Our trip to Paris

Our trip to Paris was...interesting. Lets talk about some of the wonderful parts of the trip:

  • An amazing AirBnB apartment: The apartment we stayed in was amazing. Clean, modern and in an unbeatable location in Saint-Germain. If you're anything like me, you get really overwhelmed by all of the endless options available in a city like Paris. It's nice to have such a homey place to come back to after a day out.

  • The weather: It was perfect. Seriously, 60-65 degrees each day, very little wind, sunshine and just absolute perfection. We couldn't have asked for better weather.

  • Visits to iconic spots: We saw the Luxembourg and Tuileries Gardens, the Eiffel Tower and a few other quintessential Paris sites. Seeing them over the course of such beautiful days made it a really dreamy experience.

Ok, now for the "lets keep it real" portion of our blog post. Livia. Did. Not. Sleep. Something about this trip just didn't agree with her. It made for an interesting energy-level for the Hash family. It made for an even more interesting flight back to the U.S. with just me and her. Suffice to say I was counting down the time, minute by minute. We made it back safe and sound, so that's all we can hope for.

On the upside, we did a photoshoot with a photographer while in Paris and I can't wait to see the photos. Hopefully she can photoshop out the red eyes and sleep deprivation from our faces!

Chapters

Hash-Family-in-Italy.jpg

Italy has witnessed some pretty major transformations and chapters in my life. In January 2005, I arrived in Florence a 21-year old college student that had just taken her first international flight. When I was packing for this big adventure, Italy was so darn perfect in my dreams that in complete and utter naïveté I didn't even pack a winter coat. I was heading under the Tuscan sun, right? Obviously every day would be a perfect sunny, 75-degree day. Ha! Needless to say my mom mailed me my coat after the first freezing (and snowy!) few days.

I left Florence five months later a different person. I arrived a boozing, slightly immature college student and arrived back in Washington, D.C. just...different. I had my own apartment, lived with my boyfriend (now husband), had an office job and just felt so darn grown up. It wasn't one of those I'm-sad-that-now-I'm-a-grown-up things. It just felt so natural and it made me happy. It felt like my time abroad had really opened my eyes and help me set goals for my future.

When I was packing up in 2005 and telling people that "I will be back here, I can feel it" I got a lot of nods and "Yeah...sure." Basically every college girl that studies in Florence claims that she'll live here one day. But for me, I knew it was different. I just knew this place was important for me and my story.

Five years later, when the opportunity came knocking to call Italy home once again, we jumped at it. This time around, we arrived in January 2011, sorta-newlyweds and self-employed marketing consultants ready to experience Italy in a whole new light. We traveled, visited museums, tried new things, met amazing people and matured...a ton. We matured and grew as individuals, but also as a couple.

As we get ready to leave Florence this time around, I find myself leaving a completely different person again. Italy didn't just watch me grow up this time, it watched me become a mother. I can state without hesitation or exaggeration that our life and lifestyle here was the reason we took the leap into parenthood. Without Italy this wonderful little family wouldn't be complete. I almost lack the words to properly express my gratitude to the universe for this.

I think that most of us have a place -- a physical, real place -- in this world that feeds our soul. Calms us. Helps us grow. All evidence seems to point to Florence as being that place for me. In that regard, it feels right to be leaving because I never want to abuse my relationship with this city, this place. I know now, just like I knew as a 21-year old, that Florence will always and forever be a part of my life. Except now, I feel it on an even deeper, more organic level. My daughter was born here and some of the happiest moments of my life are intertwined with Florence -- it's impossible to separate them.

*

Our move from Florence has been on our minds for quite some time. It's been definite for many months, but I stayed quiet about it on the blog because I really just wanted these last months to be about spending time with friends and soaking in every moment possible. In due time I'll share our new plans, which are very exciting for our little family.

Best Italian Food Blogs - Kate's Favorites

Searching for Italian food blogs? That is, bloggers with a penchant for posting delicious and authentic Italian food recipes? Look no further! I've selected five of my favorites to share with you today. These five ladies know their Italian food. Whenever I'm on the hunt for a delicious recipe, I head over to their blogs for inspiration.

What I love so much about each of these bloggers is that they write often about the history of a recipe, their relationship to food and why these recipes are important to them. They aren't just "recipe dumpers" that churn out tons of dishes for SEO or traffic purposes. You really get the sense reading these blogs that they simply love Italian food and sharing it with others.

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Pinning Paris: 5 Gorgeous Photos

With only three weeks left until our little family trip to Paris, I find myself spending a slightly unacceptable amount of time on Pinterest searching for ideas for our stay. Paris is a black hole on Pinterest because there are about 5,323,129 pictures, graphics and otherwise cute illustrations inspired by the city.

Do you use Pinterest to help plan trips? I find it's a neat way to get visual inspiration for unexpected places to see -- random streets, restaurants and undiscovered shops. With a baby in tow, it's important not to plan too much. Instead, I like to make note of beautiful things to keep an eye out for in different neighborhoods...just in case we find ourselves out walking most of the time instead of inside at a museum.

During our last trip to Paris we didn't go see the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame. We just walked. Everywhere. Paris is such a beautiful city that we wanted to see as much as possible, even if it meant skipping some of the touristy stuff.

Here are five pins of Paris that have been very excited for our trip!

Found on  this board  // Original Source:  Vogue Austraila

Found on this board // Original Source: Vogue Austraila

Found via  this board  // Orginal Source:  Flickr user Alessandro Tortora

Found via this board // Orginal Source: Flickr user Alessandro Tortora

Found via  this board  // Original Source:  Ferm Living Blog

Found via this board // Original Source: Ferm Living Blog

Found via  this board  // Original Source: Unknown

Found via this board // Original Source: Unknown

Found via  this board  // "Original Source":  A random Tumblr

Found via this board // "Original Source": A random Tumblr

Psst...my friend Georgette has an awesome board dedicated to Florence, in case you're looking for inspiration for a trip here!