Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just Checking In...

Just wanted to check in, in case anyone ever comes by anymore. I haven't written anything in so long. I have a good excuse though. I've been working hard and researching our wedding. The Italian will be arriving in a few short weeks and we'll be getting married a few months after that. I had know idea all the details a wedding entails. I've spent countless hours researching! Alas, it looks like we will just have something very small here in the states and our relgious ceremony will be in Milano. I have to wait until everyone comes back from vacation to really start planning for our big wedding in Milano.
The Italian and I are going to be starting another blog together. Once he gets here, we will be getting the help of a fellow blogger to put it all together. Check back in from time to time - I will be posting the link to the new blog here!
Hope you are all well and enjoying your summer! My absolute favorite season - Fall - is almost upon us! In fact, the leaves here in Portland are already starting to change colors, believe it or not.

A presto!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Won the Oil Shop Giveaway at Italyville!

I've been meaning to post this for some time now (sorry Joe!). Back in February Joe over at had this giveaway contest for some really good olive oil from and I won! It's very rare that I win things, so I was pretty thrilled (I'm easily pleased).
Joe's got a great blog. He's is a first-generation Italian-American, born and raised in Massachusetts and posts lots of great recipes, pictures and talks about life growing up Italian. Joe travels back to his parents native Calabria often and posts really beautiful pictures of his ancestral lands. Hop over and check his blog out, I promise you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

iTunes Tuesday - Moda' - Sono Gia Solo

I discovered this band a few months back when I was searching for Italian music videos on youtube. Turns out they are from Milano like the Italian. I wish I had had the chance to see them live when I was there this past Xmas, ah well, next time. There is one song of theirs that I absolutely love but they haven't made a video for it and in the future I am going to use it for something, so I'll post it later. What I understand about the song is that it's about relationship issues. I usually post a translation with the lyrics but I don't have too much time to do it now, so I will just post the Italian lyrics. Enjoy!

Sono Gia Solo

Troppa luce non ti piace
godi meglio a farlo al buio sottovoce
graffiando la mia pelle
e mordendomi le labbra
fino a farmi male, bene
senza farmi capire
se per te è più sesso o amore
Poi fuggi, ti vesti, mi confondi
non sai dirmi quando torni
e piangi, non rispondi, sparisci
e ogni quattro mesi torni
Sei pazza di me come io lo son di te

Resisti, non mi stanchi
mi conservi sempre dentro ai tuoi ricordi
e poi brilli, non ti spegni
ci graffiamo per non far guarire i segni
e sei pioggia fredda
sei come un temporale di emozioni che poi quando passa
Lampo, tuono, è passato così poco e son già solo

Tornerai, tornerai
altrochè se tornerai
ma stavolta non ti lascio
ti tengo stretta sul mio petto
poi ti bacio, poi ti graffio
poi ti dico che ti amo e ti proteggo
e poi ti voglio e poi ti prendo
poi ti sento che impazzisci se ti parlo
sottovoce, senza luce
perchè solo io lo so come ti piace
e ora dimmi che mi ami
e che stavolta no, non durerà solo fino a domani
Resta qui con me perchè son pazzo di te

Resisti, non mi stanchi
mi conservi sempre dentro ai tuoi ricordi
e poi brilli, non ti spegni
ci graffiamo per non far guarire i segni
sei pioggia fredda
sei come un temporale di emozioni che poi quando passa
Lampo, tuono, è passato così poco e son già solo

Resisti, non mi stanchi
mi conservi sempre dentro ai tuoi ricordi
e poi brilli, non ti spegni
ci graffiamo per non far guarire i segni
sei pioggia fredda
sei come un temporale di emozioni che poi quando passa
Lampo, tuono, è passato così poco e son già solo

Sunday, April 11, 2010

On Long Distance Relationships and Naked Lady Parties

Yesterday I went to a BBQ hosted by one of my book club friends. The first half of the get-together was a Naked Lady party wherein you take clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry and the like that you no longer want and offer them up for exchange. Whatever is left goes to the Goodwill, a womens shelter or some sort of charity. It was pretty cool. I only took a few things but I think next time I will really dig in my closet and drawers and take more things. If you ever get invited to one, go and take lots of things. You'd be surprised the little treasures you can find. Many of my friends wear really cute clothes and when I ask where they got them, they almost always answer Goodwill or at a Naked Lady party. Fun!

As those of you that read my blog know, the Italian and I have been at this long distance relationship for 4 years. We were hoping for him to be here by last year but what with the global economical meltdown, we had to put that on hold. We are hoping he can be here by the summer or at least the end of the summer. To be completely honest, I've sort of put a dead line on it. This type of relationship never gets easier. I'm sure the odds of a relationship like ours actually standing the test of time aren't very good. Our relationship, thus far, has survived the time and distance but it has not been easy. People tell me all the time that they don't know how we do it. I'm not one to give advice. I can only speak from my own experience but this sort of relationship is not for the faint of heart or weak-minded people. You have to really want it to work and you have to really trust the other person. If you are the jealous type, forget about it. You will not be able to sleep at night. Speaking on the phone can be a challenge due to the time difference, schedules, work and even just the tone of voice you hear on the other end.

If the other person has had a bad day but doesn't want to spend their limited time on the phone with you talking about it, it can create a misunderstanding. You can hear it in their voice and naturally, you ask if all is well. They say no, but you know there is etc, etc. These, are some of the challenges the Italian and I have come up against but nothing serious enough to create a rift because we are both very dedicated to each other and to making this work.

Ultimately though, we are both humans with feelings and it is hard, extremely hard to be away from one another. In social situations, my friends always ask, when is the Italian coming back? Those that haven't met him, ask when he is coming and are anxious to meet him, as am I for him to meet them. Last night was one of those nights. My friends were at the BBQ with their husbands and kids and they all asked when he is coming and that they look forward to meeting him. It should be easy right? I mean, he should just be able to hop on a plane and make his way here or vice versa for me. But really, it's not. There are legal fees to be paid for immigrating, one would have to financially support the other until such time as a work permit can be obtained, etc etc. I'm way more spontaneous than he is. I can be a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of person, but the Italian is so not like that. He is way more conservative in that respect. He believes these sorts of things take careful planning and a lot of consideration, he's definitely old school. I mean, I just met his family after 3 years because he wouldn't take anyone home unless he was sure to marry them. This is another difficulty of LDR's. Cultural or religious differences can break relationships. Our cultures are not so different that this would be the case for us, but it can happen. Ultimately, our cultures, fundamentally speaking, are quite similar. Mine has just been Americanized a bit but essentially we have the same morals and values. We are both Catholic so this hasn't been a problem for us either. He has expressed to me though that he wouldn't marry someone who was not Catholic.

What it boils down to is that we are best friends. We trust and respect each other and that's why this has worked for us. Again, I will say that it has not been without effort. When we are physically together, we are a team. We work so well together and are so supportive of each other. We like to joke with each other, cook together, read together, watch movies, go for passegiate, concerts, etc etc. Politically, we tend to disagree but it makes for interesting conversation.

He helps me clean and do laundry. I love that he is always ready and willing to help me. Not all men are that way, unfortunately. I've known from the beginning that he is the man I will spend the rest of my life with and I can no longer imagine life without him. The attraction was instant. This fall our LDR will culminate in marriage and these last 4 years of phone calls, flights, emails, texts, tears and laughter will come to an end and our life together will finally begin.

Trust and tenacity are what it takes to survive the test of distance and time. Without these two, fuggetaboutit!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Need You to Try Something On

Getting back to my trip to Milano, that night that I arrived and was so tired, the Italian had said to me that he needed me to try something on. I was so tired that I said ok, can I try it tomorrow and he said yes, of course of course. I had forgotten about it for most of the day and it was Christmas Eve. He told me to take my time getting ready because we weren't due at his home until dinner. He also promised to take me to il centro (downtown) to see all the Christmas decorations. We took the underground into the center and there were people still out doing last minute shopping. I then remembered to ask him what it was he wanted me to try on. He said oh yes, and had this strange look on his face, then he pulled out a little brown box and said, "I hope you will marry me"

It was so cute! I was not expecting it! I thought he wanted me to try on like a sweater or something. Of course I said YES YES YES!! SI SI SI!! It was the happiest Christmas Eve of my life.

We celebrated by having an Espresso e cornetto at Bar Cova. A swanky little place on Via Montenapoleone. Think Rodeo Drive.

And so it is official. We are engaged, extremely happy and so deeply in love! We are hoping to be married in the fall but it will really depend on when he can finally get here, then we can start making our plans.

I am really behind in all the posts I have planned but there have been many changes, which I also plan on posting about soon. I have a lot of catching up to do!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy World Nutella Day 2010: Nutella Olive Oil Cupcakes

It's World Nutella Day everyone!! It's been declared by Bleeding Espresso and Ms Adventures In Italy that February 5th is the day we celebrate Nutella! It is also the Italian's sisters birthday so Auguroni L!! Here is my contribution to World Nutella Day:

Nutella Olive Oil Cupcakes

Makes 12

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg, yolk and sugar until thickened and lightened to a cream color, about 2 minutes. On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended. Mix in the sour cream and Nutella well. Mix in the dry ingredients until incorporated well and the batter is smooth. Fill paper cupcake cups in the tin 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool before putting on the icing.

Nutella Icing:

1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup creamy Nutella
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup whipping cream
toasted hazelnuts for garnish

In a large bowl combine the confectioners sugar, Nutella, butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer on a medium-low speed until creamy. Add the whipping cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

And this is the result!

Check out

How will you celebrate?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Le Tre Torri

Once we arrived at the hotel I was so exhausted, I laid in the bed and didn't want to move. The Italian asked if I wanted to go have dinner with his family and I felt so bad because I was too tired. I needed to bathe and I knew once I did that it would be a matter of minutes before I knocked out cold, but I was hungry. I told him that I really wanted to but I was just too tired to muster up the energy. He understood and offered to go out and get me some pizza. I agreed as this would give me a chance to take a shower and freshen up.

I stumbled onto the website of Le Tre Torri somehow when searching for a place to stay. The price was right and it's right on the green line which goes to the neighborhood where the Italian lives with his family. I had him go and check it out and it seemed like a nice place and the owners were very nice. The room was a little spartan with Ikea furnishings but it was clean and suited my needs. It's not really a hotel but more like a self-service room rental type place. They also offered free Wi-Fi. The Italian was a little skeptical about the neighborhood called Lambrate because it has a bit of a past but they seem to have cleaned it up and it was very convenient when we wanted to go into the center of Milano as well as going to his families house which we would drive to rather than use the metro. I really recommend this place if you need an economical place to stay in Milano. The longer you stay the more discount they offer. There is a communal kitchen and dining room as well as a washing machine. If I had to, I would definitely stay there again.

The Italian promised to bring me back a really delicious pizza. I was starving so I was really looking forward to it. Well, he didn't disappoint! Wow, I don't know if it was because I was starving but this was among the best pizza I've ever had in my life. Trattoria Pizzera La Cappelletta was near the hotel and seems to have a little history. This is what is written on the box:

Narrano leggende che ai tempi dei Romani, nel luogo ove ora sorge la Cappelletta vi fosse un santuario cristiano. Forse era solo un sasso, ma con il passare del tempo e' diventato un simbolo, che ha acquistato una forza e una simbologia da caratterizzare un intero paese quale era Lambrate. Oggi purtroppo non la si nota quasi piu', sommersa dalle case e dalle auto, ma e' bello sapere che un luogo cosi' ricco di spiritualita' a cui generazioni di lambratesi hanno affidato le loro preghiere, sia sempre qui a portata di mano.

The pizza was like no other pizza I have ever had before. The crust had a bit of a sourdough taste to it and it was absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, because I was so hungry I didn't think to take a picture of it until after I finished it, so I took a picture of the box instead. He just bought enough for me as it was way too early for him to eat dinner. He stayed with me until I fell asleep, then he went home to eat with his family. I asked him to please give my apologies to his family but I was just way too tired. He kept telling me not to worry, that they would understand. When he came back from his dinner I woke up and he let me know that his family completely understood and that they looked forward to meeting me the next day which was Christmas Eve. I was so relieved and went right back to sleep.