Honeymoon Blues: Venice, Italy

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A small city, big hearts, history, small town charm, gondola rides through narrow canals, filled with a whole lot of love while being serenaded with “Amore!” This can only be in one place! Venice, Italy! Today we are continuing are honeymoon blues series with the second stop we visited while on our honeymoon. We headed east from Milan, on a 2-3 hour bus ride (depending on what form of transportation you take.) We thought it might be farther but to our surprise, it turned out quicker then expected, and full of beautiful scenery along the way. One word: Vineyards! I’m sure flying would have been quicker, but trying to stay on budget worked out in our favor because we saw some of the most beautiful views along the way. We ended up staying in Venice for just about 2 days. It may sound like a short time, but it honestly isn’t that big of a city. We were walking around the island knowing where we were going by the end of the afternoon. If its one thing I loved, is the uniqueness of the small city which is made up of a bit over 100 small islands! It was like no place I have ever been.. no cars, no highways, just small walkways, canals and boats.. and charm!  A whole lot of it too. Simple life, yet to us it may seem so complicated since obviously it’s not our norm. Nonetheless, it was beautiful and just so romantic! Its quiet, quaint, charming and intimate all at once, Id say its the perfect setting for two love birds on their honeymoon.

Tip#2: For those traveling on a budget and wanting to get around in Europe. There are many great options. But for us there was one in particular, recommended by my best friend. Travel via bus! Especially for those not at a great distance. We used: Flixbus. Sooo economical! There are other great bus company’s but this is the route we chose.

Our Venice arrival with a view and narrow streets! Can you tell we were excited?!

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Where we stayed: Centurion palace, luxury for Venice but we got a great deal since we went in the winter months! And it was our honeymoon, so why not? Such a clean and private and beautiful place.

Continue reading “Honeymoon Blues: Venice, Italy”

Honeymoon Blues: Milan, Italy

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Today, we decided it was time to start a small series called, “Honeymoon Blues” Down here in sunny south florida, were in the midst of summer, a very HOT summer as usual! This heat had me just reminiscing on the cool, chilly weather we got to experience on our honeymoon this past December. Can I just tell you guys, it was one of the best experiences my hubby and I have gotten to share together in our travels?! Seriously it was so memorable and probably one that we will forever remember. It was romantic, busy, yet relaxing and one that had us in awe. I remember us just thinking to ourselves, “these are places we only see in the movies!!” To say the least, we enjoyed the places so much that we decided it was only right to walk you through our honeymoon and then you may understand why we reminisce on our honeymoon so much! It was literally our dream honeymoon!

To give you a little insight into our honeymoon adventure and whats to come on the blog.. All in all, we visited 5 of the major cities in Italy and we wandered out a little further north out of Italy. For those other two cities ,you will just have to stay tuned for to find out where else we went!

Tip #1: If you don’t mind a little cold weather for a couple of days or even a couple of weeks, travel to Europe in the winter months! Flights are way less expensive and the tourist lines are much shorter! Plus, if you’re from south florida, you’ll finally be able to wear those winter boots!

Where we stayed: Hotel Mini Tizianoimage
imageimagePiazza Del Duomo

Milan’s Cathedral: Duomo of Milanimage
imageUp the Duomo we went!

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Feeling on top of the world!lol

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele IIimage
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imageCastello Sforzesco

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Arco della Pace: Porta Sempione

imageimageUntil our next Stop!

-Jen ❤

*all images are property of Grace Fulfilling Life*

Recap: Colombia Trip & Family Love

imageLast month, hubby and I headed on vacation to my first home, Colombia! It was an exciting time for us for many reasons. One being that although most of my family still lives there, I hadn’t been in over 10 years! It was especially exciting for me to show my husband the place where I initially grew up as a child, where I first lived and called a place a “home.” Essentially, it was moving and exciting showing him such a big part of what makes me, ME, and the other part of what has made me the person I am today. We got to see my father’s side of the family, which my husband had never met and that was such a special moment. I felt like it showed him the other side of what makes me Jennifer, gestures, my sense of humor and other little things we just bypass on a daily basis, that I get from my father’s side. Of course, we spend lots of time with my mom’s side too, and that was special in itself because we have so many memories together, that the list goes on. It was fun, it was humbling and it was a great time with family. I think that part of this trips success was how much we enjoyed all my family and how we spend such good quality time with them . They’re good people, they are grateful and live a simple life. They have a passion in them to appreciate and love with all their hearts, that maybe as a small child I did not know how to appreciate because I was far too young to even know what that meant. They showed Xavier and I so much love that we will forever hold close to our hearts until the next time we see them.

This trip meant a lot to us, the time we spend was needed in our hearts and minds. It was good for us to leave our reality for a little while, and see things we don’t get to see here in Florida. There is something about seeing greenery all around you, tall green luscious mountains, horses by the rivers, herds of cattle in the fields, natures fresh air and the small town folk sitting around tables enjoying small talk and the more simple things in life. It was definitely a breath of fresh air after some storms that had been thrown at us. It was good for the soul. It was a good reminder for us that family is with us, that in the midst of whatever trials are thrown our way, we are blessed. We are blessed with the opportunity to have had the chance to travel and travel safely, see family and have family, to love and be oh so loved by all our sweet family, that whether it’s here or in Colombia, we have loved ones that surround us and embrace us, and that even through sorrows we still have a happiness that is much much greater!

Psalm 23:1-3, The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

Hope you guys enjoy our photos and the scenery. Pictures don’t do this beautiful country justice.

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how handsome does my hubby look in the Colombian jersey?!

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Wedding Shared & Half a year down

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Today seemed appropriate to share Our wedding day with you all. Today marks half a year of marriage. These past 6 months have been a true blessing for Xavier and I. Our story has been so wonderfully written. I thank God for our story and for bringing us together. I couldn’t be more in love with my husband. Everyday for the past 6 months I have learned more about my husband…How truly amazing of a person he is, how much he loves me and how he shows it in so many ways.  My love for him has grown and each day I feel like I love him a little more and in more ways I didn’t even know I could. He’s my lover, my best friend, my soul mate and my partner in crime. We are a team and I couldn’t be more blessed to say that of us and our relationship. The past 6 months we have grown together in so many ways. We have endured happy moments, successes, love and joy. But we have also experienced hardships, sadness and loss. Through it all we have become closer and more together. We have been challenged and we have leaned on our faith more than ever. God knows the plans he has for us and we have come to trust in his plan and have faith in him being the author of our story. It’s safe to say neither of us are perfect, but as two imperfect people we are perfect for each other. Reminiscing on our wedding is a reminder of the great love that brought us together and the desires of our hearts to be focused on God and letting him lead us in this journey of ours. Remembering this day is also a reminder of our vows and vowing not to be 50/50 in this relationship, but to be completely committed to 100/100. We are all in, and this day reminds me of that. To be honest, I look back to these photos on a regular basis, I love looking into our faces and seeing how much love can be seen through these photos, all the happiness in our eyes and in those who were there to share our day. It’s important for us to be reminded sometimes of what brought us together when life becomes such a routine. I am so grateful for the life we are sharing, for all the lessons we have learned these past 6 months and all the love that has grown. God has tested us in ways we never thought of, but if I could choose who I would go through some of the things we have, I would choose my husband over and over each time. Maybe one day we will be brave enough to share those. But for now, I cherish this wonderful memory we have. I cherish the man I call my husband, the man who is always by my side no matter what, the man who shares my happy and my sorrows, the man who God chose for me. I confess it’s not always easy, but with love and effort it’s all worth it, 100%. I love my husband and its been great knowing these feelings are shared in return. We are enjoying our time more then ever, no matter what it may be we are doing. We are present in the moment, our moments and that warms my heart. To love and feel loved in return is an amazing feeling. The other day we talked about our growing relationship and my words exactly where these… “If this is what marriage is, with all the we have gone through lately, I’ll take it!” It’s so true and from my heart. I would choose us over and over and over again. I can only hope to beat the 50% of those who bad talk marriage. But we believe in God’s purpose for us and what he has in store for us. He pours out an abundance of grace and is a merciful God and we know that through him we will keep this story he is writing for us alive. One that is full of respect, grace and one that is a lifetime of a deep love, always. He’s my other half..and he’s handsome too! 😉

So dear Husband, if you have read this… I love You, to the moon and back, times infinity and forever.     Love, your wife. ❤jennifer+xavier-222-2560x1706

I hope you all enjoy our day through some of our favorite wedding photos as much as we did that day.

All Photography by BecaCPhotography

To see more of our day, check out GraceFulfillingLife on Facebook.

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jennifer+xavier-620-2560x1706 THE BEST IS YET TO BE…<3

DIY: Bringing Jesus into your kids Easter basket

 Although I’m not a mom just yet, I do have a 7 year old sister. It’s important for me to be a role model to her and to share with her the importance of our faith, Jesus and his story. My sister Sofia, is quite the character with a personality of her own, but one thing is for sure.. She’s bright and she learns fast! I wanted to make sure this Easter she knew what Easter was truly about and give her a little reminder that not only would make her happy but also was filled with his word and goodness. My parents do a great job at making sure she reads her bible each morning before school, and taking her to church. When I went to ask her about what Easter was about.. Well let’s just say, I was more the surprised one. She could tell me the Easter story probably better then I ever could at her age! A week ago, a fellow blogger posted a great kids Easter activity over at WildlyGraceful, it was a one week Easter story countdown. I read it over and it was great! But my sister already knew a lot of the content, maybe because she’s older then I like to think. I’ll have to save that one for my future kids one day lol. So I opted out, and created this little cute Easter basket for her. Thanks to the amazing $1-3$ isle at target I was able to find all the amazing goodies! I seriously cannot go to target without stopping by that isle! I knew most Easter baskets are filled with candy and Easter eggs! So I decided to instead fill it with things I knew my sister has been wanting or things I knew she would enjoy! But of course, I got easter eggs! I figured it was the perfect opportunity to fill them with a little of bit of  Jesus’s Easter story and what he stood for. I had seen many Easter projects on Pinterest  explaining the Easter bunny and relating it to the Easter story. So since she’s a little older now, I figured I would incorporate a little of that in the Easter eggs and cut out some bible verses and place one in each of the eggs. I also made each verse explain a little of how it could represent her Easter bunny bag! It was too cute to pass on! I hope we all remember the meaning of Easter and what it stands for and that it is by his grace that we can live an abundant life! That through his grace we are forgiven, loved and have a Heavenly Father who is always with us.
Materials: ALL from targets $1-3$ isle! Win!

Idea..Pinterest! So many to choose from to help you out! I typed up bible verses which related to the famous “Easter bunny” and put it in simple terms for my sister to understand what each bible verse stood for and meant!


Happy Easter everyone! What are some ways you incorporate the true meaning behind Easter?! Have a great weekend friends!

-Jen

Mushroom & Broccolini Stir-Fry Noodles

 We’ve been trying to be more intentional with healthy eating lately. Xavier and I have always tried to have a balance when it comes to food and having it be nutritious and healthy and at the same time, have days where we are allowed to indulge a little in guilty pleasures. About 1 week now, Xavier and I had a mutual understanding of where we wanted to head when it came to meats. We both found that meat wasn’t really appetizing to us and we figured we’d try to go as #meatless as possible. Its been challenging when it comes to figuring out our meals and making sure we are getting the right amount of nutrition. Making balanced vegetarian meals for two hispanic people can be a challenge, but its been a success thus far! We are enjoying trying new things being creative and researching the whole process. We won’t say we are 100% vegetarian just yet, but were giving it a try. Our bodies and minds have felt a difference already. For now we are sharing one of our favorite meals so far!

Mushroom & Broccolini Stir-Fry Noodles for the win!  Super easy, delicious and nutritious.. 

Ingredients: 4 serving

Noodle Mixture

  • button mushrooms (or whichever you prefer)
  • 2 bunches of broccolini (thick ends cut off)
  • 6 stalks of kale (cut into shreds)
  • 1 large onion (sliced thick)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • whole wheat noodles ( we used organic whole wheat linguine)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to liking
  • sriracha teriyaki sauce (we used stonewall kitchen brand, found in our local fresh market)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey

Mushroom Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tables spoons of honey
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove

Directions:

  1. In a small cup combine all the ingredients for the mushroom glaze.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees
  3. In a separate bowl combine your mushrooms with the mushroom glaze and coat evenly.  (make sure to clean your mushrooms with a wet paper towel to avoid a “dirt” taste, I don’t recommend soaking them in water, as mushrooms tend to be little sponges. This helps avoid a really wet soggy mushroom)
  4. Place the coated mushroom in the oven to roast for 15 mins. (remove when done to avoid burning)
  5. While the mushroom roast, place noodles to cook in separate pot with a tablespoon of olive oil, until noodles are ‘al dente’image
  6. In a separate pan, place 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic the 1 onion and salt and pepper to liking and sauté for 2 mins.image
  7. After 2 mins, place broccolini and kale into pan with onions and garlic until veggies are bright green and cooked to your liking. (we like ours somewhere in between soft with a little bit of crunch still) image
  8. When noodles are done, place them into your veggie mix and add your 2 tablespoons of honey along with your sriracha teriyaki sauce. (I usually eyeball it and make it to our liking, remember the sauce has a spicy kick to it!)image
  9. Let your noodles and veggies mix well and marinate in your sauce until completely coated.image
  10. Plate your delicious stir-fry veggie and noodle mixture and top with your glazed mushrooms! Enjoy!

    imageWe hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Let us know what your favorite #meatless dishes are?! We’d Love some new ideas!

-Jen