Etna the fiery Giant

Living in Italy is very different from living in the UK for example you dont really have to deal with Earthquakes and active Volcano’s in England!

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But here in the news lately Mount Eta has been having her latest eruption in Sicily and lighting up the night sky with her Eruzione-notturnabreath taking lava show! She’s the tallest active volcano on the European contient and the highest mountain in Italy South of the Alps.

A few expats i know who live in that area have been talking about it alot and one even went to see the eruptions! Which she said was completely amazing and breath taking!

Another Expat had and saw the ash clouds 100km from the actual Volcano!

Im not sure i would want to live so close to an active volcano myself but im a bit jealous they got to see it! I would infact love to visit one day either Etna or Vesuvius which is near Naples.

I have heard you can take some of the cooled lava home as a keep sake! And at Mount Vesuvius you can climb one of the craters and see the view. This can also be done at Etna to apparently and theres lots of walking and climbing involved.

I did get to see Mount Vesuvius in the distance once when i visited Pompeii in 2010 and even at a distance you could feel its brooding presence.

untitledSo far no one has been evacuated around Enta as the recent lava flow was not near any houses.

The photo’s and news footage i have seen are amazing as she sends up plumes of smoke and ash lit by the burning orange of her fiery lava.

Luckily though she hasnt had a major eruption since 1992 although she is almost constantly active!

In greek mythology Etna was supposed to be where the God Hephaestus had his forges with his cyclops and made the thunderbolt for the God Zeus!

It is also said Zeus buried a giant beneath Mount Etna and in other stories it was the monster Typhon he trapped there.

The name Typhon is derived from the Greek (typhein) which means to smoke which is very interesting as Etna has huge ash clouds and smokes alot.

Things like this and the recent Mediterranean cyclone really remind you of the power of nature!

Both beautiful, breath-taking, terrible and destructive all at the same time.

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Lava spews from a crater of the giant Et

My One Big Fat Run November :)

So sunday was the virtual once a month One Big Fat Run which i blogged about before. 1379287_458774807573475_1418767381_n

I planned to do a 5km run/walk in the little park and was feeling very excited about it.

It was fun to know others would be running as well to complete the event.

I managed to get out in the morning in the empty little park as the temp has dropped lately and its very cold. So as you can imagine there werent many people out and about.

I could feel the cold through my running clothes and realised maybe i should have put my warmer stuff on!

So i started to run/walk which warmed me up slightly but it was hard going. I couldnt help but breath through my mouth and breath in cold air.

I got really bad stitch a mile in as i havent been drinking enough water lately and it got really bad. Just after a mile i decided to stop i was in pain and there was no point pushing myself.

Im a bit sad i didnt do 5km’s but 1 mile is still better than nothing! 🙂 And it has motivated me to run again when i get more time to myself from 10th December.

The next One Big Fat Run i will do alot better! Be more prepared with drinking water and wearing my winter running gear!

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Roma, Rain & Sardinia

There was flooding in sardinia on monday due to rivers breaking there banks from the heavy rains! Bridges were swept away, power lines were downed and hundreds of homes flooded!                   untitled2

18 people died while others had to seek shelter as they were bombarded with 6 months of rain in 24 hours triggered by a mediterranean cyclone.

Some people are still missing but the Emergency services have apparently moved fast in helping people there.

I cannot imagine the fear which they must have gone through with that much water descending upon them! And so close to Christmas as well…It makes me sad when things like this happen here in Italy as its now my home  😦

Roma hasnt escaped either with over 36 hours of rain so far especially at night with huge thunderstorms and strong winds! The Thunder has been so loud the whole place has been shaking and its been scary. (Peanut managed to sleep through most of it lol)

And now the river Tevere (Tiber) is very high against its banks and being closely watched hour by hour! And the bike paths and walking paths next to the river have been closed.

It really doesnt make you want to go out when at any minute it could suddenly pour down especially not with a small child.Take this morning it was lovely blue sky but now its clouded over and raining again in parts of Roma! And the rain is still forecast for the next 4 days as well!

untitledIt reminds me of 4 years ago also around December when we had heavy rains here in Roma for just over a month.

The rain was non stop for days and it was cold and depressing! We had alot of floodings and people lost their lives. Again the river Tevere (Tiber) was dangerously high! Parts of the Metro became flooded and some areas of Roma you couldnt get to.

People stayed indoors in the warm where it was safe, fearful of the rain and water.

I remember it well as that December we were due to go see Ciro my cat as a kitten before we chose him. We had to wait 2 weeks before we could see him as he was in a part of Roma which was flooded.

The river is near the little park i run in and i remember looking out the window watching it swell and top closer and closer up its banks the more it rained! Everyone was very relieved when all the rain finally stopped and the rivers subsided back to normal.

I hope we dont have a repeat of that year it was scary enough at the time.

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One Big Fat Run in November

I have been having a little trouble with time and motivation lately getting back into running. Its not easy with a baby alot of my time is occupied looking after Peanut and when i do get time to myself i generally want to sleep. 1379287_458774807573475_1418767381_n

Yes i guess this is kind of an excuse and i could do a bit better to get out and run even a short distance on the weekends. But lately when i come to think about going out i just get depressed…

I have run about 3 times so far in 9 weeks (since giving Birth) and im worried i have lost my running mojo! 😦

So when i saw that someone i follow on Twitter was doing an online running event the end of each month i decided to sign up and get some motivation back.

@Fattymustrun (Julie)  is an overweight running Mum who is on a mission to get other overweight people running! And her blog is very inspiring! Also the fact she’s a Mum with a baby is something i can relate to as she to knows the ups and downs of being a parent and not having much time. 🙂

I really wish her blog had existed back in 2011 or i had found it then when i first started my running journey and was very overweight and out of shape! As i know how scary it is to start running for the first time when all the other runners in the park are all in better shape than you!

Your desperate to lose weight and want to run but to self conscious of what you think you will look like running. Also the worry of what the other people in the park will think when they see you or what they might say..its hard….very hard!

I love the way Julie is out to inspire other big girls to get running and not worry about what other people think. And i really look forwards to each of her new blog posts which you can subscribe to on her blog: http://thefatgirlsguidetorunning.com/

She does workshops to help motivate those who don’t know where to start or dont have the confidence yet to get out there and run.

And she’s also organised this online event as i have said on the last sunday of every month to get people back into running and motivated!

She has a facebook page ‘The Fat Girl’s Guide to Running’ and blogs about her runs and races.

She also has an E-book out on Amazon on how to train/run for a 10k in 10 simple ways in 10 weeks! 🙂 It doesnt cost much and handy and helpful if you want to train for a 10km race.

I like the way shes focused more on the running and its not about speed. It doesnt matter how slow you go as long as your running!

So far 75 people have signed up for the Sunday 5km run and im kind of looking forwards to it 🙂 Hopefully this should give me the push i need to start losing this left over baby weight!

I have lost alot but there’s still some wiggles and jiggles and my belly to work on!

So lets see how this Sunday goes and i will blog about the run after its done. 🙂

I think i will sign up for this each month as it will be fun and its nice to run with others even if its a virtual event lol

Also it will help me with my training for these races im going to be doing near Christmas as im starting to run out of time!

If you want to start running and not sure where to start i really recommend Julie’s blog, advice and book as i have said its inspiring! 🙂

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Christmas is Coming..

Can you believe its only 5 more weekends until Christmas?!? Its gone so fast! im not prepared! eek!  523492_354535841349759_1384780324_n

I generally get a bit depressed over Christmas as i miss my family and Christmas with them was/is always fun with the turkey, present giving, chocolates and normal crazyness that is my family. Its even more depressing watching it all happen for an hour on the webcam through Skype as we chat that day to. Although they have Christmas 2 weeks early as everyone has to be somewhere else on the actual day lol.

So Christmas for me for the last 5 years of being in Italy has been sad in places 😦 Rarely its been me and Alex though we do get to see friends! 🙂

Quite a few Christmas day’s we have spent time with my best friend Jess and her family-in-laws here in Roma and that does cheer me up alot. Their friendly, noisy and very welcoming and remind me of my own family in a way! Plus i get to spend time with Jess who i dont Always get to see as she lives in France now.

This Christmas should be different for me as we have Peanut now and its her first Christmas even if she doesnt realise whats going on. 🙂 Im not sure what she will make of the noisy Italian’s we will be spending it with but im sure she will love her Aunty Jess!

So thats something to look forwards to although im still going to miss roast turkey as Italian’s dont eat it at Christmas! (i will blog about that another time).

Anyway i found some cute ideas for leading up to Christmas for the month of December and decided to share them so here they are: 🙂

1461057_570973549639985_1453959778_n Christmas Experiences

“Experiences” rather than “things” for countdown to Christmas with your kids 🙂 or i guess even for yourself! lol

So nice things i can think of are: Go see the Christmas lights/tree in the centre of Roma, Make Christmas cakes, go see the snow (sometimes theres snow outside of Roma), Put the Christmas decorations up, go see Santa, etc.

Christmas Sock Snowman

The next one is if you have old socks you dont want anymore you can re-use them by making sock snowmen! Really cute idea for Christmas decorations or even use them as small presents as stocking fillers! 🙂 1391745_624361874276343_750285406_n

Sitck Candle Holders

Again a nice idea for yourself or the kids! Collect sticks and superglue them around a glass to make a crafty candle holder which looks quite festive 🙂 Although its recommended you use the fake candle flicker lights inside them as you dont want to cause a fire! You can buy LED tealight candles from Amazon and there not very expensive.
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Box Play House

Usually at Christmas you get stuck with all the empty left over boxes all the presents have come in and so this box play house is a great idea! You can give them new life and re-use them and make your little one happy at the same time 🙂 Then when he/she gets bored of it you can easily just put it out for recycling! easy 🙂1458582_573331592722159_1484498038_n

Felt Christmas Tree

Felt Christmas tree that a toddler can decorate over and over which is a Cute idea especially if you dont or cant have a real tree! I like this idea alot as we dont have a tree because of our cat Ciro and so this is a great idea for Peanut in the future. 🙂

b34b3dbbf0ba0e10c484945577fd037a Cut a big piece of felt into the shape of a tree and then use different coloured felt to make the star and decorations. You can find double back tape or special felt tape to attach the pieces temporarily.

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So alot of creative ideas on the lead up to Christmas which i think are all alot of fun and again i can’t wait to be able to do some of these with Peanut! 🙂 Maybe next Christmas we can do a few!

Christmas Events/Markets in Roma

It will soon be Christmas and im starting to get into the spirit of the holidays here in Roma! Our first with little Peanut 🙂 xmas

So i have been looking at Christmas Events which will be happening here in Roma soon and this is what i have found:

Christmas Bazaar at St Stephen’s School

Its organised by the United Nations Women’s Guild and a big fund raising event. Its held on 29th November and is open betweem 8am and 5pm.

There will be lots of different stands displaying jewellery, crafts, second hand toys and clothes. Also you will be able to buy African, Latin American and Asian food throughout the day!

Christmas Bazaar at the Austrian Cultural Forum

Again held on the 29th November between 8am – 5pm this is organised by the Austrian Association. Its a traditional Austrian Christmas market where you can buy decorations, calenders and other handmade gifts.

They also have various food stalls offering typical Austrian foods including fresh gingerbread for kids! And other specialities like goulash, sausages, sandwiches and coffee.

St Nicholas Ceremony at S. Maria Dell’ Anima + Traditional Christmas Bazaar

This Church is holding a traditional Christmas Bazaar after the first advent mass which is held at 10am ( so open from 11am to 2pm)  on 1st December.

There will be German and Austrian Christmas decorations, candles, second hand items and books. Also some food will be available like pretzels, German sausages, sandwiches and beer!

Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar at the American Overseas School of Rome on Saturday December 15th, from 11:00 to 15:00

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toys

Also the beginning of December the well known Christmas Markets will be open!

The Christmas Market in Navona Square: Is open from begining of Dec to 6th January and offers stalls laiden with toys, gifts, sweets, coloured lights and typical foods. I have wandered round this market a few times over the years and its really worth the visit! 🙂

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The Christmas Market in Piazza Re Di Roma: Starts beginning of December and ends Christmas Eve. Again its full of Christmas sweets, decorations, toys, light, gifts and of course food!

The Christmas Market at Roma con il Cuore a Piazzale Ankara (the Flaminio Stadium): Held only from the 10th to 13th December this market has roughly 150 vendors selling various Christmas things! There is also collections for gifts and food baskets for the needy, elderly and children.

The Christmas Market at Piazza Caprera: Again this Christmas market is full of Christmas decorations, gifts, lights, toys and foods!

Babbo Natale – (Santa)

Also your little ones can visit Babbo Natale (Santa) and have there photo taken with him. This is held at some of the big shopping malls like Porta Di Roma and Rome Est on the weekends from December until January. They have a little Santa house/North pole area and usually have activites for children. I would check their websites for times and dates though 🙂

Chestnuts!

Also around this time of year here in Roma you will find street vendors roasting chestnuts on the streets and at these markets. Its always nice to treat yourself to these when its cold and your after a festive Street snack and there not that expensive either!  DSC_0995-1

I have to admit im quite interested in visiting the Traditional Austrian Christmas market! I have a feeling it will remind me of the mountains (dolomites) where we go for summer holidays! And as we didnt go this year it would be nice to visit this market and soak up a similar atmosphere. 🙂 Plus the food sounds good!

So hopefully i can convince Alex to go or one of my friends as it would be nice to do something festive! Even if Peanut doesnt appreciate it right now as shes so small.

Fun Ideas to do with the kids!

I have been joining a few Facebook Mommy pages and discovered some really fun ideas you can do with your kids or for them. 🙂 Peanut’s a bit to small for these things but there really good ideas that i plan to keep and do them with her when shes bigger.

So i decided to share these ideas on my blog for other parents, Aunties/Uncles, Grandparents, babysitters etc so you to can share in the fun 🙂

So the first idea is: How to Make Fairies in a Jar!

FAIRIES IN A JAR DIRECTIONS:                                        1170692_740122812680209_1491217075_n
1. Cut a glow stick and shake the contents into a jar.
2. Add diamond glitter
3. Seal the top
4. Shake hard

This is something they will never forget so its worth a little work on this one.

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Window Decorations

Easy and fun to do for holidays or just for fun. 🙂

Trace design onto wax paper with puffy paint (you should be able to find it in a craft shop or im sure Amazon will have some online if not) then let it dry overnight and peel carefully. Window cling decorations just like you can buy in the shops!

Good i guess for a rainy or cold days.

Phone Number Bracelet

Clever idea your phone number on a bracelet for trips, amusement parks, play-dates  for your kids etc and easy to make as you see bits for this kind of thing everywhere nowadays. I  would never have thought of this and its so simple 🙂

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Attracting Butterflies

Good to know: Orange slices in a dish attracts butterflies in droves cant wait to try this out next summer it will be alot of fun if we do this in a park or somewhere they hang around.

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Drive Through Movies

Get a big box and help your child paint it like a car then get some paper plates and paint them like car wheels. Attach them to the box with glue let it all dry then make popcorn and let your little one sit in the box car while watching their favorite movie! Instant home drive through movies! 😀

Baby Clothes Quilt

The baby outfits you can’t part with and are put away into tubs made into a quilt to keep the memories! A lovely idea for a keepsake for you and you can share it with your little one when they get older 🙂 Just as good as a memory box!

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All of these look like fun ideas and i cant wait until Peanut is big enough to be able to enjoy them! She’s growing so quickly (2 months old yesterday) and very aware of whats going on around her already! She’s chatting away in baby talk now a right little chatterbox! 🙂

Im really enjoying being a Mommy! 🙂

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