Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Vacation

I'm back!  I've, so far, have had a fantastic holiday.  I go back to school on Monday, and I'm going to spend my last few days of break resting, hanging out with my family, writing thank-you-notes, and eating.  Because it's not a holiday if you're not eating, I always say.  My mama is making baked mac and cheese on New Year's Eve, per the request of Will and me, along with some hotdogs.

Will and I have extraordinarily elegant tastes, no?

Wow, this post is so easy to type.  My fingers are just flying.... everything's so natural... why would that be?  Oh yes.  Because guess what Santa left under the tree for little old me?  A new laptop.  You've heard me moan about the mostly-broken nature of my Dell, and I am now a proud owner of a 13 inch MacBook Pro.  I strongly recommend this exact computer to, well, anyone.  And I'm lucky to have my big brother here to help me set it all up.  He's a computer whiz, that fellow.

Our stay in Tuscany was bellissima.  The most beautiful place I've ever seen!  It was a villa on an olive farm, and we got to see an olive oil factory.

Now that I know how they make supermarket olive oil compared to the real stuff, I don't think I will ever want to use Bertolli ever, ever again.

I'll have some pictures of the whole shebang for you later, but for now I must go to sleep.  The villa was a little dusty, and Pasta and Waffles is highly allergic to dust mites.  Because of this, I've been snuffling, sneezing, and coughing all week, and it will probably take a few days to get all of this out of my lungs and for my skin to quit itching.  But I don't really care, because, overall, the trip was amazing.

I hope you all had a great Christmas as well, and I'll get back to you soon.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas, dear readers!  I hope your day is merry and bright, I hope your fellowship with family and friends is rich and fulfilling, and that you set your heart on the miraculous truth of the coming of our Savior as a real, humble, and yet perfect baby boy who was fully man and yet fully God.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 (Isaiah 9:6 ESV)

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
 (Luke 2:9-14 ESV)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Here are some little "blurbs" so I can check the blog post block off on my completely non-existent checklist.

This is (probably) my last blog post until after Christmas.  I might pre-set a post to go up on the 25th, but this is my last one for now.  I want to enjoy time with my family and I have to pack for our Christmas destination!

Speaking of our Christmas destination; I hate to say it.  When I say it, it sounds like I'm bragging and trying to stick my nose up in the air... but I'm not.  I know y'all are going to ask and I know I'll have to post about it eventually.....  I'm going to a villa in Tuscany for Christmas.  THERE.  I SAID IT.

I just bought an awesome camel coat because it's been really cold here.  A few days after my purchase?  It got so warm I could walk around in a t-shirt.  Welcome to my world.

Have I mentioned my BROTHER IS HERE WITH US?!?!  I'm so excited I can barely stand it.  It's amazing how quickly we went back to just being our normal four-piece-puzzle... it's like he never left.

I want to go to no college more than Covenant College, where my brother attends.  I love it so.

I've reached twenty followers!  Thank you guys so much.  I really appreciate y'all.  I never thought that in the span of a few months I would have twenty followers...  I love you guys.

I guess that's it for now, folks.

Happy Christmas!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Heavy on the pictures, light on the words

A dusting of snow started falling in mid-afternoon...

A few flakes here, a few flakes there...

Melting almost as soon as it landed

Second by second, the sprinkling got stronger

Faster and faster, it really started coming down

Piling on the ground...

Making a home on the flowers

The day it snowed in Bella Roma

It snowed on Friday, and I know I'm late on posting about it!  But Will is finally back and I've been under the weather, so I've just now gotten around to it.  

I was so excited about the snow, and I stood on the balcony for a really long time snapping shots.  I hope it happens again!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The title "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas" would be too cliche, I think

Hi everyone!  I know I've been a bad blogger lately, but I have good reason.  It's half academic and half me not having anything important to say..... with a dash of me not taking pictures this week.

I figured y'all didn't want play-by-plays of my every day life, so I just held off for a while.  But I have some great, great news.

Tonight and tomorrow morning, it's supposed to SNOW!  The white, cold, frosty stuff that falls on the ground in beautiful, sparkling masses is supposed to grace Rome with its presence tomorrow, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I don't know how I'll ever sleep... I'll just be running to the window every 4.2 minutes to see if the sky is falling yet.

It's been cold enough here; it might as well snow.  I went to the store today and wore a scarf, a hat, a cozy leather (pleather) jacket, leggings under my jeans, boots, and gloves and I was still really, really cold.

Really.  Do they make nose warmers?  Because nothing covers my nose and it went numb for a little while.  You could have sucker-punched me right in the sniffer and I wouldn't have even noticed.

If it does snow enough tomorrow to be visible on the ground, I'm going to rush outside in the cold just for you and take some pictures.  I'm more excited than the average teen would be about this, but remember, I haven't seen snow since I was five or six.

I know all of you who are buried in snow right now are laughing and shaking your heads, but I'm just to thrilled to notice.  Perhaps you can send me some of your snow?  Thank you kindly.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Letters to the world

I am taking a quick study break to say hello.  All of the books I've read on studying well say that you should stop intermittently to do something enjoyable for a few minutes, so this is what I've chosen.  I like you guys that much.

Dear neighbors upstairs,

You were doing fabulously for a while, but I think your toddler must have found the pots and pans, which he likes to bang repeatedly on your floor, which is my ceiling.  And that's all I have to say about that.


Dear weather,

I love you.  You make my heart happy.  I love that when I go to take the trash out across the street and up a ways, I have to put on a hat and a coat and a scarf.  I've never been so happy about weather in my life.

With much love,

Dear Dell,

Stop making computers.

No really, I mean it,

Dear Geometry,

Though at times you confuse me, you still often amuse me, and I loveth you better than algebra of old.  I like to draw squares, and triangles, and lines, it's better than algebra, by twofold.
Stay beautiful,

Friday, December 10, 2010

Very Stylish Girls- My Secret Weapon


To steal this button for your own blog, use this code:

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And if any of you can help me out with my tech problems... I used to be able to make the buttons with the grab box below, but all of a sudden it stopped working.  If you have any ways to help me just email me at


There's no end to the amount of style related things I could talk about.  Hair, makeup, shoes, etc.  But today, I'm going to give you a tip.

It's an amazing product, and one you've most likely heard of.  It works magic, and can be used for so many different purposes.  What is this product?

That's right, Vaseline.  I absolutely can't live without the stuff.  I'm going to list some of it's thousands of uses!

1.  I use it as an eye makeup remover.  I once heard of a girl who went to a makeup factory and saw the bins where they kept the eye makeup remover.  She said that every few months they had to change them out because of corrosion!  Ever since, I can't make myself use eye makeup remover.  I just put a dot on my eye and lightly, with my ring finger, blend it around my eyes and my lid to remove the makeup.

2.  Rub it on your feet every night, put some socks on, and voila!  Soft feet!

3.  If you have dry spots on your skin, put a dab of Vaseline on it.  The spot will be moisturized in no time.

4.  I rarely buy clear lip gloss, because Vaseline is perfect for that.  It's very shiny and stays on fairly well, and it's intensely moisturizing.

5.  If you coat your eyelashes with it every night, they will grow.  I've been doing it for quite some time now, and they're noticeably fuller and longer.

6.  Soften your cuticles.  Rub a bit of this around your fingernails and your cuticles and nail beds will thank you.

7.  Put on the edge of a q-tip to precisely wipe away bits of extraneous eye-shadow fall-out.

8.  Clear up eye-liner mistakes with a bit of this on a q-tip.

9.  I've used a very thin coat of this as a base for a fake bruise I did on my arm once.  I let it absorb a bit, and it held the makeup on my arm very well.  If it's just wet Vaseline, it will smudge it all.

10.  Lip scrubs.  Mix with sugar, salt, and honey and scrub your lips.  They'll be soft and smooth in seconds. Just don't eat it.  Please.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  I always have a tub of this, and it lasts for quite a while.

What's your beauty secret weapon?

This is real, this is me, I'm.... really hoping I didn't scare you away

Ok, everyone.  In case that last post caused you to think that I'm possibly not a very strange, scatterbrained nut, then let me tell you.


Here is a list of very strange things about me.  I admit them freely.  Don't judge me.

  • Today, I was boiling eggs.  I forgot about the eggs.  Enter the kitchen who-knows-how-long later, look at pot.  Wrinkle brow.  Tilt head.  "Why is there no water in the...."  Run to turn off the stove.  I cooked the eggs so long that all the water evaporated.  I don't know how they'll taste, but we all know I'm eating them anyway.  I'm on a boiled eggs kick right now.  
  • Today, I spent twenty minutes or so on Picnik seeing what I would look like with other hair colors by using the highlight action under touch-ups.  I'd make a pretty good red-head.  Blonde?  Notsomuch.  Pink?  Forget about it.
  • Earlier this week, I gave directions to a neighbor who needed to know how to get to a certain jewelry store that I had just been near the previous day.  Let's just say these directions involved sentences such as "um, ok, cross the street and turn left at the statue of that one guy with the cane" and "turn down the street by the booths.  You know, the touristy ones."  
  • I was combing my hair this morning and I screamed.  Why?  Well let me give you the back story.  This summer, somehow, my hair basically turned black.  It was so, so, so dark, very much like my brother's.  Mom let me buy a subtle highlight kit so now my hair has a little dimension and lightness, which I need because I looked a little goth because my skin is so pale.  WELL.  I forgot that I highlighted it, so when I was combing, I noticed I have highlight roots, which looks weird.  The top part of my head is dark and it fades into these subtle highlights.  And the highlights that I buy I can only purchase in Naples at the military base.  Which is two hours away.
  • This morning, I forgot to eat breakfast until noon.  Threw off my whole eating schedule.  You see, the forgetfulness is a pattern with me.  It's a harsh reality, folks.
  • For two nights in a row I've had a dream that I have the same camera as my brother.  It's awesome.  But it's really boring if you think about it because all I do is take pictures of pink pansies.  PINK. PANSIES.  
  • I have a lot of nightmares.  The pink pansies are definitely a step up from Nazi-Burglar-Terrorists.
  • I'm not a very organized person, but for some reason when it comes to the kitchen while I'm in the middle of baking, I have to clean as I go.  It's very odd.
  • I know three different versions of "Baby, It's Cold Outside," (four including the one that's my own style) and, yes, I have attempted singing both the male and female parts by myself.  
  • My parents have just arrived back in Italy, and there were two nights I spent on my own in between the time Lisa left and today.  Don't worry, it's perfectly safe and we have neighbors who know me and who check on me, etc.  But I would like to admit, here, that yesterday I was feeling really quite sick and after about twenty minutes of groaning on the couch while watching Elf, I realized I was totally talking to myself.
And that's not even the half of it.

Welcome to my head.  There are emergency exits to your right and left.  We advise that you please make use of them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Never Alone

Elizabeth sits in the middle of the carpet in the living room.  "Mom?  Can I watch some TV while you make dinner?"

"Sure, honey.  Thirty minutes only."

Elizabeth grips the remote in her fingers and out of habit turns to channel 33: Disney channel.  She puts the remote down again after adjusting the volume, and picks up her stuffed animal and begins to play, only half-heartedly watching the show.  Background noise is always nice when taking Mr.CuddleWuddles to the "vet."  As she wraps a Hello Kitty band-aid around his paw, she looks up at the TV.  There she sees Zack, from the famous Suite Life of Zack and Cody, talking to a girl his age.  Suddenly, he kisses her!

Elizabeth wrinkles her eyebrows, thinking with all her might.  She whispers to herself, "He's two years older than me..."  Suddenly her mom calls her for supper and she hops up, pretty much forgetting whatever she just saw.

Flash forward two years.  She's sitting in class, gazing longingly at Jonah Croft.  He's such a dreamboat....

The bell rings for recess and the class runs outside.  She's been planning this for at least three days.  She watches Jonah separate from his friends momentarily to pick up a dodgeball that went bouncing off the black-top.  She shyly walks up to him, pushes her hair behind one ear, and smiles nervously as she holds out a flower.

"I picked this for you."

Jonah lifts one eyebrow and steps back. "What the heck?"

"I picked a flower for you, Jonah!  I kind of... kind of like you."

"Gross!!" Jonah promptly runs to the other side of the playground.  Elizabeth stands still for a moment, reeling.  She had seen this played out the other day on Nickelodeon!  Why didn't it work out that way?  She slowly walks into the empty classroom, and sits at her desk.  Then, the tears come.


Why did I tell this story?  Because Elizabeth and I are two very similar people.  The facts of her story are fiction, but the essence is very, very true.  This story is simple and short, but it is simply to set up my post.  I am writing this because I know I'm not the only one who suffers from this affliction.  I am not the only one.

I am not the only one who has felt that they need a boy in their life.

This is not something that I am ashamed of, and that's why I'm posting about it today.  Ever since I was little, that's been one of my crosses to bear.  The only reason I'm posting about this now is because slowly, very slowly, I'm overcoming it.

I know there are several young ladies who read this blog, and this is for you.  The chances are pretty high that you've felt this way before, because a lot of girls do.  This is a departure from my usual posting style, but I felt strongly pulled to write about this today.

From the beginning, we girls are constantly inundated with these messages.  Shows intended for children show eleven-year-olds dating.  Ads show women wrapped up in the arms of some hunk just because they wore a certain perfume or pair of jeans.  Teens on the street are open with their affection, almost to the point of rudeness.  Romantic comedies are popped out of the Hollywood oven faster than any other kind.  Songs spout that love and romance is the "teenage dream."

So who's surprised?  Is it any wonder that many teenage girls struggle with feeling as if they need a boy in their life, without really knowing why?  It's not just boys that are adversely affected by the media drenched in seduction and provocativeness.  It hurts girls too.  Not in the same way, but it gives girls a false idea of what they need.  It not only causes body image issues, which is a whole different post altogether, but it causes girls to feel as if they need someone, and they do everything they can to make sure it happens.

I am sixteen years old.  I have made a choice to wait until I'm in college to start the whole "courting" process, but it's not that simple.  You can't simply lift your hands in the air and yell, "I QUIT!" and expect to be left alone.  No, boys won't stop asking just because you don't accept, and the desire for having someone to cherish you is not just a switch you can flip.

So what do you do?  You sheathe your heart in God's word, and trust his will for you.  You have to know that he is the one who will love you for eternity, and remind yourself that there is no better lot than that one.  We girls are tempted to sit and listen to sad songs and cry our confusion and sorrow away, but try to sit down  for a while, read your Bible, and wrap yourself with the promises that God has made for us.  Instead of drowning in what you do not have, steep yourself in thanksgiving for the wonderful life you've been given and the glorious time you have as a young woman to build your relationship with God.

Do not despair.  God knows you, he knows what you can handle, and he has planned your life in order to fulfill his perfect, beautiful purpose.  If he has a husband intended for you, than this husband is exactly what you need.  If you act through the lens of the relationship you've built in your youth, when you finally meet the man for you, you will know.  Why would you choose a shabby, contrived fling in your youth, when you can wait for the Lord to carry a man to you who is just what you need?

Also, I find that it helps me to pray for my future husband, whoever he may be.  I pray that he grows closer to the Lord every day, and that he becomes a strong, wise man so that he will love me like Christ loves the Church. I pray every night for him, whether I've met him already or will meet him in years to come.  And I just talk to God about my struggles and my praises, and the closer I draw to him, the farther away my loneliness goes.

It is not a quick fix, and I still have problems with questioning and feeling alone.  But, through it all, I can trust that God is truly all I need.

If you like, you can leave me an anonymous message on my question box in the sidebar, and I would be so happy to pray for you.

Never Alone- Barlow Girl  (This song exactly expresses what I mean.)

"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds."

--Psalms 147:3

"The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and He drove out the enemy from before you, and said, 'Destroy!'"

--Deuteronomy 33:27

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 
--1 John 4:16


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas in Italy

Twinkling lights like golden embers
I always look forward to Decembers
Shimmers strung all down the lane
Blooming, burning like a flame

Cheeks aglow and heart on fire
Step by step, my soul lifts higher
Skillful street-players playing their music
My footsteps match the beat, be it slow or quick

Painters and dancers and singers and more
Window-shopping is never a chore
Staring into shops while a violinist plays
"La Vie en Rose" and my whole body sways

The streets in Italy are flooded with people
Around every corner rises a steeple
Walk in any church and you will find a scene
A scene of Nativity, surrounded with green

Christmas in Italy is pleasant and sweet
Getting broad smiles from storekeepers you meet
Bright lights and people, cold air in the street
Christmas in Italy is magic, so sweet.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I make up for the pizza with all the walking

Today was Lisa's last day here, so we went out and crammed in as much as we could.  I also managed to get a Christmas present for someone in my family.... this is a new record for me in non-procrastination regarding Christmas gift-giving.  Round of applause, please.

Thank you.

These pictures are from yesterday.  I'll post the ones from today later... I'm too lazy exhausted to work on those photos at the moment.  We went to Trastevere, which is the place where the "real" Romans live, and it's beautiful  We went to the Jewish Quarter first, and then to the best pizzeria in all of Italy.  I take all of my visitors there for the artichoke and mozzarella on foccacia pizza. You heard me right.  It's delicious.

To get to Trastevere, we have to cross the most beautiful bridge, the Ponte Garibaldi, that spans over the Tiber.

We really like trying to be fancy photographers.  Obviously.  But Lisa's camera gives me camera jealousy... I just have a measly point and shoot.  (Though for a point and shoot, it rocks off both my socks. 12.1 megapixels of hot pink brilliance.)

Scooting on over to the bakery, we noshed on some pizza.  And when we were at the Jewish Quarter, where I take all my visitors as well, we took pictures of this fountain.

There's a very interesting story behind it, actually.  A young man was gambling with a duke, who happened to be his future father-in-law.  The young man wagered everything, and lost it all, including his fiancĂ©e.  He was terribly upset, but quick on his feet.  He bet the duke that if he could put up a fountain in the piazza by morning, the duke would have to give everything back to him.  The duke, of course, laughed in his face and agreed, because who can make and install a fountain overnight?  Little did he know that the man had already had a fountain made and ready to install, and simply had his men put it in a few days earlier than they had planned.  Tricky, tricky.  So, boy gets money, estate, and girl, and duke gets... a new fountain.  The end.

Lastly, I'd like to leave you with a photo of the Teatro di San Marcellus.  It's a beautiful theater, but get this:  it's rumored that Sofia Loren herself owns this apartment.....

Quite neat, is it not?  I would have been more excited if it had been previously owned by Audrey Hepburn.  But a girl can only dream...

Until next time, my friends.


Monday, December 6, 2010


Gookies:  [gook-ees] - noun:  Magically delicious gingerbread cookies.

Lisa and I made gookies yesterday, and they are delightful.  We decorated them, albeit unprofessionally, and had a blast.  We aren't too adept with the frosting, if you ask me.  Well... Lisa is.  I'm not.

It ain't pretty, folks, but it's real.  It's who I am.

Accept me, though I haven't a lick of talent in the frosting department.  I do have talent in the licking frosting department, but that's a different story.

Basket weaves and polka dots.  You know, the classics.

It's a cookie!  With a heart-like object!  And a tic-tac-toe board!

This reads: "Rull Naaz."  You had to be there.

This is my "gingerbread man".....

....And this is Lisa's.  Which is more convincing?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lisa- in Pictures!

My friend Lisa is here staying with me, as you know, and she's just a doll for doing so because she's getting married on New Year's Eve!  That's right, she's tying the knot in a mere 25 days, but she sacrificed her time to stay with me.  That's love, everyone.  We met in Hawaii at my church, and she also met her fiance in Hawaii.  Now, she's here with me and we've been having a BLAST!

First thing, we went to the Trevi Fountain at night....

Second, we went to the Colosseum, where we looked around and acted a little bit silly.

Do not enter!

We look a little bit craz.... um, I mean happy!

The next day, we went to the Spanish steps....

And of course we window-shopped all the way down famous Via Del Corso.....

Apparently we also smelled some chestnuts roasting on an open-faced grill.
We went to the Piazza del Popolo and made each other laugh, per usual.

After deciding we were in danger of hypothermia, we stopped in for a coffee at a cafe.  I then remembered that Italians apparently make really thick, yummy hot chocolate, so we ordered that instead.

Good call.

Next day, we went in the Pantheon.

And later, I told Lisa how much I LOVE makeup.... so she let me use her as a model!  She's very photogenic, no?  I took all these pictures just in case I ever need a portfolio if I decide to be a makeup artist, which is always on the table.

For the style above, she wanted something dark, and I added a pop of purple and pink to make it fun.

For this next one, I designed it based on a holiday party, so it's green and shimmery.
And this next one was more vintage with thick liner and red lips.  This was her favorite of the three!

We also went to Florence.  We have both decided we would die to live there!
Happy Lisa!

Amazing street chalk.

The Christmas lights were up!

I was rolling my eyes because there were two people next to me PDA-ing.  That's Italy for you.

The weather was crisp and the river was STUNNING!

Waffles covered in chocolate. 'Nuff said.

Obviously, we take a lot of pictures.  All of these are courtesy of Lisa's amazing camera, but we took turns snapping the shots.  I've got some more coming up later, stay tuned.