Pack Your Bags and Break Out the Passports!


Morning! :mrgreen:

Crazy Bachelorette last night! Thoughts?

Adios Weatherman, love Cape Cod, LOVE Frank, Kasey is a lunatic and, for Heaven’s sake, why do these men keep singing?! And why can’t they see the general look of horror on Allie’s face when they do?? And why can’t we see more of Roberto?!?!  ;)

Ohhh, at any rate, I had an awesome breakfast this morning – Cherry Almond Oatmeal! 


In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • Couple drops of almond extract
  • Cherries!
  • Sliced almonds


I’m in love!! Cherry + almond = bliss :)


Sweet and flavorful, juicy and crunchy. This was top notch.


Someone asked me if I used a cherry pitter for my cherries – I actually just cut them in half and pop the pit right out. It’s pretty easy!


Lunch is pretty well rounded, me thinks. 

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A cup of sweet, crispy red grapes. You know my phobia of squishy/overripe fruit? That extends to grapes as well, so I have to pick them off the vine before packing to make sure there aren’t any soft ones that make it through. I know.

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A cup of creamy, cold cottage cheese. I am so shocked by how many people hate cottage cheese! I grew up eating the best stuff from a local dairy, so maybe that’s why I like it so much…although I am interested in this “whipped” cottage cheese several of you talked about!


A turkey sammie. :)


That’s a thin bun with cheddar cheese, roasted turkey breast and dijon mustard.


All together now!

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In other news, break out the passports – last night Ben and I booked a trip to…


I cannot TELL you how excited I am!!!! Italy has been on my dying to go list for as long as I can remember, and we’ll be heading there for 10 days this Fall! Half our time will be spent in Rome…


and the other half on the spectacular Amalfi Coast (which I’ve been obsessed with since Diane Lane followed her Italian lover to Positano in Under the Tuscan Sun!!)


Wheeee!!!! I cannot wait for gelato, wine, pasta, the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, pasta, wine, gelato, the Mediterannean Sea, gelato, wine and pasta!!!!!! I’ll be asking for all your input and must-see hot spots before we go. In the meantime, I can’t wait to PLAN!! I’m such a planner. :D

Ahhh – it’s nice to have something to look forward to!

On that note – have a great Tuesday everyone!


What’s on your “dying to go” list? What sparked your interest in that particular place?

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  1. Mellissa 06.15.2010

    I am doing a recap of Italy right now on my blog. We got married there and spent 2 and a half weeks there last June :)

  2. Italy is so exciting! I’d love to go there or Greece!

  3. Daisy 06.15.2010

    Thanks for your thoughts on the Bachelorette men! I knew we’d see eye to eye. ;) SO EXCITED for you and this amazing trip you just booked. I’ve forever wanted to visit both locations in Italy, as well as the Island of Capri. Happy Planning!!!

  4. Bridget Miller 06.15.2010

    OH.MYY.GOSH!! I just spent 4 months in Rome right before Christmas. YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE! Oh my goodness…. I am so envious and so darn excited for you! If you’d like to borrow any of my books on Italy or chat sometime, I’d be more than happy to! I actually work at Meredith, as well (that sounds creepy, but its just that I’ve seen you around the building a few times, thats how I know you work here too!) I have so many suggestions for food and places to see in Rome and on the Amalfi coast – many of them are on my blog. SO exciting.

    Have a wonderful day!

  5. Bridget 06.15.2010

    Congratulations! You will love it so much and I can’t wait to hear about it! I’ve been to Venice, Florence, and Milan and would highly recommend all three. SO exciting!

  6. Kait 06.15.2010

    I’m so jealous!!! My roommate is in Italy right now nannying for the summer…she is getting paid to live in/travel Italy and she says its incredible. You are going to have a great time!

  7. Kelsey 06.15.2010

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do yourself a favor and take at least a night to stay in FLORENCE! It is the most beautiful city and I easily could have just picked up my life and moved in. Can’t wait to hear about all the planning!!

  8. lauramich 06.15.2010

    Enjoy Italy! My husband’s father took him and his brother to Florence back in November 2008, and I was so jealous! Even though J. was actually not that excited about the trip (!), he was in awe of all of the art and architecture.

    My own “dying to see” list consists mostly of taking my husband to places that I visited or lived as a child, before he was in my life—Virginia Beach (where I grew up for the first 10 years of my life); Hawaii; Washington, D.C. I’d also love to go back to Spain, where I spent a summer as an undergrad. As for new places, well, I’ve just finished reading Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life and Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris, and I’ve just started Julia Child’s My Life in France, so I’d have to say that Paris is pretty high on the list. :) Oh, and the UK—London, the English countryside, Ireland. So, pretty boring and Euro-centric!

    About those grapes and cottage cheese—have you tried eating them together? That’s one of my favorite snacks, especially with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.

  9. This is so awesome. It’s also on my dying to go list. I can’t wait to read about it when the time comes!

  10. Teresa @ vinogals 06.15.2010

    I am LOVING the Bachelorette this season. To the point that I dread the end of each episode. Is that sad to admit? Frank did himself no favors by interrupting Kasey before the big “reveal”. When will Allie find out?

    Italy is awesome. You are going to have a blast!! Cheers!

  11. Laura 06.15.2010

    Wait… you like Frank!?! I think he is just as big of a lunatic as Kasey. Cape Cod is my pic… he is the only guy that I think is real! Roberto is too smoothe for me! I can’t believe I am actually discussing the Bachlorette on a blog… I guess you can tell my hubby won’t talk to to me about the show! Italy, wow I am jealous! That is fo sho on my to-do list!

  12. Jess 06.15.2010

    Italy was on my dying to go list and my husband and I went for New Years! It was amazing! There are a couple of recaps on my blog if you want to check them out. Rome is absolutely amazing! Next up, Paris and London in September. After that I’d love to go to Spain, Germany, pretty much all over Europe.

  13. Andrea 06.15.2010

    I’m so jealous… I loved Italy when I was there and really want to go back.

  14. Emily 06.15.2010

    Greece is number one on my life – I just love every single picture I’ve ever seen…blue waters, white buildings.
    And I also want to go to Spain one day.

  15. Carrie 06.15.2010

    I went to Italy my senior year of college and spent most of my time in Florence and Rome with stops in Pisa and other places that I’m blanking on. It was so great, and the gelato! Oh, the gelato! So many flavors!

    I’m not sure if there’s any place I’m dying to go–I’m just dying to travel as much as possible. Greece and Cairo/Egypt are pretty high on the list right now, though.

  16. I got married in Sorrento and visited Rome while we were there, it was amazing! I’m so jealous, wish I was going back! If you go to Sorrento make sure you visit the little monstary – its beautiful and just a short walk from the top of the cliffs with the most amazing views x

  17. I’m dying to go to Australia and China and Korea. I have great friends from these places and they look so beautiful. They are on our bucket list of places to travel. But it will be great since we have friends that want to play tour guide with us.

    You’ll love Rome. I went while in college on break and had the best pizza and gelato ever there!

  18. Jaclyn 06.15.2010

    Kasey is Kreepy….and I’m glad weatherman is finally gone. I’m liking Chris L. (I think it’s L….the one who’s mother passed away). He’s sweet. To be honest, they’re all atleast partially crazy to want to do this to begin with – they don’t actually know this girl, yet all convinced you should marry her.

    Oh well…you just have to abandon logic & rational thinking when watching realitvy shows. I can handle that ;).

  19. LAURYN 06.15.2010

    Ok first off…IM SOOO JEALOUS that you are going to Italy!!! How fun girl!!! Anyways your thoughst on the bachelorette was HILARIOUS and MINE EXACTLY!! LOVE cape cod chris and love frank!!! I could see her with both..and if one more guy picks up a dang gituar…im gonna be like REALLLY!!!??? lol….kinda suprised she let jesse go instead of crazy kasey…oh boy lol…have a great day girl that oatmeal looks delish!

  20. Stormy 06.15.2010

    My husband and I spent our honeymoon there and by FAR my favorite place was Sorrento. You will love it! And find the Restaurante Delfino. It was by far the absolute best meal I had in all of Italy. We meet the owner’s son (Luigee!) on the train into the city and he convinced us to go. He was just coming home from soccer practice, about 16, and showed up toward the end of dinner cleaned up with a tray of Limoncello on the house! If I ever get to go back to Italy, I would spend my entire stay on the coast. The view of both the ocean and the mountains is something only us landlocked folks can truly appreciate! I am truly so jealous!!

  21. Ashley 06.15.2010

    Oh how amazing! Italy is definitely a place that is on my place to visit! :). What a great thing to look forward to!

    Kasey needs to go! I’m glad the weatherman is gone, and like you I’m loving Chris L. (Cape Cod). Oh and Frank too! Not a fan of Justin, he’s creepy! :).

    Have a great day!

  22. Katie 06.15.2010

    Those oats look fantastic! I’m obsessed with overnight oats these days. Oh, and I love cottage cheese. I think it may be the thing I miss most since I had to stop eating dairy.

    I’m in Iowa, too, by the way. On the east side. ;)

  23. Beth @ bethcooks 06.15.2010

    I am SOO jealous!! We want to go to Italy and Greece for our honeymoon….but who knows when that will be! You’re gonna have the best time. Drink some wine for me :)

  24. Dream Mom 06.15.2010

    Italy sounds fabulous! I’ve never been there but would love to go. I’d love to go to Bora Bora.

    As for the Bachelor, don’t like Frank at all, doesn’t seem very sexual, I guess. I still pull for Justin, just because he’s a hottie, lol!

  25. Jessica 06.15.2010

    I loved Italy, it was one of my favorite places. I was also on the Amalfi coast for a couple days and its beautiful. Make sure to hike around cinque terre! Rome is fantastic (the ruins and the Sistine chapel are awesome), but I highly recommend Florence and Siena, if you have the time, they are beautiful and highly walkable.

  26. sarah 06.15.2010

    so exciting! i am going to italy for 10 days in a month!!! ahh! i will be in florence for a week and rome for 3 days!

  27. sharon weaver 06.15.2010

    Lucky you, i’m also going to Italy, in August. I will be staying with a student who stayed with me in San Diego. She lives near Bologna and since i will be with her for two weeks, i’ve requested to see Venice and Tuscany. Oh and the coast for sure. I land in Milan so will be seeing it also. Enjoy…..

  28. Julie S. 06.15.2010

    Congrats on the trip! Wow! Soooo jealous! :)

    LOVE Roberto!!! Like Chris L. too. My daughter & I were LOL during the rose ceremony cocktail party when Kasey was telling Alli that he’d been a little over the top on their date & that he was dialing it back now… yeah…

  29. Kelsey 06.15.2010

    OMG!!! I completely agree…Kasey is a creeper!!! what in the world was he thinking getting a tattoo??? If I hear him say “I’m here to protect and guard your heart” ONE MORE TIME, I think I might scream!!! haha…

    Roberto was my pick from day one…I think they are cute together and definitely have the most natural chemistry. :)

  30. My dying to do list is nothing but travel realted. I want to see so much of Europe, see more of my own country (Canada) and the states. A camping road trip would be the ideal all over North America. And I’m talking tent camping, not camper or anything like that. Just the car and a tent and a map, good times.

  31. Alaina 06.15.2010

    You are so lucky! I just got back from a four-month study abroad in Florence, and I was also able to travel around to many other cities…Venice, Rome, Verona, Cinque Terre, Bologna, Sorrento, Capri….Rome is such a fun place to visit and the whole Amalfi Coast is INCREDIBLE. You will have such a blast.

    I’m one of the cottage cheese haters…I recently gave it another chance, but it’s just too weird. Can’t do it.

  32. Dawn 06.15.2010

    My Daughter and I think Ali should just pick Roberto and everyone else should go home. Kasey is a stalker in the making and very freaky! OMG!! STRANGE. What is “protect heart” and all that weirdness? EWWWWW!!! CREEPY!!!

    Italy, love. We are jealous! We love Under the Tuscan Sun and watch it often! “Follow the flower”! ;-) Diane Lane is awesome in all her movies.

    Have a great day!

  33. Kristin 06.15.2010

    I went to Rome while studying abroad and would LOVE to see more of Italy–so jealous! You will become obsessed and want to live there. :) You should definitely read Eat, Pray, Love now!!! Have fun planning–my fave part :D

    • Dawn 06.15.2010

      I actually listened to Eat Pray Love on CD and it was by the author, it was awesome that way!

  34. Lainie 06.15.2010

    How Exciting for you.. I will have to live vicariously through you and your posts during your trip.. LOL.. But Italy is definitely one of my top 10 places I would love to go. :O)

    Whipped Cottage Cheese.. I tried it yesterday and it was awesome! I simply scooped cottage cheese into a blender added a little milk to get it to whip up!… Awesome. My husband loved it and so did I. I can finally say I enjoyed CC. It tasted like a lighter cream cheese/sour cream.. I used it on my taco instead of regular cheese.. :o)

    Enjoy your day!

  35. Maura 06.15.2010

    I agree with Kristin! Definitely read Eat, Pray, Love! It will get you so excited for your trip to Italy!! In other news, Kasey…CREEP ALERT…Does anyone else think this guy came out of nowhere? I mean, a tattoo? Seriously? He will forever be Krazy Kasey in Bachelorland. I’m partial to Kirk & Chris L!! Roberto is a little too Rico Suave for me…

  36. Jen 06.15.2010


    I just had a question regarding your oatmeal. I absolutely LOATHE bananas, and I would like to skip them in making oatmeal. Is there anything that could take their place, and make the oats just as tasty? Usually I just make the oats sans banana, but with milk instead of water. Yours always looks way better, though.

    Thanks! Congrats on the upcoming trip to Italy! How cool!

  37. Jessica Lee 06.15.2010

    seriously, just blend cottage cheese and a fruit and maybe a little sweetener and i swear it’s like cheesecake!!

    i’d like to go to asia. sure i was born there but i moved when i was 1. now i want to go back and learn more.

  38. Oh, wow! How fun! Italy and Greece are on my must go to list….I also want to go back to London to spend some time! I would spend my life traveling if I could!

  39. I JUST spent 10 days in Italy in May! O M G, to die for. I cannot wait to go back! We did Venice, Florence, Cinque Terrre (heaven on earth), Rome and the Amalfi Coast. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! We had a bad experience in Rome (we were robbed!!! so we only stayed there 2 days instead of the original 4 we had planned). The Amalfi coast is amazing. We did Sorrento, Capri and Pompeii. Sorrento is GREAT and so beautiful. I can recommend a really nice hotel there that is an excellent price!

    Ahhh I’m so jealous. I was JUST there and I think about it and want to go back every day!

    PS: Here is my blog recap of the part of the time in Italy!!:

    • PS: If you CAN fit in Cinque Terre, which I’m not sure you can because it’s a 5-hour train ride north of Rome, BUT if you can DO IT! It was by far my most favourite place that we went in ALL of Europe!!! :)

      Can’t wait to hear about your trip planning! Planning a trip is so fun!

  40. midgetkeeper 06.15.2010

    How exciting, I am dying to go to Italy. Some day.

  41. Lauren 06.15.2010

    Since you love to walk, I’d make time for the Borghese Gardens on the north side of Rome. It’s a beautiful park, and the Borghese Galleria (museum, reservations required) is one of my favorites in all of Italy! I lived in Florence three years ago, and loved every minute of it. You are going to have a blast :)

  42. Corinne 06.15.2010

    wellllll ITALY is on my list of places I am dying to go to! and Greece :) cannot wait to see the plans unfold!

  43. Theresa O'Brien 06.15.2010

    I am so excited for you going to Italy! I am actually booking my trip to Italy today! I just talked to my boss this morning to confirm the vacation time! I am going to Florence and around Northern Italy in August with my best friend! Can’t wait.

    I lived in Rome for 6 weeks for summer school in college, you will love it! Let me know if you need any tips! Rick Steves has a great website too :)

    Also, your breakfast looks amazing! I love fresh berries!

  44. Jen 06.15.2010

    Ahhh! I am leaving for Rome in exactly 2 weeks and 1 day for 8 days with the boyfriend! I am beyond psyched!!!

  45. Bree 06.15.2010

    Wow – congrats! You will love Italy. I was there in high school but I could go for some more gelato :)

  46. K 06.15.2010

    I spent a month in Italy a few years back, AMAZING!
    By far my fav was Florence. Rome was cool, but if I were you – I’d try to do 1/2 the time in Florence, more laid back by far.
    The almafi cost, soooo cool! I stayed in Sorento and traveled to Pompeii, Napals, Capri.
    All the areas in the wine regions are amazing too – i’m drawing a blank to the province in which Florence is… but the entire area was beautiful.
    You’ll love it!
    I think I did gelato a few times a day at some points ;)

  47. Jenny 06.15.2010

    I am dying to take the Trans-Siberian railroad from west to east Russia and dive with great whites in South Africa!

  48. Lauren 06.15.2010

    OMG I am so excited but super jealous of your Italy trip. We planned to go to Italy this year but it never happened because of so many unexpected things. Now we are buying a house so it looks like it won’t be happening for awhile! :( Oh well, I’m so pumped for you!!!!

  49. sassy molassy 06.15.2010

    First off, that almond/cherry oatmeal combo sounds divine. Secondly, ITALY is going to be amazing. My next dream location is: Greece (like in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). I just love the beautiful houses along the ocean. Magical looking. I haven’t been to the Almafi Coast, but have heard good things. There is so much to see in Rome. And the food…TDF.

  50. Daniela 06.15.2010

    Congratulations that is AWESOME! I went to Italy years ago, and I agree that Florence is AMAZING! I also really liked the Piazza Navona in Rome. I love to travel, so I would love to go back to italy, paris, spain, greece, germany, bahamas…just about anywhere :)

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