter today (on March 2!?!) as I went outside and shoveled the whole driveway, walk-way, etc. etc. It felt good and refreshing actually to be outside. I think this winter has been so hard because with a newborn, I don’t get to go outside.

  35. Great i wish i could also do this 🙂

    “In Real Life, a vlog of sorts where we look at the fun, frustration, faith and FOOD from the past week”

  36. Aww, I’m super sad! LOL, it’s silly but I just moved to Rockford, IL from Rhode Island and I have followed you for years. I seem to have so much in common with you and I’ve learned so much from your blog. We just purchased an acre “homestead” and are about to start raising chickens and possibly having a few beehives and livestock, big change!! I have always wanted to start my own blog and joked to my husband that I was excited to live close to my “blogger crush” (o: I have to chime in though and say that San Diego would be my vote! We lived there while my husband was in the Navy and it’s ahh-mazing. We always said that we understand the song “Hotel California” after living there. “You can check out any time you like but you can never leave”. We left to follow his dream and to get away from the high cost of living, but our hearts are still out there. We hope to someday end up back there! (Although someday might be when kids are grown). (= Good luck with the planning and move!

    • Oh, you’re sweet. It sounds like you have a great thing going in Rockford! Illinois has a lot to offer… I’m just looking for a change since I’ve been here so long 🙂 We shall see how it all works out. If we do end up staying here, that would be OK too 🙂

  37. We’ve lived in Germany – a dream location – for 3 years now, but after last winter being the “darkest winter in 43 years” this Texas girl is ready to get back to the sunshine!

  38. Anywhere in the whole world – I think the place that made the biggest impression on me early on was San Diego. My aunts took me to Disneyland when I was 11. I got to see the Pacific, if not dip in it, and while everyone lamented the rain, it was one of the BEST things I remember. It rained in the morning (this IS quite a while ago), and then we would go to our itinerary, and everything would be wet or damp, and that just-rained-on smell was everywhere. Wicked cool is what I would have said, as a Boston baby, Awesome as an upstate New Yorker now.

    Having been there – outside (and inside too, really) – is very rocky. I can’t imagine having to clear land to plant a simple garden. Or the heat (which has changed over the past years). Or the drought.

    The valleys in Austria are the other place I have been to visit – the first time I had ever seen someone SUNBATHE on a glacier (yes, as in – in a bikini!) while relaxing after skiing. Out doors! The green of the valleys contrasted with the glaciers in the mountains, not just beautiful, but just so moving.

    The other place you don’t want to hear about – Maine! Camping there over the years, I have an appreciation for winter like never before. I loved winter growing up. The quiet. The snow. The cold. Looking at all three from a house warmed by a wood stove. But knowing NOW that winter is the season for everything – and everyone – to rest, it is a reminder that _I_ need to rest too, and that means from the craziness that I would normally instill on our schedule. Being home. Going out into the cold world to run, hop, roll, and more is so very healthy for my boys. And they remind me of that every time they are cooped up, and once they get out there, everything evens out.

    Knowing what Maine is like, my next place to visit would be Nova Scotia. The land of ancient relatives and distant family connections, as well as beautiful places and so much to just BE in, not just see.

    No other places have called to me like these.

    • Wow, Michele. You’ve said some things that resonate with me. May I ask where you are in upstate NY? I’m in Ithaca. I would tend to move north, not south, and I love Maine and NS. That’s where we honeymooned. One of the best times of my life. And I hear you about feeling Winter. A time to rest, to get into my own roots, to feel cozy and revel in in it. To breathe that fresh, cold, clean air. To know that Mother Earth is sleeping, resting and all will be well according to the seasons. Winter used to be last on my season list. Now I have a deep appreciation for it.


  39. I grew up 45 minutes from Asheville, my family still lives in Rutherfordton, NC and I have quite a few friends in Asheville! (I’m currently in Wichita, KS) It is beautiful, to say the least. Right at the Blue Ridge Parkway, Biltmore House, lots of crunchy people 🙂 But…..I’d suggest moving right outside Asheville (Black Mountain or so) since main Asheville can be a bit crowded 🙂 So many great little towns around. And Boone, NC is beautiful and quaint as well but gets more snow/colder temps. Seriously, if you moved there I would HAVE to come see you while visiting family (and bring all my other MamaNatural fan friends that live in the area, with me) 🙂 There’s something wonderful about growing up in the mountains (or living there).

  40. Hi Genevieve,
    I am really enjoying your new series! I live in Alaska and you are more than welcome to send that weather up here…it’s 40 degrees (ick!) and all the snow is melting. The entire winter has been like that, so it has been depressing! Our wish is to relocate to Sandpoint in northern Idaho. Absolutely gorgeous!

    Best wishes,

  41. Asheville! That’d be so exciting for me if you moved there! I live in China now, but I grew up just outside of Asheville, NC and come home to visit every year or two. GreenLife and EarthFare are happy places for me there! A lot of the grocery stores, like Ingles, have a pretty good selection of health food options as well. 🙂

    Charleston, SC is also a lovely place to live! I spent my first 8 years of life there. And there’s a really GREAT church there called New Day.

    • I love Charleston… probably a little too hot for me in the summers though 🙂

  42. All this talk about cities, and I would only want to move away from a city! We currently live 30 min from a decent city, and sometimes I feel like we’re too close! We want to homestead and currently are working on trning our 4 acres into one. 🙂 something about cities and the lack of self sustainability makes me anxious. I think I’m slowly turning into a prepper 😛

  43. My husband and I hit our breaking point and made our big move in June – from Santa Barbara, CA (obviously it wasnt the weather that made us feel the need to get out, it was the cost of living and love of seasons) to Bend, OR. God totally provided for us with a stellar job and a healthy pregnancy (both came after we made the decision and started packing up). I encourage you to be bold and prayerful in your choice, we’ve never been happier. P.S. Bend, Oregon is pretty great!

  44. I knew you were going to say Asheville.. It is amazing.
    We’ve been here for two years after living in Colorado for 5. We felt like the Lord was calling us to come back. (we lived here when we dated). Several of our friends (natural & spiritually minded) all decided to move here around the same time. We all love it and are setting down our roots. A visit would show you the flash–lots of localvore restaurants, outdoor rec (hiking, tons of waterfalls, parkway, wild food abundance, rolling mountainside) always people milling about on the streets. plenty of breweries, CSA’s farmers markets, 7+ health food stores, Arts and traditional crafts galore, great activities for kids, families, etc… But if you’d ask me (and I guess in a round about way you did) the best thing about Asheville is the amazing natural/spiritual community that takes place in between these secluded mountains. Lots of people visit and have a wonderful time, but the community aspect is definitely one of top reasons for loving Asheville.

  45. I am a New England girl. I have lived in Maine my ENTIRE life. I am not a big fan of bitter cold weather, but I still would love to live in Washington some day! Just outside Seattle would be ideal for me and my husband. Being in Maine, the closest Trader Joe’s is about 45 minutes to an hour away. I have to get my organic and local foods from the “General Store” down the road, but organic fruits and veggies are limited in this environment right now.

    I love the new format of the show! Even my toddler loves to watch with me. <3

  46. I’ve lived in the Carolinas or Florida my whole life. Asheville is beautiful. However, Florida is where it’s at. The east coast of Florida is hot though. The gulf coast, like Sarasota is comfortable year-round, gulf breezes, etc. There’s a lot of farmy stuff going on east of I-75.
    We love it here. It’s the most beautiful place we have ever lived. The scenery is amazing. The west side of Jacksonville is ideal as well. Some parts of the city are very high crime though. Their restaurant scene seems to be picking up with more organic options and traditional options like foods fried in animal fat.
    The biggest beauty of Florida: no state income taxes. If you have any questions about the area, feel free to email me.

  47. This was a great episode! I live about 2 hrs. up the Michigan coast line from you. Most of the time I love the weather and love being relatively close to family. However, the last half of February and the last half of July I get extremely worn out physically and emotionally from the extremes in weather. I was okay until today when I realized that the 10 day forcast doesn’t have any days getting above 25 degrees. For some reason I thought March would come and it would get warm! It always helps me to realize that I am not the only mama stuck inside.

  48. I am a Florida girl but currently live in Charlotte, NC for the past 2 years and are loving it. You would love Asheville where you have the mountains and the seasons and the fall weather. Your also not to far away from the coast either. Florida doesn’t allow you to experience the mountains, the seasons or fall leaves. Although you would have the best beaches and Disney 🙂

  49. Hi! I live in the happiest place in the world Anaheim CA but can’t stop thinking about home! Missing family!

  50. You should seriously consider moving to Portland, Oregon. Mild weather year-round, surrounded by mountains and forests ….

  51. I live in Portland, Oregon and it’s the perfect place for a crunchy mama. If I wanted more sun, I would live in Bend, Oregon. Boulder or Fort Collins, CO are also high on my list.

  52. Yes, we’re so over this winter too. We live in ND my husband is AD Air Force so we’re stationed here and this winter has been extremely long and bitterly cold, in December we reached wind chills of -72F and this morning when I left to go to work it was -13F ambient, not including the wind-chill. My husband has been deployed for 6 months so that just makes winter even more annoying. We dream of moving to NC or Washington State, Colorado used to be our number 1 choice, but not anymore since many things have changed there.

  53. I live in Jacksonville and it is verrrrry hot most of the year and we have the added benefit of it being extremely humid basically year round to the point that basically from March until December you walk outside and instantly bead up with moisture and sweat. I have lived here since I was a toddler and I have never gotten used to it.

  54. I was born in Canada, spent my growing years in Colorado, and thanks to my Army husband, have spent time in Georgia, Alabama, Hawaii and now KOREA! I do love warm weather, though I miss the seasons sometimes. I’d suggest North Carolina, so you get the best of both worlds. Buuut crunchy-wise, the South isn’t as friendly. Though we’re trying!

  55. Wow! A move is big news! I live in St. Paul, Minnesota and MAN this winter has been tough!! It didn’t get above 0 today and I don’t even want to look at the windchill. Brrr… We are here so my husband can get his PhD from the U of M but are also hoping to move after he graduates. Have you guys considered the southwest? We lived in Santa Fe for four years and it was lovely. Over 300 sunny days a year is hard to beat and there is a huge community of crunchy mamas too 🙂 Hang in there with the cold!

  56. After a brutal winter in the north east in 2009, I graduated from midwifery school and moved to Guam, a tropical island in the pacific. I worked at a free standing birth center and became a seasoned midwife. I met the man of my dreams, married him, and gave birth to my son Julius. Then, I was done with the heat, humidity, and tiny town politics. So, we moved to Denver. We LOVE it here. Sunshine 300 days a year, mild winter days (60 degrees today). It’s a family friendly city, but small enough to keep prices down, although word is getting out that Denver is the place to be.

  57. My husband and I just moved to our dream city Durango, CO. Having moved from Atlanta, I suggest you’d like Asheville much better than Jacksonville… but with the lowest obesity rate in the country, you can’t beat life in Colorado 🙂

  58. Living in France or Italy for a few years would be fun! Colorado would be cool too.

    We’re in sunny ca and love it! Good luck deciding on the move! Not sure about NC or FL but San Diego has lots of natural minded businesses which is nice.

  59. P.S. What you said about self-destructive eating.. can you please do a video on this and what you did that actually fixed it? The deeper issues… the new replacement habits, whatever it was. I’d really appreciate it.

  60. Aw, that makes me sad. I just moved to Chicago in November and let me just say this has NOT been the warm welcome I was expecting. I knew winters would be tough but this is insane. Feels like we are entering an ice age. I too have already contemplated moving which sucks as we put so much effort into moving here in the first place! Let me know where you end up deciding. Asheville and San Diego were also on our lists!

  61. I have always wanted to live in Asheville! You would love it! We are military so we can’t settle down just yet but it is a perfect place for natural, crunchy mamas like us! It is a little hippie-ish and welcoming to people who live a bit outside the box and also to church goers. Plus it’s beautiful and got that Southern charm. I’m a mountains gal, myself. I vote Asheville!

  62. LOVE this series! I love when you talk about food too! My husband and I from California. Just two hours north of San diego! We live in Utah right now for school, but as soon as we are done we want to be back in California. We actually want to settle down in San Diego too! Make sure you look at the suburbs, like carlsbad, and oceanside. They tend to be cheaper than San Diego! Good luck!

  63. I’m so such of this Chicago winter, too!

  64. If I could live anywhere in the world it would be Korea 🙂 I lived in Seoul, South Korea about ten years ago for six months, working as an English teacher, and what can I say – Koreans have stolen my heart! I’m currently working towards my TEFL qualification, so hopefully at some point in the future I can move back for real. The food, the people, the colours, the freshness of nature, the unbelievably adorable kids, the creativity and the faith of the Korean peninsula is just overwhelmingly moving, exciting and awesome!! KOREA ROCKS 😀

  65. Love Asheville! There is so much to do there and it’s beautiful. Our family moved from Oklahoma to South Carolina this year, mostly to be closer to family – but I’ll admit the warmer weather was a big draw too!

  66. I went to college in san diego. I like it, but it is trafficky, touristy, and expensive. I grew up in so. cal. I don’t recommend it. it is wall to wall suburbs from the border of mexico, 5 hours up to ventura, and hours inland. I like the idea of Asheville, though I’ve never been there. the pic looked nice.

  67. CARRBORO, NORTH CAROLINA (next to Chapel Hill)

    -super crunchy
    -low cost of living!!
    -farmer’s market, thrift shop, local co-op
    -bike paths everywhere and FREE public transport on hybrid buses
    -progressive and multicultural (thanks to UNC)
    -FREE wifi at all businesses (great for doing work at the cafe!)
    -great restaurants in Chapel Hill
    -lakes, trails, tons of green spaces, farms
    -3 hrs from the mountains (Asheville), and 3 hrs from the beach
    -20 minutes to Research Triangle Park (tons of IT companies for your hubby)
    -good public schools and lots of other educational options – montessori, waldorf, homeschooling, unschooling – you name it!
    -all types of churches and faiths

    I found this website when we were looking for places to move (from Boston) 3 yrs ago and it had me sold. We have never looked back!!!

    • hey! this is where my friend I mentioned above actually lives. Hubs works in Chapel Hill.


  68. Genevieve,

    Get the book Strategic Relocation by Joel Scousen before you decide to move anywhere.

    God bless,

    Sister in Christ in N.E. WI

  69. You will love Asheville! I live 2 hours away and it is Very mama natural friendly, with lots of creative restaurants.

    Also have a friend who is a medical resident who exclusively pumps for her baby, who is now 7 months old. She is my rockstar inspiration, considering all that she does both for her work and her family.

  70. We want to move to San Diego too, but for now we live in Northern California (which I feel blessed to live and grow up in.) Mendocino County is beautiful, very seasonal, small, and has awesome communities full of “natural folk”, plus an amazing natural foods co-op which blows TJ’s out of the water. Sonoma County is right below Mendo County and is beautiful as well if you are more into a city vibe.
    I was wondering if there was a co-op where you live and do you ever shop there? Good luck with your plans, it’s very exciting!

  71. Yay for Jacksonville! We live in Pensacola and though we did get a few frozen days, it is wonderful most of the time. 🙂 My vote is for Florida, that way I can come visit 😉
    I grew up in Ohio, so I know what you may be feeling. Even though I love it there, Im not sure I could ever go back after all this warm weather, it changes you! Keep FL on the prayer list. 🙂

  72. I vote you move to either Jacksonville or Ashville… because I am certainly partial to the East coast! I went to Flagler College, so St. Augustine/Jacksonville was my stomping ground for four years, and I still LOVE visiting there–it is so enchanting and always revives me.

    I totally get Ashville, as well, because currently I live in the North Georgia mountains–gorgeous!

    The important thing is to go where God leads, of course. Wherever you end up, may His blessings go with you, Mama Natural family!

  73. Mama~~~I totally hear you about moving (also a mid west girl ) but sheesh this winter has been crazzzzzy !!!!!
    Also can you PLEASEEEEEE share YOUR personal hair care regim ??? You have amazing hair perhaps even do a quick video!?! I am in my 2 nd pregnancy and man it’s seen better days – but your hair seems to be great during and after yor pregnancy! Please please share!!! Thank you in advance and bless you and your sweet family!!!

    • I second that request!

      I’ve been asking Mama Natural to share her hair care secrets for a long time! 😉

  74. We’re in Lancaster, PA now, but in the midst of a move to Florida! I’d love to see you move down that way!! I saw Monica is also in Lancaster. It is a mixed bag to me- lots of great things regarding real food and things like midwifery… I delivered 3 of my 4 babies in the middle of Amish country at a free-standing birth center and it was such a joy! But, Lancaster and I have a love-hate relationship… Lots of people here are natives, which I am not, and that makes for a tough time making new friends, etc. Anyway, I’d much rather see you move to Florida with us… St. Petersburg!! My husband has had a great time meeting lots of interesting and friendly people! I’m still getting acquainted with what will be available to us down there, but I think it will be great based on my previous visits for work in the Tampa Bay area before I had kids, and more recently with my husband for his interviews and new job.

  75. We just moved from San Diego to Rhode Island (thanks a lot Marine Corps) and let me tell ya, I MISS SD TERRIBLY! There was great weather year round and even on the few days when being outdoors just isn’t ideal, there are TONS of kid friendly indoor hang outs! It was great I loved it!

  76. Love the new format! Although, I miss the pregnancy and postpartum updates because your adorable daughter and my adorable daughter were born a day apart, so we were always on the same page 🙂 Your posts are always so insightful and helpful. Thank you!!
    I exclusively pumped for my older daughter for a year; it was hard but I am glad she benefited from my breast milk even though it wasn’t straight from the tap! Thankfully, my 3 month old daughter and I have been successfully breast feeding from day one.
    I am a New Yorker and will probably never move out the state, but if I did I would consider the Seattle.

  77. I have lived in Asheville, NC for the past 12 years and l absolutely love it! It’s also a perfect place to combine culture, community, and natural living!! Come here!!! Love your blog!!

  78. My family an I lived in Jacksonville Florida for five years. We loved it. Sunny everyday, it rains ounces a day, a short shower to keep everything green. Tons to do there and beaches are nice. I would love to move to North Carolina though, just for experience.

  79. I just moved back to Florida (grew up in Tampa) from Chicago and I miss the city so much, but I definitely don’t miss the cold. My parents lived in NC for some time and I loved visiting them. God’s country for sure and you’re just a short flight to Chicago. I lived in Oregon for a couple of years, and it’s quite beautiful,
    but a super long flight back east. Good luck with everything! Love your blog!!!

  80. Hi Genevieve!

    Love your videos and your messages! They are totally in line with the way my husband and I strive to live. Why not consider Denver, CO?! We moved here 7 months ago from Alabama both born and raised in Mississippi and live in the lower highlands and are grateful everyday for the abundance that we have here. (Intelligent systems, healthy living, easy access to healthy food, creative and brilliant friends….the list goes on and on) I was worried about the weather bc I love the warm weather too but…I can say without a doubt even in the dead of winter it is beautiful here. I think we get 300 days of sunshine and the dry air tempers the cold. Thanks for all you do! I’ve so enjoy learning from you.

    With gratitude,
    Mary Catherine

  81. Does anyone else have trouble moving away from family? We live outside of Austin right now, but we constantly dream of moving to the mountains. Asheville, Boulder, COSTA RICA! Alas, I have an awesome family here, and it saddens me to think of seeing them only a couple (few?) times a year. I’m really, really, really working on the whole “grow where you are planted” thing…

    • Yes, I like being close to family too. My brother is in Nashville so Asheville would actually be closer than where we are now. I told my parents that they must move with us. LOL! We’ll see if they go for it 🙂

    • Oh, and Michael’s family are more than welcome to join us too! The more the merrier 🙂

      • Funny you say this b/c the friends I mentioned who moved to NC did bring her parents with her. They are a very happy unit and she couldn’t imagine being w/o them. They are a huge support for her. Everyone uprooted yet all were on board and ready to make a change. It can happen at 40 and 70!

  82. Asheville is wonderful. We live about 25 mins from there, and we love this area!

  83. I live a little less than two hours from Asheville, just over in Tennessee. Asheville is like a small but big city. It is very crunchy as well. The only thing I don’t like there is the traffic! But compared to Chicago, not a big deal. It is an affordable place to live, has a walking downtown, great things to do outdoors and is absolutely gorgeous. And you would only be 3-4 hours from the Atlantic and some beautiful beaches. Someone mentioned that they don’t have trader joes, which is true. They have Earth Fare which I love to shop and eat at. They do have Aldis which is owned by the same company as trader joes and is now carrying organic products.

    I also love Northern California. I have in-laws that love in Eureka. It is right on the coast, has mild weather year round, and very natural crunchy community in Arcata. They are in the redwoods which are spectacular. The area is very focused on natural loving, local businesses (Arcata does not allow any chain stores in their city). But the cost of loving is much higher there.

    I am currently living in my dream location in northeast Tennessee. we are in the smoky mountains, surrounded by trees and hills. I love it here. It isn’t perfect, I wish we had different stores, or more restaurants, but I can live without those things. Our family moved here, and then we did. My kids have their grandparents and cousins, I have beautiful scenery and have made great friends as well.

    • Asheville actually just got a Trader Joe’s last year. 🙂

    • Wow, sounds beautiful where you live! Lovely to be near family too 🙂

      I love the Bay area but it’s a fortune! I’ve never seen the redwoods… on my list of things to see for sure.

  84. I have heard great things about Ashville, NC. I live in Seattle, which is great, but I would LOVE to live in Portland, OR, or some of the smaller cities in Oregon. If you guys are willing to move that far from your parents (which can be tough with two little ones), I love the atmosphere and communities in Portland. Even though it does snow on occasion, it is nothing like what the midwest experiences even during mild winters, plus many areas of Oregon are surprisingly sunny and warm year round. 🙂

  85. I totally agree with you about this winter! We are in MN and are so OVER this polar vortex thing! So much so that we’re also discussing moving in the next couple years. We’ve talked about Ft Worth, TX, Charleston,SC & Denver, CO. I used to love being inside where it’s warm during the winter, but being trapped inside with an infant because it’s too cold to take them out is a whole different story (mine is 9 months old). Amazing how that happens, isn’t it? All I know is, spring had better come soon. I am going positively stir crazy!

    • No doubt! And spring better be good to us… we’ve earned it 🙂 I love Charleston btw. Great town!

  86. I’m from St. Augustine, Florida (about 45 mins from Jacksonville) and absolutely adore the area. It has a million things to do but also some not so good areas, pretty much like any city I guess. I highly recommend the World Golf Village area. Great schools and things for kids as well as a short drive to either Jax or St. Augustine. Ponte Vedra is also really nice! My husband is military so we are currently in Colorado now, and I totally get what you mean about the cold! We were both raised in FL and miss it immensely! Can’t wait to get back one day.

    • So many people are saying St. Augustine and/or Ponte Verda are better than JAX for family, etc. Will have to look into.

  87. I would have to agree with all these Oregon recommendations. I was born in western Washington and and now living in southern Oregon. So much natural beauty around here and we have seasons but nothing too extreme.

    • Yes, and I’ve heard that So. Oregon is sunnier.

  88. We LOVE Asheville, NC! We honeymooned in the Smoky Mountains and spent a few days in Asheville. Everyone is just walking around in this high-altidue blissful state! Very artsy town with lots to do, but still has a smaller town vibe. AND THE MOUNTAINS! We have dreams of moving there one day as well, I really recommend a family vacation to go check it out.
    Love the new show layout… I’m a FTM at at 37 1/2 weeks. Love your blog 🙂

    • WOO HOO! You’re getting so close! How exciting, mama! Hope you’re feeling great. Thanks for sharing your take on Asheville. Can’t wait to see it!

  89. Tennessee or Texas, hands down! I’ve been living in the Pacific NW for about 5 years now, and like you, am SO OVER the cold! I was born and raised in Texas and absolutely love the sunshine and heat, but have also lived in TN where you get a bit more of fall and spring. My husband and I have also been talking about moving and hopefully will within the next 3 – 5 years. Good for you for making the move! I hear NC is absolutely fabulous 🙂

    • My brother is in Nashville… great city! I love Austin too! Lots of crunchies there.

      • I say live were there is family near by. I am a big fan of kids living near there extended family

        • I also love small farm towns where you can get lots of fresh fruits and veggies from your neighbors. I also love the towns with the Amish as your neighbors because you can get some great stuff at there stores. I have never lived in a place like this but my in laws do and when we visit there farm I love it.

  90. I’ve been saying I want to move to Oregon-where the crunchy people are and there are more things to enjoy with my children. But, since I am originally from a town right next to Asheville, NC…..and you think it’s great enough to consider, maybe that’s where I should daydream about! 🙂

  91. My husband and I lived in DC for 4 years and didn’t like it at all. We looked at a map and choose Knoxville, TN out of anywhere in the country. We had never been came out one weekend and bought a house and absolutely LOVE this city. A HUGE natural community (blueberry diapers were started here), CSA options, raw milk farms, an amazing farmers market, awesome churches, and the Smokey Mountains are a quick 30 minute drive. Actually Knoxville is only 1.5 hours away from Asheville, NC 🙂 Oh yes and there are TONS of lakes around too. My husband is from MI and grew up with his front yard as Lake Michigan so he wanted lots of boating water for our kids. You should come check it out 🙂 Good luck on your journey.

    • Sounds like a great place! Will have to read up on. Thanks!

  92. Boise, Idaho! It’s super cheap to live here, surrounded by mountains in a Valley, and there are opportunities here that you just don’t have anywhere else in the country. Great, beautiful, and friendly place to raise a family, I love it.

    • I read that Boise is a really special town. Will have to check it out. Thanks for reminder!

      • I second boise idaho and it’s surrounding towns like meridian! It’s very close to the mountains and there are lots of outdoor activities available! Not only that but it was also voted in the top 10 or 20 cities to raise a family in America :)) you can also get raw milk delivered to your house if you live in the right area 😀

  93. What about northen California? The weather is a little more seasonal but cost of living is amazing! I live in Chico which is about as crunchy as it gets! We are about an hour north of Sacramento and a quick plane ride away from San Diego. I’m just sayin’!

    • Yes! NorCal is the best! We’re near sactown and love it! It’s the farm to fork capital of the country plus we have access to some excellent sustainable farms where we get pastured meats and raw dairy from a herd share.

  94. Hi. I love your blog! I live in Tallahassee Florida and have a sister who has lived in both Jacksonville Florida and St. Augustine Florida. If i remember correctly, the school system in St. Augustine is better than in Jax. I pesonally prefer St. Aug to Jax as well just because it isn’t quite so big and is a prettier city. Plus, it’s the oldest city in America. There are really cool historical sites to see there. I am originally from the central Illinois area about 3 hours south of Chicago and have been living in Tallahassee for 10 years now. I will never go back to living up north and dealing with those kind of winters. It gets into the 20’s a few times a year here and doesn’t snow. Also, Tallahassee is the place the rest of the state runs to when a hurricane is pointed at them. They don’t really land here often. They do hit the Jax and St. Aug area however. I hope it warms up for you soon. My in-laws are still in Illinois. Incidentally, we also had our second child last November, about 2 weeks before you had yours. Keep up the fantastic blog 🙂

  95. Come live in Boulder. Four distinct seasons, beautiful mountains, loads of sunshine, pretty snow flurries that are fun to enjoy but not so overwhelming! Plus we just got a Trader Joes! Lots of natural mamas too!

    And goodness, that dinosaur is precious!! Where did you get the costume?

  96. I am living in my happy place, Ithaca, NY. Its an incredible college town with deep open-mindedness, natural beauty and family resources. Also fairly affordable. Not perfect, no place is yet I feel truly at home here. Such a good feeling. I’m a born and bred New Yorker from right above Manhattan, with a short stint -and growing away from mom’s apron strings, in FL. No offense, Florida, I am a 4-season girl and we are way too culturally different. I probably sound like a snob. I’m sorry if that is so. I like to visit and that’s my limit.

    When husband and I were looking for a place out of Westchester we had a list of criteria which I am sure you do, too, or are in the midst of creating. It helped us greatly in our search and Ithaca answered all of them. But now I have to let go of any dream of you moving to our state. 🙂

    Continuing, if Ithaca didn’t find us, we were seriously looking at both Portlands-OR and ME. I would vote for Oregon for you, and Eugene is just great. Progressive! I like that. One of our crunchy tribe who has SAD finally moved to NC over a year ago b/c the northern darkness was really getting to her. She too needed a southern clime. She was DONE with NY winters. I think they moved to Chapel Hill. If you want more info please contact me. She’d be a great resource of what works and what doesn’t.

    My fun, funky cousin loved Santa Fe and I think she’s till be there if not for a family job move. She loves Cincinnati and apparently it offers quite a lot culturally, but that’s not part of your criteria or else I’d suggest it.

    Separately, I miss your theme music and the updates of families who are birthing their way and all that, & when you sat at the table with the mug and the backdrop. That being said, the website looks more polished than ever and you’re all growing by leaps and bounds. Change happens! I’m happy to be here for the ride. Oh, and, Griffin as the mama dinosaur just knocked me out. He’s doing such good in the world. Well done.

  97. I’m from Jacksonville, FL and lived there for about 15 years till the Navy brought us to VA. It’s a great place to live. My favorite areas to live in are Mandarin, Jullington Creek, Southside, and Oak Leaf Plantation. It has gotten crunchier over the years and there are several weekly farmers markets, a birth center, lots of doulas, and a whole foods. There are parks to play at, good libraries, the St. John’s towncenter for shopping, and the beach is a short drive. We hope to get back there some day, the VA weather (although more mild than IL) is still pretty cold for this FL girl! Would be more than happy to give you any first hand info if you do decide to check out Jax! ; )

  98. My husband and I moved from Los Angeles to Nashville, TN just over 3 years ago. We LOVE it here. We wanted to live in an area with 4 season. Nashville has 4 mild seasons which we love. I don’t think I could handle a ton of snow, but the weather in L.A. is SO boring. Sorry, but I was born and raised in So Cal so I guess the grass is always greener lol.

  99. We live in Asheville and LOVE it!!! We have been here for about a year and a half. Asheville has a great local food movement as well as a ton of like minded individuals when it comes natural health. It also has an unlimited amount of outdoor activities from mountain biking to rock climbing and waterfalls, you name it. Great place to live!! We are originally from Michigan and have to say sometimes we do miss the snow although it did snow here this winter. But a week later it was in the 60’s!!

  100. Can you show us how to eat natural on a really tight budget, and how to get picky eater to eat it. I would love to get my family to eat natural but money is really tight around my house.

  101. If I had to pick a different place to live I would pick Nampa, ID. Right Now I live in New Mexico, and I LOVE the weather. Its almost always sunny, cost of living is cheap, and the snow isnt too bad in the city I live in. ABQ, NM has good clean air and a lot of places to hike around.

  102. ok that sounded really desperate, the thing is that in the US since the food industry situation is more grave, there are also more resources, more companies selling good products. Sadly many of these companies don’t ship to Italy/Europe and I read about all these fabulous alternatives to the crappy food/beauty products etc but cannot get them! Plus, a very frustrating thing is this idea that I’ve seen several times on the real for blogs that Europe is some sort of real food Heaven. It is not. The animals we eat are fed Monsanto corn and soy. Vegetable oils all over the place. MSG, HFCS, you name it, we have it. Maybe there are less toxic things like the yoga mat chemical that the Food Babe has been talking a lot about recently, but it isn’t much better than that. Plus, a few months ago Europe was forced to allow the planting and growing go GMO’s, so there you have it, we’re set up for disaster. Anyway, you guys could come and help me reform Italy 🙂
    Where I live it doesn’t get THAT cold in the winter, and it is very beautiful…

    • Not all of Europe is the same though. I recently read some statistics that Austrians spend about three times as much (on average) on organic food than the European average, which is why you find more organic products in Austrian supermarkets. There are also many different resources for “good” products, you just have to search for them. There are probably different companies in each European country, so the search may be a little more complicated, but I’m sure you can find some if you really try.

  103. I feel like this winter in Chicago is driving us away, too! I feel like we have spent almost all winter indoors and it had really taken a toll on me physically and emotionally. I am an outside kid! Not to mention my 3yo is just beyond bored. We are from the Pacific Northwest and this winter has really ramped up our efforts to get back there…I don’t think the rain and occasional cold streak ever kept us cooped up for even close to this long!

  104. Ashville is so great! about an hour away is the upstate of SC and it is great there too!
    Greenville has a great mix of a small city and country all in one. The Biltmoore is awesome to see in Ashville, and explore an hour or so around the are and see what you think ; )
    one day we will move from the crazy MD/VA/DC traffic and head that way ourselves. We want a farm and more “simple” or unplugged life for our kids.

  105. Asheville is one of our favorite cities! We actually went there last weekend, we live in Huntersville, NC, next to Charlotte. It’s such a wonderful place, the people are great and food is great! We go back and forth if we’d like to move to Asheville one day. It’s a little out of our price range at the moment, but at least we’re still able to visit often. You get the seasons too, but not as extreme as say where you live. I’m a west coast girl and I have to admit, I love living in the seasons now. My body and soul feels better with seasons.

    Oh one bad thing about Asheville…no Trader Joes!! They have EarthFare, which is great, but not as affordable as TJ.

  106. Hi mama natural! First, I have to tell you, Jacksonville, Florida is mildly entertaining at best, and lots of areas are actually pretty scary and not fun. Asheville is super fun and gorgeous! But, I think the other place you and Mike really need to consider is Austin, Texas!

    Just my two cents 🙂

  107. We traveled to North Carolina last summer and loved it (near Jacksonville).
    But, I really wish we would have visited there this winter instead! We live in WI and this weather is ridiculous! On the news this morning they shared it has been below freezing 91% of the time since Dec 1! And today we tied the record (48 days!) for most days below zero in one winter! We’re also nearing the record for more days below -10 as well. I’ve had it too, but we will most likely live here forever. Good luck in your decision! I love watching your videos.

  108. I recommend doing mass quantities of tomatoes when they are in season…then can them in mason jars with a little lemon juice….no metallic taste….no nasty chemicals and they can be straight from your garden..

  109. I would love to live in Paris.

    • Amazing city! Too much bread in the cuisine though (at least the places we went to eat). I’m sure the fancy places have incredible food but was a little disappointed with the restaurants we went to as I had such high expectations.

  110. Oh Genevieve, please come live in Italy!!! PLEEEEEASE!!! I need some help with this real food thing, and I am SO alone!!!

    • Aww… that’s gotta be tough! You’re a pioneer 🙂

  111. Love this! My husband and I are military and have lived all over the place, including both Jacksonville and San Diego. I have to say, San Diego is my favorite place I’ve ever been to! Such a huge “natural” community there. You have both the beach and the mountains within a 20 minute drive, and the micro-climate can’t be beat!

    • I follow their weather on my phone and it’s literally 70 degree year round?!? Amazing!

  112. Love this new series!

    My husband and I along with our 11month old girl are about to move to knoxville, TN. I understand your need for escape.

    Let me highly recommend Asheville to you. It is so beautiful and is the pulse of the local good movement. In addition there are soo many activities to do along with 4 mild seasons. The blue ridge section of the Appalachian mtns are wonderful. Definitely worth a long weekend visit. Love the Biltmore estate too.

    • Silly iPhone autocorrect! “Local FOOD movement”. 😉

    • Good for you! I’ve heard Knoxville is darling. So excited to visit Asheville now!

  113. Oh I have to agree the recommendation for Oregon. I grew up in the Pacific NW and it’s a total haven for natural mamas. You literally cannot beat the natural surroundings. Oregon/Washington Coast, Columbia River Gorge, Cascade Mountains, Puget Sound . . . it’s beautiful. All of it.

    If you gotta have a city, then ok, maybe Portland. Although I think Eugene or Bend would be preferable for weather and your eco-friendly lifestyle. Even living near San Diego for 5 years couldn’t convert me from my Oregon loving roots. I loved San Diego too, but it was incredibly expensive and I miss seasons.

    I cried tears of joy to move back to Oregon. I also traveled to Boulder, CO this past summer and fell in love! Reminded me a lot of my favorite parts of Oregon but with more sunshine and close to Denver for your city fix. I think Oregon and Colorado should make it onto your list. Oh, there’s a house for sale in my neighborhood in the Willamette Valley. Come be my neighbor Genevieve! That would make my decade! 🙂

    • Ohh, I love the the Willamette Valley!! It’s so pretty there.

    • Aw, you’re so nice! I’d love to have some crunchy neighbors 🙂 I went to college in Boulder… isn’t it an awesome little town? LOVE IT! Pricey to live there though. We actually considered Bend pretty seriously last year but it does get a little too cold for me. LOL! This winter has been mild for them but last year was REALLY cold. Maybe it was just a fluke? Seems like a great town though too!

      • Bend does get snow, but not all that often. I lived there for several years and the long warm summers more than make up for the cold during the winter. You should definitely visit there though, such a sweet little town with lots of fun activities to do. And SO close to the mountains!

  114. TOTALLY loved this. I pumped for a while since my second little evil genius was born – it is not easy to pump, whether it’s multiple times a day, or just once a day, so hats off to YOU! Best of luck–and your kids are VERY cute. :):):)

  115. I am heading to Jacksonville, North Carolina this summer! Ive never been but I hope its beautiful like Ashville! I did live in San Diego, CA and it was gorgeous! I really don’t want to leave but my husbands job calls! You could always live outside of San Diego like the surrounding coastal cities like Vista, Temecula, Fallbrook ect. San DIego really is a great place to raise kids. I found being “natural” is totally normal there and most moms breastfeed and baby wear. There is also an abundance of produce and farmers markets and your garden can go year round!

    • Amelia is correct. By moving a bit out of San Diego proper, you can save considerably. I live in Temecula, which is Southern California wine country. We have wineries, balloon rides (and an entire festival once a year dedicated to balloons), golf courses, lots of city-sponsored events, antique shopping, and the local native American run casino with lots of restaurants and entertainment. We also have an awesome organic grocery store, a TJs, Sprouts, and a couple farmer’s markets.

      Without traffic, you can be in San Diego in 45 minutes, or in Orange County in about an hour. We are surrounded by beautiful mountains and desert hills. Housing is MUCH cheaper here than SD and you can find homes in a residential neighborhood where every home is on half an acre, or you can opt for an easier to tend to tract home, where the lots are smaller. You can live on acreage in the wine country, or in an apartment. We’ve got it all. We also have a wonderful Christian community with lots of churches to choose from and Christian schools as well. Although our public schools are pretty darn good here, too.

      Sure, there are other places I dream about living, but I have it pretty darn good right here!

    • I know! I can’t even imagine going to the Farmer’s Market YEAR ROUND! What a gift!

      • I’m loving your new IRL vlog! I’ve been following you since I was pregnant with my 3rd boy 3 years ago, and was pregnant with my Livi Grace along with you in your pregnancy with sweet Paloma.
        I really love your insight and format, and especially your heart to help move natural living more into mainstream, while including God in the process. Thank you for that!
        I grew up in Temecula, just over an hour north (inland) from downtown SD and spent the better part of 30 years there. My hubby grew up in San Diego. We now (for the last 3 years) live just outside of Austin, TX. We moved here to get away from some things going on in California that we felt were not going to be good for our family long term. We still have family in CA, and it is a GREAT place to vacation, but in my opinion, not the best place to live. It is cheaper to live outside of SD, like others have posted, but the weather is a lot different, so there is that to consider. Temecula gets very hot in the summer (110 degrees is not unheard of), it is essentially the desert. It is dry heat so won’t get the humidity that you probably have in the midwest. We love Austin, but whenever we are homesick my husband and I both say we would live in SD if we ever moved back…but we’d definitely have to homeschool, and come into a windfall! 🙂 Good luck on your search for a new home! God will lead you to where he wants to use you next…I’ll be praying for you in that.

  116. Love this update!!!! I meant to post my suggestion last week: I really love the grocery store haul, and when you guys talk about your meals. Always nice for ideas! 🙂 Ummm, that video of G & P!! He’s a mama dinosaur. Absolutely precious!!! And, my vote would be for Portland, Oregon! We moved here from Indiana about 2 years ago and love it. It’s an amazing city to be a crunchy family in. It’s great for children, has access to the ocean, is an hour from the mountains, and is so mild all year. The rain thing is myth we tell people to keep them away, ha. It’s so beautiful!! Wishing you luck on choosing a place. Moving across the country can be hard, but when you find your place, you’ll know!!

    • Yes, Portland totally rocks! Been here for 7 years and it rains less and less. Yet it’s green and the summer is beautfiul!

    • I’m going to have to second Portland. It seems like a great fit for the natural family. Or Marin County in California- right next to SF. Talk about access to interesting and diverse cultural experiences! You might not like San Diego. I moved there in college thinking it would be amazing, but it wasn’t a good fit for me. Maybe it was the area I lived in, but culture of the city seemed to be more “designer and clubbing” than “eco friendly” or natural. There’s nothing natural about all those miles of green lawns in a drought year!

    • Thanks Rayvn! So glad you LOVE where you live… what a gift. I like the NW too… it’s just really far for some family. We shall see. I like how you said “you’ll know.” 🙂 I’m gonna take lots of pictures of what we eat this week AND a grocery run for next episode 🙂

      • Portland is AWESOME!!! We moved here from California a while back, and have fallen in love with this place. Mild winters (in the 40’s-50’s usually) and there really isn’t a lot of rain. The summers are absolutely perfect, and are all about sun, water sports, hiking, beaches, bike riding, eating at outside local/organic restaurants, etc. Also, we’ve noticed that the majority of local restaurants use local or organic produce, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, etc. It’s so nice to feel good about what you’re eating when you eat out!

  117. Thanks for the work you put in doing the vlogs! Although I live in So Cal (Orange County) and I get to get out often, getting out isn’t always easy with a 3 yr old and baby. My 2nd daughter was born 11/25. Paloma could be my daughters twin as far a development. Naps used to be long, now we are at 30min! Last wk was crazy but now I’m getting used to it and using my beco a lot! Now I’m getting a little sciatica pain. I grew up in San Diego and lived all over CA. SD is seriously the best place to live. So beautiful and everyone is super chill, has a great vibe! Ocean is right there and snow is an hour away. There is legoland, sea world, 2 zoos, awesome museums (in Oct all amusement parks and museums are free for kids to get into). 1-1.5 hours away is Disneyland, knots berry farm etc. what’s nice is you don’t spend much on vacations because you have everything near by. We do stacarions. Everyone in So Cal loves San Diego because of the vibe and how chill and friendly everyone is. Also, the more inland you go the cheaper it is. It’s worth the cost of living!
    I would love more meal ideas/recipes in the vlog. Thanks!

    • Thanks so much for sharing all the good things on SD! The other day, Paloma took a 2 hour nap! WOOT! But, she still doing more like 1 hour at a time lately. Not sure what this is about but I know it will pass 🙂

    • Ive grown up in SW FL and adore it!! I have no desire to live elsewhere… I love living in a tropical paradise!

      My sister is a Navy family and they lived almost a year in SanDiego. She LOVED it. It’s super crunchy friendly… And the weather is almost always perfect (warm during the day, cool at night)! Plus she was able to connect with lots of like-minded mamas, and make some amazing friendships. She said she would move back in a heaetbeat, if she could.

      • Oh, and FWIW… we have an *AMAZING* community of “conscious” families, that’s growing by the day here in Sarasota (FL)! Plus, it’s beautiful here. Our main beach, Siesta Key was rated #1 in the country… and our pure white sand (made from quartz) is rated as some of the finest (no pun intended) in the world! <3 Sure it gets hot in the summer… but it's nothing the A/C or a nice dip in the ocean/pool can't resolve, IMO…. 😉 It's a tropical paradise!

    • Yep!

  118. I’m from Lancaster, PA. I haven’t traveled extensively but I have been around and there just isn’t any place quite like it. So if I would give a recommendation of where to move, I would say here! 🙂 We have a great balance of all 4 seasons, winters are generally mild, except for this one! haha and although we are widely know for the Amish community, they are only a small part of what we’ve got going on. For a natural mama like yourself I think you might be pleasantly surprised to what our county has to offer! So there’s my plug! 🙂 If you ever want to visit, hit me up!

    • You’re so sweet! I’ve actually heard nice things about that area of the country. Oh and I bet you’d have access to some delicious raw dairy!

  119. You wouldn’t like southern Alberta, Canada where I was born, raised and still live. A normal winter here gets down to -30 Celsius (-22 F) at least half the season, which lasts from late October to the end of March! In fact we get snow in April most years. Since I’m used to it, when I have kids one day it might not be that bad. I’ll just have to find lots of indoor activities for them.

    By the way this In Real Life series is awesome! I loved seeing your groceries from last week. My husband and I are starting to eat healthier, but it’s definitely a gradual process of change for us.

    • Stephanie, thanks so much for sharing. You’re helping me suck up and deal with it 🙂 Wow, you’re in cold country!

      I’m so glad you like the IRL series! We’re having fun doing it. I’m going show LOTS of pics of what we eat next week, k? XOXO

      • Same here, Southern Alberta! But this winter has been especially brutal! Consistently cold with no warm Chinooks from the mountains! If I could pick a place it would have to be the Algarve in Southern Portugal! This is the first time I’ve seen your new format and new look to your site, and I really like it!

  120. Hi!! I love your blog! I pumped exclusively for a year with my first daughter and still pumping at 9 months with my second daughter. I don’t have a limit this time around. I say, minimum a year, but after that we shall see 🙂

    Thanks for recognizing the pumping mamas.


    • Wow, mama. This is awesome! I bow to you 🙂

  121. My family was just in Asheville, NC a couple weeks ago for a family gathering (and it was a good escape from the cold of Minnesota). Awesome town, totally reminded me of my college town Boulder, CO, but with a Southern twist. I appreciate how family friendly it was and so did my breastfeeding 11 month old. Best wishes on your search for a new home.

    • I went to CU at Boulder!?! Boulder is one of my favorite cities… too pricey though and I don’t think the schools would be a good fit for Griffin. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on Asheville. Excited to visit now 🙂

      • Yes, CU at Boulder, proud alum, graduated May 2000. And I agree, Boulder was too expensive to stick around.

  122. Oh my goodness! It’s like you read my mind. I woke up and it was 5 degrees this morning, and I so want outta here. Naturally a Southern girl, transplanted to the midwest (just a bit north of you) this winter is slowly draining my life away. (I totally hear you on the praying and contentment thing though; truly believe we can be content anywhere.) My top dream cities to live in at this time are: Charleston, SC, Nashville, TN, and Louisville, KY. Since our jobs are pretty permanent/stationary I don’t see us escaping any time soon, but praying that your move works out!!

    • I have the opposite problem. I’ve been living in Texas my whole life and my dream is to run off to Canada!

      • Totally understand!! I’ve lived in Texas most of my life….summers are melt your skin off hot!!! But I don’t think I could ever handle extreme cold.

    • So glad I’m not alone! You know the Scripture verse… “this is the day the Lord has made; Let me rejoice and be glad in it.” REALLY NEED TO PRACTICE THIS! LOL! I adore Charleston… such a classy and clean city. My brother lives in Nashville… another cool place. I hope we get a beautiful spring and summer after this 🙂

  123. I’ve been exclusively pumping for 14 months now. My daughter was born a month early and we tried for months to get her to breastfeed, but she just wouldn’t latch. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, BUT I have never given her formula so it’s all worth it!

    • I forgot to add that I have such a huge supply that I’ve been able to bless another mom at my church who adopted a baby. God is awesome!

      • Laura- You’re awesome, too! God bless your sweet heart!

        • Thanks!

      • You’re so awesome! When i hear story like that it gives me chills because it is so beautiful. In today’s world there are not nearly as many people who do that kind of thing. I did read an article a few days ago: about how Jenna Elfman did a similar thing to you.

        There are many “Booby Traps” to breatfeeding that stop even healthy women from breastfeeding. We could use more women like you!

        • Thanks! I was committed to giving her breast milk no matter what! I know how important it is. She couldn’t be healthier and I’m blessed.

    • How awesome Laura! You are doing so much for your wee one! And another Mama’s blessing is doubly blessed now too! So Beautiful!

    • Laura, what a beautiful soul you are! Thank you for your compassion, love and sharing ( milk and your story)

    • Laura, WOW! Way to go the distance mama! So beautiful that you could help another one out. It’s the best feeling ever!

    • Congrats! My third was born at 30 weeks and we pumped for about 10 months (she did manage to miraculously latch for the one week we had no power)…and then it just stopped. BUT, I had SO much milk up to that point that we had another 3 months worth in the freezer. 🙂 Must be something about having a preemie that gives moms such awesome supplies…I keep hearing this story!

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