Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 31, 2013

In our home we don't do much as far as Halloween goes.

I decorate the house of course, but when it comes to celebrating the actual day we never really have any plans. 

If we lived in the States I'm sure we'd enjoy passing out candy to cute trick-or-treaters, but since we are in Italy that won't be happening.

Our plan? 
Eating sweets and watching my favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus.

What are you doing to celebrate Halloween this year?

24 Week Bumpdate

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Paris, France

How Far Along:
24 Weeks
Size of Baby:
A canteloupe
Total Weight Gain:
15 pounds
Stretch Marks:
Maternity Clothes:
Jacob has become way more active in the past week. I feel him more often and his kicks have become much stronger. His Daddy can finally feel him when he's moving around! 
No complaints 
What I miss:
Do I really need to answer this again?
Food Cravings:
None really
Food Aversions:
Occasional headaches, feet swelling, some aches and pains from all the traveling we've been doing.
What I'm Looking Forward To:
Seeing baby Jacob's Nana, G-pa and uncle next week!

Six months pregnant! My how time flies!
This past week Jacob Douglas and I traveled to Paris, and it was both wonderful and tiring.
He has now been to France twice, Austria twice, London and of course Italy. In about a week and a half we will soon be adding the USA to the list of countries that little JD has traveled to!

I am loving pregnancy right now.
It is really starting to set in that soon we will have a little person here with us, and if you read my post about living in the moment then you know that the idea of only having 3 months left until February is kind of freaking me out!

Traveling has definitely been keeping me active which is a great benefit.
When we went to Salzburg I climbed up a huge "hill" to reach the fortress that overlooks the entire city, and I can't tell you how proud I was of myself for making it up without a problem!

I mentioned that next week I will be traveling to the USA to visit my family, and I am beyond excited about it.
I really wanted to see them while I'm pregnant, so we are heading to Florida for a short visit.
My parents will be coming out to Italy shortly after little Jacob arrives, but it means a lot to me that I will get to see them at least once while he's still in my belly.

I fully plan on spending this next week resting and recuperating for our next adventure!

Afternoon tea at Ladurée

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A trip to Paris isn't complete without stopping by Ladurée.

During a recent girls trip we decided to spend our final afternoon in my favorite city at the Ladurée on the Champs-Elysées.

Although I've stopped in for macarons in the past, I've never gotten the opportunity to dine in.
Let me tell you, the experience was quite a treat. 

I believe it's important to indulge every once in a while, and what better place than in Paris?
From the pastel china to the decadent desserts, I felt completely spoiled.

I fell in love with Ladurées signature tea, Thé Mélange Ladurée.

With it's blend of rose petals, vanilla, cinnamon and orange, it was deliciously unique to any other tea I've tasted before. Pure perfection.

After a bit of relaxation and a sugar refuel we headed to the shop. Obviously we couldn't leave without purchasing some macarons. I was also able to get some of my new favorite tea to bring back home with me.

I've tried other macarons (more on that later) and nothing compares to Ladurée.
If you are ever in a city with one (especially Paris), I highly recommend stopping by. Whether it be for brunch, tea, or just to pick up some delicious pieces of heaven, it is definitely worth the price.

Living in the moment

Monday, October 28, 2013

 Can time please just slow down for a little while?

On the plane home from Paris the other night, my girlfriend Kristyn made a comment that I only had 3 more months to go. 

3 more months until baby Jacob is here.

I have to admit, in my head I had a mini freakout. 

Although it's technically a little over 3 months until my due date, it's still only 3 months until February is upon us. 

I am loving pregnancy right now, and I'm not ready to think about it coming to an end. 
I love feeling Jacob Douglas move around in my tummy.
I love my little bump. 
Knowing that there is a little person living inside of me is one of the most incredible feelings in the entire world. 

At times I can have a tendency to get too caught up in the future instead of living in the moment.

Perhaps it's because I am a planner by nature. 
Sometimes it's super helpful and useful to think ahead, but it can also prevent you from enjoying what's happening right now.

I have no doubt that this pregnancy is going to fly by, and we are going to have a third family member before we know it.

My goal for the next 3 months is to live in the moment, to soak up every single bit of this experience.

I can't slow down time, but I am going to try my hardest to enjoy every second I can.

My London Bucket List- Completed

Friday, October 25, 2013

Remember the London Bucket List that I posted before our trip in September?

Well, lets see how I did.

Find Platform 9 3/4

Our hotel happened to be right next to Kings Cross Station, the train station where you can catch a ride to Hogwarts.

Also, be sure to marry someone who you find entertaining.
It just makes life that much more fun.

Buckingham Palace

You can read all about our trip to Buckingham Palace here.


If there is a Laudree in the city I am visiting, I will find it.
London was no exception.

We visited the one inside of Harrods and stumbled across the one in Convent Gardens.

Take in a show

We went to an afternoon matinee of The Book of Mormon, and it was hilarious.
I'm so glad we picked this show, I can't imagine the both of us enjoying another musical more.

Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea
This is the only item on my bucket list that I didn't complete!
Afternoon tea just isn't something that your average guy looks forward to, and it's not just my vacation.
This simply gives me an excuse to come back another time, perhaps with my mom or girlfriends.

4 out of 5 ain't too shabby.
We had a wonderful time in London, and did some awesome things that I wouldn't have even thought to include on my list.

I am enjoying this idea of a bucket list for our various travel, and I think I'll continue the tradition in the future.

Do you make a bucket list when you travel?

Catch up on all of our London travel adventures here!

Travel to London: Things you can't miss

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

There are a few things in London that you just have to do when you visit.
They may not be the most interesting, but a trip wouldn't be complete without them.

Big Ben

Big Ben is really nothing but a giant clock, but when you put it together with the parliament buildings, you end up with some awesome architecture and a great photo.

A trip to London without a photo op in front of Big Ben just wouldn't be complete.
It's one of those things that you just have to do.

London Eye
The London Eye is a giant ferris wheel that neither Jacob nor I had any interest in going on.
We felt like a picture would suffice. 

The obligatory red photo booth picture

There is nothing that screams "tourist" more than posing for these pics, but honestly who cares?
It would be a shame to miss out on such a picture. 

Harrods is so much more than a department store.
Simply calling it a "department store" doesn't do it any justice. 
This place is unlike anything I've ever seen before.
I wish I would have taken more pictures, because I would have loved to devote an entire post to Harrods.

The designer bags, the food, the chocolate room, the toy department, Christmas World- It was all fantastic. 
Oh, and did I mention they even have a Laduree inside?

In case you missed my other Travel to London posts, you can catch up here.

My Paris Bucket List

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You've probably seen me mention the girls trip to Paris that I've been planning.

Well today is the day!

We are off to one of my favorite cities in the world at this very moment.

I've already shared some of my favorite things about Paris here, but now it's time to add to the list!

Here is my Paris Bucket List:

Macarons at Laduree
I don't think this needs much explanation.
A trip to Paris isn't complete without a visit to Laduree.

La Sainte-Chapelle
I've heard this chapel is absolutely gorgeous.
It's known for it's amazing stained glass, and it's definitely something I don't want to miss on this trip.

The Palace of Versailles
I missed out on Versailles the last time I went to Paris, and was seriously bummed about it.
This time around there will be no excuses! 
I can't wait to see how Versailles compares to the other royal residences I've seen.

A picnic in front of La Tour Eiffel 
I want more than a photo op. 
I want to really enjoy the Eiffel Tower and take in the view for a bit.
It sounds like a glorious way to relax, and I am determined to make time for it.

Pierre Herme
I want to try these famous macarons and see how they compare to my beloved Laduree.
I've heard mixed opinions on the matter, and want to make up my own mind.
Will I be team Pierre or team Laduree?

Any suggestions for our trip?

Au revior for now!

23 Week Bumpdate

Monday, October 21, 2013

Verona, Italy arena

How Far Along:
23 Weeks
Size of Baby:
A grapefruit
Total Weight Gain:
About 15 pounds
Stretch Marks:
Maternity Clothes:
He is still moving mostly in the morning and at night, but he still isn't strong enough for my husband to feel.
No complaints 
What I miss:
Wine. Always wine. 
Food Cravings:
Halloween candy is killing me.
Food Aversions:
Occasional headaches.
What I'm Looking Forward To:
Baby Jacob's movements becoming strong enough for others to feel.

I can't believe I've almost reached the six month mark.
Things have been going great, no huge changes in my pregnancy this past week.

During my 22nd week I had a doctor appointment where we went over the anatomy scan from a few weeks back.
Everything looks good and Jacob Douglas appears to be healthy.

This past week little Jacob and I have been moving and grooving around Italy.
A close friend of mine is visiting and we've been out and about traveling to nearby cities.
I've been feeling great, and definitely taking advantage of it.

Time is starting to fly by, and I know I need to figure out what baby items we need soon!

What are some must-have items for the first few months with a new baby?

Blogger Button Swap

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hey fellow bloggers! 

Anyone interested a button swap?
Leave a comment or e-mail me @ PearlsandProsecco{at}gmail{dot}com

Travel to London: Tower of London & Tower Bridge

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I didn't know much about the Tower of London prior to our visit, just that it was a top site to see. 

Well, both Jacob and I were pleasantly surprised. 

Tower of London is pretty awesome.

It is comprised of a number of different buildings, and although you are provided with a map, I would highly recommend taking the Yeoman tour, which is free with admission to the tower.

When I researched the Tower of London on TripAdvisor prior to our visit, I was a bit confused because the reviews seemed to refer to two different tours: the Yeoman tour and the Beefeater tour.
Let me just clear this up.
There is only one tour that occurs at the Tower of London.
The name of the tour is the Yeoman Warder tour, and I believe people are referring to the men who give the tour as "beefeaters."

We arrived at the Tower right before the first tour of the day began. Without partaking in the tour I don't think we would have had much of a clue as to what we were looking at, or the history of the entire place.
Also, the men who give the tours are highly entertaining with a lot of attitude.
The most important lesson I walked away with was that the Tower of London was not just a prison. It was actually only a prison for a short period of time, but of course that is the most interesting part of it's history.

Eventually we split up from the tour because there was one thing that I just had to see:
The Crown Jewels.

They are currently on display in this building, but of course pictures aren't allowed.
Since most people were still on the tour, there wasn't a line and we were able to go right in and look at everything.

The jewels are gorgeous, and really neat to see.
I would have made a trip to the Tower of London just to see them.

You can visit the various towers that make up Tower of London, and each one has a different story with different things on display.
We checked out the Torture Tower, which wasn't quite as cool as the name suggests, and the armories tower.

Right outside of the Tower of London "compound" is the Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge is often confused with London Bridge.
You know, London Bridge is falling down... Falling down... Falling down...
London Bridge is a much older and not nearly as pretty as Tower Bridge, but because in some ways it is more famous, people assume that this pretty bridge is London Bridge. 

Tower of London was definitely my second favorite site in London (right after Buckingham Palace of course). 
As always, if you are visiting I recommend arriving first thing in the morning! 
It was around lunchtime when we left, and things were starting to get crowded. 
Perhaps I just hate crowds and lines more than the average person? I will do pretty much anything to to avoid them. 

Stay tuned for more posts in my Travel to London series!

Paris: My favorite city

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

During our time here in Europe we've definitely done some traveling.

Out of all the glorious places that we have visited, one city remains my favorite.

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because in a few weeks I get to experience Paris all over again.

One of my closest friends is coming to visit, and I couldn't think of a better place for us to galavant around.
It will be her first time in this magical city, so in honor of our trip I put together a few of my favorite things about Paris.
Have you ever been to Paris?

What are a few of your favorite things about the city?

A weekend at home & what we've been up to

Monday, October 14, 2013

Last week it rained quite a bit here in northern Italia. 

I blame the weather for my lack of motivation, because last week I didn't feel like doing a single thing, including blogging.

I think that Italy, and it's surrounding countries, were just trying to get the rain out of their system so that there will be sunny days for all of my upcoming travels.
How thoughtful.

It's a three day weekend for us, and we have spent it at home relaxing.
Jacob has been hard at work making over the dresser that will become the changing table for little Jacob, which I can't wait to share with you all!

I've been tidying up the house because tomorrow one of my best friends arrives, and will be staying with us for two weeks!
I am definitely excited to finally have a girlfriend visit, and I can't wait to show her around this place that we call home.

We will be doing a good deal of traveling so there might not be posts as often as usual in these next two weeks, but I promise it's only temporary!

Travel to London: Buckingham Palace

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When visiting London there is one place that you absolutely cannot miss.
I'm not quite sure what makes Buckingham Palace so magical.
Perhaps it's because we are all so familiar with the royal family, and it's a history that a lot of us actually know a thing or two about.

When visiting major sites in any country, we have learned to always arrive first thing in the morning (when possible).
We arrived at Buckingham Palace right when it opened at 9am. The rest of the London tourists must have still been sleeping or trying to get ready for the day, because we didn't have to wait in line for more than two seconds.
We zipped right on in and began the tour of the State Rooms (the general tour of the Palace).
The inside of Buckingham Palace was really neat to see. We spotted a lot of decor that was straight from Italy, which made us laugh.
Obviously you aren't allowed to photograph the inside of the Palace (per usual), but I can say as someone who has visited more than a handful of royal residences around Europe, Buckingham Palace is very cool.
The tour ends at the back of the Palace, and it's a pretty decent walk to find your way out to the main streets again.

I desperately wanted a picture in front on the Palace.
We walked along until we came upon a giant swarm of people.
I hadn't being paying attention to the time, and didn't realize we were stumbling upon the famed changing of the guard.
We were able to find a spot with a decent view, and out of pure luck got to experience the changing of the guard.
I'm so excited that we happened to find ourselves at the front of Buckingham Palace just in time for this.
We've seen a few different changing of the guards at other places, but they don't compare to Buckingham Palace.
Everything has a price though, and with the hundreds of people around we weren't able to get the picture that I so badly wanted in front of the Palace.

So what did we decide to do?
First thing the next morning, on the last day of our trip, we trekked back out to Buckingham Palace just for some photos.

There was practically NO ONE there.
It was drizzling out, but when when I think of London I don't exactly picture awesome weather, so it didn't bother us one bit.
We had the outside of the Palace to ourselves, and it was absolutely perfect.

One of the main reasons I was so adamant about getting a picture of us in front of the Palace was because of this.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my grandma and grandpa, taken shortly after they were married, in front of Buckingham Palace. A few years ago I wrote a bit about this picture here.
This past spring my grandpa passed away, after making it to their 61st wedding anniversary.

In a perfect world Jacob would have been wearing his Air Force uniform too, but unfortunately in this day and age wearing your uniform out in public in other countries isn't allowed for safety reasons. 

I'm so happy that we were able to capture this picture.
I'm a very lucky girl to have a husband who would make another trip back to Buckingham Palace for me, just so I could get that picture. 

If you are planning a trip here, I highly recommend going early!
If I were to do it all over again I would arrive before it opens in order to take pictures out front, then take the tour of the inside. 

Buckingham Palace was definitely one of my favorite parts of our London travels!