Happy Anniversary! 10 Years of Hither & Thither

Last week marked a big milestone: the tenth anniversary of the blog! Aron wrote the first post for Hither & Thither after a freezing walk to work on a bitter January morning in New York, and we used it as an excuse to make travelogues for some earlier trips—like our honeymoon! Since then, there have been over 2000 posts!

I owe a lot to those early days of writing the blog in New York. The city felt so new and exotic to us sometimes, and I think the act of trying to capture it in photos and in words helped me develop a certain curiosity and openness—an attention to what makes the everyday beautiful—that I have been able to (mostly) carry with me since.

It’s one of the many gifts writing this blog has given me. Ever since that first post, the site has managed to surprise me with them: with all the pleasure that it invites, by the friendships it has led me to, and by the community it has introduced me to.

And yet it’s not without its challenges: I still get nervous about sending things out to a reader whom I cannot see; I worry about the balance of content—interesting with informative, but also personal with profitable; and at times I feel uncertain about how to keep growing (and sustaining) a blog at a time when all of our attention is being pulled in so many directions. Ultimately, I feel really fortunate to still be hitting “publish” every week.

This is in no small part thanks to those of you who add your comments to the site and who have reached out to me over the years. It means so much to me! Thank you to everyone for reading along, and for sharing so generously.

At every blog anniversary, I like to do a year-long recap, and you can find that below. Because so much of the content is drawn from our family life, I relish going through each post and appreciating it all! This year, for the 10th one, I thought I’d also start with a few photos showing what has (and hasn’t) changed…

For example, Aron and I look exactly the same. [cough, cough]

Dubrovnik Blog Travel Guide

But in those ten years, we’ve added two beautiful children to our family!

They’ve learned to love traveling, too!

And we’ve moved from New York to California, back to the town where we first met—where those babies are growing up fast!

New York Rockefeller

One constant? This blog. Thank you!

Ten Years!? I’m afraid this is going to lead to a fairly indulgent year-end recap. In other words, with the usual lack of brevity, here are some highlights from the past year, and a few questions for you to finish it off.

In 2018…

In January, we spent a weekend skiing in Lake Tahoe, and I shared impressions of our most frequented ski resorts and the kids’ programs and family offerings therein. I introduced some of you to Leanne Ford in Lighting Makes the Room (and—no surprise here—she is releasing a lighting collection with Target next month)! I talked about why I still love my fanny pack, and shared some of my favorite takes on the belt-bag style. We all said farewell to Ursula K. LeGuin, who was a part of one of my earliest memories of Aron. We read Harry Potter with Hudson for the first time and I discussed with many of you ‘at what age do you think is best to read the series’ and how you do or did plan to pace the books? (The movies, too.) I asked about the oddest beauty treatment you’ve tried—and shared three of mine. And I adapted one of my all-time-favorite tarts for breakfast.

In February, we celebrated my best girl with a sparkly, rainbows-and-faieries 4th birthday party. We welcomed the local almond blossoms, and I shared my best tips for keeping your fiddle figs alive (or going faux). We discussed advice for a better morning routine. And I shared my toughest age to parent so far along with the a series of favorite parenting books that were helpful. Related: we talked best chapter books for children, and Books for kids on Valentine’s Day (both part of a new kidlit series). I coveted Homemade nostalgic treats (like ho-hos), sought out the prettiest Flowery spring dresses, and shared one of my Slamdunk toys for gifting kids.

In March, started up a lot of house work, like redesigning our front yard, and plotting a bathroom makeover. I baked up a super decadent, extra-rich chocolate peanut butter cake, and Aron got on a homemade Orgeat kick and we sipped Green Beret cocktails for St. Patrick’s Day. Editor Alli Brydon shared advice for aspiring children’s book authors. We took a peek into the shower to see what everyone is using to wash up! And I shared my Favorite joggers (and travel pants)—and found a new favorite from the great recommendations in the comments! (Thanks, Tessa! Love my Lole.) We took a family trip to Disneyland (and California Adventure) under the pretense of it being a birthday gift for Skyler. And we started planning (and crowdsourcing tips) for summer vacation in Italy at the same time as we were taking off a week on a spring break trip.

In April, I spent much of the month recapping the spring-break trip that took us all over New Mexico: to White Sands, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Ghost Ranch and Tent Rocks, and to Carlsbad, Bandelier, and Jemez Springs. (Each link is its own travelogue.) We saw so many beautiful landscapes—it was clear why so many artists are drawn to the state.

I wrote about visiting The Presidio of San Francisco with kids, how our bookclub chooses its next read (and some of the books on our list), and tackling the chore list (my favorite basket trick). I shared a recipe for a favorite cocktail, suggestions for first watches for kids, and got nostalgic about Stealing Beauty. We talked about binge-watching (and favorite TV shows). And I shared a family weekend itinerary in Santa Rosa, California. Finally, I shared thoughts upon the anniversary of Billie Holiday’s recording of “Strange Fruit” and the the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

In May, I used my own wishlist to share a Mother’s Day Gift Guide, and tried my hand at a Roses and Rhubarb tart for Mother’s Day The holiday falls right around (often on) our wedding anniversary, and we took some new family photos. We continued working around the house: I worked with Arhaus on improving our side-patio for some Outdoor Living; I found garden inspiration for our front-yard plans in five of my favorite garden design books; and we pulled together inspiration (and advice) for our making over our bathroom. On the style-front, we talked Spring Jumpsuits & Rompers, whether or not to paint or Bare those toes, and starting looking for the best one-piece swimsuits for summer. I cooked up Asparagus & Green Garlic with Tarragon using our CSA and partnered with my favorite local grocery to learn about choosing fish and to develop a recipe for Grilled Salmon with Basil, Watermelon & Tomatoes. We talked about Career Advice for Graduates (not everyone agreed), and family trips: the Best ages to travel.

Italy Puglia Salento Summer

June was a big month, with the last week of school (also, School’s Out for Summer!) and our trip to Italy right on its heels! (Follow the Italy link for a best-of travel list!) I tried the Ketogenic Diet (& a found a favorite Keto recipe)—and discovered a whole lot of you were trying it, too! We talked about how to turn Envy to admiration. I looked back on my top Newborn Essential and on a list of Parenthood Songs that my friend Jesse gave me when I had Hudson. I shared our family’s Favorite Games (right now), my picks for the best Midi Skirts and Summer Dresses, and the TV show that was claiming so many of my hours—Younger—in a post about its Trompe-l’œil? Marriage Vacation.

In July, we celebrated: A Shark Pool Party (Happy 7th Birthday, Hudson!) and the Fourth of July; and we spent a weekend camping with friends, followed by a summer weekend in Tahoe  in Lake Tahoe. I also started recapping our summer trip to Italy! The first travelogues went out: a return to Rome, followed by Matera and Herculaneum. I also shared some of Hudson’s photos from that trip (and others) in a post about choosing a first camera for kids.

Our bookclub continued to refine its title-picking tactics, so I Crowdsourced Reading recommendations. I talked about my experience with my first Keratin Treatment, and shared our family’s favorite Insect Repellant. I asked for tips for avoiding temptation before going Keto for 30 Days.

August and Back-to-School Clothes came too soon! We capped things off with a wonderful week of Summer in Lake Tahoe. (Though you might recall that it ended with a scary stay in the PICU for Skyler. Happy to report all is well!) The Italy travelogues continued with Puglia (Valle d’Itria & Lecce), and a confirmation that it was the summer of the Floss dance. A local design magazine came to photograph our home, and I prepared to co-host the Village Feast to benefit Davis Farm-to-School. I discovered (and binge-watched) Better Things, and asked What are you watching lately? I started a partnership with Frei Brothers Reserve and gave suggestions for Summer Entertaining: The Undone Salad. I visited a hydroponic rose farm and shared tips for choosing a grocery store bouquet—and making it last. My kids went crazy for the song “In the Car” from Story Pirates, which prompted a discussion of the best Podcasts for Kids. We talked about how to find the right babysitter for your family. And we said farewell to The Queen of Soul.

Ashley Muir Bruhn Birthday Topshop

In September, Aron and I celebrated our 40th birthdays with a joint trip to Las Vegas! Afterward, I shared what I’d packed in my suitcase (and posted photos on IG at #goodlordyashleyaronare40). I finished up the Italy travelogues with a split section on all-things Puglian: Puglia (the Salento) and then Puglia (the Salento & Polignano a Mare). We talked winning gifts for 6 & 7 year olds and secrets for perfecting Celebration layer cakes. (The latter was pretty much the opposite of a post on my favorite Keto Snacks.) I wrote about our family lunchbox staples and asked What are you packing? And we had a conversation about What to do with your children’s art. (Some great suggestions!) Finally, we all watched 11 Angry Men put good ol’ boy Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

In October, in between AYSO games, we took some daytrips: to Apple Hill for cider donuts and pie, and to Point Lobos—near Carmel—for tidepooling. We also took a camping trip to Big Sur, California, where I’d scored the two sites on the water for Aron’s birthday weekend! It was incredible. I shared some picks for Relaxed Denim looks, some cool slip-on and velcro kicks for (older) boys, and some inspiration for Halloween Costumes for couples (before recapping our own Halloween!) For dinner, we made Steamed mussels and a gorgeous but also delicious Autumn Harvest Salad using ingredients from the Davis Farmer’s Market. Most importantly, we all kept each other on track to Vote! Vote! Vote! The tips in this post for registering and preparing a ballot should come in handy beyond the 2018 elections.

In November, I revisited one of our favorite family trips—to Mexico City!—and shared a new guidebook to the capital, This is Mexico City! We ordered Skyler a new bed after this round-up post: Children’s bedrooms: From Toddler to Big-Kid Bed. I wrote about Blind spots after reading a fascinating post about pointe shoes. I partnered with Nugget Markets again and tried pairing funky cheeses with stouts, champagne, whiskey, and wine (music, too). After a family weekend in San Francisco, we started getting ready for the holidays: A fashion post: What’s your Thanksgiving Dinner Style? A list of some of my favorite Christmas traditions. And of course, all of the 2018 Gift Guides!

December brought, finally, a Second Bathroom Update! I also got to share photos from our home taken for the Sacramento Home Magazine Feature! I did some shopping and wrote about trying on Looks for the Holidays, as well as finding the right fit with Wide leg pants.

We discussed Kidlit for Social Change, a Life-changing iPhone Tip, and Six Worthy Audiobooks (under six hours) to Begin the Year. The latter, along with 12 Days of Cookbooks, was contributed by a new editor on the site, Molly Coyne! Finally, while December always means taking time off for a break, I recapped our family holidays in two halves: Part one (or “so far”) and Part two.

I truly am grateful to those of you who keep reading and commenting, and I’m always eager to write about what interests you most and appreciate any and all of your feedback. I’ll be bringing in some new voices this year, and am excited about the possibilities! I’d love to know what you would like to see in this space—what would you like to read about? What would you like more of? (Or maybe less of?) I’ve never done a formal reader survey, so it would be great to hear what keeps you coming back. Also, where do you live? And what else are you reading online? I’d love to hear about other blogs you enjoy. Tell me about yourself!

Thank you again for 10 wonderful years! Cheers to next!

With gratitude, Ashley

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category