Sunday, February 10, 2013

Time flies

I cannot believe it's been so long since I have posted here. So much has happened. I went to Italy and lived there from April to the end of July 2012. I tried to post to my blog from there but for some reason this site was blocked :( I had a wonderful time. Lived in Florence by the Duomo and just had a short walk to school 3x a week. My school was next to the Ponte Vecchio. I made some really nice friends while there and learned Italian (conversational). It was one of the best experiences of my life. My husband came over and we made a trip to Venice and to Zurich to see his sister. I also went to Greece to visit one of my cousins and her family. We all had a great time. I was sad to leave Italy but know I will return and my Italian will be even better by then ;)

My dear sweet cousin passed away from breast cancer in November so upon my return from Italy, I was visiting with her as often as possible. I'm so grateful that I was able to spend a lot of time with her and had time together with her in Greece. Makes those memories that more special. Her death was quite a shock to all of us though as she was told she was cancer free in April then by July it had spread to her brain. My life was completely consumed with spending time with her or doing things for her family. I will miss her forever!

I finally moved into our new home in San Francisco and absolutely love it. It is the perfect home for us and our doggies :) So far the neighbors I have met have been quite friendly and I love the people in our neighborhood too. It's like a small town vibe within the city. Everyone is so friendly. I have some pics to post regarding the decorating of the house and will get on that this week. I hope you like what I have done. It's been a lot of fun.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Much love, xoxo- pm

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I leave this Sunday! I can't believe it's finally here :) I've been busy with the new house and met with a fabulous Interior Designer who will be helping me while I'm out of the country. I've never had to Skype and use dropbox for design purposes, should be interesting.

As for packing, I'm trying to limit myself to 2 large suitcases checked in and 1 small carry-on. I hope it's enough room but I'm really trying to edit myself. Also, I hope to have enough room for the trip back and all my wonderful finds ;)

The hubs seems kind of sad that I'm leaving. I hate for him to be sad but glad he will miss me instead of having a party that I'm gone. LOL I've been trying to spend as much time with him doing things he wants to do so it will make him happy. As for the dogs, I know they will be fine and I'm sure I will miss them more than they miss me. Not to say they won't miss me but dogs really have no sense of time. I swear, I can be gone 2 minutes or 2 days and my dog is still excited to see me!

Today, I went shopping and some lady in the parking lot wasn't paying attention to where she was driving and came within inches of hitting me with her car while I was walking. She didn't say anything but just looked at me when I knocked on her car. The lady behind her asked me if I was okay because from her vantage point she thought the lady hit me. Drama in the Nordstrom parking lot ;)

I look forward to having more fun things and pics to share you with you once I'm in Italy. I hope you enjoy joining me on this adventure.

Much love, xoxo-pm

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Busy, busy, busy...

Hello lovelies,

I have not posted for a while because I have been so busy! Much to report :) First off, we purchased a new home in San Francisco which I absolutely love! From offer to close was 8 days. The selling agent said it was the fastest deal he's ever done. We take possession of the house on April 2nd and I am meeting with decorators that week to decide who to work with on this project. I have my favorite picked and hope it works out. We will not be moving into the home until after I return from Italy but it will probably take that long for the Interior Designer to get it ready anyway so win-win for everyone!

If that is exciting enough news, I FINALLY obtained my student visa (YAY!) That was a pretty painful process mostly due to this not-so-nice guy at the Italian Consulate. I had to go there twice and he requested additional documents and said I needed to return a third time. Well darlings, this was not going to work for me so I asked him to return my passport and I would figure something else out because this whole process was ridiculous and I was not returning a third time. I guess this guy is the type that will continue to "push" until you "push back". After I had that conversation with him, I received my student visa in 1 week. He initially told me that it would take at least 1 month.

Good news today, I secured an apartment in Florence for my stay. This was such a difficult process to manage via email and hopefully I didn't get scammed! However, for now I am happy that things are moving along. The hubs is getting pretty sad that I will be gone for 3 1/2 months. I'm not happy that he's sad but I do feel kinda bad that he feels down. I have promised myself that I am not going to feel guilty though because this is something that I must do for myself. Otherwise, I would regret it for the rest of my life!

Need to go walk the doggles and figure out dinner plans. Hope all is well with you.

Much love, xoxo-pm

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Too much going on! eeeek!!!

So, I went to the Italian consultate 2x!! The first time he said I needed an additional 4 documents (which were NOT listed on the website) so I obtained everything he wanted and returned this past Tuesday. Guess what? He says I need 2 more documents that he didn't even mention the previous week. I was pretty upset by this point because I pride myself on being someone that is organized, doesn't waste time and generally has my act together. I listened to what he had to say with much disbelief then I told him I would not provide any additional documents because I brought EXACTLY what he requested a second time and if he wasn't going to approve my visa then to just return my passport. I can be in the country at least 90 days without a visa so I decided I would just adjust my plans. Amazingly, his attitude changed and he signed off on my paperwork. I still won't know for another 4 weeks if I get the visa but at least I will have my passport returned to me either way. What a hassle.

In addition to dealing with my trip, we are looking for a new house to purchase BEFORE I leave. Yes dear friend, I may be bald from pulling out my hair when I leave. We have appointments to view homes on Friday and Saturday all in different neighborhoods of San Francisco. Of course I have my 2 favorites and I'm rooting for them. Luckily, my husband isn't a procrastinator so if one looks good we will make an offer. Of course it will not be furnished or decorated until I return from Italy but honestly there is only so much that one woman can do!

Hope you are having a great week!

Much love, xoxo-pm

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One step closer!

Hi Friends,

Hope you are doing well. I'm excited to report that I have my appointment with the Italian Consulate on MONDAY! YAY! I have all of my paperwork ready and they claim it will only take 4 weeks to receive my student visa *fingers crossed* Still looking at apartments in Florence and haven't found the "right" one yet. You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to find a rental with a washing machine! I'm not sure what people do who get these apartments that don't have one. Also, these are not cheap apartments either. You can pay 2,500 euro per month and not have a washing machine!!! Crazy if you ask me.

Other that that, having a great day. How's yours?

Much love, xoxo-pm

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Off to visit with friends :)

I'm getting out of town for a few days and visiting with friends in Austin. Looking forward to a great time!

Happy to report that I received my appointment with the Italian Consulate for my student visa. One step closer :) Still trying to secure housing for 4 months but have some good leads on a couple of places and two agents.

Also, my SIL who lives in Zurich, summers in Greece with her family and she invited me to take the boat over from Venice to her area. Her husband grew up in Greece and they have a family house there. Hopefully, my husband can come over at that time as it would be really nice to have some quality family time.

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Much love, xoxo-pm

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Less than 2 months away!

I'm getting really excited and a bit nervous as my big Italian adventure is less than 2 months away. I will be taking a short course in Florence Italy for 4 months. I have been accepted to the school (yay), paid my tuition (yay) and waiting on the Italian Consulate to grant me an appointment to apply for my student visa (not so yay!). However, they assured me that they could get one for me in 4 weeks! I'm still trying to secure housing so if you have any tips or know someone, I would appreciate the help. The school is near the Ponte Vecchio and I have found several online but you never know if they actually look like the pictures!

Hope you are having a great day!

Much love,