Posts in Personal
The Pines of Rome Blog Is Reborn!

For me, the New Year starts in September, not January. Being the start of the school year, September has always lent itself to new beginnings for me. The long lazy days of summer are left behind, and with it my lazy ways are sloughed off, and big plans for exciting projects and personal improvement take their place. The prospect of new office supplies (in my mind they will always be school supplies, no matter how old I get), scarves (by far my favorite accessory), tights (second favorite), soup (butternut squash, if possible), crunchy fallen leaves, crisp mornings, and endless cups of tea (Marco Polo by Mariage Frères, if you're asking) remind me that fall is the very very best time of year.

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Long Time No Blog, or What I've Been up to for the Past Four Months

This winter has been one of the busiest, most exhausting, and most exciting in recent memory. It started out with a bang as I threw a bridal shower for a dear friend in early November. She's mad about the Etruscans (and in particular bronze Etruscan hand mirrors) and so it made perfect sense to throw her an Etruscan-themed bridal shower! I may have had more fun planning this shower than the bride-to-be did attending it. To put it briefly, I went a bit overboard, making Etruscan-themed decorations, treats, and even an Etruscan Bridal magazine.

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PersonalTiffany ParksComment
My Rome Bucket List -- 21 Things to Do in Rome in a Lifetime

I've been noticing a trend. In case you're interested, I'm not a very trendy person. I usually pick up on things around 2-10 years after they become popular. Case in point, I just discovered Downton Abbey and Madonna's album Ray of Light. (Have you heard it? It's amazing.) However, every so often--and I'm talking very rarely--I actually get into something before it starts trending. I still claim to have started the Capri pants craze back in the late '90s. You're welcome.

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A Podcast is Born! The BitterSweet Life: Two Expats in Rome

I was 11 years old, sitting alone on an uncomfortable school bus seat on a cold Northwestern fall morning. After spending my entire elementary school life sheltered in a tiny private school, I was suddenly out in the big, scary world of public middle school. I was pretty sure I'd never make any friends. About halfway into the commute to school, a cute, dark-haired girl named Katy got on the bus and shyly asked if she could sit with me. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Twelve Months a Pope

Everyone knew the pope wouldn't be elected on the first day of conclave. With only two scrutinies, that would have been unprecedented. But most people didn't think he'd be elected the second day either. Unlike when Benny was up for election and a complete shoe-in, no one had any idea who'd be elected this time around, and we all assumed it would take at least three days. All I knew was, I wanted to be there when it happened.

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Celebrating 100,000 Hits!

(I'm sure there's a hilarious mobster joke to be made about that title somehow, but it's just not coming to me.) I am excited to announce that my itty, bitty blog reached the (to my ears) impressive figure of 100,000 hits yesterday! I know that there are many blogs out there that receive 100,000 hits a day, so in the grand scheme of things, 100,000 in the 2 1/2-year life of a blog sounds like small potatoes, but I'm still excited and proud!

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How I Moved to Italy and Married the Love of my Life, Part 1

As you may have already guessed from the name of this blog, I love Roman pine trees. I adore them actually. Today I have come to the pines for some inspiration. I am writing this from a bench in my favorite spot in Villa Pamphilj, where the pine trees grow in straight parallel lines. No, I didn't bring my computer to the park. I would never commit that sacrilege! I am writing this out longhand. It almost feels like I'm writing in a diary, perfect for the post I have in mind.

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The Benefits of Letter Writing

About a month ago, I was inspired to write three long-hand, stamped, mailed letters and I wrote about it here. Well, bloglings, for all of you out there who thought I was crazy, old-fashioned, living in the past, behind the times, technologically challenged, or unable to accept the reality of this changing world we live in, well, all I have to say is, look what was waiting for me when I got home today:

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Six Months a Wife and an Illuminated Manuscript

A few years ago, my father proudly showed me a family heirloom. He brought out a big leather-bound seemingly ancient book and carefully lifted the cover. It was a collection of German fairy stories and folktales. But this was no ordinary book, it was an illuminated manuscript, hand painted in gold, blue and red, with pages that unfolded to reveal intricate and spectacular illustrations.

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A Room with a View, Fate, and the Allure of Italy

In a scene from one of the greatest films ever made, (in fact it is my all time favorite film, and has been since I was twelve years old) two English gentlemen, a vicar and a young unmarried man, are walking through a field in Surrey, talking about fate. They had previously met by chance in Florence, and their paths have once again crossed, by happenstance, it seems, in the south of England.

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