I think it’s been OVER A YEAR since my last ICYMI. I’m hoping to get back into these more regularly. Shall we . . .
ICYMI: Catch Up Monday
Hi Guys. It’s been awhile. I’ve got some post ideas percolating (like FINALLY doing a Malta post after we’ve gone three times now), but I’m trying to type fast while the boys are entertained in the other room.
It’s been ages since I did this so I figured we could catch up on anything you might have missed.
ICYMI: Never-ending August Edition
On the Blog:
I feel like we’ve been doing a lot lately. No major trips, but plenty of little stuff. Which has been good, but also contributing to August feeling weird. (And hoping I didn’t make a mistake on our decision for school for the kiddos.)
I’ve taken my love of agriturismi to a whole new level. Now instead of using them for overnight stays only, I’m treating them like destinations. We did dinner at Agriturismo La Cerra outside of Tivoli before hitting the fountains at night at Villa d’Este. HIGHLY recommend La Cerra. We may hit up dinner again there some other night. They have an awesome playground and animals to see with some darn tasty food from Cinta Senese pigs. Molto affordable as well.
Meh on the Villa d’Este fountains at night. We didn’t get home until midnight; it was a lot of hassle with the kids. It could have been a romantical styles date night, but I think I like the fountains by day even more. I think I expected colored lights, music, something. Nope.
I also keep trying to make Abruzzo happen. We enjoyed our weekend there, but the weather threw us. Undeterred, we headed out for lunch at Il Timo, an agriturismo in Abruzzo, on a Saturday. I thought the mountains would be cooler. Nope. Direct sun. Very hot. The grilled meats were pretty tasty though. This place had pretty adorable cabins for anyone considering an overnight.
Last weekend we finally tried Podere Spedalone, a very highly recommend agriturismo outside of Pienza. It is on the pricey side, but it did live up to the hype. Picture sipping prosecco watching the Tuscan sunset before a fantastic four course dinner. These guys have the creature comforts down. Water bottles by the pool, soft towels, fancy wine gifted on departure. They are also super friendly and helpful. If it wasn’t more of a splurge, we’d be back there on the reg.
We picked that weekend to catch the Bravio delle Botti in Montepulciano. Amazing. We saw a bit of the medieval procession. Then we got to see teams of two running barrels up the hill. Incredible. I couldn’t help but just laugh at the wonder that something like this exists. (You can see a video on my Instagram.)
On the local front, we enjoyed the Banksy exhibit. Highly recommend if you can squeeze it in before it closes September 4. We squeezed in another lake day at Martignano. Not too shabby.
The Cardinal of the Kremlin is dunskies! Into Clear and Present Danger. The Summer of Clancy continues. I’ve settled into a new routine on this. I have to at least touch the Clancy book each day. Maybe only for two pages. But it is enough to keep me interested in the story and not forget what is happening. I usually read a few books at once so this works for me.
The kids are still funny. And talk about vino.
On the Internets:
Could ride-on suitcases by the answer to travel with young kids? I’m skeptical with the two yahoos, but I’m definitely curious.
So much for a link post. I’ll get on this. What have you been up to in August?
ICYMI: Local Tourist Edition
I think there may be more link posts here. Or something where I just share. I want to include evergreen content, but I feel like if I don’t cover things in real time, then I forget a lot. You’ve been warned.
This past weekend we picked off two on our To Do in Rome List. On Saturday we toured the Savoia bunker at Villa Ada. It was pretty neat to see and to learn more about a park where I spend a lot of time. New #housegoals to have a Travertine spiral escape staircase in my bunker.
On Sunday we hit the Domus Aurea tour. This one was with the kids. That was . . . interesting. On the plus side, you can actually roll your stroller through the whole thing. (One staircase to exit.) On the other side, the tour was billed as being an hour and 15 minutes. It was definitely more like an hour and forty. We got hard hats. (With hair nets.) Yay! But the kids wanted those off after about two minutes. The guide was really hard to hear, and she kept insisting on talking while walking. No one could hear that. But she didn’t say anything when the kids ditched their hard hats or when we busted out lollipops. It was a very cool space to see–literally felt like AC in there–but maybe without the kids would be better. Oh, well.
This weekend we are heading to Abruzzo. I think Sulmona and Pescara are on the list. Would love any recommendations!
For future travel plans, I’m now gung ho about planning a Slovenia/Croatia road trip for this fall. I’m thinking drive there and ferry back. Possibly hitting this on the way because it just looks too cool.
Things have been fairly quiet around here. Rome is definitely clearing out. And hot. Henry’s last day of school was last Friday. We’re slowly getting used to our new schedule.
On the Blog:
I finished The Hunt for Red October. Diving into The Cardinal of the Kremlin. The Summer of Clancy continues.
You should go to Lake Garda. One of my favorite things in Italy yet.
It’s hot. We haven’t made it back to Ludoteche Amelie yet, but I’m sure it will happen soon. (Maybe with a side trip to the Make-Your-Own-Magnum store??)
On the Internets:
I’ve been drinking bulletproof coffee for a bit. Bulletproof intermittent fasting could be next?
We’ve all heard of Myers Briggs, but I finally got around to taking my Enneagram. What’s your number?
I’m still using PicMonkey for photo editing, but playing around with Be Funky these days. Anyone tried it? It seems to have different features, but I found it to be a lot slower than PicMonkey.
ICYMI: SO HOT Edition
Yup. A link post on a Monday. It feels so wrong that it feels right.
In Rome news, it is officially summer. 90s erry day, but it somehow feels even worse. Muggy. Gross. The direct sun is merciless. It gives no quarter. We’ve been staying up late because summer and because it is actually kind of pleasant after 7:00 pm. Water is my happy place. Other than a recent bout of the flu, I’ve actually been enjoying summer a lot. I just haven’t been getting much done. Schedule is out of whack and the heat is just wiping me out. I know. #firstworldproblems
Gearing up for our road trip to Bologna, Modena, Ravenna, and Lake Garda. If anyone has any recommendations, would love to hear ’em!
On the Blog:
If you told me a year ago that I would have done this, I would have said you were absolutely crazy.
If you are in Rome or coming to Rome, check out these tickets to score in advance.
Now with two chuckleheads on the loose. Hoot.
I’ve been all about habits lately. (More on my latest love soon.) This is my take on how you can build on foundational habits. (This graphic made James giggle.)
My cousins are here. Guess what I asked them? (Seriously, no one is safe.)
And because this is occasionally still a travel-related blog, here is why you need a sense of humor to travel in Italy, here is about that time I met the President of Italy, and here is why I loved our trip to Marrakesh.
On the Internets:
You guys! Land Before Time is on Netflix! (My kids were not as into it as I thought. I was like, yes, DINOSAURS, but I think it was a little slower moving than what they are used to. And they seemed to get really focused on the Mom’s death so that was fun to explain over and over.) For the adults, Sixteen Candles is also added. This is a movie I definitely thought I’d seen, but realized I hadn’t actually. Let’s just say it’s a classic for a reason.
Looking for your next vacation read? Modern Mrs. Darcy’s summer reading guide is out. Grab it here. Also did you know that Anne publishes daily Kindle deals? I’ve been using her curated lists to snap up great books at hefty discounts.
I quite enjoyed this article on Quitting Being a Secret of Success. (You know I enjoy a good quitters story.)
Would you try cricket powder protein bars? I haven’t done it yet, but I’m seriously considering. I’ve been looking for a good paleo on-the-go option and been coming up short. I really really wanted to like Epic Bars, but they just aren’t my thing. (Mac loves them though.) I’ve also tried some Beef Sticks from Grass Run Farms, but not my jam. Just too vinegary maybe? (Both kids love them.) I make Melissa Joulwan’s meat muffins and use things like boiled eggs, but it would be nice to have an already prepared emergency option.And I don’t remember what I was searching on Amazon, but I stumbled across this. You know, in case your life doesn’t have enough pee in it and you need to put a urinal, that looks like a frog, IN YOUR HOME. No thank you please.
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ICYMI: I Hate Pollen Edition
Hi everyone! Sorry so quiet this week. We had a guest, and I’ve been bowled over by some sort of respiratory thing with a touch of allergies thrown in. Good times. I’m hoping things have turned a corner. Which is good because we have big plans this weekend to check out the Sagra del Cinghiale (Festival of the Boar) in San Gregorio Da Sassola and the Craft Beer Festival in Rome. If we are feeling super crazy, we may check out the rose petals at the Pantheon for Pentacost.
On the Blog:
Temps are pretty nice these days. I’m definitely getting use out of these new spring pieces.
Still the best thing on the blog. Also, I got around to sharing some updates on the boys generally.
I’m slowly rolling out Sicilian content. Here is an overview of our trip and here is everything you ever wanted to know about taking a ferry in Italy.
If Sicily is too far, how about a day trip to Calcata? (Wear your long skirt.)
When I’m not gouging out my sinuses, I’ve been doing more reading. And even some writing. And probably drinking more coffee than I should.
On the Internets:
My tabs are covered with bathing suits and tutorials on how to use Evernote. (I am DETERMINED to tame my tab problem.) I do have a few tabs up about our upcoming Morocco trip. Exciting for me! But nothing good to share.
Do you have any big weekend plans? Do you also hate all the pollen? Any tips for a trip to Marrakech?
ICYMI: All the Feels Edition
On the Blog:
Thanks for all of your support on my Quitters Story and my freak out on the future. You guys are awesome. I totally owe you a cappuccino.
The blog’s most popular feature by far. I should just cut the middle man and have Henry do all the writing here. #1 blog of all time. Done.
I’m still doing a little running and still doing a little paleo. Looking to change up your own habits? Try this trick.
Looking for your next read? Check out my 2015 list.
It’s Friday! You know what I’m doing tonight. Henry has already called “all the Octonauts.” Huzzah!
On the Internets:
The baffling reason many millennials don’t eat cereal. Hint: it isn’t because they’ve all gone paleo and started eating eggs.
Over at MMD, Anne is talking about fashion in the thirties. I agree with it all, and loved this: How a Closet Cleanse Helped Me Embrace My Thirties.
I need to remind myself of this frequently. Yes, it is only a season.
Hey there West Wing fans. I’ve got the podcast for you! (More podcast shenanigans here.)
I’m a little obsessed with Bower Power’s faux wood laminate backsplash. #kitchengoals
We’ve got an Easter egg hunt this weekend. Will also see if we can pull off any Palm Sunday capers. I mean, we are in the right city for it after all. How about you? Big plans?
ICYMI: Jet Lag Edition
Hi friend! How are you? Are you having a good February? Also terrified of puppy monkey baby?
Sorry for the radio silence ’round these parts. We’ve been battling jet lag, and I feel like we are just kind of mostly getting back to normal.
I’ve been kind of insufferable lately. I have so many things I want to do that I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin. We did have excellent family time in January, but it was hard to get going on things while on the road. Then the jet lag is setting us back. I know it will just take time. But I never claimed to be a patient person. I want it ALL. And I want it NOW.
I should give myself a little credit. We have booked 2/3 of a Sicily trip for this spring. I won my January Diet Bet, and I’ve been sticking to fairly strict paleo. I just signed up for the Spartan Run in April (EEP!), but I still need to get officially signed up for the half marathon in March. And then train for it. NBD.
We are psyched to be back in Italy. Carnival has been in full effect. Confetti on all the playgrounds. Children in costume on the reg. We hit up the parade in Piazza Navona this past Saturday. It was quite the classy affair compared to our raucous Tuscan Carnevale last year. Picture lots of people on horses and in period costumes.
We are also in the throes of trying to apply for Italian public preschool. I’m still not sure if we want to do it, but we are trying to even see if we can get a space before we have to decide. Let’s just say the process has been VERY Italian. I promise to share more on this later in case it helps anyone else who wants to try it.
On the Blog:
What I was into in January. I should have also mentioned seasonal squash. They don’t really have winter squash here, and I was LOVING all the butternut and spaghetti squash.
I also finally got around to putting pen to paper on 2016 resolutions.
After an awesome free first Sunday museum in December, you’d think we’d have hit one last Sunday, but not. 😦
Those boys keep saying the darndest things.
I threw down the fitness gauntlet. But then I did some thinking on how to feel good without diet or exercise changes.
On the Internets:
My latest stroller obsession. I’m very tempted by the fact that my friend says this fits on Roman buses and trams.
Anyone want to buy Michelangelo’s Tuscan Villa? (Hat tip PK)
Want to see where Beyonce (apparently) stayed for the Super Bowl? (Hat tip JRW)
Hope to be back more frequently soon. In the meantime, anyone have any cruise line recommendations?
ICYMI: Where did 2015 go, ya’ll?
Have you started to feel like every day for the whole rest of the year is planned? Seriously, where did it all go?? And how do I already feel behind on Christmas shopping???
On the Blog:
I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that we are having adventures faster than I can write about them. I’ve been updating Travel Resources with more info to give you travel ideas, even if there aren’t links to full posts. Looking for your next day trip or weekend getaway? Check it out here.
One adventure I did cover was our jam-packed day trip to Turin. If you have a chance, I’d spend more than a day here.
I also talked about my love/hate relationship with crowds and our trips to Nemi and Orte.
As well as gettin’ deep about last meals at Castel Sant’ Angelo.
And 3 tips to make your travel awesome.
Huh, I guess there are still some travel posts going up around here. I feel like things have definitely gone off the rails lately. #sorrynotsorry
Fall is here! I still haven’t ordered my OTK boots, but I’m sure everyone here would like me to just do it or shut up about it. What’s on your fall fashion wish list?
Heh, million dollar baby. LITERALLY. And then my other recent attempt at humor where I talk resumes and giving booze to horses.
The one where I get kind of preachy about judging other people. I swear, I’ve put the soap box away. For now at least.
My baby is 3!! Still says hilarious things. (And like my kid, I’m very food-oriented. Treat yo self.)
On the Internets:
For my hipster peeps, have you tried switchel? I really want to try this apple cider vinegar drink, but I’m having a hard time on the ginger juice. I can’t find it in juice form, and I don’t have the capability to juice fresh ginger.
This video had me cry laughing. If you want to kill your morning, delve into Break Womb’s other stuff. Ah, it’s funny because it’s true.
How not to say the wrong thing
If you looking for some fall pieces of your own, Ann Taylor is 50% off through Sunday.
I’m very intrigued by this stroller. Any urbanites tried this one?
That’s all I got. Happy weekend everyone!
ICYMI: Ferragosto edition
Here in Rome, we recently passed Ferragosto. This one day holiday has somehow expanded into most of the month, and the city has shut down. Day cares are closed. At least half the stores in my neighborhood are closed. Romans are getting out of dodge.
We too did some traveling. And now travel recovering. I don’t know that I’ll be completely absent this August, but things will probably (continue to) be pretty quiet this month. I’m aiming to enjoy time with family and friends and do more thinking on long-term projects.
Until then, please amuse yourself with some recent blog offerings you may have missed.
On the blog:
My Aunt (paraphrased): I liked your post. So you’re just figuring out what you’re doing, just like the rest of us, huh? Yup.
My new pan is here. It is glorious.
Need any thoughts on jumpstarting your back-to-school To Do List?
Henry still cracks us up. And is ridiculous. Mac is gettin’ big.
Umm, so we went back to the States, and I still didn’t drive. Ridiculous, I know.
So my running has fallen off with recent vacations. This is unfortunate because my half is coming up SOON and you know I can’t skip it after going through this.
We’ve talked clothes for Rome. Now see shoes. #teambirkenstocks
On the internets:
The one piece of clothing every billionaire is wearing at summer camp (Hat tip MDBH) Hmm, maybe I’m really just seeing lots of billionaires everywhere? #vestupson #vestlife
Kind of depressing and inspirational all at once. Time to get off the couch!
I must not helicopter, I must not helicopter . . .
Me: Do you have Grindr on your phone? I want to swipe people.
Sister: You mean Tinder. And no. Gross.
Looks like she has a point. I don’t even know what to do with raising kids in this, especially boys. Sigh.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. I miss you already!