Thursday, April 24, 2014

Italy or Bust....

One of the benefits of being an American in Europe is the American road trip mentality.  Whereas most Europeans balk at the idea of driving any distance beyond three hours; we think 5+ hours is no sweat... add in a hefty dose of YOLEO (you only live in Europe once) and we're off exploring at every opportunity.

So, when given a 2 week Spring Break window for my girls and still hosting my mom in town last week... we decided to hop in the car for 6 hours and head straight back to, you guessed it.... Italy.... destination Venice.  And, because we drove; we were able to make some great stops along the way....  Here are a few pics from our little Italian road trip adventure...

Lake Garda

 View from the Rialto Bridge
 St. Marks Square
 The Courtyard of the Doge's Palace
Bridge of Sighs

 The Florian

 Ancient Arena

Juliet's Balcony

When I look back at these photos, it is really hard for me to comprehend the blessing of being able to have these experiences at this point in our lives and, better yet, to share them with so many friends and family that come to visit.  We are incredibly grateful.  

Grazie Italy!  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You had me at Hello....

The combination of the retro polaroid style prints and this charming orange box and free international shipping had me downloading this app and placing an order faster than you can say "cheese".   

A long-time prinstagram fan, I'm anxious to see how this service compares in quality.  Some features that really appeal to me are the ability to access both your camera roll and instagram pics for printing;  the option to put text on the prints (with a font choice); and the beautiful packaging that lends itself so nicely to gift-giving.  Imagine receiving a tiny box of pics capturing moments from a party or getaway. That would certainly put a smile on my face!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The View from Here...

Easter is always one of my favorite days of the year and this year was no exception.  It was a blessing to have my mom visiting from the States and to wake up to sunshine on what was predicted to be a rainy day.  We took part in all of the beloved Easter traditions; watching the girls delight in their Easter baskets and hunting eggs; worshipping and celebrating Jesus' resurrection at church; and enjoying a leisurely and simple brunch followed by naps, an afternoon walk, and facetiming friends and family back at home....

I've just finished reading this book; and I loved how menus of special gatherings of friends and families were captured in writing so as to remember the meal shared together.  Thought it would be fun to start doing this for my girls too...

Easter Brunch

Mimosas & Juices 
Simple Green Salad
Strawberries & Raspberries
Memaw's buttermilk biscuits
Peach Preserves
Jell-o Jigglers (for the kids)
Carrot Cake Cupcakes

The refrain of the old hymn "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" is still playing in my head... 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Postcards from...

Memaw (my mom) has been visiting from the States for the last couple of weeks and over the weekend she was more than happy to get rid of us pesky parents so that she could spend some quality time (aka treats, puzzles, the park, and staying up late) with the girls.  So, with 48 hours at our discretion... my guy and I high-tailed it to our favorite spot.... Italy.  The little harbor town of Portofino embodied everything we love about the other Italian cities we've visited.... incredible landscapes; warm, friendly people; amazing food (in this case pesto and focaccia to die for) and the delicious smell of blooming wisteria and citrus trees...  Portofino worked its magic in just the same way...

More than any other.... Italy seems to have nestled its way into my heart and found a place to stay. 
'La Dolce Vita'.... indeed, 'Life is Sweet' there.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Most of the art around my house these days is of the glue stick, crayon, finger paint variety.... or a growing collection of simple watercolors my oldest daughter and I are working on...  And, while  I adore and greatly treasure our amateur "masterpieces";  I long to one day own some "big girl" art..... like an original of one of these T.S. Harris paintings.

There's something about this vintage inspired; simple yet bold style that I'm always drawn too.  In fact, when I spotted a sampling of these on One Kings Lane yesterday; my mind immediately went back 12 whole years to the Kenton Nelson paintings of a similar genre featured in the perennial favorite "Somethings Gotta Give" movie.  While everyone else seemed to be obsessing about the kitchen or the dining room... I couldn't stop thinking about the foyer... and the painting hanging above the red cabinet.

I think it's a sign.... a sign I need to start saving my pennies! :)