Sunday, October 31, 2010

Quote of the day.

I thought it would be cool to include a quote each day. I am big on quotes, words can be very powerful. They can help you get through something, motivate you, teach you, make you laugh, make you cry, make you mad, inspire you, make you want to be better, try harder, and sometimes it's just nice to read a strangers perspective on things.

Today's quote comes from my favorite book, Eat.Pray.Love.


Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. 

-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

Is there anything she can't bake? I think not!

My amazingly gifted baker of a sister took on this months "Daring Bakers Challenge". The challenge was baking Daring Bakers Doughnuts! Who doesn't love doughnuts? Especially homemade ones. At this point in time I wish I was across the Atlantic sitting in Becky's kitchen eating these amazing looking doughnuts. 

Hats off to this girl, she continues to soar to new levels with her baking abilities and I am so proud of her. I don't think she even realizes how talented she really is. I really look forward to being in New York City for Christmas, I have a lot of catching up to do with her baked goods.

Here are the results from her "Daring Bakers Challenge". Caution you may begin to drool.

 One Word...WOW!

I want one right about NOW!

Check out her blog: and get great ideas and recipes. There is nothing better then some yummy baked goods during the winter months. So get baking and enjoy. 

Our Own Little Halloween.

Being that the Greeks don't celebrate Halloween, I figured I would do something special for the manfriend and myself. 

I waited for Kyle to go to practice so he could come home to a sweet surprise. I ran next door to the local grocer and picked up a few goodies, some M&M's plain and peanut (M&M's are Kyle's favorite candy), some KitKats, Twix and Snickers, along with a bottle of red wine. I had the option to get some traditional Greek candy, but I figured since it's an American holiday I would stick to our stuff. 

I knew ahead of time which holidays weren't celebrated here so with the help of Hallmark and my mom, I was prepared with Halloween greeting cards. Cards are always a nice touch to anything, they give things a more personal feel. I set everything up, lit some candles to give it a fallish ambiance, since it's pretty warm over here it doesn't feel like the typical October weather I'm used to in New York. I wanted to get a pumpkin to carve, but I couldn't find one anywhere. 

When Kyle came home, he was happy to find some treats waiting for him, and a little reminder of life back home. 

Celebrating Halloween in Athens.

Thanks for the card Mom.

Kyle's favorite sweet treat besides Nutella.

Now onto the next holiday, Thanksgiving. My dad actually told me I could find a turkey through the internet, that should be interesting. If anyone knows where to get a turkey in Greece, that would be greatly appreciated. 

Happy Trick or Treating.

Gosh...I Love Food.


Being that my manfriend and I are foodie fanatics, I was so excited to come to Greece and try all the delicious food they have to offer. I was surprisingly delighted to see that they have such a wide variety of choices in the city, from traditional Greek, fine Italian cuisine, Barbecue, Mexican and all types of Asian food. I was ready to dig in. 

Recently we went to a great Italian spot called Vincenzo's. Kyle's teammate Pat found this gem, that I know we will frequent while we are here in Athens. It's in Glyfada, which is a really nice area of the city and right by the arena where Kyle's team plays. The restaurant has a very laid back atmosphere, the staff was also extremely friendly, which always makes any dining experience better. Now onto the food.

 The night started off on the right foot, the minute the waitress brought the bread over to our table. This wasn't your typical Italian bread served at most restaurants, it was more like a calzone, this flatbread was stuffed with buffalo mozzarella and it was fantastic. For an appetizer Kyle and I went with the fresh tomato with mozzarella topped with a light pesto, again is was amazing. 

For my entree, I ordered the chicken rollatini. The chicken was stuffed with prosciutto along with mozzarella and topped off with a marsala sauce accompanied with fresh vegetables. This chicken dish was done to perfection, the chicken was buttery and the prosciutto and cheese complimented it ver well. The marsala sauce along with the fresh mushrooms were delicious, I wish I asked for the recipe. Kyle got the wild salmon with fresh veggies, he enjoyed it but his only complaint were the bones in the salmon, which made eating the dish a little messy.

My Chicken Rollatini (sorry for the shadow in the picture)

Kyle's Salmon dish.

Amanda, Pat's wife told us about the amazing dessert here, and when we were about to leave the owner came over and offered us complimentary dessert. Of course we weren't going to turn away some treats. I don't think anyone was expecting what they brought over, that's for sure. Everyone at the tables face lit up as the waitress placed one of the most beautiful arrays of desserts in front of us. Tiramisu, giants cream puffs with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate fudge, a huge brownie with vanilla ice-cream on top, and vanilla flan. The tiramisu was the best I've ever had, it was done perfectly. What a great way to end the evening. 

The yummy dessert tray, compliments of Vincenzo.

Vincenzo's was a great dining experience and I left with a full belly and a smile on my face. 

Happy Dining.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Swiffer and Mop 1/ Meg 0

I've been getting familiar with a little "c" word called cleaning, we weren't really friendly before, I would hear it in passing, I was told to do it time and again but chose to ignore it. You can say I was a little spoiled, while I say I wasn't ready for that phase in my life to begin yet, hey we all go at our own pace. 

Since I'm now living in my own place with a boy none the less, I've had to turn to cleaning. I really haven't had a choice in the matter, it was time for me to start the new phase or as I like to say forced into starting it. 

I figured I would start out small, taking baby steps. I didn't think I was going to become Mr.(Ms.)Clean in a day. I started with making the bed daily which is a pretty simple task, I passed and might I say it looked nice after it was done. Then came the laundry, we all know how that went, without a dryer it was a challenge but with practice I prevailed. Next came the dishes, with the help from my boyfriend I learned the proper scrubbing techniques and I was rather intrigued by how a little palmolive goes a really long way. 

I'm ready to get spick and span.

I was getting excited with my new ability, and I liked the way a clean apartment looked and smelled. On our next trip to the supermarket, I invested in some Swiffers and a mop, I was ready for the next level, and I was also sick of hearing Kyle complain about my hair being everywhere. I couldn't wait for my boyfriend to go to practice so I could clean away without being interrupted. 

I set everything up as directed and started to clean. Well, it  wasn't as successful as I planned. To begin with, Swiffers and the things they pick up are disgusting, no one should have to see that. Secondly I don't know what I did with the mop, but mid way through my mopping the mop broke leaving me stranded in a one foot by one foot tile, surrounded by suds. What was I to do, how was I to proceed? Then I thought, what would Martha Stewart do? So I just  Swiffered up that sudsy mess and voila I did it. 

It's a Love/Hate relationship with the Swiffer.

I guess cleaning is a learning process and I'm on the right track. I know my parents would be proud and happy that I didn't injure myself along the way. Now I need to go have a nice glass of wine because this girl is spent.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Somebody HELP! He has an addiction.

Since I've been in Athens a little over a week, I have noticed my boyfriend paying a little extra attention to a certain something. Back in the States I knew he liked this, but over here I feel like he has fallen in love, in love with a hazelnut spread called Nutella. I'm not even mad because to be honest this stuff is good, it's a creamy mix of chocolatey hazelnut goodness.

The yummy temptress...Nutella.

We literally go through a jar a day, he eats it by the spoonful, puts it on everything, has it with cereal and I think I saw him put some on his toothbrush. He knows he is addicted too, I found a large half full jar of Nutella in the trash, when I asked him why it was in there, he said "he needed to stop!" I mean, I guess it's good that he can admit that he has a problem. The sad thing is that he now has me partaking in these Nutella binges, I find myself eyeing the jar as I open the cupboard. What has he done to me?

I guess a little treat every now and then isn't so bad. If we start buying more then a jar a day, I'm sure there is a Nutella Anonymous somewhere here is Athens.

Well I have to go google Nutella recipes. Maybe Nutella and meatballs?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Citius, Altius, Fortius.

I have many things I want to see and accomplish in my life, but what I got to see today may top all of them. This blows everything out of the water because this place is what makes me, well me. Today I got to visit the ancient Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. Pulling up to this ancient historical sight took my breath away. Being somewhat of an athlete, and growing up following all things sport, it's hard not to be in awe of such a place, where sport was born. The stadium was built in the early 700's B.C., hearing that alone makes this place so special.

The Olympic Rings.

My boyfriend and I took the Olympic tour and it was so well done. They explain the history of the stadium in a way that would give anyone chills. For me the two highlights of the tour were; going into the Tunnel of the Spirits, this was the tunnel where all the athletes ran out of to meet their fate. The other highlight was being able to run on the Olympic track, as a marathon runner I could feel the history through my feet as they hit the track and all that surrounded me. 

The Tunnel of the Spirits.

Running on the Olympic track.

View from the top of the Stadium

This is an experience that I will take with me the rest of my life, as corny as that sounds. But anyone who has gone or will visit the stadium would most likely agree. 

The Athens Marathon is this Sunday the 31st, it will be the 2500th running. The athletes will run the original course which starts in Marathon and finishes in the Olympic Stadium rounding the track. The marathon is twenty seven miles which is a little longer then the normal twenty six point two mile distance. I will definitely be there cheering all the runners on, and hopefully one day I'll be lucky enough to run into that stadium myself.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Greetings from Matil.

Hey there, it's everyones favorite little lady Matilda. I'm just checking in with my good friends back Stateside. I miss you all, even you Sylvia but I am having the time of my life here in Athens. 

Today I took Meghan and Kyle sightseeing, and man did we see a lot. We went by the ancient Greek ruins,which included the Temple of Zeus and the Acropolis. These were amazing structures, I got chills being up close and personal with such history. Below are a few pictures Meg snapped of me.

Me at the Temple of Zeus 

Taking in the views from the Acropolis

 We have so much more to see, but we have plenty of time to explore. Hopefully Kyle and Meg don't hold me back.

So I hope you guys aren't missing me that much and I certainly hope that Sylvia didn't take my place at the front desk. Well, until next time this is Matilda aka Matil aka Til and aka Tilly signing off.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cappuccino Freddo

So on my quest to try everything on the Flocafe`'s coffee menu, today I had to try something new. 
I went with the Cappuccino Freddo, which is basically an iced cappuccino. Oh my gosh, was this amazing. I might have to retract my statement from the previous post about the Caramel Freddo, because this may surpass it taste wise. 

Not only is this drink unbelievably delicious, it is also very refreshing. Where the Caramel Freddo is loaded with whipped cream and thick caramel drizzle, the Cappuccino Freddo only comes with a little foam on top along with a dash of cinnamon, so it is more coffee and less dessert.  My boyfriend asked for a sip and I didn't think I was going to get it back. So now the Cappuccino Freddo tops my list of the most desirable coffee of the menu, that is until I try Flo's next creation.

The One Con in Greece...NO DRYER!

As an American I've been a bit spoiled about the way the world works. Such as if it's Sunday, you are watching football, peanut butter always goes with jelly, there are always twenty varieties of a given product i.e cereal and where there is a washer, there most certainly is a dryer. But in Greece they do it a little differently, and I've had to learn how to dry clothes through trial and error. 

My first couple of tries at mastering the art of drying weren't so successful, the towel I gave my boyfriend to use was more like a piece of sand paper and I was affraid that the underwear I dried of his would result in him getting cuts on his behind because of the shards of glass like texture. 

Because failure isn't an option in my eyes, I began to observe how our neighbors were hanging their clothing. I realized my technique was all wrong, I guess you could call it a common rookie mistake. After a few more tries, I began to notice that my once hard as a rock, starch like clothing was now a little softer, and my towels were actually blowing in the wind. My new technique was working and my boyfriend no longer looked like he was wearing shirts made out of card board. 

I guess practice makes perfect, and stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new isn't so bad after all. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How to make a House (apartment) a Home.

Living in another country can make you home sick very easily. As much as there is to discover and learn while living abroad, the saying," there's no place like home", couldn't be more true. So to make this an easier transition on my manfriend and I, we decided to try our hardest to make our apartment, even though temporary, feel as homey as possible. 

Adding simple touches to our place has turned this house into our home. Such as me stuffing a toy Staten Island Ferry into my suitcase, so that I'd be reminded of my once daily commute to and from Manhattan. Pictures are also key, so I brought a bunch along with me. We also went to the Greek version of Target, called Carrefour, this place was awesome. We were able to pick up some essential goodies to make our apartment more cozy, and I must say it's really getting there.

Our Bedroom 

Replica Staten Island Ferry.

Most importantly, it really does help having someone else with you who is also away from home, and a Starbucks around the corner. 

Starbucks by our apartment.

Caramel Freddo

One of the best parts of the Greek culture is their love for all things coffee. I've seen so many espresso bars and cafe`s, I'm in heaven. 

Today at what is becoming our usual spot, Flocafe`, which is part cafe` and part lounge, it's a really interesting combination. Flocafe` has such  wide variety of coffee and espresso drinks, it's almost hard for a coffee enthusiast as myself to decide what to order. Since I'm going to be here awhile, I figured I'll be able to try everything on the menu. So for my first tasting, I went with the Espresso Caramel Freddo and I was really happy with my decision. When the waitress walked over with my order my jaw dropped and drool began to form. This drink was so beautiful, I almost didn't want to drink it, but who are we kidding. 

Two shots of espresso, whipped cream, caramel drizzle and espresso beans on top. This was more dessert then drink, but I enjoyed it all the same. I have a feeling anything else on the menu will be hard to top this magnificent creation.

Greek Salad

I was told when I come to Greece that I must try a real Greek salad. Well today was the day, I haven't been in Athens more then 48 hours and my manfriend took me to Ciao, this nice little gourmet spot right around the corner from our apartment.

We each ordered a Greek salad and they were amazing. From the fresh lettuce, yummy olives, along with grilled chicken, tomatoes, cucumber and shredded carrots, to the block of feta cheese on top and balsamic dressing. This salad definitely left me satisfied. 

The Greeks do it up easy, a simple mixture of all the right tastes. I already wrote home to my parents, that upon my return to the States, I will make them this yummy staple of Greek cuisine.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Meet Matilda.

I guess it's always better to travel with company, and that is why I am going to Greece with my good friend Matilda. Matilda is on loan from my great co-workers and family at Abercrombie and Fitch.

Matilda will accompany me on my adventures and travels, she will keep everyone up to date on what's going on overseas by sending picture updates.

The one thing about Matil(that's her nickname)is that she can be a bit of a diva, but she sure is excited to return to her native land. The only thing she was sad about was leaving her sister behind. But she'll get over it, maybe she'll meet a lovely man named Stavros and will be whisked away into the Greek sunset where they can eat olives and souvlaki until her little heart and tummy is content, or maybe she'll just hang in my Longchamp tote for most of the duration of my stay.

Love and Light


While in Chicago My sister, my cousin Devin, his girlfriend Briana and I went to one of the tastier spots in the city, Sprinkles. Being that my sister is a baker and I am a foodie, I feel we might of crossed over into heaven for a brief moment.

Sprinkles is a pretty well known cupcake shop, they have stores in Chicago and California. (They need one in New York asap) The great thing about Sprinkles is there homemade taste, for instance the vanilla icing tastes just like my Nana's recipe, so it took me right down memory lane. Also their cupcake combinations are very different from your usual cupcake spot. Every week they display a cupcake of the week, the week we were there it was apple pumpkin caramel, need I say more.

One thing I must say, and I'm not being biased, my sister's cupcakes are on the same level of goodness as Sprinkles and I think she could take the world by storm.

Enjoy the pictures below, I know I enjoyed eating them.

The store front can't help but catch your eye.

Couldn't wait to get back to the hotel to chow down.

The unvieling.

Oh boy, I love me some cupcakes.

Becky's selection; Chocolate on Chocolate, Apple Pumpkin Caramel, Red Velvet and Strawberry.

My selection; Classic Vanilla, Strawberry, Cinnamon Sugar and Vanilla Banana.

It was a tie between the Strawberry and Classic Vanilla for my favorite cupcake.

Becky about to eat her Red Velvet.


Extremely excited to take a bite out of this bad boy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Editions to the Ray.Ban Family.

If you don't know by now, I have a slight obsession with Ray.Bans. Because of my move to Greece tomorrow, I decided to treat myself to a fresh pair of Rays. I got a pair, that I loved!!

To my surprise, the next day in the mail I received a coupon for the Sunglass Hut and I decided I may have to take another trip to the store just to browse. Well I walked away with a pair for me and a pair of classic Aviators for my manfriend.
(I may have a problem here)


I love the big lens and the resemble the classic Wayfarer.

Ray.Ban Cats 5000

Just like the Aviators, but they have a plastic frame. I love how they come two toned. I went with black and purple.

And I'm very Happy to Welcome Kyle to the Ray.Ban Clan.

Mission Accomplished...5 Marathons Under 25

On October 10th,I completed a goal that's been three years in the making. I ran my fifth marathon by the age of twenty-five. This was one of the biggest,if not the biggest accomplishment in my life. 

It was definitely not the easiest goals to achieve, there were many obstacles along the way, but that made achieving it all the sweeter. Below are all the medals from the various marathons, and a memory from each one.  

New York City Marathon November 4th, 2007
My first and fastest marathon to date. I ran a 3:47 on three weeks of training. This was of the more stressful times in my life, and this marathon was a time for me to learn a lot about myself. After this marathon, I feel I became a real runner and obsessed with marathons.

New York City Marathon November 1st, 2009
This was the first marathon I ran with Team Livestrong, which made crossing the finish line so much more fulfilling. At about mile 15 I cut the back of my foot and ran with a bloody gash for the next nine miles. If it weren't for the support of my family and friends, I don't know how I would of finished this marathon.

 The Boston Marathon April 19th, 2010
Running the Boston Marathon was always a dream of mine and to run this beast of a marathon and have it part of my five under twenty-five goal was amazing. I ran this marathon with Team Livestrong. Racing conditions were awesome and the course was great, I was so shocked when I reached the top of Heartbreak Hill and still had energy. I cried crossing the finish line, it was one of the best moments of my life. 

Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon June 26th, 2010
Having only two months in between marathons was quite a challenge, but I took it all in stride. This was my third event with Team Livestrong, and running for such a great cause gave me the motivation I needed to cross the finish line. The course was very challenging, a lot more inclines then I thought and running through some very barren spots. I had my family there to cheer me along and they gave me energy to keep going.

Chicago Marathon October 10th, 2010
Running in Chicago in October you would think the weather would be nice and cool. Well that wasn't the case this October, on race day the temperature went up to 89 degrees a one point. I ran with my cousin Devin and thank God for that, he helped me through the miles. Being that this was my fifth marathon and my goal would be accomplished crossing the finish line, nothing was going to stop me from crossing that line.

My advice to anyone would be, to make goals. Go after things that might seem a little lofty, have people question if you can do things, and prove them wrong. We only get one life, so make your story a good one, go out there and be all you can be and more.

If you want big rewards you have to take big risks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

There's no place like Bloomingdale's.

When I need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Manhattan streets, my favorite place to go is Bloomingdale's. There is something magical about this department store that I just love. I don't know if it's the friendly costumer service that treats every shopper equally, the amazing scents as I stroll through the fragrance department, or the racks and racks of beautiful clothes.

I can spend a whole day in Bloomingdale's exploring, and when I leave I feel great. Even if I haven't purchased anything, sometimes just browsing does the trick. But to be honest nothing is better then walking out of Bloomies with a brown bag of goodies.

Happy Shopping!


I'm officially on the road to becoming a Yoga Instructor and I am super excited. I'll be getting my teacher certification through Core Power Yoga. The awesome thing about Core Power Yoga is that I can get my certification online, while I'm abroad in Greece.

This summer I'll be doing one on one and group sessions. Yoga is a fantastic workout and puts you in a great state of mind.

Eventually I want to open my own Yoga studio, where I can teach everyone from children to the elderly.

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