Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Until The Next Time Mum

Where did "Nonna Riitta" (my mum) go asked my daughter today after she arrived home from the kindergarten. She went back home dear I replied and burst into tears. She went back home to the land where you eat lots of blueberries in the summer time. The blueberries grow in the forest and you can pick them up and eat as much as you like. Do you remember ? She does remember, she often talks about my family in Finland. I wish I could have them near. Well I'll get over this, but right now I feel exactly like when coming back to Italy from a long holiday in Finland. I guess I'm still having my cultural shock going on and I'm still in the process of settling down. It takes so much time. But I'm very thankful of having my little "Italian family" here.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Something That Caught My Eye

Here's little something that caught my eye during the last trip to Matera. The cat by the window is just like from a painting or some old film. The last two photos are details from an old cathedral in the center. Sometimes it's good to see one place many times, every time you'll
find something new.

This Corner of The Earth...

We looked around with M and said ; We'll be back here. Just the two of us. When the kids are older, we will come back and we'll eat, enjoy the spa, walk around hand in hand and feel the magic.
Going to Matera is like stepping back in time.
It's simply wonderful.

Impossible Toddlers


So we went back to Matera. This is the first series of photos of our trip and it includes surprise surprise my little impossible toddler. She is really quite active and has never liked to sit in the stroller so most of the time she just jumps and runs around. Luckily we had a couple of extra hands to help and run after. My mum and Luna's grandpa were with us. The weather was partly sunny, partly rainy and windy but it was still worth visiting and I just wanted to show the place to my mum. Just before the trip I went cloth shopping and got this wonderful yellow spring jacket for Luna from Zara. She looks like a little lemon with it and definitely won't get lost !

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Surprising Gift

The best gift is one that is totally unexpected. I love something that I would never buy myself, but suits me. These kind of presents come from someone who knows you well and I guess from someone with a very good taste. Here's my new scarf by Fizzy, Italy. Colorful, fresh, light and perfect for the spring and summer time. Also the perfume is new to me and it's story tells that it's
inspired by the island of Elba, Italy. Very nice indeed. BIG THANK YOU !!!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

One Birthday and The Easter Time

This Saturday we celebrated the birthday of my daughter's grandad. I decided to make him a little gift
that would remind him of the unforgettable trip to Tuscany that we did last summer when my daughter was only 17 months old. The print is 35 cm x 35 cm in size and came out pretty nice although the photos were shot with an i phone and not with a proper camera. Of course he liked it very much. What I learned from this little project is that in the future for even better result I must use more my digital camera and less i phone for shooting photos.

The Easter decorations have brought the spring into our little home.
I've already published some Easter decoration photos, but the best craft of this Easter is definitely this yellow bunny that my daughter brought home from her kindergarten. It's made of an empty old tomato tin can, paper, cotton and a piece of a wooden ice cream stick. Wonderful, must keep it safe for the becoming Easter periods.

Ok I admit it. This cake would not have been done if it wasn't for my mum who was and still is over at our place. We made this strawberry chocolate cheese cake together for the grandpa (my partner's dad). I learned a lot and yes it was delicious and very easy to make. The harder part was that in order to make and serve the cake we had to go shopping at the kitchen department store....Embarrassing but I've been honest here. As a mum of a soon two small kids I have good intentions to become one of those cake baking mums...I will I promise !!
The next cake will be done by me...(in the near future).

On Saturday we went out to eat in a very nice and quite sophisticated restaurant who likes to experiment a bit more than most other restaurants in town. South Italians seem to be almost allergic to whole grain bread and pasta, but in this restaurant the whole grains seemed to be very commonly in use. Above one of the many starters we had, vegetables plate with a selection of fresh (and I mean really fresh) ricotta and mozarella cheese, carrots from Poligniano with some rucola, celery and radish.

Bruschetta bread and whole grain focaccia bread. Mmmm very tasty...

 Whole grain pasta and sword fish with some orange.

Luna slept two hours in the restaurant and woke up later for a full plate of pasta with tomato sauce.
And there we were ready for the cake and gifts. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Happy Easter Time

The highlight of our Easter this year will be that my mum is coming over from Finland for a vacation.
We're going to eat well, make some modification's for the apartment for the new arrival (not for my mum, but for the baby) and I think that we'll make a small trip again in Matera. That will be so exciting ! This week I've colored some Easter eggs with acrylic colors and created this new couple,
Mr and Mrs Bunny out of recycled materials. That's all. Enjoy your holidays with friends and family and some good food !  

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Bunnies, Chicks and Grass

When I was a child I remember Easter being one of my favorite times of the year. It's because I loved those colorful decorations around our home, that massive yellow paper chicken that hang down from the ceiling, eggs, bunnies, little chicks and the endless waiting for the chocolates and treats. I've been drawing as long as I can remember and I'm absolutely thrilled to have noticed that my 27 months old daughter seems to love it too. She wants to draw or paint several times a day now and I'm definitely up for it. This week I made some photos while she was busy with her work, starting with sketching and then moving on to playing with some Easter crafting materials, planting some Easter grass and finally painting. We're going to continue with coloring some eggs and preparing some crafts in a few days time.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Stones, Style and Food

The view from our (Spa) Hotel's Balcony. I can gladly recommend : Locanda di San Martino (Hotel e Thermae Romane nei Sassi di Matera).

I go crazy for rustic old, colorful doors.

And here's our little dog lover. Where ever you go with Luna Lisa, you must be prepared for running after every single cat and dog that come across your way. Playing with a dog makes her day.

Spring is for sure the best period for visiting. Oh so green and fresh.

Look at the rocks on top of the houses. The whole town is dug into the rock...

Un aperitivo indimenticabile. Unforgettable indeed...

Luna is getting creative while mummy is having a brake. Can you see the belly ? (Only a couple of months left, oh dear oh dear)

 Here's our Hotel room. We finally had to hide the telephone from the room (kindly advised by the staff, thanks for not getting angry and always being so friendly)...Here you can see the typical Pugliese interiors, not bad huh ?

In my last post I mentioned about a birthday of M coming up and like on many other birthdays my dear M (man of my taste) wanted to make a little trip and spend time together with his family. 
For the time I've lived in Puglia, I've always wanted to visit Matera and it's stunning old town dug into the calcarentic rock. People of Matera are especially proud for their fantastic bread and even if I'm not a big bread eater for these two days I couldn't stop eating it. In Bari we mainly eat seafood, whereas in Matera you'll find much more meat dishes. This is simply because Matera is situated in the inland, about 70 km from the capital of Puglia, Bari. 

The last photo is my present for M. I found this fascinating book at the local book store, where you can find B&B, hotels and farmhouses all over the Italy and some in France. The price of the book includes 2 nights with a breakfast for two person in any of the listed places in the book.
Now, I've seen there were a couple of places from Matera in the book and I certainly wouldn't mind returning and exploring this beautiful town in depth. The owner of the book will decide of course.