Archive for the ‘30 days of thanks’ Category

blogging for kiva

I’ve been tagged again, but don’t groan–it’s not a meme! No, this time Dee of The Mundane & The Profound has come up with a great way to encourage other bloggers to talk a bit about
an amazing organization that allows anyone to help entrepreneurs around the world over the Internet through a concept called microfinance.

Here is a description from Kiva’s website:

Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.

It’s that easy! You go to and look around at the projects that need funding. You can loan as little as $25 through PayPal and then, if you like, become a part of the project you’ve supported by keeping track of its progress.

Kiva was started by Matt and Jessica Flannery after working in East Africa as newlyweds; they saw East Africans around them achieving such great things with so little money that they had visions of all that could be accomplished with just a bit more funding.

And since its humble beginnings a few years ago, Kiva has raise a bit more than a bit more funding–$10 million in loans has been distributed, and 99.7% of that has already been paid back.

The impact of this money, though, is surely immeasurable.

And giving money isn’t the only way you can help out, so do check out the Kiva website for more opportunities–both jobs and volunteer positions are available.

I just love Dee’s idea of tagging to spread the word about charities and other good works, so stay tuned for my own tag–I already have a great organization in mind. But for now I encourage any of you that love the idea of Kiva to blog about it too.

If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged.

30 days of thanksToday I’m thankful for:

Everyone who supports those who need it, whether it’s financially, emotionally, or otherwise. We *all* have something that someone else needs, even though sometimes it takes a little thinking and/or soul-searching to figure out what it might be.

I’m so thankful that there are people in the world who recognize this and give what they can, and I’m not talking about the rich and famous, although obviously their efforts are appreciated as well. I’m talking about everyday folks like you and me who are able to step out of our own worries and see that there are plenty of people who are worse off–and then take the initiative to do something about it.

Makes you have faith in humanity, you know?


[tags]kiva, microfinance, charity, nablopomo, 30 days of thanks[/tags]

Nespole – Loquat Blossoms in Calabria

While walking with the pooches yesterday morning, I came face to bark with a tree that had seemingly blossomed overnight. I certainly didn’t remember it so full of life the day before. Where was I looking?

I don’t know about the day before, but now I see a truly gorgeous tree with lovely thick, strong, furry leaves and sweet-smelling, bellissimi blossoms:

blossoming in Calabria, southern ItalyAnyone know or care to guess what kind of tree bears such blossoms?I *know* some of you know.

blossoming in Calabria, southern Italy
30 days of thanks

Today I’m thankful for:

Citrus season! It’s starting now and by Christmas, we’ll be inundated with lemons, oranges, and clementines. And I love me some clementines.

Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful that she gives us these sweet, juicy, bursting-with-color treats smack dab in the dead of winter?


thanksgiving in italy

Happy Thanksgiving…

Happy Thanksgiving!from our table to yours!

This photo was actually taken last year, but it was our Thanksgiving feast and the first time I had prepared one by myself. And it was complicated from the start.

First, we were supposed to have our own turkey, raised by P, but two weeks before Turkey Day, a sly fox got the bright idea to have her own feast early. So we had chicken instead–just as well as my grandmother never made turkey as she didn’t like it anyway.

turkey breasts
Then, considering many of the traditional Thanksgiving foods aren’t even available here, I had to get stuff flown in (think cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes–yes, I know you have them in north and perhaps central Italy but I can’t find them down here). Other than that we had filling/stuffing (mom’s recipe!), mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and peas.

Well, *I* had all those things. P didn’t go near the sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce. Maybe this year.

turkey thighs
We’ll be having our Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday since P’s working today (and, accordingly, so am I)–remember it’s not a holiday here. But I hope all of you have a wonderful day; I’ll catch up to you on Sunday!

turkey's done!

Thanks for the Thanksgiving funnies Gil!

30 days of thanks

Today I’m thankful for:

All the Thanksgivings I’ve spent with my family, both at my mom’s and grandmother’s house. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday–it revolves around food and being grateful. How can you go wrong?

And you know what? I don’t have even one bad memory from any Thanksgiving, which is pretty impressive considering I come from a family of divorce and otherwise unhappy marriages. Indeed for the most part I had a happy childhood anyway, and for that I’m truly grateful.

And hopefully I’ll get to have some more Thanksgivings with my family as the years go on–and P will be forced to try all the foreign foods. Hah!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating!


[tags] thanksgiving, thanksgiving in italy, turkey, thanksgiving comics, nablopomo, 30 days of thanks[/tags]

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Pumpkin Muffins

Last year around this time I had some canned pumpkin but wasn’t up for making pies so I looked for another option. I found a recipe for tasty pumpkin muffins, and that’s what I’m sharing with you for this week’s What’s Cooking Wednesday, the Day Before American Thanksgiving Edition.

I like this recipe because, well, I love muffins, but also because it’s yet another way to enjoy pumpkin. I heart pumpkin.

If you don’t feel like making pumpkin pies this year, give these a try–and throw in raisins for a special treat!

Pumpkin Muffins

pumpkin muffins

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 c melted butter
  • 1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. Now I could tell you to do the dry ingredients first and then mix in the wet, but you know what? I just mixed it all together at once and they came out fine. You don’t want the batter smooth though; when the flour is incorporated, stop, and leave the lumps.

3. Grease bottom of muffin cups or use foil muffin cups like I did. This recipe makes 12 big muffins, but I did 6 big and then a bunch of small ones; I’m sorry but I didn’t count at the time. Fill cups to 2/3 full and put in hot oven.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. If you’d like to use icing, I did the cream cheese one I put on my birthday carrot cake cupcakes here:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tbl butter
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

I then sprinkled some nutmeg on top.

pumpkin muffins

Buon appetito!

30 days of thanks

Today I’m thankful for:

Pumpkin! Ooh do I love pumpkin in all its many forms, especially my mom’s pumpkin pie. Mmmm. I hope someone at home has a piece for me.

I also love and miss good old pumpkin spice coffee. Anyone know the best way to recreate that at home? I’m open to suggestions.

I’ve been adding some nutmeg to my (American) coffee before brewing in the morning, and that’s pretty good too. Can you tell I also like nutmeg just a bit?

5 post meme (nothing like a one-trick pony)

I was tagged by new blogging buddy Goofy Andie (that’s the name of her blog, I swear!) to do the following:

  • Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given below (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like).
  • Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.
  • Don’t forget to read the archived post and leave comments.
  • I like this meme because it gives me a chance to point out posts that new readers may have missed. I do keep a list of posts that new visitors can read to get to know me better–in my favorites tag above–but here are five more, per the meme:


    Big Gifts from Little Ones

    This one is from May of this year and talks a bit about my niece and nephew back in the States and all the fun stuff they send me. Check out the label “family” for more family posts.


    Calabrian Women’s Summit 2007

    First published in March 2007, this post recounts my first meeting with fellow expat blogger in Calabria, Cherrye of My Bella Vita, and Dawn, who we’re still hoping finds time to write up one of these blog things. We had an awesome time and recreated the magic in August before Cherrye left us to get married in Texas. I know some of you, like me, are missing Cherrye lately, but she’ll be back soon to tell us all about it, I’m sure.

    The label “friends” will take you to more friends posts.


    Sunday Scribblings: Chronicles

    I’ve written many, many posts about me and other than searching the “me me me” label, you can also find a lot of those on my sidebar.

    But now I’m going to point you to one that says a little something different about me than any of the memes or lists I’ve done over the past 11 1/2 months. You might have missed this one as it was first published way back in January, less than two months into my blogging adventure. I hope you enjoy it.


    Helping Hands

    Another May post about how P surprises me every now and again. There are lots of P and love posts under the “love” label.



    Seeds of Truth

    This last one was hard! I didn’t know which direction I should go in, but I finally decided on a snippet of my fiction writing since it’s a part of me that gets ignored early and often around here.

    This May post was my first entry in a fiction writing contest, and I even ended up with a prize; check out other writing related posts under the “writing” label.

    Now I’m going to tag 5 bloggers who are all doing NaBloPoMo, some of whom I knew previously and some I’ve just met. Show us what to read please!

    Candid Karina
    Jill Althouse Wood
    Miss Eliza

    30 days of thanksToday I’m thankful for:

    Believe it or not, NaBloPoMo. I’ve realized through this experience that it’s not as difficult as I thought to post something every day–except for internet issues (fixed as of now…yeah!). Getting into the habit of writing, taking more photos, being more creative about posts–these are all good things, and I have NaBloPoMo to thank.

    But even more than that, I’m so thankful to have met even more wonderful bloggers through the experience. One can never have too many blogging friends, I say.


    [tags]nablopomo, 30 days of thanks, memes[/tags]

    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. 

    Subscribe to Bleeding Espresso by email:

    Calabria Guidebook

    Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio

    Badolato Rentals

    Badolato rentals

    Badolato Properties For Sale

    Properties for Sale, Badolato, Calabria, Italy

    Photo Guide to Badolato On Sale!

    Photographic Guide for Badolato, Calabria



    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