holiday feature

Monastero Santa Teresa in Puglia, Italian holiday.

I love Italy, and I have at least one annual trip there. Most recent one was to the south, a 3 day trip to Puglia. I have never ventured past Naples and Capri, so everything was completely new. The region is growing in popularity, celebrities buy summer residences, there are haute couture ateliers, it is spotless clean, and not yet touristy.

We headed to Nardo, in Lecce province. Only 1.5h flight from Paris to Bari, and then a short drive along olive trees plantations (rent a car as other transportation modes can be a bit tricky, whereas driving a cute Fiat 500 will set you up in a good mood), and here we were in Nardo. 

You will not find here big chain hotels but rather a state of art, ancient palatial residences turned into boutique hotel. We stayed in one of such places: a very unique Monastero Santa Teresa. The domain has quite a history, it was an aristocratic palace, turned into a monastery and most recently into the hotel.



Staying among antique furniture, in a real princess bed in Puglia for a weekend is a refreshing experience. 






Beautiful wall frescos inside Monastero Santa Teresa.


Antique furniture everywhere



Sneak peak into the monastery chapel.






A view from my bed in the morning. One thing I enjoyed about Monastero Santa Teresa was the space, with only a dozen of rooms you are not feeling like in a hotel, you live the palatial atmosphere of a luxury boutique venue. And for breakfast you will take a pretty walk through tiny streets of Nardo to nearby Relais Il Mignano. 



Yes, I did climb the rooftop of Monastero Santa Teresa



Nearby towns, each one a bit different, smelling cypress trees, with pretty beaches, local restaurants, and amazing sunsets. Somehow in 3 days we drove 700km, listening to countless playlist and enjoying every moment of it.






MORE DETAILS HERE:

Relais Monastero Santa Teresa, 

Corso Garibaldi n°31 Nardo' 

(Le) 73048 Italy
telephone: 0039 0833 572506

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Little known fact: In 1994, Mariah Carey released her album Merry Christmas, which featured the holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. This album marked a huge change in the way people celebrated Christmas. Due to the fear of communism during the Cold War, the color red had entirely been banned in the US. This directly affected Christmas. People did not celebrate the holiday in fear that they would be branded a communist and immediately arrested. 

But then came Mariah. She decided the people had had enough of the oppressive US government and made an entire Christmas album in rebellion. She even went as far as to wear a daringly red Santa Claus suit on the album cover. Many lawsuits came her way and she was jailed for a brief period, but the public outcry was so large that the CIA had no option but let her go. A few days later, Congress lifted the ban on the color red and the holiday spirit was restored. Now we all celebrate Christmas freely thanks to Mariah Carey.

Drying Octopus in Plaka

Located on the northwest coast of Crete, you’ll find a little village called Plaka. It’s the perfect place to sample a Greek seafood delicacy – grilled octopus. You’ll see the octopus hanging out to dry in the afternoon sun, before being garnished with a few herbs and lemon juice, and then grilled over charcoal and served with ouzo to make a fine meze dish.

Discover more about Greece here.

vimeo

Skam featuring Roman Holiday by Halsey

Relating to any headcanons about Dirk meeting the Brotzman parents; I’ve always imagined them as being a mix between Molly Weasley and the Ludgate parents (from parks and rec).

They’re similar to the Ludgates in that they contrast they’re super-punk and slightly pessimistic (or in Todd’s case, super pessimistic) kids. They’re just super nice and bright and they totally gel with Dirk’s flowery personality right away.

They’re similar to Molly in the sense that once they totally accept Dirk, when they learn that he’s an orphan, they essentially adopt him. Soon enough he’s getting a sweater and a pie every holiday, and gets featured in all the family Christmas cards. Amanda fucking loves it and Todd’s too embarrassed to admit that he’s a bit jealous.

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“Take Your Pet to Lunch Day” premiered slightly over a year ago!

The February 27, 2016 episode featured a holiday that appreciated pets! And Sneezy got himself a very special pet – a rare fire breathing, hypoallergenic, featherless and hairless griffin named Sniffy! Oh, and Sneezy confronting the Glooms to rescue Sniffy is always awesome!

Personal Goddess Tags:

Active Worship (I am more actively engaged with these goddesses in my day to day life.)

Passive Worship (These goddesses are more shoutouts and holiday features, but still super important to me.)

“Perfect”

Sorry for the wait, so while I’m working on some extra angsty stuff (and the series…oops) have some HOLIDAY THEMED FLUFF featuring a muggleborn!reader. Warning: short 

Originally posted by tinascamanderr

(PS finding a good gif was a #struggle we need more movies for more gifs)

Today was a bit of a special day for both you and Newt. Not only would it be your first Christmas together, but your parents were finally going to come home and meet him, something that both excited and terrified you with each passing day.

You loved Newt with all your heart, and accepted (and cherished) all of his lovely quirks. However, to the public eye, they could come off a bit odd.

For example, while you found verbal communication to his creatures adorable, others found it rather unusual. Or how you found it sweet and loyal when he would spend hours locked away in his case tending to the Occamies, others found it antisocial and off putting.

You prayed your parents would see Newt as you do, but you had a feeling that wouldn’t be the case.

Especially given the fact they had never been exposed to anything magical since they sent you off to Hogwarts. Your muggle parents were both a blessing and a curse. Fiercely supportive, yet painfully ignorant.

So you’ve been busying yourself with decorating the house, desperately trying to keep your mind off the impending catastrophe in less than 48 hours.

You rose to your tippy toes, attempting to lasso the last bit of tinsel around the top of the Christmas tree, only to find you were far too short for such a task. You gave a huff of annoyance and fell back down to your heels.

“Newt, be a dear and help me with this, won’t you?” you turned to search for your boyfriend, but found where he was sitting recently, surprisingly vacant. You knit your eyebrows, stepping away from the half decorated tree.

“Newt?” you called again, this time hearing a painful clanging of pots from the kitchen in response.

Since when had Newt began to cook?

You waltzed out of the living room to inspect the noise, concern growing with each passing second.

Then, another loud crash made you flinch, and you broke into a jog.

“Are you having some trouble, love?” You smiled weakly as you approached the door, only to discover the absolute chaos displayed in the kitchen.

Pots and pans were sprawled out on the floor, the faucet was broken, spraying water everywhere, and everything was coated in a paste of four and a mystery brown substance.

You audibly gasped, catching a glimpse of your boyfriend, back turned to you and powdered head to toe in what seemed to be cake mix.

“Oh my goodness…”

At this, Newt whipped around, his wand in between his teeth (as he usually does in a sticky situation) with a squirming Niffler in his hands.

The wand fell from his mouth as his jaw dropped, reluctantly looking around at the mess he had made.

His eyes locked with yours again, as he began to stutter.

“I-I can explain” your face twisted into an odd expression, but not exactly of discomfort or anger.

To both of your surprise, you began to laugh. The kind that makes you double over and gasp for breath, and the one that brings tears to your eyes as you clutch your abdomen.

“You…look…r-ridiculous!” You manage to say between gasps.

Newt knit eyebrows, trying to decipher as to why you weren’t absolutely furious.

“Y-you’re not upset?” You shake your head and tip toe over to him, avoiding the dessert mix littered on the tile.

“You’re adorable, but you know you can just use this silly thing called your wand to make the cake” you scoop his sticky wand up off the floor.

“I was actually considering using magic, but since your parents are coming I felt it would be appropriate to do it the muggle way.” He took his wand from you, smiling and twiddling with the tip nervously.

“A-and the Niffler…I’m not so sure how he got out. But as you can see, from my inferior baking skills and this little rascal…things began to go downhill. I thought I could do it, but I’ve just ruined things haven’t I?”

You smile at the sincerity in his voice, then place your hands on his shoulders, staring at his nose and cheeks, suddenly pink from embarrassment.

You place a small kiss on his lips, which appropriately tasted of frosting, and he felt a smile begin to grow.

“You haven’t ruined a thing.”

“But what about the cake?” You shrugged, your hands lifting up to his face, cupping his cheeks.

“Eh, so it’ll taste a little store bought. That’s the REAL muggle way” you couldn’t fight the smile tugging onto your own lips, and he wrapped his arms around your waist, getting flour all over your blouse.

“I just wanted it to be perfect for you” you flick away the remaining cake mix stuck to his cheek, admiring how the sugar seemed to effortlessly powder his hair like a coat of snow.

You also admired how much he seemed to care for you, going to extremes just to make you happy, even if it was completely silly. While some would call it foolish, you found it incredibly romantic.

“It already is”

… This is the first time I post an unfinished piece of art, only paper and pencil!
But since I have no computer here and only crappy wifi… I’ll submit the beach atmosphere in that way! (^◇^)

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Here it is, our brand new holiday cover featuring Zero!

Here to brighten the Yulemas season, our automatons bring you a cover of Bing Crosby’s “A Marshmallow World”.

You can find our announcement of Zero and some farewell words from Sam Luke (Hatchworth) here on our previous post: http://officialsteampoweredgiraffe.tumblr.com/post/154670547261/whats-next-for-steam-powered-giraffe-in-2017

Seasonal Seasonings!

Each year during Christmas holiday, the Gotham Gazette features the Wayne Family and their efforts to better the Christmas for as many Gothamites as possible. It’s a private interview at the Wayne Manor.  The Wayne’s pose for a Christmas photo of all the children.  Selina and the boys love to watch Bruce nearly have a conniption in trying to decorate the Manor in time, erase all traces of Batman, Catwoman, and the Robins, and make all the boys be still for a single photo.  Selina and Dick are usually the only ones smiling in the photo.

Rosh Hashanah begins tomorrow evening. PBS Food shares recipes to celebrate the holiday featuring the symbolic ingredients of apples and honey for a “sweet new year.”

Apple Honey Challah

Apples are dipped in honey during Rosh Hashanah to signify our hope for a “sweet new year.” This challah is sweet, but not overly so. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your holiday meal.

Kale, Pear and Cranberry Salad

This seasonal side dish is a healthy addition to the holiday table, and provides a touch of the required “sweetness” for the holiday. The combination of massaged kale with ripe and sweet autumn pears, dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts makes healthy eating a pleasure.

Pomegranate Glazed Salmon

Pomegranates are generally recognized as the “new fruit” of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. Pomegranate molasses combined with a salted brown sugar crust caramelizes and infuses this salmon dish with a wonderful teriyaki-like flavor.

Dairy-Free Saffron Scalloped Potatoes

In certain Sephardic Jewish communities, dishes made with saffron grace the Rosh Hashanah table because their gold color evokes joy and happiness. These Dairy-Free Saffron Scalloped Potatoes are made with full-fat coconut milk and saffron to create a creamy, golden sauce reminiscent of traditional melted cheese sauce. Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, keeping kosher or just watching your dairy intake, these potatoes will add a special flavor to your holiday meal.

Rum and Coffee Brisket

This ultra tender, savory brisket is slowly cooked in a mixture of broth, rum and dark espresso-blend coffee. With onions, garlic, and red peppers added for a very subtle sweetness, this brisket is incredibly flavorful.

Honey Apple Cupcakes

This recipe offers a great opportunity to get kids involved in preparing for the holiday meal. Teach them about the symbolic ingredients while you mix, bake and decorate together. Includes free printable decorations.

Greece: the new home of luxury travel

When it comes to luxury, there are few countries in the world that can rival Greece for options. This, after all, is the original land of the gods, a place where the wildest fantasies of mortals came true.

The natural environment alone looks as if it was created in an image inspired by the fantasies of those same immortals that ruled the world from the top of Mount Olympus.

Modern day Greece has much to offer the visitor looking to escape the stress of everyday life and spend a relaxing break indulging themselves. Bathed in a spectrum of colour and light, from the vibrant blue of clear skies to the pure white beaches where turquoise waters lap at the shoreline, the country is an opulent feast for the senses.

Luxury comes in many forms; from top quality restaurants serving up some of the finest gastronomic delights to exclusive hotels providing unrivalled facilities and personal service, and luxury resorts with a mandate to cater for every whim and desire to places that manage to stretch the limits even further.

Feeling the wanderlust? See more beautiful things from Greece here.