Posted by sol in friends, images, life

On Saturday we woke up at dawn (if you think they look tired you should’ve seen me), hopped on a train and went to Bologna.

We got our bibs and tried some cheap neuroscience to boost our confidence.

And we ran.

And ran.

Until the finish line!

The boys got medals, as did every other kid in the race. (funny story: Damiano, upon realizing that everyone got medals told me: “mommy that was a fake race”, clever boy). We had a lovely lunch, a lovely ice cream and we plodded through Bologna in a very hot afternoon. My feet were sore, and on the following day…

My friend Claudia and I were all clad in pink…

and with bibs of our own.

It was really fun, and it was a bit like childbirth because running 10.5 km in the heat and humidity with no water really sucked balls but now I don’t remember that, I only think that it was really fun and I can’t wait to do it again. I’m nuts.

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Posted by sol in friends

Look what came in the mail! What a great way to start the year: The lovely and super-talented Kristel from Vlijtig (warning: her blog is addictive) and I agreed on a New Year’s swap, and I got mine in the mail yesterday! Here’s what I got:

This gorgeous crocheted cowl in my favorite color.

Three hand-carved stamps, one of which says UAUAGÈ! Kristel, you are a star.  It’s like Christmas and my birthday together, but better.


Dutch clogs and buttons and a pretty card.

This quilted pouch, with delft blue print and the perfect size for my new iPad mini (which I have yet to get but hey)

These super cool notebooks made with maps of Holland! And yummy dutch things to eat and calendula seeds.

It was the nicest swap I’ve ever received, hands down. Thank you Kristel!

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Winter, so far.

Posted by sol in cuisine or at least food on the plate, friends, images, my sons are smarter than me

These winter holidays have been lovely, and I’ve found myself enjoying each moment almost effortlessly: this is a good thing. (I credit all the exercise I’ve been having: skiing cross country and running, mostly. Moving is my antidepressant, and it has no side effects! Well maybe some sore muscles here and there but hey).

I’ve also been quite tired and I think that’s not because of all that exercise but rather due to all that cooking, starting on the 24th, with the traditional Christmas’ Eve dinner at our house, when I decided that making antipasti, spaghetti with scampi, a yule log AND cleaning out the fridge all at once was a good idea. The yule log was delicious and a big hit, and all the rest was great, too. And the fridge? Spic and span!

(Black forest yule log with chocolate swiss roll, black cherries and chocolate frosting: here showing that the thing DID indeed roll without cracking, big success)

For Christmas we got a new, bigger bed because the standard “french” size one that we have is one that I bought 12 years ago when I was convinced that I’d never marry or have children, especially children that would sleepwalk to my bed at night, every night, and things get kind of crowded now.

The kids got very lucky, since Michele feared they would be disappointed and ran to the store at the last minute to get them more plastic crap presents.

They loved their fleecy new jammies. I bought them in London in August, and they’re already on the small side, so I’ll have to modify them already. sigh.

Sleeping bags! Also a great present. The kids slept in them for a few nights in a row and now they can’t wait to go camping. (and I can’t wait to have the house all to myself)

After Christmas Michele and I threw a party, partly to celebrate his birthday and partly just for the fun of it, and it was really great. I made sushi, falafel, pigs-in-a-blanket and tons of other stuff and there was plenty of booze to go around. Unfortunately we were all too busy having fun, no one took  photos. I foresee more of these parties in the future.

Skiing cross country: my favorite thing.


And Santi’s first winter on skis. He seems to like it be oK with it.

New year’s Eve: we tried. We tried to stay awake until midnight, but we just couldn’t.

I made paella and we invited friends over, who like us, had no babysitters.

We even tried to have a sleepover, but they were all like: yeah right. In the end everyone went home before midnight and Michele and I said goodnight at 11.55 and crashed so fast I barely heard any fireworks.

Anyway, happy new year! Who knows what this 2013 will bring!!

My resolutions this year are very simple:

1.Run 15K.

2.Finish all my exams

3.Win the lottery.

What are yours?




reading and running and roaring

Posted by sol in friends, images, life, my sons are smarter than me, reviews

I just finished reading this book:

Loved it. I am, as it turns out, a strident feminist, and it’s a great thing. If I had teenage daughters I’d read it out loud to them.


Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far (Katie pointed out that the distance in days from the summer solstice is equal in April and August, and that might explain why it was so fucking hot). We went to the “beach”. The kids love it. They played and they let me read my book!

Santi got a haircut, finally. The previous one, about 8 months ago, ended up with him bellowing and kicking the toilet seat off the hinges in primeval rage. This time, it took 5 minutes and no drama. He’s growing. There’s hope for us all. He’s turning 3 in 2 weeks!

Yesterday was also a big day for me: I graduated from the Couch to 5K running program 2 weeks in advance. My friend Katie told me about the Twitter Road Race and I thought, yeah sure, I can do that. I had to begin week 8 of the program, which meant running for 28 minutes. Besides, Katie is an experienced runner with marathons and many races under her belt and she was going to run it with me. I couldn’t resist.

Now, it was a bit like childbirth. When we were 4 Ks in, I honestly thought what a fucked up idea it was. I had chills through my scalp and was panting heavily. Telling myself that I run my own body wasn’t even making any sense. But today I’m like, I need to run again. I started running in March, after the XC-skiing season ended. I noticed how much better I was feeling after doing that every other day during my winter break. I really felt depression FREE. So when that was over, I got myself an App and I couldn’t recommend it more. When I began I was completely out of puff after running 45 seconds. Yesterday I ran for 37 minutes straight, and it felt great, chills and all. For a millisecond, seeing the results on twitter was disappointing. People run 5Ks in 20 minutes. It took me almost twice as much. But then I remembered I’m doing this for myself, so I won.

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full house and summer end.

Posted by sol in friends, images

My friend Patricia and her two kids came to visit us on the last weekend before the school start. We had a house full of very lively children and luckily our neighbours downstairs were away. We had fantastic weather and we managed to give our guests a nice fix of fresh air and smoked ham.

And commando slides.

And ice  cream.

close up…


Happiness in the cable car.








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Posted by sol in friends, images, life

My dear friends E&E came over this past weekend, and we had a wonderful time. We chewed the fat, had great meals, laughed like idiots and oh how we wish they came more often! They’re getting hitched in July (or September?) and I’ll design and print their invitations. I’m very excited about this project because I couldn’t think of a lovelier couple to do this for.




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I live here.

Posted by sol in friends, images, life


Ok, not really *here*, but pretty close by. It’s stunning.

We trudged up this bloody steep trail, ate at a mountain hut and came down in fours: 4 adults, 4 kids, 4 sledges. I came down by foot because I freaked out.

Whilst we waited for our foooood, we kept the kids busy making them pose for us. These two are Cute.



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Posted by sol in friends, globe-trotting

Wiesbaden is lovely.

We had an amazing getaway that exceeded all our expectations.

Damiano and Santiago were happy to learn there were cars in Wiesbaden, too.

oh, and a Lego store. Handy, because a little someone that could or could not be Santiago dunked the train engine in the bath water.

The view of Wiesbaden from Neroberg. It was HOT. It reminded us of a certain hike…. sorry for the crappy photos. My camera is at the hospital.


Mr. Temperament

Kloster Eberbach: nice if you’re into that sort of thing. Ute was an incredible tour guide.

Of course the kids had to be uncontrollable at the best restaurant. But it was ok in the end. I had lovely food: dessert was a buttermilk terrine with a yellow plum compote, which is misleading because it sounds like autumn. It was Summer in a dessert. And the riesling was fantastic.


We took a ride in the cable car at Rüdesheim. It was lovely and breezy amidst a very HOT and damp kind of day.

That’s all I could get from my iphone. Currently waiting for Tom to send the photos he’s got.




Posted by sol in friends

Image stolen from Room Service Home.

Hello to Raina‘s readers.
Please have some of my pink lemonade.

And now go back to Raina’s house and delight in the beauty and the wit.



early christmas

Posted by sol in craftulence, friends


Look what I got in the mail yesterday! Alexis sent me this wonderful package from NY! I’m loving the magazines, although a teething miserable baby is preventing me from devouring them. Thank you very much A. you made my day!