Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Packing for a weekend in Rome, Italy in October

Our weekend in Rome, last weekend was fantastic! I felt really prepared for the whole weekend and think I am finally getting this packing thing down to a science now that this has been our third weekend trip.

When traveling, especially in Europe, I have found it is important to know a bit about where you are going first so do your research. In Rome, many of the churches-St. Peter's specifically-require you to cover shoulders and knees. Also, unlike where I am Rome is still very, very warm in October-80+ Fahrenheit. 

This is an overview of what we brought:

1 dressy outfit each for a nice dinner one night including shoes
Tennis shoes for sight seeing
Jeans to wear in to the church
Light fall blazer for me to cover my shoulders
3 shirts each
1 pair of shorts each
Personal items

Now, on our way there we chose to wear our dressy stuff as it was bulky and knew it would be hard to get into the small backpack we were carrying.

This was hubby's outfit:

Dress shirt, jeans, boots


Dress shirt, jeans, heels, blazer

These were our bulkiest items and basically what we wore home, just with different shirts. We wore the bulkiest stuff to travel in so we could fit everything we wanted for the weekend in our one small backpack.

These were the outfits I created while i was there:

Light weight breezy cropped tank, shorts, tennis shoes, hair in a bun and sunnies.
Hubby just wore his classic shorts, t-shirt, and tennis shoes.

On day two I wore thsi comfy ruffled tank, my shorts again (no need to pack two for just two days) and tennis shoes.
Comfy and casual. At any time I could have switched out my shorts for jeans and threw on my blazer to get into the cathedral.

This was my outfit for our one nice dinner out. I packed a high waist pleather skirt from H&M, a cold shoulder crop from guess, and my awesome leather heels with an ankle strap from a local designer here in Holland. They are insanely comfortable since they are real leather.

Hubs wore an embroidered collared shirt with jeans and his awesome boots.

The weather can get chilly in the evening since it is fall, but with all our walking we were dressed just right. 

This was a super easy wardrobe and really helped me to be comfortable and buzz all over the city with no complaints!

We used the Eagle Creek Pack-it folder and cubes like these:

Eagle Creek Pack It Folder

Eagle Creek Pack it Cube

These save so much room and allow us to take just one backpack when traveling for a weekend!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

We are having guests!!!! Menu Plan Monday #58

I am so stinking excited! After a great weekend in Italy two weekends ago our friends have made their way through Europe and their last stop is Amsterdam!!!! I am super excited to show them around the city. I hope this is just the start of more visitors...hint, hint-especially to my Mom & Dad ;)

Anyway, this past weekend we had a great mix of busy family time and family down time.

Friday we started off by meeting the hubby at his work and we went off to Kermis at Dam Sqare.

This is  a super fun little fare, very small as it fits in just one square block, it sets right in front of the palace.

There are about a total of 4 rides and a fun house. There are tons of games and food. Now, I am not going to lie. Ya know how in the US you can got to a fare and get a bracelet to ride a bunch of rides for like $25? No, not here...you pay per ride. 

Yes folks, I said per ride. You would think initially this is a decent deal, especially if you only want to ride one or two rides...but no, there rides are at minimum €5 and go up to €7! I was shocked. Especially with as cheap as the Dutch tend to be I thought they'd be somewhere from €.50-€3...so, if you go, as these run I believe about once a season or so have the money ready!

My kiddo and her friend did have an absolute blast though so it was completely worth the cash we forked out! Plus while they were riding rides the hubby and I got in some nice date time walking around and enjoying all the lights and music.

Saturday we relaxed. Hubs got in some quality video game time and I slammed through a bunch of projects I had been wanting to get done.

Sunday was of course Cheer Day.

My kid is so awesome and I am so proud of her for doing these stunts...she went from level 1 to level 5 this year...at least stunt wise (cheer is really different over here lol) so I am super happy she is giving it her all and really hitting these stunts!


Once we got home we all relaxed together and did some reading and writing.

All-in-all a truly fantastic weekend and with hubby's birthday this week and our friends coming in to town I can't wait to see what else we will be up to. If you want to follow along on the adventures feel free to follow me on instagram and let me know who you are so I can follow back! 

I'm linking up over at Org Junkie!

Monday: Applewiches with hazelnut butter and craisins with a side of pumpkin yogurt
Tuesday: Mixed berry oatmeal smoothie bowl
Wednesday: Toast with butter and hagelslag and cappuccino (gotta give them the full dutch experience)
Thursday: Scrambled eggs, toast, cappuccino
Friday: Easy...cereal or toast...I have a parent coffee to attend so will be grabbing and going.
Saturday: Egg and cheese croissants with oranges
Sunday: Fend for yourself. I will be in another city for a while so I will be out and about.

Monday Scrambled eggs with tomato and butternut squash
Tuesday: Last day of Autumn break so we will go out and hit up the Nutella bakery ;)
Wednesday: Sandwiches..I am sure we will be out sight seeing and sandwiches are a pretty traditional Dutch lunch.
Thursday: Autumn Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Friday: Will lunch with the husband.
Saturday: Snack on cheese, bread, fruit
Sunday: Snack on cheese, bread, fruit

Monday: Pumpkin slices and chili
Tuesday: Salad and whole wheat ravioli with cherry tomatoes and basil
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Happy Birthday to my Hubby! We will go to a Brazilian Steakhouse.
Friday: Rotisserie chicken with whole wheat baguette and salad
Saturday: Couples night out...will get some yummy food and show our friends the nightlife
Sunday: Homemade pizza and wings for football night!

So that is it for our week...will be eating out a lot more than normal, but it will be all in good fun!

What do you have planned to eat this week?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rome Eats! (WIAW)

Wow! This last weekend was a whirlwind! We got up Friday and dashed to the airport and met our good friends from Vancouver in Rome for a little weekend getaway and sightseeing. We drank and ate way too much but we had a fantastic time!

Day one started on the plane with some solid reading and a blueberry muffin I split with the hubs...

Once our turbulence ended I was delivered this "american coffee"...you brew it with a coffee bag! How funky huh?! Don't worry it was everything you dreamed it would be...crappy! hahaa So,  next time someone offers you an American Coffee brewed with a bag say no thanks and wait until you land in Italy! 

 After we landed we were starving so we check out some pizza...it was not okay. We took two bites and dumped it.

After that we found some more pizza and were way more pleased with our choice...we grabbed a bottle of wine to go with it and had a picnic. It was amazing.

Dinner was fantastic. Prosciutto with fresh mozaarella balls, carbonara for the hubby, and regular spaghetti for me. We got to dine outside...was a fantastic evening!

On the walk home we scored some fantastic ice cream....

Day two started with a trip to an Italian Coffee bar....I have to say it was so hectic, I could not enjoy my coffee like that everyday, but it was a fun experience to drink my coffee at the bar...

So amazing, the milk was frothed perfectly...I hadn't had milk like that in a very, very long time!

After this we walked around a bit and then decided on a brunch before our tour of the Coliseum....

More prosciutto for he husband....plus something omelet like...was good though!  

...and french toast...it was very good and delicious!

I of course had a latte with it...it was fantastic!

After spending a solid two hours touring the Coliseum we needed a rest...so we found a nice cafe nearby, bought half a liter of wine and some fruit and ice cream and we were happy campers.

After this we made our way to the store for yet more wine and some appetizers.
We sat around for a solid 3 hours enjoy wine, bread, some balsamic and olive oil, and parm. A few of us may have napped before showering ;)

After all this good food we decided to get dressed up and walk to a more locals only area we were told to go to for food. We had some delicious eats...

Spinach ravioli...the pasta was all made in house. It was delicious!

Our desserts....chocolate cake above and tiramisu below. All were made in house. They were so amazing.

After all of this we took a long walk home to see all the major sites lit up at night, we even got a look at Trevi Fountain, but it was mostly all covered up as they are doing some restoration work on it until 2016. But, such a great way to end a fantastic day!

Our final hours in Rome were a bit hectic as we had to get packed up, but we got up a bit early for a last coffee and pastry...

Time to say goodbye :(

But this totally made up for it!

At the airport we had some time to kill since our friends flight was about 90 minutes before ours, so we found a great burger bar. We were worried it would be awful but it is probably the best burgers we'd had since coming to Europe...

(Sorry for the sideways picture apparently blogger hates me so I will try and fix later)

It had cream cheese, peppers, fried onions, and spinach. It was amazing.

(again, sorry)...this was the best espresso I'd had in a while. The after taste had citrus notes to it...I loved it! The truffle on the side wasn't bad either!

So, those were our eats from our weekend getaway to Rome, Italy! 

Have you ever been to Italy? What was your favorite restaurant or dish you got while there?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Menu Plan Monday #57

Wow! Last week was a crazy week....we took a long weekend in Rome and had a lovely time. I can't wait to share my trip with you all this week!

We ate some insane goodies as one only can when in Italy so this week it is time to clean it up and eat a bit lighter!

Party with everyone else over at Org Junkie!
Breakfast Options:
The kiddo wants to learn to cook some breakfast items over the break so each morning we will work together in the kitchen to make some good breakfast items!

  • Apple sandwiches
  • Overnight oats
  • Smoothies
  • Mini breakfast pizzas
  • Saturday: Omelets with sausage and steamed pumpkin
  • Sunday: Leftovers
My kiddo is on autumn break so I am going to have a solid plan. A few days we will eat out when we are exploring other areas of Holland.
  • Monday: Picnic at Muiderslot will take whole wheat baguette, cheese, ham, oranges, apples, and fresh sugar snap peas. 
  • Tuesday: Veggie stir fry...instead of noodles I will use sprouts!
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Eat something a bit traditional when we go to Zaanse Schans.
  • Friday: Leftovers
  • Saturday: Homemade chicken strips with corn & apple sauce
  • Sunday: Snacks
  • Monday: Ratatouille
  • Tuesday: Chicken pizza's with salad
  • Wednesday: Twice baked Cauliflower (if the husband is home for dinner he will have a twice backed potato) with zucchini
  • Thursday: Fend for yourself
  • Friday: Asian chicken with mixed veggies or leftovers from previous nights
  • Saturday: Prosciutto with fresh mozzarella, Soy & ginger skirt steak with garlic potato wedges, warm fruit for dessert
  • Sunday: Homemade pizza, chicken wings, and salad; game snacks for the hubby: chips, ice cream, and cheese
What are you cooking up this week?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Caprese Eggs

Years ago my husband and I took an anniversary trip to Cancun and I had a caprese salad. It was amazing...tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil....ever since that I have been trying to recreate this concoction in as many different ways as possible. My latest creation of this was in dinner earlier this week.

I love eggs. I specifically love scrambled eggs! They are protein packed, cheap, and quick to prepare. I eat them at least twice a day.

Now this recipe is not exact measurements it is pretty much to taste.

Start off by melting a tablespoon or two of butter or coconut oil over medium-high heat. Mince one to two cloves of garlic into the butter as it melts. Once the butter starts to sizzle add a handful of red onion, to taste, let fry for a minute or two. Throw in a small diced tomato, let fry for another minute or two. 

While those are frying whisk eggs in a bowl, I did 6 eggs. Pour into hot pan and turn the temp down to medium low. Sprinkle some mozzarella in and let melt while you stir the eggs. In between stirring mince some fresh basil. Once the eggs are close to being done sprinkle in the fresh basil and cook until done. 

Once you are ready to serve, put on plates and sprinkle with more mozzarella.

I served my eggs with some potato wedges and fresh pumpkin! It was all so delicious and filling!

What is your favorite way to cook eggs?!

Monday, October 6, 2014

How to make a Girl Guide/Girl Scout Blanket

Today I bring you a fun and easy craft that is no-sew and can be completed in less than an hour! Yup, hardly no time at all...one of my favorite projects!


  • Washable glue...Aleen's Wash It or Textile Glue, mine is from HEMA it says on the package it is washable up to 60 Celsius.
  • Blanket...I got a nice fleece blanket from Target
  • Patches or outgrown vests/sashes
  1. Wash the blanket. Get the ickies out and make it smell like home.
  2. Gather patches, vests, sashes...pretty much anything you want to put on the blanket.
  3. For vests and sashes here is how I got mine to lay flat:
    1. Take vest or sash by the shoulder.
    2. Flip over.
    3. Snip the corner.
    4. Pull up.
    5. Snip across at the seem.
    6. Now you have a hole.
    7. Spread it apart and clip at the corners.
    8. Lay flat and check patches on the vest to make sure they are well attached.
  4. Now, lay the blanket out flat on a clean floor or table...you may want to put down an old towel or drop cloth in the even your glue seeps through a bit...I did not have this problem, but it could be a precaution you want to take.
  5. Lay out patches to make sure you have your desired design.
  6. Begin gluing items down.
    For the patches I just put a dab of glue on the back of each patch and laid it down, for the vests I lined the edges of each vest and they hold up really well!
  7. Let dry.
  8. Use! 

My kiddo loves taking her blanket to camp. She only ever used it at one Girl Guide event. We live in Europe now and could not find any Girl Guide groups in our area so it is a great memory item now. She loves taking it to camps as it is warm and it is a great conversation piece so her friends can get to know a little more information about her life in North America.

Do you have a girl scout or a girl guide? How do you keep their patches corralled?