NorCal Zen, was launched in May 2017 as an inspiration for mindful living. With the intention of sharing the unique beauty of northern California, while connecting likeminded souls from around the world.

It’s all about experiences, the healing power of nature, animals, and the great outdoors of northern California. I believe that you are what you eat; mind, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food.  My ultimate dream is to have a small homestead, and be as self sufficient as possible, producing the majority of my family’s food myself. I’m working my way towards that goal, by growing as much organic produce as I can, and by continuing my learning process about how to do it (by reading, doing my own garden, and helping out at farms in my area.)


You can currently find these fruit, and vegetables, in my garden:

  • A variety of salad greens (kale, baby spinach etc.) 
  • Three varieties of tomatoes. Around 40 plants. 
  • Two varieties of sweet corn.
  • Eggplant
  • Squash 
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Kitchen Herbs; basil, oregano, cilantro, sage, dill, parsley. 
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Pomegranates
  • Figs


NorCal Zen is about choosing happiness. I’m a 38 year old, homemaking, homeschooling mom. I have a BA in Early Childhood Education. I love books, and read a lot, but believe in learning by doing. Making learning fun for my young daughter is a high priority in my life.


Thanks to my grandma, I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. You can find prints of my favorite photos in my online gallery. (Safely purchase prints with any credit card, via Fine Art America. World wide shipping.) My gypsy soul have taken me to 48 US States, and many different countries. In the process of giving me wonderful memories, traveling, have definitely taught me to be more humble as well. I was not born with a silver spoon, I’ve worked my way around.

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My German Shepherd, Gretchen, is a faithful partner on road trips, and she loves hiking. Gretchen is 4 years old, and of German working bloodlines.

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Horses is an important part of my life. I love every aspect of life with horses. I’ve been around horses all my life. In the past I have worked with rescue horses, Mustangs, and a variety of other breeds, including Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Paint Horses, Arabians and Icelandic Horses. I am blessed to have two horses in my life right now. One is a very special, sensitive, 4 year old, Half Arabian gelding.  His name is Ghost, he is a beautiful mover, raised in a big pasture, with very limited human contact during his first years. My other horse is a 12 year old AQHA mare, named Fancy (FTB Fancy Tradition.) Ghost and Fancy are extremely different. While Ghost is a sweet puppy that showers me with affection, even wet kisses, he can explode into a hurricane of emotions faster than you can blink. He is halter broke, but not trained to carry a rider yet. I bought him before he was halter broke, as a project, and an endurance prospect. Fancy on the other hand is all business. Sweet and kind, predictable, broke to ride, and easy in all handling. I trust her to take good care of my daughter, when she rides her. I love them both.

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There’s no better teacher in mindfulness than the horse, since they always live in the moment. That is one of the things I love the most about them. I’m not a horse trainer, just a girl who loves horses. Besides my own horses, I take care of a few more horses at a nearby estate in the mornings.

I place the highest value on time with my loved ones, and a close connection to nature, and animals. NorCal Zen is the place where you can read about the zen strategies that works for me. One of my zen strategies includes visiting National Parks often. My closest National Park is Lassen Volcanic National Park. I spend a lot of time there. I love  interacting with photographers, and likeminded bloggers, around the world. Sharing blog posts, and giving feedback is appreciated, and encouraged!



Ms Zen

© Copyright 2017-2018 NorCal Zen. All Rights Reserved.

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A word of caution. Naturally all your adventures are on your own risk. Horses, hiking, and wilderness areas are what feeds my soul, but everyone participating in any activity is responsible for their own safety. I am not responsible in any way if you choose to explore any of the destinations, or activities mentioned in my blog. Wilderness areas are amazing, but you need to be prepared for weather, it can change quickly. Our area is known for extreme heat in the summer, and these destinations can be very cold during winter. The Western States have lots of wild life, including; black bears, mountain lions, bob cats, rattle snakes, and spiders. I often bring my German Shepherd on trails where dogs are allowed, but I would never bring a smaller dog. Younger children need to be within reach at all times. Bringing plenty of water is a must, in any weather. It’s very wise to use plenty of sunscreen, and/or a hat/clothes that covers well. The sun is strong. Be sure to know what poison oak looks like, you will see it. I’m not trying to scare you, just doing the best I can to make sure that your visit will be pleasant, and memorable in a good way. Be safe, and have fun!

94 thoughts on “Purpose

  1. Now this is exciting! I really love this new venture of yours and especially the zen/minimalism connection, way cool….no, super cool! I have been personally working towards minimalism in my own life, not just things but a new perspective on life and all it entails. Looking forward to seeing where this blog will take you, and us! 😉


  2. Hi Ms. Zen, Thank you for following my photography blog, Jane’s Lens. I hope you enjoy my work. What a great idea for a blog and I wish you lots of luck. Looking forward to reading more posts about NorCal zen life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jane, I have been following your blog since you started blogging, with my other blog (that I no longer have.) I love your inspiring photography. You always keep improving yourself, it is very inspiring. Maria

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Maria, thanks a lot for following my blog. Hiking is so relaxing, especially with the beautiful landscapes that you can observe. California looks great on your photos. Hopefully one day I can visit it as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh yes, hiking is very relaxing 🙂 It makes me very happy to share the experiences, and the beautiful landscapes with you. We went to McClouds Falls today. It was the first time for me, and they were marvelous. Going to share the experience in my next post. Looking forward to learn more about your adventures as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Its great to know you!! Even i believe in minimalism! And also growing my own food. We still live in a city. I grow a few Veges in my apartment Balcony. Haven’t moved to a countryside yet! Your Blog Inspires me! Thank You for visiting my Blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

              1. Har själv bott utomlands – Seattle, Victoria … UK och Irland. Vet att man måste liksom leva in sig på vissa platser. Mitt hjärta är mycket blå-gult, så välkommen till mitt värld.


                  1. Ja, man måste ta seden dit man kommer … håller fullkomligt med dig. Man måste anpassa sig och ibland kan det ta sin lilla tid. Glad att du trivs nu och har funnit din plats där över.

                    Liked by 1 person

  5. This seemed like the best spot to leave this comment. I really like this new theme you have chosen, it’s very clean and not at all cluttered, which I think works well with your content. Also, I really like the purpose statement. The one thing I would suggest is looking to see if you can have links open on a separate page. For example on your art print page, it links to your work, but the viewer would have to click the back key to get back to your blog. If it was to open on a separate page, they would close your prints, but still have your blog open.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so envious of your horses. I always wanted a horse but have never done anything about it. I think it’s great to connect with those beautiful creatures. As for a hot air balloon ride, I highly recommend Bagan, Myanmar or Cappadocia, Turkey! 🙂


    1. Thank you so much! Your blog is very inspiring, and I can relate to a lot of the things you write about. A simple lifestyle closely connected to nature and animals truly brings happiness. Keep up the good work!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I think you have your angle right there. That would make a great Youtube Channel. Horse lovers would love it. You just show your work and the horses process of healing and trusting a human again and so on…


              1. See, you have a show right there!! Then you could get funding and support if more people know about you and the work you do. I have no idea what I’m doing and my camera is a cheapo with 5 minutes recording time. I’m having fun! I’m helping others, inspiring, playing. Doesn’t have to win the Film Festival. 🙂 We don’t realize how important what we have to offer is. I really, really think so many would love this.

                Liked by 1 person

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