Wednesday, March 31, 2010


On Sunday Cecilia and I (plus some other friends) went on an ODR (Outdoor Recreation) trip to the Dolomites. First we stopped at a distillery that makes grappa. They showed us the barrels where the grappa is aged in different types of wooden barrels: cherry, oak or walnut.

After the tour we got a tasting. Then of course we got to browse the shop. I bought some grappa crema di nicciolo. It's a creamy grappa that's hazelnut flavored. I'm thinking a treat in coffee after dinner? Or a necessity in coffee before going to work with the kids?

This is a before picture. That's why I'm smiling. This stuff was no joke. It was 85% alcohol and my sinuses have been clear ever since I drank this glass. It's a good thing grappa is for sipping, not for shooting.

Next we went to Trento where they have a cute little castle.

More importantly (to me anyway) they had a cheese tasting and brewery. I bought some of this yummy cheese that is local to Trento. I asked the lady what it's called and have no recolection of the name. But trust me. It's tasty.

We ate lunch at the brewery and all got pasta typical of the area. Except for Brooke, who got french fries. I'm not sure that she knows we live in Italy.

This is spaetzle allo speck. The green pasta is made with flour, peas (I think), and melted butter. The white pasta is made with flour, potatoes and melted butter, much like gnocchi. The butter flavor was really strong in this dish and really tasty. It made the texture different from gnocchi in a good, buttery way.

After lunch at the brewery we stopped into a little gelateria called "la Delizia" and picked up fresh crepes. Cecilia got nutella and banana and I got cream of chestnut. It was the first time I ever had that spread before, or even heard of it, and man. Delizia for sure.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tell Your Story

Elsie and Rachel are going to have an art journaling class!

Sign-ups start April first for this 6-week class. I can't wait to sign up. I've taken craft classes in the past from these ladies and have been so inspired. The class has something posted on t he blog 7 days a week for 6-weeks. The cost is $60 which is a steal if you ask me.

Spaces for their classes always go fast. I'm signing up first thing April first. It's going to be one of the gifts I give myself for my birthday. And maybe one of you if you're lucky.

Wii throw down

This man below is a pro at smack talk. I got emails at work in the middle of the day about how he runs a bowling club for kids and how he could beat me at Wii bowling no problem. Email after email, meeting in the hall one time after another basically saying to me, "Bring it."

It was brought.
the victor
I work for CYS. It's a big world wide, Army supporting company. I really like working for them. I'm pretty sure some of the reason is because of people like Tom. Tom is a 62 year old, tennis playing, fun loving, veteran and CYS employee.
waiting on the bench

Since Tom is a tennis champ, he thought it would be fun to challenge me and 2 other Army wives to a Wii Sports off. Oh, Tom. Wii isn't like real sports.

Bring it on.


He did get a knock out on Brooke in round one. But she came back to beat him in boxing 3 knock outs to one.

intense boxing
Cecilia beat him 2 out of three in tennis. Which I think really got him down, being a tennis champ and all.

she wins!

I bowled a 190 to his 122. He was such a good sport and agreed to another match soon. (I'll bring my camera for bigger pictures next time, too.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pictureless dinner party

Bloggers, I had an amazing dinner party this weekend. I made artichokes stuffed with Italian cheeses, Nigella's chicken something with beans and strawberry shortcakes.

Oh, bloggers. I wish you call could have been there.

But! I have good news, this dinner party had 5 people at it. 5! I thought my little round table could only hold four, but no! I think maybe it could even hold six. And once I get more chairs do you know what that means? Forreal dinner parties!!!

I know this post is full of !!! but I can't help it. I'm overly excited at the thought of cooking for lots of people at my very own house.

Man, I wish I would have saved myself one of those artichokes.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Secondo volta di Cinque Terre


This is my second time going to Cinque Terre. The last time was in 2007 with my brother and sister-in-law.


I went with Cecilia, of course. My BFF and travel buddy. This is the kinda picture you get when you're just trying to lean in and get your less than 5 foot tall friend in the background that is several steps down on the trail. She's trying to look tall. Doing a pretty good job.


We lucked out and got the first sunny day all winter it felt like. The views are amazing.


I want to go back again soon and take about 1300 more pictures.


I'd also like to eat 1300 more pieces of focaccia with pesto from the coast on it. This bruschetta rocked my world.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

love walked in

Oh, love walked in. So good. So, so good. This is the kind of book I want to write one day.

It has all the components I want: a coffee shop, several love stories in multiple forms, travel, death, abandonment, desperation, more love. *sigh*

I have such a crush on this book. I need to read it again and really study it this time. I know I haven't told you about the story at all but I really feel like I need to read it again to really get it and tell it and... I don't know.

Please read this book.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I read Committed while my husband was home on R&R. So marriage was fresh in my brain, something I was physically living. Even though I live my marriage every day, I am a married person after all, I don’t live it physically as often as most. As a result, my perspective on marriage is drastically different than most. Certainly different than Elizabeth Gilbert’s.

I felt like this book was a history of marriage according to Gilbert with a few sprinklings of Gilbert’s “the audacity!” throughout. It wasn’t until the end of the book that her story came out full. Which is ok, it’s her non-fiction book and she can write it as she likes. I’m a story person. I want the dish and the relationship. I felt like Gilbert didn’t have a problem with marriage so much as relationships in general but in her mind and experience related all those bad things with marriage.
Gilbert did reconcile herself with institution of marriage. She got married again after all.

Anyway, back to the book. Not what I expected, but good. It really got me thinking about marriage through the ages and what marriage means to me. And maybe that’s what Gilbert wanted to do; make people think about what this whole marriage thing is all about.

Her writing, as always, was succinct and poetic. Good read.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Catch up

Hello, Readers.

If you're still out there... Since my husband's R&R I have been MIA. But! Things have been happening. Exciting things even. I'm doing a much better job at making my life interesting and full (which it totally wasn't last deployment and thank you to my readers who stuck with me through that even though I know there's only 4 of you and my parents).

Here are things coming soon:

  • 2 book reviews
  • R&R recap
  • 2 trips to update you on
  • foodie posts (related to trips)
  • school stuff
  • art journaling classes I've been taking
  • spring cleaning
  • plans, lists, things to look forward to

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend Out

I'm heading to Gaeta this weekend for a retreat with PWOC. I went last year at this time and it was beautiful. I'm so excited.

Catch y'all Monday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

4 strong


It's another great day for me today. My husband an I have been married for 4 years today.

He loves me and I him.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Papa Bear

Today is a very special day in my world. It's my Papa's birthday.

I got my looks, my prematurely graying hair, my straight teeth, my bluntness, my big heart, my knowledge of what love is, my ability to curl my tongue, and my clear skin from him. He taught me how to ride a bike, how to do things well, my self worth, algebra, how to love by loving my mother and caring for his aging father, and how to do what I say I'm going to do all the time, every time.

The world is lucky to have him and so am I.

Happy birthday, Papa Bear.