Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I was over at my sister's house recently, and while she and my nephew were taking a nap (11-month-olds will wear you--and themselves--out) I picked up a book she had checked out from the library, opened to the middle, and began reading bits of it.

Before you know it I had reached the end, and so I snapped it shut, opened to the beginning and began reading once again!  At that point my sis and her son awoke from their slumber, and I let her know I was really enjoying the memoir, which is entitled, The Hills of Tuscany, by Ferenc Máté.

She said I was welcome to take it home with me so I could finish reading it, and I decided to do just that!

This book is full of vivid decriptions of nature and scenery, charming anecdotes, and mouth-watering mentions of delicious food.  Reading it was like taking a mini vacation to a faraway place.

It was an exciting adventure to travel along with the author and his wife as they searched for the home of their dreams...

And finally found it!

From watching an outdoor movie at cinema sotto le stelle (cinema under the stars), which was screened on the courtyard wall of a monastery's library, to adventures in the outdoors involving edibles such as chestnuts and pine nuts, Ferenc and Candace really experienced Italy in many different ways.

There are charming descriptions of the people they met along the way, including a pizzaiolo who wore patent leather shoes; a man whom they observed belting out 'O sole mio in defiant response to a very stressful situation; and kind neighbors who gifted them with homemade culinary delights such as jam, sausages, and cheese.

One comical anecdote involved a man who was reading a pink--yes, I said pink--Italian newspaper.  Well, this I had to see, so I googled away.  The author got the name of the paper wrong in the book; it's called "La Gazzetta dello Sport".  It was first published in 1896, and three years later that lovely shade of pink debuted.

Here are some insta's of this pretty-colored publication...








It would appear people enjoy using the paper for more than reading.  Here are some shots of creative ways it's being used...







A shot from an editorial in Let's Panic magazine...



The book contains a comical description of the way Italy tends to work in terms of bureaucracy and red tape (dubbed "the flexible impossible"), along with a bit of history (some of which is very tragic).  

I think its various facets come together to form a very likeable whole.  It's definitely a tome I would heartily recommend, especially to armchair travelers such as myself ☺.

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Saturday, July 11, 2015


Brodie, my 11-month-old nephew, is read to often by his mom, and I can tell he's developing a love of books as a result.  

I had to snap a few pics of him with a really cute book my mom bought him, which is based on the song of the same name by Louis Armsrong (here's a little video I put on instagram)...

A few weeks ago, I went to baby storytime with Brodie and my sis at one of our local libraries.  The babies had so much fun--Mr. Erik is so good at what he does!

I was excited to snap some pics of the room in which storytime is held, especially since it's the home of a giant cupcake!

This whimsical artwork, which is made of metal, was created by North Carolina artist Bill Hickman.  All I have to say is, welding rocks, particularly when Alice in Wonderland-sized baked goods are involved!!

I also love the painted wall mural that's in the same room...

Here's a little insta vid of these two works of art ☺.

On  my way out of the library, I caught sight of something up in the rafters...

It just so happens it was a giant bird nest filled with beautiful eggs (what else?!).

From what I can deduce, it was made out of paper-machealong with assorted mixed materials--you know, whatever the huge bird that made it was able to find here and there ;)

Next I headed home with a few books I had spotted at the library and decided to check out...

Enjoy perusing these cute stories--I sure did!

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I'm most definitely glad I've gotten to spend a lot of time with my sweet nephew and even take a trip to the library to boot--I highly recommend doing the latter yourself!

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