Saturday, 21 October 2017

Autumnal Little Pleasures


Hello my sweet ladies!!!I’m so glad to be back after such a long time!
During the past months life has been a rollercoaster, with many ups and downs, joys and tears, and I really needed to come back to this little safe corner, doing something that makes me happy.
So let’s skip to the beautiful things of the last few weeks, with a cup of tea and some chocolate biscuits to keep me company:

1. The little drop in the temperatures, which means many more cups of tea and nights spent curled up on the sofa, under my soft woolly blanket! Summer has been unbearably hot this year in Italy, a nightmare for an autumn lover like me, so I couldn’t be happier to start wearing scarves and colorful tights and enjoy the brisk air of the early morning walks to work.

2. Call The Midwife: one Saturday I was wandering around in a wonderful bookshop when a little book caught my attention : “ Call The Midwife” by Jennifer Worth, which is the autobiography of the author, who worked as a midwife in the East London in the 1950. I didn’t buy the book that day but, some days later, I mentioned it to my friends and I discovered that there was the series on Netflix! As you can guess I was thrilled about it, and I was right because I was completely hooked to the series since the first episode!!!
The main character is adorable, a strong woman, independent, self-confident, but also sweet and charming, and I love the setting, which is realistic and fascinating. I’m sure I’m going to finish it in a flash!

3. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, a wonderful work of historical fiction that explores the gap between science and superstition, friendship and romantic love. I had heard many positive comments about this book before reading it and they were absolutely true. However, I must confess, I couldn’t empathize so much with Cora Saeborne, the main character, even if she is an unforgettable heroine, witty, independent and fiercely intelligent.

4. Bristol! Sentimentally speaking the first weeks of September have been quite hard, so I thought the best solution was to take a break from the routine and go away for some days. My cousin was leaving for Bristol for her Erasmus and I decided to go with her, to spend some days in England together, as we used to do when we were kids and our families went on holidays together! We had an amazing time there, with sunny days, a lovely Victorian house to stay in, and many delicious meals. Oh..and I did some shopping too: candles, second-hand books, a new pair of comfy slippers and some delicious herbal teas! Bristol was a balm for my soul and it brought me luck because, once home, little by little, things started to get better!

5. An afternoon to the Botanic Garden. One Sunday I went with my girls on a daytrip to Padova, a city not so far from where I live, easily reached by train. After a morning of shopping, where I bought the most wonderful pair of embroidered jeans and the cutest dress, we decided to visit the Botanic Garden, which was founded in 1545 and it’s the world’s oldest academic botanical garden that is still in its original location.  We wandered around for hours, chatting, laughing and taking pictures…It was truly amazing to be surrounded by all those plants and gorgeous flowers from all around the world.

6. My new leather backpack. “Patience is a virtue” they say..and they are right! After months and months of wishing a backpack, looking for the right one and not finding it anywhere ( I wanted a Kanken at the beginning but it was pricey and I wasn’t fully convinced) last weekend I found THE ONE in Florence! It’s black leather with golden hinges and a big pocket on the front and, moreover, it’s the perfect size to be useful for work, but not too big to look like a schoolbag! I’m in love with it and I’m glad that I waited so long!


Seriously if anyone is still reading my blog after such a long time I thank you from the bottom of my heart..it means the world to me!!! Have a lovely weekend and see you soon!!!

Love
Martina
Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Wonderful Wednesday # 8



Wonderful Wednesday my lovely ladies!

It's so beautiful to be writing this happy list again and to feel a little bit out of the grey cloud that has wrapped me up since the beginning of the new year.
Actually I still feel the need to do something to change my life, find new inspirations and a reason to wake up in the morning with a smile and go to work feeling full of energy and enthusiasm, instead of tiredness and frustration.
There are people who can increase your self-esteem and others that make it fall to pieces and, unfortunately, I have to deal with one of these people every single day so, as you imagine, it's not easy at all!
Anyway, let's focus on the bright side: I'm really lucky to have a wonderful family and friends that help me to stay positive and believe in what the future can bring and an happy list of things that deserve to be mentioned:

1. Celebrating the 18 birthday of my little sister: the 22nd of January Linda turned eighteen and we decided to go for lunch in a cosy little restaurant on the top of a mountain not so far from home. We walked for an hour in the snow to reach the place and it was fantastic to breath the fresh air, chatting cheerfully, laughing and feeling carefree even just for a day!

2. "Jamaica Inn" by Daphne Du Mourier: this book is a masterpiece..I absolutely adored it!It was my first book written by this author and I was inspired to give it a try by the lovely booktuber Lauren from “Laurenandthebooks”. I must say it was exactly what I needed: a gothic romance, set in the moors of Cornwall, full of suspance and absolutely perfect for a stormy winter night. 

3. "Once": on Thursday night I went home from work feeling desperate and in need of a cuddle, so I decided to cheer me up with a movie.
"Once" is an Irish musical romance with Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglovà, which tells the story of two struggling musicians in Dublin.
After more than a year away from this lovely city, I missed its magical atmosphere so much, so it was a pleasure to see again these familiar places that are so dear to my hearth.
I must confess I went to bed with the desire to come back there, find a mysterious irish man with a red beard and charming eyes and live happily ever after ( we all have the right to dream a little, right?!). Oh..and one more thing...the soundtrack is absolutely amazing...I can't stop singing it! 

4. Sushi time with my collegues : sometimes there's nothing better than a night out with friends to regenerate body and soul from the stress accumulated during the week!Actually I'm not a sushi lover, but once in a while it's funny to try something different from the dear old pizza, so last Friday night we booked a table in a cosy sushi restaurant and we spent some lovely hours trying to eat "nigiri", "uramaki" and other delicious things with unpronounceable names, with chopsticks without making them drop in our trousers! 

I wish you a beautiful day my friends and, please, let me know what has put a smile on your face this week!Here all the amazing WW ladies whose positivity will be like a balm for your soul:
Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El and Kerri.

xxx
Martina


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday # 7


Wonderful Wednesday evening my lovely ladies!!!
I'm all wrapped up in my favourite blanket, warming my feet and my hands after a freezing busy day at work, rejoicing with the idea that tomorrow I have a day off, which is simply amazing!
Actually I'm a little bit ill, with a red nose and many scattered handkerchiefs here and there, so it's a blessing to have an entire day just to relax, write my christmas cards, read a book, drink several cups of tea and finally start my christmas shopping!
So, I really need to stop rambling and begin with my list of lovely things that brightened the past two weeks:

1. Lady Grey Tea. The scented and elegant tea, with bluebottle flowers, I bought some weeks ago from Peter's Tea House! When I was in Dublin I used to drink it every single day and many times a day, but unfortunately in Italy it's very difficult to find, so I've missed it so much! Tasting a cup of Lady Grey, with a drop of soy milk is absolutely heavenly, especially combined with some super christmassy cinnamon biscuits.

2. "Fantastic beasts and where to find them". I must confess that this movie has been like a medecine for me. I went to see it to the cinema with my sister on a Sunday evening because, after the sudden loss of my aunt, I really needed to distract myself from the sad thoughts of those days. That night out, lost in the Rowling's universe, was absolutely brilliant: we had a lot of fun together and the movie was fantastic! Am I the only one to have a secret crush on Eddie Redmayne??He's a pretty fantastic beast himself, don't you think?!?!

3. Christmas Cards Swap. Writing and receiving cards, especially during Christmas time, is something that I adore! It's so exciting to open the postbox and find some cute envelops waiting for you to reveal their secrets! I love to collect all the cards I receive because I think it's very nice to reread them sometimes or to use the most beautiful ones to decorate the shelves of your house! I really want to say a big " THANK YOU" to all the ladies that decided to partecipate to my Christmas cards swap this year, it has meant so much to me, and I can't wait to receive your lovely wishes and send you mine!

4. Christmas lights. Since the first night of December the city has been sparkling!!! It's so beautiful to see all the little lights that illuminate the night, especially if you are inside, enjoying the coziness of your couch, watching a christmas movie or one of your favourite series in Netflix, dunking too many spiced biscuits in a steaming cup of tea! Life is for these little pleasures, isn't it?!?

5. Candles. One of the first things I usually do when I come back from work in the evening is to light up a candle, to create a relaxing and cozy atmosphere in the house, so the last time I went shopping I decided to treat myself with three new festive yankee candles: "Christmas Eve", " All is bright" and " Red apple wreath"! Yesterday night I went for the last one,  with its festive aroma of sweet apples, cinnamon, walnuts and maple..definitely the perfect choice!!! 

I wish you a lovely night my readers and, please, let me know what has put a smile on your face this week!
Here all the amazing WW ladies whose positivity will be a balm for your soul: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El and Kerri.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Christmas Cards Swap 2016



We are all ready to start the countdown to Christmas, aren't we?!?
During the last two years one of the things I was most excited about, around the Christmas time, a part from all the decorations, the christmas gifts to buy for the loved ones, the delicious food and the scent of mulled wine, was the arrival of the Christmas cards from “ The Christmas Cards Swap”, organized by the lovely Jenny.
I waited for all the month of November, hoping for the merry post to come, but unfortunately it didn't, so I thought : “ Why don't I organize one?!?!”. 
 Receiving them always put a smile on my face, so I thought it would be a pity to miss this reason of happiness!!! Do you want to join me?!?!
If you miss it too or you just want to receive a bunch of lovely christmas cards from new friends around the world, you just have to send me an email with your name, surname, adress, and wait for more easy instructions to come!
Thanks to this swap I had the wonderful opportunity to meet some lovely ladies, and some of them have become dear friends!!!
Are you ready to join this merry gang?!!? In addition I thought of a special surprise that will give a yummy touch to this swap!!! Let's subscribe here and invite all of your friends: sweetie.tulip88@gmail.com

The deadline will be the 4th of December so that all the cards will arrive in time!!!

Love 
Martina


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Wonderful Wednesday # 6


Goodevening my darling ladies!!!
I'm really sorry to be late again to this merry weekly date, but life has been quite chaotic during the last few days, so here I am, at the end of the day, writing my happy list, glad that I have managed to take some time for myself even today!
Last week my family went through the sudden loss of the dearest aunt of my mother, who was like a granny for me and my sister. We are never ready for such kind of things so, today more than ever, I need to focus on the little pills of happiness that life brought me in the past two weeks to cheer me up a bit:

1. Spending time with my cousin. Last weekend my cousin Francesca came to visit me for a couple of days; she's two years younger than me, but since we were little girls we've always been very close and attached, even if she lived in Florence and we didin't meet very often. Fortunately she's now studying in Venice, which is not too far from where I live, so I've been super happy to host her in my new flat for the first time! We spent the days sharing our secrets, reading the old letters she sent me when we were teens ( which were hilarious!!!), sipping several cups of hot chocolate, eating too many christmas cookies, chatting about life and dreams and watching "Becoming Jane", a movie about the life of Jane Austen. Time flies when you have fun!

2. Wearing my blue beret. It's finally time to pull it out from the closet, hooray!!! One day, while I was wandering around the tiny streets of Venice, I found the perfect hat, the only one that really suits me: a blue woolly beret!
I love wearing it with the misty rain, instead of opening the umbrella, it makes me feel very sophisticated and it gives me a "parisian" look, especially with a touch of red lipstick!

3. Homemade pralines. I'm totally mad about chocolate, especially the dark one, with its rich flavour and its intense aroma! My mother knows me very well and she adores to tempt my tastebuds, so she made some little pralines with dark chocolate and hazels, which were divine! We enjoyed them on Sunday, with the coffee, and the combination was absolutely perfect! Sometimes no one can do things better than a mum!

4. The perfect autumn/winter lipstick. This weekend I took some time to reorganise my make up products so, with the help of a friend who is really into the world of beauty, I tried all of my lipsticks to decide what to keep and what to throw away! It was a big fun and, as always after a big clean up, I felt very pleased and satisfied and I decided that I deserved a treat for my good job!Luckily my cousin Francesca came at the right moment, wearing a wonderful berry lipstick with a pinkish-red undertone! It was love at the first glance so you can imagine my happiness when I tried it and I discovered that it looked amazing on my lips too!!!In addition it was super creamy, soft and comfortable to wear so, as you probably imagine, the day after that lipstick was already mine!

Even only the fact of writing this little list of lovely things has brightened my day, so please don't hesitate to let me know what put a smile on your face last week, because your comments always make my day!!!
Here all the amazing WW ladies:
Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El, MimmiKerri.

Love
Martina
Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Wonderful Wednessday # 5


Goodmorning beautiful ladies and Wonderful Wednesday!

How's your week going so far? Mine started with a Monday blues, due to a long stressful Sunday at work, that didn't allow me to take the break I needed! I cured it with a cup of green tea and a huge slice of strudel my father made for me with the secret recipe of my granny's mother ( she was from Austria, that's why this cake is so delicious!), so today I feel really better! Fill my belly with comfort food is always the best way to cheer me up!!!
Last week was full of lovely things, so it's better to stop my rambling speech and start with the merry list:

  1. A new blanket. During the weekend my mother surprised me with the most adorable of the gifts: a colorful woolly knitted blanket, she made with the wools we bought at the Yarndale Festival of Skipton two years ago.
    I remember that I was so in love with that blanket that I carried the balls of yarn all day long, even during our walk in the woods; I had no idea she was finishing it, so you can imagine my happiness when I unwrapped the package and I found the blanket of my dreams, ready to keep me warm during the long winter nights!
  2. “ We've always lived in the castle” by Shirley Jackson. This is a bizarre, sinister, chillingly, terrifying story, that leaves you with a growing sense of unease. I barely devoured this little book because I really couldn't put it down! Pages after pages it kept me hooked with its plain creepy atmosphere! Here the first lines:
    “ My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same lenght, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the deathcup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead”.
  3. An afternoon to the cinema to see “ The girl on the train”. Last Saturday it was cold and rainy, the perfect kind of weather for a trip to the cinema, to be conforted by a good movie!
    I was looking forward to see “ The girl on the train”, based on a book, wrote by Paula Hawkins, that I read and loved last year when I was in Dublin, so I decided to buy the tickets and enjoy it with one of my favourite ladies! What I liked the most about the book was the atmosphere of suspance, the idea of looking out from the window of a train and imagine the life of the people you see passing by, which is something that I used to do when I took the train to go back and forth from the uni.
    Despite the fact that the movie is set in the USA instead of in the UK, which in my opinion was a big mistake, it's a very good film, with an Emily Blunt's terrific performance and a nice underlying mistery throughout.
  4. Colorful tights. Dark green, burgundy, navy-blue, ochre, brick-red, purple, petroleum-blue ...my chest of drawers is full of adorable tights so, during autumn and winter time, I can indulge on matching them with all my dresses! The simple fact of wearing this kind of outfit make me feel happier and brighter, since the first glance in the mirror. Today I went for a checkered burgundy, blue and ochre dress, with navy-blue tights, brown leather ankle boots and my little hedgehog brooch that I adore!
  5. Dried cramberries. I must confess that I started to enjoy these little sweet treats to prevent urinary tract infections which I suffer from, especially when I'm super busy and stressed out, but I easily became addicted to them because, in addition to their surprising health benefits, they're also delicious! I add them to the yogurt and muesli in the morning, I eat them when I'm running from a place to another at work and I feel starving, but they're also perfect to be tasted like chips, one after another, when I'm relaxing on the sofa! It's always time for crambierries, isn't it?!?!
Receiving your lovely comments is something that truly make my day!!!
Please let me know all the beautiful things that have put a smile on your face during this week!
Here all the amazing WW ladies:
Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El, MimmiKerri.

Love
Martina
Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Wonderful Wednesday # 4


Come said the wind to the
leaves one day,
Come over the meadows and
we will play.
Put on your dress
Scarlet and Gold
For Summer is gone and
the days grow cold.

-George Eliot-


Wonderful Wednesday my lovely ladies and Welcome November, with your foggy mornings, your rainy days, the cosy woolly blankets, the hand-knitted pullovers, the steaming cups of tea, the hot chocolates, the last crunchy leaves and the lovely nights-in with a good book, or your favourite tv series.
Time flies, expecially the last two months, and I'm trying to enjoy every single moment of this Autumn, doing long walks in the wood with the dog, savoring all its beauty, looking up to the sky, filling my eyes with the bright colors of the trees.
Here the little things that made me feel happier this week:

1. Saturday's breakfast in my favourite café. Waking up on Saturday morning and going to my favourite café in town for a yummy breakfast is something that I love!
I usually go for a croissant with vegan custard and a cappuccino with soy milk, which is my favourite combination, all seasoned with lots of little talks with my sister Linda or a dear friend.
I think this little ritual is the best way to slow down and enjoy the tranquillity of the weekend, especially after busy days at work that seem to never end!!!

2. A brilliant Graduation Day. Last Wednesday one of my favourite ladies gratuated in medicine with honours!!! Seeing her discussing her thesis, after months and months of hard work, was very exciting and I felt full of pride! She studied in Ferrara, a tiny lovely city two hours from my hometown and, in the north of Italy, we have a nice way to celebrate the graduation day: friends and family write a " Papiro", which is a poster with the caricature of the person who graduates and the funny story of her life, full of ridiculous anecdotes that make everyone laugh. To read the " papiro" we dressed her up like a geisha, because she's really into Japan, and we had so much fun together, before going to a gorgeous restaurant to end the day with an amazing dinner.



3. "Winter Charm" Ahamad Tea. A caffeine-free blend of apple, cinnamon and cloves with zesty orange peel, perfectly balanced to create a truly warm and festive aromatic infusion. I know, it seems a little bit too much christmassy, but I really deserved a treat and this one seemed the perfect one! I can't wait to enjoy it with some cinnamon biscuits just came out from the oven, so I think this will be one of my plans for the weekend ahead.

4. Taking time to read a book. I've always been a booklover! There are plenty of pictures of me, at the age of 3-4 years old, all focused to turn the colorful pages of my favourite book of fairy tales and books were my dearest friends during winter time, when it was too cold to play outside. Although nowadays the time to read is little, dedicate at least half an hour a day to such a pleasant activity is something they I'm really determined to enter into my routine! This week I started a book that was in my bookcase from the first year of the university and that I rediscovered during the move: The New Yorkers, by Cathleen Schine, a brilliantly funny novel that revolves around one city block in Manhattan. In this book, as in life, canine companions compel their masters to go outside of themselves, to take part in the community they live in, to make friends, and, sometimes, to fall in love. I thought it was the perfect book to celebrate the start of my new life, and I hope it will bring me luck!!!

Receiving your lovely comments was something that truly filled my heart with happiness! It's amazing to have such a beautiful date with you every week, spreading joy all around!
Here all the brilliant WW ladies that will put a smile on your face with their optimism and positivity:
Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El, MimmiKerri.


Love
Martina