The Hills and Vineyards of Kutjevo, Croatia


Monday, August 29, 2016

Slavonia is the beautiful, least visited and most eastern region of Croatia. It's full of rolling hills of grain, vineyards, all kinds of produce, and in the summertime -- sunflowers literally as far as the eye can see! It's known as the "Bread Basket" of Croatia and holds one of the country's most famous and beloved wine regions near the small village of Kutjevo. A big part of why we traveled there was to visit two of our favorite wineries, Krauthaker and Adžić. One of the wonderful aspects of wineries in Croatia is that they are almost always small, family owned and run and with the focus on quality, not quantity. Nearly every winery we've visited has been in the family's home or their personal cellar and we've had the chance to taste wines with the winemaker himself.

Sweet Gracie girl exploring the Krauthaker cellar.

Cam was poured (huge!) tastings straight from the barrels.

Drinking amazing Adžić wines (with local cheese and bread) with Mr. Adžić himself!

The dvorac (castle) just a short walk up the street from where we stayed in Kutjevo at Sontacchi Winery B&B -- owned by a lovely family that cooked traditional Slavonian meals for us each night.

The beautiful Cathedral of St. Peter in Đakovo, not far from where we stayed. I'm in love with the starry night ceilings inside the cathedrals and churches in this part of the world!

We visited this Serbian Orthodox Monastery, without knowing that it was a Serb Orthodox holiday. It was packed with people and vendors, and as we walked in, it felt as though the music stopped and everyone abruptly ended their conversations and all turned to outright stare at us. I'm laughing writing this, but needless to say, we felt incredibly foreign and awkwardly out of place. The monastery is beautiful though! It's in a remote, forested spot surrounded by mountains and would have been lovely to visit on a quiet day.

Family Adventures in Eastern Croatia


Friday, August 26, 2016

HELLO!!!   I didn't plan to take an online vacation, but I promise it's for really wonderful reasons - that I'm excited to share here soon! It came at the perfect time, though - August in Croatia is when everyone is in holiday mode and heads to the coast. I hope you all have been enjoying the end of summertime! We have been traveling the past two weeks, the majority of it spent in Eastern Croatia. It's a fascinating part of the country that we've been wanting to see -- and we finally made it out there to celebrate my Love's birthday.

These photos are from the city of Osijek, near Croatia's border with Hungary and Serbia. We expected it to look and feel much more Eastern, but it actually reminded us of a neighborhood in Zagreb... except that there's still bullet holes in some of the buildings from the 1990's war, which you don't see in Zagreb!

Jesus and John the Baptist, inside the beautiful cathedral of St. Peter & St. Paul.

Grace ...  soooo thrilled to be taking this photo!  I hope you enjoy these last days of August!

John Shea's Big Boy Room


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Our little man went from a crib to a big boy bed and room when we moved into our house in Zagreb, exactly one year ago! All of our bedrooms have attic ceilings, which I love for the extra personality. It's tricky though to get photos of the kids' rooms since they're small and I don't have a wide angle lens anymore, so I'm sorry I couldn't get a shot of the entire room!

His wall map and frames are from his nursery.  We purposely kept his room simple because he is notorious for playing with his toys and books all night :)

Daisy lives on and acts as guard dog while our sweet boy sleeps. And a second twin bed (thanks to our kind landlady leaving them for us) is waiting for your visit, Uncles!

This grainsack pillow is from one of my favorite Etsy shops, With Lavender and Grace. Bianca made this especially for our little boy! Throughout my childhood and growing up, my Dad was amazing at bringing me back to the truth in John 15. It continues to guide me today as a wife and a mother. When I was pregnant with John Shea, I realized I wanted to do what my Daddio did, and encourage our baby boy with those verses, and any other children we would be blessed with, all throughout their lives. It's a beautiful reminder every time we're in his room!

Looking so grown up these days!!

Asolo & Bassano del Grappa, Italy


Friday, July 29, 2016

Our sweet, bossy princess commanding orders in Asolo.

Just a few scenes from the gorgeous northern Italian cities of Asolo and Bassano del Grappa. We were happy to find that both were quiet and not touristy, though the small, charming Asolo was our favorite of the two.

Happy Friday and weekend!

Ceramic Shopping in Nove, Italy!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I've wanted to come here for years! Thank you to my husband for making this dream come true. Nove is a small Northern Italian town with many ceramic shops, but I had my heart set on just one: La Ceramica VBC. Most of their products can be found in stores like Williams-Sonoma and Tiffany's, but they're sold for a fraction of the price in Nove. Thankfully they had a kids' table with markers and paper and a couple toys so Cam kept the kids happily preoccupied while I shopped. I was in and out in one hour, which I was proud of :) There are so many beautiful pieces in here - Mom, I wish you had been shopping with me!

I bought a set of dessert plates in this lace pattern and regret not picking out one of the pumpkin platters for Autumn. Next time...  right, Cam?!

I also bought a a set of dinner plates which I'll show in a coming recipe post, and a few of these pretty coffee cups below.

Next time I'd also love to visit the Copper Shop. If you ever get to go to Nove, this blog post was really helpful to read beforehand!

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