Showing posts with label serendipity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label serendipity. Show all posts

Monday, April 10, 2017

Birthday Weekend Recap

Last week I turned 35... I was dreading this day because as of April 5th 2017 I am in an entirely new age range...Let me explain: I am a huge fan of Sex and the City and I own the entire dvd collection and never get sick of the show even after all these years.  I also know for a fact that Carrie's actual house is not really where they say it is and I know this because I dragged my mother and my boyfriend all over the Upper East Side looking for it last summer thus eventually finding out that the actual brownstone is located in Greenwich Village on the complete opposite side of the city...  Needless to say they were pretty mad at me by the end of the day and I had to listen to my mother say over and over again that I was trying to kill her by making her walk so much... ANYWAYS, I distinctly remember the episode (Season 4 - episode 1) in which Carrie turns 35 and she talks about checking the age box when filling out forms.... and that was all I could think about for the entire week... Yeah so, I switched boxes. Not cool. 

Anyways... aside from some temporary tears and depression... my sweetheart made a real effort in trying to lift my spirits and for this I will be forever grateful and he booked a one night stay in a Relais & Chateaux Luxury Hotel. :-)  It was truly magical! We had a spa session when we arrived and a three course candlelit dinner for two.  The Resort is located in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region.  Borgo dei Conti Resort is an estate that originated as a fortress in the twelfth century and was later inherited by Count Bernardino Rossi and his wife Countess Angelina Scotti of Perugia in the second half of the 19th century. It includes a 50 acre park with trails for hiking, a gourmet restaurant, outdoor and indoor pools and a wellness center. 

   This is the entrance to the hotel. 
Below is a picture of the entrance to the park/forest and some other pictures I took of the external grounds. 

This is the fitness area with huge windows overlooking the park. 

Inside it was a mix of modern and classic.  I personally thought that they should have stuck with the classic decor but that's my humble opinion.  I'm not too into mixing modern with baroque. However it was beautiful nonetheless. 

I absolutely fell in love with this mirror. There were so many beautiful antique mirrors. 

We stayed in the Countess suite.  At the time the Count and the Countess slept in separate rooms. The room had a gorgeous fireplace and original fresco's all around the room. 

There is also an adjoining library which was connected to the Countess and Count suites. The door pictured below is the entrance to the Counts orginal bedroom while ours was on the other side. 

The library had Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy transcribed on elephant folios which you can see pictured above. Each book contains one of the three canticas: The Inferno, The Paradiso and The Purgatory. 

This is the fireplace in the library...swoon!!

Pictured above is the restaurant which was originally the ballroom in the 800's. I had a squash risotto with truffle and pistachios. It was seriously I literally have no words to describe it other than amazing.

Then as a second course I got grilled lamb chops with an olive tapenade over sauteed zucchini...also amazing and cooked to perfection. 

I had a magical time and while I was there I forgot about all my problems and of becoming older and just enjoyed my time with my sweetheart.  We really needed a nice romantic getaway both as a couple and for each of us individually. A little TLC is necessary at times.

...And for one day I truly felt like a princess in an enchanted castle...
(no matter what age box I'm in)

Have a great week friends!



Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hand Written Love Letters and Easy Gluten Free Zucchini Bake

There's a thing about hand written love letters that is so special. So much more so than a text message or an email. Now there are Hallmark greeting cards with pretty images and glittered pages that have the most beautiful phrases printed on them and all you need to do at the bottom of the card is write "Love, your name."...

This might seem romantic but in reality it's so cold and distant to me. My mother used to recycle my father's Valentines day card over and over again through the years and he never even noticed... Romantic, huh? 

I love to write letters to the person I love. For my sweetheart's birthday, Christmas or Valentines day, I don't go buy a greeting card but I make my own and write something special that comes from my heart. 

The other day I was cleaning out his closet and I found a card that I had made him for his birthday. He kept them all... They mean so much more than an over priced greeting card. When my mom came over from the States to visit this summer she gave me a heapful of greeting cards from friends and family that she kept over the years. I guess she wanted to get rid of them but felt guilty about throwing them away so she gave them to me...

I will confess to you that the majority went in the trash and I kept only the ones that were made by hand, like old mothers day or fathers day cards that my brother and I had made. They were just more special to me than the signed "Love, xxx" cards. 

My sweetheart wrote me the most beautiful poem when we first started dating. He wrote it on a wrinkled piece of paper with words crossed out and then re written and ink blotches on the page with tea stains on it and I cried and cried and cried when I read that poem....(he got teary eyed as well but I'm not supposed to say that...oops). I will treasure that wrinkled piece of paper for as long as I live. I keep it in my nightstand and I had a poster made with the poem written on it and had it framed. Now it's hanging in our bedroom.  Then he wrote 3 promises on a piece of paper that he wanted me to make him and I did the same. These are little things that hold so much meaning. The promises? Very simple but meaningful: To love always, cherish forever and be loyal... 

You don't have to be a good writer, it doesn't have to be a poem, you don't need fancy stationary... It's the act of writing down the words that are in your heart that mean the most. A simple I Love You will do just fine.

If there are any guys that read my blog...write your lady a hand written love letter. You have no idea how much she will appreciate it! You can thank me later :-)

This is a letter written by Ludwig Beethoven. It is not addressed to anyone , so it is impossible to know who he was writing to. Historians think it was written to a married woman who he loved very much, and who was leaving the city at the time of these letters. This is my favorite love letter of all time....

If you enjoy reading love letters like I do, here is a book that I recommend.  There are so many beautiful poems from important men like Beethoven, Napoleon Bonaparte, John Adams, Winston Churchill and Mozart just to name a few. 

And now to the recipe:

Easy Peasy Gluten Free Zucchini Bake

Just layer zucchini slices prosciutto or thinly sliced  ham and cheese in a baking dish and top with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until top browns. Extraordinarily good I promise...

Happy Thursday :-)

Weekend's almost here...yay!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Contemplations - Serendipity & Destiny

I'm a fatalist. I believe everything happens for a reason and we are where we are because Destiny is written in the stars and it will never be any other way. I watched the movie Serendipity for the first time the other day and it is a very romantic chick flick that seems unreal when you finish watching it; like a situation that will never happen to you because it's way too out of the ordinary. It's only a movie you end up saying...
It may be an exaggeration and even though situations like that DO exist they are far and few in between. But tone it down a notch and relate it to your life. Stretch it out not in a 2 hour movie but in a 20 or 30 year time span.
When I moved to Italy I moved here for an entirely different future than the one I have today. I moved here to marry the man that I loved, because he was my first true love and the person I wanted to care for and spend the rest of my life with and grow old with and have 10 children with even though my family hated him and my father was completely against the relationship but since I am one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet, the more my father said NO the more I wanted to be with him.
Until one week after my college graduation I packed my bags and got on a plane with a one way ticket. When I got here, I'll spare you the details, I found out he had someone else and my world came crashing down. I started suffering from panic attacks shortly after and when my Uncle passed away in the States after 2 years of living in Italy I came to the conclusion that I reached a dead end and with my tail in between my legs and my head down low like a scolded dog I made the decision to move back to the States. It was one of the lowest times of my life.
I had things to take care of before leaving, I had to sell my car, I had to give my notice at work that I would be leaving, I had to close my bank account and all those bureaucratic adult things that I really didn't want to deal with at the time.
Two weeks before leaving I get a call for a job interview. It was for a much better job than the one I had at the time.
I had wanted to change jobs for a while and was sending out resumes non stop but I never heard from anyone for months and months until two weeks before my flight back. I decided to go on the interview. I could have said no, I could have just decided to avoid it all together but I went. I wasn't nervous (which was strange for me). I was just fed up with everything and life in general. I told the person interviewing me that I was flying back to the States in two weeks so that was basically the amount of time they had to decide if I was the person for them or not or else I would be leaving. Simple as that. The date I was supposed to fly back was April 10th, it was a Tuesday.
I was offered the job and my first day at work, the day I signed was that Tuesday April 10th. I stayed. I saw it as a sign. I thought at that point that leaving would be going against my destiny. I don't think it's wise to go against your destiny.
I have 2 aunts who never married. One of them chose not to get married. She wanted a career and was always very independent and never wanted to depend on a man. She has been seeing the same man for over 20 years but they chose never to marry and they live in separate houses. They have no children but they are happy. She is content and serene with her life. She is one of the most positive people I know and she is my best friend. I've spoken about her before. She's like a mother to me when my mother is in the States.
The other aunt is not as happy. She is older and was left to care for my sick grandfather when all the other sisters married off. This aunt had a steady boyfriend who she loved very much. Back in the day in southern Italy they were very strict and a girl was never to be left alone with a boy until her wedding night. This young man cheated on my aunt and got some other girl pregnant. When this would happen, the man had to marry the girl he got pregnant. He had made a mistake. He loved my aunt but he had made a terrible mistake.
Needless to say my aunt was destroyed after that incidence. The night before he was forced to marry the other woman, the man came to my aunt's house in the middle of the night and wanted to run away and elope with my aunt declaring his love for her. She loved him as well but she refused to run away  with him. She sent him away. She never married and never wanted any other man after that. She is in her 70's today and I know that she would have made a wonderful wife and a wonderful mother. The man ended up marrying the other woman and divorcing her after a number of years.
Call me a hopeless romantic but I think she was wrong to go against her destiny. I think she should have married that man and maybe today they would be happy together and she wouldn't have lived the last 50 years of her life alone. 
I believe in signs and think that if life leads you down a certain path, it's best to go with it. A sign to me is like Destiny itself trying to speak to you. I don't want to ignore that. It's the same thing with friendships. A true friend is not easy to come by. When a REAL friend comes along, it is a gift from the Heavens and should be treated like the greatest of treasures. I've met many people in my life, some of them I don't see any more just because our paths have changed and I'm not the best at keeping in touch, but if I contemplate on that moment in my life when they were a part of my journey and walking down the path next to me, there is a reason they were there with me. They either helped me up when I was down, or they taught me a life lesson, or made me laugh to tears until my cheeks hurt when I so desperately needed to laugh, and I am grateful for them and will always be. These people are also a part of our destiny and many times we fail to recognize this.
I got a little deep with today's contemplation post, sorry guys:-) Hope I didn't bore you to tears!!
I hope you have a fantastic weekend!