How about a summer treat for you all, okay!
“Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.”, every time I look at my new August wallpaper I start humming that Seals & Crofts song. Hope you enjoy as much as I am, oh and bonus this month I made an iPad sized wallpaper for all those iPad lovers out there.
Have a wonderful dreamy August!
Click on the size that suits your screen the best and save to your desktop or iPad background:
Small : 1024 x 768
Medium : 1280 x 1024
Large : 1600 x 1200
Extra Large : 1920 x 1200
iPad & iPad2 : 1024 x 1024
Hello all, have you been watching Oprah’s OWN channel? I am and I am in love with this type of TV, it’s a place for me to ground myself and learn new tools to live a better fuller life. Tonight I watched Oprah’s Lifeclass the final class on Gratitude with all of the teachers Iyanla Vanzant, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra and Bishop T.D. Jakes present and I was moved to beautiful joyous tears during Tony Robbins Emotional Flooding moment. If you haven’t seen this show or episode I recommend you do, it filled me up right up. Oprah has also made it easy for you to watch, if you don’t have OWN (I highly recommend you do), you can go online and stream it here. Which brings me to this post and what I wanted to share with you, my gratitude this week, I hope you enjoy these photos of simple moments that brought me joy.
What are five things in your life right now that you are grateful for?
Write me a comment below and put an instant smile on my face!
We made pancakes for dinner on Sunday evening with fresh apricots & blueberries with handpicked mint from my herb garden – YUM!
A cooler summer in Vancouver has meant a longer lettuce season, lucky us!
Smelling the lavender in my garden after a days work while the sun sets.
For the first time I grew beets in my garden and now I get to enjoy fresh beets on my salads.
I have been eating so many blueberries that I may very well turn blue, they are my favorite.
Photos of Roman Colosseum
We decided to start our three week honeymoon in Rome, it was romantic, wondrous, overwhelming beautiful and fast paced so make sure you have lots of energy to keep up with the Romans, when in doubt, stop and grab a seat to enjoy the view and rest those feet with a nice glass of wine and some pasta for a re-charge.
Visiting the Roman Colosseum is a pretty easy and great decision to make while in Rome. We went a couple of hours before it closed to avoid the crowds and to capture the evening sunshine. Helpful hints:
- Buy your ticket through the Roman Forum entrance located up the hill to cut the line and we spent most of our afternoon there wandering around because the Forum has more area to cover than the Colosseum.
- Wear a hat and sunscreen on sunny hot days and good walking shoes because it’s rocky and there are some hills and stairs to climb.
- Buy the audio tour headphones or purchase/download an audio app to your mobile device (Rick Steves has some great ones), we found it gave us a good idea of what we were looking at and the history behind it, otherwise isn’t just a bunch of old rocks.
- Bring a bottle of water, you can refill it at clean water fountains, there will be a sign on the fountains that are all good to drink at.
- Stop for a bite to eat in between visiting the Forum and Colosseum to re-charge your batteries. Less touristy restaurants aren’t a far walk, get out your map and head about 10 – 15 minutes away from the area. Jeff and I almost always chose a restaurant without food photos on the menu, a good sign that the place has locals eating there. Also less is more, so a small menu usually means fresh local ingredients and a savy chef.
Enjoying Rome Together
Rome is a walking city and getting lost in the narrow streets is a wonderful way to spend a day, afternoon or couple of hours even. Happy hour has become popular too, so between the hours of 6-8pm you can usually pull up a seat at a wine bar and enjoy free nibbles. If you are looking for a personal souvenir I suggest visiting this local shop called T-Nobile Pelletaria Artigiana that
features handmade Tuscan leather goods at affordable prices, I bought a handbag that I adore (there is another location in Cortona-Tuscany if you miss out while in Rome).
Pantheon & Trevi Fountain
If you spend some time walking the streets of Rome it is inevitable that you will stumble upon the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps at some point or the many other Palazzo’s around the center of Rome. We did buy a map to point us the direction we wanted to head, but honestly we only pulled it out when we were hungry or short on time. It was fun to just embrace our internal compasses and then be surprised when we found these ancient and wonderful treasures. I think my highlights were the Pantheon where Raphael is buried, the Trevi Fountain even though it’s buzzing with people and our walk above the Palazzo del Popolo, if you go before sunset and climb the stairs at the far end (opposite side from the shops & restaurants) you will get a panoramic view of the city and it’s a nice walk.
I don’t have photos of our trip to Vatican City and the Vatican Museum, because I really wanted to be present while taking in the masterpieces by Raphael and Michelangelo. We bought the audio guides, a definite must for me to have an appreciation for the artist and an understanding for the art piece. My favorite sections at the Vatican Museum were Raphael’s Rooms, the Sistine Chapel and The Gallery of the Geographical Maps with huge painted maps of Italy followed by the Tapestries which are massive rugs depicting religious scenes. I would have to say seeing both the work by Raphael & Michelangelo blew me away, these are not to missed and won’t disappoint, just think of all the trials and pains they went through painting with quick drying plaster, drawing perspective on a curved wall or stretching their arms to the ceiling and all the while trying to keep the church and critics happy – no pressure! Did you know the Michelangelo struggled with his confidence while doing the Sistine Chapel, he was a sculpture first most and thought his paintings weren’t good enough – wow I think they are pretty amazing! Give yourself half a day to enjoy the museum, the interior architecture is also a sight to behold. Helpful hints for the Vatican Museum:
- Book your tickets in advance online , you’ll have to pick a time and day but it’s worth beating the line ups.
- Go first thing in the morning or near the end of day (in the summer they have later hours so check out those times) to beat the crowds. On Wednesdays the Pope addresses the masses and we didn’t wait, but it also meant the shortcut in the Sistine Chapel was closed, there is a door located in the far right corner that leads to St Peter’s Basilica to avoid lining up in the square in the hot sun.
- Wear appropriate clothing as there are restrictions, no stomachs, shoulders or knees visible. Ladies bring a shawl or scarf to lay on your shoulders during the hot months.
- Buy the audio guide or download an app guide for your mobile device to hear about the artist and work before you, it brings everything to life. I have heard that if you purchase the audio guide through the museum that you have to return the headphones to get your ID back before heading into St Peters, so double check that if you plan on using the Sistine Chapel short cut.
I hope these tips help you enjoy your trip in Rome, we sure had a blast and I highly recommend spending a few days exploring this great ancient city that won’t disappoint. Viaggia felice!
Okay if you live in Vancouver like I do you have participated in several conversations about the rainy weather we have been dealt instead of the summer we are waiting for. Thankfully Jeff and I had planned our honeymoon for the late spring where we traveled to Greece and Italy to enjoy their summer already in full swing – yes I still have a tan I am clinging to!
But I finally hit my PLEASE STOP RAINING breaking point this past weekend after keeping a sunny disposition all week prior because I had been willing the weather to get it’s act together, that maybe a bit of rain would fall but eventually the skies would turn blue and sunshine would find us – I was wrong, well kind of. We did our best and water proofed our camps with the materials we had – thanks Morty for the plastic tarps what a save that was! As Jeff said “We packed for the weather we wanted not the weather we got.”
Happy Canada Day everyone I hope you found some summer even if the weather tried to dampen your spirits. Vancouverites this is our week for summer to arrive, I can feel it!
Eating with the season has brought a simple joy to my life and a sentimental feeling for the changing seasons. Right now I have some arugula in my garden and after looking in my fridge I pulled this yummy healthy breakfast together – it’s a winner!
Some tips I have discovered to growing arugula, buy a starter plant at your local garden center. I have tried many times to get it to grow from seed with no success. It loves the sun so make sure it’s getting plenty and water it often. Once it starts to bolt (flowers will start appearing and it will have less leaves) there isn’t much you can do but enjoy it while it lasts. Bonus though the flowers are edible and so pretty on pizzas or salads, they have a nutty taste similar to it’s leaves.
- Spring Arugula Breakfast Salad
- 2 Handfuls of Arugula
- 2 Medium Sized Ripe Tomatoes – chopped
- 2 Soft Boiled Organic Eggs
- Crumbled Goat Cheese
- Drizzle of Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
Cook your soft boiled eggs (4:30 minutes in boiling water). Meanwhile assemble salad by piling the arugula on your plate and add the chopped tomatoes. Put your eggs on top once cooked and shells are removed and slice so yolks break open. Then crumbled some goat cheese and add your drizzle of oil olive. Top off with some salt & pepper. Sit down and enjoy every bite!