Playing and Pasta Making in Verona

My girlfriends and I found affordable tickets to Italy and traveled there together in October. Our destinations were Venice, Florence, and Verona, we arrived by plane in Venice then did a loop around those cities by train.

Verona is known for the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and it sits on the River Adige. It was a colony of the Roman Empire because of its navigable river, and is famous for a few castles including the Castelvecchio fortress. It was an artistic center in the Middle Ages, and today it’s a thriving smaller city in northern Italy just west of Venice.

The city of Verona is a smaller town that felt like more of a community and less of a major tourist destination. Although it’s known for the Juliet balcony attraction and first century amphitheater, what we enjoyed most were the river views, the meandering streets, and the piazzas filled with cafes. We got lucky with blue skies which were the perfect backdrop to the pastel hues on the old buildings.

For me there’s nothing better than sitting in a cafe people watching and enjoying local food amid centuries old architecture. It’s my favorite part of visiting anyplace in Europe. Below are a few snapshots from my two day exploration of Verona, plus the experience of learning to make homemade pasta!


One of the things I really wanted to do when in Italy was learn how to make homemade pasta. One of the afternoons we were in Verona we took a three hour pasta making class from a local professional chef.

Homemade pasta has a slightly different taste and texture and it’s an amazing experience to make and cook your own. We started from scratch and ended with a meal of tagliatelle in a hearty tomato sauce.

I found this pasta making course on Trip Advisor and booked it for the experience. It started in this charming small professional kitchen where we gathered in a small group to learn from Chef Cristina.


We started with flour, an egg, and a pinch of salt, then turned that into a dough. Cristina taught us how to knead the dough to activate the gluten and then her technique for rolling and cutting. (I’m sharing all the tips in a video tomorrow on Instagram stories if you’re interested!)

The proportions were this: one egg to every 90g of flour (which is between 2/3 and 3/4 cup) and a tiny pinch of salt.


Once we combined the egg and flour and salt we formed a ball of dough. Then we kneaded it for about five minutes, pulling the dough out and then forming a ball again and again. The pulling activates the gluten. We were told you know when the dough is ready when it feels as soft as a “baby’s butt” and comes back into shape when you try to indent it with your finger.

We wrapped our dough in cellophane and let it sit for 30 minutes before rolling, then unwrapped it and rolled it super thin, then folded it over like a crepe. We learned to cut the different widths for pasta (spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle) and the technique for forming tortellini and how to layer and cut ravioli.




With a hearty homemade tomato sauce on the menu, our chef instructed us to cut the width of tagliatelle which we did. She served it to us with a sparkling wine and it was delicious!


What an amazing afternoon with friends! I’ve traveled with these two ladies on multiple international trips and we always have so much fun and make great memories. I wrote an article about what makes a great travel mate last year, if you’re curious about why we travel so well together. I adore these two and we’re already planning trips for next year!


So the real question I asked myself when I got home was could I recreate it? Could I use my new skill and make my own homemade pasta?

I ordered the same Italian wheat flour on Amazon that our instructor used to make my own pasta and gave it a try.

I did it! I made homemade beef ravioli and served it to my teenage son. He loved it!

Making homemade pasta was so much simpler than I thought and there’s no need for a pasta maker. It can be done by hand! I’ve read other recipes that use semolina flour which is a very common flour used for making pasta, it comes from durum wheat and it’s coarser and darker than all purpose flour. The flour I used was a whole wheat flour imported from Italy that I linked to above.

I’ll share my experience and photos from Venice on a later date. Check tomorrow’s Instagram stories for tips and techniques on how to make homemade pasta in your own kitchen too!


Since I’m sure many are curious, there were a few extra documents that were required for us to travel to Italy. To fly, the airline required a negative covid test within 72 hours of arrival and a completed EU passenger locator form. On arrival, they check your vaccination status at border patrol. If vaccinated you’re free to enter, if not, you need to quarantine for five days. However to travel on any train or eat indoors or visit any museums, the Italian government required a green pass or proof of vaccination. To return to the US we needed a rapid covid test with a negative result to board the plane back home which we got at the Venice airport for $35.

People wore masks on planes and trains and indoors in shops and restaurants, but many chose not to wear masks outdoors when walking around or when they were seated while dining. The extra paperwork wasn’t a big deal and we didn’t feel the trip was diminished in any way by the extra requirements or masks. We were so happy to be exploring the world again after being grounded for almost two years. 🙂

Did you miss our previous article…

How To Hang An Outdoor Daybed (On Video!)

Last week we shared how we built the DIY outdoor hanging daybed that we installed on our front porch. And as promised, I’m back to share how we hung it since, if you’re like me, hanging things that are meant to support the full weight of a human body (or two!) can make you a little nervous.

It was actually extremely easy to do. So easy that we did it more than once (ha!) so that it resulted in the smoothest and most non-tipsy sway possible (our first hanging attempt made it tip forward and backwards a bit, which wasn’t ideal). Thankfully the second attempt worked like a charm. Plus it meant we could document the entire thing for you, so you can just skip right to doing it the better way on the first try.

Here’s how it looked when you last saw it, after our initial hanging attempt:

We mentioned were going to rehang it in last week’s post, because almost immediately after hanging it with just two ceiling hooks, we realized that suspending it that way made the daybed swing front-to-back a bit more than we hoped, like an actual swing you’d find on a playground.

Continue reading How To Hang An Outdoor Daybed (On Video!) at Young House Love.

Did you miss our previous article…

A Tribute To Burger

We shared some sad news on Instagram Stories last week, but wanted to make sure to post something here too, because Burger was such a huge part of our blog. Last Monday, our sweet chihuahua Burger passed away at the age of 15. It was a long wonderful life, but we miss him so so much. The house is way too quiet without him.

We got him when we were 24 years old. Before we got married, before the blog, before we had kids, before almost every adult experience we had together. He was there through it all.

He was always such a happy boy. We are so grateful for all the years we shared. He seemed to pass away peacefully in his sleep. For a dog that was diagnosed with a severe heart murmur six years ago, we are grateful for all the extra years that he defied the odds after that.

Continue reading A Tribute To Burger at Young House Love.

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The importance of fitting new doors within your home

If you are looking to spice up the aesthetics of your interior space, then you may be forgiven for focusing on obvious avenues to pursue, such as a new wall color, furniture, artwork, or a cohesive theme that you can use throughout your house.

While all of these points are worthy of consideration, and can certainly transform the look of your home’s interior, you should not neglect the details which are often forgotten—but actually tie the whole space together. 

For example, anyone who has renovated their home will tell you how difficult it is to choose new doors for each room.

This is because they are such a foundational piece of the house—both aesthetically and practically. Your doors have to match the color and theme of each room, while looking cohesive and minimalist enough to stay standing for years (or even decades) to come. 

Furthermore, given how much you use doors on a daily basis, a dated or awkward one can become a regular annoyance, and even affect how you feel about your house as a whole.

This is what you need to know about fitting new doors in your interior space.

Avoid squeaky or ugly hinges

The most fundamental aspect you need to consider when fitting doors to your house is whether they function correctly. This might sound blindingly obvious, but it can be all too easy to become caught up with choosing particular colors, trying to match them with particular rooms, or searching for examples that come in on budget, that you can forget to buy quality items that will function for years to come. 

For example, there is nothing worse than a squeaky, warped, or stiff door. Some of your guests may not even be able to use them properly, and it can make living within your house on a daily basis an annoyance. 

Therefore, it is crucial that you source the constituent parts from a reliable supplier such as Tradefix Direct

They can keep a draft out

Doors have a far wider-reaching purpose than you might imagine. They are intrinsic in keeping each room at a certain temperature, for instance, which is particularly obvious if you live in a poorly insulated home. 

Not all doors are good at fulfilling this purpose, so it is key that you find examples which block drafts out effectively. To do this, they must sit close to the floor, without any noticeable gaps between the door and the frame. 

High-quality doors give your home a more upmarket feel

Another reason why doors are so intrinsic to your home interior is that they can make or break your perception of the wider space. If you have spent a lot of money on a new kitchen, for example, but the doors are cheap, dated, and don’t match the overall theme, then the rest of the room will be dragged down with them.

Contrast that with high-quality doors which feel good to touch, look in keeping with the rest of the space, and won’t date easily, and you will soon see the influence that doors have on interior design

They match the aesthetic of the wider space

Leading on from the previous point, the doors you choose need to match the aesthetics of the wider space. This sounds easy but is actually incredibly difficult to do, especially if you use bold colors in your interior space.

Like any utilitarian item, it is best to opt for an inoffensive color, such as a white, light gray, or black. 

Did you miss our previous article…

Weekend Reading 9.19.21

Hello friends, how is your September so far? I’m a bit sad having had to postpone my trip to Spain but I’ve been enjoying our California fall weather so no complaints! My birthday is next week and a group of my girlfriends are planning a special outing and I’m not allowed to know the details. 🙂

Today I’m prepping the walls to install the wallpaper in the bathroom at our flip property, it’s so close to being done.  I’ll be featuring that transformed space very soon!

Cozy textiles and the most beautiful paint colors fill this country cottage. (Before pictures here).

Tour the 2021 Real Simple home (loving that green painted home office).

Find calm coastal vibes in this family home on Seabrook Island.

Cool DIY project: how to make a concrete lookalike coffee table top.

Pretty interior plant styling ideas.

11 cities in danger from rising sea levels.

The creation behind the wrapped Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

22 grocery store marinara sauces ranked.

Vacation spot of the week: Es Bec D’Aguila in Menorca, Spain.

Reexamining the impact of our phones and who we follow.

How to Find the Perfect Iron Door for your Home or Garage

Not all doors are the same, and the quality of the door will make a difference in durability and appearance. Iron doors have been around for ages; however, modern iron doors are trendy in most parts of the world. Iron doors are heavy, sturdy, and with attractive decorations. There are many iron doors to choose from depending on your taste, budget, and intended use.

Consider The Style and Design You Want

The type of door you choose is essential for your home. Doors are like clothing in that they can send a message. Iron doors have beautiful patterns that speak style and sophistication. With the variety of options in iron doors, you can create different effects with unique looks.

The style of door you choose will be the first step to creating the image you want for your home. The type of iron doors you choose can indicate what you want your home to say about itself, whether it’s Classic, Colonial, or Contemporary. You can contact Universal Iron Doors for quality and customized iron doors for your home or garage.

Iron doors are very customizable, and they can be plain, etched, or fancy. In recent years, ornate iron designs have come into style again. You can customize iron doors to match any theme or style you might want to fit with the house.

For example, exterior bi-fold iron door designs will easily fit any space and are elegant and versatile. They allow easy movement in and outside your home. You can customize the steel bi-fold doors to rhyme with your home style and taste.

The key is to think about what style would suit your home best, and at the same time, make the best first impression on visitors. Cast iron doors are also available in various colors, including bronze, Verde Gris, antique grey, and white.

Also, remember that you can have hundreds of designs to choose from and further customize these designs to meet your goals.

Choose Iron Material: Wrought Iron or Steel Iron

A wide range of door styles, sizes, and designs are available in wrought iron or steel. Both steel doors or wrought iron doors are suitable for decorative and security purposes. However, you can choose the essential material that will provide the best fit for your home’s architecture, design, durability, and ease of maintenance.

Both wrought iron and steel offer a luxurious look that can enhance the beauty of a home. And depending on your personality and the area you live in, either one can be a choice for your new front door. However, Wrought iron doors may offer a unique texture and design that few other materials can match.

The shape of The Iron Door

You will find Iron doors come in different shapes and sizes, from arches to half-rounds. The door shape you choose for your home is fundamental when planning the functionality of your home.

For example, an arched door might not fit well in a tight hallway. However, if you have a large house and want an arched doorway to pull out and surprise your guests, an iron accent will give your home aesthetics and history.

There are different types of shapes to choose from;

The semicircleThe fan-shapedThe Roman archThe paneled doorThe arched or curved shapeThe gothic-style pointed archThe wedge-shaped pointed Roman arch.

You can consult with your doorman to determine the best iron door shape for your home.

Iron Door Handles

The handle refers to the mechanism you use to pull open the door; generally, this will be a finger grip or finger hole with a trigger latch. You can select your iron door handles from the antique, traditional, chunky, craftsman, ornate or modern.

The hinges and handles on doors act as functional as well as decorative features of the door. It is essential to understand how they work and what options are available before making your choice. Aesthetics may come into play here, but also consider the difficulty of repair and long-term durability.

Two common types of handle styles are single turned and center turned. Single-turned handles are attached to the doorway with screws, while center-turned (or drop) handles are attached to the door with hinges.


The popularity of iron doors is growing as it is a very functional door for any home or business. Iron doors provide security and value to your commercial or residential property, but choosing the right door for your home is the most important thing. With proper care and maintenance, iron doors can last for centuries. An iron door combines the most important aspects of your home: aesthetics, security, and durability. Each entry has its unique characteristics, so it is essential to have iron doors that indicate your home’s unique charm, safety, beauty and are ready to welcome your guests.

Did you miss our previous article…

Thermal Expansion and Why You Should Weatherize Your Home

It’s been said that life has two certainties: death and taxes. But there’s actually a third thing: thermal expansion. Here’s what you should know about it.

The post Thermal Expansion and Why You Should Weatherize Your Home appeared first on Today’s Homeowner.

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Weekend Reading 9.4.21

Happy holiday weekend! I’m headed to San Francisco for the weekend, the weather is always so good in September. I’ll be having dinner downtown to celebrate our wedding anniversary and taking a long hike through the Presidio tomorrow.

Things are progressing fast on our flip project. The kitchen cabinets are installed, now we’re waiting for countertops. The bathrooms are nearing completion too! I’m looking forward to sharing those transformed spaces very soon! Wishing you all a lovely weekend, I’m sure we could all benefit from a few relaxing days.

Favorite links found this week:

Modern meets farmhouse style in this family friendly country property.

So pretty: the sand dune tile in this bathroom reno.

Styling perfection using wood and natural textures.

So in love with this kitchen backsplash.

This budget kitchen makeover shows the power of paint and new countertops.

The interior of a crumbling Italian structure transformed into a contemporary retreat.

DIY crepe paper flowers with Halloween flair.

Low cal dinner recipes filled with fall flavors.

Venice is implementing new restrictions and fees to combat overtourism.

Vacation rental of the week: these boutique apartments on the Gold Coast.

Did you miss our previous article…

Go Blonde: Decorative Ways to Embrace Natural Wood

Blonde wood is everywhere, it’s made a major comeback and rightfully so. Natural wood brings a modern organic vibe to a space, especially when it’s paired with white walls or used to create contrast with dark hues.

I chose a blonde wood floating vanity cabinet for the master bathroom in the house I’m remodeling right now, and I’m looking forward to sharing that space when it’s complete. The pale wood tone is so yummy.

However, you don’t need to engage in major renovations to embrace the return of natural wood finishes. Instead, here are four ways to bring blonde wood tones into your home without major remodeling.

Hang floating shelves, or replace existing shelves in built ins with natural wood

ultra shelf

brandon architects


Swap Metal Frames for Wood Finishes

my scandinavian home


salt & sundry


pottery barn

farmhouse living


Trim Windows, Ceilings, Walls, or Room Transitions

via sf girl by bay

apartment therapy

lindye galloway

flavin architects



Decorate with focal point furniture & art

mcgee & co

lindsay hill interiors


pottery barn

blank spaces studio

serena & lily

Are you on board with the return of natural wood?  Where have you brought it into your home?

Did you miss our previous article…