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Inspired by Portugal, made in California. Online shop offering premium quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, herbal teas, artisanal honey, hand-blended salts and botanical skin care. Occasionally, specially curated handcrafted and vintage items from Portugal are also available.

Filtering by Tag: Inspiration

Starting Over

Nuvea Santos Cobb

Welcome to the new, bright and shiny Casa da Nuvea blog! Well, we've been up for a little while but as anyone who creates a site/business can tell you, there are always updates and constant revisions...While I loved my old site on Wordpress, I was ready for a fresh look and one that was more flexible. When I first started Casa Nuvea, I really had no idea what direction I wanted to go in, other than I wanted to share updates on the restoration of my little olive farm. But I also wanted to share stories about my horses, adventures with my dogs, day trips to the beach, photos of flowers from my garden, etc. It was starting to feel a little schizophrenic; was it a blog about olive farming? dog hikes? gardening? horses? camping? Who knew? Certainly not me. I also wanted to move forward with the house and farm and take it on a more entrepreneurial direction. I wanted to be able to share our olive oil with people, open up the house to guests, teach classes, collaborate with local artists and farmers. So, I decided to create a new site for Casa Nuvea and narrow its focus to just the farm and its olive oil. At least for the most part, anyway. There will still be snippets of other parts of my life, because, well, I like to tell those stories, too. I'm still keeping the original blog as well, and using that to share more about my personal art projects, and new teaching collaborations on nature and art. And of course, horses and dogs. I hope you'll follow along here, as well, and read about all our plans and new offerings…I'm really excited to start this new chapter in my life and see where it all goes.

Thanks for visiting!

These are some photos of the surrounding stone walls covered in moss and lichen, with a view of the eucalyptus grove beyond the property.

I think they're beautiful. They've been neglected and are falling into ruin but will be lovingly restored this coming year. As you can see, the weather here in the serra gets a little chillier, even in summer when these photos were taken. It's a little more wild and windswept than other nearby areas.

A Great Read, Cultural Heritage and a Winning Recipe

Nuvea Santos Cobb

Happy November, everyone!  Today I want to share with you some inspiring work created by a couple of very talented people on matters near and dear to my heart: namely, olive oil and Portugal. Plus, I've included one of my recipes for a delicious (and easy) seasonal meal.

If you're into olive oil at all, you've probably come across the New York Times' bestselling book on the olive oil trade by Tom Mueller. It's a fascinating read, well-written and researched, documenting the cultural history of olive oil (did you know archaeologists have found evidence of olive oil dating back to 5,800 BC?)  and the ongoing battle for authenticity between the mass globalization of olive oil production and the small, independent artisan producers.  While some critics have accused the author of exaggerating the claims of fraudulent EVOO labeling,  I think it's still a great  resource for learning about the significance of olive oil around the world.  Plus, he gives you lots of insight on how to choose your own olive oils to ensure quality. Entertaining and informative. Be sure to pick up a copy of Extra Virginity: the sublime and scandalous world of olive oil at your favorite independent bookshop.


Want more natural history and cultural heritage? Check out this

inspiring video

about one of Portugal's vanishing traditions.

Ricardo Guerreiro

is a Portuguese filmmaker and photographer who has produced documentaries for National Geographic Portugal and written books on natural history.

While most of Ricardo's videos are in Portuguese  




, and


are in English.  

To see more of his beautiful images, be sure to check out his


 and follow him on



autumn recipe

Recently, I submitted a photo and recipe to Pelican Hill Resort for their annual

Festa dell'Autunno

 contest and won! Here's the very easy and quick recipe:

Autumn Vegetables with Proscuitto Roasted Sea Bass

2 medium, diced potatoes (2 cups)

3 diced parsnips (2 cups)

1 butternut squash (2 cups)

6 diced carrots (2 cups)

olive oil

salt and pepper

4 cloves of garlic, minced

6 fillets of sea bass (about 7 - 8 ounces)

6 slices of Italian prosciutto or Portuguese presunto

(this was for an Italian event, so I chose prosciutto in this particular instance but would normally choose the Portuguese version)

small bunch of fresh picked rosemary

1 stick of butter

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Place all the vegetables in a roasting pan or sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes in a 400 degree preheated oven, being sure to turn over the vegetables at least once. Add the garlic and continue roasting for another 10 minutes to make sure vegetables are cooked. Brush the fillets with olive oil and place on a baking rack over a foil-lined sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap each fillet with a slice of prosciutto all the way around the middle. Roast for 10 - 15 minutes until the the center of the fish is flaky. Melt the butter over low heat and add the rosemary. After 5 minutes, remove the rosemary and add the lemon juice. Serve the the fish surrounded with vegetables on a platter and pour the rosemary butter over the fish.


*If your grocer doesn't stock bass, you can substitute halibut, cod, or orange roughy.

Photos: NuveaPhotography

A New Year and Four Simple Goals

Nuvea Santos Cobb

So, the other day I posted about doing what you love and going after your dreams; a fairly common blog post about resolutions for a new year. But that was about BIG goals and sometimes they can seem a little daunting and overwhelming as the year goes on. So today I want to share a gentler goal list that you can set for yourself. I first came across A Beautiful Mess and their 4 simple Goals challenge last year and while it's meant to help you set some easy goals to get you through the busiest time of the holiday season, I thought I would continue it here as a year long challenge. Maybe you'd like to add your own and share below...

As for myself, I discovered a whole bunch of new music that helps soothe my nerves and inspires me at the same time, am reading 3 books right now, and started wearing jewelry more often. As for fruits and veggies, well, I'm such a carb addict so I struggle with this one and tend to reach for a buttery croissant instead of an apple, pasta instead of a salad…but I did start taking fruit to work with me to snack on, so I'm getting there. Sometimes it's just the little daily changes in life that make everything better.

Making 2014 Count

Nuvea Santos Cobb

We've all seen those photos of planet Earth floating in space, just a tiny dot in a vast universe.  It looks so small and makes you feel so insignificant. There's nothing like it to put everything in perspective. Looking at those photos makes me feel…free. It makes me feel like all those little things we fuss and fret over, get anxiety attacks over, they're all unimportant in the grand scheme of things. I came across one of those NASA photos on their Instagram feed recently (yes, my inner nerd follows NASA) and it inspired me to start a new tradition that I wanted to share with you... of spending New Year's Day at the beach. Because staring out at the ocean makes me feel the same way. Free. Like anything is possible. I always come away from the sea refreshed and excited to start new adventures with confidence. I feel a sense of responsibility to be really good at doing what I love in order to live life to its fullest potential because our existence on this blue planet goes by in the blink of an eye and we owe it to ourselves to make our one and only life count.

ocean, inspiration, new yearI always wake up with a ton of new ideas and projects to start and get so frustrated when there isn't enough time or energy to make them all happen. One of my strategies this year is to live more in the present by doing things when I'm inspired  to do them and not set them aside for later when I think I'l have more time, because let's face it, we're all super busy and if we wait until we have more time, well, things just won't happen. Of course there will be times when this just won't be possible, but I'm going to try!

new year, inspiration, goals, dreams

Reading through everyone's posts about the new year - I think I'm the only one who's a little sad to see 2013 go. It's my favorite number, after all. Don't laugh, but I feel like 2013 was the year I made my own little personal come back - coming back to doing what I love, even if it wasn't in as grand a way as I would have liked. Coming back to what really matters to me.  I feel like I finally got started and even accomplished many of the goals I set out to do. Now I'm looking to build on what I started and really challenge myself to grow my tiny little photography business, to challenge myself with new riding goals, and to make Casa da Nuvea live up to my dream. Adventure awaits!

I had originally meant to share my new tradition with you on New Year's Day but caught a terrible stomach bug and spent the whole time in bed with fever and chills. Not a very auspicious way to start a new year. Ugh. One of my favorite bloggers, Kelli Murray, did a blog post on Making 2014 Count which I really wanted to participate in, but because my stomach flu kept me in bed for much of the first week of 2014,  I missed writing about this in time to link up to the prompt. I want to share it with you anyway because I hope some of the posts will inspire you to make 2014 count!

So how about you? Did you start any new traditions this holiday season or plan one for the new year? I'd love to hear what some of you are planning for 2014! What are you going to do to make 2014 count, to get one step closer to living the life you dream of?

And because I don't believe anyone should ask for more blessings from the universe without expressing gratitude for that which you already have...thank you so much for stopping by this little blog of mine. I'm always amazed when anyone takes the time from their busy lives to read anything I write. Thank you.