Sunday, December 31, 2006

Love Lissy, G and Baby!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Poll For You!

Well, what with everyone guessing what we will be having I thought it would be fun to add a poll here for anyone who frequents this blog....

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Joy!

So Giovanni and I headed to "La Casa Di Babbo Natale" (Santa's House in english) on Dec. 22 to see the great lights he puts up. We found this place last year thanks to some of Giovanni's Italian clients on a tour last year. This place is really impressive!

Here's a shot... and here's the website if you want to check it out yourself...

Then yesterday G had the day off so we did a little tour through the mountains and ended up at the sea in Chiavari near Genova. The weather was great and sunny!

We even treated ourselves to some holiday fondue that evening!

Then it started to get dark so we headed home, but not before getting this great shot...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Did some more scrappin'

Friday, December 08, 2006

24 Weeks Today!

Well, hubby and I have this thing... at the same time every month I'm supposed to take belly shots... sooo.....

Let's just say it isn't easy taking these pictures by myself, let alone month after month while I get bigger and bigger and things get harder and harder to do... ok so I could go on all day.

Anyways, got some really nice pictures done today and then took everything down and went to my computer and... NO PICTS!?!?

WHAT? I even checked them on the camera while I was doing them. Anyways, apparently the disc wasn't formatted properly before I did these pictures.... yeah, I formatted it to get rid of the old picts. So I had to set up again and change clothes....

Well, let's just say I wasn't in the enthusiastic mood I was an hour earlier, I basically tried to remember what looked best and just shoot, shoot, shoot! They turned out ok, but not as good as before. Oh well, thank God for some photo enhancing programs... I edited and cropped a few and they still look pretty good.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Today is the big day!

Yep! Can you believe it's been a year already? Well it has! This year has flown by so fast I can hardly believe it myself!

Well, this first year has been great plus we've had the added bonus of expecting a baby in the end of March! YAY! 3 March babies in our family! WOW!

Well, I just thought I'd put in a little ditty for our Anniversary... Happy Anniversary Baby!!! Ti amo tantissimi!

Well, looky what hubby got me!

Isn't he a sweetie? He came home from his last tour and surprised me with these and some goodies for breakfast. Aren't they gorgeous?

They have everything in there! Roses, gerberas, carnations, spruce bows, dainty roses, decorative cabbage, some wierd fuzzy green ball things, mini chili peppers, mini apples, berries, eucalyptus, tiny lilies, and even rosemary!

What a hubby!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Did you know...

Friday, November 17, 2006


So I got busy this morning after returning from school and made Panna Cotta.... yummy!

It's this yummy little dessert they have here in Italy. I would describe it as a creamy type of jell-o (I guess) topped with caramel or fruity syrup.

Anyways, hubby showed me you can buy these handy little kits to make it and tried it out last time he was home. (He made it while I was napping so I couldn't see how easy it was). Anyways, before he left for this last tour, he bought 2 boxes (you think he knows I like dessert?) for me incase I wanted to make it. Well, I know me better and have been looking at these 2 boxes sitting on the shelf for a week now but will power has been strong and I've waited till today to make it since hubby will be home tomorrow afternoon. Man was it ever easy! And the instructions were in Italian too!

So today I made the fruity syrup kind. Of course I had to make sure it tasted ok before hubby comes home and I must say, I need to pat myself on the back for not screwing it up!

So they give you this little cardboard fold out box to put the stuff in but I opted for putting it in individual glasses (so I don't eat the whole damn thing). Mine kind of looks like this.

So you boil 200ml of cream with 300ml of milk then after it's boiled, add the packet and mix well, then boil again for 2 minutes and pour in the mold or glasses. Let cool and put in fridge for like 4 hours. When ready to eat just pour the yummy syup on top and hork out!

This is what it usually looks like in restaurants but I figure mine is pretty nice too. Good enough for hubby and me.... Right now Panna Cotta is running neck-in-neck with Tiramisu for my favorite desserts to order.... hmmmmm wonder if they have a box to make that?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Day in Vigoleno, Italy

Here's a little teaser of what this place looks like. We got together with some of G's friends he hasn't seen in a while and had lunch.... well, Italians' "lunch on a Sunday" is like a big fancy dinner we'd have back home! Seriously, I thought the food would never stop coming!

We arrived around 10:30-11:00 am and checked out the castle then went in to eat (the restaurant was inside the castle). Started out with water and wine (red and white), starters (sliced meats and vegetables that I would describe as sort of pickled - but not really). Then came the pastas... 3 different kinds to try. After that then came the "secondos" which was like 4 or 5 different kinds of meat like pork, wild boar, German pheasant (I believe) and mushrooms, polenta, potatoes, and apple sauce. Oh no, we aren't finished there.... Then comes dessert (which I definately tried to find room for). Most of us had Tiramisu or else sorbet (but theirs you sip through a straw from a glass). It all finishes off with caffé... and of course the bill. Actually for all that yummy goodness it only came to 65 euros a couple (which I found quite resonable). As you can imagine we didn't finish lunch until like 2 - 2.5 hours later. It was definately worth it though!!!

Here's a cute little fall picture we took... so Italian hey?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

We Remember...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

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Happy November!

So today is the first of November. My how this year has flown by! I can't believe Christmas will be here soon! I just hope the weather holds up and we don't get snow for a while.

Today I was was busy, busy, busy in the kitchen! I decided it's been quite some time since I've had cinnamon buns so I decided to make a batch. MMMM! Yummy! They turned out ok but didn't rise as much as I think they should have. The first pan I did discover that I packed in too much. It didn't really leave room for the buns to expand but the second pan looks better! Now I know for next time.

Well, that's it for today. Just though I should post since it's been a while. Take care!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Almost Halloween!

So here in Italy, the kids don't really go door to door like back home so it saves money on candy but I totally miss out on the cuties in costumes!

So anyways, got the above cartoon (among others) in my email and thought it was too perfect not to add to my blog!

Happy Haunting!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Have some scrappin' to do!

So now I have a few baby picts of SGF and Schmoopy's lil bundle of joy I have a bit of scrappin' I can do! Yay!

So I figured I needed a little inspiration so thought I'd post a few cute scrappin' blogs.

Jellybean Toes, Cheerios and a Scrapping Hullabaloo:
Unincredible Thoughts:
Eclectic Scraps:

Happy Scrappin' all!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


So I just wanted to post that my BFF had her baby yesterday! Baby girl! I bet mommy was surprised as she was sure she was gonna have a boy!

Thanks to my other BFF's husband too for calling long distance to tell me the good news!

Welcome into this world little Brenna Rose!

Love Antie and Uncle!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Thought I'd update everyone...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

School Time!
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So Kirsten and I got together to try to get registered for school... but it took us 2 days to do it!

First, we met on an afternoon to go to the school we were going to before but the lady we needed to see wasn't there. We were told to come the next morning around 9:30 a.m. That was ok because we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon just hanging out.

The next morning I had to catch the bus at 8:15 a.m. (cuz there was no bus closer to 9:30) and meet Kirsten at the school. Well, we saw the teacher and turns out the classes we would be taking were full (or full of just 15 and 16 year olds so she didn't want us taking that class). There was room in the basic class which we were willing to take but one started at 8:30 a.m. and the other was at night (no good for me cuz there's no bus after 8 p.m.-ish.)

So, she told us to try this other location, well, we had to make yet another appointment for Monday, Oct. 9th at 9 a.m. Well, we found the school and then figured, hell, lets do the touristy thing again today! So we hung out all day till Jeff got home. It was getting time for me to catch my bus so they drove me (in the car Jeff just got like and hour before) to the bus station. While waiting, a girl came up to the lady behind me and said something about a bus strike. Well, the word "Tempi" caught my attention cuz that's my bus company! So I asked the lady if it was Tempi on strike also and she said yes, there's no buses. GREAT! G is away and I'm stranded in Cremona... but wait!

I called Kirsten right away (it had only been 10 minutes since they dropped me off) and asked if they would mine taking a tour to my big town... They were planning on testing out the car a bit I guess so she said "No probs!"

Thank goodness for Jeff just getting his car.

So anyways, let's get back on track, Monday morning came and we met at the school and got all registered but the classes are being held at another location... so off we were to find it. We had a city map from the other day but all those streets going this way and that, and also not all being markd, we finally found it. Hopefully Wednesday will go more smoothly! So we're registered to go Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00-11:00 a.m. I'd prefer 10:00 a.m. but oh well. Saves the rest of the day for us to hang out or for me to go home and do some grocery shopping and stuff. We'll see how the classes go Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This Is Inspiration!

So I got this in an email from a friend and all I could say after reading it was, "Wow!" It's such an inspiring story I wanted to post it here so you could read it.

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Strongest Dad in the World
[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles inmarathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in thesame day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his backmountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike.Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save hislife.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rickwas strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctorstold him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyesfollowed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there wasanything to help the boy communicate. "No way,'' Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain.

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor bytouching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still,he tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. "Dad,'' he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed withgiving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

"No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren'tquite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the raceofficially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made thequalifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way,'' hesays. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time'? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of thesethings, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

"No question about it,'' Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago."

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

"The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, "is that my dad sit in thechair and I push him once.''

Here's the video....

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Suzy Homemaker Strikes Again!

Well, apparently my distaste for pasta right now has created a new found urge to learn how to cook things I could easily buy back home. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It all started last night when the gears in my brain started turning so hard I'm sure there was smoke coming from my ears. I was craving good ol' cream of mushroom soup! Onto the internet I go. I figured it really can't be that hard to make and hopefully I had the things to make it. Well, did a little googling and found several recipes all varying slightly but I basically got the gist of what was needed and what I had to do...

Into the kitchen, pots and pans out... I began chopping away at some onions and garlic. I put them in a pot with about 3 tablespoons of butter and started browning. Then I added some broth seasoning (kind of like those little cubes but this is a powder), my frozen mushrooms and a little water and let it bubble. Add some salt and pepper to taste and then mix in a good tablespoon of flour to help thicken it. Mixing well, I then added a cup or 2 of milk and "wha-la!" After 2 minutes of letting it bubble and thicken I had concocted what I thought looked reasonably like cream of mushroom soup! Now, would it taste good I thought... DELICIOUS! I loved the bit of garlic taste to it! Definately something I'll have to try to make for hubby to see if he likes it.

Well, Suzy didn't stop there! I had a serious hankering for homemade cookies and had asked mom and Tammy for a few recipes and today Smartie Cookies it was! I started mixing and blending ingredients and in no time the batter was ready to be made into golden medallions filled with chocolate surprises! They turned out so good but I did discover that in my tiny little oven I only had to leave them in for 8 minutes instead of 10. Hopefully a few of these last until hubby gets home from work in around a week and a half!

And Suzy is still going.... so tonight I figured, well cream of mushroom soup was easy, why not cream of potato? It's a nice, warm, stick to your ribs kind of soup (and I was out of mushrooms). So I searched the internet once again to see if anything really varied in the recipes and found that it was basically the same. Off to the kitchen I went, boiling, chopping, sautèing and mixing... well this time i think I did a better job because the garlic and onion taste was just right. Not too prominent and not without flavour... I actually made a bit too much so we'll see if it reheats nicely tomorrow.

So Suzy had a full 2 days of posessing me, but it's ok, at least I learned how to make a different kinds of soup!

Oh yeah, before this Suzy Homemaker signs out, here's a little scrapbooking/visual inspiration:
Such is Life:
Pimp a Blog by Nellierose:
Toad You So:
Ok this one is for the yummy Halloween food ideas and sheer shabbiness!
And this last one is just because of the cute hat the little girl is wearing!!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Searching for Inspiration...

So quite often I find myself surfing the net and checking out scrapper's blogs for some kind of inspiration to do up my own scrapbook pages. I've stumbled across some great forum sites with galleries and also some great blogs too.

Ok, so upon occasion (especially lately) I've been doing a bit of "crop-lifting" but sometimes I think it's the best sign of admiration. I mean there are some fierce croppers out there! So I decided to dedicate this post to scrapping...

So I've decided to include a link or two to some nice scrapbooking blogs I've stumbled across. There might be a little inspiration in these pages that get's your creative juices flowing... hey we all need a little inspiration sometimes!

Bits & Bytes:
Because You're Speshal!:
And finally, I included this one cuz the dare (Dare No. 40) is all about FRIENDS... be it old friends, new friends, lost friends... the latest dare is to scrapbook your friends... now what a better idea than that!
We Dare You:

I hope this helps you find a few new blogs out there you've never stumbled across and maybe helps you get at least one great cropped page done too! We all need a little inspiration sometime, I hope I inspired you!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Maddy!

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSo it's my niece's birthday today... she's a whole, whopping 5 years old today! The big party isn't until tomorrow but sounds like she's still getting treated good today cuz her mom and dad are treating her to lunch, just the 3 of them while my nephew is at school. So I just wanted to wish her a happy birthday!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

So yesterday was a great day!

Hubby was home for the day and treated me to Mickey D's! (Well, only because he knows I've been craving it and I almost crawled through the phone when he said he was eating there the day before!) So before we headed to Mickey D's, we had to go to the bank in Cremona and while driving around I told Giovanni that I heard my friend Kirsten and her husband had moved back to Cremona for the waterpolo season (Jeff plays professionally). So he suggested I try calling her and see if we wanted to get together.

In the meantime, I swore I saw Jeff on his bike just before I pulled my cell out of my purse but figured, there's a lot of people in Cremona and I'm sure it probably wasn't him... so I called Kirsten and turns out it was Jeff I saw! So we turned around and picked them up and off to Mickey D's we go! How exciting for me! Mickey D's AND english all in the same day... (yeah, not too much really happens in my life while G is gone to work).... but it was really a good time!

I know, Mickey D's isn't the most healthy of places to eat but when you're a Canadian living in Italy getting your ABSOLUTE fill of pasta, that greasy burger with cheese, bacon, sauce and whatever else they put on it looks pretty darn good! Thank you Mickey D's for inventing the Crispy McBacon!!!! Wayyyyy too yummy! Don't forget the fries too! You need your salt fix too!

So it was a great treat for me, but my BFF asked me later in an email if I got like 50 burgers to go.... believe me I was pondering getting like 2 or 3 to go, but I didn't really want to look like a little piggy so maybe when hubby is home next time we might just have to make a trip!!

As for all our chattering (me and my 2 BFFs) on the email about Mickey D's, I really hope SGF opted for a nicer restaurant for her anniversary as Schmoopy wanted to take her out... remember, you can always get take out to go home for later!!!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Raining Cats and Dogs!

So it's ben raining here so hard tonight that the power went out for over an hour... hold your surprise... it seems to be a common occurance here when it rains. It just sucked cuz it was so dark, AND I was home alone, in the dark (well with some candles) with nothing to do (because it was so dark. It was too early to go to bed and with the candlelight it was still too dark to read.
Well, the power finally came on again, AFTER all the half decent movies on TV were almost finished.... GRRRR!

Well, it's fall now so I guess I should get used to it cuz it rains cats and dogs most of the season!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Well, I think our summer is finally come to an end... according to G that is. When I woke up this morning there was no bright sunshine but a somewhat greyish cloudy sky... not something I'm used to seeing the past few weeks. It's even been getting a bit chilly the past few nights. I've had to add my throw blanket to the bed. I haven't heard the forcast yet but I'm sure the rain is coming sometime today. It's one of those cool, damp feeling days... anticipating the rains to come.
So I guess I'l be using my jeans again and my poor flip flops that I just bought this summer will probably be retired anytime soon. The sweaters will have to be brought out of the closet once again....

Ah! Fall has arrived!

Photo by Melissa, Japanese Maples at Parco Sigurtà Giardino... a little background...
"The park is one of the world's 5 most extraordinary gardens. The park started life back in 1617 and was used by Napoleon III as his headquarters in 1859. The park hosted such illustrious Nobel prize winners as Konrad Lorenz in the 20th century. Today the gardens offer 560,000 square meters of spectacular views, brilliant colours and picturesque corners that follow one from another in the most surprising and enchanting way." Website here:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Well, goodbye MSN...

It's gotten just too frustrating to try and blog in there. They keep changing the program and lots of my friends can't even get in to see my blog anymore so I figured I'd try a change.

So, here we go....
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