July 30, 2010

And Today We'll Be Filling Some Blanks

Before we take care of those blanks, I wanted to give a big thank you to Belen for the Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger award!

Thanks Belen!

The award says to share ten things about me, so I will do just that!

My hair has naturally been almost every color! I was born with spiky jet black hair, over time it started to soften and curl and turn lighter, so that by the time I was three, it was light brown and by the time I was seven it was blond and curly! Then it straightened out again, and darkened to a dark brown in high school, and at the beginning of university it was almost auburn! And now it seems to be turning blond again. It seems my hair cannot make up it's mind!


Speaking of hair, I'm currently growing mine out - It was super long at university, and then I cut off seventeen inches! - but sometimes I get frustrated at having long hair again and I get sudden urges to cut it all off again!


I used to wish I would magically grow a couple of inches overnight - I'm barely 5'2" - but I've finally come to embrace being petite, even if it means hemming almost every pair of pants I buy. At least I'll never be too tall in heels!


I'm hugely bothered by clothing featuring the American flag. I don't know why, but I think it's tacky and annoying. I guess it's an inexplicable pet peeve.


Speaking of pet peeves, I hate when people crack their knuckles. It's like nails on a chalkboard for me.


Oddly enough, nails on a chalkboard don't bother me that much.

(I'll spare you the image, as it might bother you :)

I think fresh squeezed orange juice might be the most delicious thing in drinkable form.


Speaking of delicious things, I could eat sushi every day! Especially now! I haven't had any in months and I'm craving it so much! I can't wait to find an all-you-can-eat sushi place in New York and go crazy!


Speaking of sushi, I think I'm starting to be obsessed with felt play food. Doesn't this make you want to be a kid again so you can play house and serve sushi?


I love swimming in the ocean, but I hate the crackly feel of having dry salt all over my skin after. It prickles!


And now the best part! I get to award this to someone else! 

I'm passing this on to 

 And now it's time to fill in some blanks! This week's Fill-in The Blank Friday is extra long, too! So make sure you stick around until the end! And if you play along, don't forget to link up with Lauren!

1.  The last thing I do before going to sleep is    close my book, take off my glasses and put both items on my night table. 

2.  When I can't sleep I    flip the pillow to the cool side, and then read until I get sleepy .

3.  The first thing I do when I wake up is   put on my glasses, go pee, and brush my teeth.

4.  When I'm tired I   start acting all out of it - dazed and incoherent and if I'm really exhausted, everything makes me giggle  .

5.  My dream bedroom would be     crisp white with accents of teal and yellow, a big bed with a big fluffy comforter, four pillows, and high thread count sheets. I'd also love to have a vanity table.

6.  If I could wake up anywhere tomorrow morning it would be    in a spa, on the first day of a pampering relaxation get-away with two-hour massages every day!

7.  The longest sleep I've ever had was    probably during any given exam period in university after weeks of all-nighters and studying and exams. I think I slept for twenty hours once.  

8.  I sleep on my     right side, or my back.

9.  When I sleep, I like to wear    light weightless pajamas in the summer (I've amassed a collection of little PJ sets of tops and shorts) and long pants, a long sleeved shirt, and socks in the winter.

10.  My bedtime is usually   between 11pm and 2am, depending on what I have to do the next day.


See you tomorrow for Six Senses Saturday!
(Beach house internet permitting!)

July 29, 2010

Wee Bit Wednesday On A Thursday.... Again!

I always forget about Wee Bit Wednesdays until my Wednesday post is published and afterward I see Leigh's post in my Google Reader.


But whatevs. No one says I can't play along the next day, right?

{one} if you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
It would end so much suffering.
{two} if you could go on vacation for the next month with an unlimited budget, where would you go?
I would do a World Tour of Big Cities I've Never Seen - London, Buenos Aires, Athens, Berlin, Lisbon, Stockholm, Oslo, Tokyo, Caracas, Quito, Bogota, Shanghai, and maybe sneak in some small towns and beach-side nooks and crannies as well.
{three} cats or dogs?
I'm one of those elusive people who doesn't have a strong preference for either.
I grew up with a dog, but I've also had cats, and both have distinct advantages and disadvantages as pets. Although if I had a pet in the next few years, before I'm settled down with a house and a set schedule, I would get a cat, because they're more flexible.

{four} would you rather date a lot of people or be in a committed relationship?
This is the classic example of the "grass is greener." 
When you're just dating around, all you want is that first date to end perfectly and blossom into a new, and hopefully permanent romance. But there are times during a committed relationship where you miss the thrill of meeting someone new.
But I would say that although dating around can be fun and exciting, there's nothing like being in love and knowing that someone loves you back.
{five} would you rather own a luxury yacht or a private jet?
A jet. You could fly to all the places yachts can get to, AND all the land-locked places they can't.
{six} what was the last book you read?
I just finished The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende,which I highly highly recommend.
Now I'm reading Collected Stories, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
{seven} would you rather be really hot or really cold?
Too hot. I can't do anything when I'm too cold. I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't think.
Being too hot in uncomfortable too, but it's not crippling.
{eight} if you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I actually like my name quite a bit, so I wouldn't change it. It's original enough, but not so obscure that people ask me to repeat myself five times when I meet them.
When I was little I really wanted to be Giulia (spelled the Italian way), but when I got to Italy in the summer, where Giulia is a very popular name, 
I was always sort of proud to be able to say "Julia with a J"
{nine} what did you dream about last night?
Last night, quite unusually for me (since I always have incredibly vivid dreams that I wake up from feeling like I've been awake and on an adventure all night), I had a deep, dreamless sleep.
And in fact I woke up completely rested.
{ten} if you had to throw away either your tv or your computer, which would you throw away?
Definitely my TV, although that would be kind of hard since I don't actually own a TV.
Well, my old TV has been donated to the beach house. But I really only used it to watch DVDs. 
I hardly ever watch TV, and when I do, I stream TV shows on my computer. 
Which is part of the reason I would never throw my computer away :)

If you play along, don't forget to link up with  Leigh Ashley!
Well, I'm off to get dressed and head off to the weekly Santa Marinella street market, which features everything from spices, to kitchen wares to wooden toys, to fruits and veggies, to bathing suits, to cheap polyester clothes. 
Maybe it'll make a good Weekly(ish) Photo Essay!

July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Jackie O!

Today would have been the eighty-first birthday of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.

And I'm sure she would have been just a beautiful and classy today as when when she was alive.

I've always been  - along with countless others - a huge fan of Jacquie O's classic style, characterized by elegant lines, simple cuts, muted colors, big hair, and, of course, big sunglasses.

So I thought that today (instead of studying logarithms, which is what I'm supposed to be doing right now), I would honor Jacquie Kennedy and her timeless elegance by posting some of my favorite photos.

Happy Birthday, Jacquie O!

July 27, 2010

The Fourth Generation

Duccio, three, getting all sandy

Aside from falling shamefully behind on my Google Reading,

Lavinia and Leonardo, two-and-a-half and four, enjoying breakfast and the morning paper

I've had the immense pleasure

Marta, two months,  having a laugh

of spending the last few days with all five members of my family's newest generation.

Leonardo and Lavinia building something

Let me explain. My dad has five brothers and sisters. The six of them had fifteen kids, myself, my brother, and all my cousins ranging from age seventeen to forty. And we've always reunited here at the beach house.

Marco, with Caterina and Duccio, building a sandcastle

I've spent every July of my life in Santa Marinella, and seeing as I'm only twenty-five now, at least half of the time that I spent here was as a child.

Marta is always laughing!

So for years I played with all the toys, swinging on the swings, riding bicycles, playing in the tree house, climbing ropes, learning to swim, and everything else there is to do here.

Unless she's feeling perplexed,

But for the last twelve to fifteen years I've been growing out of all that stuff, as have all my younger cousins. And in the last five years hardly any of those old playthings have been touched by us original cousins.

or even a little frustrated

For a while it was sort of sad and lonely, even when the house was full of people. A house full of grown ups just isn't the same.
Lavinia and Leonardo are dressed for bed, but not at all sleepy!

Finally, in the fall of 2003 my cousin Marco (the second oldest) and his wife had a little baby girl, who is now almost seven!

Caterina, six-and-a-half, posing prettily

And thus started the fourth generation of Santa Marinella (the first being my grandparents who bought the house here, even though technically I could go back another two generations since my grandmother had been coming here in the summer since her grandparents had a house here!).

In the last seven years four more kids have joined the new generation - Marco had another baby, a little boy,

Duccio flies high on the rope swing!

His sister Cecilia (the oldest of the cousins) had a boy and a girl,

Leonardo is fishing for crabs with his foam fishing pole

Lavinia is looking spiffy in new sunglasses!

and our other cousin Valeria just had a little girl this spring).

My mother holding sleepy baby Marta

For the past two weeks, Valeria has been here with Marta, Paolo (my cousin Cecilia's husband) has been here with his two little rascals, and over the weekend, when Paolo and the kids went to the country for a couple of days, Marco and his wife Camilla came with their two little munchkins.

Lavinia locking everyone out of the house!

So the last two weeks - the last five days in particular - have been a whirlwind of swings and tree houses and bicycles and water wings and inflatable toys and learning how to swim and taking naps and having snacks and all the other fun stuff that my little cousins are all doing for the first time.
Duccio is finally done swinging!

And I've been there along for the wonderful ride with them!

p.s. Somehow I also found the time to sew up a new baby dress for Marta! It's a modification of the same Itty Bitty Baby Dress I made last time, but a little bigger, and with some fancy additions (a belt and a ruffle and some buttons).

I want one for me! :)