Showing posts with label amore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amore. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Make it a December to Remember

I cannot believe that December is already here! Time seems to have flown by these past few months.  The weather is also just getting colder in these parts so maybe that's why it seems like we jumped directly from summer to winter.  I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed because I'm leaving for the States in a couple of weeks (ahhh!!) and I have SO MUCH STUFF TO DO before I leave!! 

Via
Since we'll be away for the holidays, I didn't go all out with the Christmas decorations this year. I did of course put up my tree in mid-November because I had guests over for Thanksgiving and I just really wanted the tree up. 


We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at our house and I had some family from Brindisi stay over that weekend.  It was really nice and I'm so grateful for them.  They know I get homesick especially during American holidays and such so it meant a lot that they made the trip up to see me. I guess it was more of a Christmas tablescape  rather than a Thanksgiving table setting but I had already put the tree up so it would have been hard for it not to be "Christmassy" I guess.


I'm so excited about spending the Holidays in the States this year. It's been a while since I've celebrated Christmas in the US.  This year I'll be spending Christmas with my mother and sister in Pennsylvania and New Years in Florida with my father.  I am also SUPER excited about seeing my beautiful niece Lydia who has grown so much since the last time I saw her. She probably won't recognize me when I see her but we do Face Time every so often so I'm hoping she remembers me <3.  

I'm going to miss my little fur babies while I'm gone but I know they'll be in good hands. Billy will be staying with my Aunt in Brindisi and I've decided to leave Gigia at home and have my next door neighbor check up on her everyday that way she doesn't get stressed out about changing houses. 

I am also SO ready to see some snow this year!! It's been way to long. It doesn't snow where I live in Italy and that is one thing that I miss so much come winter. It just doesn't seem like Christmas without a little snow, right?

I've still been practicing yoga regularly in the evenings after work and have really been finding it very therapeutic.  I did end up subscribing to YogaGlo and am happy that I can access it wherever I go so I know I'll be practicing in the States as well. It really helps with my anxiety and I've also found that I have become more flexible and have been in a better mood since doing it. Whenever I skip a few days I find that I'm more tense and irritable. So I have to say that I am very pleased with the App and for me it's money well spent.  I actually cancelled my subscription after the free 15 day trial and decided that maybe I could just use videos on YouTube for free but I found that they were night and day compared to the videos available on YogaGlo so I ended up renewing my subscription and am so happy I did. 

In other news... I changed my hair color...again. I don't know how long this color will last but I have to say I do like it so far! I feel very festive  LOL. I've been getting lots of compliments so I'll keep it like this for now. 


Hope all is well with you my friends and that your December is fabulous!!! 

xoxo, 

Silvana




 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats with Carrots and Turmeric

This little guy has my heart.  He's been with me for 6 years now and ever since I've had him, my life has never been the same. He's been with me through ups and downs and to me he is literally my baby.  Obviously I want the best for him and I know how important nutrition is for these little fur babies, even though sometimes I must confess that I give in to those sweet eyes and table feed him every once in a while (I know, I know..), I just can't help it.


When I got him he was a small puppy and was sick with distemper, a terrible even fatal viral disease with no known cure. My little guy got better thank God with the help of a great veterinarian in Naples.  


Because he was a puppy when he had this disease, I wasn't able to train him as puppies should be trained because I was afraid he would get sick again, so I kept him indoors most of the time and I never let him socialize with other dogs because distemper is a very contagious disease and even a recovered dog can shed the virus for up to 2 to 3 months in the environment. 


He also didn't eat much so I gave him all the things that he liked the most just so he would eat and get better so I pretty much spoiled him rotten.  As I said, he eventually got better and today, 6 years later, he's become a very picky eater, he'll bite if he's on my lap and someone gets too close and he's a barker... I had him neutered when he was 2 and he's calmed down a bit since then but not completely. Nevertheless, in my eyes he's perfect as he is and I wouldn't want him any other way :-) He gets along great with our cat, Gigia and I'm glad they have each other when they are left home during the day since they keep each other company. Gigia absolutely adores Billy and follows him wherever he goes.


So now you can better understand why I want to give my little guy the best nutrition possible and some of the store bought treats aren't the best health wise. Billy's vet told me to try to incorporate some turmeric in his diet and by giving him one of these dog biscuits a day, I am able to do that. 

Turmeric is great for dogs and helps by boosting the immune system, it promotes heart, liver and digestive health as well as help with allergies, epilepsy and liver disease.  

I had to test the recipe out a couple times to get it right so I'm happy to share it with you today and hope that your dog can enjoy it as a treat as much as mine does. 

Ingredients: 
 - 300 grams rice flour
 - 3 grated medium sized carrots
 - 2 tablespoons of turmeric
 - 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
 - 1 egg
 - approximately 1 cup of water 
 - 3 tablespoons of olive oil



It's really quite simple. Incorporate all of the ingredients mixing well the dry ingredients first and then add the water, egg and oil until you reach the right dough consistency. Add more water if you find the dough to be too dry.



Bake for about 25 minutes in a  200° preheated oven until dried. 


The treats will keep for about 3 weeks stored in a closed container. 


When he really likes something, whether it's a toy or a treat (or something bad that he steals...) he'll take it under the dining room table LOL. I don't know why he does this. So when I gave him the treat and he took it under the dining room table I knew it was a winner! 

Hope you enjoyed the recipe!

xoxo, 

Silvana


Shared on: 
Foodie Friday & Everything Else

Friday, October 13, 2017

Yoga - Namastay In Shape.

I have started practicing Yoga recently and getting more into meditation and relaxation of the mind.  I just feel like this is what my body needs right now to get rid of pent up frustration and stress. I've always been fascinated by meditation and "mindfulness" but it's always been something that I have observed from afar. I guess I just never really knew where to start.  People would talk to me about meditating and I tried it but never really "got" it. 


I spoke briefly in another post about our issues with trying to conceive (TTC) which is cause for much grief and frustration for me. Mr. A and I have been actively TTC for years now and this journey has both brought us closer together as a couple but it has also put a lot of emotional strain on myself in particular. I'm not going to get into details about all the feels because if you've ever struggled with fertility you know exactly what I'm talking about and if you have not...well, you will most likely never understand. 

Until recently I was doing pretty well, or at least I thought, at hiding my frustration but lately things have changed and I find myself avoiding certain social situations which involve other pregnant couples or small children as I usually just break down and it's extremely hard for me to control those emotions so I would rather avoid them all together. 

I've talked to other women struggling and many have spoken very highly about meditation and yoga for relaxing the mind so I decided to try it out.  I don't have a lot of time on my hands with work and life in general and there aren't any good yoga studios near my house so I was considering buying dvds for beginners to start out with at home since I know practically nothing about yoga. I then happened to read an article by a woman that introduced me to YogaGlo. YogaGlo is an online yoga class membership site that offers unlimited access to classes of all styles from beginners to experts.  It costs $18 a month to join and you get a 15 day free trial. I'm still trying it out and not sure whether or not to invest in it yet (even though I already bought a yoga mat, two yoga blocks and a strap...LOL) but I do feel different since I started...."better different" that is. I've been doing a 5 minute session in the morning and a 30 minute one when I get home from work. I'm learning as I go but the instructors are great and talk you through it.  There are SO MANY classes to choose from so I know I won't get bored with it.  I've always been a cardio girl and have always gotten a rush from jogging and aerobics but right now I feel like I need something soothing and invigorating at the same time and I think this is it, at least for the time being. 


What I notice the most is that during the various yoga poses or "asanas" (that was the first time I used an actual yoga term y'all!), I acknowledge different areas of my body that I never really paid attention to before during my regular exercise routine. In the first class I followed for example, the instructor had us sitting in a normal lotus position (cross legged on the mat) and while bending the torso to the side, she had us run our thumbs along the side of the rib cage sort of massaging between the ribs on either side. That felt amazing! I would have never thought about that area of my body but I felt as though I could breathe deeper after that...it was a wonderful feeling. I'm happy because it's been a long time since I've felt passionate about starting something new. I laugh at myself because I REALLY set the mood when I start my class by turning the lights down and I even bought an essential oil diffuser that I absolutely LOVE and I create my own little yoga studio in my living room.  


I've been feeling less rushed during the day.  While driving to and from work I'm calmer for example. I just feel all around more serene in a sense. Again, I just started but I'm curious to see where this new journey takes me. 

Also, I think I need this t-shirt in my life. 

Via
I would love to hear your yoga stories. Have you tried it and what has it done for you? 
I'll update soon and see how things go. 
I hope you all have an amazing weekend! 

xoxo, 

Silvana





Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fall Decorations and Scented Candles

Hello friends! I hope everyone is well and that my American friends are safe and sound from the bad weather that has hit the South. I have been getting news from my father down in Florida and I know there was a lot of damage but thankfully everyone is OK now and the worst seems to be behind us.  

I have been fully back to the grind since I last posted. I am also trying to recover from a nasty flu bug that is still lingering unfortunately... I was on antibiotics and still have a bad cough that I'm trying to get over...it sucks. But I am getting better and for this I'm thankful. 

All the beautiful blogs I follow are filled with fall decorations, pumpkin spice and everything nice. So obviously I was itching for some fall decorations  in my own home.  In Italy unfortunately fall decorating isn't that popular so there aren't many decorations available in stores as much as there are in the States so I have to make the best of what I have. 


I love scented candles and when fall comes around, I go nuts over pumpkin spice scented candles.  I bought a little pumpkin spice scented candle when I was in Pennsylvania last year when I visited the Amish village. I would light that little candle every day when I got home from work and when the wick was completely consumed my heart wouldn't let me throw it away. I know...dumb right?


So I set it aside in a drawer and today I decided to remove the wax left in the candle and heat it in a ceramic incense burner. I just scooped it out with a fork and let it melt in an incense burner.  

The house smelled amazing! I love scented candles and now I know what to do with the wax that remains when the candle wick ends. 


 I also finally got around to finishing the slipcovers for my dining room chairs...it only took me about four months... but I think they look great and that's all that matters!  


I actually found a really pretty fabric on sale that had more of a fall/winter look.  The fabric I had before was too summery I thought so I decided to switch things up a bit. 
I also added this cute ceramic garden stool that I found online and I love it! 


A little update on my baby girl Gigia... I took her to a veterinary dermatology specialist this past week. She has been diagnosed with Eosinophilic granuloma complex and the only thing that has helped her thus far were cortisone shots.  Obviously she can't go on with cortisone shots for the rest of her life since she's only 4 years old so he has put her on Atopica (cyclosporine) which is an immunosuppresent but with fewer side effects than cortisone therapy. 


Her upper lip is still a bit swollen but she is doing much better.  He also prescribed a prescription anallergenic diet so we will see if she does better with the diet so that maybe we can ween her off the Atopica. 

She eats and plays normally thank goodness so I'm not that worried.


I don't know about you guys but I spoil my pets so much... I'm experimenting on a homemade healthy dog treat made with turmeric and carrots.  The recipe still isn't perfect yet but it's getting there and I'll hopefully be able to share the recipe with you soon. 

These two are my rescue babies and I'll do all that I can to make them feel better and live a better life. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead and thanks for reading!

xoxo, 


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Life Lately with a Side of Italian Roasted Peppers

I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog of mine and it seems like I have so much to say I don't know where to start. Things have been hectic around these parts and my anxiety level is slowly creeping back up. I had a terrible day this past Friday and needed to blow off some steam. The day just started out bad from the moment I woke up until I left work because it seemed that everything I did was wrong, there was way too much to do and I just couldn't take the pressure anymore. I haven't been sleeping well at night as the dog wakes up at all hours of the morning barking up a storm because it's too damn hot here and so I have to leave the window open.  He hears cats outside rummaging through the trash and goes bonkers... When I wake up in the middle of the night I start thinking about a million things...my mind starts racing and I can't go back to sleep.  The anxiety has gotten to me.. 

There are few things that calm my anxiety and one of them is shopping... The only shopping that relaxes me is home furnishing and decor stores...so that is where I went. I found this pillow that lightened my mood and took it home with me. I think it looks good and it makes me smile so it's staying on my couch for the time being.


Another thing that calms my anxiety is painting...anything... Just put a paint brush in my hand and I'm good. So my balcony needed painting as it was pretty chippy (not good chippy either). 


So I also picked up some paint and went to town. It looks so much better now and I'm glad I took care of that cause it was bugging me for some time now. 


I don't think I showed you my front door that I painted a couple weeks ago. I know I posted it on Instagram.  My dog scratched the crap out of that door and it too needed some lovin'. It looks so much better now and I am no longer embarrassed when people come over! 


I added some new accessories to my kitchen  and organized some spices and things in cute little glass jars. I just think they look more organized now as I had most in their original store bought baggies. 


Gigia has had this rodent ulcer thing on her lip for almost a year now. Her lip swells up and nothing seems to help her expect for a cortisone injection (depomedrol). It apparently is an allergic reaction but I have absolutely no idea to what...The shot lasts for about 20 days...the swelling goes down but now her lip has swollen back up and I'm nervous about giving her another shot because of the side effects.  I've changed her to a hypoallergenic diet, tried a bunch of things but nothing seems to work. She's not in pain or anything and she's acting normally but I just hate seeing her like this. She also got diarrhea after the depomedrol shot and that was great... I had to switch up the diet again...anyways...it was a mess.  Now that the diarrhea is gone the lip swells back up...my poor baby.


On a more positive note we went to my cousins First Holy Communion in Rome last week and that was fun. It reminded me of my Holy Communion and got me thinking about how my faith stayed with me and has gotten stronger over the years. I pray that these children don't take for granted this blessed Sacrament and that their faith accompanies them throughout their lives. My faith has gotten me through many hardships and I wouldn't be anything if it wasn't for God's strength in me. 


He's our little guy Antonio :-) He's a cutie.


This is part of the family at the restaurant and a picture of the beautiful cake. 


It was SUPER hot that day so little guy had to go and change because he was itching to go play outside with his buddies. 


That's pretty much what's been going down lately in these parts. 

Oh yes! I almost forgot about the roasted peppers! This is another typical Italian dish that is very healthy and is served as a side dish or antipasto.  It goes super well on top of bruschettas or crostini and is so easy to make. Let me guide you through the process.

Wash your bell peppers and place on a baking sheet.  Preheat the oven to 180° C (350°F).  


Roast for about 35 minutes turning the peppers over after 15 minutes. 


Place the peppers as they are in a plastic container covering them and leaving them to cool for no less than one hour. 


The steam from the peppers will facilitate the removal the skin later on. 


Once the time is up remove the stem.  You should find that seeds are mostly attached to the stem. 


The skin comes off super easy.  The peppers will release a good amount of juice.  Make sure to keep that and set aside. Place the peppers in a dish and just peel off the skin as shown below. The secret here is the time left in the container.  The longer you leave them sitting the easier it is to remove the skin. 


In a small dish combine a couple garlic cloves, a small jalapeno pepper, the juice that you set aside from the peppers and a tablespoon or so of olive oil, some salt to taste and chopped parsley. 


Mix well and add to the peppers. 


That's all there is to it.  I love this antipasto.  It's easy enough to make at home and it's healthy!

I hope you all are doing well.  Now I'm going to get back to my day finish my coffee and get ready for church. 

Counting down the days 'til my mamma gets here!  We're going to have a blast.  I know Cathy is going to miss her but she has some wonderful ladies that take excellent care of her while Mom's away so I know she's in good hands. 

I don't know about you guys but I am slightly obsessed with selfie filters and so is my mother apparently ! Cathy doesn't seem very amused though LOL! 


Have a wonderful week ahead! 

xoxo, 

Silvana



Sunday, June 18, 2017

To My Father

Dear Daddy,

You carried me on your shoulders and showed me the world.


You taught me how to ride a bike and drive a car as I was your favorite little girl.

You pushed me to never give up and keep going when I was ready to quit.


You even created my very own math computer program to help me appreciate the subject I hated the most (LOL...true).


Every moment I spend with you, you teach me something new.


You manage to lift up my spirits whenever I'm sad and blue.


I may not need you to hold my hand anymore, but I will always need you to hold me in your heart.

Happy Father's Day.

I love you,

Silvana