If you haven’t read any of the past 30 things topics, click here.
1- Cooking & Baking– When I was younger my mom would have “do it yourself” meals. She didn’t want to cook so we’d have days when we would make our own dinner. This along with helping in the kitchen is how I developed my cooking skills. I grew up watching my parents in the kitchen as well as helping them out. Holidays were always huge so naturally there was a need for help to prepare all of the food. I remember being young and part of the Tamales assembly line at my grandmothers house. My mother was also really good at baking. She used to make cakes when we were younger and always made cookies or cupcakes to take to our school.
As I got older, the responsibility became mine and sometimes I would try and get real creative with my food. Because I enjoyed it so much I would often volunteer to make desserts for office birthdays. I then quickly became the official baker of the office and was expected to always prepare something. I didn’t mind.
Christmas time was always busy. I loved making cookies.. like my mom. So it was very natural to me to make a ton of cookies and then make gift plates with assortments of cookies. I always made my usual no-fail recipes. Chocolate chip cookies, White Chocolate Cranberry cookies, and Mini brownie bites with Hersey kisses or Reese’s Peanut Butter cups were ALWAYS a hit.
Then.. I met someone…
That’s my Mother-in-Law. The very first thing she taught me to make was Pizza. I should mention she’s from Naples, the birthplace of Pizza. I have been making pizza almost once a week for years and it still doesn’t come out like hers. I don’t know if it ever will. I mentioned in a previous post that my cooking game was taken to another level living here.
I began cooking with fresh ingredients and making just delicious food that I only thought I already knew how to make. Using fresh ingredients was way different. I realized that I really had no idea how to cook fresh. Us Texans really rely on pre-made, canned, or frozen good. Put them together maybe toss in one or two fresh items and there you go! “Homemade!” I even made my own BABY FOOD! I never thought in a million years that would actually happen!! I’m hooked! I love to cook and bake… and eat!
2- Photography & Documentation– I love pictures and I think that’s another thing I got from my mom. She loves taking pictures and she literally has thousands of photos either in albums or in boxes. I always wanted to learn more about photography but I was never given the opportunity. Now I’m making up for lost time. I’ll have 2 kids in school soon and I’ll be able to focus more on learning the workings of my camera.
As for Documentation, that’s something that I learned during my years in the Medical field. You document EVERYTHING. So I always write dates on drawings but I try to take pictures of them too so that if they get lost or ruined I have a backup of it. I love nothing more than going back and looking at pictures and videos. It’s my own form of documentation. I
When Miss V was going to celebrate her first Christmas, I took of picture of her with reindeer antlers. The next year while unpacking Christmas decor, I found the antlers and took a picture. I hadn’t realized that it was taken the same day as the year before. Now it’s become a tradition that I love and look forward to. The girls get really excited about it too!
I’ll never forget the summer that ALL 3 GIRLS got the Chicken pox…TOGETHER! That was miserable and luckily it wasn’t too hot. It was the end of May and Miss V got it from a boy at school. Two weeks later Miss E and Baby C got it too. Miss E is the more delicate of the three girls and she got it the worst. She even had them on the bottom of her foot! We barely survived our 15 day of confinement but we did have fun!
I remember when Miss V started walking. It was July 14, 2011. We were at my best friend’s wedding and I was a bridesmaid. Miss V was walking back and forth from chair to chair. The next day she was finally on her own.. walking with confidence at almost 15 months! Miss E started right after her first birthday.. in fact I was in the hospital with Baby C when she started walking.
Which brings me to Baby C. At 18.5 months old.. she took her first real unassisted steps. FINALLY! Good thing I had my phone to capture it!
3- Music-I’m obsessed with music. I have to listen to music every day and generally anytime I can. Wether it’s while cleaning, walking to the market or even falling asleep. I’ve got something going on. My love for music began at a young age. My parents always had the radio on in the mornings when we were go to school and sometimes during meal times. I also love to play music. I played the clarinet from the 6th grade until I graduated High School. Anytime I hear/listen to a classical piece it brings me right back to those glory days of playing in band. During the fall, I’m back in my Marching band mode thinking of those days in hot polyester uniforms.
I want my girls to have a love of music in any form. Playing, singing, dancing or just listening and appreciating the art. We’ve noticed that Miss V has an ear for music. She’s got a great singing voice and can memorize lyrics fairly easy. She also loves to dance and has really good rhythm. Just a few hours ago, I heard her singing the chorus to Iggy Azalea’s Fancy. She said she heard it on my phone when she was 4yrs old. While preparing for our trip to the beach we made a playlist together so we could jam out at the beach. Check out our playlist on YouTube. It’s not the complete list but the majority of songs chosen by the girls.
This was the Song of the summer here in Italy. One of our favourites!
4-Running– I never thought I would actually call this a passion… but it is! I am passionate about running!!! I have never been the type of person who be “into” something. The last time I ran was in elementary school and I had to run a mile. Sometimes during my adulthood, I tried to run again. I made some improvements slowly, like running half a mile, then .75 of a mile. I continued to walk but running never progressed.
Then one day last year, I saw a group of Down Syndrome people and they were running. Slowly but they were totally smoking me. Then old people were running past me. I thought to myself, why is it that they can do it and I think I can’t?! From that moment on, I realized that I was doing it wrong. I had to start slow and compete with only myself. I was running slower, much slower than I walked but I was doing it. I would reach my target point. First to the end of the road, then to the tree, the water fountain, around the corner, etc..
I stuck with it through the fall and winter. I got sick and had a setback but picked up during the spring. Then summer hit and I stopped. July sucked and I did nothing but August came and I was back at it. I reached my goal again of running 5k without stopping. I will keep going till I get to a better time then try to run 7k. Eventually I’d like to be able to run 10k. That’s my longterm goal. I know I can do it!
5-Tourism– As cheesy as it sounds, I love playing tour guide in my city. Torino isn’t at all like the “others”. We’re smaller than Rome and Milan, less touristy than Venice and Florence but we’re beautiful, artsy and let’s face it… way better. Torino is known as the Paris of Italy and you know how much I love me some Paris! The architecture is filled with old Medieval and French Baroque. It’s quite the combo but it works! With World class museums and historic cafes, you’d be surprised to see what Torino has to offer. In fact, you may wonder why you’ve never been here before and why no one talks about this wonderful city. Why don’t you come check it out and we can eat gelato until we pop!