Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas magic ~

When she thinks of Christmas, I want shimmering stars, scents of evergreen, warm cups of hot chocolate, and rooms filled with jolly laughter to fill her mind. Cozy blankets wrapped around our shoulders as we read classic tales beside the roaring flames of a burning fire. The tingling trace of pure peppermint oil as she continuously licks the stick of chalky peppermint candy, the old-fashioned kind that my great-grandfather used to fill his shirt pocket with and hand out as if we won the jackpot of tasty bliss.  Afternoons spent in the kitchen preparing baked goods with our own hands, chasing flour clouds in the air, decorating our noses with buttercream icing, and giggling non-stop from the sugar high. Choosing the tree we know needs the most tender loving care because no one else would have it…channeling Charlie Brown Christmas. Creating gifts for those we love, cherish and hold dear to our hearts, gifts that mean something and have a story we want to share. Decorating our tree with offerings from nature, garland strung of cranberries, pinecones hand-painted with glitter, leaves gilded golden, and mistletoe hung in all the right places.

Christmas is meant to be magical. The very roots of Christmas are considered other-worldly. When did we lose touch of this magic? For me, it is vital to plant the seeds of wonderland in her mind, fill her thoughts and soul with the simple beauties of giving with love, receiving with pure gratitude, and absorbing the true essence of the season. A season meant to be filled with joy and peace. She is young, she is impressionable, and now is the time to engrave the pureness of Christmas into her heart. Lists can be made, but let’s allow those lists to be filled with good tidings, wishes for others and special achievements, and prayers of hope for better tomorrows. She is my one and only, and I have vowed to bring back the magic of Christmas. So far, her enthusiasm for painting cut-out stars, singing Oh Holy Night, and running with wild abandon through a Christmas tree farm lead me to believe I’m on the right track.

**This piece was published in the Winter 2012 issue of Folk magazine. An annual subscription for 2013 is being offered at a very happy rate here.

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chai Tea Shortbread ~

My taste buds tend to be synchronized with the seasons, for as soon as the mornings are nipped with a chill, I crave a warm cup of chai tea made frothy with almond milk. But who says the flavor of this incredible spicy goodness needs to be enjoyed in liquid form only? These delicious chai tea shortbread cookies might just become the perfect tasty accoutrement to your steaming cup of tea...the little bits of tea leaves are my favorite part of each bite. 

Chai Tea Shortbread
yields ~3 dozen

1 1/2 cups of spelt flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves  
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tea bag {contents emptied} of Darjeeling Tea 
 3/4 cup powdered sugar
10 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon ice water  

In a bowl, combine flour and next 7 ingredients, stir and mix well. Place sugar and butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at slow speed until just combined {mixture will appear crumbly}. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of ice water onto the dough, combine water and dough together with a fork. Divide dough in half, shape into 2 logs; wrap in parchment or wax paper and chill in refrigerator for one hour.

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Unwrap dough logs and cut into 18 slices using a serrated knife. Place shortbread circles at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets.  Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Allow cookies to cool on pans for 5 minutes before removing and indulging!

[Styling and Photography by Reverie-Daydream]

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

gratitude ~

Moments of silence, a fondness found in these rare passages of time. When they happen, I'm aware and cease every thing, soaking up the natural rhythms of life. The rustling of trees, the songs of birds, the crackling of fallen leaves beneath my feet...nature's noise. Perhaps Autumn makes me more aware of the need to peel off the layers of weight that only slows me down. Instead of wishing to turn inward and hibernate, a sense of renewal and openness is blossoming, a yearning for change. 

Yes, change. The very word itself excites me. Small, big, upside down turning change. I never shun away from it, but instead, welcome the ever-changing flow of life with open arms, wide-eyes, and eager will. If I'm scared of anything, it's regrets. I don't want them. Taking a leap of blind faith and not knowing where I shall fall scares me far less than the potential of a regret. Playing it safe, no thank you. Life, as we all know, is entirely too short. 

So perhaps those moments of silence are pure clarity for my soul. Reflections and reveries all combined in glimpses of time, yet an unfolding of desires to be. 

Gratitude for this life. This one chance. The best I can do is give it my all and hope in the end, this is thanksgiving enough. 

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Life Patterns ~

If we pay attention to the world around us, we will notice similarities in comparison with our daily lives and the offerings of mother nature ~  patterns of growth, seeds of change, seasonal shifts, and the continuous flow within the circle of life. Allowing ourselves to accept the truth, the evident realization that we are one with nature, a tiny spark within the big circle, opens up your eyes to behold the majestic wonders that occur every moment of every day you breathe (as well as those moments before and after you enter the realm of existence).

In March, we planted the seed for this Mammoth Sunflower. We gave her the best spot in the raised bed offering copious amounts of sunshine and sufficient water. Growing into the giant stalk destined to reach the heavens, she finally bloomed. A majestic bloom that made neighbors and unknown passerbys stop and behold her grandeur. She held her prize winning state for a few weeks, and then she began to fade. The droop of her once-sturdy stem no longer lifted her radiance towards the beams of sun. We didn't have the heart to cut her down, so we allowed her to slowly retreat back towards the soil which nourished her from the start. A few days ago, she offered her beautifully patterned seeds as nourishment. Harvested, roasted and consumed with reverence, and a few offspring saved for next year's bloom fest. Full circle.

My hope is the life I lead will mimic this sunflower. Grow strong with my outlook always lifted high, soak up the brightness the world has to offer, feed off the organic goodness prepared by nature, allow my heart to be open and shine, fill my moments with seeds of knowledge, love, kindness, compassion, creativity, and peace. And when I take my final bow, may I find comfort in knowing those I hold dear, as well as those I've passed along my blooming journey, will carry those seeds with them, plant where needed, and renew the circle with a never-ending hope.

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Tuesday, September 18, 2012



"If you look at style - A French woman with no boundaries, a perfectly tailored Italian woman, an American rock star from the 70s, and a Mexican legend, you would get Freda Salvador... I am FRĒDA SALVADOR .  Daring, Tailored, Free Spirited and Artsy." ~ Megan + Cristina

These two ladies are exactly what FRĒDA SALVADOR is all about: Cristina Paloma and Megan Papay are the creative and stylish masterminds behind this new San Francisco-based shoe line which debuts this fall. I've been honored to call these girls friends and to watch their much anticipated collection evolve from the beginning. Cristina and Megan are the real deal when it comes to fashion brilliance and classic trends. Even on play-dates, Megan arrives pairing a vintage frock with cool kicks and a buttery-soft leather Italian bag, and she does it with effortless panache. These girls can mix-n-match patterns and designs like nobody's business.  They take fine Brazilian leathers and bring them to life with graphic pony-hair prints creating versatile shoes for every woman who appreciates stylish wearable goodness on their feet. Each element of their shoes has been designed/made with a labor-of-love; trust me, I've seen them lament over brass hardware and insist on replacing already completed shoes with the exact ones they envisioned [not too shiny or too dull, but just perfect brass according to the Freda standards]. I'm beyond proud of Cris and Megan, and I cannot wait to see FRĒDA SALVADOR shoes donned on chic feet all around the globe.

And did I mention how cool the Freda ladies are? They commissioned a sketch by Seán for the their Saks Fifth Avenue NY shoe floor debut during New York's Fashion Night Out in August. Seriously, my proud meter for those I admire is going off-the-charts as of late.
So if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area clear your calendar for the FRĒDA SALVADOR Launch Party/Trunk Show on Thursday, September 20th at 6:00 PM at La Boutique-Galerie, 414 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA.

If you are interested in attending email the Freda girls at and they will add you to the list.
I hope to see you there!

[all images and FRĒDA SALVADOR lookbook by Seán Patrick McArdle]

Monday, September 17, 2012

Savoring Small Pockets of Time ~

It's the simple moments within the afternoon break of a busy day that keep me grounded. Taking the time to sip a perfectly poured shot of espresso, musing over ideas which have percolated since the sun began to rise, and slowing the frenzied pace of a full-speed-ahead kind of day, I look forward to these tiny slivers of time when even words are not required and thoughts are free to wander. 

A walk in a garden, a dance party in the park, or a sweet nibble of something delicious ~ we all need an afternoon recharge, and I would love to know what break-time pleasures you savor.  Let's inspire one another to enjoy an afternoon reprieve.

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hello Again ~

Meet persimmon. She is my new ride. I traded a persimmon bread for her old rusted, flat-tire self, and my beloved made her pretty again. Whenever we glide through the backroads together, my mind opens. Inspiration is everywhere. No phone, no computer, no one to interrupt my thoughts, my oneness with nature and the fresh air seeping into my pores, my lungs, my being. Weekdays, she is my commute companion as I pedal to teach yoga. Persimmon gets me here and there and {with an open mind} everywhere.

It's been one of the best summers of my life. No agenda except to live, laugh, and be. My crumb blossomed into a little person full of depth and wonder, a magnetic personality, and a sweet soul. We were poolside buddies, puzzle pals, and ice cream connoisseurs. Her jaw-dropping pirouette diving skills brought us to our knees in awe. Every sun-kissed moment was perfection, and I've etched each one into my heart and will never let them go.

Now, we cling to the goodness of Indian summer, while looking ahead to the magic of autumn's crisp bliss.  I'll admit, I've missed this little space; although, I've fallen hard for the virtual disconnect. As with all things in life, there is a fine balance, and I'm going to work towards a happy harmony. There are stories and memories to share, and this is where I want the words to settle, at least for now. 

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

taking time ~

She is growing up way too fast.  My little crumb is now a very independent 4-year-old, and I'm loving every moment of her.  My selfish urges have gone into overdrive, and I do not want to miss a moment of her sweet life.  She is my buddy 24/7.  We get each other {okay, maybe I get her much more than she gets my need for a coffee break, email time-out, or the general boring pesky grown-up stuff}, but in general we have fun. A lot of fun.  

Just today, we discussed a favorite book in detail and why she loves it.  She then asked why I like to read it to her.  She's curious, she cares, and she can hold up her end of the conversation.  Good traits/skills I wish to foster and make sure she keeps forever and always.  

Time is passing me by way too quickly.  If only I could stand still and just be.  Be free like her.  I guess what I really want is for my Gaia Miette to remember these early days with her mama.  Mostly, I want her to have fond memories with me.  Recollecting some of the joyous times like when I helped her plant the "frijoles", search for worms for her 'worm farm', hula-hoop blunders {that would be moi}, singing "someone's in the kitchen at Gaia's" until we are hoarse, and snuggling in the mid-afternoon because what she needs most is her mama.  

I count my blessings to be able to spend 100% of my time with my one and only girl.  Believe me, we do without a lot to make this happen, but there is nothing I value more than my crumb's happiness.  So I'm going to treat this "full-time job" with the utmost respect and take a sabbatical from this space for a while.   

She and I have a whole world of blossoms to explore, so we hope you will understand... 

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Monday, March 5, 2012

culinary pleasures ~

This past weekend, I had the grand fortune of attending one of Sherry Page's Culinary Getaways in Napa Valley.  There really are not enough adjectives to describe how much I enjoyed three days of incredible food bliss.  Sherry is one of those people who lives life to the fullest.  She makes sure to enjoy every single bite she places into her mouth, and she wants those who are with her to experience the best of the best.  I always feel as if I won the lottery every single time I get to hang out with her!  

Not only does she share the most simple and delicious recipes with others, but she also reminds every one how easy it is to fill a plate with "off-the-charts" flavors.  One of my favorite moments in her getaways is how the guests react to foods they have never tasted or been exposed to {re: fava beans, beets, fleur de sel, etc.}'s as if their entire taste bud world has been opened to new pleasures of delicious bliss.  Eye lashes flutter, mouth slows to an intentional chew, and a smile slowly highlights their thoughts...pure goodness straight from mother nature never tasted so good, and now they are hooked!  

A gathering of strangers around a table partaking in amazing offerings of food, wine, chocolates and olive oils.  The connection is made over a fava bean crostini, a glass of late-harvest wine, and a shared moment overlooking the glorious landscape of the Silverado Trail.  Food and wine bring people of all backgrounds and cultures together ~ magical experiences and lovely connections are made around a simply curated table of culinary pleasures.

[reverie-daydream images]

Friday, March 2, 2012

les fleurs

"Can I pick a flower? Just one, please?"  Her big blue eyes dance with delight with each new bloom she passes.  The girl is obsessed with flowers.  A four-year-old who cared more about the pink and purple flowers at her birthday party than the cake or presents.

Every morning she wakes and lazily smiles at the bedside vase filled with her latest picked treasures.  Recent gatherings have included mustard grass, daffodils, tulips, and daisies.  Today, we planted poppies around the grand ol' walnut tree in the garden.  Our porch steps are an eclectic mix of pots filled with an array of brightly colored annuals.

Noting this extreme interest in pretty petals, we have started a pink field journal to document her lovely findings ~ the special day of discovery is captured with a brief phrase or story to describe the reason the particular petaled perfection was chosen.

I love that she takes time to stop and smell the roses {and pick a few} along the way.

[Claude Monet ~ Poppies, 1873]

Saturday, February 18, 2012

catching the sun ~

while visiting her grandparents in the sunshine state, she offers up joyful giggles as she tries to catch the last rays of sunlight.

we hope she always holds the beaming glory of this blazing star in her hands and heart.

wishing everyone, wherever you may be, a beautiful long weekend of soulful warmth ~

[image by reverie-daydream]

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

~ 4 ~

Today, our crumb turns 4.  

Over the weekend, we celebrated her special day with all her favorite friends, pale pink frosted cakes, and magical gardens to roam.

She is a well-rounded one, our girl ~ pink, frills and princess play combined with a cleverly fun personality, powerful determination, and all sorts of monkey business. 

We cannot get enough of her.  Seriously, each year gets better and better.

Happy Birthday Gaia Miette ~ you are our earth, sun, moon, and stars.

[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Friday, February 3, 2012

Vista Visions ~

I believe in the power of beautiful vistas...they stir your soul.  

Oftentimes, tears stream from the very source that captures the imprint of that moment.  The moment where my heart skips a beat, I gasp for air, and the mental click of recognition that this is real not just a reverie settles into the chambers of my memory bank.  Real beauty offered up and perhaps never to be seen exactly the same as it is at that very second.  
Mood altering. Game changers.  The vista visions that cause me to step back and reassess my attitude.  Appreciate what I already have and revel in the moment.  

Time is fleeting, and I'm not going to let its beauty pass me by. 

Indulge in the greatness this world offers ... sunrises, sunsets and all the glory in-between.    

Friday, January 13, 2012


Raw beauty.  It's what I like best.  

People, food, pigments.  The purity of these gifts from nature before they are altered by our hands, machines, chemicals, and more.  

Step back and behold these rare untouched moments. 

The unconditional love of a person's heart, a genuine smile from a stranger, the sound of your beloved's voice.  Pure goodness of people.

Juice from a fresh-squeezed orange, the crunch of a raw carrot, and a lip-pucker from a slice of lemon.  Pure tastes of real food.

Vibrant color, minerals that shine, stones that sparkle.  Pure pigments which color our world.

Purity is precious.  Seek it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Quinoa with Carrots & Cabbage ~

I'm on a mission to use what I have on hand and not let food go to waste.  In doing so, I rummaged through our fridge and came up with carrots, cabbage and arugula.  Quinoa is always sitting pretty in a jar, and my little family never turns a nose up at this delicious seed-like healthy substance.  Instead of cooking the carrots and cabbage, I chose to dice them up and add them raw to the cooked quinoa.  I'm a fan of raw vegetables...the crunch and taste is as pure as you can get.  And when it came to tossing in a flavorful dressing, I kept that at a 'raw' minimum too.  With a lemon and garlic on hand {must-have winter essentials}, I knew olive oil would be my binding ingredient, and for an extra kick, a few tablespoons of shoyu sneaked in.  This is a really simple and easy recipe, and you could substitute most raw vegetables to your liking.  

Quinoa with Carrots & Cabbage
serves 4

1 cup of cooked quinoa
 1 1/2 cups of chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups of red/purple cabbage chopped
2 cups of arugula
sea salt to taste

1 clove of garlic minced or crushed
1 lemon {juiced}
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons shoyu

In a large bowl, mix quinoa, carrots and carrots.  Add sea salt to taste. Whisk together all ingredients of the dressing, mix and toss with quinoa and vegetables.  Either blanket bottom of bowl with large handful of arugula or add arugula to mix just before serving. 

[Reverie-Daydream Images] 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter in the Wine Country ~

About 90 days after the first autumn rains, mustard begins to push through the vineyard soils to beautifully embellish the resting Winter vines.  This dormant stage in the grapevines is very important to the vineyard health and performance in the upcoming season.  

Throughout January and February, severe winter pruning takes place on all the vines.  The Mustard Season is one of the most beautiful times of the year in the Wine Country.  Its golden blooms blanket the floor of the soundly sleeping vines, and as the sun shines, the landscape glows in a daydreaming brilliance. The rainy season will provide nourishment to the terroir promising a Spring of bud break and phenomenal wines to come. 

This is Winter in the Wine Country ~ a time for rest and renewal with a sparkle of gold.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Simple Comfort Food ~

We all have our chosen comfort foods.  The recipes we go to when we need to feel all warm and cozy inside, cheer our bellies and soothe our minds.  Banana Bread does it for me.  A warm slice with butter and a cup of hot tea underneath a wise old walnut tree was the perfect treat on a sunny winter afternoon. 

Banana Bread
{adapted from Sophie Dahl}
5 1/2 tablespoons of soft unsalted butter
4 ripe bananas
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of spelt flour
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dark chocolate bits {or chips}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x5-inch pan.

Mash bananas in a big mixing bowl.  Add the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract and mix together with bananas.  Add the baking soda, salt and flour.  Mix well.  Stir in coconut, walnuts and chocolate last.  Pour into the prepared pan.  Bake for 1 hour, remove, cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve.

[Reverie-Daydream Images]


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