Magic at Midnight

"Imagination creates reality." -Richard Wagner

Today I needed an escape.  I needed to abandon this world and spend a few hours in movie-land.  Even though I was drawn to Midnight in Paris for the promise of a Woody Allen film set in my dear Paris, ultimately, I found the perfect film about escapism and anachronism---precisely what my soul desired after a sad week.
From the outset, I always adore Woody Allen films.  I appreciate the way the crisp clean opening credits tell us the viewers that witty banter and relatable characters are on their way.  And this time, following those trademark simple black and white credits, Allen allowed the real star of the movie to be seen.  There she was, Paris, beautiful Paris, laid out before the screen in iconic shot after iconic shot.  Montmartre. La tour Eiffel. Le Louvre. Les bateaux mouches. Les cafés.  Sigh....cue, the accordion music, I knew from the first scenes, I would be in love with this movie.


From the heart, for the Heartland

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” -Charles Dickens
In recent days, I simply cannot bring myself to write about my usual little pleasures and happy thoughts.  My mind has been in a sad fog since Sunday evening around 7:30 when I learned that my hometown of Joplin, Missouri was decimated by one of the worst natural disasters in American history.  You've no doubt seen the tornado footage on CNN or NBC.  You've probably read newspapers describing the tragedy or heard the first-person accounts. 


Some Little Pleasures for Summertime

Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne.

~Barry Cornwall

Non-Californians envision a state of endless summer here in Orange County.  In reality, we have our seasons too (kind of).  They are just a little more subtle.  One of the notorious California "seasons" is the meteorological downer known as "May Gray" and its even more solemn sibling called "June Gloom."  These two months are marked by near constant drizzle and overcast skies.
Since today is quite cool and rainy, I am thinking summer. What can I surround myself with to get in the summer spirit?


Sunday Brunching

I cannot think of a meal I adore more than brunch.  (Well, in my pregnant state, pre-breakfast, second breakfast, big Euro-style lunch and midday snack are close to a tie with brunch).  Brunch means your guests will be fresh off a restful night of slumber.  Brunch means you can prepare much of your meal the evening before. And brunch means you can justify eating both sugary baked goods and eggy-cheesy goodness in the same glorious feast.


Some Little Pleasures

Today here are some things that make me giddily happy, in no particular order:
 swimming pool weather


Art Smart: Troglodyte Treasures

For those of you darlings who may not know, my "day job" is teaching art history to college students.  I adore my career and cannot believe I am among the lucky few who spends her days wandering through the history of Western art (for more on this topic, read my post "Do What You Love" from last year).  

In an attempt to share my passion and knowledge with you, I am going to start a series examining one artwork in detail each week.  My desire is to give you the opportunity to see something visually stunning and to learn a bit about art history in the process.  


The Farm Stand Dinner

"To eat is a necessity, 
but to eat intelligently is an art."
- La Rochefoucauld

Each Sunday evening, my husband and I strive to start the week with a healthy meal.  We find it gets us on the right foot for the week ahead and provides us the energy to greet another day.  
This time of year in Southern California, fresh, flavorful produce is available to us in abundance.  At our local farm stand, we can select organic strawberries straight from the field, sweet corn just plucked from the stock and tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes (imagine that!).
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