Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
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
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
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
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
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."
[Photographs by Jack Fussell]
Friday, August 28, 2009
[Photograph of Auntie Ursula's Gorgeous Garden in Southern California by reverie-daydream]
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
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
Sunday, August 16, 2009
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
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
Dear Cowgirl Creamery,
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 this....you will continue to offer your creamy pleasures now and forever.
With great devotion,
An Artisan Cheese Lover
Thursday, August 6, 2009
What's your favorite flower?
Friday, July 31, 2009
[Fallen Leaf Lake photo by Reveriedaydream]
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
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 leave...it's that perfect!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
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
[photo by Reverie-Daydream]
Saturday, July 18, 2009
[photo of Punta Sayulita by Reverie-Daydream]
Thursday, July 16, 2009
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 progresscan be judged by the way its animals are treated."~Mahatma Ghandi
[photograph by Simply Mel]
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
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
Friday, July 3, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
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
Sunday, June 21, 2009
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
[Sorolla's Garden - Museo Sorolla]
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
[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
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!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
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
Sunday, May 17, 2009
"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
Saturday, May 9, 2009
- the infectious laughter over silly things
- being the recipient of unconditional love
- seeing the world through innocent and non-cynical eyes
- realizing the slow pace of baby steps is far more enjoyable than the fast
pace I had once been accustomed to
- hearing the word MAMA through sweet rose-bud lips
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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.