Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lavender Farm

Last week, we enjoyed outdoor adventures in Northern California with Sean's parents.  They have been traveling across country in their beautiful new RV (an eco-friendly, green machine by EverGreen), so we couldn't wait to rendezvous in the foothills of Mt. Shasta. 

One of the many highlights of our camping adventure was the Mt. Shasta Lavender Farm.  It opened to the public on June 12th, and although the lavender blooms were not at their peak of prime loveliness, the beauty of this seasonal destination was magnificent.  Truly, a gorgeous thumbprint of Mother Nature's glory!


[Images by Sean Patrick McArdle]

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Magical Wedding ~


There are weddings, and then there ARE weddings ~ Beth and Bill's special day of love uniting seriously takes the prize for the most magical and memorable wedding I have ever had the pleasure of attending (and being a part of!). 

Truly filled with organic bliss from the moment the invitation arrived until the bride and groom pedaled off into happily-ever-after.  Nature provided the backdrop to this perfect wedding ~ the ceremony took place within the organic vegetable garden which is grown with love by the Bride's mother and father [one of my favorite people in the entire world], a cellist playing the most beautiful music amidst the green bounty, turkeys and chickens adding their cheerful songs in the distant background, organic | local | seasonal food served underneath a 300-year-old Oak tree, and a stunning bride and groom so perfectly made for one another that one begins to believe that fairy-tales do exist. 

I was honored to bake the wedding cakes [3 vanilla cakes layered with lemon curd, 1 coconut cake, 1 chocolate cake with mocha frosting, and carrot cake cupcakes with cream-cheese frosting], and to see them beautifully displayed upon the Jadeite cake stands was a total delight!  Among the many details that made this love affair so special was the fact that everything was so natural, so real, so made-with-love | decorated with love | organized with love by the blissful couple and those who love them [and you must take a peek at the behind-the-scenes here]. 


[Images by Sean Patrick McArdle]

Friday, June 18, 2010

Through My Papa's Eyes ~


Dearest Papa,

I was given the blessed gift of your eyes,
To see this world around me,

My hope is that I will learn through you
The appreciation of all there is to see.

Will you teach me to see all the colors
In the world from an artist’s point of view?

And when I travel the world with you,
Will we share the joy of everything so beautiful and new?

Will you help me to understand and
Appreciate the differences among human kind?

Most importantly, will you please
Teach me to have a very open-mind?

As I take my journey along life’s path,
I hope you are beside me each step of the way,

To show me how to love, listen,
Dance, paint, laugh, and appreciate every day.

I look forward to the many times you will
Take me by the hand,

And show me all there is to see
Of foreign cities, seas, and land.

Because looking at the world
Through my Papa's eyes,

Must be this little girl's
Greatest prize.

Je t'aime,
Gaia Miette



[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nature's Peace


"Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer.

Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows,

in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings,

Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.

The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy,

while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed,

but nature's sources never fail."

~John Muir



[Mount Tallac, 1880 - Thomas Hill]

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tomato Tart

Tomato Tart

Summertime means delicious tomatoes in great abundance!  After a morning of being outdoors, I've always been a fan of a simple tomato sandwich for lunch.  Sprinkling sea salt upon the fresh slices of juicy redness, adding a bit of basil, and settling this fantastic grouping upon a chunky slab of olive oil drizzled wholegrain bread = the best! 

And now that the crumb has adopted her mama's love for tomatoes (especially the heirlooms), there is always a bowl of this hearty fruit on our kitchen counter.  The other evening, I prepared a delicious tart, and it was absolutely perfect paired with a side salad.  Easy, healthy, yummy and a big hit ~ my defining elements for a great recipe. 

Tomato Tart

One Organic Pie Shell
1 - 1 1/2 pounds of cherry tomatoes
6-8 oz. goat cheese (softened)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. fresh basil (roll like a cigar and cut into strips)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Toss the tomatoes in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Spread goat cheese inside pie shell.
Arrange tomatoes atop the goat cheese.
Bake for an hour until tomatoes are soft.
Remove and let cool for 10 mins.
Sprinkle basil over tart and indulge while still warm.


[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An Exhibition

Photography Exhibit ~ Sean Patrick McArdle
With great enthusiasm (and a heart full of loving pride), I am extremely excited to share the news of
Sean Patrick McArdle's first official photography exhibit! 

A collection of his favorite Italian images are now on display at our favorite local cafe, CIBO

Limited Edition prints from the Daydreaming in Italy exhibit can be purchased here.

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