1. Line an 8x6 pan with foil. Be sure the ends of the foil extend up and over the sides of your pan.
2. Arrange half of the graham cracker pieces into rows along the bottom of pan.
3. Pulse strawberries in a blender, then add chopped banana and blend.
4. Spoon fruit into a medium bowl. Stir in cool whip, yogurt and vanilla extract. Stir it all together.
5. Spread over graham cracker pieces in a pan and top with remaining graham cracker pieces, aligning them over the bottom layer.
6. Place in the freezer for 4 hours.
7. Lift dessert from pan and let defrost for about 5 minutes.
8. Cut between each graham square into bars.
Store any leftovers in the freezer!
These are some of my favorite cookies! My sister-in-law makes these yummy peanut butter no-bake cookies all the time and they go so fast. They are creamy and delicious! She shared the recipe with me this weekend and my sweet tooth just had to make a batch.
Enjoy! Store in an air-tight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh...what am I saying? They won't last long enough to go bad. :)
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
This Sweet Garlic Chicken has quickly became one of our all-time favorites. It is hands down one of the best recipes I've found so far for juicy and flavorful chicken. It is simple, easy and fool proof, not to mention - absolutely scrumptious.
While we're all at home social distancing, here are a few shows that are binge worthy to help you pass the time and not the coronavirus! These are only shows or movies that we've actually watched and enjoyed, not what's trending so, please leave your own recommendations in the comments. We need some more go to shows!
I'm sure I forgot a few of my favorites and I know for sure we'll be adding a few to this list over the next couple weeks of quarantine.
* = strongly recommend
Heads up, if you recently purchased an iPhone you get a one year free subscription to Apple TV. It' hasn't been our favorite streaming service as they mix free shows in with shows for purchase so, it's more difficult to know what you can watch without paying.
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
With the Super Bowl just over a week away, hopefully you have that watch party planned and invites sent! But, of course, you can’t watch football without some great couch-gating food. Here’s one recipe I absolutely love. I found it on Pinterest years ago and it’s super easy, while also phenomenal. It's a great appetizer, definitely a crowd pleaser, it has spice and flavor, plus, it's light and a healthier option.
NOTE: Since I cut dairy out of my diet, I don't use the ranch seasoning anymore and it's still fantastic! Also, if you don't love spicy, I'd recommend leaving out the red pepper.
Serve hot and with a side of Ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping. Drizzle some more buffalo sauce on top to add some spice. Also serve with a few toothpicks to avoid messy fingers.
It always goes so fast! Enjoy!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
You would never guess that these cookies are dairy and gluten free - they taste amazing and everyone is always requesting the recipe after they've taken a bite of these delicious and flavorful morsels. They are pretty simple and will satisfy your sweet tooth without a huge sugar rush. I posted the photo below on Instagram and instantly had at least ten people ask me for the recipe. So, as promised, here it is!
I found this recipe on Build Your Bite and just had to try it! She suggested substituting maple syrup for honey or almond butter for the peanut butter, if you'd like.
Let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Merry Christmas! We hope everyone is able to enjoy some time with their family and friends and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior!
It's the first time in few years that we are all together in our hometown near Dallas and it's been such a blessing. A few of our traditions on Christmas Eve include attending our church's candlelight service, followed by dinner at our favorite spot, and then drive through the neighborhood with some hot coco in hand, admiring all the decorations and lights.
On Christmas morning we all wear our matching pajamas and open gifts around the tree with the fire on and holiday music blasting in the background.
Typically, we only have one gift to open on Christmas morning. Each year the Santschi family picks a date for the following year and we travel from all over the country to spend a week together! The location is always a secret until Christmas morning when we each open an envelope to reveal the destination that mom & dad chose. This year, that changed though for the first time in awhile because of baby's arrival in 2020. :)
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
There's some big news to share - my husband and I are expecting our first baby in May 2020!
We tried to keep it private for as long as possible, but my on-air work dresses just weren't hiding the bump any longer so, the secret is out - I'M PREGNANT! We are trading in our silent nights for a bundle of joy to our world! We are so excited to let you in on our secret and the best news of our lives. We are over the moon excited to meet our little miracle from Jesus next year.
Here's another surprise - we are NOT finding out the baby's sex. I know, some type-A planners just read that and gasped out loud. Ha! But we are so thrilled for the big reveal on delivery day when we discover - pink or blue!
I'm in my second trimester and feeling oh so much better. The first trimester was rough. I was nauseous all day, every day, from every little thing - smells, or even the thought of certain foods, co-worker's cologne and coffee, really anything and everything made me want to throw up. Plus, I was extremely exhausted, however, my weird work schedule of getting up in the middle of the night probably didn't help that. All to say, anyone who interacted with me between August - November, I should probably apologize because I was absolutely not myself. Thank goodness that's over! Now, I'm a whole new woman and it's a million times better. I'm so excited to be in my second trimester and one step closer to meeting our little baby!
Over the last few months, we shared the news with our family and close friends. Here's a few of their reactions...
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
POST AUTHOR: GRACE
Tis' the season! It's that time to get out your holiday shopping list and start preparing for Christmas! Here are a few of my favorite things that every woman is sure to love and will make the perfect holiday present for a special lady in your life, a gal pal, or even your mother or mother-in-law.
MY TOP 10 FAVORITE ITEMS
10. SILICONED SLEEVE WINE GLASS
PRICE: $20 - 4 PACK
It's no secret, I am a wine lover and I drink it often. For any other wino in your life, these glasses are wonderful and especially perfect for the summers on the patio. A four pack only costs $20 and comes in multiple colors so you always know which glass is yours.
9. AMAZON LEGGINGS
These leggings are so soft and comfy, plus, they are Lululemon dupes. From Lululemon, they go for $98.00, or get them here through Amazon for $29.00. I'm wearing a size small in Army Green Splinter Camo for reference and will be ordering them in multiple colors. I'm actually wearing them right at now while I type this. Ha!
8. A SPA DAY AT THE GLAM ROOM
Who doesn't want to spend a day at a relaxing spa?? Treat her to a day of relaxation and pampering. I am at The Glam Room on a regular basis and get everything done here. Rachel highly recommends their services, here's my review on their services. Her favorites are The Glam Facial and the 80 minute Swedish Massage with hot stones - fantastic!
This would be a wonderful gift for any woman! Gift your wife a day away from the kiddos, or treat your gal pal to a manicure or facial, or invite mom to make it a mother/daughter spa day! Or, my favorite, surprise her with a romantic evening for two and book a couples massage.
When you check out, be sure to show them the photo below to take $20 off your first service of $50 or more.
7. EASIEST WINE OPENER
I have found, the hands down, absolute best and easiest wine opener out there. We received it as a wedding gift and let me tell you, it is a game changer. No more twisting, struggling, or hoping and praying the cork doesn't crumble. It makes opening a bottle of wine effortless and only takes a matter of seconds before it's ready to pour. Did I mention how much I love wine?
6. MEMORY FOAM SLIPPERS
When I get home from work, I quickly take off my makeup, throw on comfy clothes and put on these memory foam slippers. My mom came to visit, tried them on, and instantly requested these for Christmas! They are true to size, so husbands, go into your wife's closet and check the size of the shoes she wears most often. The good news, they're available on Amazon so if you do order the wrong size, you can easily exchange them too.
PRICE: $25 - $45
I have two all-time favorite candles that are always in my house. At least one is consistently lit, while another is stocked and ready to go in the cabinet when that one burns out. The Capri Blue Volcano and Bath & Body Works Cashmere - they smell so wonderful and are both available on Amazon.
These are so gorgeous but also simple and will satisfy any woman's taste and style. I wear these Missy Lane Jewelry earrings on-air often and always receive compliments on them. They are lightweight and my go-to whenever I'm needing minimal jewelry. They're subtle, simple and can be worn two ways (spike or kite shaped). I actually have a pair in both silver and gold - they go with every outfit and are very affordable.
3. COUPLE'S MARRIAGE BOOK
This would be such a thoughtful gift for couples. We received this as a marriage gift and have loved it, even reread it on occasion. Try the Sacred Marriage book or the Devotions for a Sacred Marriage - they both explore how God can lead you through your marriage, provide insights to build your relationship and a way to connect and grow closer to your spouse.
2. SWEATER FROM TARGET
This is on SALE right now for just $20! Rachel and I bought this in a size medium and in two colors - cream and cranberry. It is so soft, cozy and oversized. I would highly recommend because it fits all body types and can be paired with just about anything from leggings to jeans or a skirt. I would suggest a size bigger than you normally wear for the cute oversized look.
1. ORCA TUMBLER
I used to work for Orca and I've sold the family on these tumblers! The entire family uses these daily. They keep your drink hot or cold for hours and the ice never melts. Just about a year ago, on-air, we did a test in the dead of winter to see which mug would keep boiling water hot the longest. Six different coffee mugs, tumblers, and cups were in the competition. The Orca won, by far, keeping the water hot all morning long outside in the snow. My husband and I also use these regularly and everyone knows we bring our own cups to the party. Ha!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
This past weekend, my husband and I tried our luck in our second chili competition. Last year, in this same cook off, our White Chicken Chili recipe WON!! So, of course, we needed a new dish to knock the judge's socks off and would keep our championship title alive.
Our chili made quiet the impression again this year but, unfortunately, we didn't hold onto our title. It was still a fan favorite though and we took second place with a delicious new recipe! Here's the game changer with this chili - we used elk meat. It was incredibly flavorful and had everyone talking.
Not only did this recipe take second place, it's also super easy to make! My mom always uses 2 Alarm Chili Kit, which has all the seasonings already measured out so all you have to do is mix it together, add a few mixin's and VOILA!
1. Brown ground elk or beef. Drain fat.
2. Add water, tomato sauce, kidney beans, diced tomatoes with green chilies, bell pepper, onion, celery and jalapeño, and the 2 Alarm Chili kit seasoning packets except packets labeled “Red Pepper” and “Masa”. If you like spicy, stir in the whole packet of red pepper, but if you like your chili a bit more mild, use just half of the packet.
3. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. For thicker chili, stir masa packet into 1/4 cup warm water. Stir into chili and simmer for another 15 minutes.
5. Top with Fritos, sour cream, grated cheese, more jalapeños or whatever suits your fancy!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
Happy (early) Halloween! This past weekend I rang in a new decade and did it in such a fun way - surrounded by family and friends donning their best Halloween costumes! I'm deeply thankful for so many incredible friends and my family who all came out to celebrate.
Huge shoutout to Ashley Tribble for the unbelievable makeup work she did for my husband and me! It was impressive and everyone was amazed at our Day of the Dead costumes.
And kuddos to More Cheese Please KC for providing an epic charcuterie board - it was a huge hit and delicious!
Post Author: Rachel
Well, it’s time to say adios to my 20’s and embrace my 30’s! My 30th birthday is coming up this month so I thought I’d reflect on a few life lessons I’ve learned over the years. Now, I definitely have not perfected all of these by any means, but I hope to continue working on these lessons and learn a whole lot more over the next decade!
30 Things I've Learned Before 30
30. Drink good wine - no one needs a bad wine headache
29. Learn how to cook - take a cooking class or try a new recipe from Pinterest, it’s a very necessary life skill and keeps you from eating out all the time
28. Network - meet as many people and make as many friends as you can find
27. Don’t hold onto things - purge your closet once a year, if you haven’t worn it all year, donate it
26. Take care of yourself - workout regularly, eat your vegetables and take your vitamins, but still indulge occasionally
25. Nothing good happens after midnight - my mom told me this all the time and she was right
24. Find a good hairdresser and go every 3 months
23. Read books - go to the library and find a good book to get lost in
22. Don’t waste time on social media - it can suck you in, don’t let it
21. Compliment others - everyone likes a compliment, hand them out like candy
20. Don’t waste time dating until your 20’s and even then, be selective
19. Invest your money and talk with a financial adviser to make the best plan for your future
18. Learn how to do laundry - for stains, use cold water; never wash reds with lights; use hot water for bedding and towels
17. Explore your city - take a weekend to be a tourist in your own city. Try new restaurants, check out the hot spots, and see what all your city has to offer.
16. Politics - figure it out for yourself and then don’t talk about it
15. Be kind to everyone you meet - even if you’re having a bad day, smile and say thank you
14. Get a dog - they are the best and will love you forever. Plus, it's been statistically proven that dog owners live longer.
13. Invest in your skincare line - bad skin is a bad day, just fork up the money and take care of your face
12. You don’t always have to be right - this is hard for my very stubborn self but sometimes, it’s just not worth it
11. Maximize every opportunity - whatever stage of life you are in, live to the fullest
10. Be open to new opportunities and try new things
9. But also know, that you can say no - sometimes you need a break, take it
8. Be yourself, apologetically
7. Invest in your mattress - you spend at least a third of your life sleeping, make your mattress a good one
6. Visit family often and call them regularly - they're the most important people in your life, invest in them and cherish every moment
5. Serve your spouse - anything from a sweet compliment in the morning to making their favorite meal, whatever your love language, share it generously
4. Pray with your spouse
3. Find a church and get involved
2. Travel as much as possible - see the world! You can do this on a budget too, do your research and make a priority list.
1. Getting old isn’t something to dread, it’s something to celebrate! I’m older and wiser and excited for this next chapter in my 30’s!
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
Let's talk about Podcasts! I was slow to hop on the podcast train but now, I'm absolutely loving it and constantly searching for new a series or episodes. Any chance I get, while I'm walking Chief or driving to work, I regularly find myself tuning in to catch the latest installment. Today, I'm sharing the top three podcasts that I currently can't get enough of!
Leave your favorite podcast in the comments! I'm always looking for more recommendations.
1. GOAL DIGGER PODCAST - JENNA KUTCHER
I think I've listened to five of these episodes already today! Jenna Kutcher is an entrepreneur, a self-made millionaire, an educator, photographer, blogger and all around impressive business woman. Her podcasts are insightful and inspiring. She discusses business, money, Instagram tips, real life as a wife and a mother, and has guests on the show to share their expertise. I'm always left feeling inspired and informed.
SHE PODCAST - JORDAN LEE DOOLEY
Jordan has such a fun and bubbly personality, you can't help but smile when you listen to hear speak. She is honest, real and her goal is to equip the everyday woman to live a purposeful live. She is an author, educator and small shop owner sharing her journey, insights and experiences through the SHE podcast. "Multi-passionate" is a word you will hear frequently on her show, she gets you to think about what it is that drives you and how you can turn that into a project, side-hustle, or even career.
BEHIND THE SCENES PODCAST - AUDREY & JEREMY ROLOFF
Jeremy Roloff and his family fell into fame through the show Big World, Little People. Now, I never actually watched the show but, what I've learned from their podcast and their book, is that their relationship was well documented on the series and viewers were quickly enamored with their unique love story. These two are so sweet and I love learning from them. They discuss their faith, relationships, beating the odds of the high divorce rate, and the every day realities that come with running a business and having a family. Jeremy and Audrey are fantastic mentors and I always love hearing what they have to say about creating a marriage centered around Jesus.
POST AUTHOR: GRACE
Hey everyone - It has felt like forever since I've been on here. Needless to say, motherhood keeps me busy! Asher just turned six months this week and I cannot believe it! He has rocked our world in the best way and I can't imagine life without him. With that being said, I wanted to give a little update since my last post about him.
In these last six months, I have learned so much about motherhood, the struggles of sleep, introducing new foods, and the products I now can't live without. I've also been working on finding that sweet balance between a job and being a mother. These last six months have been a whirlwind, but in the best way. So, let me share with you everything I've learned in this short time so it can hopefully be a helpful resource for a new mom or a soon-to-be mom!
We have had a crazy couple of months recently, as my husband and I moved back to Texas to be near family. I don't know why this always happens, but it seems like people plan a move right before or after having a baby. And it.is.for.the.birds. Needless to say, this really affected Asher's sleep.
I chose to drop his sleep suit right after our move and he was almost 4 months old. Most of the time, babies have a lot of sleep regressions starting at that age. I knew his sleep regression was coming and I didn't want him to be dependent on a sleep suit. So, I decided to rip it all off, cold turkey, and boy did it hurt! I so badly wanted to keep him in his sleep suit, but I also didn't want to keep him from doing what he needed to developmentally, by learning how to move around in the crib, find his comfy spot, etc.
Naps - Babies naps don't start to develop until 4 months and it can take 1-2 months to find a rhythm. Now, he typically takes one long nap, about 1.5-2 hours, and one shorter nap, about 1 hour.
Add in teething to all of this and well, you've got yourself a wakeful baby. He has been a champ though and is amazing at falling asleep in his crib by himself. I will forever thank sleep training for this. I didn't realize how crucial it was for a baby to know how to fall asleep on their own. It helps them when they wake up in the middle of the night to know that they don't need anything to fall asleep. He usually wakes up once a night (around 4:30/5AM) for a feeding and then he's up around 7AM.
We introduced food as soon as we got the green light! I had been excited to try new things with him and see what foods he liked, so I was rearing to go! Plus, I had heard from so many people that once they started on solids they slept even better. I am here to tell you something....that is a LIE. I honestly think it depends on the baby. I do think that once they are more mobile, they exert more energy during the day and sleep better. However, I do not think food has anything to do with it. Plus, the first year, food is for fun. So, it's less about calories and more about getting them to understand textures and flavors. This really helps with their speech too, so it is important to get them used to different textures as best you can.
And now that we have solid foods in the lineup - this baby can eat! He loves sweet potatoes, chicken, apples, and peanut butter! I had high hopes he would love avocado, but so far he hates it (see picture below for proof)! Surprisingly, he is really good at chewing already, even with just two teeth. I typically do a mix of baby led weaning and purees. Honestly, I just didn't want to overthink it and make it stressful. I just want to feed him the same foods that we eat and make it an experience for all of us as a family when we eat together.
Another note on food. Choking. Wow, I never thought something could be so scary! Asher definitely chokes (slightly) on food from time to time and recovers. I feel like the less we react, the more it empowers them to be able to figure out how to recover without fear. At least, that's what I keep telling myself ha!
Well, let me tell ya. I wish I had believed my mom friends who told me "you really don't need as much as you think", because that is the dang truth. However, I will share the 5 products that have been absolute must-haves for us.
TheBaby Bjorn was a LIFESAVER for us during the witching hour/hours. We wore him all around the house, went on walks with him, basically helped us still get things done while keeping him happy!
This Graco Jogging Stroller has been my best friend! I love to take Asher for walks in it, and I recently joined a workout class for moms and you'll see me running around parks with a parade of other mom's and their babies. It was gifted to us, but I would hands down spend the money on it!
Our Hatch...oh our hatch. If you know, you know. This bad boy is what get's Asher to sleep through noise and he cannot sleep without it. It sounds just like the womb, but they have other settings as well. It's also a perfect night light for those middle of the night feedings.
Beauty Counter! I am a MAJOR believer! This stuff is amazing and worth every penny. The baby wash is SO gentle and it's the only thing I use on Asher. It's about $20, but lasts forever and is so gentle on your baby's skin.
If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen Asher in his bucket hat. We honestly use this every single day because it keeps his little head shaded and protected from the sun. Since we spend a lot of time outside, this is perfect.
I've been working part time at home for the past couple of months. At first, I was completely overwhelmed balancing baby and work. Asher was not napping well and I felt that I had no free time to actually accomplish the things I needed to. Luckily, he is finally napping more consistently and we've hit a really good groove. As I mentioned above, all in all, I have about 2-3 hours to really hammer through work while he naps. I spend some time on the weekends working, but it has not been too crazy. I have really enjoyed challenging my brain in a different way and I work for the kindest man. He is very pro-mom and works with my schedule so that I can be the most efficient with my time. So far, this has been a great experience (besides the initial bumpy start) and I'm so thankful to be able to work and be with my baby.
For moms looking for a part-time job, I found my current role through an incredible resource - hiremymom.com. I had wonderful interactions with every contact I made through the job searching process and there's something for everyone. There are options for those just wanting to work on one or two projects or permanent jobs posted. I highly recommend this website and have already passed it along to a few of my mommy friends.
Well I am officially 6 months post partum! Woo! Man, does it feel good to finally feel like myself again. Those first few months are so hard physically and the last thing I wanted to do was workout. I was exhausted and giving my all to a baby, so doing something like working out sounded terrible. I didn't know what I wanted to do, how I would fit it in or find childcare. Fortunately, one of my best friends introduced me to Stroller Strides. It's a workout class for moms and you can bring your children to it. Surprisingly, it's honestly one of the hardest workouts I've ever done and it's probably in part because I am lugging a child around while working out! They do a lot of HIIT, running, barre classes, etc. It has been perfect for us and is in a lot of major cities, check it out!
Something one of my sister's told me when I was pregnant was to make sure I didn't lose myself in my child. I never really understood that until becoming a mom. You give everything to your children and sometimes it's hard to remember to do things for yourself that make you feel like you! For me, that's been working out, spending time with friends, finding outfits for LTK, and making sure I get in the word every single day. Speaking of, I think that for me as a Mom getting in the word has looked really different. Now I find myself clinging to a verse for a day, instead of an entire chapter. Time in the word feels shorter and sometimes rushed, but I know that it is for a season. However, I do find myself needing the word, my "bread" daily. When I don't get in the word one way or another, my focus is off. My mother-in-law gave me a great devotional that I'll link here. It's wonderful for moms and really encourages you to take the word seriously, even if it is rushed on most days. It has been a lifesaver for me in this new season.
And there you have it! 6 Months with Asher! He has been such a treasure and I can honestly say that motherhood, while the hardest thing I have ever done, is my dream come true. I wouldn't trade this role for anything and I can't wait to see how the Lord continues to shape our little family. I hope you enjoyed reading along!
Since we missed our typical Friday post, happy Fashion Monday! :) Grace is showing off her new workout gear form TJ Maxx - click here to shop her look. Rachel is sporting a fun summer outfit from Amazon and Old Navy - click here to shop her look. Plus, both Grace and Rachel have been using an amazing self-tanner, under $30, that mixes right in with your lotion and is streak free. It's linked on our LIKEtoKNOWit profile!
Have a great week!
Earlier this year, my husband and I were able to cross off Italy from our bucket list! It was such a special trip and we explored some incredible cities. We visited Rome first, if you missed the recap, click here. After Rome we hopped on the train and made our way up to Florence. What a gorgeous city! I'd highly recommend adding this place to your list. Here's everything you need to do and see, where to eat and the best place to stay!
WHAT TO DO
things to see
As I said in our Rome recap, the best part of Italy was just slowing down and taking it all in. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere, and allow yourself the time to relax and soak it all up. There are so many wonderful places to explore in Florence. Here is a list of some of the must-see places that we put together, and my brother contributed as well. Plus, there's a few recommendations from the ever so helpfulSavy Backpacker.
WHERE TO EAT
If you have a gluten allergy or celiac, like I do, I highly recommend downloading the free app, AIC (Associazione Italiana Celiachia). It allows you to easily search for restaurants in the area that have trained their staff on how to prepare food for those with the allergy or disease. It was so helpful and every place we went to was absolutely scrumptious!
Also note, if you get your food or drinks to go, or stand at the bar, they won't charge you a cover charge. If you sit down, you'll be charged a couple Euros as a service charge.
Here's a list of the places we ate and what we ordered:
WHAT TO WEAR
We were in Florence in the middle of April and it was still quite chilly so, if you are going around the same time, I would recommend a lot of layers! I would highly suggest traveling to this area when it's "low season" and not jam packed with tourist. The trade off, the weather is not perfect for those cute flowy dresses and sandals you see in Instagram photos, but not having to fight the crowds is a trade I'd take.
I basically lived in this outfit. This sweatshirt is from Old Navy, it has pockets, thumb holes and is very lightweight. Plus, I would 10/10 recommend these Orthopedic Adidas because you will be doing a lot of walking. Click here for this look.
Happy Friday! It's swimsuit season and we got these from...drumroll....AMAZON! They are under $25 and so flattering for any body type. Click the image below of make sure to follow us on LIKEtoKNOWit!
Happy holiday weekend! This past week, Rachel hosted an event at the Overland Park Convention Center and found this dress from Dillard's for the occasion. Get this - it's on sale right now for %40 off! And Grace's pick for today's FF is an adorable swimsuit from Amazon for under $25. Great purchase for the summer! Click on the images below to shop or follow us on LIKEtoKNOWit.
Post Author: Rachel
Italy has been on the bucket list for quite some time, and this year we were able to cross it off! We spent two weeks exploring, learning, eating, drinking wine, drinking some more, and traveling all over this amazing country. The people were incredibly friendly, the food was outstanding, and the wine was everywhere! While we felt like two weeks was the perfect amount of time to hit the highlights, Italy is a place that you could spend months and never feel like you accomplished everything. Over the next few blog posts I'll be sharing our adventure and providing some helpful tips in case you're also planning an Italian excursion.
First Stop: ROME (where else?!)
Rome was one of our favorite cities in Italy! There is so much to see and experience. It is such a wonderful city full of history, with buildings and roads dating back to B.C.. We were there in April and it was already packed, so if you are headed there soon be prepared for the crowds. The busy season typically starts around Easter, and runs through September - not a reason you shouldn't go, just something to be mindful of as you plan out your days and activities. Even with some thick crowds at times, it was such a fantastic city and we packed in as much as possible in just three full days. You could probably spend a year here and not get to everything, but you'll want at least three days to hit the highlights. Here's everything you need to know!
WHAT TO DO
There are so many things to see in Rome that it's hard to narrow it down. The best part of Italy was just slowing down and taking it all in. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere, and allow yourself the time to relax and soak it all up. Here were some of our favorite spots, although we loved just wandering down various roads as you don't know what historical building you'll see next!
WHERE TO EAT
There are so many fantastic places to eat in Rome! Unfortunately, my husband and I both have food allergies - neither of us can have dairy and I can't have gluten...I know, quite the pair. We really thought it might be a problem being in the city that's known for their delicious dairy and gluten. Get this - we found more options in Italy than we ever have in the states!
If you have a gluten allergy or celiac, download the free app, AIC (Associazione Italiana Celiachia) - it allows you to easily search for restaurants in the area that have trained their staff on how to prepare food for those with the allergy or disease. It was so helpful and every place we went to was absolutely scrumptious! Also note, if you get your food or drinks to go, or stand at the bar, they won't charge you a cover charge. If you sit down, you'll be charged a couple Euros as a service charge.
Here's a list of the places we ate and what we ordered:
WHAT TO WEAR
We were there in April when it was supposed to be in the 60's & 70's but it was much chillier than we anticipated so I'd suggest layers, layers and layers! Also note, if you enter a church you must have your shoulders and knees covered. Click on the images below for outfit details. I lived in these sweatshirts and jean jacket the entire trip! Plus, I'd highly recommend comfortable shoes because we did a lot of walking (anywhere from 10-14 miles a day). I love these orthopedic Adidas, they are extremely comfortable and go with every outfit.
Hope this helps you plan your Italian experience! Let me know if you have any questions.
Happy Friday! We are getting ready for our summer Santschi family vacation and just ordered some new swimsuits! Both of these suits are from Amazon for under $20. Click the images below for the links!
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