Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wishful Thinking {guest post ~ à la parisienne}


Time with our young children is so fleeting, and their sweet minds are so impressionable and eager to learn. Before Amelia was born, I had this deep desire, and every day I spend with her, this desire grows. I wish to homeschool my daughter.

Aside from long division, spelling, biology, and French, I desire to teach her other skills, model values, and give her experiences that reach far beyond the so called academic world.

I wish to:

*Read to her and listen to her read; teach her about the value of holding old, 
musky pages in her hands and reading a real book.

*Place seeds in her hands above the rich soil; 
teach her about growing food and caring for the earth.

*Bring her to the post office as we send an order to a foreign land; 
teach her how to run a business from home.

*Sing the song "My Country 'Tis of Thee;" 
teach her to respect and have allegiance for her country.

*Take her on mission trips; teach her about serving others and selfless giving.

*Bring her to nursing homes and visit widows from our church; 
teach her about loving and caring for others.

*Give her measuring cups and mixing bowls; 
teach her how to prepare delightful, healthy meals .

*Visit national parks and foreign countries; 
teach her geography as we behold it.

*Hand her a paint brush, a needle and thread; 
teach her how to use her imagination.

*Sit at the piano with her, play a song together, sing; teach her music and its value for the soul-its ability to comfort, to produce joy, to awaken.

*Memorize  Bible verses  with her; teach her about the truth in God's Word 
and the everlasting promise it holds.

*When tragedies strike and when we encounter heartache, teach her not to be afraid, 
not to lose hope-that God has the "Whole World in His Hands."

As a parent, I believe that it is my privilege and my duty to positively shape the way my daughter views and interacts with the world around her. It is my wish to provide this wealth of knowledge from our home-everyday.


Mandy, the very sweet, beautiful, and talented lady of à la parisienne is one of those special connections that come along through blogging.  We have never met in real life, but I know the lucky day we do, it will be an instant bonding session.  I'm not sure there isn't anything she can't do ~ she is fluent {and teaches} French, designs and creates romantic accessories, captures stunning images through her camera lens, and most importantly is an extraordinary mother.

[images: à la parisienne]

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cuban Bread


Last week while in Florida, we discovered a hidden gem in the heart of Ybor City ~ La Segunda Bakery.  McDreamy and I will search out any establishment that boasts a history of upholding tradition, and this corner bakery has stood the test of time and discerning palates {including ours}.  They bake 7,000 loaves of bread per day, and  place a freshly cut leaf of palmetto across the top of each loaf to create the signature split down the middle ~ a true sign of authentic Cuban bread.

We paired our warm buttered Cuban toast with a café con leche, and there wasn't  a word spoken until every bite and sip was savoured.  

Do you have a favorite bread?  I'm determined to successfully bake bread this year, and the recipes are waiting to be tackled despite how much they daunt me.  Any suggestions or tried-and-true tips you wish to share in regards to yeasts, temperatures, and such...well, I'm all ears {and eyes}.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rehearsal


Do you ever have those days that feel like a dress rehearsal for something big?  Hours spent in earnest preparing for the 'show', moments of anxiety, sleepless nights, and a bevy of creative thoughts crashing into one another waiting for that moment of sheer brilliance to shine and allow the 'curtain' to rise for the first act of what will inevitably set the tone for one of your life's greatest plays.  

Lately, there has been an inspirational 'storm' brewing within, and I'm working through all the stuff that tends to block the flow of piecing all the  'characters' together.  Multiple pirouettes of ideas dancing in my mind will hopefully unite in synchronized beauty allowing for a star to be born.  

Perhaps our thoughts are always in the midst of a rehearsal ~ continuously warming up to keep our creative juices flowing, pushing us to be our very best, driving us beyond those set limits, and inspiring us to achieve standing ovation performances.   

Either way, I tend to enjoy dress rehearsals and live performances, don't you? 



[The Rehearsal by Edgar Degas viewed on display at the Tampa Museum of Art's Degas Exhibition]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wishful Thinking {Guest Blogger ~ PVE Design}


I painted this work of art in Central Park, it is of "Bethesda Fountain".  Fountains have always played a key role in my life long list of wishes. I have a photo of myself standing in front of the Trevi Fountains...pregnant with twins.  My wish was for healthy babies, and now those babies are 18 and soon will be off to college in the Fall.  Now, my wishes for my boys are that their life paths will be filled with higher learning, friendship, hard work and love.

Wishes help us to keep the positive energy flowing and what a better way than that of a fountain to symbolize the flow.


Patricia of PVE Design is a talented artist with a flair for finding beauty in everything.  She lives a healthy life, follows her passions and raises incredibly athletic and intelligent offspring.  There are no doubts that when she makes a wish, it certainly comes true.

[illustration by PVE Design]

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wishful Thinking {Guest Blogger ~ Souled}



I believe in possibilities, so I tend to wish a lot.

Some of my wishes are tiny and silly, like wishing someone would deliver almond and honey-drizzled toast to my bed every morning. Some are work-related, like wishing before every house showing that my clients fall in love and see their next home as soon as I unlock that door.

And some of my wishes are flat-out heartbreaking to me. Like wishing my life was bustling with two babies and one on her joyful way. Wooden blocks and scrambled eggs and finger paints and dance parties after late-afternoon naps. Their daddy coming home to us just as the sun goldens. And then it all begins again.

Until that wish comes true, I guess I'll keep dreaming.

Oh, that's the way with wishes, isn't it? When all of your wishes come true, all your dreams disappear.


Jamie is the beautiful bright soul behind the brilliantly written blog, SOULED.  She weaves words into stories that sparkle, and I swear she makes the stars twinkle brighter and the sun's rays cheerfully glisten every where she goes ~


[image via Pinterest]

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quinoa, Squash, & Black Bean Salad


Looking for a delicious and healthy salad?  This protein, high-fiber packed meal satisfies even the most voracious appetite.  As long as there are butternut squash available, you can guarantee we are eating this at least once a week.  

Remove the 'skin' from the squash, cut the body into approx. 1" rounds, brush both sides with olive oil (usually I add a few crush garlic cloves to the oil before spreading), then either roast or use a panini grill until softened.  In the meantime, rinse dry quinoa thoroughly prior to cooking.  Add cooked (or canned) black beans to the cooked quinoa, toss with olive oil and sea salt.  Place fresh arugula, then a large portion of quinoa, black bean mixture atop the butternut squash.  With a heavy hand, drizzle olive oil and generously add feta or goat cheese.  Grab a fork and enjoy.

[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fragile


Constantly, I am reminded of how precious and fragile life truly is ~ some days are heavier reminders than others {our thoughts are with many who are suffering today}.  So much can change in a blink of an eye.  

This sweet little hummingbird suffered a crash landing into the glass door, and our cat, Cookie, ever-so-gently picked this tiny beauty up in his mouth and carried to Sean.  Rarely does a  hummingbird remain still long enough to leave the onlooker time to admire its stunning magnificence.  Sitting in the palm of Sean's hand, he/she breathed, blinked its eyes, and partook in the offering of sugar water.  And then, like a flash, it raised its body, fluttered its wings while hovering at eye level for a span of time {as if to say thank you} and then raced off with a fellow companion who showed up to add moral support. 

Kind words, simple gestures of a hug, a smile, a hand to hold, prayers and wishes, we are all here to help one another ~ great or small. 



[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wishful Thinking ~


If I had one wish, it would be for everyone on this planet to have access to affordable and fresh organic food.  Around every corner, there would be communal gardens offering seasonal goodness and local farmers sharing the fruits of their labors with one and all.  

Healthy food, food which is the gift of the Earth, is so incredibly important to me.  My entire life revolves around it, for I am a firm believer in you are what you eat.  As the old adage states, "an apple a day, keeps the doctor away" is a simple truth.  What we put into our bodies equates to our overall health ~ Eat Good, Feel Good. 

Whenever I leave my 'bubble' of Northern California, I immediately begin to worry about where I will find the food which my family and I are used to eating.  This should not be a worry.  It is not fair to be considered 'high maintenance' because I expect local, seasonal food wherever I go.  What happened to the history of planting, growing, and eating food from a local garden?  Why has genetically engineered corn become the base for most everything in a typical diet?  

Perhaps I'm naive, but I truly believe if every person on this Earth had access to the edible greatness which comes from unaltered soils, then hunger, disease, healthcare, the environment and more would be impacted in a positive way.  

Wishful thinking of a healthier, happier world is something I do not plan to stop.  Anything is possible if we set our minds to it, take action towards change, and support the efforts of those who are making a difference.  One life, one body, one chance ~ we are all worth it.

**This post is the first of a new series, Wishful Thinking.  Each Wednesday, an admired blogger will share their thoughtful wishes.  There are no boundaries.  The platform is open to all things great and small, and I anticipate Wednesdays will be quite wonderful around here. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Moment in Time ~


He did it, he captured our Crumb at three.  I'll cherish this drawing forever, a time where she is so perfectly sweet, funny, adoring of us, and full of whimsical wonder.  

One day, she will realize how lucky she is to have such a talented Papa.  I tell her every day.


[Charcoal/Chalk Drawing by Sean Patrick McArdle]

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