Happy Monday morning, y'all! Today I thought I'd share some photos I took this weekend...and pepper some interesting Italian facts throughout the post.
Note: this is just my experience in the Veneto region of Italy so far. I know that not every part of this country is the same, but these are just some fun and quirky facts about the part of Italy I live in. Or at least what I have noticed!
1.Italians don't touch their produce. There are special gloves at the supermarkets that you have to put on.
2. When you eat at restaurants in America, they bring out everyone's food at once. In Italy, they bring it out plate by plate. You are not to wait until everyone receives their food...that is considered an insult to the chef. You are to enjoy it immediately, the food is made with that intent.
3.You can find baby wipes here, but they don't really use them. That's what bidets/sinks are for, I suppose.
4. You don't say "Ciao" to great someone you don't know. You use the more formal bongiorno or buona sera. Once you "know" someone or see them regularly, ciao is just fine.
5. Italians don't really wait in line. They kind of just cluster. It can be frustrating at times, not gonna lie.
6. The highways here are called the "Autostrada". Pretty sure no one observes the speed limit, and I've never seen anyone get pulled over here.
7. Wine and water only with meals here, nothing else is really available. Coffee after. Strong coffee.
8. No one in this part of Italy wears color in the fall/winter. I'm not exaggerating. Lots of beige, black, gray, camel, and brown. I stick out like a sore thumb in my red, green, and blue.
9. There is no |h| sound/ h in the Italian language. Hospital is "ospedale", Chinese food is "Cinese" and Harper Howell is "arper owell!".
10. To take a shopping cart into the store, you have to insert a euro coin to unlock the cart. When you return it to the proper place/re-lock it...you will receive your money back. Hence no errant carts!
11. You have to pay to use many public restrooms here.
Have a beautiful Monday!
TGIF y'all! Today I have a layout to share with you. It came together super quickly and makes me ridiculously happy!
I started by printing these two photos. I love them both dearly and they share a common theme. In Sadie's photo she is packed and ready to go to Lake Como. In Cate's photo she is packed and ready to go to France.
I knew I wanted to use them on a layout about traveling and our adventures.
Here's what I came up with:
Supplies: Gossamer Blue November main kit, Gossamer Blue November Add On 2, Gossamer Blue November Bits and Pieces, Studio Calico Double Scoop project life kit (gold labels), sequins, doilies, MME tiny word stickers, BasicGrey Micro Monogram stickers, gold foliage from Michael's, American Crafts thickers
I'm really happy with the layering and clustering I achieved on this page. I tried not to overthink it...but I did move things around a bit more than I normally do..
The gold leaves (from Christmas foliage I got at Michael's last year) add a nice sparkly touch.
And I added some fun accents (like the vellum postage stamp under the 'o' in go).
I have to tell y'all that I'm rather obsessed with Heidi Swapp mixed company ephemera right now.
I love that the embellishments are mixed. Some cardstock, some acrylic, and some vellum. Just right for layering.
That's it for today, just a fun creative share. Hope you enjoyed and can find some inspiration from it this Friday!
We had the most wonderful adventure this past weekend!
Warning...this post is very photo heavy, so if that isn't your thing or if that annoys you, don't say you weren't warned. :)
We had a four day weekend (due to Veteran's Day) and took a trip to the French Riviera.
I (again) used Airbnb to find a house for rent and we were stunned when we discovered how beautiful this property really was.
We stayed in Anthéor . Anthéor is right by the town of Agay on the French Riviera (Cote d'Azur) and right down the road from Saint-Raphaël.
We drove through Cannes and Nice to get there.
Our house was right on the Mediterranean Sea. I have never seen anything so beautiful.
We booked our trip to the French Riviera in the off season. It's not the time that most people want to go...but we avoided the crazy crowds of tourists and the inflated prices.
The red rocks (Cap Roux) were absolutely STUNNING.
Here are a few photos of the house and the view.
The views from the house were the absolute best part. The girls had a sweet little room with two bunk beds (they LOVED it) and we had a bedroom with a view like this:
Out of this window, every morning, I got to see this:
There was a terrace upstairs (which Cate and Lucy immediately took to):
Our time in France was super laid-back. Exploring, eating, and drinking. And that's about it.
One of my favorite "explorations"? A French supermarket. We came home with eclairs, baguettes, cheese, rotisserie chicken, macarons, and of course wine.
On the way home from France, we decided to drive through Monaco and explore a bit. I mean...it's Monaco. We had to.
We drove by the casino in Monte Carlo. If I was pretending to be Princess Grace, Jimmy was pretending to be James Bond. I'm sure of it.
And all the while, cars like this were passing us left and right:
After Monaco I thought we were heading home and I was loving the view (you won't believe how many times we pull over to take photos!).
This one was taken as soon as we crossed over the border back into Italia:
My enthusiasm quickly turned to white knuckles and a few muttered curse words when we started to make the trip down the mountains to the town of Monterosso.
The roads were super narrow and winding. All of the curves were blind (we had to honk to warn people on the other side) and some of the road was even falling off of the mountain. Harrowing to say the least.
What's that you say? Minivans aren't meant for the Cinque Terre? Yeah, that'd be correct.
Jesus take the wheel.
Harper said "Mommy, that's not very responsible!" HA! And I told her they have probably lived there their entire lives and they were just fine.
And I loved watching this group of men talk and tell stories:
We need WAY more time to explore and I can't wait to go back.
So there you have it...our weekend adventures. Sorry this post was so long, but at least I warned you! :)
But thank you is a refrain that is always on repeat in my heart.
To my veteran,
Thank you for being strong and resilient and (seemingly) invincible. Thank you for being brave enough to do what you do.
For being strong enough to leave, and for (thank GOD) coming home.
Thank you for shouldering a heavy, heavy load. One I could never carry. One that could easily become a burden. But you've never let it become that.
Thank you for your willingness to do something you believe in. For having the willpower to miss moments that most daddies are there for. And doing it fully believing that you are where you are supposed to be.
Thank you for being such an amazing example and teaching us that courage isn't the absence of fear...but triumph over it.
Thank you for teaching me, all those years ago, that there is more out there in this big world than my little bubble.You are our hero. I know you don't really like hearing that word and don't know how to respond, but it's true.
To all of the men, women, mommies, daddies, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters who hold more courage in their pinkie finger than I hold in my entire body...thank you.
Happy Veteran's Day.
Happy Wednesday, sweet friends. :)
First- I am long overdue to announce a Simple Stories Sn@p Album winner.
I enjoy your blog
all the way from Italy!
Carla from Utah
Can you tell I'm on a fancy/complicated week? So fun.
Using lots of Freckled Fawn Oh Deer Me kit embellishments with some Gossamer Blue kits (past and current) sprinkled in. I LOVE the cute fox accents in the Freckled Fawn kit. Harper was a fox for Halloween so they are PERFECT!
The cute "Good Life" card is an older Kelly Purkey for Simon Says Stamp product. She's so talented.
Man..I'm feeling so creative lately. And it's such a great feeling. You all know I was in a pretty big slump about a month ago. So happy to be out of that. You know when you first start scrapbooking/cardmaking/creating? And you are just PUMPED to make things? I'm there again. And I'm loving it.
I watched a video on Ali's blog the other day where she was sharing a Disney album she did for Simon and Anna. And now I'm wanting to go back and do a little album of our trip (in 2009!!!) am I nuts?
Let me know what y'all are working on!
So I got to thinking. And as recommendation after recommendation poured in on this weekend's post...I knew I had to do something with all of the amazing comments.
So I alphabetized, linked, them, and put them all in one giant list.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm nuts. And I totally am, but in a good way. HAHAHA!
When I was searching for read-alouds for my girls I did NOT find a great comprehensive resource. So I decided to make one.
I hope you find it as helpful as I do. I'm now just ITCHING to read to my girls.
You know why I love read-alouds? Well...there are a million reasons. I know it's good for their little brains to listen to stories. I want to instill in them the same love (obsession??) of reading I have.
But mainly? I love that on a day when it's just not going well...on a day where I want to string all four of them up by their tiny toes, I can just say "That's IT! We are all getting in Mommy's bed and reading!".
I'm grateful for books.
If you are too, then this list's for you.
Here you go!
A to Z Mysteries- Ron Roy
Alfie the Werewolf Series- Paul Van Loon
All of a Kind Family Series- Sydney Taylor
Amelia Bedelia Series- Peggy Parish
Anne of Green Gables Series - L.M. Montgomery
Araminta Spookie Series- Angie Sage
Baby Island- Carol Ryrie Brink
The Babysitters Club Series- Ann M. Martin
A Bear Called Paddington- Michael Bond
Because of Winn Dixie- Kate DiCamillo
Betsy, Tacy, & Tib Series- Maud Hart Lovelace
The BFG- Roald Dahl
The Bobbsey Twins Series- Laura Lee Hope
The Boxcar Children- Gertrude Chandler Warner
Bridge to Terabithia- Katherine Paterson
Bunnicula Series- Deborah and James Howe
Caddie Woodlawn- Carol Ryrie Brink
Captain Underpants Series- Dav Pilkey
Catwings Series- Ursula Leguin
The Chalet School Series- E.M. Brent Dyer
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl
Charlotte’s Web- E.B. White
The Chocolate Touch- Patrick Skene Catling
The Christmas Mystery- Jostein Gaarder
Clementine Series- Sara Pennypacker
Coraline- Neil Gaiman
The Cricket in Times Square- George Selden
The Doll People Series- Ann M. Martin
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz- L. Frank Baum
Dragon Rider- Cornelia Funke
Dummie the Mummie Series (in Dutch)- Tosca Menten
Ella Enchanted- Gail Carson Levine
Eloise Series- Kay Thompson
Emily Windsnap Series- Liz Kessler
Encyclopedia Brown Series- Donald J. Sobol
The Famous Five Series- Enid Blyton
Flat Stanley Series- Jeff Brown
Frindle- Andrew Clements
From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler- E.L. Konigsburg
The Giving Tree- Shel Silverstein
The Golden Goblet- Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Gooney Bird Greene Series- Lois Lowry
The Gruffalo- Julia Donaldson
Harriet the Spy- Louise Fitzhugh
Harry Potter Series- J.K. Rowling
Hatchet- Gary Paulsen
Heidi- Johanna Spyri
The Hobbit- JRR Tolkien
Holes- Louise Sachar
Horrid Henry Series- Francesca Simon
The Hundred Dresses- Eleanor Estes
Ida B- Katherine Hannigan
Igraine the Brave- Cornelia Funke
The Indian in the Cupboard Series- Lynne Reid Banks
The Invention of Hugo Cabret- Brian Selznick
The Iron Man- Ted Hughes
Island of the Blue Dolphins- Scott O’Dell
Ivy and Bean Series- Annie Barrows
The Jack Sparrow Series- Rob Kidd
James and the Giant Peach- Roald Dahl
Johnny Texas- Carol Hoff
Joey Pigza Series- Jack Gantos
Judy Moody Series- Megan MacDonald
Julie of the Wolves- Jean Craighead George
Junie B. Jones Series- Barbara Park
Just So Stories- Rudyard Kipling
Katie Kazoo Series- Nancy Krulick
Land of Elyon Series- Patrick Carman
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles- Julie Andrews
Little House on the Prairie Series- Laura Ingalls Wilder
A Little Princess- Frances Hodgson Burnett
Little Women- Louisa May Alcott
Lotta Series- Astrid Lindgren
Madeline Series- Ludwig Bemelmans
Magic Tree House Series- Mary Pope Osborne
Maniac Magee- Jerry Spinelli
Mandie Series- Lois Gladys Leppard
Martha Matilda O’Toole- Jim Copp
Matilda- Roald Dahl
Millie's Marvellous Hat- Satoshi Kitamura
Milly Molly Mandy Series- Joyce Lancester Brisley
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel- Virginia Lee
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane- Kate DiCamillo
Momo- Michael Ende
The Mouse and the Motorcyle- Beverly Cleary
Mr. Popper’s Penguins- Richard and Florence Atwater
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh- Robert C. O'Brien
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Series- Betty MacDonald
My Father’s Dragon- Ruth Stiles Gannett
My Naughty Little Sister Series- Dorothy Edwards
My Side of the Mountain- Jean Craighead George
My Weird School Series- Dan Gutman
The Mysterious Benedict Society- Trenton Lee Stewart
Nancy Drew Series- Carolyn Keene
Narnia Series- C.S. Lewis
Olga Da Polga Series- Michael Bond
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark- Jill Tomlinson
The Paperbag Princess- Robert Munsch
The Penderwicks Series- Jeanne Birdsall
The Phantom Tollbooth- Norton Juster
Piper Reed Series- Kimberly Willis Holt
Pippi Longstocking- Astrid Lindgren
The Puppy Place Series- Ellen Miles
The Pushcart War- Jean Merrill
Purple, Green and Yellow- Robert Munsch
The Railway Children- E. Nesbit
Ramona Series- Beverly Cleary
Rascal- Sterling North
Roman Mysteries Series- Caroline Lawrence
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes- Eleanor Coerr
Saddle Club Series- Bonnie Bryant
Sarah, Plain and Tall- Patricia MacLachlan
Scaredy Squirrel- Melanie Watt
Scrawny,the Classroom Duck- Susan Clymer
The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret of Zoom- Lynne Jonell
A Series of Unfortunate Events Series- Lemony Snicket
Shoes Series- Noel Streatfeild
Skippjon Jones Series- Judy Schachner
Sophie Series- Dick King-Smith
The Spiderwick Chronicles Series- Tony DiTerlizzi
Strawberry Girl - Lois Lenski
Stuart Little- E.B. White
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble- William Steig
The Tale of Despereaux- Kate Dicamillo
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing- Judy Blume
Tashi Series- Anna Fienberg
The Trumpet of the Swan- E.B. White
Tuesdays at the Castle- Jessica Day George
The Velveteen Rabbit- Margery Williams
Warriors Series- Erin Hunter
When Santa Fell to Earth- Cornelia Funke
The Witches- Roald Dahl
The Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Baum
Wonder- R.J. Palacio
A Wrinkle in Time- Madeline L’Engle
Extra Resources for Selecting Literature
Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt
Read for the Heart by Sarah Clarkson
Y'all. Seriously. I'm blown away by how great of a resource this is. Thank you SO much for taking the time to comment, email, and tweet with your suggestions.
I will add any more suggestions as they come in.
This might be my favorite blog post of all time. ♡
We are currently reading (and LOVING) James and the Giant Peach but I'm always looking for more books to pick up at the library.
We have also read (and really enjoyed) these books in the past:
We haven't done Harry Potter yet. Do you think my girls would get it/appreciate it yet?
So...how about it? What are your favorite read-alouds?