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Friday, June 24, 2011

The Mysterious Vatican

Guest Blogger: Dan Rahim
copyright 2011 art of living, PrimaMedia,inc

What is the Vatican?
Many people don’t realize the there is still a monarchy in Rome. But it is not of an Italian King. In fact the monarch at this point is of German descent. But he doesn’t rule Italy, or Even all of Rome for that matter. He rules a small walled of section inside the city. This man is known by many as the Pope.
One of the smallest independent states in the world is Vatican City. There are very few permanent residents. Only the Pope and his officials are actual citizens and the Pope rules the city with an iron fist. This is only a slight exaggeration. The Pope is an elected official, but he still serves as a monarch of the city. The pope does have an assembly of Cardinals, however, to run the day to day operations of the city.
The city is protected mainly by Italy as Italy surrounds it entirely. There are, however, conspicuous guards within the city. They dress in rather old fashioned clothing and are known as the Swiss Guards. These guards are actually only the body guards of the Pope himself, but they function in protection of the city as a whole, but more on the level of police rather than actual military.
But when you think about the Vatican you don’t imagine this small bureaucratic government running a miniature country, you imagine the great cathedrals or the Vatican Museum, one of the world’s most visited Museums. This small government, though, is what makes all the sites accessible and is primarily responsible for the upkeep.
Everything from the Botecelli’s to the Da Vinci’s are kept within the city and maintained. A trip to the Vatican when in Rome is mandatory.

For more info on Italy and award winning recipes join 100,000 worldwide subscribers at The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm BLOG

Overdose on the Magnificence of Rome

Guest BLogger: Dan Rahim
copyright 2011 art of living, PrimaMedia,inc
The dark night sky is lit by small pin pricks in the heavens. Closer you can see the small lamps and large marble buildings. The buildings glow like giants under the lights of the moon reflected in the river below. The air is warm as the warm Mediterranean breeze tickles over you. The scents of the nearby restraints titillate your nostrils, teasing them like a warm lover through the night air. The air is humid but not so much so to be uncomfortable, more like a warm blanket covering the city. Pregnant with possibilities you walk along the streets of Rome.
The large marble buildings, the slow trickle of European time, a deep history, these are the things that make Rome a city of the giants. Once the seat of the world’s greatest empire, Rome is now one of the most visited cities in the world and for good reason. Nowhere else in the world can you experience all the great sites of Rome.
All the major sites should be seen. The Colloseum is perhaps one of the most famous. It is nothing but a spectacle in the night. It looms above the city like something from a movie. The white outside gleams a yellow from the city lights outside. The pictures you see in movies and on TV can not quite capture the majesty of the building.
The Pantheon is another of the greatest sights to see. The pillars of the ancient temple are astounding. A site where the Gods stood for the Romans, even today inspires awe. The white marble, looming steps are part of the grand design of the building. Not everything worth seeing in Rome is from the age of the empire however. There are a great many buildings worth seeing from the medieval age as well.
The Basilica of Saint Paul or Basilica di San Paulo as the Italians know it is one of these famous pieces. Though some see it as a religious site where the remains of St. Paul are said to have been covered by the Emperor Constantine, the site is of great beauty. The history of the site alone is overwhelming , though it has been rebuilt time and time again refinishing and fixing small cracks and replacing entire walls at times, the building was first completed more than 1600 years ago in about 370.
As far as the mystery of St. Peter’s body, there have been recent findings in the area. In fact, the sarcophagus was found underneath the basilica and recent carbon dating, which most historians find very reliable date the bone fragments remains to the first or second century, which places the bones at the time of St. Peter’s death.
There are many more fantastic pieces of history and mystery that lie beneath the city. Those can only be found by those who search. Rome as the vibrant heart of Italy is a must see for anyone wishing to truly experience the beauty that is Europe.

For more travel information and stories about Rome Italy join 100,000 worldwide subscribers at

A Recipe & A Movie-Eat, Pray, Love, Fettucini Alfredo

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin
copyright 2011 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc
Liz Gilbert is suffocating in her marriage and her life in the opening of Eat Pray Love (2010). She “just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, and then not stop until [she] reached Greenland.” Her life was basically perfect, but she just didn’t feel anything anymore. She talks to a toothless medicine man in Bali while working on an article, takes a look at her life, and she decides that it’s time to get a divorce. After a quick fling with a younger man, David (James Franco), Liz decides to travel the world and find herself. She jumped from her painful divorce right to David, and she barely even had time to take a breath.

First stop: Italy (or eat). The beauty and the food envelop Liz and make her feel warm and a little happy again. With the help of her new Swedish acquaintance and an Italian tutor, Liz starts to feel comfortable and almost like she’s at home in Italy. After eating a lot of amazing food, embracing her new, bigger pants, and spending time with her new Italian family, Liz decides it’s time to move onto the next phase of her journey: pray.

India is the next stop, and it is all about meditation and prayer. After some “selfless, devotional work” and a nervous breakdown in the meditation room, Liz meets Richard from Texas. He becomes her mentor of sorts and encourages her, even when it may look like mockery. He knew that deep down she had “the capacity to somehow love the whole world.” Among other advice, Richard ordered her to stay in India until she forgave herself, and that’s exactly what she did.

Final stop: Bali. Liz makes her way back to Ketut, the toothless medicine man, and he doesn’t recognize her after her complete transformation. She was a sad, old woman, but now she is radiant. After nearly hitting Liz in his car, the beautiful Brazilian Felipe (Javier Bardem) starts falling for her. They both had a divorce in their pasts, and they understand what the other went through. Liz feels herself losing her internal balance while she’s falling in love with him, and she breaks it off with Felipe. She doesn’t know if she can keep herself happy and focused and love him, too.

Liz learned a lesson on her journey: “If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting…and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

Through the laughter and the tears, the pangs of hunger may present themselves. If you don’t want to have to buy bigger pants like Liz, go for the healthier version of fettuccini alfredo to whet your appetite. You can eat alongside Liz while she’s in Italy, minus the guilt of eating fattening foods. Your eyes and stomach will be thoroughly satisfied after the delicious, light dish.
Healthy and Light Fettuccini Alfredo
Excerpted from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm BLOG at, copyright 2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati
1 lb whole wheat fettuccini alfredo
1 lb chicken tenders(or chicken-soy based substitute)
2 heads of broccoli
2 tbsps butter
1 pint of fat free half-and-half
1 cup pecorino romano cheese
1. Boil water and add fettuccini. Cook until al dente
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then sauté in olive oil. Once cooked, drain the oil, add the butter and half-and-half. Pour everything over the fettuccini.
3. Steam the broccoli for 4 minutes and add to the mixture once the pasta is cooked. Add black pepper to taste.

For more recipes, get your copy of the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Make Your Dish Into a Masterpiece with Oregano

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin
copyright 2011 art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc

Oregano is a staple herb that is used in many recipes, especially when it comes to Italian and Greek cooking. It can be used fresh or dried, and it can be used in pasta, meat dishes, sauces, salad dressings, and even salads. It is an excellent, flavorful addition to a meal, and it is a great herb to keep on hand in your garden or kitchen. Easy to grow and delicious with a fresh scent, oregano is a perfect addition to any herb garden, indoors or out.

First step: go get some seeds or a seedling from your local plant nursery or garden center, or even search online. There are different types of oregano to choose from, Greek and Italian oregano being the most common. Once you’ve obtained the plant or seeds, choose your planting spot. Choose a place with plenty of sunlight and good water drainage. Oregano likes sandy soil, so, for best results, mix a little sand in your soil. Dig a small hole and insert your plant, or, if you are using seeds, place the seeds on top of the soil and do not cover them with soil. Water the soil until it is just damp―do not overwater.

Oregano does not need much water―only water your plant when the soil surrounding the plant begins to look dry. When the plant is about four inches tall, you can begin cutting it back and using the leaves for cooking. Cut it back periodically to keep the plant more compact and to encourage growth. When the flower buds begin to show, pull them off to keep your oregano’s flavor strong. Watch out for spider mites and aphids―they like oregano and will destroy your plant if they are left to feed. Try to use more organic methods of insect repellant because, remember, you will be eating this plant.

With its antioxidants and health benefits and ability to make any dish into a masterpiece, oregano is the perfect herb for any kitchen or herb garden. Dry it, freeze it, or use it fresh to add a touch of taste to your meal anytime.

For recipes using oregano get your copy of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winning Cookbook The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cheap Flight Deals

Summer is just about here and everyone seems to be scurrying searching for cheap flight deals. Nothing is more frustrating than not only trying to find a good deal but also finding the right companies for the deals. And you can focus on one company to provide you with not only cheap flight deals but great service and assistance also. But not to worry the website is easy to navigate so you don't have to be an internet expert just to look for travel deals here. Think of a whole vacation maybe to that resort you have wanted to take a break and get away to. With this service your dreams may be more than possible!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kitsilano Real Estate

When looking to move into a new neighborhood , look for real estate experts that know not only about real estate but about the area. Kitsilano Real Estate can not only find you a house to move into but also get you pertinent information that you may need to know. If you have kids did you think about finding out about the schools in the area? They can get you all that information.
You should also know about home values in specific neighborhoods and outlook for your area. Having an expert on your side makes for a a successful search.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rosemary: The Dew of the Sea

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin
copyright 2011 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,inc
Rosemary, or “dew of the sea,” can be used in many different dishes or simply as decoration. Depending on what you will be using the herb for will determine what type of rosemary you will want to use. There are two main types of rosemary: creeping rosemary (low growing/prostrate) and common rosemary (upright). Each type has several variations, but the tastes and smells are very similar.

Creeping rosemary is not as resilient as common rosemary, but it is still fairly easy to grow. This particular plant grows out rather than up, so you have to leave plenty of room for it to expand. The leaves and stems are green, and the buds are generally blue, though there are exceptions.

Irene: This low growing variety has blue-violet flowers that cascade over the limbs of the plant for a beautiful addition to any garden. It is one of the most attractive of the low growing varieties.
Huntington Carpet: This creeping variety has darker leaves than other types, has much larger branches, and light blue flowers. It can spread to as much as eight feet wide and about two feet high.
Corsican Prostrate: This low growing rosemary has dark blue flowers and a silvery hue to the stems and leaves that give it a very unique look. It has arching branches similar to those of Huntington Carpet.

Common rosemary tends to grow up rather than out, and it is very hardy. As with the creeping rosemary, the leaves and stems are green, and the flowers are usually blue.

Tuscan Blue: This particular upright variety has dark blue flowers, and the flowers are larger than most other types of rosemary. This herb’s lemon and pine flavors are not as harsh as other varieties.
Majorca Pink: This upright rosemary has pink flowers, which is very unusual for this herb. This graceful plant has an aesthetic appeal.
Albus: This semi-upright variety has thick, short leaves and white flowers. It is not as aromatic as some of the other types. Generally peaking at three feet, this upright variety does not grow as tall as many of the others.

For great recipes to use those herbs like Rosemary get your copy of the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

A Roman Feat of Engineering -Aqueducts

Guest Bloggerr:Dan Rahim
They stare at you straight in the face. It is hard to ignore them if you ever travel to Rome. They tower over the towns, big stone monoliths. They look like huge bridges. In fact they were perhaps the greatest feat of Roman engineering and one of the greatest feats of engineering in the ancient world. The water flowed around simply with the power of gravity. No pumps or other devices were used to get the flow moving.
The aqueducts were one of the first grand scale construction projects to move water through the ancient Roman Empire. Essentially they were just large channels along which water would flow. This facilitated getting water to large sites usually mines but sometimes into the cities.
Though the most visible parts are those above the ground most of the aqueducts ran underground. This was done mainly because it was easier to build underground and they would be less vulnerable to both attack and contamination. These aqueducts were not isolated in Rome; in fact anywhere the Empire spread the aqueducts spread as well. The largest system of this pre-medieval plumbing is found in Constantinople.
The aqueducts eventually stopped being used and went out of service. Some were destroyed by the invaders who wished to starve out the Romans. However, most were destroyed through time and corrosion, because of the large volume of water going through the aqueducts they needed constant maintenance without which they collapsed with the fall of the empire.

Blue Sky Scrubs

Ever want to go from work to dinner without worrying about going home to change well you can find the perfect and stylish scrubs to take you from work to a night out at it is absolutely incedible how the cut, shape, style and color of scrubs have eveolved into these colorful, fashionable outfits

Go to their scrubs and more store and that is just what you will find, even more than just scrubs. The colors are amazing and they look absolutely comfortable as well. That is what is important for a day at work and an evening out.No matter which style, cut or color you choose you will always make a fashion statement of your own in a blue sky scrub