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September 16, 2014

Lately...

Lately I've been....
Munching.. not much of anything. The husband was gone all of last week and is gone again this week so I haven't done much cooking. I also contracted a nasty cold so I don't have much of an appetite. I am hoping to get back on the dinner train next week. 

Sipping.. coffee. In a weird turn of events, I've started drinking (and loving) coffee these days. I had tea this morning but I'm thinking I'm going to continue on the coffee train as well. 

Reading... Full Catastrophe Living. It's a super crunchy book about being mindful and I am really enjoying it. I read several books over the summer and one of them was The End of Your Life Book Club and the author referenced this book a lot so I was intrigued and bought it. I had to buy a used copy off of Amazon but it seems there is an updated version being released on September 24th. Pick it up if you're like me and want to be practice being more mindful about life. 


Listening to.. The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald on Pandora. I am obsessed with Sam Cooke's Nothing Can Ever Change this Love

Looking forward to... a few things this week! Going to try out a new fitness class tomorrow night, dinner with a some girlfriends on Wednesday, and heading to the outlets with my mom and sister on Saturday! 

Hoping.. to make some changes in a few areas of my life soon! Feeling a little like I'm in a rut in a few areas of my life and need to make some changes. 

Thinking.. about fall and how fast the time goes! It was cold outside this morning. I don't know if I am ready for all of this. 

Wanting... money to grow on trees. Ha. 

September 10, 2014

Venice, Italy {3}

     On our third and final day in Venice, we hit up the sightseeing. We started the morning with a bright and early vaporetto ride to Doge's Palace for the Secret Itineraries tour. Generally on our trips, G and I like to have a balance of doing our own thing and guided tours that either provide knowledge or adventure, depending on where we are vacationing. The Secret Itineraries tour of the Doge's Palace provided us with tons of insight into the Venetian judicial system and included tours and information on: Casanova's cell, Bridge of Sighs, the Three Seats of the Magistrate, the Doge's apartment, and the archival room of the Grand Chancellor! That's just a few of the things that were touched on during this tour. If you are interested in learning more about the extensive judicial history of Venice, I would definitely recommend this tour. We both really enjoyed it. 



The Archival Room of the Grand Chancellor

View from the 2nd floor of the Doge's Palace
View from the Bridge of Sighs 
The ceiling of The Golden Staircase which lead to the Doge's Apartment 

      Immediately following the Secret Itineraries, we had a private tour set up of St. Mark's Basilica. First, if you are visiting Venice in the summer, I highly, highly suggest booking a tour for St. Mark's. The line was incredibly long and it was very hot outside. I don't think G would have made it inside if we had to wait in line. I also recommend the private tour because it was super informative and we were taken to areas of the cathedral that were not open to the general public. Since we were there on a weekday, it was nice because our tour was specifically set up during the time the lights are on in St. Mark's (typically from 11;30-12:30).
     This cathedral is so visually stunning, it's unreal. I don't know how else to describe it except to say it is basically covered in gold and is sometimes referred to as the Church of Gold. The area that we got to see on our own depicted (among others) stories of Christ, St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist, and obviously, St. Mark. The cathedral itself houses the tombs of both St. Mark and Jacopo Sansovino, the sculptor and architect who built the Golden Staircase and contributed to many of the buildings around the Piazza San Marco. Unfortunately, you can't take pictures inside St. Mark's and there was a lot of construction work on the outside of the church itself so I didn't really get any good shots of the structure.
This is not St. Mark's Basilica but the winged lion pictured is the symbol of St. Mark

     After our busy morning, we were starving and I was so pumped when, after a little while of wandering we stumbled upon Antico Forno! Jillian wrote rave reviews about it so I was happy that we happened upon it, plus I was definitely ready for a pizza lunch! I absolutely loved the slice of pizza I had but G mis-ordered and ended up with tuna fish pizza! I thought it was pretty funny. However he was not amused and went back for a another plain cheese slice (we shared a piece prior). 



     After my requisite afternoon nap back at the hotel, we headed out to a little square to watch the Italy v. Costa Rica World Cup game. To be honest, we were expecting a little more fanfare but it was fun nonetheless!



     We ended the evening with a gondola ride and it was truly one of the highlights of our entire trip, at least it was for me, ha! I knew it was something that I really wanted to do and would regret not doing, but if you wanted to save some scratch, a ride in the front seat of a vaporetto is also pretty amazing! Gondola rides are very expensive but totally worth it, in my opinion! I would definitely recommend doing the gondola ride in the evening, it was so beautiful and serene and also, not as hot! 





     Our last dinner in Venice that night was actually kind of horrendous, but it overlooked the canal and I was already feeling sentimental about leaving Venice behind so I didn't mind the terrible food too much. The wine made up for it anyhow! We also had our first gelato of the trip on our last night in Venice and it was so good. I had pistachio and G had tiramisu. I truly loved Venice and hope I get to return one day. If you are planning a trip to Italy, do not miss Venice! 



 




August 21, 2014

Thoughts on Thursday

Thoughts for Thursday

Linking up with Natalie and Annie today!

My sister (Nat, from the link-up) did an introduction post last week and thought I would jump on the bandwagon! Obviously, I already know everything she wrote about in the blog post but I love reading these types of posts about bloggers I don't know. 

Name/Age/Location 
My name is Priscilla but almost everyone in my life calls me Prissy, a nickname I avoided having for years until my husband came along! A few people still call me Pris, though. I am 29 and hanging on as hard as possible to that last bit of my twenties! I've lived in Baltimore City for 5 years and absolutely love it here! 
Me, taking a selfie because sometimes they are fun.
Charm City

Work
Lion tamer, magician, soother of souls, otherwise known as a middle school teacher. I am currently working towards my Master's degree in School Library Media and Educational Leadership. I also own an Esty shop Prissy's Ponytails, where I sell handmade fold-over elastic hairties. Shop is currently empty but working on that update soon!

Family 
Husband- G as he is referred to on this blog
Children- Macy (four legged) Mini Schnauzer
G and I have been married for a little over 3 years and we welcomed Macy into our family on July 23, 2011. She was born on April 29, 2011 and I sometimes wish we'd named her Duchess. We are a very happy little unit and you can often find us snuggled up on the couch or at the dog park! 

Hobbies
Reading, cooking, yoga, traveling, running, blogging, trying new restaurants and foods, shopping, decorating, occasional DIY projects, entertaining.

What You'll Find on this Blog
-recipes
-travel posts
-posts about books
-musings on life and being a teacher
-weekend recaps sometimes
-shopping
-lots of Macy love

Favorite Movie
I don't even know if I can answer this. I rarely hate a movie I see. the last movie I thoroughly enjoyed was The Grand Budapest Hotel. I love the movie poster as well... considering getting a copy to frame and put above our bed. 

Favorite Book
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I know it is a lot of people's favorite book and with good reason, it was the first book that really taught me life lessons such as compassion and believing and acting upon what is right. Atticus Finch is, in my opinion, one the greatest literary characters of all time. My late grandmother and I both loved to read and shared a great passion for this novel. It is one of my most treasured memories of her. 

“Atticus said to Jem one day, "I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird." That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. "Your father’s right," she said. "Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” 
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Favorite Cake
White cake or Funfetti cake with Fluffy White icing. 

Standard Coffee Order
Hot Green tea or unsweetened iced tea.

Standard Bar Order
I mainly drink Pinot Noir, Syrah, or any DOCG Italian wine.

Favorite Food
I love sushi and we eat it almost every week. Truthfully, I love trying new restaurants and new foods and have too many favorites to list!

Typical Friday night dinner for us

Beauty Product You Can't Live Without
I don't typically wear makeup Monday through Friday. I wear makeup on the weekends if we go out somewhere but not always. My can't live without product is Dr. Hauschka's Normalizing Day Oil. This stuff is magic. It moisturizes my face perfectly and does not cause me to breakout like most lotions do. I have pretty oily skin so this may seem counter-intuitive but this stuff is perfect for my skin!

Bedtime and Wake Up Time
Anywhere between 9pm and 11pm and 5:3am and 6am during the school year.

Biggest Pet Peeve
People who get worked up over Starbucks spelling their name wrong on their beverages. Why do people care? It's a cup. A cup only you are likely to see and then you will throw it away. What is the big deal? There are far greater things to get worked up over in this world. 

Celebrity Crush
I have several: Justin Timberlake, Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Robert Downey, Jr., and Mark Ruffalo. I'm kind of all over the map with these celebrity crushes and some of them have to do with characters they've played, for example: I loved Alley McBeal and adored RDJ's character on that show. Don't get me wrong, I also think he's super handsome :) I also probably wouldn't go for a guy who is super jacked like Channing Tatum but oh I love how that guy can dance! 
                              
                                            

Don't think there is much else about me to know, but feel free to ask if there is! 














August 18, 2014

words to live by

     Two weeks ago when we were in Pawley's Island, SC, my mom's cousin was telling a story about how when her oldest child came home from preschool or pre-K (or something of that ilk), with all check pluses on his "report card", she was so thrilled that she called her mom to brag about how smart he is, what a wonderful child he is, etc. Her mom's response was: "celebrate, it could be the peak". I could not stop laughing nor could I stop thinking about what a good motto that is for life. So, as I head back to school today to embark on my 5th (!) year of teaching, in which I am taking on a new role (department chair), I am going to try to live my life as such and I hope you do, too! There really is so much to celebrate.


August 15, 2014

Venice, Italy {2}

     On our second day in Venice, we decided to venture out to the surrounding areas, Murano and Burano. Following Rick Steves's advice, we hopped on the vaporetto to Murano around 10am. Murano is known for glass so I was hoping to steal a free look at some of the places doing their thing. We saw one guy in action but I think to see a full on demonstration of glass blowing you have to pay and we just weren't that excited about it to pony up. Personally, I'd skip Murano and head to Lido, which is the beach area of Venice. We did see some really cool glass, though.




     After Murano, we hopped back on the vaporetto and headed to Burano, a colorful little town known for lace. Burano is so adorable and definitely a highlight of our time in Venice. It has a leaning tower which G and I found to be pretty humorous, though I'm not really sure why. There are about 100 pictures of that leaning tower, which I will spare you! After walking around Burano for awhile, we stopped for our first pizza of the trip at a restaurant called Ai Pescatori. The pizza was really good, salame piccante (pepporoni) for G and proscuitto pizza for me. We also had a liter of vino della casa, which we later learned is not a good choice because you have no clue what's actually in it! 




my favorite house on Burano 
     Later that afternoon, we returned to Venice proper and stumbled upon the church of Santa Maria Assunta. Unfortunately, you can't take pictures inside the church but it is absolutely stunning. It it grandiose and contains tons of frescoes (shocking for a church in Italy, ha). It is located in the Cannaregio area, not that I could tell you how to get there but if you look at a map of Venice that area would be labeled. I would definitely recommend visiting this church while in Venice!

     We also took a gander through the Church of the Saint Apostles, located not far from Santa Maria Assunta. Also beautiful but not quite as visually stunning as S. Maria Assunta. No photos allowed in there either. 


     Our last stop of the day was Ca'd'Oro ("golden house"), which is one of the older palaces in Venice, overlooking the Grand Canal. We browsed through some beautiful but also weird art work and took in the view of the canal from the balcony of Ca'd'Oro. 



     
     We had wine and tiramisu at Bancogiro before heading back to our hotel, where I took a nap (which I did every single day of the trip). On our long, winding walk (our meandering walks through the streets of Venice was probably one of my favorite things, there are so many little canals and bridges to be seen) back to the hotel we spotted this restaurant Tavenra da Baffo, so we headed back there later that night. Unfortunately, the food was pretty forgettable with the exception of the sauteed clams and mussels we had to start, those were delicious! The restaurant was also near closing when we arrived which could account for the so so food. 

I know reading other people's vacation posts can be pretty boring so if you made it this far, I'm virtually toasting you! I'll space these out so there not happening everyday! 

August 14, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday

Thoughts for Thursday

Linking up with Nat and Annie today!

1. Pickles. I made my first batch of pickles last week. I did a refrigerator pickle because my husband absolutely loves pickles and cannot wait too long to eat them! I used this recipe from Flour on my Face and according to my husband they were very good. I didn't get to try them because I let them cure for something like 3 or 4 days and I left for Pawley's Island with the rest of my family before they were ready. I'm glad I finally bit the bullet because it was easier than I thought and now I feel more confident to tackle other canning projects!
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2. Pawley's Island. My family and I went to Pawley's Island for vacation last week and it was really and fun and so beautiful! My mom's cousin owns a house in Debordieu Colony and the house itself was so beautifully designed and perfect for vacationing with multiple people. This is the first time my family has vacationed together since 2007 so it was nice to get away with them again. Unfortunately, G couldn't join us because of work which made me sad but I also got to have lots of time with my family. 




3. Big Jambox by Jawbone. My husband loves listening to music, podcasts, and the news in the morning so he recently purchased the Big Jambox by Jawbone and it is awesome. I love listening to music while I'm cleaning and cooking and this thing is portable so I can put it in whatever room I'm in and listen to it. It connects via Bluetooth so you can still use your phone for other things while listening to music. 
4. Photo books. I'm in the long, tedious process of backing up photos and files from my old computer. Why is this such a painful process? I'm using Dropbox to back up my photos but I still want to make photo books of all of our vacation photos so I have hard copies as well. The age of digital cameras is great and all, but I kind of wish I could just get a role of film developed and I wouldn't have to worry about my photos disappearing into thin air. Does anyone have a high quality, user friendly website they use to make photo books? I tried using Mixbook and it was kind of difficult and I got frustrated and eventually gave up. I know a lot of people use Shutterfly but I'm not always impressed with their quality. Suggestions?

5. Whitney English Day Designer. I got a Day Designer by Whitney English at the beginning of this year and I absolutely L-O-V-E it. It is the best planner I have ever owned. I've tried Lilly Pulitzer and Erin Condren and both pale in comparison to the Day Designer. Truthfully, I didn't even open it all summer because my days aren't really that planned in the summer but with the school year starting up again on Monday, I broke it out to start sorting through the things that need to get done. Yes, it is a bit on the pricey side but it is so worth it if you need something to help keep you on track. 

Feb Ship Date ALREADY AUTHENTIC Day Designer - JANUARY 2014 - 2015 Black Stripe - Yearly Planner & Daily Agenda, Calendar, Organizer