Sunday, 23 February 2014

Tiny Beautiful Things Of The Week






"In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash’d palings,

Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,

With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love,

With every leaf a miracle...and from this bush in the door-yard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,

A sprig, with its flower, I break."
                                                               Walt Whitman 
                                                     "When Lilacs Last in te Door-yard Bloom'd"
                                                                Leaves of Grass

This week I've read this amazing book of Nicholas Sparks, " The Notebook", which tells the story about a great love ageless and timeless.

How far can love endure? Noah Calhoun has just returned from World War Two. Attempting to escape the ghosts of battle, he tries to concentrate on restoring an old plantation home to its former glory. And yet he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met there fourteen years before, a girl who captured his heart like no other. But when these distant memories begin to slide into reality, the passion that had lain still is ignited once more. Though so much is in their way, the miraculous force of their love refuses to fade.

I loved this book so much, so yesterday evening I also watched the movie, with Ryan Gosling and Rachel Mc Adams.
It was really beautiful and touching and I think that, unlike many other movies that don't follow the storyline of the book, this one give a magnificent representation of it. 
The protagonist of the book has a great passion for Walt Whitman and this poetry seems to be, among those that I've read, the one that expresses the best the arrival of spring, which in this beautiful sunny day, seems to be closer.


 

I was so happy to see so many colored blossoms in the woods this morning!!!
 
 



Me and my sister Linda

Love 
xoxo
Martina

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Soft Doughnut with Vanilla and Chocolate chips


I made this cake yesterday afternoon because my best friend came to visit me to study together! Even if I used soy milk ( Alpro Soya) it was super soft and yummy!!! We ate it at tea time and it gave us the strenght we needed to be focused on our books!!!

INDREDIENTS
150gr of butter
300gr of sugar
3 eggs
180ml of milk
300gr of flour
16 gr of baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 vanilla pod
chocolate chips


Beat the eggs with sugar.
Add the melted butter, milk, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla (open the pod with a knife and remove the inside).
Add the chocolate chips to the mixture.
Bake in a greased and floured baking sheet for about half an hour at 180 degrees.
Sprinkle the cake with icing sugar.
       
                                            Enjoy it!!!
                                                Love
                                                        Martina
 

Dressing like an elf of the woods...

  

When I wear this flowered skirt with a pair of green pine tights and a woolly jumper of the same color I feel like an elf of the woods!
As a child I really believed in these creatures, and when I went in the woods with my daddy, especially in Autumn to gather chestnuts, I looked around carefully hoping to see one of them among the leaves.


An italian proverb says that " Who dresses in green in its beauty relies", because it is considered a color that doesn't fit everyone, however I really love it, in every of its shade!!!

Do you know other proverbs about colors and beauty?

Love
xoxo
Martina
Monday, 17 February 2014

Answering some questions...


Rusty from " rusty rambles" has allowed me to answer these nice questions and I'm so pleased to do it because I really want to share with you something more about me.

1. What is your favourite journey? 
 I really love travelling by train, with my rucksack and a good book, discovering new places with a friend or the one I love.

2. What was your best read of the last year?
  My best read of the last year was " One day" , written by David Nicholls, a fabulous , moving and engaging book that I couldn't put down!!!! I'm so excited because on Friday evening I will meet the writer in a fantastic bookshop where I love spending time. 
3. If the sun is shining, where do you go?
 In sunny days I like to take my dog for a walk in the countryside and in the wood near home. It is nice to be surrounded by nature and silence, watching Cloe that runs and wags happily.

 
 4. Where's next on your "must visit' list"?
 I really want to visit Brittany and Normandy!!!Have you been there???

5. What are your word to live by?
 "What are days for?
Days arw where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days? "
            Philip Larkin

6. Tell me a joke  
 What is the longest word in the English language? 
 SMILES... because there is a mile between its first and last letters!!!;P

If you want to share your answers I'll be happy to read them!!!
                                           
                                                 Love
                                                 xoxo
                                                        Martina
Sunday, 16 February 2014

Tiny Beautiful Things of the Week


First of all I want to say a big Thank You to Jennie from Sailboat because she has suggested me this beautiful Owl Oil Burner!!!
I saw it in her gorgeous blog a month ago and it was love at the first sight!
Last Tuesday, when the postman arrived with a packet for me, I felt so excited and I tried immediately this nice owl with a new Yankee Candle called " Home Sweet Home", a heartwarming blend of cinnamon, baking spices, and a hint of freshly poured tea. 
I love the relaxing and welcoming atmosphere that this tiny object is able to create and my room smells good all day!!!


 
 












Yesterday I also tried "Fireside Treats" Yankee Candle and I really liked it because it reminded me the joy of staying by the fire, singing, laughing and toasting marshmallows!!!


This week I've finally bought this lip gloss that I wanted for months!!!
It's "Collistar Twist Ultra Shiny Gloss", n 207 Coral pink, a thicker pencil gloss with a pointy tip that doesn't need to be sharpened.
The fragrance-free formula contains hyaluronic acid and pro-collagen to keep the lips smooth and moisturized.
The tip glides nicely on the lips and allows for a fast and precise application, because it lasts no more than two hours.


I'm so proud of my purchase because this lip gloss has a beautiful color, it is bright and shiny and the texture is soft and creamy enough, but not sticky.
I recommend it for those who want a natural and refined daily makeup, but with a touch of color on the lips!!!

Love
xoxo
Martina
Friday, 14 February 2014

One of the stories of St. Valentine


Not everyone knows the ancient legends which lay behind St. Valentine's day.
I'd like to tell you my favourite one: Valentine was a bishop in Italy and he was used to help lovers who could't be married because of the social rules of the time. 
The legend tells the story of Serapia, a christian girl who was in love with Sabino, a soldier of the Roman Empire. Their love was prevented because christians were persecuted and then a soldier couldn't marry one of them. But Sabino was so in love with Serapia that he didn't care about the rules. He asked Valentino a help and the bishop consented to marry them in secret. Waiting for the wedding unfortunately Serapia fell ill and she got worse day by day.  All the things seemed against this union, but their true love was destined to triumph, even if in an unexpected way. Despite the fact Serapia was close to death, Sabino wanted to bless their love and Bishop Valentino joyned them together. Just after they had pronounced their promises, the two lovers fell asleep in a mortal  hug...they finally managed to stay together forever!!!
Bishop Valentine was martyred in 270 d.C. for the guilt of having sealed their love.
This tragic love story reminds me others like Romeo and Juliet, a book that I love, and also all the venetian legends which are represented in the columns of San Marco's Square!!!
I took this picture for you!!!






Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Vanilla and Chocolate Biscuits!!!



When I was little I really loved these biscuits, which seem like hugs between vanilla and chocolate, especially to soak them into milk!!!
The original recipe has cream, but I managed to find a dairy-free one, so I can eat them without feeling bad and they are equally delicious.
They are easy to do and they never last long on the table, because everyone, adults and children, likes them!!!

RECIPE

280 g flour
100 g sugar
125 g vegetable margarine
1 whole egg +
1 egg yolk
1 pinch of salt
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
half a teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa or chocolate cream



Put in a bowl :flour, egg, egg yolk, sugar, margarine, baking powder, vanilla extract, salt and mix quickly with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and uniform.
Let stand the dough for 10 minutes in the fridge and turn the oven to 180 degrees.
Divide the dough into two parts  and add in one of them the chocolate; mix until it will be blended (if the dough is too dry you can add a little seed oil to make it more malleable).

Take a small amount of white dough, create some cylinders and place them on baking paper going to form a semicircle.
Do the same thing with the cocoa dough, making sure that the edges of dough with chocolate mask those white (or vice versa).
Squeeze the edges so they fit well and inform at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

                                           Enjoy them!!!!
                                          
                  What were your favorite biscuits when you were little?

                                                                 Lots of love!!!
                                              Martina
                                           
Monday, 10 February 2014

Making an Apple Cake...


When it's raining outside and it's chilly, I love cooking in my cosy kitchen, especially cake and biscuits!
This morning I woke up with an incredible desire of Apple pie,
so I bought some apples, a jar of apricot jam and some vanilla beans to make this recipe.


 APPLE YOGHURT CAKE
 

  • 3 apples
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 175 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a vannilla bean
  • pinch of salt
  • 75 g plain yoghurt
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Apricot jam

  1. Grease a round spring form baking pan and pre-heat the oven 175° C.
  2. Peel and slice the apples. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest and a pinch of salt for about 8 minutes on medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Mix in yoghurt. Mix flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture until just combined. Add apples and pour the mixture into pan. Bake for approx. 45 minutes or until cooked.
  4. Heat the jam and spread it over the hot cake.





I like this cake because is low fat and, glazed with the apricot jam, is yummy!!!


Even Cloe would have been glad to receive a piece of it!!!

Love
Martina
Sunday, 9 February 2014

A day without rain...


Today has been the first sunny day after weeks of rain!!!
It was so beautiful to wake up this morning and see the sun rays through the blinds..I immediately felt happy and full of energy!!!
After breakfast I went for a long walk with my sister and my dad.. the meadows were sparkling, you could hear the lapping of the water of the creek and the chirping of the birds.




 I breathed deeply the fresh air and I felt excited to see the first signs of spring, some small white flowers on the banks of the river!!!



They have been so strong to survive the torrential rains of the past weeks!!!
 
When I came back home I found Cloe sleeping on the couch and I curled up next to her, with a steaming cup of tea, and my book of Caitlin Moran.


How was your Sunday morning?

Love
xoxo
Martina 
Saturday, 8 February 2014

Tiny Beautiful Things Of The Week


" You know what I love about cooking?...I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say 'nothing' I mean nothing!, you can come home and absolutely know that If you add eggs yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It's such a comfort!".
                                                                                   From " Julie & Julia"


This week I've spent most of the time at home because of the torrential rain!!! I've finished to read a book and I have started another, "How to be a woman", by Caitlin Moran. I bought it two years ago in a bookshop in London because I was attracted by the cover, then I put it aside and now that I'm reading it I think it is very very funny!!!:) 


 Have you read it?

I've also spent time in the kitchen , preparing one of my favourite cake: the Strudel. I've used the recipe of my great grandmother, who had Austrian origins, and it has been really delicious!!! 


RECIPE

Ingredients:
350gr of flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 glass of warm water
100 gr of margarine
1 egg
2 spoons of sugar
8 or 10 apples
cinnamon
raisins
pine nuts
almonds 

Put in a bowl : sugar,  one egg, margarine, flour, salt and add half glass of warm water.
Knead the dough and roll it out very thin. Peel the apples, cut into slices and place in a bowl with a few drops of lemon.
Add to the dough the slices of apple, sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon, and add raisins, pine nuts and almonds.


Roll up the dough and place it in a buttered baking dish, then add some sugar on the surface.






Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for an hour.

                            
                           Enjoy it with a cup of "Earl Grey" tea!!!


 What have been your tiny beautiful things of this week?

Love 
 Martina
xoxo 




Thursday, 6 February 2014

Rabbits of my life!!!


Yesterday I found some old photos of my first pet : a little rabbit called Camillo, that I received as a gift for my birthday when I was seven.
I remember he was very soft, lively, greedy and he liked to be caressed.
When I came back from school he used to wait me with my mother at the door, and in the summer he used to lick me under my bare feet;)...He was so nice and I really enjoyed to play with him!!!


The only problem was that he had a bad habit: he nibbled everything, the fingers of my dolls, my books, the telephone wires and also the wood of the furnitures!!!!;) I still have some books of my childhood which have their pages gnawed by Camillo!!!


I was really fond of my little rabbit and I still miss him!!!


In honor of Camillo I bought this lovely jumper in a shop called "Oisho". 
It's very soft and warm and it's perfect with my new necklace: a sweet porcelain bunny with a pink bow!!!


Love
xoxo
Martina
Wednesday, 5 February 2014

My grandmother's blouse



Some months ago, when I was peeking in my grandmother's wardrobe in Florence, I found this silky pink blouse and I thought it was beautiful.

My grandma told me she had created it when she was young and that she would have been really happy to give it to me as a present.
 

On Christmas Day I received this lovely sweater and I thought it would have been perfect to wear with the blouse.


It's funny because at the moment I'm reading a book entitled "The secret lives of dresses",by Erin Mc Kean, that I found in a second hand shop, and I think it fits perfectly with the story of this outfit.
 For my makeup I used:
- eye pencil: Neve Cosmetics "Pioggia/Taupe"
- mascara: Locherber "Extreme black"
- mineral blush: Neve Cosmetics " Creamy"
- lipliner: Neve Cosmetics "Ballerina Pink"












Have you got something of your grandmothers that you love to wear? Let me know..I'm so curious!!!
                                                Love
                                                xoxo
                                                Martina

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A new Purchase!!!



Hi darlings!

I saw this padded jacket in November in a shop called " Subdued" which has always beautiful clothes and accessories.

At full price it was expensive, so I didn't buy it immediately and I hoped to find it on sale. Last Friday I went shopping with my friends and I incredibly found it half price!!!I was sooooo happy!!!!


I really like its burgundy color, the soft fur of his hood and how it fits me well!!!

I wore it yesterday when it was raining cats and dogs, the rain drops slied on its fabric and I remained dry and warm!!!

I'm so proud of my purchase!!!


What's your favourite outfit against bad weather???
                                             Love
                                                    Martina

Sunday, 2 February 2014

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Inspired by the lovely Annatha from "Prattle and Froth", I want to share with you all the things that make me happy.
Let's begin with the first ten!!!

1.Walking in the woods
Walking in the woods is incredibly relaxing and pleasant in every season of the year, but especially in spring, when the undergrowth is filled with colorful buds, and in autumn when you can pick up chestnuts and the dry leaves creak under your feet.

2.French Bulldogs
Don't you think they are so cute???I saw this puppy in London a couple of years ago and I completely fell in love with it!!!French Bulldogs are really sweet, funny and cuddly and their nice face make me laugh a lot!

3.Tulips
Not everyone knows that tulip is the flower which represents the true love.
It would be amazing for me to go to Holland, during the flowering period, to see the fields of tulips of different colours. 
   
4.Making biscuits
I really love making biscuits, especially on Saturday afternoon, in order to have something yummy to eat for breakfast on Sunday morning.
It's a pleasure for me to wear my beautiful apron, open my cookbook to chose the recipe and begin to knead, and I also love to watch them growing in the oven and the delicious smell that fills the whole house.

5.Snow days


It's fantastic to wake up in the morning and discover the fields whitened by the snow. Last year me and my mum decided to go out for a walk with our snowboots and it was amazing to walk in the snowy paths, immersed in the silence.

6. Burning Shented Candles 
 Staying in my bed with a wool blanket, a beautiful book, a cup of herbal tea and a scented candle which burns in my bedside table and spreads its scent in my bedroom, is a perfect way to spend a rainy and chilly Sunday afternoon.

7.Reading 
 I've always loved books!It's wonderful to be carried away in another world and be guided by the story and its characters. A new book to read makes me feel happy and, when I go into a bookshop, I assume the expression of a child in a huge toy store!

8.Dark Chocolate
I'm addicted to dark chocolate because, due to my allergy to dairy products, it is the only one I can eat. Chocolate makes me feel stronger and happier in every moment and I can't help it!!!

9.My Best Friend

 Giulia is my best friend for many years and we studied and lived together in Venice. I really like spending time with her because she is funny, cheerful, intelligent, sweet, and we have many passions in common.
Life wouldn't be as beautiful as it is without her!!!

10. The Tales of Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter is my favourite children's writer. I received this book when I was five as Christmas present from my grandparents and I loved it so much!!!
Last summer I went to the Lake District to see her house, " Hill Top Farm", and it was a huge thrill for me!
Sometimes I like to reread her stories,even if I nearly know them by heart, and I feel like a child again.

Love 
Martina