Farewell to Scrapbooking

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A couple of years ago I started scrapbooking and absolutely loved it. I'd spend hours roaming the aisles of Michael's looking for deals on stickers, decorative paper, and other embellishments. I made my first scrapbook when my husband (then fiancĂ©) went on his first deployment. We were set to be married a little over a month after he got back, so the book contained everything from "before we got hitched." It kept me busy and made a great gift to give him when he returned. My second scrapbook was from our honeymoon in Maui, and although it's not as good as the first one (or as long) it's still fun and I enjoyed making it. 

And that's it. I've yet to make another scrapbook.

Want to know why? It's certainly not for a lack of pictures, because my computer is overflowing with them.

But that's just it, they are all on my computer. Printing them out is a pain.

Scrapbooking is also time consuming. I've fallen so far behind that it would take numerous albums to catch up. At this point I just want to look at my pretty pictures.

Because of this I have made the executive decision to go digital. I'm going to upload all my photos to the internet, arrange them in a digital album, and a nice book will be delivered to my home that will contain all of my pictures on glossy pages. 

It might not be as fun and homemade as my scrapbooks, but the years just keep on flying by and I still haven't printed out pictures from 2010. 

I started making an album for 2011 on Shutterfly, and so far it's working out great. Don't get me wrong, it still takes time to arrange everything the way I like it (especially with the new customize option that Shutterfly offers), but it's definitely faster than what I used to do. 

Do you like to make photo books to document each year? 
If so, which website do you prefer to use? 

Pin-spiration: Work It!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I can waste spend hours of my life on pinterest.
The way I see it though, if I actually put the things I pin to use this can be considered time well spent.
From outfit ideas, to DIY projects, to recipe inspiration and workout motivation, I've decided to create a regular feature called Pin-spiration. 
Yesterday I tried one of the many workouts that I had pinned a while back.

I did this routine twice, and judging by the amount I sweated by the end of it and how sore I am today I'm going to say this workout is a keeper!
I didn't use any added weight because I'm pretty out of shape at the moment, but my goal is to continue this routine twice a week and eventually add dumbells to the workout.

I also found a similar routine for abs.

I plan on trying it today, and if it's anything like the booty workout I'm sure I will be feeling it tomorrow!

Need a little extra motivation? How about the Victoria's Secret fashion show last night.

Wishing you a happy and sweaty workout!

Thanksgiving re-cap

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I am fully aware that Thanksgiving was over a week ago, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to share just a bit of my holiday with y'all. This year I was extra thankful because I got to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Orlando. The alcohol was flowing, food was delicious, there were dance parties in the kitchen, and of course lots of laughs. 

Introducing: Pearls & Prosecco

Monday, December 3, 2012

Newly Mrs. Cravinho is now Pearls & Prosecco!

I had been wanting to remove my last name from my blog for a while now, and since I have some extra time here in Tampa I figure there's no time like the present!

Thank you to those who are still following me. I have some great things planned and I can't wait to get started and share everything with y'all!

Thanksgiving Plans

Monday, November 19, 2012

This past weekend was spent in Orlando with my family, and one of the very important things that we did was hatch out a Thanksgiving plan.
Almost everyone in the family is a good cook (sorry Dad, you're more of our resident turkey-carver), so it was important to come up with a game plan of what exactly would be served, and who would be bringing what.
Although my Mom will be making her blackberry pie that the guys just love, neither her nor I are big pie eaters.
So I decided that my contribution to Thanksgiving this year would be pumpkin cheesecake.
I made it last Thanksgiving in Italy and it was a big hit, so I figured why not do it again this year and make it a tradition?
Last year I had used a recipe from Bethenny Frankel, and it was delicious yet not too sweet. Before writing out my grocery list this morning I decided to cruise the internet to check out a couple of different recipes. I was completely shocked by the difference in ingredients.
Unnecessary, calorie-increasing ingredients.
Now I know it's Thanksgiving and all, but if you can get a delicious result with less calories and sugar then why not?
I took a screen shot of the recipe for pumpkin cheesecake from Martha Stewart and the recipe I used last year from Bethenny Frankel.



Look at the difference between the amount of butter, sugar, cream cheese, and eggs!

Before settling on a recipe do you tend to check out a variety of different ones first?
What will you be making this Thanksgiving?

Veteran's Day in St. Augustine

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I've been back in the USA for a little over two months now. I'm slowly starting to get the itch the travel again, and I can't deny that I am looking forward to getting back to Italy for that very reason!
This past Sunday we decided to spend Veteran's day in St. Augustine. Neither of us had ever been before, and since my in-laws were in town visiting Florida for the first time it seemed like the perfect opportunity. St. Augustine is the oldest continually inhabited city in the United States. After living in Italy for a year, the town looked pretty new to me, but I enjoyed it all the same!

Yes, it is the middle of November and I am wearing a sundress. Got to love Florida. This time last year I was freezing my buns off!
Thanksgiving is exactly 1 week away and I couldn't be more excited to be spending it with my family. I have also made a commitment to myself to start blogging regularly again. It has been far too long, and right now I definitely have the extra time on my hands!
I'm off to crank my a/c so that I can snuggle up with a pumpkin latte and a good book :)

Grado, Italy

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This past weekend was my last weekend in Italy for a few months, so what better way to enjoy it than to explore a new town with my closest Aviano girlfriend?
Grado could quite possibly be one of my new favorite Italian towns. As you drive over the bridge to this "island" you are greeted with sparkling blue waters, and suddenly you no longer feel like you're in Italy anymore. The town has a much more modern feel than most, and there was so much to do! On one side there is a harbor full of sailboats.

While on the other side there is a beach.

We spent our day eating delicious food (so many restaurants to choose from!), wandering around, and stopping for the occasional spritz. We found a cute beach bar with a Key West theme and pretended we were in Florida for a bit.

I wish I had discovered this place sooner, especially since it is a mere hour from where I live.
I can't wait to take the hubby here next summer, and I highly recommend it to any of my Aviano friends who haven't been yet!

Summer Reads

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One thing I love about summer is all of the perfect opportunities to read a good book.
Basking in the sun is not nearly as enjoyable without a page-turner to help pass the time. I realize the same can be said about winter, and getting cozy with a hot cup of tea and a good read, but my mindset is still in summer-mode! And with my trip to Florida only a few weeks away, my summer will most definitely be pro-longed this year!
What have some of my summer reads been the past few months?

Fifty Shades of Grey of course.
Who hasn't been reading this trilogy? Seriously. Although I breezed through book one, the next two are patiently waiting on my Kindle for me. I feel it will make my forever long plane ride back to the States go by that much faster ;)

Gone Girl
Many times I base my book purchases on what have been the bestsellers on Kindle, and thats exactly how I learned about Gone Girl. This book was intriguing, and after reading the free preview of the first few chapters I was hooked. I finished this book in a matter of days, and although I don't want to give anything away lets just say I throughly enjoyed it up until the end. Seriously, if I could re-write that ending I would.

Andy Cohen's Most Talkative
I started this book while we were lounging at the pool in Ibiza, and finished on the plane ride home. It's a fun and entertaining read, especially if your obsessed with all things Bravo as I am. It made me love Andy Cohen that much more, and included chapters about the Real Housewives (which is one of my top guilty pleasures).

The Great Gatsby
An oldie but a goodie, I decided to re-read this classic since I could barely remember anything about it from high school. Often I try to read classic literature and can't get through it due to boredom, but the Great Gatsby is still a page-turner to this day. I also hear they are coming out with a movie version starring Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio and THAT is something I definitely cannot wait for. I recommend re-reading this classic before the movie comes out!

Currently Reading: Southern Charm by Tinsley Mortimer
After a surprising lack of chick-lit on my summer reading list, I decided I wanted something light-hearted and Southern (can you tell how excited I am to go back to the States?). This book seemed to be just the ticket. Although I'm only a couple of chapters in, it seems to be everything I hoped for.

Here's a few more titles that are currently on my soon to read list:

Have I mentioned how much I love my Kindle? I seriously can't remember how I went about reading without it. One click of a button (well in my case the touch of the screen) and I have a brand new book. I especially love how I can read previews of books before I purchase them.

What have been some of your favorite summer reads? Anything I need to add to my must read list?

Barcelona, Spain

Monday, August 27, 2012

At the end of May the hubs and I went on a week long vacation to Spain. I know everyone thinks that living in Europe you go on vacation all the time. Well, here's my opinion, you travel all the time, but it's not always a vacation. Many times you are waking up early, rushing around to see everything possible, and you are exhausted by the end of it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. But sometimes you just want a vacation where you can relax. And that's exactly what we decided to do in Spain. Instead of trying to visit as many cities as we could cram in a week, we decided to enjoy Barcelona for about four days, and then headed over to the party island of Ibiza for 3 days.
Barcelona is by far one of the most amazing cities I've been to.
On my list of favorite places, I think it rivals Paris for the top spot. We arrived in Barcelona on a Saturday afternoon, and I had already booked a food tour for us that evening. Was the food tour really worth it? Not really. BUT we did get to meet some interesting people.

We leisurely wandered around and explored Barcelona at our own pace. The architecture is truly unlike anything I've ever seen before. Much of it was done by Antoni Gaudi, and his style tended to remind me of Dr. Seuss. The Sagrada Familia didn't disappoint, and it was just as amazing as everyone said it would be. After traveling a lot in Italy and seeing one duomo (church) after another, they all start to look the same. All of the small Italian towns start to resemble one another. Barcelona was like a breath of fresh air, and I would go back in a heartbeat!












If you are planning a trip out to Europe anytime soon, I would highly recommend making time to stop in this fantastic city.

Welcome Back!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Well, it's been a good FOUR months since I last updated this blog!
What can I say, sometimes you lose interest in things and life gets busy. Honestly, it's been a while since I even thought about or felt like blogging.
But here I am, back with a fresh new look to boot!
These last few months I've been in Italy by myself, which has definitely been an adjustment. I can't complain, during this deployment I've been lucky enough to have friends whose husbands have been deployed as well. That is truly one of the few things that can make an otherwise difficult deployment so much easier to deal with! This summer I've stayed busy working during the week, and going out and having a good time with girlfriends on the weekends. We've traveled a bit, visited wineries, and enjoyed the sunshine.
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A couple of weeks ago I quit my job, and soon I will be heading to the States for a bit! I haven't been back since we moved out here to Italy over a year ago, so I am extremely excited! I plan on getting back into blogging and updating regularly again. Thanks to those of you who are still following!

A Marriage Blessing

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my confirmation into the Catholic church at Easter.
This past weekend Jacob and I had our marriage blessed.
What exactly does that mean?
Well, we weren't married in a church which means we didn't receive the Sacrament of Marriage. This also means that technically our marriage wasn't recognized by the Catholic church.
Now, I love our wedding day. I wouldn't have changed any of it, and I don't regret not initially getting married in the Church. Everything happens for a reason, and at that point in my life I wasn't ready to dive into religion. I felt a bit of pressure about it, and I am not someone who responds well to outside pressure. I didn't want to be doing anything for the "wrong reasons." If I decided to become Catholic, I wanted to be doing it for me, and not anyone else.
So my husband and I had a beautiful vineyard wedding on September 3rd, 2010.
I think I always knew I would at least learn about the Catholic religion, but I would do it at my own speed.
We knew we wanted to have our marriage blessed, and it was really important to me that I be confirmed beforehand.
So this past Saturday, April 21st,  we had our marriage blessed and received the Sacrament of Marriage here in Italy during the 5pm Mass.

We had a few friends come, as well as our friends from the church. It was a wonderful experience, and although we are far away from family we could feel all of their love and support.

Things are starting to get busy around here, preparing for Jacob's deployment which is in about a month and a half. We may not ever be able to spend an anniversary together (so far it looks like were batting 0 for 2) but we do get to share special moments like these. And as a military wife you learn to appreciate those times, and to celebrate important dates (like birthdays and anniversaries) differently.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Monday, April 23, 2012

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, Tuscany is my favorite area of Italy.

Although, my new favorite city isn't technically in Tuscany... But more about that in a bit.

After we returned home from Rome, we took a day to relax.
Well, that wasn't exactly the original plan but after a bit of car trouble it all worked out for the best.
We headed to Tuscany well-rested and ready for the second half of our trip. We stayed at a wonderful hotel at the base of the hill-top town of Cortona.

Cortona is in a GREAT location because it is in easy driving distance of so many travel destinations.
Cortona itself is beautiful, sitting on a hill-top with steep narrow roads.

The following day we ventured out to one of the most gorgeous cities I have ever seen.


Assisi was the home of Saint Francis, and is known for both it's beauty and peaceful atmosphere. 
The entire city felt incredibly surreal.

The first place we stopped at was the church of St. Francis.

 It was absolutely beautiful inside, but you couldn't take pictures.

Next we climbed up the hill to the Rocca Maggiore, a castle that you are actually able to explore on your own. 
So many castles that we've visited in Europe have all been restored for tourists, and it feels as though you are in more of a museum than a castle. 

This isn't the case with the Rocca Maggiore. 
I felt like we had been transported to some medieval time, and I couldn't wait to explore!

The view from the top of the castle was absolutely breathtaking.

Assisi is without a doubt the most beautiful town I've ever been to in Italy. 

Nothing else even compares.

After our day trip there we headed back to Cortona, and in the morning ventured off to Siena.
Jacob and I had visited Siena once before, and I remember not being a huge fan. 
Well, I didn't care much for the city this time either. 
I think after a while all of the Tuscan cities begin to look the same. So we headed over to Pisa, because everyone needs to see the leaning tower of Pisa.

The day after Pisa we headed back home to Northern Italy.

It was so wonderful having my parents here, and I can't wait for them to come visit again :)