Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by contented me}

Wearing red lipstick. Doing a handstand in yoga. Diving off the high-dive. 

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not brave enough to do any of these things. 

Even as a kid, I wasn’t ever what you would consider a risk-taker. You wouldn’t catch me peddling down the street on my bike waving my hands in the air or signing up for the school ski-trip. (Embarrassing confession #2 – I’ve never been downhill skiing.) I was always just happier playing it safe. Keeping both hands on the wheel. 

And until now, I’ve been perfectly OK with my safe-seeking tendencies.  Frankly, I think I’ve gotten along just fine. And with all of my bones still intact, thank you very much. 

But (isn’t there always a but?), I’m starting to feel like a little bit of a hypocrite. 

You see, I’ve got two year old twins at home who, like all other toddlers, are busy exploring their world. And while my son, who doesn’t seem to have a scaredy-cat bone in his body, will take on any challenge that comes his way; it’s his sister who digs in her heels when something seems scary or difficult to do. I want her to know that it’s OK to feel scared sometimes, but that it’s also important to be brave and try new things. I nudge her to go ahead and take that step or slide down that slide because I don’t want her to miss out on things. And seeing the joy in her eyes after she’s accomplished one of those challenges (that wasn’t so scary after all) leaves me beaming with pride.  

Which gets me to thinking about all the things I’ve missed out on because I didn’t dare to try, all the unanswered challenges that would have bolstered my self-pride.  Kinda makes me wish I had done differently. And makes me wonder what my courage-stores might look like now if I had only been building them up.  

And so that’s my wish. To be brave. To try new things – even the scary ones. To be an example to my children of the value of courage.  

The next time my yoga teacher asks us to get into handstand, I’m going give it a try. And if I fall down (which is very likely), I will try again. And I will keep trying until I get it because I know that I’ll never forget how great it feels to accomplish something that was once out of reach. 

Contented Me is authored by the adorable and beyond sweet Chicago interior designer, Kristin.  She always leaves comments or sends lovely emails that put an extra happy kick in my step.  And oh how I wish I could be there for the moment she stands tall with her hands ~ it's one of the best feelings in the world!  Go Kristin Go!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Petite Aventure {Rubicon Estate}

"I may never leave!" the words I exclaimed as I settled into the Mammarella Wine Bar at Francis Ford Coppola's Rubicon Estate.

Wooden Sailboats {picture Luxembourg Gardens in Paris} + Bocce Ball + Cabernet Franc with delicious depth = HOOKED!

Three hours passed as quick as lightening, and finally, the little crumb declared it was time to depart.  Her Bocce game was beginning to falter.

It's good to be home.  Back in the saddle as they say.  I'm feeling recharged and full of vigor despite the fact the days are growing shorter and night seems to linger longer.

No matter the time of day, life is good.  I'm soaking it all in and enjoying every minute.  

Tell me your favorite weekend moment...indulge me, please?!

[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On a Midnight Train to Georgia ~

I'm no Gladys, but I can add a bit of soul to this good ol' song when I dig deep and just let it all out.  And for the past few days, with my sorry attempts at vocals, I've been singing to the crumb.  She now believes we are going on a train.  Somehow, I don't think she will be disappointed when we board a plane instead; she loves to fly.  She wakes up every day ready "to go places".  And places we shall go ~

So my dear lovelies, I'm signing off until the end of the month.  Reverie is going to rest while this Georgia Peach sips iced tea {and coffee} from the front porch, celebrates my favorite niece turning 5, chases fireflies, reads a pile of books, and completely enjoys just being present without any agenda attached.  

Wishing all of you a wonderful August and may you soak up the remaining bits of summer with intense bliss. 

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Friday, August 5, 2011

Inspiring Creativity ~

Imagination is the great spring of creative activity ~ the fountain of artistic fantasies which are the daydreams of children grown up.  Paradoxical as it may seem, the right way to conceive and practice art, regardless of the degree of efficiency, is with the viewpoint of a child.
 ~ Edgar Payne

A few weeks ago, we attended the Catalan Festival, and every single one of us within this family of three had the. best. time.  Incredible music, soul-touching dancing, bright sun shining day, endless flowing of bubbly, and memories being recorded through art.  Sean's idea to encourage our crumb's artistic interests ~ a journal, paintbrush, and watercolors are always at the ready for when she feels inspired to paint.  

A very fine chip off the old-papa tree, don't ya think?  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by Coeur de La}

Growing up I was blessed to have parents who loved to cook. My love for food started with meals with my family. I love the stories that a good meal can evoke. Our meals were simple, fresh, and always filled with laughter. Early mornings always included a hot breakfast made by my dad ... french toast, waffles with strawberries, chocolate chip pancakes, omelets, and fresh orange juice ... my dad had a love for making meals for his kids. My mom would always make dinners, because instead of going out we never missed the opportunity to eat in. One of my favorite meals was my mom's homemade pasta with her famous spaghetti sauce.

Summers included trips to the farm to pick ripe tomatoes, and as a treat we would fill bags with nectarines and peaches that would barely make it home. I can still remember the day I tasted a fried green tomato ... I was eight. The one thing I could count on growing up was our family meals. My siblings and I counted on the time we spent around the table to banter, laugh, poke fun, rejoice, and celebrate family while we ate together.

So, my wish for everyone is to take the time to have a meal with someone you love. Food tastes so much better when you eat it slowly, thoughtfully, and share it with others.

Caroline is one of those lovely souls gifted with a bubbly personality that you just want to bottle up!  She is a foodie and appreciates the simple things in life, so obviously, we understand each other well.  Her blog, Coeur de La, is filled with her great photography, delicious recipes, foodie adventures, and happy little daily tidbits that just bring a huge smile to your face. 

[image by Coeur de La]

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's About Thyme ~

I've always loved the simplicity of a madeleine ~ the perfect companion to a cup of afternoon tea.  It wasn't until recently that I decided to bake these little shell-shaped perfections myself, and I'm blown away by how easy they are to make.  The hardest part of the entire endeavor was choosing the madeleine pan!  

Lemon Thyme Madeleines
{adapted from Ina Garten}

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 pound {1 stick} unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup of freshly chopped thyme and lemon zest

Oven heated to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour the madeleine pans.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until fluffy.  Add the butter and mix.  Stir together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt ~ stir into the batter with a spatula.  Stir in the thyme and zest.  Fill each shell almost full and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they spring back when pressed.  Place the madeleines onto a parchment paper lined baking pan and allow to cool.  Yields 24 madeleines.

[Reverie-Daydream Image]


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