Jammin’ with Nature & Rich Red Hues of July

I must admit. I have been stuck not knowing in which direction to take this blog post. June has come and gone. Being in transition confuses me. Am I writing from who I want to be and where I’d like to take my life?  Am I expressing what I feel and think in the present? I realize I ought to begin somewhere and  am certain you all have been there in some form or another. Just do it. Don’t over think it. What ever it is. Easier said than done. My nature overthinks. Not sure what I expect to accomplish, but with courage and motivation, one foot in front of another, we move ahead. Often, when listening to the silence, a sign, an omen, a guiding light appears. Cloud formations for instance. I’m certain there are distant messages within those cloud formations and they are telling us something.

This summer has been filled with a variety of temperatures, beautiful sunshine, weather drama including micro bursts of rain,  balancing  the heat of the day into the nights.  The word balance, I use here, due to my fear of another fire driven summer as the one in 2016. I am grateful that it is not. I love this one. Hark! Loving clouds and rain. I took a FaceBook quiz just the other day to determine where I should reside based on their questions.  I got Seattle! I’ve never visited, but it is definitely on the list. At present, I am enjoying my escapes to the beach, soaking up the sun, and grounding myself in the refreshing salt water on the North Shore. Somehow, I’ve always gravitated North and not towards the Cape. Ever.  The frigid water is always a challenge, numbing the feet and ankles, seemingly not to warm up until well into August-just in time for the disappearance of the greenhead flies. Back on land away from the roaring ocean waves, we see a tinge of the beginning of Autumn preparation.

JULY’S RUBY REDS

So for the moment I will share what I am loving: libations and food. Instead of the blood orange mimosas I have been craving, a seasonal substitution was called for, because blood oranges are not in season. I used a splash of pomegranate/blueberry juice with Veuve Clicquot. Festive and tasting delicious, with just the right amount of twist on a classic glass of champagne, the drink satisfied my passion of the moment. The hollow flutes look so statuesque with the bubbles dancing and rising within.

Accompanying these beautiful drinks, I created two different salads with  a dinner of Middle Eastern inspired marinade over chicken wings.  The first one below, was  from a photo I had seen, so I HAD to try it.  You just have to remember not to slice all the way through the tomato, otherwise you’ll ruin the concept. So simple to create.

Slice a juicy red, orange or your choice heirloom tomato nearly to the bottom. Insert pre-sliced mozzarella rounds, fresh basil leaves, small dollops of pesto, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle black pepper all over, then drizzle a very small amount of rich balsamic on the dish. Let stand and serve at room temperature. Delectable. Try it!  The other red base dish I’ve made recently is another sort of salad which actually worked well with the dish below. This time chick peas and roasted grape tomatoes are the main characters.

I slow-roasted an entire pint or maybe it was two of grape tomatoes. Add olive oil, crushed garlic and a little salt. Set oven at 200 degrees. Roasted them for nearly two hours and no, they did not burn to a crisp – shocking! They caramelized by themselves and basically tasted like candy when done. I realize there is a slight redundancy in the ingredients, but in all honesty, it doesn’t seem like it when you are actually enjoying it. Here we have a red wine vinaigrette which melds the fresh flavors of this hearty salad. One can of chick peas drained and rinsed, half of an English cucumber, quartered, half of an avocado, cubed, lots of fresh basil, black pepper, little French sea salt, and of course those roasted little red tomato critters. Mix together and add the vinaigrette. Done.

WHY EAT RED?

Such a great question. When you are eating vivid or saturated colors, it truly feels like it is so good for the body! Obviously I’ve combined a fair amount of greens in the mix too.  It is a known fact, however, that red foods are the new Power House of nutrition. There is a true cornucopia of red foods, such as strawberries, cherries, raspberries, beets, tomatoes, radicchio, apples and cranberries. The list goes on. Red fruits and vegetables are loaded with powerful and healthy antioxidants, such as lycopene and anthocyanins, which fight heart disease and prostate cancer while decreasing the risk for stroke and macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in people 60 +).  Tomatoes are loaded with potassium and vitamin C which also protects the heart.  Beets are rich in folate. They are all so positive for the body and the mind. The deeper and more saturated in color the better!

WHY WEAR RED?

July is filled with red. Beyond the scope of food, of course, is the month’s classic birthstone is the Ruby. I have never met a soul who doesn’t favor this stone and this color. The color resonates well with everyone and looks good on everyone. The color is stimulating and fun to look at. Imagine wearing it! Before I continue on the traditional July Birthstone, I wanted to share this newly discovered interest- July Birthstone alternative – Opals! I had no idea the Zodiac shares this stone with other birth months such as October, Libra; November, Scorpio; March, Pisces. I never gravitated towards opals until I found the ones pictured below. Seems like each stone tells a story. Certainly each one is unique. The varying degrees of greens here remind me of my cooking. Whenever there is red food, I find green, too! The two are opposite one another on the color wheel.  Just look at how happy this necklace is!  I named her Calliope. The description and price: https://www.nymphjewels.com/listing/546145435/calliope-triple-strand-necklace-of-opals

And seriously, why wear red?  Red is associated with power, love, nobility and the new one is – (scientists claim) attention to detail. Red is typically known as a sexy color. Red is also the color of energy, passion, action, ambition and determination. Of course, Rubies will vary in tones carrying a little blue hue within them.  Red signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities. It is confidence inducing, helping ban the characteristic of being shy.  This is the color of physical movement, awakening our physical life force. As with gemstones, color can certainly have an effect on us. The color in either apparel or in gemstones can stimulate deeper passions in us such as with love and sex on the positive side.  In China, Red is the color of good luck. In the Indian culture, red symbolizes purity and is often used in wedding gowns.  Red boosts our physical energy levels, increases our heart rate and blood pressure and prompts the release of adrenalin. This color is fast moving, promoting a need for movement and action. Red relates to physical desire in all forms; sexual, appetite and cravings. This intense color means a passionate belief in any issue or undertaking which can include passion for love or for hate.  That said, I present my new collection of rich red hues of July: RUBIES.  Now aren’t they a feast for the eyes! All of the descriptions and pricing information can be found on my site  https://www.nymphjewels.com/shop   I love piling the stones and see how they fall together and how they fall is how they play. The vibe is a very happy one. Don’t you agree?

And for anyone making a trip to New York City next month, I will be exhibiting at N Y Now -Accent on Design Show at the Jacob Javits center with as much jewelry as I can fit in our Pop Up Booth. The invite is below. Would love to hear from you and seeing you would be even a better treat!

Enjoy this glorious summer weather, eat your greens and reds, while wearing them. Watch your moods alter towards a more positive day when you do. Your heart will sing!  It has been my pleasure in sharing everything with you. I hope you had fun too.

Yours in joy,

Dava

 

 

The Season of Vibrancy and the Great Pumpkin

Summer, I’m so sorry to see you leave! Actually, I lied. I am thrilled to see you fade. Your presence, these past several months, conjured way too much havoc on my soul. Too much heat. Too much fire. Not enough water. “Completely out of balance,” said my soul. I love you Summer, but am happy you’ve disappeared. For now. Sun, you are beautiful, especially during your sunrises and sets. You offer such pleasantries morning, noon and night.  The sunset below was on  the Fourth of July glowing over the Boston skyline.

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Autumn, you are more than welcome!  Nothing stagnant about you. You are feisty as you move and change. You’re air brings a sense of crispness and finite freshness every day. You’re offering of such radiant colors  appear to be overflowing from a cornucopia.  The Autumnal palette is  captivating and  visually addicting. Everywhere you look this time of year, there is a promise of vibrancy and intesity. A visionary or artist’s most desired dream.img_3486

I am in love with you, Autumn. You offer so many different elements which enamour me. You are easy to embrace. You’re knack for titillating the senses, despite the time of day inspires me. Early morning- crack of dawn beauty the most subtly obvious. With it, comes  Dew. Fog. Clouds. Haze. Mist. The photo of the candles below portray our newest addition to our candle series. This collection is entitled VAPOR.  They are $30 each. 60 hour burn time. Beautifully packaged, and poured here in the US. These soy candles have a cotton wick, offered in 4 different scents.  Each one more delicious than the next. Here are the titles, their tag line and scents.

Dew- Glimmers of Promise- olive, lavender, eucalyptus, hayacinth

Fog- The Mystery of what’s Hidden – cassis, citrus peel, fir

Cloud- a hint from the Sky- lavender

Haze- Before Clarity Comes- cedar, jasmine, fig

Mist- A light kiss at Dusk – A light kiss at Dawn- cucumber, watercress, mint

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In keeping with this season’s tricks are not only the great Pumpkin, but also some beautiful specimens of Squash. And so the story begins. Pumpkins and Squash are a fruit. They are nutritious, and versatile. They offer seeds, flesh and flowers all of which are edible and rich in vitamins. The notion of carving pumpkins into jack o’ lanterns  originated in Ireland hundreds of years ago. Back then, potatoes and turnips were used to carve them. When the Irish immigrants arrived in America and discovered pumpkins, the Halloween ritual was born. The photo below shows all sorts of squash and pumpkins. All are edible.

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Pumpkins and squash are low in fat and sodium, high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, B, iron, protein and potassium. The varieties of these fruits seem to have increased in recent years. Each year, they seem to become more and more elaborate. Who knew?  Cinderella Pumpkins, Cinderella Squash, Blue Doll Pumpkins, Fairytale Squash to name a few. All unique in character.

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The tonal offerings during this wonderful season never cease to amaze. Down below are what is known as Porcelain Blue Doll pumpkins. These exotic, eye-catching beauties are a haunting shade of blue with deep-set crevices distinguishing their personality.

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My favorite recipe is roasting these fruits. Either butternut squash, or pumpkin diced small, piled onto a foil lined cookie sheet. Add diced eggplant, sliced fennel, mushroom medley, tomatoes, garlic and shallots minced. Sprinkle a generous amount of olive oil over the mixture, along with basil, oregano and parsley, French salt, black pepper.  Roast at 350 degrees. The flavors will meld together. While they are all roasting, be sure to turn gingerly with a very large spatula in order for the flavors to become dispersed evenly. Voila. I made this the other night, and a few days later added cooked long grain wild rice to the vegetables. The texture took on a new presence, and the flavors got sent into another dimension. Absolutely delicious!  Try it! The photo below shows butternut squash medley mixed with wild rice, boasting flavor and texture.

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OCTOBER BIRTHSTONE… You lucky Librans! You get to choose between the traditional Opal and the alternate Tourmaline. Opals are beautiful because each gemstone is adorned with a one-of-a kind color combinations. Tourmaline is one of the most radiant gems in the market. It is a bit more contemporary with out the old lore as many other gemstones carry. Tourmaline is known as the peace stone. It is known to dispel fear and create a calmness for the wearer. It promotes inspiration, happiness and builds confidence. Available in a myriad of colors and various tones of greens, brown, aqua, deep teal, and rose-pink, red, violet, orange yellow and black.

img_0538 Fresh off the press, may I introduce you to Delilah.  18k gold, tourmaline briolettes and a large rutilated quartz creates this beauty. This Nymph piece will delight your eyes and adorn your neckline. The various tones of these faceted  gemstones dance around and in between each golden bead. The clasp in the back is also 18k gold. There is something so magnetic about this necklace. It is 16″long, and has the fluidity of a knotted strand of pearls. https://www.etsy.com/shop/nymphjewelry

img_0564I leave you with the following thought. Thank you, Mr. Rumi for your inner kindness and wisdom.

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-11-53-04-am I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey. If you are interested in purchasing any candles, or gems, please feel free to contact me! I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours in joy,

Dava,

Harvesting the Senses

Hello everyone! As summer winds down, the time is right to observe a slight chill approaching, shorter days and lots of bounty in the food arena. This time of year gives us the opportunity to squeeze in outdoor activities, as we enjoy the lazy hazy hot sizzling summer days dwindle. We have had a glorious Summer, weather wise, certainly no shortage of Vitamin D! These past few days, however, have delivered an edge, with the skies opening right up. The over due down pour is so refreshing. I was able to capture the rain drops on my windshield yesterday, delighted with the results. Not exactly sure what it is that allows concentration to come easier when 
IMG_9535the sky reveals clouds, mist, fog and rain rather than the relentless blaring sun. But it does. The time will be here again soon enough, so for now we celebrate the harvest abound. I start with something I can’t recall ever seeing until this trip to Russo’s in Watertown. Such fun! The rich colors are so inviting. What I did withIMG_9531these orange plum tomatoes, is slice and saute’ in olive oil, several cloves of chopped garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper. It made a wonderful rustic “sauce” served over fresh pasta. Simple. The next recipe I’ve been making several times a week just because tomatoes are addicting this time of year. IMG_5871The photo above reflects a baby heirloom tomato medley, chopped English cucumber, small amount of chopped celery for more texture, capers, lime, cilantro. The “dressing” is nothing but 1/4 cup of olive oil heated with chopped garlic, and my new twist is adding shallot also. It gives the dish a rounder flavor. Squeeze the lime on the vegetables while the heated oil does its thing; run outside to my herb garden, and slice a big bunch of cilantro with scissors; slice it all over the bright contents in the bowl. By now,the
 chopped shallots and garlic  pop from the heat in the oil. Let it sit for a few minutes. Add crushed salt and pepper, then pour the oil mixture over the contents in the bowl.. Using salad servers, mix it well. refrigerate. Then pull out at meal time, and snip some fresh chives over it. Delicious!

Late summer boasts Harvesting, and appropriately named, I have concluded my latest collection of jewelry from Nymph. Allow me to introduce HARVEST.ImageThe Moody Blues sang “as the reds, browns, golds of Autumn lie in the gutter dead”; I add greens to this mixture. This collection is not shy of bold color nor pendants. They all feel like talisman to me. Your body will find comfort in these shapes and tones as the energy  speaks to the heart and  root chakras. Above you can see how much I enjoy shooting the gemstones on natural elements usually found in the woods behind my place of dwelling. Some of the pendants are adorned further using the halo treatment of diamonds surrounding the large gemstones.  Above, you’ll see aventurine, hessionite garnet in a couple of pieces ( very autumnal ), tanzanite mixed with citrine, african turquoise mixed with olive wood, holding a very large faceted topaz drop, triple strands of 31″ long brass and sterling silver giving way to the most magnificent rutilated quartz ever and in the center bottom row, is a newly learned stone for me Pietersite- it’s held with hessionite garnet and olive wood. Pietersite is known as the stone of vision. It is also a stone that resembles a thunderstorm bringing cleansing energy to aid one to create change.  Pietersite is known to help make an energetic connection to one’s deeper spiritual inner self. All of the pieces above and any of them from my collection speaks messages, sings tunes, and enlightens the mind and heart. Once you touch – you’ll see exactly what I mean. All are on display now for you to play with at MATSU, 92 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, Ma. 01776. Just call for an appointment. My hours will be back to normal after this coming weekend. Everyone is somewhere, other than here. Traffic differs so much to that of Newbury St back when!

 I’d like to complete my post this month with two “events”. The first is by introducing something I’ve been asked to replicate now for years… I did it. In the form of a Candle.! My signature scent will now be available in the form of a soy base candle, poured here in the US., hand packaged in Sudbury, and brought into your life.  60 hour burn time. $58. Available late September. DAVA.Candle1‘d a v a ‘ as appropriately named, you’ll discover once you smell this amazing scent. As described on the box; Hints of sandalwood, exotic spice and fresh air collide to create a rich and earthy fragrance conjuring a sensual and meditative state of mind.  

On September 20th, I’ll be holding my first event this Autumn. BOOK SIGNING< READING & SPIRITED DISCUSSION at Matsu, among all of the new merchandise in for fall! If you’d like to read this Memoir written by Diane Fraser, I’ll have it in store for purchase or you can go to Amazon. Growing Up Super Heroes. You will never take anything for granted in your life again. This book is very powerful, and I promise Sunday, September 20th will also be insightful. 11-4. 92 Boston Post Road.

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I look forward to seeing you in store and at this event very soon.

Yours in joy and style,

Dava

March Teases, Tickles and Tantalizes

The long-awaited thaw has arrived! Looking up into the sky early this morning, I saw a stunning sliver of the waning moon.Meansing, the moon is decreasing in size, moving away from the Full Moon towards the New Moon; a time for spells that banish, release and reverse; a time to break old habits or bad habits that no longer serve, including unhealthy relationships. This is the perfect time of deep intuition and a time for divination, a period lasting about 2 weeks. Taking advantage of this will create space for the next new thing wishing to enter your life but can only do this when a clearing is available.  The time for positive celestial influences  The time to reap the benefit of its state, and a time renewal. A time to review endeavors, correcting mistakes. Settle disputes and make amends. It might be challenging, but by taking things apart that no longer serve your soul; unnecessary negativity begins to dissipate, obstacles preventing you from moving forward become a force for this clearing/cleaning of the soul. Spring cleaning, if you will.  In shifting your mind from feeling loss, once you begin to feel the lightness in removing these obstacles, you will notice this sense of true rich gain!

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At this time, in keeping with the heavens above, I would like to  formally introduce to you our Celestial Candle Collection. Some of you may have already experienced these delectable scents. The elements have been  conceptually coordinated to their purpose in the sky. The collection exists of Stars, Sun, Full Moon & Crescent Moon. Individually hand boxed and painted; each box includes a RUMI poem. These soy based candles are $30 each, with a burn time of 60 hours.FullSizeRender

Stars; are the stuff we are made of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms. The universe is inside us and outside. We are in it, and of it we belong to the skies. Scent: Siberian Cyprus, Moss and Cyclamen.

Sun: is benevolent, sustaining all life. Sunlight provides energy, clarity, confidence and fuel to grow, dispelling darkness both inside and out. Scent: Poppy

Crescent Moon: A time for planting seeds, for taking stock, letting go of old patterns that no longer serve, initiating the new. Scent: Olive, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Hyacinth.

Full Moon: When things come into fruition and emotions are the fullest. The full moon amplifies  these emotions and unveil what is hidden within ourselves, by providing the light for us all to see.  Scent: Cassis, Citrus Peel and Fir.

These candles are all available now at MATSU. Please come in and experience them!

Many feel January through March unnecessary, however, each month has its purpose. This one being the last of the Zodiac cycle; harmonizing all characteristics of the months prior. This one slowly burning a bright light, lasting longer day by day. This one holding a glimpse of optimistic hope as we anxiously await the first Robin sighting and long-awaited excitement at the thought of the first burst of life emerging from the frozen, snow-covered ground. Screenshot 2015-03-18 08.18.36

March is known for its swinging moods with varying degrees of temperature.

Gemstone of the month Aquamarine!

Aqua is the stone of courage. It soothes, calms and helps to alleviate fears. It is a natural form of anxiety release and also combats depression.It harmonizes its surrounding and protects against pollutants. In ancient times it was believed to contract the forces of darkness and acquire favor from the spirits of light. It was a talisman carried by sailors to protect against drowning. This stone gives support and encouragement to anyone overwhelmed by responsibility. It clears blocked communication as it promotes self-expression. Spiritually, Aquamarine sharpens intuition and opens clairvoyance.

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The birthstone of this mutable water sign is Aquamarine. Derived from the Latin word seawater. ( Aqua marina) Aqua is a combination of blue with a little yellow in it. It radiates peace, calm and tranquility. This is a color that recharges our spirits during times of mental stress. The color Aqua calms the nervous system and builds confidence. It increases the levels of creativity and sensitivity. Aqua heightens our ability to open the door to spiritual growth. How convenient, that this time of year, as much of a tease at it is, is truly the awakening of our spirits which have been rather dormant and introspective during this long ,long winter we now are just beginning to emerge from.

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This Spring is slow to come, but it is finally beginning to reveal itself. We are awakening our inner selves, and beginning to broaden our food and nutrition intake with more variety of what is available as the Spring arrives.  Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Fiddleheads and Okra are coming into abundance, but my absolute favorite are Artichokes! One of my Italian family traditions. I just stuffed them this week. Here is a photo of them, prior to prep.  From the Mediterranean and the thistle family,  they are loaded with fiber, niacin, Vitamin B6, Iron and Phosphorus. Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Floate, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

FullSizeRender Simply cut off each tip of the leaves, slice the stem off also. Discard the leaf tips, but keep the stems.IMG_2161

They will accompany the Artichoke body in the deep pan to cook. All you need for 6 artichokes are the following:   1.3/4 lbs 93% lean ground beef, 2 cups of grated parmesan, 3 cups unflavored bread crumbs, fresh flat parsley, salt, pepper, garlic cloves, basil, oregano.

Brown the ground beef along with the  thinly sliced garlic. I use about 6 cloves. Then combine the remaining ingredients in a stainless bowl, or large deep pan and mix with your hands. Squeezing the ingredients together. The more you handle it all, the better they are mixed. You then will open each leaf and stuff this wonderful “stuffing” inside. Once completed, drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the pan, place as many artichokes as possible in the pan ( I use 2 large pans, 3 artichokes in each) then place the stems, at the bottom of the pan. You can also add tiny potatoes, mahogany carrots, or celery. These vegetables will round out the meal, but also take on the wonderful flavor of this terrific vegetable. Be sure to add water to the bottom of the pan and keep the flame low. The slower they cook, the better! Do not let the water evaporate. Keep adding as needed. They will be done in about 45 minutes. IMG_2172

 

Happy Spring everyone! Please let me know if you try my recipe actually, my Grandmother’s. I look forward to hearing from you, and also now that the snow is allowing us to open up our lives little by little from the dormant winter, I also invite you to visit me at MATSU located at 92 Boston Post Road in Sudbury. I am working on our Opening Celebration, which will be loaded with spirits, treats and soul tapping! Sunday, May 17th!

See you there, if not before!

I hope you enjoyed this blog on our journey into Spring!

Yours in joy,

Dava