friday: i'm thinkin'...

...this week has been fun and looking forward for another collaboration. Happy weekend, All!

see, what these thinkers are thinkin'...

georgiaashleytamicarlakelliveronica, karli

It was a great week waking up to the images and thoughts of these old and new friends. I've had a great time stretching my creative muscle, getting lost in somebody else's
day and even faced new photography challenges. Taking pictures of something painted with high gloss {like these little cuties} can be tricky. 


thursday: i'm thinkin'...


...it needs some sprinkles.

more thinkin' going on here...


wednesday: i'm thinkin'...

...that I want to build a snowman on the beach.

thinking, too...

tuesday: i'm thinkin'...

... I like all the twinkling lights during the holidays. 

they're thinkin' too...

i'm thinkin' is a week long project. just one thought...one picture. created by tracey.

would you like to join?
leave me a comment with a link to your thinkin' post,
and you will be added to the list.


I can't blame it on the Mozzarella, anymore.

This is something that I've never put in written word for all to see. Because I have made this my happy place...a little escape from the madness and doldrums of motherhood, but here's what is going on...

I've moved back home from Italy approximately four months, ago. Since, moving back I've put myself on a diet and lost about twenty pounds! {pause for cheers & applause, please.} However, the stubborn last twenty are lingering and I just can't blame it on good food and wine, anymore. During our preliminary packout process, I was going through the normal stresses that military spouses experience while preparing for a move. However, this one was really severe, emotionally. On the surface, I seemed to be keeping it together but at home the switch flipped to CRAZY and I was taking it out on everybody...the toddler was no exception. I had become really good at keeping up with appearances and giving off this Oprah-esque vibe that accepted and loved the person that I have become. However, in reality I avoided buying clothes and mirrors, never letting myself get photographed and bought shoes at every open market from southern Italy to London, England. I was overweight, angry and full of resent. I longed for that twenty-something girl with the petite body and care-free attitude.

So, what do we girls do first for help...we run to our girlfriends for advice. The pep talks with the girls were great. However, the usual excuses weren't making me feel better. I just wasn't buying into statements like, "oh, it's normal during moves" and "I'm always a wreck during packout"... yadda, yadda, yadda.

I decided to go to my physician for some professional help. My girlfriends warned me that I would probably get prescribed the second most popular military prescription after ibuprofen...lexapro, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Despite, their warning I went anyway, because staying this way was not an option, anymore. He asked a series of questions about age, diet plans, physical activity routines, sleep patterns and mood swings. I was completely honest, willing to except his advice because I just wanted relief. Living like this person that I had become...someone no one recognized...needed to stop. I explained to him that I was an insomniac, exercised little, my goal was to eat my way through europe, and that I was afraid that the children were going to suffer from my outbursts. He was great! There was no judgement which was my greatest fear. Seriously, I thought that if I admitted that my kids were suffering that they would be taken away. None of that happened but my girls were right. Upon completing his series of questions, he prescribed lexapro. But that wasn't enough. I didn't want a quick fix! I wanted an answer to all the changes. Have I mentioned he was great? He proceeded to listen to my fears of taking mood inibitors and went even further. He tested my FSH levels (follicle stimulating hormones) and they tested high. In a nutshell, that means I am perimenopausal. Now, what is that?!! Pre-pre-menopause!!!! Ahhhhh!!! {long pause}

Okay, so what do I do now? What do I do with this information? Put down the fork, get off the computer chair, start a diet and move. After, the initial shock, it was a relief to finally label the causes of the changes. The diagnosis will NOT be used as an excuse but rather an action plan. I know that getting back to that twenty-something girl is not the reality. I've got to get over the fact that I will never look as good as I did in the form fitting clothes that I used to wear. However, wearing moo-moos in pretty prints will not be the only fashionable option in my wardrobe.

The truth is that I need to be the best forty-something that my body will allow me. I need to be patient, compassionate and kind with myself....love the woman that is staring me in the mirror and focus on a future full of life, vitality and laughter!!

{If you or anybody you know maybe going through something like this, urge them to go to their doctors...they'll resist at first but thank you later.}


close up, check...feeling blessed, check

... close up of an ornament...check...images of a craft project...check...feeling blessed...check & check.

I feel like one lucky girl. This week I have enjoyed giving in to the creative wave that has come over me. I'm checking off the things that are on yesterday's list, creating new things... and...well, feeling especially thankful to be able to do these things is a byproduct.  It's a priveledge to be able to have the time to dedicate to these simple things. I have to remind myself of this on the days that I think the grass is greener on the other side.

In case you're wondering the turquoise glass ornaments are from Target and the supplies were purchased at Michael's. I used burlap ribbon, scraps from the bottom of the tannenbaum, Martha Stewart Holiday cardstock, scissors and a glue stick. The bunting triangles are basically long diamond shapes cut out of the cardstock that I folded in half and glued over string (pulled out of the garland). Crafty and resourceful all rolled into one. Honestly, I surprised myself. I haven't been this crafty in a long time.

Let's see what other things I come up with this season...I can't seem to stop the ideas from coming.

Happy Weekend!


Checking our list

Do you have a checklist? Special holiday traditions? 

Well, I found this one via simple as that and thought it would be fun to record our holidays with this photo checklist.

I'm well on my way, the Christmas spirit is in full swing at our home. I've never followed a formal checklist but I thought it would be fun to print this one out with the kids. Hopefully, they can put a name to the things we've shared as a family... 

...and see how "coo-coo" mom was and gets around the holidays. 



It's beginning to look alike like Christmas.

all images via Pinterest

Christmas day is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both. -- Phillips Brooks


thanksgivings away

I believe a true bohemian always thinks of their travels...past, present and future. One year ago, we visited one of many bohemain meccas....Budapest.

Budapest is an intriguing combination of two cities Buda and Pest, where everyone from the posh to the pauper, the artist to the historian can enjoy. I am thankful everyday and especially today for the opportunity to travel and have fond memories of Thanksgivings away in such magical places. 

Have a blessed day. Enjoy your families and thanks for being a loyal reader. I really appreciate you!

{In case you're wondering we stayed here and did this, cruised this and the kids absolutely loved THIS... just to name a few.}


Decided to stay indoors

Feel the rain.
photo taken from flickr
We were welcomed with the rain and the day ends the same. The windows whistle with every gust of wind. The decision to stay home for the night was made without hesitation or resistance. I hope I'm forgiven for my absence tonight. Sorry friends. They sleep. I write and worry about tomorrow's new experience.

The wonderkids are dreaming with the stars...hollywood that is...they want to audition for a talent company touring our area. They rehearsed all week and I have become their acting coach. One more knotch on my ever expanding mommy belt. Oh, the things we do for love.

Wishing them all the luck in the world. I'm proud already.


For the cappuccino lovers

Rememeber, I mentioned that I was looking for a capuccino that tasted anything like the ones in Italy. Well, Harold's in Northwood is where I'll be coming back for more. I challenged Chris, the barista, and he came through. He's a master barista that delivered the frothiest cappuccino in town. (Yes, he took me back to Napoli.)

Harold's is a coffee shop in a league of its own with the most intricate and intriguing iced coffee brewing system you'll ever see. It brews coffee (or tea) with a cold press to ensure that the grounds and or tea leaves remain unscorched. As a result, you have a cup of coffee/tea that is smooth and 110% caffeine proof...Pick Me Up, For Sure!

I absolutely love places like Harold's that offer a unique experience. While chatting with my friend M about everything under the sun, I took it all in and noticed that they have a lot more to offer...poetry slams, local art for sale, free comedy and eco-friendly workshops.

Definitely, a place to enjoy some local flavor and a smooth cup of coffee. 


happy weekend

Go out and enjoy the fall weather, lovelies. It'll be a long weekend of soccer games, birthday celebrations and cooking. Have Fun.


dreaming in white

White couches, white chairs, white linens, almost white everything...Dare I try...? One day,  I suppose when little fingers and little toes are no longer dangerous weapons.

[all images taken from pinterest]


Cinque Terre Update

Save Vernazza is a Facebook page that is keeping the public up to date on its rescue efforts. Vernazza is a smaaaall village but the damage is quite extensive and its location makes for tricky manuevering. However, spirits and optimism are high. As you visit the page, you can see how the firemen are sharing meals with the rest of the rescue workers and to top it off, enjoying a glass of wine. Their perspective on life is admirable.

As promised, here are more pics from our trip to Cinque Terre this summer with a little bonus...a soundtrack that I borrowed from una bella vita. The trip felt magical the instant we stepped off the train, however, the couple of hours in Vernazza were transformed into my own Italian movie with a serenade from a young canadian tourist. She was playing a piano solo at the cafe where we stopped for a cool drink and an espresso. The solo is Comptine d'un autre ete...which loosely translated means "a rhyme of another summer".  This song will always take me back to our magical moments in Cinque Terre. 

This is the best representation of how we traveled...wondergirl always tired...wonderboy helping mom by carrying camera bag, wonderbaby on mm's back...and I...behind the camera, of course. 

Yes, people do lay on the rocks to sunbathe. See the leg peeking behind the rocks.

What about you? Do have any special soundtracks playing in your head?


Have a relaxing weekend, lovelies

Insta magic
Sweet Dreams on Instagram @lizabeeandcompany

This week has come and gone. The Halloween magic has disappeared (as the decorations) but the treats will linger for what it looks like the rest of the month. The wonderkids did a fantastic job of gathering treats. As for me, I'm doing a great job of staying away from the candy jar. One way is playing with some great new photography apps, of course.

I'm falling in love with Instagram. Since I've packed my fuji instax, I've been looking for ways to document my dailies with some vintage flair. This is a fantastic way to keep up with old, new and creative friends. Love this new app on my phone. My favorite filters are Amaro, Hefe and Valencia.

So, do you Instagram?

You can find me @lizabeeandcompany.


Monterosso...and in a moments notice, it's gone.

I'm writing this with a lump in my throat. The news is just heartbreaking. Severe flash flooding has completely wiped out the beautiful villages of Vernazza and Monterosso in Cinque Terre. According to the mayor of Monterosso, ..."Monterosso no longer exists."

Cinque Terre is considered the Italian Hidden Riviera by some and with reason. It's absolutely breathtaking. We had the privelege of visiting the area this July, just five weeks shy of our departure from Italy. I am so glad we made it. We were there for just a quick day trip but were able to squeeze in three of the five villages...Vernazza, Monterosso and Riomaggiore. Of course, we vowed to come back one day with more time and with or without the brat pack. I know that we will. One thing I learned about Italy is that Italians are resilient and resourceful. There's no amount of ash, water, debris or mud that will stiffle their desire to make things Molto Bella.

The day started off a little hazy but by the time we made it to the Riomaggiore there was nothing but sweet light.  I snapped shots unil I couldn't snap anymore. I "disappeared" for about thirty minutes and MM called out a "search party". It was amazing and will share some of those candid shots later.

But first, I wanted to start you off with these of Monterosso.

For more about the aftermath you can read about it here. The government is awarding over 60 million Euros (about $90 million) for the clean-up effort but you can also donate to the Italian Red Cross if you're wanting to help.


saying goodbye

Military man is traveling every week. I try to plan different ways of saying goodbye before he flies off to training. This last time we shared a meal at a local italian restaurant and I joined him in an espresso. The company was great but the meal and the espresso far from good. It's hard to find anything close to the real thing. Italy spoiled me us in so many ways.

So, how do you say goodbye to your sweetheart? Can you give a girl a few ideas?


it's good to be home

Trying to get back in the swing of things and getting settled in our new place. It's actually a bit of a dream come true. We're living in a swanky part of town. I love to be close to great little mom and pop diners and the life downtown.

The Intracoastal Waterway is our view and you can spot the tower at Mar-A-Lago peeking out of the palm trees. We still have boxes to empty amidst the Halloween decorations but there's always time to take advantage of the Green Market and the fountain downtown.

....and YES, having family and friends so close by is a BIG plus. We are beaming and happy.

New Beginnings
New BeginningsNew BeginningsNew BeginningsNew BeginningsNew Beginnings


fashionable friday

This would be a cute ensemble to wear for the trip back to the states. I'll have to work on the jeans. The shoes and jewelry I can find at my favorite market. The orange Hermes Birkin...well...my simple orange bag will have to do. I think, I'd rather keep the children's college fund in tact. 

So, where are your travels taking you?