spring has sprung ~

April 17, 2014

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Favorite part of Spring…life shifts almost completely to the outdoors. The colors are bright, bold and beautiful. Skies are blue with puffy clouds beckoning daydreams, and the warm sun dances upon the uncovered skin thawing the layers of winter. Every day, the blooms grow bigger, the buds find their fruit-formed shape, and the trees thicken with their fancy green-leafed frocks. Sweet little toes are painted colors of easter eggs, surprises are found within nests, and bouquets of garden flowers adorn every possible surface.  Spring has sprung ~

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face time ~

April 10, 2014

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It’s important to know that what I’m putting on my face/skin is as chemical free as possible. Not only does my daily regimen have to be simple and easy, I want it to be accessible for my Gaia to use whenever she wishes to “play” face time with me. Now, I will be honest, I have never been married to any one particular skincare line. I like to keep my options open when it comes to lotions, oils, and cleansers. Seasons change, and so does my skin. And I’ve noticed with age, the skin seems to be even more fragile {insert huge sigh}.   100% Pure is exactly that…”health food for your skin”, and you can guarantee you keep my allegiance with a promise of purity.

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Mornings and nights, my face is cleansed with the foamy goodness of Mountain Rose Herbs Castille Soap. It’s so affordable and lasts forever. Some days, if I feel as if my skin is a bit dry, I will add a dollop of coconut oil to the soap and cleanse away.

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It took me years to understand the glory behind a hydrofoil, but once I spritzed onto my face, I was hooked. Such a lovely way to wake up in the mornings, and your skin immediately has this little perk-me-up glow to it. This rose mist by 100% pure is lovely, but I am also a fan of t hisLavendar, Willow and Calendula toner.  One day, I will make my own…at least that’s a dream of mine. 

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Oh the eyes…the stories they tell.  I’m still in search of the perfect eye cream. This one is doing a fine job of holding the current moment steady, but I am determined to find a chemical-free product that will smooth fine lines. Any tips or recommendations to share, I will gladly take.

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Facial oils are my all-time favorite luxury.  I swear my pores sing a happy melody of glowing thanks with each application. The wild rose oil from Mountain Rose Herbs is subtle in scent but intense with hydrating goodness.

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At night, the pomegranate moisturizer follows the facial oil. I’m a huge fan of pomegranates and believe these fruits of the gods definitely contain healing and restorative powers.

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Cucumbers soothe and hydrate, so my morning routine includes a fresh start with this very simple cucumber moisturizer cream. I even use it on my hands or apply to my little girl’s skin before bedtime or after a long day at the beach.

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There is obviously a rose theme going on here…perhaps because they evoke a romantic dreaminess. Hence, the reason I find great pleasure in finding as many uses as possible for Santa Maria Novella’s Rose Water.  It’s antiseptic, purifying, moisturizing and anti-oxidant properties evoke me to splash abundantly from head to toe.

Do you have any skincare favorites or secrets you would love to share? I’m always ready to try something new…

**all images by Reverie-Daydream Photography

april ~

April 1, 2014

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I’m a fool for April and all its blooming splendor. Allergies be damned, the colors twinkle through watery eyes adding a touch of dreaminess to any sun-filled day. We all begin to emerge from winter’s stronghold as we seek light from our cozy, blanketed caves sofas. Days are longer, birds offer happier melodies, and strangers recall the ease of a genuine smile.

Hope is abundant. It clings to the air, drizzling its spirit of renewal upon our futile souls. A rebirth of creativity prevails as our energy levels heighten and our brains brush off the cobwebs of low hanging grey skies. Renewal is the name of the game; I’m a key player.

There is a reason I was born in April…and devoted I shall be to flourishing as a legend in my very own way.

Hello April, you are my bliss.

ocean hope ~

March 11, 2014

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A few weeks ago, I took Gaia to visit one of her favorite places in Marin, The Marine Mammal Center. Before entering, she paused for a quite a while taking in the vastness before her. The ocean always puts her in a peaceful state, water calms, soothes, brings ease to the mind. reverie-daydream photography marine mammal center 2014 IMG_7158

The week before, I read this, and my heart has been broken ever since. I knew it was bad, the state of our oceans, yet Greg Ray’s account of what he has witnessed, literally made my gut wrench. And the thoughts of my girl, who is so in love with every part of the sea, not having the chance to always witness the awe of what covers most of her planet, truly makes me stop in my tracks and start making a difference. The first step, awareness.

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You can imagine the questions she asks while we walk through the facility, and I do not sugar coat the answers. The hope is with our kids, they are the ones who can make a change. The image above is an art installation from kids all over the Bay Area. Each piece of watercolor paper has a written promise upon it. Simple things such as using less water to brush teeth, picking up trash off the beach, eating sustainable fish, recycling, etc.

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We read every plaque along the walls telling the stories of each visitor who has come through the center. While there one of the sea lions died of a virus, and we were able to watch the autopsy. These are moments that I am thankful for educational offerings which are all around us, we just have to seek it out and learn ways to make a difference.  And before we can begin teaching our kids how to save the planet, we first must allow them to fall in love with Mother Earth. I believe kids who spend time out in the natural world and develop a connection with the plants, oceans, and creatures that inhabit it are more likely to grow up to be environmentally-engaged citizens.  I’m often reminded of David Sobel’s words:

“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.”

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In March 2008, a 51-foot-long sperm whale washed ashore near Tomales Point. The cause of death was ingestion of 450 pounds of ghost nets and rope.  This loch nest monster like creature is made from the ‘junk food’ which kills sea life on a daily basis.

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There are many conservation and volunteer sites to help guide you in the direction to make a change, The Ocean Project is a great place to start. Just remember, all life is connected, and every action reflects the actions of all others. And all our efforts, big or small, together affect the health of the ocean.

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February 14, 2014

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It’s really just that simple. 

Live fully.  Love strong.

6 ~

February 7, 2014

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Today, my darling Gaia Miette, you turned 6.

Your heart is filled with pure goodness and sweet love,

And your feet always move to the rhythm of your gentle inner spirit.

Please never stop dancing to your own graceful melody within…

You are greatness, you are joy, you are hope.

You are my all.

~ Happy Birthday My Beautiful Crumb ~

Love,

Mama

 

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a styled feast for stone edge farm cookbook ~

January 14, 2014

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I’m still pinching myself as I turn the pages of the stunning Stone Edge Farm Cookbook! I was honored to be asked to style the feast for the cookbook, and it was truly an amazing experience. The location was surrounded by nature’s breathtaking splendor as the season offered a golden sunset of color, and the theme of simplistic, rustic beauty was right up my alley. Leslie Sophia Lindell was the photographer for the entire 372 page cookbook, and she captures moments and beauty filled with intense color and vibrancy in each of the 300 photographs. Her images are simply delicious fare for the eyes! 

It was a magical day from beginning to end. Transforming an olive grove into a dining room to be filled with friends gathering to enjoy garden-fresh food and wine at sunset with the glow of candlelight from the tree lanterns and table adding an aura of warmth to a circle of kindred culinary spirits, a vision unfolded into a memorable reality now gracing the pages of an amazing cookbook. Cheers to dreams coming alive.

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a magpie with a photographer’s eye ~

January 10, 2014

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She received a Fuji instax mini for Christmas, and she hasn’t put it down. It might be one of my favorite gifts to-date because she is taking her photography so serious. Perhaps my constant reminders of “you need to really think about what you are snapping before you press the button” have helped since we aren’t dealing with finger snap happy digital anymore. I have to admit, I love playing with it too. I’ve added the more adult version to my birthday wish list.

Our girl has always been a magpie. She will spot a shining crystal on a sidewalk from a mile away, feathers are stacked on the table, pinecones fill a bowl, seashells are scattered all over, heart-shaped rocks are always prized finds, and anything else which catches her curious eyes. Yesterday, she decided to arrange her favorites so she could photograph them. It was a joy to watch her so focused on every stage of the process. She definitely doesn’t fall far from the tree!

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The bird’s nest is her all-time favorite treasure. She found it barely hanging from a fence in Truro. No doubt it had been blown from the large oak tree and rested patiently for my magpie crumb to discover it. She made sure it arrived home safe and sound through a ferry ride, subways, buses, cars and airplanes, and now she is the only one allowed to touch it. This fragile creation is one of those finds that leaves you marveling at the beauty and simple wonders of nature. 

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Let’s face it, bringing back the gratification of photography on instant film is magical! The shading, coloring and dreamy effect of the polaroid-like photos makes my heart swoon, and always brings huge joy to my girl’s face! I can’t wait to see what she captures through her very own lens. 

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a healing broth ~

December 12, 2013

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It’s the time of year when I make sure our fridge is stocked with homemade broth {chicken or vegetable}. My great-grandmother always said chicken broth was nature’s penicillin, and I fully believe her. I use it in risottos, soups, and Gaia even loves to sip it warm from a mug.  Most days, you will find me enjoying a bowl of brodo. It’s so simple and easy, yet deliciously healthy and good.

Brodo with Egg

Serves one, but you can easily adjust for sharing with others

16 oz. homemade chicken broth

1 egg lightly beaten

fresh parsley

cracked black pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat broth to a boil and whisk in egg for about 30-60 seconds.

Pour in bowl, add fresh chopped parsley and pepper. Enjoy!

**and if you want to take a peek into what foods fill our fridge, meander over to a favorite and inspiring friend’s blog, for some of our daily food habits!

from-the-heart holiday giving ~

December 4, 2013

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Every year when the holiday season arrives, I begin to find myself a bit on edge with the bombardment of consumerism which surrounds us in every direction. But this year is different, I am not allowing myself to enter the overwhelming zone of big box retail, commercials, catalog mailings, and so forth. Instead, I have pledged to  think simply. A gesture of kindness does not have to come in an elaborately wrapped box, nor does it have to be the ‘it’ item of the year. What matters most is the act of giving, the joy which fills our hearts when we remind those we love and appreciate that they are special and make a loving impact upon our hearts and lives.  Even a small handwritten card can make someone’s day in a very big way.

Now more than ever it is important for me to set a balanced standard for the holiday season because I have a very perceptive and impressionable little girl who is soaking up every bit of this season, and I want her to soak up all that is good and the true meaning of Christmas. Teaching her that less is more, that giving feels so good, and that using her hands to create a gift for those she loves is priceless. Kim John Payne wrote an excellent article in the Huffington Post about putting the genie back in the bottle and simplifying the holiday season for kids.

And so it begins, holiday gifts are being made with love, by hand or chosen from local artisans. Evenings spent gazing at the twinkling Christmas tree lights, books being read about every holiday tradition around the globe, favorite carols being memorized with dance parties to ensue, sticky fingers and lips from candy cane treats, and ice skating as much as possible…this is what it’s all about, being in the moment, making memories and taking the time to let Jack Frost nip at your nose!

Together, we can do this ~ let’s bring from-the-heart meaning back to the holidays!