Friday, January 28, 2011

An Inspiring Siesta

There's a very special birthday happening this weekend, and it involves my Perfect 10.  Several nights a week, we have these great discussions about art, life, when and where we should go next, and constantly plotting our next creative adventure. 

So it was no surprise when I asked McDreamy what will set the tone for his year ahead, he simply stated "A Siesta by Sargent".  As an artist, he finds inspiration in every moment of the day, each color hue that graces the sky, and the minutest strokes of a Master's brush.  Just knowing he chose a masterpiece with such fluidity and graceful beauty as the theme for his year makes my heart light up ~ I cannot wait to see what this piece inspires him to do. 

[A Siesta by John Singer Sargent]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today, I leave for Alt!  This trip has been planned for months, and I can hardly believe the check-in date has arrived.  My bags are packed, my pencils are sharpened, and my senses are ready to soak in all the great knowledge that will most definitely be shared during this conference.  I'm beyond excited to spend some time with my 'hotel mates' ~ Alexis and Jeanne.  And I'll definitely have a case of the jitters when I finally get to meet two of my blogger favs ~ Karey and Joslyn

But my heart will remain in California, right where it belongs with my little family. This is the first time I'm leaving the crumb for more than a few hours, and folks, there is going to be some separation anxiety {all on my part I'm sure}. Obviously, she is in exceptional hands with Papa McDreamy, so my worries are few.  One thing I know for sure, I'm already looking forward to my return back to both of their arms and a continuous stream of kisses.  

[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Friday, January 7, 2011

Last Evening ~

During our last trip to London, McDreamy and I enjoyed roaming through the galleries of the St. James's district, and one night, we accepted a spontaneous invite to an artists reception in honor of Paul Hedley.  Of all the beautiful pieces, this particular one, Last Evening, captured my heart, and there isn't a week that goes by that I don't retrieve the image and just stare.  I'm not  exactly sure what I adore most ~ the obvious sultry warmth of a Riviera evening, a romantic candlelight dinner on a secluded balcony, or her blissful contentment of an extraordinary beautiful moment.  This is the wonderful gift of art ~ its magic constantly lingers within our minds and renews our spirits. 

Oh the power of a brushstroke....

[Last Evening by Paul Hedley]

Monday, January 3, 2011

Granola Bars ~

I'm a big fan of homemade anything, and granola bars are no exception!  They are the perfect running-out-the-door breakfast necessity as well as an ideal companion to an afternoon espresso or tea.  {and they also make delicious, healthy gifts}  The bonus with granola is that you can 'personalize' the mix to satisfy your taste buds...

Homemade Granola Bars
{adapted from Ina Garten's Back to Basics}

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8x12-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper. Toss the oats, almonds and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes (stirring occasionally) until lightly browned.  Transfer to a large bowl and stir in wheat germ. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Place butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the oat mixture.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Pour mixture in prepared pan, wet fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. 

[Reverie Daydream Images]


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