Travel: Assisi, Italy

It wasn't until talking with my mother-in-law while looking through our itinerary before our Euro trip, that I realized the correlation with Assisi, Italy & St. Francis (apparently I’m a lousy Catholic)…

In case you were clueless like me, Assisi is probably best known for the birthplace of Patron Saint of Italy, St. Francis.

Assisi is a wonderful little town -- we only got to spend about an hour there, but it was just enough time to visit the 13th century Basilica di San Francesco & get a glimpse of the quaint town of Assisi.

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Zac & Katie in Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Assisi is only home to about 3,000 people, but sees millions of tourists each year & rightfully so.  The town is filled with curvy medieval streets, roman ruins, & sacred shrines – definitely put this town on your list as you travel through Italy!  You can read more about the history of Assisi here.

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

I adored all the stone buildings & the darling shops that lined the streets.

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days
 
Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days
 
 
Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days
 
Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Assisi, Italy | My Darling Days

 
I'm thankful for the hour we got to spend in Assissi, but I think a few more hours would have better suited my desires to explore a bit longer.  It was such a lovely place!


Read about our Roman adventures, here, here, & here!


Happy Sunday (and Happy Easter!)



Happy Easter! I hope everybody gets to enjoy time with their family & friends today!


I made this cake for Easter, but accidentally ate half of it already.  Opps :)

An inspiring read: "A goal without a plan is just wishful thinking" 

The Business of Blogging & the power of social media.  Like it or not, this girl is doing somethin' right.

Currently obsessed with Clare Dunn's 'Tuxedo'.

Also, Courtney Cole's 'Drunk' is topping my playlist as well.






Current Happenings

Post idea inspired by Emily's 'Five Things' posts, at Cupcakes & Cashmere.
(a great way to stay active behind the camera, to document the little things)



I'm using this picnic utensil holder from Home Goods as an organizer for our office desk -- works great!



Obsessed with Papa Murphy's Chicken Garlic pizza { thanks Bethany! ;) }



 I got a six pack of these colored glass jars at Christmas & they're all I use to get my water intake lately, so fun!



Magazines are littering our end table -- time to get reading!



Easter decor from The Vintage Garden that I am likely leaving up all year.


Make: Spicy Garlic Pasta & Shrimp with Roasted Cauliflower

Spicy Garlic Pasta & Shrimp with Roasted Cauliflower | My Darling Days

With the arrival of lent (which is now almost over), I had been searching for some meatless meals to prepare for our Friday night dinners.  You know, aside from mac n' cheese, or grilled cheese & tomatoe soup (though there is nothing wrong with either of those, but a little variety never hurt anyone)!  Since I despise all forms of fish, lent can be a realllly long few weeks for me, in terms of Friday night eats.

I came upon this recipe & thought it sounded delicious.  I tweaked a few things... added shrimp & it was a total hit in our house.  Also, I am not good about eating vegetables; the roasted cauliflower totally gets lost in this dish & you can’t even taste it, so I consider that a win!  Basically, I’m like a child.  You have to hide vegetables in the meal & then I will eat them.  Unless they’re mushrooms.  I can spot even a finely diced mushroom even a mile way.

So I thought I’d share the goodness that is this pasta -- my recipe is slightly adapted from Minimalist Baker.  The original recipe can be found here.

Spicy Garlic Pasta & Shrimp with Roasted Cauliflower | My Darling Days

For the roasted Cauliflower, I followed Minimalist Baker’s recipe pretty much to a T, but didn’t measure anything, I'm a fan of just eye balling things.  I bought a head of cauliflower, already cut into florets & drizzled it with olive oil, then just sprinkled minced garlic, red pepper flakes, & sea salt until I thought it looked good.  Pop that into a 450* preheated oven to roasted for about 20 minutes -- tossing after 10 minutes. Set that aside when done.

While that is roasting, boil 12 oz. of pasta – I used spaghetti – until al dente.   I threw in 2 chicken bouillon cubes to give the pasta a little added flavor.  Once done, drain the water & set that aside.

In a large frying pan, heat about 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add 2 tsp. minced garlic, ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, & a dash of sea salt.  Add in 15-20 peeled & deveined shrimp.  Cooked until pink & set aside.

In that same frying pan heat about ¼ c. olive oil.  To that add 3 tsp. minced garlic & ½ tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier, less if you don’t), sautéing about 2 minutes.  Add in the cooked pasta, cooked shrimp, roasted cauliflower, 2 Tbsp. dried parsley, & ½ c. parmesan cheese.  Toss to coat.

Spicy Garlic Pasta & Shrimp with Roasted Cauliflower | My Darling Days












Serve immediately, though the leftovers are good too!

Happy cooking, friends!


P.S. The Minimalist Baker has TONs of great recipes if you’re looking for some new dishes to add to your repertoire.


Sharing here:
The Melrose Family | Snap Creativity | A Dish of Daily Life | The SITS Girls | I Heart Nap Time




Travel: Rome, Italy {Day 2 - Part 2}

To read about Rome, day 1, click here.  To read about Rome, day 2 - part 1, click here.

Our final afternoon in Rome was spent sight-seeing, where we spent a brief amount of time at all the touristy spots --  the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, & the Pantheon.

When we arrived at the Colosseum, there was a bit of drama because there was an employee union dispute going on... so even though our group had reservations, they weren't letting anyone in.  So frustrating!  This apparently happens fairly often, we were told...  Thankfully, it all got sorted out within an hour or so.  I wish we would have gotten more time in the Colosseum, but the 'workers on strike' BS really cut into our time there.

But, getting to walk through a structure that opened in 80 AD... was insanely cool.   If you don't know much about the Colosseum, it's basically a massive (it covers 6 acres) amphitheater that was used for various gladiatorial events, animal hunts, & public spectacles.  Built by Emperor Vespasian, it is considered the greatest work of Roman architecture & engineering.   It is said to have taken the lives of about 500,000 people & over a million animals during it's time. 


Colosseum in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Colosseum in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

What's crazy is that back in the day, it looked nothing like it currently does.  Much of it's former marble facade & some parts of it, were used for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica & other monuments.  Also, part of the Colosseum collapsed in 847 because of an earthquake.

Colosseum in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


Colosseum in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days
^ look at that tourist line...
Between the Colosseum & Palatine Hill sits the Arch of Constantine.  It's neat -- you can Google it :)
It was built to signify a victory in some battle.


Arch of Constantine in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Arch of Constantine in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


Making our way up Palatine Hill, we strolled under the Arch of Titus... again, a cool ruin.
It was built to commemorate the victory in the Jewish war.  Ask Google to tell you more ;)


Arch of Titus in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


Arch of Titus in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

But seriously, the details on these structures are amazing.  Especially considering the time in which they were constructed... I'm just baffled at how they managed to make these things thousands of years of ago. ..

Next up, are views from Palatine Hill, which is the one of the most ancient parts of Rome.

Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Poppy | My Darling Days


 Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

I don't know why, but I expected all of Rome to look like this.  It doesn't, but there are random spots of ruins sprinkled throughout the city.


After a quick lunch, we saw the Spanish Steps (highly overrated, in my book... maybe it was the large crowd, construction, or the massive Michael Kors advertisement... you choose).

Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Random fact: In 1986, the first McDonald's in Italy opened near these steps.


We then walked past the Trevi Fountain, which happened to be under construction, boo!
It's apparently one of the most stunning fountains in the world, and it's one of the oldest water sources in Rome, as it was built at the end point of the Aqueduct -- you wanna read something cool?  Read about the Roman Aqueducts.

Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days






























Next to the Trevi Fountain is one of the best Gelateria's in Rome, so we indulged. 


Gelato in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


After fulfilling our sweet tooth, it was on to the Pantheon.  You guys, this thing is awesome.  Built in dedication to all the Gods of pagan Rome, it's architecture is amazing. 

Pantheon in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

In the center of the dome, is an oculus or an opening at the top -- really, an engineering gem as no other oculus had ever come close to it's size.  It's lined with Roman bronze & continues to be the main source of light for the whole building.  It was never covered, so rain falls in & drains through the slightly convex floor. 

Pantheon in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


Pantheon in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


After that, we had some time to meander throughout a nearby Piazza, which was filled with artists selling their prints, and people lounging at cafes.  It was a lively yet quaint little town sqaure --  I loved it there.  

Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


There was a fountain the middle of the Piazza, as well as a fountain on each end.

Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


We got to see Trajan's Column.  The marble pillar was built to celebrate Trajan's victory of the Dacians.  With over 155 scenes carved into it, it's quite fascinating.

Trajan's Column in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Click here for a neat article on how to "read" the column.

Trajan's Column in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


Also, the Column of the Immaculate Conception, was neat to see.

Column of the Immaculate Conception n Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Column of the Immaculate Conception in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days


Finally, after a long day of sight-seeing, we walked to a restaurant near our hotel for dinner.  It was a lovely evening; we sat outside & sipped some Roman beer.  Zac ordered a pizza, and I ordered pasta.

Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

Pizza in Rome, Italy | My Darling Days

While we ate supper, we talked about how blessed we felt at that very moment.  I have wanted to travel to Italy for quite some time, and it was finally real!   All the while we pranced around Rome, I just felt an overwhelming rush of thankfulness.
Topping it off with an authentic heaping plate of pasta was just icing on cake.

--------------------------------

Stay turned for images from the next city on our tour, the sacred destination of Assisi!