Sunday, December 25, 2011

Magical ~

I believe her day sparkled and shined.

[Union Square, San Francisco ~ Christmas 2011]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by karey of mackin ink}

so i was thinking and thinking and thinking about this post - probably far too much, but that's always the way i work when i really adore the friend to whom i'm giving my words - and maybe it was one too many viogniers one night, but all of a sudden i found myself all "forget wishing! wishing is for wimps!"

i said it way naughtier in my head.

but it's true, you know. someday, i'll have to tell you all the time i feel i've wasted on wishes. the months that added up to a full year that i wished my dad wouldn't die; perhaps i messed it all up with the one who's in charge of such decisions with my begging that he not suffer anymore. i can see how that would be confusing. then there was the matter of my sister. i don't need to tell that story again, but i will tell you this: my stomach muscles still remember the clench of wishing so hard that she'd get to stay with me forever. i still ache.

there are always silly wishes in between serious, at least one every hour in my head, from "i wish uncle sugar would make me a coffee" to "maison martin mine" to "please please please let the girlies three be ok." i must spend that half-hour before they hit the door at the end of their school day waiting with a million wishes and wonderings about their someday lives. their someday health. their someday love. i wish it would all be perfect. in spite of all i know and all i've endured, i still make that silly wish that they skate through it all. unscathed and unbruised and unbroken. especially their hearts and hopes.

wishes can be pretty empty. they're like a bottle full of bubbles in a way, filling the air up around us with iridescent invisible circles that fly away and disappear a second or two after we've made them. no offense, but i've never seen a wish really do anything - like win a race or cure a disease or even make me thinner than that mom at the pool i kind of despise - except look pretty and make us gasp with the possibilities and then leave us wondering...what now?

wishes are good for one thing and one thing only. they make us realize, with the falling of a lash or the tick of the clock at 11:11, exactly what we want. and that, my sweet friends, is that. what comes next is entirely up to you or up to someone else or maybe completely out of anyone's control.

listen. i've made wishes on stars that exist only in my eyes, solitaire games, whether the traffic light would turn green in an even number of seconds, and the last red jellybean in the bag. and i'm still not the woman i'm wishing i'd be. still not the mother i'm wishing i'd be. still not the writer, either.

2012 is going to be different. kickass, for sure. i feel it in my bones. i'll still probably be wishing for everything to be all right - especially my girlies three - in between wishes that include that jerk mom at the pool, the size of my bum, my someday book, and just one more red jellybean - every day at 11:11 or even 12:12 if i miss it. but maybe i need to take better care of those little bubbles of mine. keep watching over them long after they pop. they're still there, you know. even when i can't see them so well anymore.

p.s. plus a white bikini for my move near bali.

wishes found here.  bubbles found here.

oh that karey, i always fumble for words after reading her perfect ones.  i'll never forget the day i discovered her blog.  she was on 'posting' hiatus, but i read every. single. word she had ever written within that magical space.  then one amazing day, my reader sparkled and shined...she was back!  since then, i've been begging for her to write a book, adopt me as one of her girlies, and just be that really cool writer friend i've always dreamed of having in my circle of life.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Good Luck Soup ~


Being able to make a gift with my own hands, using resources offered unselfishly by nature or repurposed materials, and presenting something that is useful or full of meaning to my dearest friends and family is what Christmas is all about ~ the gift that is filled with love.  So this year, my dear friend, Sherry of Culinary Getaways, and I decided that her Good Luck Soup recipe packaged up with delicious heirloom beans and fresh garden grown herbs would be the ideal gift for anyone on our list.  Growing up in the South, my grandmother always prepared a New Year’s Day lunch or dinner that included black-eyed peas {and collard greens}.  According to her, black-eyed peas were for good-luck.  Even then, as a young girl, I would eat at least two helpings of these delicious legumes because everyone hopes for the lucky goodness to be on their side 365 days of the year.  More so than ever, I believe we all could use a hefty dose of good luck in our lives!

[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Friday, December 16, 2011

An Elegant Evening ~

...with my Prince Charming.  

It was a night of total splendor, festive glory, and fine art.  My handsome artist husband and I were invited guests to this exquisite holiday gala in the Court of Honor at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco.

For two souls who love art, this was a dream come true.  An entire evening devoted to celebrating the artistic masters of our past as well as  present-day artists...the museum galleries were ours to peruse, linger and enjoy.  With cocktails in hand, we mingled among the elite, but mostly we giggled and gasped at our good fortune to be included in such a grand evening.  

A dinner fit for a king was served by candlelight, an orchestra enticed all to join on the dance floor, and memories to last a lifetime were made underneath a tent draped in sparkling elegant evening indeed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by French Essence}

I have always had my head in the clouds… dreaming of something different… wishing upon a star… searching for ways to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary… I think that is why I love words as much as I do… the endless possibilities to stir the imagination and to craft fantasy from the everyday… This is the time of year when we are all wishful thinking. We wish that the holiday season would slow down, that we could gear up our pace a little to accomplish all that we desire. We wish that the year hadn’t passed in a puff and that they weren’t slipping by quite so quickly and we wish, with all our hearts, that our children’s hopes and dreams come true.

When I snapped this photograph in Paris it made me pause for reflection… The beauty of the cobblestones, the architectural details of the buildings, the faded shutters and the hanging lanterns caught my eye… I had to capture that moment. But more than that… It was the family, for I imagined that they were a family, walking in step, in simpatico… with their perfect strides. This image made me wish that time could and would stand still, that this beautiful family could forever walk together through the streets of life harmoniously, as they were on this particular day… My thoughts turned to my own family and myself and I realized there and then that my one true wish was for nothing to change. This moment in our time together is good… great even… may it last…

Melissa, thank you for inviting me to participate in your ‘Wishful Thinking’ series… it is such a great pleasure to be a part of your exquisite blog amongst such wonderful company. I wish you and your readers a holiday season filled with lots of love, light and laughter… xv
Vicki Archer
December 2011

I'm assuming most who read this blog already know the beautiful and lovely Vicki of French Essence.  Before I even entered the world of blogging, I knew of Vicki Archer and her exquisite way of life and love for France via her first book, My French Life.   Then I found her blog and my heart swelled with glee because I am able to live vicariously through her dreamy world every. single. day. In short, Vicki is definitely one of my heroes, for she lives the life she has always dreamed of and she lives it with grace, beauty, and enthusiasm. I'm still pinching myself that she took the time to share her wishful thoughts on Reverie...merci beaucoup Vicki! 

[Image via Vicki Archer] 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by Besotted Brand}

I have a very haunting memory that includes an unfulfilled wish (don't worry, this story may have a happy ending). My beautiful beau at the time, (if you can call him a beau I was quite young), casually brushed my cheek with his finger and held out the tip with great anticipation. I narrowed my eyes to see the object of his excitement only to be greeted by a rogue eyelash. “Make a wish,” he commanded. I stared at him with confusion at first and then the recognition settled in, I rolled my eyes. I informed him in a tone I suspected was very mature, “I don’t believe in wishes.”  I assumed that my proclamation would parlay some sort of worldliness, a girl that knew that a wish was a silly frivolity. Instead, I saw the hurt in his sweet blue eyes, the hurt was not for himself but for a little girl that didn’t believe in magic. He closed his eyes and was silent for a second, shrugged his shoulders and then blew my eyelash off his fingertip. I don’t know what he wished for that afternoon, but I assume it was for me and it came true. From that day forward after my 8th year of being, I made wishes with fervor. Besides ‘eyelash-gate’, there was no other impetus to start, but what I took from that moment in time was that a wish is your hearts request, frivolous as it may be. A wish gives you something to hope for, an anticipation. It is almost as good as the real deal. A wish is free and plenty, why deny yourself such a luxury? My wish is for everyone to have at least one wish granted in his or her lifetime, there is quite a delight in a wish come true.

Where do I begin to share the many delightful things about the ever so talented Miss B of Besotted Brand.  I've been a long-time fan of this lovely lady, and just recently, I had the grand honor of meeting this beauty in real life. {It just happened to be right after she became a MRS.!}  She has an eye for exquisite details and creates extraordinary stationery and accoutrements that should be on everyone's wish list. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful {every day}

My heart overflows with gratitude for the life I have been given.  Truly, I pinch myself regularly because it just seems unbelievable to me that my daily existence is filled with such beautiful love, good health and glorious abundance of food and breathtaking nature.  My complaints are few, for I realize how fortunate I am and it's not something I take lightly.  We have one life to live, and with every sunrise, I awaken with a thankful heart.

There shouldn't be just one designated day for giving thanks and reflecting upon all the goodness which fills our lives.  If we all made more of an effort to appreciate the good fortune which comes our way versus the focus of what isn't up to par, then I believe there would be more smiles in this world.  Let's give it a try, there is nothing to lose.  Here's to being thankful for each and every. single. day.

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Friday, November 18, 2011

When it rains... cuteness abounds!  I have to admit, my girl has made me love the rain again.  What used to be a total nuisance, now is a playful pleasure. 

The forecast is predicting a fair share of rain drops throughout the weekend, so look out puddles, our eyes will be on you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by Goodnite Irene}

this wishful thinking series has been absolutely stunning. haven't we all been moved by our fellow bloggers' eloquent candor of wishes for more meals to be shared with loved ones, and hopes for a life full of courage and more dreams fulfilled? tears streamed into my coffee the morning i read a sweet mother's wish for a more peaceful heart for her dear daughter, and the illinois country girl's longing for her land had me googling farms.... all beautiful, all deeply profound.
when mel asked me to contribute to this series i was afraid that blonde-haired beauty had imbibed too much napa wine. how could she possibly expect ME to produce a post worthy of past depth and grace?
but after some hermetic, extensive, almost dali lama-like meditation {in fact mr. lama might want to snag some tips from me}, and going way downward-dog deep into the bowels {yes, i said bowels} of my inner buddha, i found the essence of what truly inspires and drives my soul.
i don't mean to sound smug, or overly meta and siddhartha like, but i know if i could just have this one wish, world peace and goodwill toward men would be as easy as vomit and the word “kardashian”.
are you ready?
i wish...........i could eat anything & everything, as much as i want, and not get fat.
there. i said it.
take a moment to fully embrace the enormity and weight of my sage-like invocation.
if you read my blog, you know i have major food issues. i love food. i think about food all the time, and when i'm not thinking about food, i'm trying to eat food.
basketball is not a sport to me, the buffet is my sport. and if i see you at the waffle bar, watch yo'self. i'm gunning for that whipped butter, and i don't care if it IS easter sunday. i’ll cut you.
as for as the types of foods, i don't discriminate. i fancy them all, with abandon and wantonness. give me a cheese plate, and i'm like a cheap slut during fleet week. my one exception is beets. beets were invented by the devil. they taste like dirt, and i'm convinced they are part of some underground terrorist plot..... haven’t you noticed the prevalence of beets in everything these days?? salads, cocktails, ice cream? get the hell out of my food you damned beets!
also, creams, i love creams: sour, whipped, sweet, devonshire, iced, shaving? doesn't matter as long as the letters: c.r.e.a.m. are involved.
all the food i want to eat, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and still fit into a pair of jeans i bought during “the breakup of 2005” which fit for a total of 9 hours, during which i was probably the most miserable and unattractive i ever been in my entire life. but still those jeans fit, even if i didn’t feel like eating at the time.
if i get a second wish, it might be for an extra hour a week with my psychiatrist.
thank you for letting me share my wednesday with you.
love, katie
I've professed my adoration for Katie on multiple occasions whether via a post or twitter or just singing her praises to any passerby who might listen to me.   And then for her to talk about FOOD ... well, I'm over the moon with this wishful thinking! Obviously, this girl rocks!
 [images 1,2,3,4]

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Thanksgiving Must ~

Does tradition dictate your holiday menu?  I'm kinda all over the board when it comes to keeping or letting go of traditions, but there is one food that is a must at our Thanksgiving feast ~ Sweet Potato Souffle.  And to be honest, I'm not sure it really qualifies as a souffle, it's probably more of a casserole, but a twitch develops every time I use this term, for in my mind, it equates to a hodge-podge of let's go with souffle.  

My beloved Aunt Dean is the one who opened my eyes to the delicious goodness of this root vegetable and ever since, I've been addicted.  

Sweet Potato Souffle

3 cups of cooked {mashed} sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixer, combine and 'whip' all ingredients together.  
Pour into individual baking dishes or one 13 x 10 baking dish.  
Prepare topping.

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 c. softened butter 

In a medium size bowl, use a fork or hands to mix topping ingredients together, 
sprinkle on top of sweet potato mixture. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes {individual baking dishes 30 minutes}.

[Reverie Daydream Images]

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by not your average ordinary}

There are so many, they could be like the starlight at night. Some of my wishes have already been spoken here: that everyone has access to fresh healthy food, that we find and hold on to hope… More th[ian anything else, though, I wish for a world where we all follow our dreams and achieve great things.

During my somewhat extensive time in universities, I have seen too many students following the path their parents have set out for them rather than the one that they really want, the one that makes their heart sing in a way nothing else does. Sometimes they rebel and embrace their love, but often they accept what they’ve been told to do without question.

Our dreams begin when we question the world around us, when we challenge the status quo. Somewhere in there, we discover a purpose: to bring beauty into the world, to help those who need it in some way, to gather people and teach them to experience the wonders around them. 

My wish is that we all take the time to sit, listen, and discover our dream, and once we have that dream, that we hold it close and passionately pursue it.

This is exactly what I adore about Brandi, she makes a plan, she follows it and she sees it to fruition.  She is one of those beautiful souls that I've had the grand fortune of getting to know in real life, and I look forward to watching her dreams become a reality because I truly believe her imprint on this world is going to be grand in a wonderful way. 

 [image by Lissy Elle]


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by Pretty Mommy}

Thank you to the lovely Melissa for inviting me to hang out here for a bit in her lovely space...It was so inspiring to go back and read so many eloquent and heartfelt Wishful Thinking posts but also a little daunting - well written and deep are never my strong while, as the mother to two young girls, I wish for many things emotional & complicated and many things a good nights sleep, a strong cup of coffee and a clean house, I thought I'd tackle something a little lighthearted and frivolous....

As a young girl I was pretty convinced that I was destined (as many a young girl does) to be a big, name in lights singer...helped along, no doubt, by my uncles dubbing me "the world famous Michelle Lee LeBlanc" and so I spent many an hour roaming the backyard singing heartfelt versions of "You Light Up My Life", the entire Urban Cowboy soundtrack, and "Close to You"...but somewhere along the way, after many years of practicing Madonna's Lucky Star choreography and Gloria Estefan's sultry stylings, did I finally realize that perhaps my tunage was just one note shy of a bad Star Search audition, so I put that dream on a shelf and never looked back...after all, I had Oscar winning actress to fall back on, no?

Then many years later I happened to catch Tina Turner in concert...Tina was amazing, the real deal...60 something at the time, shimmying and shaking like nobody's business...and when she broke into River Deep, Mountain High...whoa lordy...with every fiber of my being did I want to be up there with Ms T whipping my hair around and belting the lyrics from the bottom of my toes...there was just something so liberating, so effortless, so unbelievably powerful in those must be a magical feeling to open your mouth and have that voice emerge from that's my wishful thinking...for one day to magically channel Tina Turner's pipes, hear the roar of the crowd and whip a fringy, spangly dress into a frenzy like there's no tomorrow...xoxo, M

Right on sista!  I'm all for the simple and frivolous wishes in's what we need to keep us feeling a bit lighter on days that seem so filled with 'heavy real life stuff'.  Michelle is the amazing curator behind the stunning selections of clothes and accessories that can be found in her shop Pretty Mommy.  Her blog of the same name is also a place filled with current buzz on beauty, fashion and simple every day muses of her pretty life.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Balance ~

Sometimes, it's the little people who remind us of the big things in life.

I'm going to start maintaining a bit more balance in my every day.  

It's definitely a must for overall happy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a birthday wish}

Today, my little brother turns another year older. 

I'm not sure he realizes exactly how much he means to me, but I believe I'm the luckiest sister in the world.  

He's one of those perfect ones.  Even though he is younger, I've always looked up to him.  His kindness, pure goodness, nonjudgmental thoughts, and his deep devotion to all those he holds dear to his heart, are what put him high up in the saint category. 

He also can make you laugh until you cry, and he has this insane ability to problem solve anything and everything {which has always drove me mad...I didn't get this gene!}.

We are opposites.  We are similar.  We are siblings...a bond that I cherish and consider to be one of the greatest gifts of my life.

Happy Birthday Jamie ~ you make this world a better place.

[image via here]

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grape Crush ~

Friends, the harvest/crush was everything I had hoped for...and a tad bit more.  Being surrounded by the glorious beauty of vineyards, fresh air, and fun-loving friends was a total added bonus to the amazing awe that filled my soul as I helped harvest 1,000 pounds of cabernet sauvignon grapes.  I literally caught myself grinning from ear-to-ear as my bin grew full and my hands were soaked in fresh grape juice.  For those few hours, I was in harmony with nature and nothing else mattered.  

We picked, we laughed, we ate delicious local food, and we crushed {a hand-cranked machine de-vined the plump, juicy grapes}, and we tasted...oh my goodness, I've never tasted grape juice so incredibly amazing.  If I were not into delicious wine, I would say forgo the fermenting process and just indulge in the purity of the first stage of crush.  Wow! Oh how I wish I could share a glass with each of was that amazing.

So if ever given the opportunity to offer free labor to pick grapes, take it.  I guarantee it will be a moment in time you will never forget.

[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by la la lovely}

I’m a huge fan of Melissa’s.  She is sweet and soulful, and I’m pretty certain that if we lived close by we’d be great friends.  I’m so excited to be a part of the Wishful Thinking series as it gives me a chance to put paper and pen to my flittering wishes. . . .

I’m a fan of wishful thinking.  Any kind of wishing works for me. To wish with words, to wish in thought, to whisper wishes in your heart.

As a kid, I was the wishing type.  I even had a wish book, from time to time, where I penned my whims, wonders and wants.  It was easier to wish then, at least, more freely.  But deep down I’m still a wishing kind of girl.  I wish for all sorts of things:

A rainy day in an old house with an even older book.
A walk along the moors in England. 
A cup of tea, a pen, and a notebook.
A walk along the beach with my near and dear.
A family that stays close, always.
Getting lost in the shops of Paris.

But if I were to share with you the one wish that I can’t shake these days it would be this:

To take my, not so little,family across the sea on a bit of a journey.  To look, to learn and to experience life in a different way.  Not only would I love to travel Europe with my husband and children and let them soak in the history, the art, the different way of being and doing, I would love most to live in a different culture for a years time.  I have always loved England (and always will) but in recent years I’ve somewhat cheated on England and have fallen for France.  I find myself ever fascinated with learning and living in the French culture, as well as learning and speaking a new language.  As difficult as it may be, not knowing what people are saying sounds enticing at times.   I’d love to escape the everyday and live in the un-ordinary.  My heart pretty much skips a beat at the possibility of it all.  I cannot even begin to fully imagine the memories that we would make and the stories we would tell forever after.  The way we would rely on each other, grow together and know each other would be, perhaps, the greatest gift.  I’m not always entirely courageous and, in fact, if someone gave me a big check and said, “go,” I’d probably have to push myself to really actually do it.  But this is the one thing I would want to try if there were no limitations and no fears.  And I’m trying, more than ever, to live that way these days.  I heard someone say, “It is better to feel fear than it is to feel regret.”  And I’m trying, truly, to embrace fear these days and kick the regret.

There are so many people I see that are out there living what they dream.  They just do it. I, of course, think of Gabby / Design Mom, and her sister, Jordan / Oh HappyDay who are living abroad with their families.  They’ve given me a visual of the possibilities of living in another country, and with a large family to boot (Gabby has 6 kids).  When I think something like this is an impossibility or only a silly wish of mine, I always think of them and think, “why not?”  When someone says, “you can’t do that!” my new response is, “Who says?” 

I say it’s time to wish big again.  When your little, you wish big and sadly when you’re big, you wish little.  Well, I’m for wishing big when you’re big.
So what I see is a pretty little home not far outside of Paris.  Quaint and cozy and severely chic.  I see four little la la’s running about in fields of flowers.  Coming in for a chocolat chaud by the fire.  I see us all wandering the streets of Paris on the weekends and practicing the language we are all learning on our weekdays.  We visit the art museums, old buildings, fanciful shops and we eat divine food everyday (because it is plentiful), we ride bikes from here to there and hop on a train at our hearts beckoning and ride off into the sunset to discover yet another country and culture. We live an adventure, together.  And together, we learn to adventure more. 

Trina, Trina, Trina!  We share the same wish, and I believe if we both support one another and voice this grand wish, it will definitely come true.  There is power in numbers, non?  With a blog named la la Lovely, one can rest assured to only find the loveliest of delights lingering beautifully within Trina's posts.  I'm giddy just with thoughts of meeting her next year at ALT, for she is one of those really good ones that you want to befriend.
[images clockwise 1,2,3,4,5]

Monday, October 17, 2011

If the shoe fits ~

Lately, it seems we have been wearing a lot of different shoes.  Trying on all sorts of new adventures, dipping our toes in the waters, and seeing what feels right. We are continuously evolving, open to endless possibilities.  

Being a self-employed duo takes creativity, patience, persistence and lots of guts.  There is no financial safety net or trust fund that gets us through the rocky times.  It's the belief we have in ourselves, each other, and the dreams of what we can accomplish that keeps us going, re-creating ourselves, and working our asses off to remain in control of our own destiny.  

Every day brings a new challenge which forces us to learn new methods, take higher leaps, push the envelope a litter further, and try new strategies.  Some things work, others don't, but the key is not to let the feeling of failure linger for long.  Thick skin has grown, we polish it off, pick ourselves up and try again.

Some nights when the energy is drained, I think it might be easier if I punched a 9-5 time card, collected a steady paycheck and accumulated vacation days.  This thought is fleeting and rare, for the sheer joy of being our own boss, letting our creative juices flow without barriers, and knowing that at the end of every day, we did our very best and hopefully made a positive difference in some way or another, is what motivates us to keep moving along this chosen path ~ whether the shoe fits or not.

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Friday, October 14, 2011

Evening Strolls ~

One of the many things I love about Europe is how people go out for evening strolls before or after dinner.  It's so civilized {and healthy} don't you think?  

Even with the recent time change and darkness blanketing the sky so early in the evening, we still try to make an effort to get out and walk around our little town.  

It's a whole new take on your surroundings when the light begins to fade or the paths are lit by the light of the moon.  Somehow, I believe these nightly strolls add a sprinkle of peace and calm to the day ~ an ideal ending if you ask me.  

[Luxembourg Gardens by John Singer Sargent]

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by Poetic & Chic}

When Melissa asked me to do a Wishful Thinking post, I tried to think of something clever and transporting and unique to write about. And then I kept thinking…and nothing rightfully clever or transporting or unique came to me. That’s what you get for trying too hard, I suppose. So, in the end, I went with the simple and decided to ponder on the one thing I do a lot a wishful thinking over: a table. 

I live in a one-bedroom apartment. It’s not one of those “one bedroom apartments” that has an entry, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, a hallway…and just one bedroom. No. I have a door that jack-in-the-boxes you right into the apartment – no greeting, no hello, no pause for breath – and you’re in it. All of it. My kitchen is an open-plan with a bar-style counter that opens into the main living room where I literally do all of my living. This living room seamlessly transitions between gathering space, reading nook, TV room, office, and sitting-with-your-feet-up zone. I say “seamlessly transitions” because it’s literally the same space where I do all of those things. I do have a bedroom though, which is where I get to sleep, and…

But back to the subject at hand.

Since I literally live on top of myself, having friends over for dinner or a movie requires some extra planning and engineering. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve packed about 40 people in this joint for cocktails, but sit-down dinners for more than two people usually mean sitting down on the floor and holding a plate of food in your lap. After I turned 30 this nonsense should have ended, but 5 years later I’m only just realizing that I, and my friends, deserve better.
I moon over tables. I come across images of tables in catalogs or on blogs, in a movie or on a website, and something gets me right in the gut. I want that.

To me a table is so much more than just a table - it’s an invitation. The very nature of a table is all about gathering: people, things, ideas, discussion. All of these things happen around a table. Inherent in its meaning and purpose is the idea of exchange and enjoyment. People eat food, play games, assemble puzzles, collaborate on designs, draw pictures, do crosswords, laugh, shout, sing, drink, create, and even fall in love, all around a table. 

Tables may seem hard, but they’re very flexible; there’s no size-ist attitude when it comes to a table. When you buy a table they give you the dimensions and tell you how many people it should comfortably fit around it. But, as we all know, it’s when more and more people start to squeeze in that the magic happens. 

Tables build friendships, ideas, businesses, and families. They also inspire. There’s nothing like a broad, flat surface to get the creative juices flowing. It’s just a simple plane, but it begs for color, texture, adornment, or to be just left alone in perfect peace. It can be carved and ornate, or as essential as an old door on a set of legs. It doesn’t judge. 

Living the way I do, I frequently think about a table of my own – how I’d use it, arrange it, put it through its paces, who I’d invite for dinner and what I’d make. If there’s anything worth wishing for, this is it.

Leave it to the clever Annie of Poetic & Chic to turn something as simple as a table into a magical, heartfelt wish.  I've never thought of a table to be of such importance, but now I get it.  Truly, a table is the anchor for so many wonderful moments, memories, and milestones in life.  Still shaking my head over Annie's delightful wish, but then again, she always seems to leave me in a trail of thoughts...the girl is good.  Visit her, I guarantee you will enjoy all she has to share.
[images via pinterest and anthropologie]

Monday, October 10, 2011


Ever since Swiss-Miss introduced an array of cleverly designed temporary tattoos, we have been hooked. 

They last for at least a few days and are definite conversation starters.  But then again, aren't all tattoos {permanent or non} attention getters?   No matter which side of the ink you are on, one thing is for sure, tattoos tell a story.  

What about you ~ inked or not? 

Monday, October 3, 2011

giddyup ~

This weekend was filled with all sorts of outdoor goodness ~ farmers markets, gatherings with new and old friends, small town parades and festivals, and a horse named Darby.

I can't stop thinking about this handsome guy.  So majestic and aged to perfection at 28 years of life, and oh those eyes just melted my heart.   Thankfully, Darby belongs to my good friend, Jacki, which means we can have a riding rendezvous often. 

Tell me, are you a rider or prefer to admire from afar?

[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Friday, September 30, 2011

Falling for Fall ~

My little boho girl.  

Well, almost.  She does still kinda go a little cookoo bananas when she gets too dirty, but for the most part, she likes to roll in the sand, dig her hands and feet deep into the dirt, and learn everything possible about the creepy crawling creatures in the garden. 

She and I was a bit sad to bid farewell to Summer, but we are okay with it now.  As soon as the cool nip cut the air, I immediately switched from green tea to chai tea, and she started pointing out pumpkins instead of pools.  My friends, this is the open-arm signal for Autumn.  Bring on the OktoberFests, the pumpkin patches, and the harvest baskets full of bounty!  

Seasons are a good time for change, and my girl and I are ready to indulge in some new territory together.  

[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by Live & Enliven}

When Melissa invited me to share on this exciting and inspiring part of her gorgeous blog I was moved and honored. I love bloggers and people in general who keep things real, who are optimistic and who challenge us with topics like this every day. I am blown away by being here and grateful to post my few words in this space. Thank you.

Deep breath… and here I go:

I’ve always been a dreamer. Ever since I can remember I’ve either been wishing for a seemly impossible occurrence or living the manifestation of my wishes. I’ve been diagnosed with the deranged characteristic of being an endless idealist. Isn’t that what we all do - prepare for the worst and hope for or expect the best? At twenty-something I wish I could say my idealistic ways have changed but they have not. At least twice a day I close my eyes and make a wish – they usually come true. I credit that to the fact that I’m not an object seeker, my dreams and expectations always involve some kind of feeling or the precious gift of health.

These days I’ve been wishing for peace, with myself and those around me and for those around me. I think only good things can happen when we have peace. I find myself being more controlled, happy and hopeful. I’ve realized with the change of seasons in my life that the most powerful wishes are those made when we feel the most powerless. When there’s nothing we can do but wish. Seeing one of those come true is the highest most indulgent feeling on Earth, or so I think.

I cannot imagine being deprived of having hope for the future: I read articles online, flip through magazines and watch the news - and it breaks my heart to see what the world goes through every day, to see there are people in such situations in which they can only live a day at a time and not dare to wonder what tomorrow will be like, because the future will most likely be the same. I take it as a mission to wish for them too, to dream that things for them will also change.

For that reason and for the fact that even though there’s a past in everybody’s life there’s a future too. I relentlessly refuse to stop dreaming and so should you.

Ana is one of those lovely souls who looks at the world through a beautiful lens, her heart, and it shows in everything she writes and offers on her inspiring blog Live & EnlivenHer beautiful wishful words above will remain with me for some time to come, and I am honored she shared her honest thoughts here.  Merci Ana.

[Image via here]

Monday, September 26, 2011

Drizzle Me Happy ~

Do you know Katie?  She is a superstar, and I don't use this word lightly, she is SUPER in every way and a shining STAR on camera {and in real life}.  Not to mention, she is a kickass fitness trainer {personal goal of mine is to one day have my butt kicked by her early morning spin classes}, and the brilliant beauty pens words of sarcastic wit and humorous tales on her blog, Good Nite Irene.  Simply put, I have major girl crush on Katie.

Last week, she sent us a bottle of 25 year old Balsamic that sent our taste buds into a drizzle happy frenzy.  Obviously, Katie knows my weakness for anything delicious, and this thick-as-syrup balsamic was the perfect addition to one of our favorite avocado treats.

 Loaf of fresh sourdough or multi-seed bread
Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt
{olive oil is optional}

Cut bread into moderately sized pieces {if you prefer toasted bread, brush olive oil on one side of bread and lightly toast}, add thinly sliced avocado to each piece of bread making sure to cover the entire surface, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle sea salt to taste.  
Easy and addictive.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Wine Country Perk ~

Right now, grapes are taking center stage.

It's harvest/crush time here in the wine country, and once again, I'm realizing simple is best ~ a plate filled with juicy delicious table grapes is definitely one of life's greatest pleasures {especially if you picked them off the vine yourself!}.

[Reverie Daydream Images]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by My Castle In Spain}

I always say that I became a grownup at the age of 8. It was when my family left the sunny Provence for the grey skies of Paris. I cried bitterly the day of our removal because I sensed I was waving good bye to my childhood and that there was no return. It meant no more Sunday walks on the hills where I played with my sisters and no more strolls around the colorful markets in Aix-en-Provence, my birth town. Even though Paris was a bright new thing, flowers, scents and people were not the same. Years after, it seems to me that I have always been chasing the vivid memories of my childhood, this special touch of frail innocence mixed with slow pace and tranquil happiness. After many years of a Parisian life, I had the incredible luck to move to southern Spain, in Andalucía which I am now proud to call home. On the very first night, when the subtle scent of jasmine entered my room, I knew I was home because it was the scent of my childhood. Andalucía brings it all back to me: the way Mediterranean people joke or do things slowly, the intensity of the light, the long summers, a sense of humble happiness, the smell of pine and wild thyme in the countryside, the olive trees.....

I cannot explain rationally the deep love I feel for this part of Spain. Or rather, I would say, little by little like birds do, I made myself a nest with time and patience. It has not always been easy but my intuition did not fail me. And it also proved to me that we have to love our dreams always.  

Well, there is no doubt as soon as my Sean reads this post, he will ask me to pack our bags and procure a one-way ticket to Spain! Lala of the beautiful life subject behind My Castle in Spain truly knows how to live every moment to the fullest.  She is a creative soul in more ways than one, and recently, she added designer-worthy aprons to her shop.  I'm hoping one day to visit her in the beloved city she calls home and soak up as much of the jasmine air as one possibly can before becoming intoxicated by its sweet goodness {or perhaps that's a good thing!} ~ 

[image by Lala Ema]


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