Wednesday, December 7, 2016

It's Christmas Time!

Sooo I've decked the halls....and even though I'm not fully in the Christmas Spirit this year I love cozying up on the couch in front of my Tree watching Christmas movies. I haven't done any baking yet but would like to start soon. I haven't made any sweets in a while so I'm eager to try some new recipes.  I will definitely be making my Italian Fruit Cake again which ended up being a hit last year.  You can find that recipe here.  I'll leave you with some pictures of my living room Christmas decorations.  


My pets have been really naughty with the tree this year.... Whenever I come home I see ornaments scattered all over the house. It's definitely mostly Gigia's fault I'm guessing. She just can't stay away from shiny dangly objects! 

I have to share this meme with you guys because I saw this on Instagram and I thought it was hysterical....excuse the French... 

#basically

Anywhoo moving on with the decorations...


This is Nativity Scene that I put out every year.  It's a tradition in our family that on Christmas Eve before going to bed we walk around every room of the house, each one of us holding a candle while the youngest family member holds the Baby Jesus. We sing Christmas Carols as we walk through the house and then we place Him in the Nativity Scene. It's as if He blesses each room of the house.  That is why we don't incorporate Baby Jesus into the Nativity Scene until the night of Christmas Eve.

Can you spot the Billy photo bomb?



 Where do you hang your stockings if you don't have a fireplace? 



I just love this little Angel my Mom gave me. 


The Tree at night all lit up is my favorite :-)


By the way, I decided to go back to my natural hair color.  I'm no longer a blond!

What do you think?


Be back soon hopefully with some yummy Christmas cookies to share!

xoxo, 

Silvana

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Quick Malm Dresser Makeover & Sunday Thoughts

Hello dear ones, it's been a while since I've written because until recently I haven't had much inspiration honestly.  I've been keeping myself busy with work and have had lots on my mind.  The Holidays are VERY QUICKLY (like wayyyy too quickly) approaching and it's a stressful time of year for me as I'm sure it is for many. Christmas is my favorite Holiday by far but unfortunately it's been a while since I had a pleasant Christmas holiday. Sure, there's Christmas cheer everywhere and I'm never not in the mood to decorate even before Thanksgiving comes around (I know...) but there is always some sadness in the background that lingers. I pray that this year will be different than the past and that the good Lord will bless all those in need of Him and answer the prayers of  those that are in need of His Grace. I went to Mass this morning and today's Gospel was very deep:

Luke 21:5-19
"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be powerful 
earthquakes,famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty 
signs will come from the sky. Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led 
before kings and governors because of my name.  It will lead to your giving testimony.  
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a 
wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.  You will 
even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,they will put some of you to death.You will be hated by all because of my name,but not a hair on your head will be 
destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

So since there were many children attending the mass, it was a hard Gospel to explain but I think the priest did an excellent job. During the homily he asked the children, where were you before you were born? And the children shouted "In mommy's belly!" and the priest explained that mommy's belly was a comfortable place and that you didn't have to brush your teeth, or get dressed for school, you could just sleep all the time and be safe because mother did everything for you. But then there came the day where you had to leave mommy's belly and now that you are on earth, you feel safe and secure here because you have your routine, your friends, etc. and you know that Mother Earth will protect you, therefore you shouldn't be afraid of what the Gospel said today because when you're in Heaven you will be protected there as well by God and His Mother. It was such a simple explanation for a difficult topic that is life and death.  A lot is going on in the world right now and as scary as it all is, I think that with Faith in our hearts we can overcome even the biggest obstacles if only we could learn to treat others with respect and help those that are in need even with the smallest of gestures.  I think you can never love too much and you can never give too much.  



Ok, ok I'm done...Moving on!

I've been on the hunt for a new dresser for a while now but I haven't found anything that I really liked. The dresser I currently have in the Master Bedroom was in bad condition...I mean BAD people! It's a malm dresser that we've had for 5 years now and although it's very spacious it's not of the best quality as we all know and also.....saggy drawers.....

So the drawers were really bad...like I couldn't get them open anymore because they kept getting stuck. I really just wanted to throw the piece of S&%$£ out the window and never see it again... 


But I couldn't find what I was looking for.  All the dressers I found that I kind of liked were smaller, fewer drawers , etc so I just didn't want to compromise. I also didn't want to buy something just because...I want to be sure I love it. 

Come in DIY...

The first thing to fix was the saggy drawer situation... Bad, huh? I know..


I went to the hardware store and found these little guys. Do not ask me what they're called, I have no idea...


Screwed them in and voila! Saggy drawers no more!



I added these to all six drawers and it really didn't take long at all. Next I got rid of the ugly hardware and decided to spruce up the front of the drawers a bit.  I had some textured wallpaper that I had bought a while ago but never used so I watched some tutorials and decided to give it a try.  It was so easy!

I bought some permanent adhesive spray. This stuff....make sure it's the permanent kind. 


I laid the drawers on the paper and cut around leaving some space along the sides. 


Now take that sucker outside and spray the top of the drawer making sure to get the sides and cover the whole area with adhesive. Next place the wallpaper on top.  You really don't have time to move the paper  around once its on there because the stuff dries like super quick. 


Now flip the drawer over and cut the extra paper off with a paper cutter. 


Next you want to take a nail or something similar to poke through the back of the drawer where your hardware is going to go. Obviously drill the holes before putting the wallpaper on. 


It was such an easy project and it took me seriously half a day to do between fixing the saggy drawers and adding the wallpaper. It was one of those "why didn't I think of this sooner" moments lol. 

Here's how it turned out.


I ordered the hardware online and I love them. I think they go well with the wallpaper. 



It has sort of a shimmer to it which I really like.  

I did the bedside tables while I was at it as well....I wanted to wallpaper ALL THE THINGS... hahaha


And then OF COURSE I had to change bedding, curtains, wall art, throw pillows etc.....  so since I was at it I figured I would go with the blue and white theme because I love it so much 

I found this beautiful bedding set with matching curtains here. 








Isn't this little turquoise tray cute? I thought it would be a nice place to put my perfumes. 

I'm very happy with the end result and this will last at least until I find the dresser of my dreams. The thing I'm happiest about is that I don' have saggy drawers any more!!




Have a wonderful week ahead everyone and God Bless. 

xoxo

Monday, October 31, 2016

Trick or Treat?

It's Halloween


(by Jack Prelutsky)

It's Halloween! It's Halloween!

The moon is full and bright

And we shall see what can't be seen

On any other night.


Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls,

Grinning goblins fighting duels,

Werewolves rising from their tombs,

Witches on their magic brooms.


In masks and gowns

we haunt the street

And knock on doors

for trick or treat.


Tonight we are the king and queen,

For oh tonight it's Halloween!



Happy Halloween

Be safe !!

xoxo

Silvana

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall is In the Air ...

Well finally the feeling of Fall has hit southern Italy these past few weeks and I love it! I came down with a really bad cold last week but I'm feeling much better now. I had such a lovely and relaxing weekend. I didn't do anything exciting but it was just nice to stay at home and relax. Mr. Amore and I fixed things up around the house, I cleaned as I usually do on Saturday mornings, and then I went for a run and took in the fresh autumn air.   I don't run on a regular basis but I like to on the weekends when the weather is nice. 

I decided I was in the baking mood over the weekend and  I happened to have 4 very ripe bananas laying around that I was probably never going to eat so  I made some delicious Banana Nut Bread so that they wouldn't go to waste.  I've been having a slice every morning with my coffee and I love it. 


I love banana nut bread. I have some Italian readers that follow my blog so before you say ...boring another banana nut bread recipe... let it be known that this is a very typical American recipe so I'm happy to share it with my International friends.

Silvana's Banana Nut Bread Recipe

4 ripe bananas
400 grams of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
50 grams of walnuts
50 grams of butter
120 grams of sugar
1 egg

It's a simple recipe, it's delicious and your house will smell great.

Mash up the bananas with a fork and mix in the ingredients. That's it. Complicated, no? I like to add the walnuts last and keep them whole. I prefer them that way but you can chop them up if you like.






Grease and flour your baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes at 200°C.


...and there you have it...


YUM!

On a different note, I still haven't done much fall decorating but the pictures my mom sent of the pumpkin patch ride my sister and her friends went on have put me in the fall mood so hopefully soon I'll show you my fall decorations....better late than never right? 

Fall in Pennsylvania is just gorgeous. Here are some pictures of the beautiful pumpkin patch my sister visited. I so wish I could have been there with her. 


Those ladies in the back (including my mother) are angels on earth. They are so good with all of the children. It puts my heart at ease and I thank God everyday for the care they give these children. 


This looked like such a fun place to visit. I wish we had a place like this in Italy. 

The farm is called AGA Farms and here is the link if you're in the area and would like to visit. 

I guess I'll just have to make due visiting through Face Time calls from across the Pond! 


Have a great week ahead and God Bless! 

xoxo

Silvana

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On the Isle for a While - Capri

This past weekend we took a quick trip to Capri. What an amazing place to visit! If you've never been there I hope that with this post you are able to see what a magical Island it is through these pictures.


The boat ride from Naples to Capri takes about 40 minutes. It was kind of cloudy that day but at least we didn't get any rain. Below is a picture of Marina Grande, the main port of the Island of Capri.


Once we arrived, we hopped on the "funicolare" a sort of cable car which takes you to the top of the Island where all of the upscale hotels and shops are.



It's a quick ride which lasts about 10 minutes or so and gives you a chance to really get a good look at the island on your way up. He are some pictures I took from the funicolare. 




Once we arrived at the top we stopped to have a bite to eat. Obviously all of the seafood is fresh and is the specialty of the area so this is what we ordered and it was exquisite to say the least. 


This is what I had - Spaghetti in a garlic clam sauce. You can find the recipe here.  


This is "Scialatielli ai Frutti di Mare" which is basically home made pasta with mussels, clams and shrimp in a tomato basil sauce. Similar recipe here. 


And fisherman's risotto, a recipe which I've shared before but my version is without tomato sauce. In Capri, they typically add some tomato. Here is my recipe for Fisherman's risotto

After all that deliciousness we did a lot of walking and window shopping. Capri is filled with so many original shops and the merchandise is like nothing I've every seen anywhere else. 





Needless to say everything is mad expensive and of the highest quality...

...And the JEWELRY...UUUHHHH...





A girl can dream, right?



I saw these boots in the Roberto Cavalli window display and I had to take a picture of them.  


They reminded me so much of the boots Madonna wore in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan.  Do you remember that 80's movie? It's funny how fashion comes back in style. 


So we made our way past the Piazzetta where all the upscale Hotels are located and up Via Krupp towards the Gardens of Augustus. 


I had to take some pictures of the gorgeous Villas that are located along the main street.


I love these wrought iron gates.


Once you reach the Gardens you see the Carthusia Perfume shops which Capri is also famous for. 


The fragrances are all very fresh and citrusy and they fill the streets with their scents which are diffused outside the shop windows. 





Once you reach the Gardens you are exposed to the famous view of the Faraglioni of Capri which are the 3 large rock formations on the side of the Island.


The gardens are very well kept and they even have a little "dog bar" for our four-legged friends :-)




Unfortunately we weren't able to visit the Blue Grotta that day which was unfortunate because it is a Sea Cave on the coast of the Island which passes through an underwater cavity where the sun shines through creating an electric blue reflection that illuminates the cave. 

Via
So that concludes our trip to Capri. It's a magical and very romantic place to visit.  I hope you can see it for yourselves one day if you've never been there before. 

I'll leave you with the lyrics from one of my Grandmother's favorite Frank Sinatra songs that she would sing when she visited Capri many years ago... 

"Isle Of Capri"

It was on the Isle of Capri that I found her
Beneath the shade of an old walnut tree
Oh, I can still see the flowers bloomin' 'round her
Where we met on the Isle of Capri

She was as sweet as a rose at the dawning
But some how fate hadn't meant her for me
And though I sailed with the tide in the morning
Still, my heart's on the Isle of Capri

Summertime was nearly over, blue Italian sky above
I said, "Lady, I'm a rover, can you spare a sweet word of love?"

She whispered softly, "It's best not to linger"
And then as I kissed her hand, I could see
She wore a lovely meatball on her finger
It was goodbye at the Villa Capri

Summertime was nearly over, blue Italian sky above
I said, "Lady, I'm a rover, can you spare a fine word of love?"

She whispered softly, "It's best not to linger"
And then as I kissed her hand, I could see
She wore a plain golden ring on her finger
It was goodbye on the Isle of Capri
It was goodbye on the Isle of Capri
It was goodbye on the Isle of Capri