Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Best of the Weekend # 114 and More News!


Hello, friends!
Is it me, or is Friday rolling around quicker than ever?
I had a great week, the highlight of which was meeting my very first blogging friend!
It was an awesome afternoon -- stay tuned to hear who she was!


Tonight, we are saying farewell to another co-host...
Sheryl, from Lady Behind the Curtain,
who is leaving to concentrate on other projects.
We will miss her here at the party, but it's not goodbye, 
as we can still pay a visit over at her blog.
Wishing you all the best, Sheryl!

 Despite all of the changes in recent weeks, 

Best of the Weekend will continue to party on!
In fact, we have some plans in the works, and,

 we'll be looking for some new co-hosts.
We would LOVE to hear from you if you are interested in joining our team! 
Let me know by sending an email to
mstoodygooshoes36@gmail.com

************
Meet our fantastic and talented co-hosts...

Amy (me!): Ms.Toody Goo Shoes|FB|Twitter|Google+|Pinterest|Instagram
 
Remember that each co-host selects her own favorite posts, 
giving you a better chance of being featured each week,
so be sure to check out Ginnie, Cindy, and Sheryl
to see if you were featured on their blogs.
And...we'll each be pinning our features to a 
Pinterest "Best of the Weekend" Features board!

Follow Cindy Eikenberg (Little Miss Celebration)'s board Best of the Weekend Features! on Pinterest.

This week's most clicked link was:

  Chicken Caprese-One Pan Dinner from Moms Who Need To Know!
 I want caprese-everything since my trip to Italy, 
and the fact that's it's made in one pan seals the deal.

My features for this week are:  

Lemon Garlic Skillet Chicken from Cooking With Curls
I haven't cooked a thing all summer, but when I do,
it's going to be this!


Snickers Ice Cream Sandwich Cake from Three Kids and a Fish
 Do I even need to say anything here?

Covered Patio Makeover from DIY Inspired.com
A great makeover, that makes me wish I had a pergola on my deck!

Adult Coloring Pages: Relaxation For Busy Moms from Super Mommy Club
 I could seriously get into this.
Could be dangerous, though -- I can't get anything done as it is. 

Utah from Over the Apple Tree 
These pictures are GORGEOUS! 
Junior GS went to Arches last summer; I have yet to cross it off the bucket list. 

OK, it's time to link up your food, decor, DIY, craft, gardening, traveling posts...
in fact, link up whatever you want!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Few New Things on the Deck

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

How important is outdoor space to you?

To me, it's vital. 
I'd go bonkers if I didn't have at least a little piece of outside to escape to.

Unless the mosquitoes are really biting, or it's so hot that I risk passing out,
I'm sitting on my deck every chance I get. 
I'd like to sleep out there, if it wasn't for the fact that I'm terrified of critters.

I couldn't wait to move to the 'burbs and create an outdoor room.
It took me years, however, to turn it into a space I was really happy with.

But, I get bored with things quickly, so every summer, 
I tweak the deck just a bit with new accessories. 

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

One summer, just for laughs, we rearranged the deck furniture.
It's stayed that way, and probably will, since we like it better this way. 
You can see what it used to look like here

Changing up the flower pots is one way 
I keep the deck from looking the same year after year.

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 The herb box Mr. Goo Shoes made me last summer
is something new to "decorate." 

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I bought the herb signs on sale at Michael's for 80 cents each. A steal!

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I had to have this red metal basket from Christmas Tree Shops. 

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The hummingbird feeder is a pretty accent in this flower pot.
I haven't seen a hummingbird go near it, though.
I guess I like it more than they do!

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Another hummingbird feeder hangs just off the deck.
They love this one!
More about that in an upcoming post. 

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

A yellow metal table from Home Goods was supposed to be for the garden nook,
but I ended up keeping it on the deck.

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The biggest change we made this year, 
was adding an umbrella over the sitting area. 
Mr. Goo Shoes found it online, and it's perfect.
It provides shade only part of the day, 
but it does keep the birds from pooping on the furniture... a bonus!

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

There are solar lights on the inside.
They don't provide any light, but do set the mood.

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I still use some favorites from previous summers --
a red lantern, rusted crown, and green crackled flower pots, all from Home Goods.

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The black lantern is a fave, even though one glass pane has broken, 
and another fell out.
At least I can take pictures of it without any glare, lol.

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Throw pillows (from Pier 1) and the green garden stool (from Home Goods) still make me happy.

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Just for fun, here's what the deck looked like in early spring
(along with a lovely shot of Sadie's rear end)...

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
  and here's how it looks now...

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 and at night. 

It's amazing what adding a few accessories to the deck will do! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Hmmm...my flip-flops are looking a little worn,
and my purse is a bit past it's prime.
I could use a few new accessories for my wardrobe.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sorrento - A Travel Journal: Our Italy Trip (Part 2)

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody's Travel Journal: The Amalfi Coast

(This is a multi-part journal of our recent trip to the Amalfi Coast. You can read Part 1 here).

Day 2 continued - On to Sorrento

I've got a feeling we're not in Naples, anymore, Toto. The scenery has changed drastically, as we drive along the coast. No more traffic, no more congestion. We're winding around the cliffs, and I'm snapping photos like a mad woman through the car windows. I refrain from asking the drive to pull over, until he says, "3, 2, 1...there's Sorrento!" It literally takes our breath away. I ask him to stop; he says we will, but either he doesn't understand me, or he forgets, because we don't stop, and I miss one of the best photo ops of the trip. I'm sulking.


Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We arrive at the Hotel Tramontano. It's perched at the edge of the cliff, overlooking the sea. I'm hoping it's not one of those "but it looked so nice online" places. 
I needn't have worried. It's beautiful.

The hotel has a rich history. It's been around since 1812. You know that song, Come Back to Sorrento? It was written right here on this terrace. Yup.

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Hotel Tramontano

When I planned this trip, my one requirement was that each hotel have a sea view. I go straight to the terrace, and fling the doors open. I think I'm holding my breath.

Oh. My. God. It's perfect. It doesn't get any better than this. 

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Oh, but it does get better! Looking down below, is the sparkling sea, jagged cliffs, colorful beach umbrellas and cabanas. I do a happy dance right there on the terrace, which makes Mr. Goo Shoes a little nervous. 

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The hotel location couldn't be better, just steps from the pedestrian-only main streets. It's lunch time, and we're hungry. I am armed with my Tripadvisor list. Nope, we can't eat here, it's the one that got a bad rating. How about this place? Mr. Goo Shoes wants to keep looking. I put away my Tripadvisor notes, and let him choose; it's hard for me to relinquish the restaurant reins, as I don't want to "waste" one of our meals in Italy.

We settle on an outdoor cafe that promises good service with a smile. No promises about the food, however, worries me a little. We order paninis...delicious! The name of the restaurant -- Sedil Dominova -- is lost on me for the moment, but in a few hours from now, I'll understand it. We feel much better having a good meal under our belts, which now need to be loosened a notch. 

After lunch, we hit the streets...a shopping paradise! I vow silently to shop till I drop. I just got here, haven't bought a thing, and I'm already worrying about how I'll fit the souvenirs in my suitcase.


Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It takes all of five minutes to see that life gave Sorrento lemons, and they have not only made lemonade, but everything under the sun that one can think of...cookies, candy, soap, lotions, ceramics, tea towels, oil, pasta, honey, and oh, yes, Limoncello. I buy some lemon soaps and lemon honey for my Ms. Toody Goody-box Giveaway.

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

At the end of the street, we find ourselves in the main square - Piazza Tasso. 

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Piazza Tasso

Now we're back to where we had lunch, and I notice a structure I hadn't seen before. I was too busy stuffing my face with that panini. We peak inside -- I recognize it immediately from my pre-trip research. It's where men have gathered for centuries to discuss civic matters. And play poker, it seems. I put my feminist feelings aside just briefly, to enjoy the scene (Later, I look up the name -- Sedil Dominova -- just like the restaurant, which we had lunch in, which is literally in its shadow. Aha!)

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Sedil Dominova

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Sedil Dominova

Geez, it's late afternoon, already. Mr. Goo Shoes heads back for a nap. Nap? I don't understand the concept. If I didn't have to, I wouldn't sleep at all. I mean, we're in Italy!

Now that I've got the lay of the land (it doesn't take much - this area of Sorrento is pretty compact), I venture off on my own. The little alleyways are oozing with charm, and get my heart pumping. I can't stop smiling.  

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

OK, maybe I do need to rest for just a little bit before dinner. Plus, I have GOT to make time to sit on that glorious terrace. 

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We have a dinner reservation at Taverna Allegra. I'd read that the live entertainment makes for a really fun evening. I better check the directions on Google Maps. Hmmm...looks pretty easy.

We leave with time to spare. Uh-oh, I'm confused. We are seriously lost--and now, late. But wait - there's that little grocery I saw on Rick Steve's show! Just like where I shop in NJ, lol.

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

"Do you know where Tavern Allegra is?" We ask this to half a dozen different people. "Turn left just ahead." Well, no wonder we can't find it. It is down the teeniest tiniest alleyway! We get to the door, and the owner comes to greet us -- "Signora Amy?" OK, I'm impressed. I guess he's used to people showing up late because they're lost.

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Uh, there's hardly anyone here. Our night of singing along with the waiters isn't going to be all that lively, if it's just me and Mr. Goo Shoes. A few other people show up, but it's disappointingly empty. 

The guitar player is pretty good! And Peppe, the owner is singing. The waiters sing, too. We're having fun -- the wine is helping.

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Complimentary prosecco to start, that's nice. Bruschetta, too. I ask the waiter, since I'm obsessed with being right about this, if it's bru-SKEH-ta or bru-SHEH-ta. He's looking at me like I'm nuts, which is surely up for discussion. "We say bru-SKEH-ta." I tell him that everyone in the states says bru-SHEH-ta. He's laughing like that's the funniest thing he's ever heard. I'm gloating. I like to be right.

We share an antipasto for two; laughing about the salami story from our first trip to Italy. I have fettucine with clams and zucchini. AMAZING! Mr. GS has lasagna - he's happy, except he now realizes that I am serious about taking pictures of everything I eat. I am thrilled when the lady next to us starts taking pictures of other people's food. Now I don't look so bad! 

When we're through, it's time to participate in the very Italian tradition of the "passeggiata," which simply means, strolling the streets in the evening. 

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We duck into Davide's gelato; there must be 50 flavors. One is Nutella! I'll have that and the caramel, per favore. Mr. GS is ordering vanilla chip and white chocolate. Gelato is the perfect way to end the day.

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Day 3 - Sorrento
Waking up on a beautiful sunny day and looking out at the Mediterranean Sea -- not too shabby. I hope no one can see me on the terrace taking pictures in my nightgown! 

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I'm ready for my first real Italian breakfast. We are led to a table by the window. The stunning sea view is good for digestion, I think.

There's "uova strapazzate" -- scrambled eggs. I remember this from the Italian CD I bought years ago. Also, salami, ham, yogurt, cheeses, pastries. Mr. Goo Shoes is laughing at my overflowing plate. I'll walk it off, I tell him. 

We want to check out the beach area that we can see from our terrace. Our hotel has an elevator down to sea level. 

Holy moly! Sorrento looks so different from this perspective. Our room is on the first floor, last arched door on the right. Yipes, now that I see our terrace from this angle, I'm not so sure I want to sit on it anymore. 


Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I remember hearing about a lemon grove in the center of town, so I find it on google maps, and we head over. I must not have looked up the right thing, because we end up at a little shop called I Giardini di Cataldo. It's cute, we're hot; we go in. 

Turns out they make their own Limoncello here. Geez, they really do peel all the lemons by hand. It's morning, but we order gelato anyway. What the heck?  It's way better than last night's. They give us directions to the lemon grove. 

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Later, we venture down a steep path to Marina Grande, the main beach in Sorrento, which is also a fishing village. Gonna be fun walking back up!

Oh, wow, it is so picturesque, like a postcard.

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Marina Grande
Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

There are lots of places to eat lunch, but we'll be back down here for dinner tonight. Besides, I've been eyeing this pretty restaurant in town --  L'Antica Trattoria. Time to hike back up.


Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It's magical! I order the fried zucchini blossoms. O.M.G. I think this might be the best thing I have EVER eaten. EVER EVER. (Read about it here). I consider canceling our dinner reservations, and just coming back here.

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I'm disappointed that we couldn't get into Bagni Delfino for dinner, but the concierge recommends ZIntonio Mare, also on Marina Grande. The setting sun's reflection on the water and buildings is spectacular! 

Sorrento, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Marina Grande
I order zucchini blossoms for the second time in six hours. Mistake. Not even close to the ones I had earlier. My spaghetti with lobster is amazing; Mr. Goo Shoes isn't quite as happy with his gnocchi.

It's such a nice night, that we walk over to the little park overlooking the water. How perfect that an accordion player is providing free entertainment. 

Is everyday in Sorrento this sublime? I could definitely stay longer, but in the morning, we are off to Positano...and I've got a feeling that the best is yet to come!

Here's a sneak peak:

Positano, Italy: Our Travel Journal |Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

To be continued...

Sorry for so many photos - I couldn't help myself!  

RESOURCES:
Imperial Hotel Tramontano
Ristorante Sedil Dominova
Tavern Allegra 
Davide Gelateria
Rick Steve's Amalfi Coast (TV episode)