Showing posts with label faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label faith. Show all posts

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Traditional Sicilian Easter Cookies - Cuddura

Happy Easter!!! I would like to wish you and all your loved ones a Blessed and Peaceful Easter. Yesterday we made these Sicilian Easter Cookies which originated in Sicily but are made all throughout the south of Italy and are called Cuddura even though the name changes slightly with the different dialects of the southern regions.  

In the olden days, no meat, eggs or dairy were consumed during lent therefore when Easter came around all of the traditional desserts and dishes were very rich.  These cookies were made on the Saturday before Easter and brought to church to be blessed before giving them away to loved ones as an Easter offering.  Young ladies typically gifted their sweetheart with a cuddura in the shape of a heart as a sign of affection. How cute is that? I feel like everything is so different now a days and so much more complicated.  I guess I'm just too old fashioned... Now it's like you never know what to buy someone because everything is so accessible through online shopping and malls etc. Back in the day all it took was a cookie made with love to  let your sweetheart know that you were interested in him or her. 



Ingredients for the dough:

 - 600 grams of all purpose flour
 - 200 grams of butter
 - zest from one fresh lemon
 - 4 large eggs
 - 200 grams of sugar
 - 1 teaspoon of baking powder
 - pinch of vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients,  cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prepare your hard boiled eggs ahead of time and let them cool. You can color them if you want or leave them as they are. I colored mine but since they were brown eggs the colors weren't as bright as I wanted them but they turned out fine all the same. 

The technique is pretty self explanatory so I'll leave you with the pictures so you can see what I did. 




After you roll your braid in a circle to place the egg on, you proceed to make a cross on top of the egg to hold it in place. 


Now brush a little egg white on top and add your favorite topping, sprinkles, chocolate chips, confetti, whatever you like. 




Now you're ready to bake in a preheated oven at 200°c for 35 - 40 minutes. 

This is my Easter offering to You :-)

Happy Easter my friends!



When our faith 

stands at the grave,
grieving
for a stone that's rolled away,
forgive us.

When our faith
is short of
understanding
though the truth is there to see,
forgive us.

When our faith,
beset by doubt, sees
no further
than an empty tomb today,
forgive us.

Bring to mind 
the cry of Mary,
‘I have seen the Lord!'
and grant us faith to believe!


God Bless, 

Silvana


Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Year of Hope.

Hello my friends and Happy New Year!  I hope you are well and that you had a pleasant holiday. The holidays are way past us now and in the beginning of every new year, as most of us do, I find myself thinking about the future...thinking about what's going to happen this year. For starters I will be turning 35.... ugh. 

When I was younger, I imagined I would be a mother to three beautiful children by now (my perfect number...3).  That's all I ever wanted. I'm not career savvy, I'm not one of those women who do all that they can to climb the ladder and have a wildly successful career...that's just not who I am. Things don't always go as planned so instead of my three children I have a job that I enjoy and am thankful for and two fur babies that mean everything to me. I have a man by my side that loves me like no other man has ever loved me and I have a house that embraces me with a feeling of warmth and comfort every night when I come home from work. I have friends and relatives that I laugh with until my belly hurts...but I am missing something important. 

I know there are many options out there for couples like us but my faith comes from God and only Him. "Unexplained infertility" is what we were told...which is worse in some ways because if we knew what was wrong we might actually be able to fix it but there IS nothing wrong....

Sometimes I get very frustrated and upset because I feel like my prayers are ignored but I continue praying and that small light of hope dims somewhat as time goes by but never burns out. Right before New Years, I was in my car stuck in traffic and the radio station I was listening to aired the final General Audience speech that Pope Francis gave of 2016. 

The Pope focused on the story of Abraham from the Book of Genesis.  Here's a summary:
Abram said, “Behold, thou hast given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; your own son shall be your heir.”  And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.
This is a translation of the Pope's speech in regards to this passage: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters:  Our continuing catechesis on Christian hope leads us in these Christmas days to consider the example of Abraham, who, as Saint Paul tells us, “hoped against hope” in God’s promises.  Trusting in the Lord’s word that a son would be born to him, Abraham left his home for a new land.  Although the fulfillment of God’s promise was long delayed and seemed to be impossible, Abraham continued to hope.  Even his discouragement and complaints were a sign of his continuing trust in God.  Abraham, our father in faith, shows us that sure trust in God’s word does not mean that we will not have moments of uncertainty, disappointment and bewilderment.  It was at such a moment that God appeared to Abraham, called him forth from his tent and showed him the night sky shining with countless stars, assuring him that such would be the number of his descendants.  Hope is always directed to the future, to the fulfillment of God’s promises.  May the example of Abraham teach us not be afraid to go out from our own tents, our limited outlooks, and to lift our eyes to the stars.

These words touched my heart and were the words that I NEEDED to hear in that exact moment to nourish that dimming light inside me. 

I wanted to share this with you just because I know how it feels to be frustrated and discouraged. I want this year to be my year of hope. As Pope Francis said...if all we have left is to look up at the stars, it's time to put your trust in God. There is nothing better than gathering up all your worries and putting them in God's arms. Hope never disappoints. 



Speaking of bringing hope to others... did you hear about what Chris Martin the lead singer of Coldplay (band that I absolutely adore) did on Christmas Eve? He showed up at a crisis center in West London on the night of Christmas Eve and surprised a huge crowd of homeless, volunteers and staff by playing all his songs and rocking out with everyone there without any publicity at all.  Someone that worked at the crisis center posted a picture with Chris Martin on Instagram writing "That moment when Coldplay's Chris Martin drops into the Crisis at Christmas shelter, with no fuss, no fanfare and no press, to help make tea and coffee and also play guitar so the guests can have a sing song. Thank you for coming down and getting stuck in."

via 


I loved this story.... This is what we need more of in this world. These are the things that give people Hope. 


Thanks for reading and God Bless. 

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Home Sweet Home... Part 2

Well, I guess I should post part 2 of my trip before summer is officially over.  I've been back for a few days now and am still slowly recovering from missing my family and jet lag.  You would think I would be used to saying goodbye to everyone when I leave since I've been doing it my whole life but every time is like the first time. It hurts. Not knowing when I will see them again is an uncertainty that is not easy for me to deal with. But that's what we do...we go on with our normal routine and look forward to the next time I will get to see the people I love the most. Many don't understand why our family lives so far apart and it's not easy but we have the fortune of being able to visit different parts of the world and visit places that not everyone gets the chance to see. 

So where did I leave off? Oh yes, Mr. Amore and I left from the Philadelphia Airport to Fort Myers Florida to visit with my father.  We went from really hot in Pennsylvania to really really hot and humid in Florida but thankfully we had amazing weather for our entire stay and did not get any thunderstorms which I was told is very unusual for August in Florida. 

We got home and relaxed a bit.  That night we had DELICIOUS tenderloin steaks that my father made on the grill.  No pictures...sorry but they were exquisite. I haven't had a steak like that...ever...I think.

The next day we packed up the car and drove to Disney. I really wanted to spend a couple days at the "Mouse House" as my father calls it LOL and it was a lot of fun. 

We stayed at the Old Key West Disney Resort and it was just beautiful. When you go to Disney it's like being on another planet. The people are exceptionally nice, everyone is smiling and you never see rude staff anywhere neither at the parks nor in the resorts. If visiting the theme parks, try to stay at one of the Disney Resorts because they have buses that take you directly to the parks, drop you off in front and they run like every 15 minutes or so. You don't have to worry about parking and the resorts will hook you up with tickets and everything so you are ready to go in no time. 

via
We spent half a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios and it was H-O-T...of course I was an idiot and wore jeans the first day not realizing just how bad of an idea that was until about the third line I was waiting in under the scorching hot sun...then I wanted to die.


Anyways, we were much better prepared the next day with shorts, hat, sunblock and lots of bottled water! We went to Epcot in the morning and I have to say that we had so much fun that day. Epcot is just amazing. They have so many awesome rides and there are so many attractions to see. I would definetly say Epcot is more the adult version of Disney World. 


My absolute favorite ride was Soarin' Around The World.  It is an amazing attraction that carries you all over the most spectacular wonders of the world.  It seems as though you're actually soaring in a hang glider and is so realistic with scents and sounds.  Soo fun!  The line is super long but so worth the wait...trust me. 

Oh and definitly download the Disney App if you can so you're able to sign up for Fast Pass and see how long the waiting times are for the lines. That definelty saved us a lot of time. You can't get Fast Pass for every ride but we were able to use it for a few of them. 

My other favorites were Mission: Space and The Sum of All Thrills. These were all amazing rides.  Disney leaves me dumbfounded every time. It really is a magical place. 

Last but not least we stopped at the Magic Kingdom...how can you go to Disney and not visit the Magic Kingdom?? Not possible. 


We took the Monorail from Epcot and arrived in the afternoon. Since we were all adults and it was really hot we decided it would be a good idea to sit somewhere and grab a bite to eat while sipping a nice cold beer, right? Wrong. They don't serve alcohol in the Magic Kingdom...anywhere... Did you know that? I did not... womp womp.

The lines were incredibly long and we only went on three rides before we called it a day. I chose to go on the rides that I loved when I was a little girl: Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World and Space Mountain. We had Fast Pass for the first two rides but we had to wait an hour and a half for Space Mountain. There was a girl that actually fainted in line I guess because of the heat. I felt terrible for that poor girl. It was worth the wait though. I screamed my lungs out the entire ride and it was quite therapeutic actually :-). 

We drove back to Fort Myers right after that and got home really late. We rested up and the next day we went out on my dad's pontoon boat. I didn't know what a pontoon boat actually was and had a picture in my head of the raft from Gilligan's Island but this is actually what a pontoon boat looks like: 


We took the dogs out on the boat and I was so surprised at how well they did. They were the cutest with the life jackets on. 


This little girl was just a puppy when we got her and I was so happy to have seen her again. She's such a good dog and so well behaved.  She did really well on the boat even though she has some bad arthritis in her front legs but we just didn't want to leave her home alone. 


We took the dogs on the Dog Beach and they loved it. The beach was absolutely beautiful and so clean. I loved watching all the dogs run around in freedom and just play.  


I took this picture as we were coming up to the Dog Beach. We all had a great time on the boat and the Sea-Doo. I have to show you the picture of my Dad with Mickey on the Jet Ski. You should have seen him on that thing. He rode that like a champ! It was the cutest thing. 


So we just rode around Sanibel Island that day and it was such a great day. That jet ski was so much fun to ride on. I wish I got more pictures because it is a beautiful area.


We went home and had to get ready to fly back. That's when the sadness started to set in. We had such a wonderful time and it sucked to have to go back. The last night my father made us the juiciest Boneless Rib Eye Roast on the rotisserie that I have ever tasted in my life. The meat was sooo tender. Just looking at these pictures makes my mouth water.. 



That pretty much sums up our trip to Florida...we said our good byes, got on a plane and headed to Boston (close to where my brother lives) and there we would take our connecting flight to Rome. We happened to have a 10 hour layover...and just when I thought I wasn't going to see my brother or his new baby girl.... 

He came to pick us up and take us to his house. 

And that's where we met for the very first time...


I am an Auntie to the most beautiful, happiest baby girl that hardly ever cries and who loves to drink ice water and has the strongest little arms I have ever seen on a 7 month old baby. I was so happy for those precious hours that I got to spend with my baby brother and his beautiful family. I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished.  He is a great father to this beautiful little girl. 

Then he drove us back to the airport and we headed home. 

And now here I am back in Italy...writing this post and missing my family very much again as I look at these pictures. In the end family is all that matters and I thank God for mine every single day. 

xoxo

Friday, March 4, 2016

❤ Thank You for Your Prayers ❤



My dearest Internet friends... I haven't been reading or commenting much on your blogs because I really haven't had much time. But I promise to visit all of you soon. 

I just wanted to give you an update on my sister's condition because I know that God heard all who prayed for us. 

She left the hospital last night and is back home. My sister suffers from cerebral palsy and lately has been having stronger seizures than normal. 

She was rushed to the hospital last week because of a seizure that lasted way too long and had a million and one tests done to figure out why all of a sudden this was occurring. Fortunately she has a wonderful team of neurologists that follow her case and were able to adjust her medication to calm the seizures. Hopefully things stay this way and she doesn't have another relapse....

I had a rough week and unfortunately this is not the first time something like this has happened. My phone was by my side continuously and even during the night hours I would wake up and check my phone for any new messages that my mom would send me to keep me updated. It was a very stressful week to say the least...


But I am overjoyed to see my sister smiling again and so reassured to know that she is safe in her own bed and surrounded by people that love and care for her. 


So again I wanted to just say thank you for your prayers because I know that He listened to each and every one.

I'll be over to visit you all soon. I can't wait to see what you've been up to!

I changed up my kitchen a bit. I hung a beautiful Tiffany Style Chandelier that I am in love with and switched up the curtains, added some new art work and just moved some things around. I need to take some better pictures so here is the chandy for now. 


I haven't really been cooking anything that interesting lately... 

I did however make a creamy chicken and mushroom oven baked scaloppini with bacon bits which was pretty amazing but that's pretty much it. 



So I'll close here for now and hopefully next week I'll be a better blogger :-) 

Have a wonderful weekend and remember...