845-252-6650 debra@debracortese.com

Celebrating birthdays!

pictures from my garden - Emerging Ginger Blooms by Debra Cortese 2011


Today’s my birthday and usually it’s just another day, but this year, I’m happier,
healthier and more focused than ever. I started my day singing in the shower
and thinking of my Mom and how, many (many) years ago she was giving birth
to her first child and of course that set off a bunch of favorite childhood memories.
And that made me smile and reminded me of something that I’d most like to share.

pictures from my garden - Golden Garden Fox by Debra Cortese 2011

I’ve learned that my attitude is everything. I can choose how I feel at any moment
and when I choose to see the positive aspect of ANY situation, person, place… my
overall experience is more balanced. There is always something that I can do that
makes me feel better 🙂 and most importantly… I’m the only one that chooses
how I react so, today I chose to be empowered and happy!
And today, I’m wishing everyone a better feeling day no matter what issues and
challenges you may have. At the very least, pet your cat (or dog), listen to/sing
your favorite song, WOW…Just as I wrote this, my daughter gifted me with
two Fleet Foxes albums! Listening now …

pictures from my neighborhood - Neighborhood Blues by Debra Cortese 2011

If you know me at all, the photos on this post are just a small part of
how I find balance and joy – right outside my door!


Wine, Food and Art pairing (South Florida)

photo: Schnebly Winery
Just read the latest Schnebly Winery newsletter and they’ve included an article on the annual “Dinners in Paradise” at Gabrielle Marewski’s Paradise Farms. This is a lovely, local, organic farm that’s renowned among top Miami chefs for providing the best in microgreens, heirloom tomatoes, herbs, edible flowers and more.

This season Paradise Farms is donating 16 Ready to Grow garden beds to 16 public schools through The Education Fund for their Plant a Thousand Gardens Collaborative Nutrition Initiative.

photo: Paradise Farms/Miami Victory Gardens

Schnebly Winery provided the dry Avocado Wine and their signature Category 3 Hurricane Vino for the Common Roots art exhibition that I co-curated with Arts At St Johns and I’m a definite fan of the Avocado Wine… surprisingly similar to a delicate chablis!

Paradise Farms is normally a private space, but during the “Dinners In Paradise”, you have the opportunity to come in, take a tour, enjoy a delicious meal and help a charity all at the same time!


It all relates. My art and custom designs are all about sharing the magic of nature’s energy. We are what we eat, drink and believe. There’s magic, memories, and balance in growing a garden, harvesting your very own vegetables and fruits and then preparing them and ideally, sharing a meal with friends and family. Bonus: here’s my Zingy Mango Salsa recipe!