Looking back at 2013

So this post i decided to reflect on 2013 before the Newyear comes: ūüôā

Its funny how your life can change in a blink of an eye…i had planned to do my first Half Marathon this last march but then Peanut came along and my whole world changed.

You think you know what to expect from reading books, talking to other parents but honestly¬†you really don’t. And when i say things change i really do mean completely, totally your life is never the same EVER.

I am very happy i am finally a Mom even though i dont get much time to myself anymore and theres never a boring moment. But it is hard work looking after a little person who is totally images4O4AE8TLdependant on you. Sometimes its non-stop and you dont have a moment to sit and breath but to me its all worth it. Even when im over tired from only sleeping  4 or 5 hours or stressed out, its worth it for the smiles, little laughs, cuddles and watching her grow.

Its been a long journey this year from January to now and it had a lot of ups and downs but im really happy to be where i finally am. ūüôā It’s been a year of many first’s for me in life and here in Italy and im glad i got a chance to experience most of them.

There’s only a tiny bit of regret that I had come so far with my running before getting pregnant and that i wasnt able to run this year at all and im out of shape. But a bigger part of me is now happy for the challenge to reach the fitness level i was before and also to get back into my size 10 jeans! lol

images5YVZF2XA¬†I haven’t enjoyed the experience of my bad back at all but its lead me to seeing an Osteopath which is helping and i find it quite fascinating. I really think it will help with my running to once he sorts out the imbalance. ūüôā

Im also really glad im a fast typer and can still keep up pretty much with my blog it would be a nightmare other wise trying to get it done between Peanuts naps lol. I find it much easier now to outline some of my¬†blog posts a week in advance like this one as i kind of know what i already want to say and do with it¬†ūüôā

This year to i have seen friends come and go which has been both happy and sad moments but you never loose contact with the ones you connect with in a good way, people who you come to care about and who care for you. As you get older you come to realise what friendship means to you and no longer have time for the drama makers and those who say bad things behind your back but who are all smiles to your face.

And so im happy i have made new friends even those expats who have moved to live in other countries but who still stay connected with me via Facebook and Twitter. And of course all my Expat twitter friends i have found all over Italy and the running tweeters i talk to and follow! (love all you guys in my twitterverse)

Im a little sad we never had a proper holiday this year because i was pregnant but im looking forwards to the one’s in 2014!! There will be a lot of first times for Peanut like going¬†to the UK and the Mountains! woohoo!

Im happy my Mum and Sister came to visit us twice this year as well to see us when i was pregnant and afterwards when Peanut was with us ūüėÄ It made not having a Holiday more bearable.

I really can’t wait to see what next year will hold as again it will be alot of first times for all of us, especially little Peanut. ūüôā

So here is¬†a little round up of 2013 from photo’s from my blog:

January was enjoying new places to eat out with new Expat friends i had met through facebook and twitter. I also discovered i was pregnant and infact i had been 4 weeks pregnant when i had done my newyears 10k Werunrome race and not realised! So after that it was no more running for me at the request of our Doctor and so my running was put on hold.


February was rather slow, we had a bit of a scare with the pregnancy which was very worrying and i did little blog posts about how it was going that i wanted to save until  i was 3 months along. I ended up having a bad back on my Birthday mostly from sleeping on the sofa bed which i found more comfortable, later i enjoyed my favorite chocolates Alex bought me as a present. But later that month i had an amazing afternoon spent with a famous neigbour:)


March I missed my first HM (which was going to be RomaOstia HM) which i had been training for before January so i was sad to miss it but much more excited to announce my pregnancy at 3 months along. Also i met up with friends/other Expat mothers and again tried out new food places here in Roma which we decided to do once a month!


April was my 1 year wedding anniversay¬†to my charming and lovely husband Alex¬†ūüôā We both couldnt believe how quickly the time had flown by since the year before and how happy we are.¬†¬†Also that¬†month¬†it was full of researching about pregnancy, reading up on what i was going to expect further with my symptoms¬†& finding a good hospital/clinic.


May was finding 2nd hand baby clothes in the Bancarella (markets) here in Roma and slowly gathering more baby bits as we knew we were having a baby girl by now.I also was finding out about breastfeeding Groups here in Roma and activities for small children also here in Roma. I am quite impressed with all the things i have found for kids! groups, activities, english speaking playgroups, expat mum groups where you can arrange playdates or meet ups!


June was more food reviews (i like my food reviews), more pregnancy scans which i had been doing alot since January, Dr’s appointments, millions of blood tests and other pregnancy related tests they do here in Italy. i was also going through nesting and writing about tips on pregnancy. We¬†had our¬†first few prenatal classes at Santa Famiglia clinic here in Roma where i would give Birth which was fun and very interesting.


July i blogged about being 8 months pregnant and how i was feeling so far up until that point, choosing baby names was another blog post although we had already choosen a baby name at 3 months for our little one. Push presents intrigued me and i found out where to buy¬†breastfeeding bra’s in Roma! Also i was¬†becoming really excited and nervous as we were planning for the¬†giving Birth.


August i read up on newborn babies to be prepared when Peanut was born (as i said above your never really prepared but some knowledge helps). I had alot of monitoring done each week to see how i was doing and if she was going to come early, on time or late. And i decided to get my hair cut for the big day so i could have some nice photos taken. I had to deal with a hormonal husband and began thinking about the foods i couldnt wait to eat again and hadnt been allowed during pregnancy.


September was an AMAZING month!!! Peanut finally arrived on the 9th September 1 day early and turned our lives upside down! The Whole experience was scary and wonderful all at the same time and im so glad i blogged about what i went through. The moment my water broke, the time in the hospital/clinic which seemed to pass so quickly and then finally giving Birth and meeting my daughter for the first time.


October i was coping with new motherhood and recovering after labor. There was lack of sleep looking after little Peanut who needed feeding every 2 hours or so. Life had changed in a big way and we were all adjusting to the new changes.I was also thinking about starting to run/exercise again or at least when i could do and had my Sister & Mum visit from the UK which was so nice as they both had a lot of advice and were a big help. They also bought over tons of baby clothes and other bits for Peanut which we really needed. I loved having them visit and going out and about with them shopping and watching them play with her and she loved the attention.


November was full of bad storms here all over Italy with high winds and floodings even here in Roma. The Volcano Etna was having a moan and launching smoke, lava and ash into the air in her part of Italy and the airports there were closed for a while. I did my first race after being pregnant which i shouldnt have really done and it ended up being a big mess but i was happy i still got a medal even if my friend had to get it for me. And of course the count down to Christmas began!


December i got a new phone woohoo finally! ūüôā found new apps like Vine, Instagram and some for taking awesome photos as i was now able to get onto the internet with the click of a button where ever i was which is very helpful!¬†I had¬†my first twitter meet up with an Expat from Milan who was visiting Roma for the weekend which was fun.¬†More food reviews when i was out and about with friends and¬†Peanut became 3 months old¬†at the begining of this month! Where did the time go! She’s s0 big now and changing so much.

Then¬†finally Christmas was here¬†and the few days before the newyear. I really can’t wait to see what the next Newyear will bring ūüôā


Christmas Italian Style (sort of)

imagesSo here in Italy Christmas dinner is a completely different affair than it is in the UK! For a start we dont eat turkey here which makes me a little sad as i did enjoy my roast turkey dinner back in the UK with roast potatoes and veggies! (I make sure i have a lot of roast dinners when i visit the UK to make up for it! ;P )

Christmas eve here in Italy we eat pesce¬†(fish) or seafood to celebrate the ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’ (also know as the Vigil). This tradition dates from the Roman Catholic church.

Christmas day the meal starts with pasta usually lasagne or cannelloni (from what i have seen anyway) and then comes the meat dish which is usually agnello ( lamb), then vegetables, salad, bread and then finally for dessert the Christmas cakes and chocolate.

This year we decided to have a quiet Christmas in because of my bad back so stayed happily at home. Peanut didn’t really notice or worry as she’s so small. We did stick with the Italian traditions and had fish on Christmas eve for dinner! It was Birdseye frozen battered Merluzzo (cod)¬†with spinach¬†so that still counts heehee. (Im sure other Italians would be horrified ūüėõ )

I did feel slightly guilty that we were having frozen ready made fish after seeing all the posts and photos on Facebook and Twitter of food from Italian and Expat friends. But hey it was just us and we dont mind to much especially as we wanted something easy and not hard to make.

Christmas day we decided to have meat for lunch but decided on steak instead of lamb with oven chips. And then we had pasta carbonara for dinner. We ended up watching more Christmas movies on Sky tv which we have been doing all last week. Peanut was going crazy over them and loved all the Christmas cartoons and the Muppets Christmas Carol which was on.

I really love the Italian Christmas movies there so funny! And it’s always the same actors playing different characters ūüôā even if you don’t speak Italian you can easily work out what’s going on and enjoy them.

They remind me of the old British ‘Carry on’ movies which I used to watch when I was little.


The day after Christmas here in Italy is a Holiday as well but its not Boxing Day here something else is celebrated for the day which is called Santo Stefano (St Stephen). I was curious and decided to see what the day was about and from what i have read he was the first Christian Martyr.

So it was nice to have that day off to ūüôā We had Pandoro ( Italian Christmas cake) for breakfast which i really love and look forwards to each Christmas!

My friend Jenny came over for a visit with her husband and son which was really nice! ūüėÄ I had a few little gift’s for her son for Christmas and they bought over some Macdonalds takeaway for lunch. It was something not Christmas-like but hey after Christmas huge lunches i know Italian’s like its always nice to have something different!

It was really lovely to see them and they loved to see how big Peanut had gotten since last time they had visited. The little boy who is 6yrs old was happy to make Peanut smile and amuse her. Peanut was very excited by this and she kept laughing as he jumped about and showed her his toys.

It was alot of fun to see them and have a nice long chat and spend the day with people ūüôā I found a nice interactive game online for children for my friend’s little boy and he really enjoyed the colouring games, coordination games etc. It was a little sad when it was time for them to go but i think we were all a bit tired after the last few days.

And so thats Christmas done for another year ūüôā


Merry Christmas Everyone :)

A big Merry Christmas to everyone out there! I hope you all get the presents you were after tomorrow after Santa visits tonight!

And I hope your day is filled with family, food and happiness.


Happy Winter Solstice

Today is the winter Solstice  which marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. The sun will appear at it lowest point in the sky and the days will become longer and the nights shorter. imagesNYBJCFSL

So today 21st December 2013 the Solstice will happen at 6.11pm CET ( Central Europe Time) here in Italy as we are in the Northern hemisphere of the planet. Anyone living in the Southern hemisphere will be celebrating their Summer Solstice instead. (so its the other way round for our summer solstice ).

The Solstice isn’t always on the same day though which has something to do with our calendar system.

I would love to welcome in the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge in the UK one year at dawn as the stones are perfectly aligned for this event. It would be amazing to see with all the other people, Druids, hippies etc!

In Italy some provinces celebrate the winter solstice with a huge bonfire of dried branches and gather to watch it burn.


In ancient Roman times the festival of Saturnalia was held to celebrate the God Saturn which was a week of feasting and coincided with the Winter Solstice. It was a festival of light leading up to the solstice and the candles represent a request from the people for knowledge and truth.

I am happy the winter Solstice is finally here and the days will be longer and have more light as we will soon be welcoming in another Newyear! So happy winter solstice to you all and enjoy the day even if it is a short one ūüôā


Falling Apart but getting better :)

So i have been having problems with my back since giving Birth ūüė¶ I have had back ache on and off since then in varying degree’s of pain from slight ache to really hurting badly when i bend over. Sunday evening my back finally decided to go and i was in absolute agony! Seriously i could not get up from a laying position if i did it was agonising pain, i couldnt stand straight and needed to use the wall and furniture to move about. And believe me its no fun when you need someone to physically help you move about.

Thank god I decided not to start running again until January and had already decided not to run the 3 races I had planned to do next week and on new years eve!

So monday Alex went to the Doctors for me to find out what could be done for me and was told injections of muscle relaxant and a pain killer once for 5 days would help take down any inflamation. And so i had the lovely experience off having an injection in the bum as thats the fastest place for¬† it to work ūüė¶ (not fun) Within an hour i could stand up with less pain but it was still a struggle.¬† h4C0038D9

Then that lunch time my last and only wisdom tooth decided it would try and start to come through! grrrr So I ended up being in pain in two areas!! And it sucked as I couldn’t hold Peanut or feed her or play with as I had to rest.

Several friends offered help over Facebook when Alex posted what happened and our friend Patricia who lives right near us came over. She sat with me and Peanut while Alex ran around doing the food shopping etc in the morning for 5 days.

Wednesday we went to the dentist and we discovered I also had a gum infection so had to have a heavy dose of antibiotics. The dentist also said they could take the wisdom tooth out when my back was better and the infection was gone.

So Thursday my back was worse again probably from all the movement to the dentist’s and back. My Doctor was concerned my back might be a hernia as I have had a couple of back problems in the past. So I was starting to get really worried even though I had read after giving birth women can have a lot of back problems.

We had an osteopath coming over in the evening and I wanted to see what he thought. It was really interesting to see him work after a long chat about what happened, he even had a move to see if it was a hernia which it isn’t. (yay)

He did say I was twisted to the left and was using my hips to much when I moved and not my upper part. I explained about my left hip being out of alignment and he said it could be fixed. So I have a ligament which is twisted and causing all my problems! The Osteopath said he had a lot of new mums with the same problem because of what our bodies go through with pregnancy and labor.

After 30 minutes of treatment he helped me up and all stiffness and pain in my back were gone ūüôā My hips felt a little weird as they were aligned properly but everything was good.


He said I would need to go see him 3-4 more times then once every 4 months and that was it and would help for my running to.

So today apart from a little stiffness my back is fine although I still have to rest some days and im not allowed to bend or lift anything. I see the osteopath again next week and am looking forwards to it.

My gum/wisdom tooth feels much better from the antibiotic and the swelling has all gone down. So no more pain when I eat or drink or talk yay.

So things are looking up and it might be a¬†merry christmas after all ūüėÄ

Review: 2 Periodico Cafe

Sunday my friend Yasmin came over to meet Peanut for the first time and go for a walk around with me. We headed off to Piazza Bologna as there was supposed to be a Christmas market there but when we arrived we couldnt find it! So instead we had a nice walk around and explored the area for a while which was nice as we both hadnt been there before.

After a while Yasmin asked if i wanted to go to a nice cafe she had discovered near the Cavour metro stop and i agreed. The place (2 Periodico cafe) was a short walk from the metro and i noticed immediately the nice comfy chairs and sofa in the entrance area.  wpid-IMG_20131216_160728.jpg

Entering inside i found a table laden with freshly baked brownies, carrot cake and muffins! The place was quite busy as people were enjoying the buffet lunch which started from 12 euros each and also looked really nice. I could see chocolate cake, rice, salmon, pasta and veggies available and alot of people seemed to be enjoying it.

Following Yasmin into the back of the cafe we walked into a large room with lots of little tables, more sofa’s and comfy arm chairs! The place was very arty and funky with strange paintings on the walls and¬†ceiling. There were also posters, a huge multi coloured elephant on a ball¬†and a giant pink light bulb in one corner. Also there was a DJ like man on a little platform playing music which was quite nice ūüôā (Apparently he’s not Always there or live music so they do have quiet times).



The place really seemed cosy and it almost felt like it could be a place in London somewhere instead of the heart of Roma! I did also notice there were quite a few expats in the place soaking up the atmopshere and food.

The waitress spoke English and we ordered our food, mine being a blueberry muffin and a freshly squeezed oranged juice. My friend Yasmin ordered herself a chocolate brown and a cappuccino as we relaxed back on a big green sofa.

It was really nice to sit and have a chat as i looked around the place and thought how nice it was and weird! Yasmin told me that one time she had come before there had been a bath tub on the stage and she had had her photo taken in it LOL!

When our food arrived i found the muffin still warm and fresh! yum and the orange juice was slightly bitter but delicious! Apparently they do cookies and other baked goods as well which i want to check out next time.


Yasmin treated me to my Muffin and orange juice so i didnt see how much it cost but she did tell me when she bought a chocolate brownie and a muffin from there before it cost around 6 euros.

I would go there again as i really enjoyed the arty/funky feel to the place and the muffin i had was Worth the trip. It did look like a very hip and popular place if anyone likes that kind of thing and want to go and try the place out then i would recommend it.

wpid-20131215_134224.jpg  wpid-IMG_20131215_155440.jpgwpid-20131215_134239.jpg

Italian Cake, Food & Christmas

So its almost Christmas and we have been¬†reciving some free Christmas goodies that we get every year¬†ūüôā Mostly the two different types of Italian Christmas cakes they have here in Italy and loads of food!


Panettone is a type of fruit cake/sweet bread and its very very nice! Its origins are from Milan and one of the symbols of the city. You can by a plain type or one with chocolate but its normally the plain type we get, although this year we got chocolate to!!

Pandoro¬†is a type of sweet yeast bread/cake and its origins are from Verona ūüôā Its normally in the shape of an 8 pointed star and very¬†tall. Usually it comes with a little bag of vanilla or icining sugar which you add to the bag the cake is in then shake it gently. The pandoro becomes covered in it and its supposed to resemble the snow on the Italian Alps.

I really like both of¬†these cakes! ūüôā They are both very good but i have to say i enjoy the pandoro more than the other one.

I never really liked Christmas pudding in the UK i didnt mind a little bit but that was it as it could be a little overwhelming. And as for mince pies.. yuk..didnt like them at all so its nice to have something i can enjoy at Christmas here in Italy.

So far we have a lot of¬†Pandoro and panettone and as you can guess we aren’t going to be able to eat them all! Its just way to much cake!! ( I can’t believe i just wrote that lol)

And so when we visit friends over the Christmas and Newyear we will take some cakes with us and spread the cake love lol along with some wine. ūüôā

Also theres traditional Christmas chocolate yummy which is really good and called Torrone or Nougat. Many different varities of this exist we usually end up with the chocolate version with nuts inside (hazelnuts/almonds) and a white version with nougat and pistachios.                                                                            1386765616876

I like the chocolate version the best with the nuts in as its softer, the white version tends to be more chewy. You can also buy smaller bars of this throughout the year if you really like it alot like i do.

We have also recieved lots of biscuits (Biscotti) which are always nice to munch on as we dont usually buy this type the rest of the year.

Also we have Cantucci biscotti (biscuits) which origins come from the city of Prato here in Italy. They are Almond oblong shaped biscuits which are dry and crunchy. They are usually an after dinner biscuit which you dip into wine. (biscuits pictured right).

We also have boxes of pasta, sweets¬†and some bottles of wine which always come in handy! ūüėČ

I also enjoy eating the different types of Salame we recieve as well although there not something you can keep for long.



The several huge blocks of pamigiano we get we also share with friends and the olive oil is always useful for through-out the year for cooking.

The more unusual thing we have gotten have been the anchovies in oil with spicy red peppers, Apricot jam, Truffle cream sauce, sweet onion sauce and the list goes on! Although im not quite sure i would like some of these but we know people who do so luckily they wont be wasted! ūüôā


So as you can imagine this will keep us knee deep in food, cake and chocolate way into the Newyear! lol.

I have also¬†been showing all the different things to Peanut as next Christmas she should be old enough to enjoy eating it with us. ūüôā

My little Pasta Princess!!


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The Scribbler

The life and times of a writer, runner and triathlete