March 6, 2014 § 4 Comments
When we first started planning our honeymoon I Googled, “Our Honeymoon In Italy”, because there were bound to be some blogs that could point us in the right direction. I found two that were an awesome help: Joanna Goddard’s and Jenny Hobick‘s!
Here are a few photos from our honeymoon! Hope you enjoy!
“See” highlight: The seaside view
“Do” highlight: 7K hike along the coast with a rewarding swim at a Monterosso beach
“Eat” Highlight: Basso Pizzeria (Even though seafood is The Thing)
Hotel: La Torretta FLORENCE
“See” highlight: The David at the Palazzo della Signora
“Do” highlight: Renting bikes for an afternoon to visit Piazzale Michelangelo
Apartment Rental: AirbnbFlorence was our favorite. On top of Il Duomo after a 463 stair climb. We rented a car for a day trip in Tuscany.
“See” highlight: The Colosseum
“Do” highlight: An evening dinner and stroll in Trastevere
Apartment Rental: AirbnbThis view was steps away from our apartment. It took your breath away every time. It was great to have kitchen in our apartments for cooking at home on occasion. Touring the VaticanSt. Peter’s Basilica Savoring a steady diet of gelato and gelato. We felt really blessed to be away on such a beautiful honeymoon in such a magical country like Italy. It was a fantastic trip and we reminisce often!
Ciao for now!
March 5, 2014 § Leave a comment
In a lifetime we can spend thousands of hours in planes, trains, and automobiles traversing tens of thousands of miles across the globe. I know I have enjoyed most of my travelling, but have definitely paid my dues when it comes to the motion sickness monster, and sometimes you need a little something more than the old, “Just look at the horizon” technique.
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way from flight attendants to fellow travel-queasy friends…and they work!
1) STAY COOL: Try to stay cool by removing your layers. Take off your coat and scarf and try to leave your ankles and wrists exposed so you’re not trapping in body heat. Keep your hair off of your neck in a loose bun. If you’re flying, once your plane has started it’s engines the cool air vents will actually be cool, so point them in your direction. It’s much better to have goose bumps than to be reaching for that brown bag in the pocket in front of you.
2) CHOOSE AN AISLE SEAT: This is a small sacrifice to make to miss the view out the window, but totally worth it if you want the freedom to get up and walk around or use the washroom without disturbing your neighbor.
3) UNBUTTON: So far as you are able, don’t wear pants that are tight around your waist line. If you are wearing skinny jeans *discreetly* unbutton the top button, if leggings, roll them down to your hips so the pressure is off of your stomach. A seasoned flight attendant once told me that even the slight pressure on the stomach can precipitate symptoms of motion sickness.
3) TREAT YOURSELF: If Ginger Ale, pretzels, and ibuprofen are going to make you feel comfortable, indulge. This isn’t the time to be thinking about how bad high fructose corn syrup and Advil are for you. Before or at the onset of queasiness or a headache do what you have to to make your symptoms subside. Not a ginger fan? Any carbonated caffeine free drink will do the job.
Some other options? Sea Bands, Chimes Ginger Chews, and from the guys who spend more time on water than land.
What do you do? I would love to add it to my arsenal.
March 1, 2014 § 1 Comment
When did my sister become a mother of two baby wrangler? When did it happen?! It’s like I blinked and my Teach for America, nearly bound for the White House sister is swaddling and cooing like it’s her day job. Because now it is, and she does it so brilliantly. Several times today I thought, “Wow, how does she keep going?” Put the baby down, pick up the sweet talking toddler. Put Little E down, pick up the precious crying boy. And repeat. And with such joy and patience…I am so proud of the stellar wife and mother that she is. Toddlers and straws. Stop it. To which I said, “Wow. I should do a how to have horrible posture tutorial” (Or for split ends and volumeless unfinished braids). To which Laura said, “Uhhh, I should do a pastey-never-been-out-in-the-sun face tutorial.” All this snuggle time was good for the soul. Back home to see Jordan tomorrow…lets hope the snow holds off!
March 1, 2014 § 1 Comment
So this week something incredible happened. I found someone’s blog, randomly, that it turns out I know! My reaction was literally: “I know this person!” (out loud, while home alone). A big deal when you’re just starting to remember the names of folks you see every week.
1) I followed a link on a very popular blog to find a beautiful blog called Garland of Grace. And scrolled down…and discovered I knew her fiance…and it dawned on me that I had just met Heather herself a month ago at a worship service at our church. She is beautiful and kind and her blog is a reflection of what a lovely woman she is. And the real kicker? We’ve found ourselves a kindred fellow Canadian-American couple! Is this not wonderful?! It is…it really is. Because right away you just know–immigration, papers, choosing, families and then you’re fast friends. So congrats to Heather and Jake on their moving and marriage in the States! You may recognize Heather from her popular Gold mug tutorial.
2) I’m home for a short visit and really grateful for it.
3) Nigella’s Tuna, Lemon, and Arugula Pasta. I was hesitant but after the first bite wasn’t. Now to make it at home.
4) I’ve been dreaming of doing a full and beautiful braid like Melissa’s here.
February 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
Lets not talk about the eyebrow. The point is, I’m on an airplane headed to LGA, and I don’t know who’s more excited me…or me. I’m visiting my family on a short four day trip and am thrilled to be here. Maybe it’s this winter, maybe it’s just that I miss them tons, but it feels really good to be back.
In the time that we last visited eight weeks ago, my parents moved out of the house I grew up in, and right now they are living in a friend’s home while their quaint lakeside cottage is being completed. This family who offered a place to my parents for the meantime are simply, wonderfully so generous and giving and loving. I was their nanny for two years and spent one of them working almost every weekday here in this particular home. I know where every spoon, ladle, and tissue box is. I can tell you which rooms are the coldest and which are the coziest. It’s where my sister stayed with my brother in law and one week old niece when a disastrous storm came through, forcing them to evacuate their home and seek warmth and quiet at this very home. So, it’s pretty much the next best thing to not being in my childhood home.
And, oh, then this.
Bed by ten, anyone? I’ll take it.
February 24, 2014 § 2 Comments
A little grammar huddle, everyone. Can we make this fun? I don’t know, but lets try.
When I was sixteen I knew I wanted to be an English teacher and I haven’t looked back since. But I still ask myself questions like I vs. me, or once and for all: Affect vs Effect. The best way to learn? Reading, ultimately. I tell my students repeatedly:
If you want to speak well, read.
If you want to listen well, read.
If you want to write well, read.
If you want to read well, read.
And the same is true for you and me! If you want to make a habit of speaking well (But no one likes a grammar snob, so if you want to speak good, that’s fine too) cozy up with a biography or two and let it soak in. And…a mini list of fun facts!
How many words are in the English language? 171, 476, says Oxford.
About how many words do I know? 20,000 active (I could use them everyday), 40,000 passive (I could recognize it when I hear it but don’t regularly it).
How many words do you need to know to be fluent in English? Approximately 3,000 for English, varying for every language.
I or me? The long and short? When deciding to use “I” or “me” think about what the sentence would sound like using either. You will quickly find out which is right and wrong. Incorrect: She and me go walking in the park on Saturday’s. (Me go walking in the park on Saturday’s.) Correct: She and I go walking in the park on Saturday’s. (I go walking in the park on Saturday’s.)
10 language mistakes that kids make that are pretty smart!
What is a preposition? You’ll never forget after watching this.
What are your everyday English tips or tricks?
February 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
the open air gallery by the Ufizzi Gallery, Florence
Punxsutawney Phil was right. And isn’t this just a strange tradition?
Me? Isobel Crawley? Where would you belong in Downton Abbey? Take the quiz!
Enjoy your weekend, friends!
February 20, 2014 § 2 Comments
Before marrying into my husband’s eight-member family I remember him telling me about a Christmas when the entire family got the stomach flu one poor soul at a time. Not only had I not had that flu in over thirteen years but the thought of germ exposure being raised by five times my family ratio felt a bit like a looming “Welcome to the family” initiation. Having just nursed a whopper of a cold with the company of my mother and sister in law just two weeks ago, being hit with a post-Family Day flu two weeks later didn’t feel so family friendly. But when I heard that three of my in laws had the same flu at the same time, my heart skipped a beat of camaraderie. We’re is this together. So I really am part of the family.
And really, its so yucky, you have to just pray for the grace to get through it. So if you’re on the couch with ginger ale or a box of tissues, this too shall pass. Hang in there, friend! Right now, I need to start singing a hymn to get this One Republic song on repeat out of my head once and for all. And maybe, just maybe I can do some grading while I watch an episode or two of Call the Midwife.
February 18, 2014 § Leave a comment
When the fridge is empty, but your pantry is stocked, this is a great lunch or side for dinner. It’s very filling and delicious!
LENTIL SALAD WITH MUSTARD & TOMATOES (from GP’s It’s All Good)
1 cup lentils (dark green French)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon coarse seeded mustard
Juice of a 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup olive oil
a large pinch of salt
1/2 onion finely diced (shallot, red, or vidalia onion will work)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
chopped basil to top (if you have it!)
Cook lentils in a pot of simmering salted water, about 20 minutes. Drain lentils and set them aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together mustards, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and a large pinch of salt. Add lentils, onions, tomatoes, and basil. Season with salt and more lemon to taste. It’s even better if it can sit at room temperature for a half hour before serving.
Another lentil hit? Try Chef Michael’s Curried Red Lentil Dhal. Yum.
February 14, 2014 § 6 Comments
When my husband and I were dating, I had a memorable conversation with someone about the importance of physical attraction in a relationship. Of course I exclaimed that attraction was really important and that it may be one of the first things that draws us to our spouse (and that doesn’t mean you’re superficial)! BUT, I continued to say that our commitment to to each other and, even more, our love shown through selflessness is what we saw as most important. She said it sounded a bit “unromantic”, but I said, “To me, there couldn’t be anything more romantic than that!” (And this is coming from an Austen-love-story-butterflies-are-for-real aficionado).
Because, in a lifetime, we could encounter sickness and health, wealth and poverty, the best and the worst requiring more than happiness or attraction to keep us together.
That it is good for us to be together because we trust in God’s perfect and good plans for our lives.
That it is about covenant not convenience.
If you were to ask my husband and me what our favorite books on marriage are, we would readily give three:
1. This Momentary Marriage by John Piper.
2. The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller
3. The Bible
I’m sure in the course of our marriage we will refer to many other books and resources to strengthen our communication and relationship, but these three could be deemed “Required Reading” for the single, engaged, and married.
Happy Valentine’s! xo