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


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wonderful Wednesday # 3


" Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

Wonderful Wednesday my lovely ladies!!! Here I am, beginning this post, which I was looking forward to write, with one of the quotes I love the most and make me feel all the autumn vibes! This is my favourite verse of a Frost's poem my father used to repeat  when me and my little sister were little girls and we went walking in the woods together, picking up chestnuts and drinking hot chocolate from a thermos brought from home!It's a gift to have such good memories! 
Happiness comes suddenly, when you least expect it..for me it was on Monday night when, opening my blog, I discovered with joy some of the most adorable comments I've ever received from some of the ladies of this merry gang!!! Kate, Cat and Kerri..if you are reading this..the warmest of the hugs is all for you..you truly made my day!!! 

So, now let's go straight to the point:

1. Cooking dinner with my mum. Last Saturday two of my favourite girls came for dinner for the first time in my new house, so I decided to prepare something special ( we usually go for a pizza) to celebrate the beginning of my independance. After a quick trip to the sumermarket, my mum decided to help me so we planned the menu and started to cook together; we had so much fun preparing a starter of swivels of puff pastry with cheese, ham and grilled zucchini, a pumpkin and potato soup with chopped walnuts and the most fragrant of the apple pies! Living in my own flat means that the moments I spend with the family become unique and precious, away from the small disagreements of the daily life.

2. Jane Eyre. Autumn is Jane Eyre's time of the year, isn't it?! Rainy days, dark clouds, fallen leaves, the early morning frost, steaming cups of tea.. everything reminds me the mysterious atmosphere of Thornfield Hall. 
Having said that, you can imagine my excitement when, during my last trip to the local library, I found out that I could rent the first movie of the book, which I was looking forward to watch! It was such a pleasure to spend a cosy night in, enjoying that passionate and anguished love story, that never fails to move me. 

3. Cuddles with the little boy of a friend. Even though I've always had a sweet nature and a passion for kids, I really need to find a frog to kiss and turn into a prince before being ready to become a mum.. and I suppose it will take some time. However last Friday I went to my friend's house to visit her lovely newborn, a chubby little boy, with deep blue eyes and a soft skin, which smelled of babypowder. It was so nice to cuddle him and make him smile and giggle, but moreover to see my dear friend being such a brilliant mother.

4. Buying tickets for three plays at the theatre ( "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie is among them). One of the things I love the most about living in this new little city is the old theatre, renovated some years ago, which is just four steps from home. Going to the opening of the theater season on Saturday morning and buying tickets for three of the plays in the programme made me feel like a sophisticated lady! I know that is just a little theatre of a tiny provincial town, but the idea to spruce me up for an elegant night with my besties is thrilling!

5. Morning ritual. Since when I moved house, every morning I try to leave the bed at least half an hour earlier than usual in order to eat my large bowl of muesli and soy yougurt ( this week I'm all about the strawberry one) and sip my coffee on the sofa, wrapped up in my woolly blanket, warming my hands around the steaming cup. It's a morning ritual that I'm appreciating every day more, the perfect way to start a new day slowly, enjoying the silence, the pleasure to be alone with my thoughts and the beauty of the town that wakes up.

Despite the fog that wraps the town, I wish you a lovely day my darlings and I'm really curious to know what has made your week a beautiful one! Your comments are gifts that fill my heart with pure joy!!!
Here all the fabulous WW ladies which I must thank fo all the positivity and optimism they gave me in all these months:
Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El, MimmiKerri.

Love
Martina