01 June 2013

very exciting announcement!

GUYS.  big news here.

i am so thrilled to announce that my website is finally live + ready for you all!

it's been such a fun road here at an italian girl going dutch, but the reality is that, thanks to all my readers, i've outgrown this site.  it no longer has the capabilities to do what i need it to do, and for as much work as i've put into it, it just kind of looks old to me.

so after weeks of hard work and planning, a blogging HTML course + lots of research, i put together my own site.  i am so excited to share it all with you today.

there are still a few changes coming to the new website over the next couple weeks, but on the whole it is done, save for some new photos coming.

it's been a really fun ride.  i started an italian girl going dutch because PI + i had recently bought our house, and we wanted to share the renovations we were planning and our many travels with our friends and family near and far.  since then, it's grown in size and readership and my blog topics have evolved.

but from here on out, i won't be the italian girl going dutch anymore...

i'll be so alaina

so come on over and check it out.  all your old favorite posts are there, along with many new features.

in another week or so i will change this site to automatically redirect to so alaina, so get your bookmarks + email updates situated... and enjoy!

thanks to the beautiful sarah mc cormick for the site name idea in the form of a haghtag, to the girls of blog (design) love for the fabulous e-course on HTML and branding, and to my amazing readers and supporters for helping me grow this more than i thought i ever could!

til next time... see you at the new site! 

31 May 2013

lemony-minty toner diy

yesterday, PI said something to me he hadn't said in a long time.

'why are you so sweaty?'

he had just come home from work, and we were both laying on the couch and decompressing.  i mentioned it was a pretty hot day out, and he looked at me and examined the greasiness of my face.  i thought i had a healthful glow from my jog that morning, but he set me straight.  it looked like my face was dripping with sweat [though i assure you it was not].  but either way, it wasn't a good look.

but don't judge me.  it's hot out.  really, really hot.  it's smack-you-in-the-face, never-dry-off-from-the-shower type hot.  it's that east coast humidity that really gets in your bones, and once it shows up in june [or the last weekend of may] you aren't getting rid of it.  all. summer.  long.

to help combat summer-sweat-face, i like to use a garden tomato toner in the morning and whenever i feel like i need it to freshen up.  but my toner seems to be gone from just about everywhere i can find it, so i was stuck looking for a new one.  but then, after coming across a few recipes online, i decided i would try my hand at making my own. 

my favorite recipe i found was from shwin & shwin, and i made only minor adaptations.

all you'll need is:

1 c of filtered or distilled water
2/3 c cucumber witch hazel [i used thayer's, available at whole foods]
1/2 c fresh lemon juice [took me 2 1/2 lemons worth]
2 tbsp rubbing alcohol
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
a plastic container or jar

directions after the jump ...

30 May 2013

jogging through the hood.

i don't know if it's the fact that i now know i have to pull a bikini on in two months, the 90 degree weather we finally have that begs for pools + beaches, or maybe i just woke up from a chub-induced nap.  but i don't feel like i've been taking great care of myself.

i was going through some serious blues for a while.  only in the last month have i really felt well enough to do a decent job of taking care of myself again, including the occasional trip to the gym or jog outside.  of course, then i did this, so i took another break for a while so my knee could heal up.

i know, i'm just full of excuses, aren't i?

but PI made a really great point yesterday [as he always does, the bastard!] - that getting out and jogging might help get my 'creative juices' to flow and help my writing.  i figured it couldn't hurt any, so for the first 90 degree day this summer i went out, bright + early, for a jog.  it was LOVELY.

the best bridge to run over, ever.

what more could i ask for while running?  i live in such a beautiful city.  there were even moments while i was blasting ellie goulding's 'anything could happen' that i caught myself smiling super wide, all alone, while staring at the cityscape past the charles river.  maybe it was some of her water-themed lyrics...
strip to the waist / we fall into the river 
cover your eyes / so you don't know 
the secret i've been trying to hide
we held our breath / since we found out
that anything could happen / anything could happen
or maybe it was just me.  that's probably it.  but i have to say, that's just what happens the first time you get out in the summer.  the sun is out, the weather is hot, the coffee is cold, the hair is up, the sundresses are on, and blogging is done from our loft's courtyard.  not too bad. 

well, that was my day.  it's salads + white wine for dinner over here... i spy a trend coming along.

til next time...