Archive for 2010

Love Thursday: Christmas Poinsettia Love

For our first Christmas together, P brought home a gorgeous stella di Natale (poinsettia, or literally Christmas star). He really had no way of knowing how much I love the poinsettia — always a fixture at my house growing up during the holiday season — so it was a special gift indeed. It became even more wonderful over the next four Christmases as it bloomed each year (not always right at Christmastime, but it came close).

But then this past summer, it began looking sickly, shriveling and sagging. I furiously searched the Internet for what to do to fix it, but nothing worked. I think it got some sort of root rot, but whatever it was, it was fatal, and it made for a very sad day here.

Until this little one showed up a couple weeks ago:

Poinsettia 2010

Poinsettia 2010

I don’t know if this poinsettia will make it past the Christmas season (it doesn’t seem nearly as strong as the previous poinsettia but fingers crossed!) but it did bring a little something special with it tucked in among its gorgeous red leaves:

Love in the poinsettia

How many hearts can you see?

Happy Love Thursday everyone; I hope you’re enjoying a fabulous holiday season.


Happy Christmas (War is Over)

Wishing everyone who celebrates a wonderful Christmas season full of love, joy, and, most of all, peace.

 

Download your own WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It!) poster in your language now.


Merry Christmas Eve from Calvin & Hobbes

As is tradition, here is the most adorable Christmas Eve poem of all time:

Calvin & Hobbes Christmas Eve Poem

Happiest of holidays to you and yours!


What to Do in Milan

The title of this post, “What to do in Milan,” is the exact search I typed into Google several weeks ago. I was planning a trip north to see Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy and Diana of A Certain Simplicity and Piemontescapes and would have one day in Milan — and I didn’t want to miss anything huge.

Castello Sforzesco, Milano

Castello Sforzesco, Milano

It turns out that the best online resource for what to do in Milan can be found on fellow Eye on Italy podcast host’s Jessica’s Why Go Italy, so do have a look there if you’re headed to Milan yourself. You can also find and book Milan hotels through EasytoBook.com if you’re not lucky enough to score a spot on Sara’s pull-out couch. But back to the sightseeing.

Pinacoteca di Brera, Milano

Pinacoteca di Brera, Milano


Snowy rooftop of Pinacoteca di Brera, Milano

Snowy rooftop of Pinacoteca di Brera, Milano

I’m sorry to say I did miss out on The Last Supper (you need to book ahead, and although it’s often booked for months in advance there were actually available spots for the day *after* I was leaving Milan), but I think I packed a lot into my day in Milan thanks to Sara, including a luncheon at the Obikà mozzarella bar next to the Duomo with several people I hadn’t yet met in person.

It was truly a wonderful 10 or so hours in Milan despite the snow and rain, which did subside for some golden sunshine later in the day.

Il Duomo, Milano

Il Duomo, Milano


Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milano

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milano

All in all, an action-packed jaunt around this bustling northern Italy city, which to be honest felt more American than any Italian location I’ve been. Visiting cities is always sensory overload for me, so I’d love to go back with more time to just soak in more of the atmosphere and see if my first impressions hold true. For now, though, there are more photos in my Milano Flickr set — and lots more tales to tell behind the photos as well. Stay tuned!

Have you been to Milan? What do you recommend first-time visitors see and do?


Seasons Greetings at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.

When my mom and I went to Washington, D.C. last year at this time, we went on a bus tour through a local company; part of the scheduled day was to be spent at the United States Botanic Garden.

US Botanic Garden

US Botanic Garden

To be honest, I wasn’t too thrilled about it — how interesting could that possibly be when there was so much else in D.C. that I wanted to see? But it was a rainy, cold, gloomy day, so a little inside time was rather welcome.

Rainy day at Botanic Garden

Rainy day at Botanic Garden

As it turned out, this was one of the most impressive, awe-inspiring, festive, gorgeous parts of our day. The annual Seasons Greetings exhibit features “Washington landmark buildings all created with plant materials set amidst pathways and pools of blooming poinsettias and other holiday plants (emphasis added).” ALL of what you are about to see was created with plant materials. Simply amazing.

The White House

The White House

Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, & Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, & Washington Monument

US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court; check out detail on this photo on my Flickr set

US Capitol

US Capitol

There was also a special section for children and the young at heart; the exhibit had a decidedly different feel, but again, everything was made with plant materials.

Castle and hot air balloon

Castle and hot air balloon

One...unique ornament

One…unique ornament

See lots more photos of the Botanical Garden on my Washington, D.C. Flickr set.

This year’s exhibit will be up until January 2,

so there’s something else you can do in D.C. besides just visiting Union Station.


Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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Recipes

 

Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake