Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Plum Pretty

Ladies (and gentlemen), we all know the importance of finding the ultimate hair stylist/colorist; you know, the one person who can turn those locks into fabulousness! I've been quite lucky for many years to have come across talented colorists, but my luck hit the jackpot of gold when I discovered Danica, the genius and hip goddess behind The Plum Organic Beauty, a fully holistic beauty environment. She works with organic hair color, free of toxins and ammonia, along with organic shampoos, styling products and even organic and bamboo towels in an effort to respect the health of each individual.

Truly, Danica is above and beyond any one else I have ever met in this industry - she fills her very chic space [which includes vintage furniture, reclaimed barn-wood beams as room dividers, and low-VOC paints] with her contagious joy for life and passion for offering healthy, earth-friendly beauty to her clients. Her philosophy sums the Plum up perfectly: a holistic living salon where your truest beauty is encouraged from within and treated organically from without.

I left the Plum feeling incredible! My hair is happy with its vibrant hues of golden bliss, and I am so thankful to Danica for raising the bar even higher when it comes to pure organic living. She definitely rocked my world with her plum pretty style!

****And in keeping with the organic theme, don't forget to enter the Ilha Organics giveaway here.****

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bzzzy Bees

Wishing everyone a very BEE-utiful Halloween!

[photograph of our sweet bees by Reverie-Daydream]

Monday, October 12, 2009

Braising Greens

A very good friend of mine is on vacation this week, so I have had the good fortune of being a 'garden caretaker'. To put it mildly, I am over-the-moon with this so-called task! My darling McDreamy is worried that his city girls have gone country, yet after he enjoyed the soup I made for dinner, which consisted of all the lovely braising greens, turnips, onions, and bell peppers the crumb and I picked and gathered, I believe we might have won him over to our side!
Barley & Braising Greens Soup
6-10 turnips chopped
2 bell peppers chopped
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
3-4 cups of braising greens (kale, chard, turnip greens) washed, stems removed, cut into strips
1 1/2 cups of Barley
32 oz. of low-sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)
6 oz. of water
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
In a large saucepan (soup pot), heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion, peppers and turnips. Cook until tender, then add minced garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add braising greens and continue to cook until wilted. Add broth, water and barley. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, add red wine vinegar and salt (to taste) cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until Barley is tender.
[photograph by Reverie-Daydream]

Friday, October 9, 2009


“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

[Photograph of Pino's Studio by Reverie-Daydream]

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Beach Escape

We are off to the Sunshine State - the land of pink plastic flamingos and palm trees!
A family gathering (or rather a clan of 20+) converging in one spot to enjoy a bit of fun and sun.
I'll be back in a week, but I'm leaving you in some very beautiful hands while I am away.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer's Last Bit of Sweetness

As summer yields its last glorious days,

And warmth still gives way to bare feet,

She will dance underneath the sun's setting rays,

And provide us with cherished moments both happy and sweet.

[photographs by Reverie-Daydream]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

E is for Education

Education is something I am very passionate about and believe everyone deserves the chance to learn. Empowerment comes from feeding your mind with knowledge, and this is something that no one can ever take from you. In this great big world, there are children who are not given the opportunity to learn, and if they are, the conditions of their school is less than worthy.

Recently, I discovered the Traveling Mama blog. It is authored by Tina, who lives in Morocco with her beautiful family. She is very creative, and along with her talented photographer husband, Jack, they have opened up an Etsy shop. This may sound like many other great stories you have heard before in regards to artists, etsy, and travel, but this one is different. You see, Tina and Jack (and their Traveling Tribe), are donating 100% of their Etsy profits to go towards purchasing paint, books, art supplies and more for a school in Morocco. You can read more about this amazing 'tale of a school' here and here. They are using their artistic talents to make a difference in this world and to give others a chance to learn. I am humbled by their goodness and gracious hearts.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
~Nelson Mandela

[Photographs by
Jack Fussell]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fountain of Youth

"There is a fountain of youth: It is your mind, your talents,
the creativity you bring in your life and the lives of people you love."

~Sophia Loren

[Photograph of Auntie Ursula's Gorgeous Garden in Southern California by reverie-daydream]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hidden Treasures

During our last stay in Paris, we visited the Marché aux Puces, Paris's most famous flea market located in the 18th arrondissement. There are 2,500 to 3,000 open stalls and shops selling everything from antiques to junk. It is a complex labyrinth between the stalls which ultimately leads you to a new discovery at each twist and turn. We spent hours just enjoying every single object that caught our eye, but nothing prepared us for the hidden treasure we came across among a grouping of framed drawings in an art dealer's stall. A sanguine chalk drawing study by Jules-Élie Delaunay not only caught our eyes, but it captured our hearts as well.

Jules-Élie Delaunay (1828-1891) was a French painter who studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Some of his commissioned works include the three panels of Apollo, Orpheus, and Amphion at the Paris Opera House. He was a very accomplished and talented artist which is evident in this exquisite study we happened upon on that very cold Saturday morning in November 2007. Although she has left her beloved Paris origin behind, she is now part of our family, and we lovingly gaze upon her ethereal beauty morning, noon and night.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Summer Dance

"Get up and dance, get up and smile, get up and drink
to the days that are gone in the shortest while."

~Simon Fowler

[Rosina-Capri by John Singer Sargent]

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Culinary Getaway - Napa Valley

As you can imagine, my weekend was off-the-charts fantastic! I'm still in a state of culinary bliss! Sherry Page truly has to be one of the most generous, fun-loving, talented and enthusiastic chefs I've ever had the pleasure of knowing (and now, I can say, learning from).

The Napa Valley Culinary Getaway began Friday evening with a welcome dinner at Sherry's adorable cottage in Yountville. Every detail of the evening was divine - meeting the other happy attendees (there were only 7 of us because Sherry prefers intimate groups), the tour of Sherry's terraced garden of herbs, rhubarb, tomatoes, chard, peppers, figs, pomegranates, pears, and more, and dining al fresco underneath the rugged beauty of her walnut tree on a warm summer night. It's difficult for me to choose one favorite item from Sherry's 5-course dinner menu, so I'll share a few of my favorites: the Salad of Fresh White Corn, Sungold Tomatoes and Basil, the Roasted Chicken with Roasted Meyer Lemons, and the Lemon Verbena Ice Cream. Not to mention, she pairs each course with an exceptional wine. Are you drooling yet?

Saturday morning, we met at Silverado Vineyards for our hands-on cooking class. Of course, it wouldn't be right if a private winery tour wasn't part of the day, so this is how the sun-kissed morning began along with a glass of Sangiovese in our hands. After the very informative tour, Sherry gave us a class on sea salts which was so interesting and useful. She then passed out our personalized embroidered aprons (she doesn't miss a detail!), and we headed to the kitchen to begin preparing our multi-course lunch of Carmelized Dates with Roasted Almonds and Fleur de Sel, Figs stuffed with Fresh Chevre and Chopped Hazelnuts, Farmers Market Vegetable Paella, Filet of Beef Tenderlion Roast with Tattooed Yukon Gold Potatoes and Dressed Greens, and Balsamic Strawberries with Cracked Pepper and Creme Fraiche. Yes, this was our lunch! We prepared every course with our own hands along with the guidance of our gracious and very patient 'food mentor', Sherry; so when the time came for us to enjoy the 'fruits of our labor', we did so with much glee while dining on the outdoor terrace overlooking the vineyards. Two words: Culinary Heaven!

As a grand finale, on Sunday, we learned to make the glorious galettes I mentioned here, and we made blueberry, nectarine, and apple. (Oh my, look out friends and family, I see lots of these tasty tarts in your future!) After this cooking lesson, we all sat down to Sherry's delicious breakfast of grits with piave vecchio cheese, chicken and mango sausage, fresh seasonal fruit, Bouchon bread with strawberry rhubarb or blackberry preserves, and our fresh from the oven galettes. A very hearty and satisfying Sunday morning indulgence!

Hopefully, my words did this experience justice, for I highly recommend attending one of Sherry's Culinary Getaways. If you love good food, have the desire to learn to cook delicious dishes, and enjoy being taught by a very knowledgeable and fun person, then one of these getaways would be ideal for you. I'm already looking ahead to 2010 in hopes of attending one of the European Culinary Getaways in either Provence or Tuscany. And as a food lover's good fortune would have it, Sherry is also going to start offering one day classes in the Bay Area too! I urge you to sign up for her newletters here; I guarantee you will be just as excited as I am when they arrive in the inbox, for they are always filled with great recipes, reviews, culinary getaway updates, and seasonal tips. This weekend was the perfect combination of incredible food and wine, breathtaking vistas, great people, and extraordinary lessons to expand my culinary knowledge - all wonderful elements that helped to create a blissful memory I will cherish for a very long time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pug Love

Allow me to introduce my sweet little pug, Ashton. She entered my life on Valentine's Day 1997, and at 5 weeks old, she was small enough to carry in my coat pocket! Her gentle and cheerful disposition has been the highlight of my days. We take her everywhere with us (including Europe). In fact, she fell in love with Paris (did I mention she was extremely brilliant!?!) because she knew fresh croissants or pastries were around every corner - a pug's dream!

Her cute little face melts my heart daily, and I can't imagine not having her by my side morning, noon and night. She has never met a stranger and is adored by so many. Ashton is one-of-a-kind, and she truly is our beloved best friend.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cheese, please!

How do you do it?

Every round of cheese is total perfection.

You must know the happiest grass grazing cows on the planet.

Mt. Tam, your signature cheese, makes me drop to my knees with its elegant and smooth triple cream goodness!

Not to mention, you use organic milk, you are environmentally responsible, and you support sustainable land stewards.

Cowgirl Creamery
, your artisan cheesemaking is one of the delectable highlights of my life, and I am so grateful to have you nearby.

Please promise me will continue to offer your creamy pleasures now and forever.

With great devotion,

An Artisan Cheese Lover

Thursday, August 6, 2009


One of my favorite things is to have fresh flowers by my bedside. It just makes waking up even more delightful when you open your eyes to see a beautiful gift of nature sharing its vibrant happiness with you. My flower of choice is the Tuberose. I can't get enough of their exquisite fragrance and all-white splendor!

What's your favorite flower?

To see more of my favorite things, visit the fabulous Joslyn's Simple Lovely and take a peek!

Friday, July 31, 2009


"When we are able to make ourselves as still within as an untouched mountain lake,
we have an exquisite reflection of all that is in and around us."
~Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

[Fallen Leaf Lake photo by Reveriedaydream]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pastis Hotel St. Tropez

A few years ago, we had the pleasure of staying at the Pastis Hotel in St. Tropez. For the last several days, I have been dreaming of returning to this glorious spot in the South of France.

We happened to visit in October during the off-season, so it was quiet and all to ourselves - a very different feel from the 'see and be seen' summers of this popular French beach destination. However, this didn't stop the 'red carpet' treatment we received from the beyond gracious owners, John and Pauline Larkin, and their amazing staff. They truly made us feel like personal guests in their 'home'. The delicious breakfasts, the evenings enjoyed sitting under the stars listening to John's personal cd favorites while sipping on aperitifs, and the delightful conversations we had with everyone there along with the incredible attention to detail made this an unforgettable stay. Our room was so beautifully decorated with soft linens, plush towels, unique objets d'art, a copper soaking tub, and a large sunny terrace for our own private use.

Pauline and John have a passion for Provence. They relocated from the UK to follow their dreams of owning a boutique hotel in the South of France. Now, they provide a dreamy experience for all of those lucky enough to be their guests! The hotel is filled with 20th-century art, paintings and photography as well as furnished with a perfect mix of period and 'modern-classic' pieces. It is one of our favorite hotels in the world. In fact, we could easily just move in and never's that perfect!

Friday, July 24, 2009

After enlightenment, the laundry.
~Zen Proverb

Here's to nurturing every moment the weekend offers.....

Venice Canal by Reverie-Daydream]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mi Guapa

We love to travel! And now that our little Guapa (the endearing Spanish word loosely translated as beautiful) has entered our happy world, we haven't stopped! In fact, our gypsy lifestyle might have increased a bit due to the fact we LOVE to introduce her to new places, people and things.

This recent trip to Spain was her first adventure on European soil, and let me tell you, she hasn't been the same since! Not only does she dance the Flamenco to every Spanish guitar song, but she also proclaims "OLE" at the end of each piece of music she hears including Tchaikovsky. Her taste buds have been primed with delicious ice creams, she discovered the Fountain of Youth, and she has a special affinity for Vespas.

So instead of trying to answer the question we hear most often: "Are you really traveling with a baby/toddler?" We have a rebuttal...."Why NOT travel with them?" My goodness it was great, and we can't wait for our next trip because this little girl has a lot to learn and see. We're thinking Paris should be next.....

[photographs by Reverie-Daydream]

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sweet Tooth

I'll admit it...I LOVE really good gelato! It doesn't matter if it's summer or the middle of winter, I gleefully enjoy a petite scoop of this creamy perfection any time of the year. So you can imagine my sheer delight when the most incredible gelateria opened near our house - Cici (pronounced the Italian way, "chee chee").
This gelato is artisanal...meaning Michael and Liana (the owners) make every flavor from scratch in the kitchen above the shop! They use organic ingredients including Straus milk and cream (which is my ULTIMATE favorite dairy farm), organic eggs, and local fruit. The flavors change with the seasons according to what is available fresh from local farms. Some of the flavors yesterday included: Toasted California Pistachio, Organic Blackberry (yes, it's the stunning purple one in the photo! AND they just happened to hand-pick the blackberries on their way to work that morning!), Organic Coffee & Honey, Organic Fresh Spearmint & Chocolate Chip, Organic Strawberries & Cream, Fior di Latte (the Straus dairy sweet cream which is always offered and one of my very favorites), Organic Lemon Sorbetto, and at least 6 other flavors that will make your taste buds swoon!
I'm not sure if having this delectable gelateria near me is a good thing or not because every where we go, I compare the gelato to Cici...and I've yet to find anything that supersedes any of their creamy scoops. Michael and Liana are not only my gelato heroes, but they also operate Cici as a green business (less packaging, compost food waste, eliminate paper waste, and recycle - not to mention they deliver gelato locally via a very cool bike!) because they honor and respect our one Earth.
As you can imagine, supporting this local independently-owned business is a delicious pleasure!

[photo by Reverie-Daydream]

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sunday Solitude

Do you ever daydream of being on a deserted island?
Imagine the solitude.
This is where my mind is leading me today.
My list of a few essential things I would take with me is being featured on

[photo of Punta Sayulita by Reverie-Daydream]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Love & Release

Today, we visited the newly-renovated Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. If you already didn't know, I am a huge animal lover (land, sea or sky), so everyday I thank my lucky stars for granting me the fortune of living in such an amazing place that is filled with a plethora of nature's magnificent wonders.

The Marine Mammal Center
is a nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and releases injured, sick and orphaned marine mammals (seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, whales and sea otters) along a 600 mile stretch of California coastline. There were 110 'patients' there today. My heart breaks to see the reasons why most are there - negligence and ignorance of the human race - from fish hooks, plastic bags, fishing nets, water bottles, etc. Environmental and other causes such as abandoned pups were also high on the list. Luckily, these sweet little loves are given the greatest care, by an amazing staff of veterinarians, scientists and volunteers, with the highest hopes of being released back into nature once they are 100% healed and recovered.

This is an incredible facility, not only for the TLC that is given to each mammal that arrives, but also for its environmental-friendly design (recycled and sustainable building materials, solar panels, use of reclaimed water, efficient fixtures and lighting and
more). With over 800 volunteers, one can easily see that people are very passionate about making a difference. We are all connected on this great planet and being considerate of every living species is a vital commitment we all need to make.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress
can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
~Mahatma Ghandi

[photograph by Simply Mel]

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Terribly Happy

A few months ago, I came across the delightful blog, Rockstar Diaries, and this 'madly-in-love' daily journal of Naomi and Josh has me hooked! In fact, Naomi started this fun feature "10 things that make you terribly happy" as a wonderful reminder to celebrate happiness and the little things in life. Of course, she got me thinking, (and I love lists), so I thought it would be fun to share! Hopefully, you will do the same....what makes you terribly happy?

10 things that make me terribly happy:

1. fresh strawberries on top of heart-shaped waffles

2. kissing the man of my dreams along the banks of the Seine (or kissing him anytime for that matter!)

3. the sound of champagne being opened

4. the belly-laugh giggles from my adorable baby girl

5. fresh cut grass underneath my bare feet

6. sound of rain drops on a tin roof

7. receiving a hand-written letter from a friend

8. my pug's sweet little gurgling/snoring sounds through the night

9. cafes in European squares

10. crickets and fireflies on a hot summer night

[photo of "two terribly happy people" in Paris taken by us]

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fresh Start

Every morning is a beautiful new beginning.....

Here's to a wonderful week of fresh starts!

[photo of Angel Island Sunrise by Reverie-Daydream]

Friday, July 3, 2009

Simple Bliss

Wishing everyone a wonderful Fourth of July weekend
filled with all the simple things that make life so blissful!

[photograph of our Gaia Miette by Reverie-Daydream]

Monday, June 29, 2009

El Olivo

Olive trees are one of our favorite arboreal treasures, so Sean couldn't resist a plein-air moment capturing one of these 400 year-old beauties in Arcos.

In fact, if he had to live his life on Earth as a tree, he would be an Olive Tree. They thrive in warm, dry Mediterranean climates, and this makes Sean a very happy man!

What type of tree would you be?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vista Vision

This is the vista vision that greets us from the courtyard of our Arcos Hotel - inspirational indeed.

What landscapes inspire you?

[photograph by Reverie-Daydream]

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Papa's Day

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.”

My beloved Sean,

Thank you for being the most incredible Papa to our Gaia Miette.

We both believe you hung the moon.

Happy Papa's Day!

[photo taken by Simply Mel of her dreams come true]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Spanish Garden

This beautiful garden is located in the Museo Sorolla (the former home and atelier of Joaquín Sorolla). Designed by the artist himself and inspired by Andalusia, it was planted between 1915 and 1916. While sitting in this gorgeous spot located in the heart of Madrid, we reveled in a very peaceful reprieve and captured a memorable moment to cherish for a very long time.

[Sorolla's Garden - Museo Sorolla]

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sorolla: Visions of Spain

Today, we attended the Sorolla Exhibition at the Museo Nacional del Prado. Joaquín Sorolla, an early 20th Century Master painter of portraits and landscapes, is receiving well-deserved attention in one of the most important ever organized exhibitions, in Spain and abroad, with regard to the number of works and their quality. The exhibition includes around one hundred paintings by Sorolla, the most internationally known Spanish artist of his day, and provides a comprehensive collection of paintings based on examples of his finest works and the fourteen panels (murals) known as the Vision of Spain painted for The Hispanic Society of America. Being able to behold so many of Sorolla's masterpieces, in the Prado, has been the perfect prelude to our week in Madrid.

[El Baile - one of the fourteen Vision of Spain panels]

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Travail of The Dreamer

The true artist works rather in great gusts of effort, and in smaller gusts
of apparent lassitude. He is not laying about "waiting for some inspiration."
He is in the travail of the dreamer entering into expression.
Now when you see the artist sitting thoughtfully before his blank canvas,
don't call him lazy. Realize what huge gulfs exist between a thing of
dreams and the exact science of mathematics.
Know that the dream is as necessary to the birth of any idea
as mathematics is to the exactness of its consummation.
An artist must neither be too dreamy, nor too mathematical.
He must dream and he must paint.
~John F. Carlson

[We depart for Spain tomorrow morning. Sean is attending an artist workshop, and I'm going to perfect my peripatetic skills with my little crumb in tow! Once we settle into Madrid,
we promise to share our Spanish tales with you. Hasta pronto!]

Monday, June 8, 2009

Stone Fruit Pleasures

When I arrived at the Farmer's Market this weekend, I was in total heaven with all the stone fruit choices that were beautifully displayed before me. I couldn't stop tasting all the varietals of nectarines, cherries, peaches, and apricots. With my basket overflowing, I knew there was a fruit crumble in our future! This is a very simple dessert I make throughout the year with any seasonal fruit of choice. When I prepared it this afternoon, I tried to pay attention to the measurements because I usually just mix everything together and hope for the best. Trust me, it is extremely easy and incredibly delicious!
Cherry-Peach Crumble
serves 4
1/2 pound organic cherries
2-3 organic peaches
1 cup organic Muesli
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted organic butter [softened]
Cut fruit into small pieces and place into a baking dish [9x9 or something similar].
In a bowl, mix muesli, brown sugar and butter together forming a 'chunky' mixture.
Sprinkle the topping over the fruits.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and topping is golden.
Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Field of Daydreams

How beautiful it is to do nothing,
and then rest afterwards.
~Spanish Proverb

[photo by Reverie-Daydream]

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Artist Workshops

Summer is almost here, and we are packing our bags for a European getaway inspired by what we fondly refer to as our “Summer 2008 Workshop Circuit”. Last June, we packed up Sean’s painting easel and supplies along with our then four-month-old, Gaia, and departed from our home in San Francisco and headed south on the Pacific Coast Highway to the quiet beach town of Encinitas in Southern California. The destination was The Watts Atelier of the Arts where Sean attended a 3-day portrait drawing workshop followed by a consecutive 3-day portrait painting workshop instructed by Jeff Watts. The workshops were filled with intense model studies, insightful critiques, and overall generous instruction by Jeff Watts who has the gift of being able to verbally articulate his methods and techniques while masterfully demonstrating in charcoal or oil. It was quickly discovered that Sean and Jeff share a unique rare convergence of admired artists – specifically Nikolai Fechin, one of Russia’s most important portrait painters of the 20th Century.

In following this great inspiration of past and present artists, we headed east through the desert heat to
The Taos Art Museum
which is housed in the former home and atelier of Nikolai Fechin. While the collection, of over 300 works of art, is worth the journey to remote Taos, we were headed there for another reason: The Taos Art Museum was hosting a special exhibit titled “Two Nikolai’s”. Nikolai Fechin alongside Nikolai Blokhin, a young Russian master of our era who is inspired by his native born Fechin. This was a 3-day drawing workshop, over the 4th of July weekend, in Nikolai Fechin’s North lit atelier adjacent the Fechin House. (Yes, my husband was in pure bliss!) While Nikolai Blokhin is an instructor at the prestigious St. Petersburg Academy of Art in Russia, this was the first time he agreed to hold a drawing workshop in the United States. Blokhin conducted this workshop by masterfully drawing in charcoal with an occasional verbal explanation through a translator provided by the Downey Gallery where Blokhin is represented in Santa Fe. Drawing is a universal art, and Blokhin has the remarkable ability of bringing his figures to life and mixing everyday beauty with whimsical artistic themes such as ballerinas, gypsies, Native Americans, and fortune tellers.

After a few weeks back at home, the workshop circuit picked back up in August, with our now 6-month old Gaia, we traveled to Philadelphia where Sean attended a two-week Advanced Portrait Painting Workshop at the
Studio Incamminati with Nelson Shanks
. The artistic highlight of this workshop was working with the light and shadow, then refining form and shape and finally interpreting and opening ones eyes to color. I believe Sean will never see color the same way again! The highlight of the two weeks occurred one special evening when Nelson painted his wife Leona Shanks in front of a packed audience who knew they were witnessing a moment which would live on well beyond that warm evening in Philadelphia.

Nearing the end of the summer, we squeezed in one last, could not pass up, 3-day workshop with Jeremy Lipking at the Watts Atelier. Lipking’s brushwork is impressive, and he is also a mutual admirer of Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla among other late nineteenth century painterly realists. This was a perfect conclusion to a great summer.

So 2008 will fondly be remembered as a year filled with artistic pleasures, and we could not wait to continue this trend into 2009. We are leaving for Spain in two weeks, where Jeff Watts will each be conducting a week-long workshop at the
Bravura Academy
in the Andalusian village of Arcos de la Frontera. Sean has always dreamed of painting figures in the wonderful tradition of Sorolla, Zorn and Sargent, and Gaia and I will explore the beautiful village of Arcos and the 13 rural acres of the Cortijo Mesa de la Plata hotel.

Micaiah Hardison, the brilliant mind behind Bravura Academy, has arranged this retreat workshop filled with a week of exciting events. He strives to inspire students and instructors with an authentic Andalusian experience amidst the magical landscapes steeped in history. We are all looking forward to discovering this land that has been deemed a place “between reality and dream”. However, before we arrive in Arcos, Micaiah has arranged, with the Hispanic Society of America, a private showing of Sorolla’s work at the Prado on June 15th. We will be attending this once in a lifetime event and are beyond thrilled to be spending time in one of our favorite cities, Madrid. Our bags will soon be packed, and the camera will be in overdrive capturing what I know will be an extraordinary trip to Spain.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Costa Verde - Sayulita, Mexico

Photos by Reverie-Daydream

During our recent trip to Sayulita, we visited the Costa Verde International School. (Now that we have a little girl, searching for the ideal school has become a top priority.) I had heard great things about Costa Verde, Mexico's first "green" school, and since we were in town, it was a 'must-do' on our travel agenda. We didn't schedule any formal tours or make an appointment to visit, so on our way to the beach, we stopped by and was greeted by a very helpful lady who was more than happy to take us on an impromptu tour of the school. Upon entering the school yard surrounded by cute little white buildings/classrooms, lush tropical gardens, play areas, an open-aired faculty break room, vegetable garden with compost pile, art area and yoga/dance pavilion, I felt as if I had been transported to academic heaven!
Costa Verde enrolls preschool and elementary aged kids. Each classroom is filled with girls and boys from all over the world, and the lessons are taught in English and Spanish as well as additional teaching time devoted to the development of the child's second language. There is a strong focus on the importance and responsibility of embracing the environment and practicing sustainable methods of living. For example, math is taught by measuring vegetables in the school garden or counting the number of trees saved by using recycled paper. Costa Verde is an accredited private school and blends the standard grade level curriculum found in all other schools with ecology, multiculturalism, technology and creative arts. They teach the whole child using a very active, hands-on approach and stimulate the individual interests/talents of each student.
While there for 20 minutes, we witnessed preschoolers gathering around in a circle as their music teacher arrived with her guitar, a dentist coming to talk to the kindergarten class about dental hygiene, first graders tending the vegetable garden, second graders enjoying a yoga class, third graders working on their art work of pottery for an upcoming school fundraiser, fourth graders discussing geography, and fifth graders eating what seemed to be a delicious lunch under the outdoor pavilion. The teachers seemed happy and enthusiastic about being there (not to mention the intentional small student to teacher ratio). It was a harmonious blend of cultures from all over the world. Costa Verde has the perfect formula for a school - every aspect of a child is nurtured and taught in a joyful and peaceful environment with a strong commitment to diversity, sustainability, and culture. In my opinion, Costa Verde will be a leader in making a difference in this world.
For more information about Sayulita, please visit my SF Getaways Examiner column here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

No Ordinary Love

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other,

but in looking together in the same direction."

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

You are my dream come true, the force that pushes me to greater heights, the happiness in each day, the love of my life.

Thank you for 8 years of marital bliss ~ Happy Anniversary.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Bee's Knees

This captivating photo is of my very dear friend, Davide, and the inaugural release of his bees. On April 18th, he received 10,000 Italian bees and one queen. The queen has her own separate little matchbox house inside the larger box. It took the 10,000 bees about 6 days to get to know her, and feed her, and then they were all set in their relationship (sweet, isn't it?). April through October, she will lay 600-1000 eggs per day. The bees are thriving and loving their new 'home'. So much so that Davide, the magnificent bee keeper, has had to double the size of the hive to give them room to grow! The honey has yet to be harvested, but I know it will be exceptional in taste and quality. There is no doubt, these are the happiest bees on Earth! With Davide's incredible kindness, gentle manner, and glorious outdoor space (vegetable and flower gardens - their favorite plant being the borage), these bees will remain in a constant state of euphoria.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mama's Day

Photo by Reverie-Daydream

5 Reasons I Love Being a Mama:

  1. the infectious laughter over silly things
  2. being the recipient of unconditional love
  3. seeing the world through innocent and non-cynical eyes
  4. realizing the slow pace of baby steps is far more enjoyable than the fast
    pace I had once been accustomed to
  5. hearing the word MAMA through sweet rose-bud lips

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gaia's Day

Photo by Reverie-Daydream

A wish for our beloved Gaia Miette,

May you always respect and love the planet
you call home,

And cherish every living organism amidst
the land you roam.

Be thankful for every gift she so
selflessly offers you,

For living sustainably will help her
restore and renew.

Never forget, she heals, nurtures and
supports all creatures great and small,

So harmony, balance and conscious living
is the responsibility of us all.

You were given a strong and meaningful
name the day of your birth,

For your existence will always be a
hopeful addition to this magnificent Earth.


Related Posts with Thumbnails