read ‘em and eat

broken breakfast

It was a sort of busy week. I am now working my standard hours at the job but I did some extra tutoring lessons this week and am attempting to get back to more regular blogging, exercise and set aside time for working on my dissertation, Italian and creative projects. On the last three nothing has happened of late (oops). On the exercise I did a Jillian Michaels video on Wednesday and walked like an old lady for the rest of the week. Remind me not to not do Jillian Michaels for a few months again!

I feel it takes a couple of weeks to work into a routine anyway and it is just about testing and changing. Do you have any tips for settling your routine quickly?


This made me giggle.

You don’t have to tick a box.

I could move into Darwin’s House.

How about signing up to Decorator’s Notebook’s newsletter and giving a notebook to a child in need?

Maybe if I can’t find a vintage portrait I might get some more contemporary pieces. Like from Elizabeth Mayville or Clare Elsaesser

Instagrammer to follow: Need a bit of calm in your life? You know how I love a feed which is consistent and @michellelouise__ is doing it with perfect simplicity.

EAT >>>

On Friday we had one of Tim’s tutees around for dinner. Man is it nerve wracking cooking for an Italian! So of course it was probably the worst meal I have made in ages! A dry main and a baking disaster.

The baking disaster was an attempt at what I dubbed ‘a deconstructed autumnal Victoria sponge with an Italian twist’. Perhaps this is where I went wrong. I basically wanted to make sponge cupcakes with a plum sauce and marscapone (because you can’t buy double cream in Italy, or at least that I have found). I used a combination of this recipe and this one but swapped the flours for spelt and buckwheat. I don’t know if it was the ingredient combination or the fact that baking in a gas oven is really hard but the ‘sponge’ was more crispy in texture and broke when I took it out the pan. It still tasted quite good and there were enough ‘good pieces’ to give to our guest without being totally mortified.

I had the leftovers for breakfast!


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Wow I can’t believe how many people took part in our September #1day12pics. It was so great to see. Do head over to some of the other people who took part too.

I didn’t have a perfect ‘per hour’ day but the sentiment was still there. It was mostly pretty relaxed with not much happening in the morning, then heading out for coffee, grabbing something to eat from a street market that had popped up and then heading up to the mountains for a lovely long walk. I finished the day off doing some lettering and making a poster of my new daily motto.

I did try to work a theme of shapes but it did feel a bit forced so although some did reflect it I don’t think the theme was as helpful this month as it has previously been for me. I really need to come up with a theme before hand rather than deciding what it is after the second picture!

read ‘em and eat

kranz dal ciocolato from Dal Mas Pasticerria in Venice

This week was mostly about working at my new job. I am working some extra hours to start as some things need to get done before the kids roll in on Tuesday. It is really great been back in an environment where I actually get to speak to people every day (Tim aside). I am looking forward to getting into more of a routine though once the school year relaxes into ‘normality’ (whatever that is).

Yesterday we went to the Venice Film Festival which is where this breakfast shot is taken. Need to work on food photography that is taken while eaten while walking to catch a waterbus.


READ ‘EM >>>

No ‘real’ reading this week. Hopefully I will get back into my Gabriel Garcia Marquez book this week.

EAT >>>

Generally the first thing I know do when I arrive in Venice (okay this is only the second time I have done it, but still) is turn left out the station, walk for about 5 minutes and on your right you will find a, likely busy, Pasticerria called Dal Mas. Inside order a kranz dal ciocolato. You pay by weight and it is a little pricey. One of these bad boys rocks in at about €4.50 to €5.00 but they are good! Like seriously good. We ate ours at the Vaperetto stop waiting for a waterbus to the LIdo before 10 in the morning and it did keep me going until we had dinner at 7pm.

read ‘em and eat

read em and eat - a grapefruit for breakfast

A simple one for a busy week.

I started my new job and so far so good. In fact, it is probably the best first week of a job I’ve ever had because on Thursday the new ‘recruits’ (an annual occurrence at an international school is the slew of new starters) were taken wine tasting over the border in Slovenia! So the week also included lots of socialising with new friends to be and trips to Ikea (because you never pass up a trip to Ikea) and of course getting into the tasks with my new job.

A new challenge for me is now working out again how to have a regular blogging schedule while working (although I am still incredibly lucky that I will only be working part-time)

READ ‘EM >>>

No offline reading this week as I was mostly working, drinking local wines, eating copious amounts of cheese, making an evening trip to Ikea and wondering how I was only able to eat 3 gelati this week (which I tell you is a massive downturn from my summer average)!

EAT >>>

Have you ever been to The Wolsely for breakfast? If you order the grapefruit it comes in a silver bowl filled with ice and already segmented so you don’t embarrass yourself in such a fine establishment by squirting juice into your neighbour’s eye at the next table. This morning was a much simpler affair with me squirting juice all over the place but boy I love a good grapefruit. I feel my life might be improved by the purchase of a grapefruit spoon. My mom had one when I was a child, but I can’t say I have seen them in shops as an adult. Have you?

read ‘em and eat

This week Tim and I headed to Milan. It was a pretty great city despite most everyone seemingly being away for ‘ferie’ (holidays). We did a bit of shopping and spent lots of time in museums (we are such dorks). Also I start work tomorrow which is pretty exciting. Although Tim doesn’t start for another week which means getting out of bed might still be a bit of a struggle.

Anyway, here is some linky love …


In real life I am reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale. I’ve read several of his books and it is so interesting to read how so many of his own life events have made their way into his beautiful story telling. I would suggest reading some of his books before diving into this but it is a beautiful insight into my favourite writer. We picked up a kindle bundle of all his books for £30 odd which works out about £2 a book which isn’t too bad so I am slowly making my way through them all.

EAT >>>

This Sunday after a week of eating out loads (days away and new staff starting at the school), lots of gelato (always) and a bit too much wine I thought I would start this morning off with something light and healthy. A massive bowl of watermelon. Summer don’t leave!

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After my interiors post a little while back, I thought I would share a few interior bits of our flat. Firstly to show myself that it isn’t all that bad but also to share what the reality of living in an Italian rental is and also perhaps get advice from any of my interior style mavin friends out there. So please chip in.

I had planned on sharing a post with you on the whole lounge and what I have done in it but there are a few extra bits I wanted to do first, so today I am just highlighting a little corner.

When you have a whole flat to bring into the 21st century, a plethora of dated and/or clunky furniture and no magical pot of gold to solve your problems it can get a little frustrating. I am not a huge fan of these shelves and how they are laid out (why leave such a tiny gap between them); also just to the right is another cupboard which overlaps marginally on the top shelf. That said I really like how I have decorated them and started to add personal touches to the adjacent wall. The only new things on the shelf are the watercolour of Dubrovnik, which we picked up for €5 from an artist positioned on the city walls, and the wooden houses, which are from a local shop. I want to get more of those, they are sold by weight and work out at about €3 each.

What this spot has helped me realise in practise is that just styling something nicely makes a difference. Who knew? And also that by doing little bits over time adds up. I’ve decided I am going to make or buy something new each month, September I think will be a big print for another wall in the lounge.