Being a military family, my children have had to move a lot, and say good-bye to more friends than most people do in their entire lives. As an adult, saying good-bye to friends is difficult as it is, and though my children are resilient; it’s always been important to me to help them cope with saying good bye to friends who often times feel like extended family. One of the tools I use is books. What follows is a list of books I keep in my “moving to a new place” or “when friends move away” arsenal to help my children through a new transition or deal with a friend’s departure. These books are great children’s books about moving and are geared for the younger child, and were enjoyed quite a few times by my boys during various stages of the moving or saying good-bye to friends process.

moving day helping kids cope with moving

When Moving to a new place these books are great: (more…)

It’s hard to believe nearly three years have come and gone since my family and I moved to Italy. We’ve just over a year left and though I’m excited for our next adventure there is a very big part of me that will be sad to say “Arrivaderci” when the time comes. Over the next year, I will be sharing all the little things I love about living in Italy (and perhaps some of the things I don’t.) because living in a foreign country as opposed to visiting one on vacation allows one a rather unique perspective.

In years to come, when I think of Italy, I’ll think of their amazing coffee. It truly is a major part of the makeup of this land. Coffee bars, cafes, and even vending machines can all provide a delicious cup of caffeinated dreaminess.

Living in Italy - Italian cappucino with cocoa

The quintessential cappuccino, sprinkled generously with unsweetened chocolate or as it’s often referred to “cacao” Is one of my most favorite things about Italy.


I don’t think I’ve traveled, or toured, or simply experienced any place more aware of art. Everywhere you go, even in the most humble of places there is some form of art, or at the very least a beautiful natural landscape. Italians enjoy beauty, and even when they don’t mean to, they make things beautiful. From the way they package gifts you buy, or box sweets from a bakery, or go for a picnic. Which isn’t how you or I would. No, these can be large affairs full of multiple course meals, and of course wine and things to beautify a picnic table…

Living in Italy - Flowers left on picnic table italy

I encountered this simple flower bouquet at a park one summer afternoon, a previous visitor, had left it to be enjoyed by the next person to dine.


I’d be remiss if I were mentioning coffee, to not remark about gelato. Gelato is delightful any time of year, but especially in the summer months. When I visit my local gelateria, I may, take home one of these other – non “ice cream” deserts. My favorite – the meregata. If you’ve ever the chance to try this desert. Go for it! It’s meringue, whipped cream, and a fruit, usually a berry. Yum!

Living in Italy - Italian deserts

Italian deserts, aren’t they pretty?

All of these photos were shared on my Instagram– follow me!

I was going through my photos on my mobile devices and it occured to me I’d not shared a “life through my iPhone” post in quite some time.

A really long  time.

The last time I’d actually wrote such a post was in 2013. Twenty-thirteen!
Since I was MIA for the most part in 2015 from my blog – here goes!



the urban boysThe Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith

Genre/ Age Group: Young Adult Fiction (Action-Adventure w/ elements of Paranormal), 12+

Buy It On Amazon!



“Author K.N. Smith uses her mastery of the written word to weave an entrancing, yet powerful tale of adventure that keeps you turning pages in an unquenchable desire to find out what happens next. The author’s matchless prose details cinematic fight sequences and fully developed characterizations especially in a final, stupendous scene that will take your breath away and leave you limp with spent emotions. Five stars for this imaginative and inspiring story, sure to be as appealing to general audiences as it will be to the YA crowd!”


I was introduced to this author and novel by YAReads as part of a blog tour.

The premise of this story is great. I really liked the characters, however the story was slow-going in the beginning and at certain points of the story I would be drawn out of it, because I felt like I’d hiccuped while reading. Something in the wording or such would get a bit “jumpy” and I’d be brought back to reality. I’m not sure if it’s because I was reading a review copy, but honestly I almost wish I could’ve been a beta reader or a critique partner for this author because good-lord this idea is SUPER! The characters have immense potential and as the story progresses I’m hoping to see more development. The supernatural aspect I feel could’ve been developed more and introduced a lot sooner. Overall this was a super quick read that was enjoyable and I will certainly keep my eye out of the next in the series, just to figure out the true purpose of the whole supernatural aspect and weather or not the two main characters will fall prey to history past or beat the odds.

Darkest Dawn by Katlyn Duncan (more…)

I wrote this to remind myself, years from now, what they were like, when they were little.

I fear I’ll forget.

Tiptoe Whisper

Whispers under cover
just after sunrise
clamoring to play.
Tiptoe down the stair,
One whispers, “Want some breakfast?”
“I don’t care.”
“Will you play with me?”
Tiptoe up the stair.
Until one yells,
“I’m telling MOM!”




Pre-pubescent boys can be major butt-heads, who can make you feel like your failing as a parent. They are also full of surprises because suddenly the emotional roller coaster their on breezes through the loop-the-loop, and they can see through the haze of all their newfound feelings and the realization of his epic douche-baggery dawns on him. At which point he’ll turn to you with eyes full of salty tears and give you a hug so tight your ribs ache while he cries and apology into your chest, and thereby restoring faith in yourself as a parent.

The fact that this emotional moment happened for your son while you were standing in line to order your “lunch” of wine and friend cheese is neither here nor there.

I’m fairly certain, the pre-teens are the “Spring Training” of parenthood during the teenage years.

A photo posted by Nicóle Olea 👓 (@nickyolea) on