Finally, The Weekend!

Hello Friday, I am so glad to see you! What a busy, busy week it has been for me. Work has been crazy! It seems like everyone wants everything right now. But, I am so happy it's the weekend so I can relax and enjoy my last full weekend with Anna Banana. We will be road tripping up to South Carolina for the day Saturday to see family and then checking out a new Atlanta brewery that night. It should be a fun weekend! I hope you all have fun plans ahead! See ya Monday!

xxxx

Links From This Week

Read this great article to learn how you can add some big $$ to your saving account this year.


If you ride Uber a lot, this article is worth the read.

If you haven't seen this yet (& watch the Bachelorette), you must watch it!

Don't forget, Nordstrom Rack's Clear The Rack just started. Check out all the great stuff they have at an extra 25% off! 

Two-Piece Set






Wish List Wednesday: Beach Day Musts

City Guide: Florence

Florence

The next stop on our journey, was Florence. We took the train from Rome and it was only about an hour and a half ride. We rented an apartment near Palazzo Strozzi, which is a great central location.  We got situated and then headed out to find some lunch at Mercato Centrale. This place is a huge grocery market downstairs and an eatery above. It was amazing! It was like Ponce City Market and Krog Street, but way better. They had so many different options, it was hard to decide. We walked around probably 3 times before we could decide on something. Anna and I ended up getting Lampredotto (lamb stomach) sandwiches from Il Lampredotto. They are supposedly a Florence specialty and the stand had won a bunch of awards for it. 


It was actually really good! It was pretty simple, just the meat that he cooked in a special sauce, spicy sauce, and salsa verde. I highly recommend trying this if you are ever in the area! After lunch, we picked up some groceries for breakfast and headed back to the apartment. For dinner, we decided we were going to pick up pizza and hike to the top of Piazza Michelangelo. On the way, we walked over Pointe de Vecchio and then headed for the pizza.


We got pizza from Gusta Pizza and it was amazing. The line was wrapped around the building outside, but it was worth the wait. We got the margherita pizza and a calzone and the calzone ended up being my favorite! 



The hike up to Piazza Michelangelo was a little tough after a long day of walking (& some of us almost didn't make it), but in the end the view was 100% worth it. We got to see the sunset and the city at night. It was beautiful! 

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On our second day in Florence, we started off early at The Academia Gallery to see the statue of David. I purchased us the Florence Pass (definitely recommend), so we didn't have to wait in any lines. 


David was was bigger than I could of ever imagined! He is an amazing piece of artwork and I am so grateful that I was able to see him in person. He truly was breathtaking! Next, we continued on our museum tours and went to the Uffizi Gallery. Since we had the Florence Pass, we got to skip all of the lines, which was a major time savor because those lines were long. 


The Uffizi Gallery was great and all, but if you aren't super crazy about art, I would skip it. After that, we headed to the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. I wanted to climb to the top of the Duomo, but it was Sunday and it wasn't open. However the bell tower was, so we climbed to the top and got some great views of the city and the Duomo. We also walked into the baptistry and got to see the beautiful ceiling. 





After our climb, we headed for lunch at a place called Signorvino. It sat on the Arno river, looking at the Pointe de Vecchio. We got there right before they started serving lunch, but they were so nice they went ahead and sat us at an open table outside overlooking the river. We enjoyed a long lunch filled with bread, wine, a salad, and a meat, veggie, and cheese plate. 




The food was delicious! I would definitely recommend this place, the view is just spectacular and they have a huge wine list because they are also a wine shop. Next, we headed to the Boboli Gardens. The nice thing about these gardens is that they aren't swarming with tourists and have great views of the city. It wasn't huge, so we only spent about an hour there. We got some great views and got to walk off some of our lunch!




After, we went home to relax and refreshen up before dinner. We had some wine and cheese at a little park before going to dinner at Osteria Santo Spirito


We really wanted some homemade Italian Gnocchi and they had truffle Gnocchi (truffles=life) covered in cheese. They also had pretty good reviews on Trip Advisor, so we decided to give it a try. We wanted to sit outside, but everything was reserved or had people already waiting, so they sat us upstairs. We wanted to have a long relaxing dinner, so we took our time to order everything. We started with wine and bread and just sat and talked. About an hour into our appetizers, they came over and asked if we were ready to order. We told them we were not and they said that they would need the table in about an hour. We quickly ordered and immediately the mood of our dinner changed. The food was delicious (probably best pasta of the whole trip), but the service was just terrible. If you do go here, don't have high expectations for the service. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the food. After dinner, we went and walked around the city some more. We watched the sun set from Ponte Santa Trinita and enjoyed some more wine. 


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For our last day in Florence, we had a Tuscany tour planned. I booked it through Walkabout Florence and the tour was called The Best of Tuscany in One Day. We loaded onto a coach bus and left Florence at 8:30 AM headed towards Siena. On our way, they educated us on the town and what we would be seeing. We loaded off the bus and started with a walking tour. We got to see the town center, where they were setting up for Palio, their famous horse race that they have every July. 




After our tour, we had some free time and we went and got some cappuccinos and relaxed. Our next stop was an organic vineyard, Fattoria Poggio Alloro. We got a tour of the vineyards and then enjoyed a big lunch. We ate at a long table and got to know a lot of the people from our tour. It was a lot of fun! One woman was even a writer from Hollywood! For our meal, we started out with bruschetta and then had pasta with meat sauce, a meat and cheese plate, a salad, and for desert, we got to try some biscotti's. 




Bonus...everything we ate was paired with wine! It was all so amazing and surprisingly light. Before we left, we bought some olive oil, honey, and also got a fig infused balsamic vinegar. Great souvenirs and gifts! Next, we headed to the town of San Gimignano. 




We got to explore the medieval town and Anna and I both ended up finding souvenirs! I got a black fringe clutch and Anna got a black pair of sandals. They were both so cute! Our last stop was Pisa, to see the leaning tower. 


We had about an hour here, so we went and took the traditional touristy picture with the leaning tower and then sat down and enjoyed a cannoli and some wine. 


It was a great day and I would highly recommend the tour through Walkabout Florence. Our tour guide kept things fun and was super helpful with any questions we had! Once we got back into Florence, we decided to get gelato for dinner. 


We went to Gelato Santa Trinita, where the line was wrapped around the building. It was good but no where near as good as the gelato in Rome. Overall, Florence was my favorite city of the whole trip. It is easily walkable and everyone is so friendly! I would love to go back one day and do a tour of the Tuscan vineyards. A girl can dream, right?

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

serves 4

What You Need
2 large sweet potatoes
2 cups almond flour
1 cup tapioca starch, plus more for dusting
1 TSP sea salt
1 TSP garlic powder
1 TSP baking powder
1 egg white

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375° and wash sweet potato. Pierce with fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until soft. Once cooked, set aside and let completely cool. 
2. Once cool, cut open the sweet potatoes and scrape out the insides into a medium sized bowl. Mash well. Stir in the flour, tapioca starch, salt, baking soda, and garlic powder and mix well.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Fold into the sweet potato mixture and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. After 30 minutes, dust a clean surface with tapioca starch. Roll out a handful of the chilled dough onto the surface into a thin log-like shape. Using a fork, cut the log into 1 inch pieces and flatten the top of each piece with the fork. Continue to do this until you have gone through all of the dough. Make sure to keep them spread out and on parchment paper, because they will get very sticky!!
5. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, drop about 15-20 pieces of gnocchi in at a time. Let cook for 3 minutes each batch and then remove with a slotted spoon into a strainer. 
6. After each batch has drained in the strainer, move them to a baking sheet before putting the next batch into the strainer. Once the baking sheet is filled, turn the oven onto broil and place gnocchi in for about 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn. 
7. Serve with sage cream sauce  or olive oil. Enjoy your homemade gnocchi! 

Happy Fri-yay!

Welcome to the (almost) weekend friends! This was another busy week for me, filled with appointments, follow ups, and tons of emails. It always seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, BUT I powered through and made it to Friday! Now it's time to relax and enjoy a wonderful weekend ahead. This weekend, I am going to go see the new Ghostbusters, go on a hike, and spend some time with friends. What are your plans for the weekend? Something fun I hope! 

xxxx

Links From This Week
Here is a perfect list of underrated Netflix movies for a cozy night in. 

Dinner Dish Recommendation: Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes

This is a great article about how to turn your anxiety into success.

If you're in the Atlanta area, be sure to check out this awesome sale this weekend.

Palm Tree Prints





Wish List Wednesday: Nordstrom's Sale Picks

City Guide: Rome in 48 Hours


Happy Tuesday everyone! Last weekend, I got back from the most amazing trip around Europe. I got to see some brand new places, and even visit some old ones. I had way too much gelato, pasta, bread, and cheese, but it was worth every single delicious bite! I mean, whats a trip to Italy without having gelato almost every day?? Over these next couple weeks, I will be sharing a guide for each city I visited. Now get out there and start planning your next adventure! 

Rome

We started off bright and early in Rome, Italy after a 9 hour flight. It was super hard to sleep on the plane, but I managed to get a few hours in. Once we landed, we headed to Stow Your Bags. This is a luggage storage place located near the Colosseum. We couldn't check in until the afternoon, so the ability to check our bags in and waist no time in Rome was amazing. I would highly recommend them if you are in the same dilemma as us! They even provide a taxi service, which we took from the airport to their place and you get a free stored bag when you do that. Once our bags were checked, we headed to see the Colosseum. 





What a huge, beautiful piece of Roman history! It was swarming with tourists and the lines were very long. Luckily, I pre-booked us tickets so we didn't have to wait in a very long line. We spent about an hour walking around, but it was so hot and crowded that it wasn't very enjoyable. Everyone with their audio guides (we purchased some here and they lasted about 15 minutes) kept stopping and clogging up the walk way. There were way too many people and it was way too hot! After the Colosseum, we walked by Castel St. Angelo and then headed to the Spanish Steps. Unfortunately, the Spanish Steps were being worked on so we couldn't even see more than the first couple steps. Pretty disappointing! We headed for lunch after and stumbled upon a place called Brassai. It was really cute and the service was wonderful. We got pizza and a salad and split it between the three of us. We also got some great white wine that was recommended by our server. If you are in the area, this is a quick and good place to stop. After lunch, we went to our apartment to freshen up and unpack. For dinner, we decided to go eat in the Trastevere area (where we were staying and I would definitely recommend staying here). This area is absolutely adorable and one of my favorite parts of our trip. The streets are all cobblestone and very narrow (it's hard to imagine a car driving down these roads, but they do...Italians are crazy!). It also has an American University close by, so it is filled with young Americans and a lot of English speaking people. We wandered around and decided on a place called Grazia & Graziella




They had a huge outdoor space and were packed. We luckily got the last open table! It was such a fun and lively place. We ended up ordering some Rosé, calamari, and a prosciutto, greens, and cheese plate. Everything was amazing and I highly recommended! After dinner, we walked to the Trevi Fountain. It was a 40 minute walk and I felt like we would never make it there, but once we did, it was breathtaking. We got their around 10 PM and it was still so crowded! 



Anna and I threw in some coins, made a wish, and then headed home for some much needed sleep. 

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On our second day, we headed to the Borghese Gallery. 



It was a beautiful building and if you're into art, I would recommend it. They had a café at the end and Anna and I got some iced cappuccinos. They even put whipped cream and coco powder on top! They were delicious and 100% needed after our flight yesterday. After the museum, we headed towards Vatican City. We stopped at a sandwich place on the way called Duecento Gradi. If you are in the area and need a quick lunch, this is a place worth checking out. They have so many sandwich options that you just can't go wrong with any of them. Then, we headed to Vatican City. We didn't have to wait long to get into the Vatican, because I had pre-booked us tickets. We wandered around the museum, the Sistine Chapel, climbed to the top of St. Peter's, and walked around St. Peter's square.





 It was a really cool place to see! I would definitely recommend climbing to the top of St. Peter's, because you get some great views of the Basilica and the city. Then, we headed home to freshen up for dinner. We went back to Trastevere, to a wine and cheese spot we passed the night before. It was called La Prosciutteria and if you get the chance, you definitely need to go there. 



I mean, just look at that cheeseboard! It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! It was filled with eggplant, prosciutto, salami, roast beef, bread, spreads, tomatoes, olives, and different types of cheese. They also had a house white wine for 9 euros a bottle and it was very good! The place doesn't have too much seating, but we grabbed the one little table they had outside. It was a great place for people watching! After dinner, we headed out for some Italian gelato. We went to Frigidarium and it was hands down the most amazing gelato from the whole trip (unfortunately I didn't get a picture). I even got mine dipped in chocolate! The line was wrapped around outside the store, but it was completely worth it! Overall, Rome was a beautiful city with the nicest people! Would I go back again? Probably not, but it is definitely a good place to experience once in your life and 2 days was just enough.