Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas Ho..Ho..Ho..!!

Wishing you a great time with your beloved ones on this special occasion.
May happiness, hope and peace fill your hearts...


Saturday, 15 December 2012

Broken hearts...in a broken world

My thought at the moment: how can we still celebrate Christmas and the New Year in this broken world??

Good bye little angels...

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The irresistible Torrone

Yesterday, I just had a chance to go downtown and have a look at the Christmas market which lasts until the Christmas Eve. I didn't begin to do Christmas shopping yet, am I in delay?? Well, among the stands, I was attracted by those of Christmas sweets, beautiful hats and handmade objects for home decorations.

I stopped by the stand of torrone, a Christmas sweet made of egg white, honey and sugar and is normally assorted with almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc. Years ago I didn't like it much as I found it too sweet and sticky, but I don't know how come I began to like it! These are various kinds of the interesting torrone.

I finally decided to get a piece of the torrone with candied fruits. I'm addicted to those fruits!!

Before leaving, I got some nice decorations from the stand of a group of Piacenza for ONLUS. They would be gifts for some friends ☺

Have a happy shopping everyone!!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

December...the month of idea hunting!

Most of you may be hunting for gifts, decorations, food or any kinds of creativity for the Christmas time. Don't we usually feel happy and hyperactive in the month of December? I'm the one who loves the cute and personalised gadgets, accessories and outfits. I've seen many lovely things, from creative Christmas trees, to various ways of gift wrapping, and I just wanna share these ideas with you 。◕‿◕。

All the pictures of fabulous things you are seeing below belong to La Piccola Bottega Delle Idee

 And all the cuties below belong to Oh Joy!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand

This morning I couldn't help smiling when I logged in my Facebook page. I saw a lot of pictures of my family and friends, dressing up their children in Thai costumes, and bringing them to "Loy Krathong". My little nephew looked so smart in his traditional costume. What is Loy Krathong??? The words don't give any hints, eh?

Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand in the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar. It usually takes place in November in the western calendar. The word "Loy" means "to float" and "Krathong" refers to a lotus-shaped floating container, usually made of the trunk and the leaves of banana trees. A candle, 3 incenses and some flowers are inserted inside this container. They also produce krathong in styrofoam but people are invited to perfer the biodegradable ones. I'm thinking back in the old time when I and classmates created krathong in the class and we brought our krathong to float in a river with family in the evening. The atmosphere was always beautiful and enjoyable. Many locations or villages give out prizes for the most beautiful Kragthong and/or organise Beauty Contests too.

Source: http://loykrathong-sukhothiai.blogspot.it/
The picture above shows the stunning atmosphere of various beautiful Krathong in the Chao-phraya river, in front of the most important temple of Bangkok: "Wat Pra Kaew".

Source: http://www.thaihealth.or.th/node/11748

Why we float the krathong? It has been told to be an ancient ritual to pay respect to the river spirits and to thank the Goddess of water (as water is essential to our life). People also claimed that floating the krathong symbolizes letting go of all one's hatred and anger. Some of them cut the fingernails or hair and place the clippings on the krathong as a symbol of letting go of negative thoughts.

Source: http://travel.kapook.com/view49972.html

Thai ladies in traditional costumes are floating their krathong in a canal. Fireworks are used in many cities to make a spectacular celebration too. Go visit Thailand in the month of November and you will be able to enjoy this experience ;)

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A mochi made my day

I really really missed the Japanese mochi a lot, so when I found it for sale I immediately grabbed a pack! Some of you may not know what I'm talking about. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake, commonly consumed during the New Year, made of glutinous rice pounded and molded into round shape. There're various assortments, I love all of them but this time I fuond the green tea flavoured ones. I'm going to show you a picture of the preparation of traditional mochi below.

Source: http://honoluluweekly.com/food-box/2009/12/pounding-in-the-new-year/
Japanese mochi is well-known and eaten in Thailand too. Italian people might not like these kinds of dessert much, seeing from my family, they don't like any kinds of our sweet made of glutinous rice.

And above are the green tea mochi I've enjoyed a lot ^^ They were very tender and delicate, just as I was looking for! Now see how I rendered them more perfect ^^

Nothing would have been more genius than accompanying them by a cup of hot green tea (never add sugar in the green tea!!!). They really made my day 。◕‿◕。

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A world of Chocolate ♥

Last Saturday, a wonderful event took place in a town near our living zone. Actually they organised it once a year. Chocolate lovers absolutely cannot miss this appointment because I'm talking about "Chocolandia", a huge market where you can find so many fabulous forms of sweets made of chocolate! The vendors come from different places in Italy and they offer you particular home-made sweets.

I, hubby and our son arrived there in late afternoon, the busiest time perhaps, and we slipped into the crowd. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to take more pictures because I didn't want to obstruct the path. Below are some pictures of those delights.

The highlight of the event was the 215-metre long "Salame di Cioccolato", the special recipe of chocolate in salame shape to be sliced, produced by the local community. I didn't know how to capture the lenght and the clear image of the salame at the same time, also because it was well covered for the hygiene. What I got is just below.

And what you're going to see is the favorite one of my son. "Frittella" with nutella: a kind of hot and fried pastry, covered with white sugar and stuffed with nutella! What more would he want?

Not only it was the best chance to try numerous styles of chocolate and to see rare sweets and items , it was also the best occasion to buy beautiful, creative and yummy Christmas presents for your friends and family ◕‿◕

Friday, 16 November 2012

European attitude towards sanitary masks (what a title!)

This post might sound weird to you, but I really have had some discussions on this argument with Thai and Italian friends all these years. The temperature at the moment is changing a lot in few days and it means that we've more chances to catch a cold.

I think all of you have a picture of Asian (especially Japanese) people wearing sanitary masks on the street, in the subway train or any other public locations, even in the manga! Many many years back, when I was a child, we didn't have this habit in Thailand yet. But slowly Thai people, especially in an over-crowded city like Bangkok, have adopted this method from the Japaneses. Some are wearing the mask just to protect themselves from the air pollution. But the point is that it has become a kind of sensibleness wearing it in a public location when you have a cold and/or a cough. I admit that I don't know how much this action can prevent from spreading the viruses in the air, but I believe it can reduce at least up to 50%.

Why am I talking about this?? Well, it repeats each year that students in a classroom get sick one by one, and many times this circle goes on and on. I just mentioned with my son that it would help a lot if the sick mates wore sanitary masks...and as I imagined, he cried out loud "Oh, no! You'll be laughed at for sure if you do it!" I knew no one wears a sanitary mask for this reason in Italy, so I wasn't serious saying that. Even my husband, my in-laws or myself would do that! People will watch you in a very negative way as if you're a disgusting person and you'll want to disappear immediately! However, this's a bit sad in my opinion.

I once asked my Thai friend, who has been living here for more than 20 years, what she thought about this. She laughed and said "You already know, dear. Should we dare wearing a mask and go out? No, people will only think that you're terribly sick and they'll be afraid to stay near you but they don't recognise that it's better for themselves if a sick one wears a mask." I do agree with her.

As if this's the problem of the moment of the Asians in Europe, I noticed one friend who lives in Germany posting his status on Facebook about this argument. Another friend in Spain commented on his status...we're all thinking the same thing. Incredible!

I've an evident example of an Italian guy who got panicked by the sanitary mask....I'm talking about a person who is very very close to me. When I, my hubby and my son visited Bangkok, we always went out to enjoy life the most. We always saw some people here and there wearing the sanitary masks, such as in a huge shopping mall, in a park, in any spacious buildings and open-air, my hubby never had any reaction....until once when we stepped into the Sky Train, the door closed and in front of us we found two young ladies with the mask on their faces. I suddenly got a sensation that something was wrong with my hubby. After 2 stations, we got off the train and my poor hubby began to show panic on his face. I knew well what he thought, so I told him not to be that dramatic, and that he instead had to thank the girls because they use the mask. Although I understood his reaction, I just couldn't help making him changing the idea. I hope he won't get frightened any more the next time we go to Bangkok! He'll still see people with the masks anywhere.

After this, I don't expect Italian people to wear sanitary mask or to change their idea. I just wanted to emphasize how Asian and European people see things so differently. It's all normal, I'm against no one however!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Some suggestions for a good read!

Picture taken from http://jlipnickas.blogspot.it/

The October writing contest I participated (see the last post) was over and the result is here.

"Congratulations!" to the winners.

Their essays are really great. However I'm enjoying reading one by one.

I feel like sharing them with you. Every article is superb. You'll have a lot of fun and useful details.

Here is the list of all entries.


I hope they're going to organise other writing contests. Although it's hard for me as English isn't my mother tongue, I enjoyed it and it's great to get to know other expats.

Monday, 5 November 2012

I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

I somehow got involved in the initiatives of the Expats Blog, a blog that gathers numerous bloggers living or working abroad. I'm glad to get to know the blog as its staff is organising many interesting challenges. We, expat bloggers world-wide, are sharing our funny and emotional experience. I enjoy reading their posts a lot because I can learn many new things at second hand.

When I was invited to participate the writing contest, I didn't hesitate to join it as I love writing and this offers me a chance to make experience. I'm not expecting much just because English isn't my mother tongue, and I don't think I'm that good at writing neither. The thing that counts is that I love writing! However, I'm keeping my fingers crossed... ◕‿◕

I'd like to invite you to read my article. The contest just began and the winner will be announced on 10th Saturday. If you like it, please leave me a comment ♥

Find my article here.

From Thailand to Italy

With love,

Sunday, 4 November 2012

How I amend a dry chicken breast

I don't know if this problem occurs in every house, but when I buy a grilled chicken, no one picks up the breast part! I don't ofen buy one but when I don't have time to cook or when I run out of ideas for dinner, I end up buying a grilled chicken!!! (Obviously not for my husband who's vegetarian!) Well, the poor and pale meat of chicken breast is always there...but I'm not that desparate because I've a very juicy dressing for it, and here we go...

Yes, I'm going to introduce you some of my other top ingredients (you can see my top ingredients in previous posts): mint leaves, coriander leaves and shallot. Italian people say that the coriander leaves smell like a bug but my husband don't say so. He loves its scent (maybe he has to!!!)

This's a very Thai way to dress meat. All you need is a handful of mint leaves, another handful of coriander ones, half (or as much as you like) shallot, 1-2 red chillies, a piece of lime or lemon, 1 table spoon of fish sauce (or a little bit of salt) and 1 tea spoon of sugar.

Slice the dry and tasteless grilled meat that no one wants to eat and place it on a dish. Chop the shallot, mint and coriander leaves and chillies and put them in a small bowl. Add the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice in the bowl and mix them well. Now the hot, spicy, colourful and aromatic dressing is ready! Pour it on top of the sliced chicken breast and here you are....

The result is: a new dish of juicy and tasty chicken you will love 。◕‿◕。

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween surprise...with my interview!!!

H A P P Y  H A L L O W E E N ! ! !

Prepared for a trick-or-treat??

This funny tradition is now very practised in Italy and Thailand too!

I've seen many pictures of my friends' kids in costume this morning when I accessed to Facebook.

But...I'm going to treat you with an article ;-)

Go visit this link if you're curious


See you then!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

If you love my blog, please check out ;-)

I've got a surprising e-mail informing that my blog was selected to the nomination for the Expat Blog Awards 2012 organized by http://www.expatsblog.com/

If you enjoy reading my blog, please kindly leave me a comment. I'd appreciate it a lot ;)

Just click here

Living in Italy

A BIG thank and a hug,

Monday, 15 October 2012

Conversations with Italian people about Buddhism

Several times, Italian people I met talked to me and asked me about my religion, for this reason, I got the idea to write about it. I find it very positive that they (Christians) have shown their interests towards a non-Christian and are curious to learn my point of view. Once in a waiting room, a priest introduced himself to me and asked if I would like to exchange some ideas about my religion...and I did say yes, why not?

The first question they all asked me is: "How do you Buddhists most look so peaceful and composed while we (Christians) tend to be nervous and rather frightened? I gave them my own perspective; that I live the religion as a philosophy of life. "There's no need for temples...our own brain and our own heart is our temple...", cited by His Holiness Dalai Lama, is my way of living. I had been taught to see things beyound its appearance and to keep in mind the "middle path" as the best way of living. Certainly it's not that easy to practice in real life but I really feel grateful for my family to have been cultivating these teachings into me.

I'm also convinced that our mental force is very important. A strong mind makes a strong person. Meditation is a very good practice for our mind. Nowadays, many people world-wide are interested in this Buddhist art. (for me it's an art!) My husband too has been eager to learn this art in these few years. He has read many books and tried it somehow in his way. I realised only when I became adult that the meditation lessons in primary and secondary schools were very helpful. Stillness, concentration and patience are very important virtues. These are the discipline which I'm trying to teach my son, hoping that he might have absorbed a little bit of my character.

Another question people often asked me is: "Do you ever consider converting to Christianity so that you, your husband and your son belong to the same belief?" I don't think I need to simply because we're a very united family. Different relegions doesn't impede us to live a happy life. On the contrary, I consider it a fortune because my son will learn that people from different nations, different beliefs, different cultures...can live together without problems. We only need to respect each other. I accompany my family to the Christian church and my family goes to the Buddhist temple with me when we visit Thailand. In the conclusion, I find such a balance in family life this way.

My son in front of the Pagoda of Wat Arun temple, Bangkok

Thursday, 20 September 2012

My other top ingredients: black & white sesame seeds!!

Who of you loves the sesame seeds? I'm addicted to them! Unfortunately in the past period I had to quit having them in order not to aggravate my hay fever. Just a week ago I began to use them a little bit. I usually roast them and put them in my salad bowl (together the grated fresh ginger they are irresistible). Moreover, I often cook chicken with the sesame seeds. I prefer mixing the black and white ones because they present better and it's too hard to see when the black ones are roasted enough. When the white ones become brown then the black ones are ready too.

The sesame seeds are not only decorative and aromatic, but they are also very healthy. Sesame seeds help reduce blood cholesterol. They are a good source of calcium and contain a high amount of antioxidant phytic acid. The nutrients of sesame seeds are better absorbed if they're ground or roasted before consumption.

Today I'd like to introduce you one of my quick, easy and yummy recipe of spinach and sesame seeds. All you need is: about 500g. of spinach, 1 onion, 2 spoons of olive oil, 1 tea spoon of sesame oil, 1-2 spoons of Japanese soy sauce, a little bit of salt and a handful of black & white sesame seeds.

- Firstly, roast the sesame seeds in a small pan until they get brown and let out the fragrance.

- In a large pan, warm the olive oil, put the sliced onion and after some minutes, put the spinach little by little. Mix them well and let them cook for about 10 minutes.

- Then add the sesame oil, the soy sauce and a little bit of salt. Stir well.

- They're ready, serve the yummy spinach in a plate adding the roasted sesame seeds on top.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

My top ingredients: Thai basil, chillies and garlic

I'm back with a hot & spicy tip ;) There're some ingredients I must keep in my kitchen such as chillies, garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, Thai basil leaves, coriander leaves, black & white sesame, curry powder and limes. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, I'm able to grow many Thai plants. Some days ago, I was watching the TV program "Masterchef Junior Australia", I felt proud to see the kids using Thai basil, which is my favorite herb!

The combination of garlic, chillies and Thai basil is superb. They're great with meat, fishes, seafood, eggplant, pasta, spaghetti, in a few words they fit well with what you want! In these days I had many Thai basil leaves and chilies to use, so I've been cooking everything with them each day. Believe me, they're delicious and digestive.

For this plate, I simply stir-fried a little bit of chopped garlic and small cattlefishes with a spoon of olive oil. Then I added the Thai basil leaves and sliced chillies and continued to stir-fry for some minutes. I added a spoon of fish sauce (you can replace it with salt) and served them with Thai jasmine rice. Very easy but superb!

This's fine for vegetarians. I stir-fried chopped garlic, Thai basil and chillies with beans, mushrooms and Jasmine rice. Adding some soy sauce makes the rice tasty and brown.

These are all for now. I'll be back with some more ingredients ;)

Friday, 27 July 2012

Visiting Thailand in 2.54 minutes

This's too cool and I just have to share!!
Thanks to my friend Som who found it out...
and a big applause for the video's creator
Bangkok is always my paradise (despite its chaos)

Please enjoy....

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A cool beverage & nutrient snack

These are my beverage and snack at the moment: Iced Ginger Juice with honey and Bruschette (roasted bread rounds) with Linseeds. The ginger juice is very digestive and the bruschette are rich in fiber and Omega-3. They're great for your afternoon break in summer time ;-)

Saturday, 26 May 2012

The difference that makes sense

I'm not particularly a fan of Lady Gaga but I watch her performances with pleasure. As any worldwide famous public figures, she's always got many compliments and complaints. For her eccentricity, people talk about her in both positive and negative ways. Yesterday she was performing a big live concert at Bangkok. I've read that she felt very happy that Thai people welcomed her a lot and that she felt embraced. As you may know, some muslim and buddhist countries banned her performance. She might have been a bit surprised of how Thailand treated her.

As I mentioned before, I don't feel a particular sympathy towards her but I have nothing against her either. I somehow like some of her phrases. When she has an interview, I think she says things that make sense. Her odd ways of dressing and acting may get beyond the substance.

This post has something to do with my previous one. The "normality" I meant wasn't the way people always get used to. Sometimes we should dare to be different.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The sense of normality

It's too easy to lose the sense of normality. We often think what we're used to do/see or what many people are doing/seeing is normal. If others do it, you should do it too so you're considered "normal". On the other hand, you want to act differently but you feel ashamed or you're afraid of what people will think about you, so you end up with doing like others. I don't like this concept at all. I'm the one who loves reflecting and giving value to things by myself and caring less about others' comments. However, it's not that easy because you want to avoid complications or bad experiences, so you just agree with others.

This isn't intended to be a complaint, but I just would like to persuade all of us to question ourselves more often if what is considered normal is "really" normal. The world is becoming weird, more people are going insane, isn't this perhaps because we're losing the true sense of normality?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

My all-time favorite book

It looks like I've abandoned my blog for a while....I'm, at the moment, devouring the books I've bought some time ago and I'm not quite in the mood of writing ;-P

Among those books, there's one which I'd like to suggest you. It was my favorite book when I was about 10, and it's still one of my most favorite ever! I read and reread and reread it for several times when I was a child. I was so glad to find it in Italian language and I didn't hesitate a bit to get it for my son. And I wasn't wrong, he's enjoying the book very much. I, too, am reading it once again, this time in Italian version. Some of you might have read it already. It's suitable for all ages; since the youngest to the oldest in your family! And the book is....


The Italian title is: Totto-chan la bambina alla finestra.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Silence is a voice
perceived not by ears but soul
potential and strong

(my tentative to write an haiku)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Colorful low-fat muffins! (Why not baking them to celebrate Carnival?)

Tomorrow it's carnival! We normally don't do much on carnival, we don't disguise ourselves except our kid who goes to school in costume. We also brought him to see some funny parades; however we've never been to a famous one like the Venetian one yet. I just learnt that the word "carnevale" means "farewell to meat". Some years I helped my mom-in-law making the classical carnival fried pastry called "Frittelle" or "Chiacchiere" or "Bugie".

Two days ago, I baked some of my-styled muffins. Then I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea proposing them in the occasion of the carnival celebration too. My muffins are not the same muffins you know because I replaced butter with low-fat white yogurt for the reason that all my family members could have them without worring much about their health and weight! They came out to be very light and not less yummy than those made of butter. I decided to make some with cocoa powder and the few with matcha green-tea powder. I love every food with green-tea flavour such as spaghetti, ice-cream and cakes. How I adore its scent and taste!

This's my recipe. 
(I measured everything by the cup of yogurt)
1 cup of low-fat white yogurt
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3 eggs
1 cup of vegetable oil
4 tea spoons of baking powder
1 1/2 table spoons of matche (green-tea) powder
2 table spoons of cocoa powder
sugar grains and tails for topping decorations

Before baking

1. I used 2 large bowls where I put half of sifted flour and baking powder.
2. I added the cocoa powder into one bowl and the matcha powder into another bowl. I mixed the ingredients well.
3. In a large bowl I whisked the yogurt with sugar, then I added eggs and vegetable oil and I mixed them well.
4. I united half of the well-mixed wet ingredients to the bowl with cocoa powder and then I mixed them very well until it became smooth. As well I poured another half of wet mixture into the bowl with matcha powder and mixed well.
5. I filled the mixture into muffin-sized containers for oven. At last, I put the sugar grains and tails on top.
6. I baked them for about 18 min. at 180°c.

The final result!
Have a great time on Carnival!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Friendship between the lines - Part II

In my life, I've had many great experiences towards people through letters. I can say that I've met extraordinary people by correspondence. This might not convince all of you, but as my first-handed experience, I found that through letters I've learnt to know each person deeply and sincerely. Something is difficult to say directly in person but when you put it on a sheet of paper, you feel you can express it more fluently and openly. I've got that sensation; that you feel less fear or less embarrassment to show who you are, what you like, what you think, etc.

After many years of correspondences, I began to lose contact with some of them while others have strengthened a beautiful friendship. For the latter, we talked about our life, our plans, and sometimes we asked for a piece of advice. They've been just like close friends. By the way, as we became older, each of us have lots to do in life, so we're not writing that much but we never forget to send a greeting card on holidays. Occasionally we up-date our news such as sending a wedding photo!

One of my great experience was meeting a penpal by person after so many letters! She lives near Venice. After my marriage with my Italian boyfriend and my moving to live in Italy, I visited her very soon. Thinking back now, many funny things came up in my mind. She's become one best friend of mine. We visited each other when it was possible. The last time we spent a little bit of time together was last summer.

Another extraordinary penpal I've ever got is my very first Finnish penfriend. We knew each other when we both were two girls. After 20 years we're still keeping in touch, even if we don't write often as before but we're still thinking of each other. This's one of the simple little things that is special to me.

My destiny must have wanted me to know great people from the distance. I felt I was always lucky in having nice correspondences, but that was not enough! One day I got contact from one person, we began to write to each other, we kept learning each other...until one day we decided to marry each other. I support the saying that "we can meet people everywhere and by any method".

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Friendship between the lines - Part I

When I was around 13-14 years old, my English teacher suggested one way to practise writing and comprehension skills to the class; that was finding international penpals. The idea interested me since then! I suddenly subscribed to the postal database for penpals. Nowadays, you certainly don't have to move yourself anywhere, you should find so many on-line services for the same purpose. Twenty years ago you had to register your info filling out a paper form. However, it had its fascination. When you get something too quickly and too easily, you might not enjoy it enough. You lose some feeling but sometimes you don't even realise you've missed it. Anyway, the new generations may not feel any pity missing that kind of feeling...simply because they've never known it.

I was so enthusiastic that I picked up 3 or 4 penpals at one time, each from different countires. I wrote my first letters introducing myself, telling my physical aspect, my interests, my favorite songs and movies, etc. After mailing them, I waited each day a reply. I knew it took time...but it seemed too much time. Finally one day after school my mom showed me an envelop with foreign stamps...wow...it was such an exciting thing for me at that time! The first girl who sent me the reply was from Finland. She told her name, her date of birth and she talked about her school and her living place. I still remember her first letter and her handwriting. I didn't wait too much to write her the 2nd letter and then we began to exchange our photos.

A little bit later, I got the reply from another girl. She was German. I remember her first letter and her handwriting too. Slowly the number of my penpals increased. I began to receive new contacts, we swapped small friendship books; kind of sheets strappled together which one began to sign and send to another and after a long trip around the world the last person signing on them sent them back to the initiators...aftera long time they get back to the owners. For years I've had totally 10 penpals to whom I kept writing and tightening the friendship. I spent my weekly wages from my parents on stamps!

Monday, 6 February 2012

And the real winter began!

Since the past week we began to have a real sense of winter here in Italy, or at least in my living zone. We didn't have any snow during Christmas holidays and some of us already thought we were safe from a hard work of ploughing snow...eh? They were wrong, snow didn't visit us before but it only got some delay. And since a couple of days ago, we realised that we weren't safe from a real winter at all as the temperature began to go down and down. Finally we're living a freezing week of -10°c and even below!! I sincerely don't love cold weather even a bit but when it's time..it's time! Awwwwww....is this the beginning of the famous 2012 profecy?? Let's cross the fingers ;)

This morning when my boy went to school, I saw a very lovely scene and I couldn't help catching a picutre. Don't you think it's a perfect one for the month of "love"?

                                                ♥ Happy Valentine's Day in advance

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Waffles...and my first green-tea flavoured whipped cream!

First of all, who has known that yesterday (23 Jan.) was the Chinese New Year's Day?? The Chinese new year starts with the new moon on the first day of the year. This year is the year of Dragon, according to the Chinese calendar! (Last year it was rabbit year) The Chineses believe that Dragon (my Chinese Zodiac sign) is the symbol of power and prosperity, so we should expect a better year. Well, there's no bad point expecting a better year, so why don't we do so?

This's the prediction of the year 2012:
"Expect this to be a very energetic year, filled with optimism, power and entrepreneurship. This year is of water dragon which means that even the most powerful will give a patient hearing to the weaker, and will try to see through their point of view, better alliances and decision will take place."

Now let's talk about my waffles!!! I mentioned in a post in December that I got a waffle maker. Then I've used it a couple of times. Last Saturday my son asked if I could make some waffles again...and they were done!! :) He loves them with chocolate chips. Guess what came into my mind about a matching topping! One of my friend brought me a sachet of green tea powder when she came to visit me. A green-tea flavoured whipped cream sounds great on top of waffles! You know, I never made fresh whipped cream before. The result was; the taste was incredibly good...but please don't give importance to the aspect...ahahaha!! As in the picture below, it had an ugly shape. I may be going to buy a right tool to shape a beautiful whipped cream topping.

And now...I'm proud to present my home-made Waffles (with chocolate chips assortment) and my very first Green - Tea flavoured Whipped Cream!

To do the waffles, I followed the recipe of Two Good Eggs (a breakfast blog), a nice and creative  breakfast blog I'm following. Here's the recipe:

Ingredients for waffles:
1 1/2 - cups flour
4 - teaspoons baking powder
1/2 - teaspoon salt
3 - teaspoons sugar
2 - eggs (separate yolks from whites)
1/2 - cup butter (melted and cooled)
1 3/4 cups whole milk

1. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix well.
2. In a small bowl or cup mix yolks, butter and milk together then pour into dry mixture. Mix well to combine.
3. Take the whites of the eggs and whisk them into stiff peaks.
4. Then fold the stiff whites into batter. Mix to combine.
5. Take a laddle and a half and pour into your waffle iron and press. Should take about 5 min. to become fully cooked and golden.

Let's move on to my green-tea flavoured whipped cream!
(I'm sure all of you are better than me whipping the cream.)

I left the bowl and the beater in the fridge before using as suggested in some websites. I poured 1 cup of whipping cream into the bowl, whisked it quickly until obtaining bubbles. Then I added 1/4 cup of white sugar (should reduce a little bit if you don't want it too sweet as I did), continued beating quicklier and after some minutes I added 1 teaspoon of green tea powder and continued working until I got a well whipped cream!

You should believe, it was superb!!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Cambiare la vita!

Eccomi di nuovo a mantenere il blog attivo! Spero che avete cominciato il nuovo anno nel modo migliore. Io e la mia famiglia non abbiamo delle novità. La vita sta proseguendo nel modo tutto normale e tranquillo e sono contenta.

Avevo in mente da un pò di tempo di scrivere su un argomento che mi è capitato di sentire ed ogni tanto mi capitava in questi anni della vita qua in Italia. Mi sembra di percepire che quando si parla della ricerca di una meta di pace e tranquillità o magari di una nuova vita, di un desiderio di ricominciare...spesso si tratta di andare lontano e sfuggire dal presente. E dove si vuole raggiungere è spesso la lontana Oriente. Magari non siete tutti d'accordo con me (ci mancherebbe) ma dalla mia esperienza personale la gente mi parlano di questo.

E' successo anche un mesetto fà quando finalmente ho deciso di andare a sistemare i capelli (ci vado giusto giusto 3-4 volte all'anno, non di più). Dove vado girano un pò i parrucchieri tra le sedi quindi capita anche di trovare un personale che non hai mai conosciuto prima. (Voglio dire la verità, ho scelto di non andare più da un negozio dove si prendono gli appuntamenti perché ti danno un orario e ti fanno aspettare un' eternità. Voglio essere io a decidere se aspetto o no quando entro e vedo quante persone ci sono...e sinceramente spreco meno tempo di prima!) Questa volta mi ha toccato una ragazza dal look moderno un pò dark. Dopo aver detto che cosa volevo fare ha cominciato a chiacchierare, giusto da non stare zitti zitti. Mi ero già immaginata che mi avrebbe chiesto di dove ero...e l'ha fatto!

"Sono di Bangkok".
"Oh....Thailandia...che bello!"

e così le ho chiesto se è mai stata in Thailandia e mi ha risposto di no. Aveva programmato con qualche amica l'estate scorsa un viaggio in Thailandia ma hanno dovuto rinunciarlo dato che delle sue amiche sono state messe in cassa integrazione. "Ma io ci voglio andare prima o poi", ha detto con un tono deciso. Le ho detto che le consiglio vivacemente perché è bello provare le esperienze nuove, andare in un posto diverso dove la vita e la cultura è diversa. Si apre la mente. Può piacere molto o non piacere proprio, però va provato.

La ragazza ha continuato il discorso raccontandomi di sue 2 amici che hanno cambiato la vita andando in Thailandia. Una era una sua cara amica che quando è andata in Thailandia si è sentita qualcosa dentro di lei ed ha deciso che doveva vivere lì. Ha venduto tutto qua in Italia ed è partita. Ho detto la mia opinione che dovrebbe essere una persona molto in gamba e le auguro di trovarsi bene lì...ma c'era un dubbio...che cosa fà lei?? La parrucchiera mi ha detto che è campionessa di kick boxing ed aveva intenzione di lavorare in una palestra. "Oh! che bello quando hai già una cosa mirata", ho aggiunto. Per curiosità quando sono arrivata a casa ho fatto una ricerca digitando "campionessa kick boxing Piacenza" ed ho trovato subito un suo sito di cui la pagina homepage mostrava la mappa della Thailandia e lei si trovava al nord...sarà stata lei di sicuro.

La parrucchiera mi ha raccontato anche dell' altro suo amico che ha trovato la Thailandia come un punto di riferimento. E' un ragazzo che sta 6 mesi qua e 6 mesi là. "Che cosa fà quando va in Thailandia?". Mi ha raccontato che questo suo amico ha trovato la tranquillità lì e ha deciso di dedicare la sua vita in un monastero. Vive ancora 6 mesi qua perché ha ancora la mamma ed i famigliare mentre l'altra amica non ha più nessuno. La parrucchiera mi diceva che ha tanta voglia di provare ad andarci anche lei perché voleva capire cosa hanno trovato i suoi 2 amici lì così bello per voler cambiare la vita.

E' stato bello chiacchierare con questa ragazza. Le ho augurato di poter fare un viaggio in Thailandia presto e di trovare belle cose. Ha già 2 amici come punto di riferimento almeno! Io capisco qualcosa nel "cambiare la vita" perché anch'io c'ho provato! La mia storia è diversa perché ho deciso di cambiare vita per l'amore di un uomo, non per l'amore del paese. Per cambiare la propria vita ci vuole la fiducia e tanto ottimismo. Se hai tanta ma tanta voglia di fare una cosa, devi farlo e basta. Quando ho deciso di lasciare il mio paese, la mia famiglia, il mio lavoro, per sposare il mio ragazzo e per venire in Italia, i miei amici e parenti dicevano che ero pazza e si preoccupavano molto. I miei genitori senz'altro saranno stati molto in pensiero ma quello che adoro in loro è che hanno fiducia in me. Mia mamma diceva e dice ancora sempre che lei non si preoccupa di me perché so badarmi da sola.

E' vero che mi mancano le cose che avevo nel mio paese. La mia famiglia e gli amici mi stanno sempre vicini, anzì li sento ancora più vicini...che cosa strana! All'inizio mi dispiaceva solo dei miei lavori, lì lavoravo da matta. Ho sempre lavorato da quando facevo il 1°anno di università. Facevo insegnante della lingua inglese in una tutorial school per i bambini e ragazzi. Poi facevo anche interprete a livello principiante...pian piano cominciavo ad accettare i lavori più impegnativi. Dopo la laurea ho lavorato un pò di tempo come segretaria ma poi ho fatto consulente per un' agenzia per lo studio all'estero. A volte andavo a fare interprete di sera alla cena di business o in weekend. La mia vita dopo la laurea era pieno di lavoro e mi dedicavo seriamente al lavoro, potete capire una con la laurea fresca ;) In Italia cercavo un lavoro dove potevo sfruttare le mie capacità ma senza risultato...era così per alcuni anni. Dopo ho messo il cuore in pace e se capitava di fare baby-sitter ero già contenta. I miei cari prof. sono stati così gentili che qualche volta quando avevano dei conoscenti che venivano in Italia per il lavoro mi hanno chiamato per fare interprete. Comunque mi sono accorta che ho perso molto delle mie capacità, non si può pretendere se non si ha più lavorato.

A un certo punto mi sono resa conto che la mia vita è cambiata tanto. Dico con tutta la serenità che sono orgogliosa di me stessa. Non è vero per niente che devi avere un lavoro importante ed avere un bel stipendio per sentirti qualcuno. Certo che avere un lavoro a giorno d'oggi è importante ma ognuno ha il suo obiettivo. Mi sento importante facendo la casalinga e la mamma. Quando ero più giovane non avevo mai pensato di esserlo. Eppure ora sono molto felice.