Where You Should Eat in Fiumicino, Italy

Spring break this year was spent in Italy. We visited Rome and Naples, the glorious cities of treasures as all the travel blogs say, but in all honesty, the most spectacular place we visited was a ten minute cab ride from the airport. Continue reading to see (pun intended – there will be lots of photos) why you should eat in Fiumicino, Italy!
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Fiumicino is not Rome. It’s a town that people live in. The menus are not all in English and there aren’t tourists everywhere. Fiumicino is a fishing village, which you will see as you walk through. There are fish stands, seafood restaurants and boats galore. After spending a week in crowded Rome and Naples, it was a relief to be able to walk down the street without a waiter standing outside promising “authentic” pizza and pasta. Because it’s a town that isn’t necessarily catered to the tourists, the prices are much more reasonable as well!

We came into the town simply searching for a meal. We were staying near the airport, and wanted one last meal in Italy. We were not expecting to be blown away by this little town, but alas, we were.

Our first stop was Indispensa Bistrot. Indispensa is an adorable restaurant with a beautiful menu.

My husband got the steak coated in zucchini and I had the salmon. Both were phenomenal!

Keep in mind that Fiumicino is a fishing town, so the seafood is fresh and tasty! This was hands down one of the best meals we had in Italy. Their drinks were excellent too. I had a negroni, which got my drunk way too fast, and the husband had red wine, which I recall him liking!

After our meal, we went down the street to Le Moko Cafe, where we had coffee, beer and a charcoal croissant! The owners were friendly, the prices were reasonable and the coffee was strong.

Next door to the cafe is a vintage shop, Vintage 77, that you need to visit. Prices were reasonable and the selection was beautifully curated. My husband walked away with an Italian silk button down for 15 euro!

We then continued to walk through the town. Lining the streets are small boutiques and shops, selling clothing and home goods. We wandered into some fish markets and oohed and aahed at the prices of wild caught salmon.

After an hour or two, our stomachs wanted more food and we stopped in at Tarumbo. There, we got the meat and fish samplers, which were an excellent deal! They included a board of food, as well as a drink! For 25 euros total, we ate fresh seafood and drank beautiful mojitos.


After this, we wandered a bit more – partially to see more of the town and partially to work up more hunger! Eventually, we wound up at our last stop of the night, Uniti nel Gusto! If you visit, you must order the seafood sampler. For 25 euros, you can sample six of their delicious seafood dishes! I promise that A) you will not be disappointed and B) you will be quite full!

Okay – I lied. I said that was our last stop but it wasn’t. We couldn’t end our trip to Italy without one last cannoli. I don’t recall the name of the pastry shop, but it was delicious. They had an assortment of mini and regular pastries, all under 2 euro! We got three mini pastries: a cannoli, a fruit tart, and a chocolate puff, and all of them were delicious!

As you can see, Fiumicino is a delicious little town. If you are visiting Rome, take the ten minute cab ride over and be prepared for some delicious seafood and authentic feels!

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Reviews

GOAT Coffee Maker: Review

I have been on the lookout for a coffee maker without any plastic or aluminum parts. I’ve read too many articles on Wellness Mama about the harm that can be done with leaching, and decided I was done with it. If I get cancer one day, it won’t be because of my coffee brewing techniques. I have yet to find a “clean” pressure espresso maker (if you know of one, hollah at yo girl!), but I have been using this Ikea gem! I know I could also use a french press, but ya gurl is far too lazy to clean that sh*t out right. Ask my husband. I do a terrible job!

This all changed this week, when I came home to a package! Yo, nothing is more exciting than opening packages, especially when they’re presents! My husband had bought me the GOAT coffee maker (side note: Instagram ads DO work)! So, my friends, without further ado, is Psuedo Midlife Crisis’ first ever review!

So here she is – the Gina! There are two versions of this gal: the basic and the electronic one. The electronic version has a built in scale and an app that connects to your phone so that you can brew the perfect cup. While I think the scale is super nifty, I think the app is basically a timer.

The dopest thing is that this one piece can make coffee using three methods: pour over, immersion and cold brew! I’m not typically a cold brew fan, but I’ll give it a shot eventually! I was most excited about the immersion – which allows for a fuller body cup of joe.

Here she is, ready to go! The Gina is made out of ceramic, glass and steel – no bad boys here! First impression? Aesthetic AF!

The small glass container inside is for the cold brew to filter through. It came with 50 smaller filters for it.


It also has a knob, that can be closed for the immersion technique, or just to let the coffee bloom while making a pour over!

I used the Gina this morning for my cup of joe, and I must say that it gave me a very tasty cup of coffee! I used the pour over technique, but I am excited to try immersion to see what flavors will come out. Overall, I think it is a beautiful coffee maker. I do wish that the basic version had a scale built in, to really make it into the all in one tool for coffee junkies. It might be a tad bit pricey, but if you value a soid cup of coffee – try it out!

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Five Thangs Friday

Five Thangs Friday #7

Anyone else exhausted? I can taste spring break on my tongue, but it’s not quite here yet. My patience is running slim, and my student’s are antsy to be out for the summer. It’s been a rough week in my classroom. On the bright side – three more Fridays until break! Lets get on with the post – here are the five thangs that have humored/amused me in the past week!

#1. This podcast!

This podcast is gold ya’ll! I am not an entrepreneur but this makes me want to be one. It’s quite interesting how prominent the “side hustle” is amongst millennials. There’s a good amount of people who do something on the side. Recently, I started working part time on an analyst position, and it’s felt really good to be so productive. The extra cash doesn’t hurt either!

The woman behind it is a local Chicago photographer, and she talks all things freelance! She’s covered anything from fear, starting a business, to tax advice! Definitely give it a listen, if you’re a hustler or if you’re thinking about doing some freelance work!

#2. This book!

I fell off the reading wagon for awhile. Okay, honestly, I didn’t just fall off. I got on the opposite going wagon. I didn’t pick up a book pretty much for the entirety of February and it did not feel good guys! I love reading. As cliche as it sounds, it’s such an amazing escape from real life. I did manage to finish this book and it was spectacular. I did not think I would like it as much as I did, but it was the perfect blend of romance, history, and plot line. If you’re at all interested in the Holocaust, you’ll love this one!

#3. What this kid said!

On the subject of reading… let’s flashback to Tuesday afternoon. We’re in eighth period, which is typically where kids can either finish up work or have some chill time. Anywho, I find myself reading a story to a kid (real talk – I was reading Harry Potter to him in a British accent – I am that teacher guys!). I hear a gasp from the other side of the room, and see a kid with his jaw dropped. “Ms. Maydan – YOU KNOW HOW TO READ?!?!”

Guys. I’m a teacher. I have a bachelors and a masters degree, and this child thought I did not know how to read. I’ll just leave this here to sink in.

#4. The fact that Philz is coming to CHICAGO!

I. AM. SO. EXCITED. I somehow missed this story and found out this week. This summer, they will be opening two locations – one in Hyde Park and one on the North Side! GUYSSSSSSSSS. Have you ever had mint in your coffee? It is taaaa die for! I am jazzed, to see the least!

#5. My new EMF reader!

Okay guys – lets nerd out for a second. I read a lot of the Wellness Mama blog and she’s talked about EMF before. That sent me down a large rabbit hole and here I am today, the owner of an EMF reader. For those who aren’t hypochondriacs like me, an EMF reader reads the signals that electronics give off, such as phones and computers. There also tends to be EMF “hotspots” in homes due to wiring, wifi and all the other comforts of the modern world. These EMF’s are known to disrupt our bodies – some studies suggest higher risk of cancer, and others suggest ADD and other behavior issues. I’m pretty jazzed to see what types of signals we have in our home because there are ways to mediate it! I’m sure I’ll be posting in the future about this! In the meantime, if you’d like to know more, this book is a great starting point!

So there ya have it folks – my week in four photos and an anecdote! I hope ya’ll have a gr8 weekend, filled with sunshine, sleep and all the nice things in life!

XO,

J

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Five Thangs Friday

Five Thangs Friday #6

I’ve begun to really look forward to Five Thangs Friday. It makes me really take a step back and think about five things that truly made my week better – which can help me when I’m stuck in a rut, as I have been.

I haven’t posted much lately. I’ve lacked thoughts, which is a strange thing to say, but I don’t know how else to describe it. I’ve been preoccupied with other things. This post makes me take a step back though, which is why I’m continuing to do it. What do you do when you’re in a rut? How do you get your thoughts and creativity back? Let me know ya’ll!

Enough digression – here’s my week in iPhone photos. I hope everyone had a great first week of “spring”! The fact that the sun isn’t setting until 7 is giving me lifeeee!

#1. Deep Conditioner

I colored my hair about two years ago and I deeply regret it. The first 8 inches of my hair are a deep brown, but now, the remaining 6 inches of colored hair are a rusty orange from all the bleach. Needless to say, my hair is dry AF. I’ve switched to clean shampoos and conditioners, which aren’t really helping the case either. This weekend, I picked up a few deep conditioners at Target to see if they could work some magic, and ya’ll, THEY DID! I’ve only used the one on the left so far (Shea Moisture) and it has made me hair feel so much better this week. I’m planning on using another this weekend and ya know I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes!

#2. Paleo Muesli

I found this as Aldi this week, and to say I was geeked would be an understatement! While I love granola, it’s difficult to find a good quality clean one at a decent price. These were $4 a box, and each had a pound of paleo deliciousness inside! I’m not one to eat a bowl of muesli, but I did enjoy it drizzle over a smoothie bowl! Highly recommend ya’ll!

This beauty was an avocado kale banana smoothie with some sprouts! Delish!

#3. Workin’ Moms!

OMG. Go to Netflix, now. WATCH THIS SHOW! It is hilarious, and honest, and while I’m not a mother, I assume, pretty dang realistic. Canadian TV has been on fire lately! Between this and Kim’s Convenience (also found on Netflix), I’ve been impressed! I binge watched this show in a week, and tried extremely hard to get access to Canadian Netflix so I could watch the other seasons. (Update: I did not find access)

#4. This Episode of This American Life!

I listen to at least one podcast a day, on my way to work. This one was the best of the week! As a special educator, and a sibling of someone with mental disabilities, this episode resonated with me. It gave insight into what parenting someone with special needs is like, and had me bawling on my way to work. Side note: this podcast has a show on Amazon that you can watch the first 2 seasons of! Very interesting stuff guys!

#5. Oversized Coffee

We buy most things on bulk on Amazon. 20 pound buckets of salt. 5 pound bags of coffee. 1000 pens. We get it all! I amused myself on Wednesday night with this larger than life bag of coffee. (PS: this coffee is actually delicious if you’re looking for a good quality, inexpensive organic dark roast)

Other highlights of my week include teaching my students about riverdancing and square dancing, which many are now obsessed with! It’s adorable! I’ve also been loooooving this window down weather (when you’re a Chicagoan, anything over 40 is windows down). The countdown to spring break has also officially begun – LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!

I hope ya’ll have a relaxing weekend! Please, please, please – let me know how you get creative!

XO, J

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Five Thangs Friday Sparking Joy

Five Thangs Friday #3

They say it takes a month to make a habit, so does that mean I’m one week away from Five Thang Friday being a habit?!?! This week has been pretty good to me. We’re continuing to settle into our new home and I’m adjusting to this commute (as discussed in a previous post). Read on for five things that have sparked joy/amused/humored me this week!

#1. The honesty of children

I teach 9th and 10th graders in a cluster classroom, which means that we focus more on life skills than academics. Instead of typical homework, I give a sheet out once a week that asks them to read for twenty minutes a day, have a conversation with someone and complete a household chore. When it comes time to collect their homework, I always prepare myself for a chuckle. Last weeks chore was for them to wipe down counters. As you can see from the photo above, they did not enjoy it and they’re not shy about telling you that.

I think the honesty my students have is one of my favorite things about the classroom I teach. Have you ever noticed that when you ask someone how they’re doing they don’t even pause to think before saying “I’m fine”? My students pause, and then let you know EXACTLY how they’re doing and I flipping love it. Side note: proud teacher moment because homegirl above used a complete sentence (we’ll work on punctuation later).

#2. Costco ERRYTHANG

I’m from a Costco family. What on earth does that mean?! My mom has worked for Costco for about fifteen years now, and we are HUGE advocates for Costco. When I was in college, I worked for them as well. 80% of my house has come from Costco, and a good 15% of my conversations are about my latest Costco finds.

Our new home has a pantry (!!!) and we got excited and bought all the clean goodies we could find at Costco. I used to go to Costco about once a week, but now that we have the space to store dry goods, I’m trying out going once a month instead. I’ll let ya’ll know how this goes.

On another note, I’m pretty dang impressed with the amount of goods I can purchase at Costco that fit our dietary needs. We loosely follow the Paleo diet, meaning no dairy (except for goat) and no artificial bull crap. We try to stay away from grains and added sugar as well. It’s so great that I can go to Costco and not only get the basics, but also fun goodies as well – like nut mixes and three brands of kombucha.

#3. This instant bone broth

I’ve been pretty sick this week – which I attribute to poor sleep (I’m that gal who needs a solid 9 hours) and self-induced stress. We found this gem at Costco earlier this week and it has been a lifesaver. It tastes delicious and is clean AF. All you do is mix with hot water and boom – you have yourself a great mug of broth. This is great for work, and I’ll probably be keeping a few in my suitcase for when I travel!

#4. My pseudo work fridge

On the note of being sick, I’ve been trying to keep myself hydrated with all the liquids. At work, I don’t have a fridge in my room but I discovered that my window is wide enough to store my drinks in! I’ve been able to have cold beverages all week and it’s been amazing! I guess this is one perk of cold Chicago winters! Maybe when it’s warm out, I can cook some eggs in the window sill. (If anyone is watching from Shark Tank, feel free to reach out to me for some equity in this brilliant idea).

#5. Early morning breakfasts with a friend

Egg Harbor is a breakfast chain in the Chicagoland area. In high school, when we would get late starts, we would gather there for breakfast. I met one of my best friends from college there this past Friday and had a blast. We met up for a 7:30 breakfast (which my husband thought was a strange hour) and it was glorious. There’s something special about getting up with the sun and meeting a friend for some quality conversation.

So that’s my week in iPhone photos. Hopefully next week has fewer germs! Happy Fridays homies!

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Sparking Joy

What Is Self Care?

We all get to that point where we’re tired, overwhelmed and don’t really a give a shite anymore. Sometimes it’s when theres a bunch of deadlines at work, sometimes it’s purely hormonal. So we have a chat with our friend that goes something like this…

Me:”Girl, I am SO tired. S.O.T.I.R.E.D.”

Friend:”Girl, have you been practicing self care?” [Glitter falls from the sky as the word is said]

Me:”Ohmygosh, no – silly me!”

Self care is a buzz word these days. Millennials flipping love self care. But what is it? The definition of self care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” Sounds legit but how do we do it? Is there a better way to care care of ourselves?

Am I self-caring yet?!?!

A quick search of self care routines leads you to over 2 billion results. Type self care into Instagram and you’re in a pool of photos of people with face masks on and rosé in hand. People are serious about this ya’ll. I found a reddit thread where people (mostly women, it appears) discuss their “self care routine.” Some women change their sheets every Monday, some women do a face mask once a week. One woman wrote that she wakes up an hour earlier than everyone else in her house to make sure her day runs smoothly. Another woman wrote “shower beers.” Is that a shower made of beer or a beer you drink in the shower? I’ve had my coffee in the shower before and it wasn’t all that relaxing but who am I to judge?

After looking into this topic more, I realize that a good amount of people have drinking listed as a self care technique. This raises a few questions for me. If self care, by definition, is meant to “protect your well-being” should drinking be allowed to fall into that category? When I think self care, I think yoga, skin care, and a lavender scented bath tub. Can drinking, which is a stressful thing for your body, be used to destress mentally? Or does self care just mean doing what you want to do, and what makes you feel happy in the moment?

Self care, and one’s self care routine is personal. What de-stresses me may not de-stress my friends. Here’s some insight into what I do for my own version of self care. I wake up every work morning about an hour earlier than I need to. I need that time to myself, to drink my coffee, to read (optimistically) or to surf the internet (more realistic). I’ve told my friends about my morning routine, and most of them look at me like I’m crazy. “You’d trade sleep for some quiet coffee and Pinterest?!?!” I actually don’t trade sleep. Sleep is very important to me. Ask any of my friends if I text back past 8:30pm. Nope! Why? Because ya girl’s phone is on airplane mode and my face is in a book, getting ready for a 9:30 bedtime.

Kombucha is deffo a form of self care for me

Sometimes I browse the racks of Salvation Army on a Saturday morning. There’s something about finding a great deal or a treasure that makes me feel happier. Books are also a huge source of self care for me (many of which I find at the Salvation Army – two birds one stone amirite?!) It can be a nice dinner with my husband or a just a long walk together. Sometimes, it’s a good cup of coffee and a long chat with a friend. A huge part of self care for me is exploration and trips. I find myself when I go to a place that isn’t home, and there’s a lot of value in that for me.

Sometimes, self care is a bee onesie, your best friend and hot cocoa

My point is, I don’t have a self care “routine” that I do weekly. I go by feel. I do what I need to do to feel good about myself, so that I can feel good about all aspects of my life and use my energy efficiently. For some people, a routine is what they need. Some people need some wine at the end of the day. Some people would say that a clean kitchen at the end of the day is their form of self care. Self care should be centered around your self, not what looks good on Instagram (although maybe, Instagram is a form of self care for you?) What do you do to take care of yourself? What are your thoughts on the concept of self care?