Tag Archives: Italy

“Travelling Teaches You” (9).

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Life as it happens to be

Travelling teaches you to plan ahead. Travelling also teaches you to leave your plans behind. 

There is so much to explore, and limited time, so we may find we gain the most from our experiences if we have in mind what we most want to see and do and focus on those. These lessons in planning and preparation can be useful and transferable into our ‘ordinary’ lives. We are so ‘wired up’ in the 21st Century to try to have multiple ‘tabs’ open in our lives, however, just as our computers and devices can only handle so much, so too we sometimes need a ‘re-boot’ or to close down some of the tabs we have so that we can enrich our experience of the fewer things we actually choose to do, and be more productive and efficient in making the most of our time in doing so. 

However, travelling…

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Snapshots of Italy (2).

Perhaps you have already made the journey. However, if not, I invite you to venture with me, by road, through the flatlands of Northern France, past the crisp cool lakes and the ruggedly charming mountains of Switzerland, with its grassy hills speckled with cute toy-like wooden houses, each proudly bearing the red and white Swiss flag, and onwards through the beautiful, joyously colourful and sun soaked Mediterranean regions of Northern Italy, where endearingly uniform cute wooden Swiss houses have given way to an array of brightly coloured tall rectangular buildings of yellow, orange, pink, green, white, brown, beige and sky blue, set in the hills, each distinctly decorated with uniquely ornate railings, flower boxes, and individually characterised front doors. 

Italy exudes charm, character, and vibrant sophistication that is at the same time rustic, homely and inviting. Italy is unashamedly proud of its identity, of its natural beauty, rich heritage, delicious food, and its stylish and charming inhabitants. The Lakes of Northern Italy are romantically seductive, drawing one in heart, soul and mind to savour a sparkling, vibrant, peaceful and life enriching experience of Nature as the backdrop to a truly unique, exquisitely beautiful and alluring country that is Bella Italia. ❤ (c). 

 

Snapshots of Italy (1).

Hi friends. Continuing on from my new travel series of what “Travelling teaches you”, I thought it would be nice to introduce you to a few of the experiences I had in Italy, and share pictures of some of the beautiful sights. I hope you enjoy, and would love it if you wanted to share your own travel experiences in the comments below. Ciao, bella! 🙂 ❤ x

To start with, here is a picture I took on approach to Lake Como, August 2018:

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(c).

 

“Travelling Teaches You” (2)

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Travelling Teaches You that you are part of something so much bigger than yourself and the ‘world’ that you are used to. You are part of life that goes beyond your own time, space and experience. You may be standing in places where great thinkers have walked, or beholding the beauty of a vast and unfathomable Creation in Nature that is only a small part of what we know of the Universe.

I took the photo above last week outside the Duomo in Milano, Italy. This building took centuries to create and is quite a work of architecture. People were involved in work that went beyond anything that would be completed in their life times, and yet they saw merit in playing their part in something bigger. Travelling broadens your mind to new experiences, and possibilities including the fact that there is so much that you know nothing about. Perhaps it can leave you feeling small and overwhelmed, but really, it should stir your heart into awakening to being part of the amazing experience of existence, and the sweetness that you, along with each of your fellow travellers are taking in an experience completely unique to you. Be blessed fellow travellers, and friends 🙂 . xx

Adventures new…and settling back into ‘normal life’ (whatever that is!).

Apologies once again, friends. It has been a few weeks since I have blogged, however, you may be pleased to hear that this is not without good reason. I have had the pleasure of revisiting one of my favourite countries on this little globe ~ Bella Italia ~ having spent just over a week at Lago di Como (Lake Como), and around 4 days travelling by coach and by ferry to get there via France and Switzerland.

I arrived back from my beautiful Italian adventure just 4 days ago on Friday evening (24th August 2018), eager to tell you all about it and perhaps hear about your experiences of travelling to Italy and / or elsewhere too.

However, I’m sure I’m not alone in finding that it takes a bit of time to readjust and recalibrate after spending time in another place or country, especially if that place is a particularly beautiful escape from one’s usual surroundings. Not that where I live doesn’t have its merits, but the Italian Lakes are breath-taking in beauty, the weather is consistently warm and lovely, and the atmosphere is sweet with La Dolce Vita, and La Dolce Far Niente.

I arrived back home to be greeted by rain, and cold weather. It has brightened now and is not raining today at least, however, the climes are unpredictable, and considerably colder and sunshine is a much awaited blessing that certainly doesn’t last the whole year round.

Today also happens to be my second day back at work. Do you ever find that you go away on an adventure, even if your travels are merely for a short duration, or perhaps you have been away for a year or more to travel the world, you have been inspired, changed and touched by your new experiences, and yet you come back and everything seems to be the ‘same old, same old’.

Don’t get me wrong, it is lovely to come home, to familiar people, places, and languages, but it is bitter-sweet, and it takes time to find a new rhythm, to process the experiences you have had, and also to take what you have learned and make changes in your day to day – such as slowing down, savouring the moment, and not getting caught up in the rush and hurry of routine to the extent that you lose part of yourself.

So that is where I am just now….eager to hear of your thoughts and experiences. I guess we all share so much in common – sometimes a break away from ‘ordinary life’ in a beautiful place gives our souls and minds a much longed for respite – however, on return we are faced both with the blessings and benefits of personal growth, but also the challenges to change, and the resurfacing of familiar issues, or personal problems that still need to be faced when the sun is no longer metaphorically shining.

However, travel changes us. And it is a reminder to see things afresh in our day to day life. Perhaps, to reintegrate into our ‘ordinary surroundings’ by looking through the lens of a traveller’s eye. To see things afresh, and to find La Dolce Vita…the sweetness of life, right here where we are, right now.

Be blessed. xx

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QUICK & EASY HEALTHY VEGAN RECIPE # 8

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This, my healthy culinary friends, is one of my all time favourite quick, easy, healthy vegan meals. I call it the ‘tortilla pizza’. I made this this evening, and I don’t know about where you live, but where I am many takeaways do a ‘Two for Tuesdays’ deal on pizzas. And yes, tonight is Tuesday! Have you ever felt like a pizza, but either didn’t want to eat something unhealthy, spend money on a takeaway or just stick a frozen pizza in the oven? Have you ever felt that you just can’t find a shop bought pizza with the toppings of your choice, or without cheese?! Well, this may just be the healthy, quick, cheap and yet surprisingly delicious alternative that you have been craving! 🙂

Once again, with all my recipes, they are just a starting point and springboard for your own culinary creativity so by all means experiment with toppings, sauces, and techniques.

I’ll walk you through my method to kick-start a few of your own ideas.

Firstly, I washed, chopped and gently fried some mushrooms in sunflower cooking spray.

After this, I drained the excess liquid from the mushrooms and put them to one side in a bowl.

I then stir fried a generous amount of fresh spinach leaves, and a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes and chopped white onions, adding seasoning to taste. In this case I used herb salt, cracked black pepper and mixed herbs. Lastly, I added back in the mushrooms and gave everything a quick stir together. I took this off the heat and in a pan, lightly heated a flour tortilla, and once slightly crisp, I spread some shop bought pasta sauce over it as a pizza topping. As the vegetables I used have a reasonably high water content, I was careful to drain them off before adding them to the tortilla base using the handy little holey metal spatula contraption that you can see in the picture! 🙂

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Et voila, in 10 to 15 minutes you have a delicious meal or snack that you can eat either as a pizza or roll it up for a wrap, fold it over as a calzone, or add another tortilla on top and crisp them up on the pan, cut into slices and eat as a quesadilla!! 🙂

I hope you enjoy trying this one out, it truly was delicious and I have saved some of the toppings to take into work tomorrow so that I can have a yummy ‘pizza wrap’ for lunch 🙂 Enjoy!

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QUICK & EASY HEALTHY VEGAN RECIPE # 7

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This is another very easy and quick meal – perfect for dinner after a long day at work, and so delicious!

Very simply, just boil some pasta, and if you like add a little salt to the water. I added spinach and cherry tomatoes into the pan once the pasta was almost ready. Next, I simply drained the water, stirred through some green pesto, added pepper, and topped it off with a little bit of sliced red onion. This was great with pesto, however you can add any sauce you prefer, sprinkle on some pine nuts or chia seeds or other nuts or seeds of your choice, and add any other seasoning or vegetables to your own taste.

Super simple, and yet both healthy and delicious, and ready in less than 15 minutes! 🙂