Tuesday Travels: Borgo Argenina

Welcome to Borgo Argenina, a truly magical stone estate in the hills of Chianti. IMG_2414.JPGIMG_2419.JPG

Visiting Borgo Argentina was an experience like no other and my absolute favorite part of our Newly Newlywed Italian Adventure. The 998 AD Peasant Farmer home had been abandoned for years when, now owner, Elena Nappa, discovered the property while on a holiday from Milan. A former fashion designer, Elena quickly fell in love with the estate. She knew in her heart it was a calling for her to restore the hamlet into a stunning seven room Bed & Breakfast and that is exactly what she did. Her story of how she transformed this property without electricity and running water into a fully functioning Bed and Breakfast is really remarkable. IMG_2416.JPG

Adam and I drove from Florence to the Chianti hamlet. Passing thousands of grape vines and olive trees, around curvy bends, narrowingly escaping head on collisions with Italian drivers and through the rolling hills to get to Elena’s. Upon arrival at Borgo Argenina we were greeted by Elena’s four-legged friends, Giuseppina and Pasqualina along with other guests who were sitting on the grand stone patio, enjoying a glass of vino taking in the sunset over Chianti. IMG_2420.JPG

“Welcome! You must be new! Elena is upstairs in the Kitchen.” one guest said. Instantly we were family.

Our journey at Borgo Argenina began as we passed the bell to ring for Elena if you arrive after hours and opened the original wooden double doors adorned with iron locks and handles. IMG_2415.JPG

Once inside the main house, up the narrow stone stairway with one tiny window over looking the garden, we found Elena, tooting around her kitchen. IMG_2433.JPG

“Ah! Bella! Benvenuto! I’ve been expecting you! Fett, si?” Elena asked.

She grabbed the keys and escorted us to the Piccola Suite, our home for the next four days. We had a quaint sitting room adjacent to our bedroom, an attached private bath and views of the rolling Chianti Hills and Elena’s garden. PicTapGo-Image-5.jpg

Each room is equip with a mini bar and tea kettle that is refreshed daily, wifi and a hairdryer. (Yay! One less thing to pack!) There is no air conditioning at Borgo Argenina, thankfully, even during the Summer months the nights were cool and a flowing breeze filled our room. Elena took us downstairs, showed us the Parlor and Breakfast Room before heading outside.PicTapGo-Image-2.jpgIMG_2434.JPGIMG_2423.JPGIMG_2422.JPG

After a tour of our suite and parts of the property we sat down with Elena on the stone patio outside. She shared some of her favorite places in Tuscany with us over a glass of wine. PicTapGo-Image.jpg

We chatted for what felt like hours of friends catching up before we realized the time and that we were late for a supper reservation she made for us at Giorgio’s. We will share that experience with y’all a little later. Delizioso!

Every morning, Borgo Argenina guests are greeting to a beautiful breakfast spread prepared by two of Elena’s three employees. On the daily menu: Fresh Coffee, homemade Yogurt, local meats, cheeses and honey, fresh fruit, and varieties of Elena’s Coffee Cake.  PicTapGo-Image-3.jpgPicTapGo-Image-1.jpgPicTapGo-Image-4.jpg

Elena also invites her guests to a nightly Cooking Class at Borgo Argenina. If you’re staying with her, this is a MUST! It was by far the best food we had during our time in Italy and if she had extra room we would have taken the class a second time! Each guest is gifted with her Borgo Argenina Cookbook-filled with Elena’s family recipes and traditional Italian dishes. The time we spent in the kitchen with Elena and other guests was a highlight of our trip. Pop over next Monday to see what was on our Menu! IMG_1196.JPG

Y’all, I really can not express how much HeliHubby and I enjoyed our time at Borgo Argenina. It is in a perfect location to be a “home base” for Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena and more little Tuscan Wine towns. It’s truly an enchanting, one of a kind Italian escape. Elena is absolutely wonderful. She is warm, welcoming and lovely. We felt like we had known her for years and yet we just met. Leaving we all three got a bit teary eyed as we said our “goodbyes.” I don’t know when the Newly Newlyweds will get to return to Chianti to visit Elena, but I do know HeliHubby and I both left a piece of our hearts in Tuscany at Borgo Argenina. It is just magical.

If you’re considering a Tuscan Vacation I highly reccomened you consider Borgo Argenina as your home. Have questions about the hamlet or want help planning your vacation? Feel free to message us- I am happy to help! PicTapGo-Image-7.jpg

Fino all prossima volta, we hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Traveling with Thelma & Louise Part II

Last week we began our #ThrowbackThursday Thelma & Louise Adventure series. It’s full of lots of fun and laughs as Mom and I made our annual Road Trip to the GREAT state of Texas. We’re picking up mid-week into our grand adventure- come along and join in on our fun!

Mount Pleasant is a small, North East Texas town. They have a 4 screen movie theatre, a Walmart, a growing downtown square with a handful of cute local spots and that’s about it y’all. After seeing all the Big MP had to offer we had the bright idea to continue the road trip and head up to Oklahoma!

Oklahoma? Yes! Oklahoma! Pawhuska, OK to be exact! Why sit still when you can go, see, and do? We talked Aunt Tina, aka Mert, into joining us on our little adventure! We were off to see The Pioneer Woman! We’ve been to Paula Dean and Emeri’s restaurants. Sat in the audience for a filming of the Rachel Ray Show. Cooked with Cat Cora at Disney, so why not add another Chef to our list? IMG_7414.jpeg

We doned our denim and cowgirl boots and hit the road towards Pawhuska! About 3 or so hours from Mount Pleasant and an hour from Tulsa. The Mercantile was everything we could have imagined and more! Beautiful wooden floors, rustic displays, exposed brick. {It reminded me of a more rustic Anthropologie.}  They had Pioneer Woman Merchandise, like you can purchase at Walmart, and all sorts of kitchen and Mercantile branded products. I could have stayed there for days!

IMG_7379.jpeg

The line to eat at The Merc Deli was down the street! We were able to walk right in the store- no wait!

IMG_7399.jpeg

We did some shopping, picked up a few surprises for Adam, and of course had to sample some of Ree’s sweet treats from the Bakery upstairs. No surprise, it was delicious! We wanted it all! {Tip: Get the Cowboy Coffee if you visit! I crave it!}

IMG_7387.jpegIMG_7391.jpeg IMG_7390.jpeg

Specific days of the year while The Pioneer Woman Show is not taping, they invite guests of the Mercantile to head to the Drummond Ranch and tour the Lodge. One of these days, just happened to be the day we visited! The views of the Drummond Ranch from the Lodge were absolutely breath taking. Everything you could see was their property.

IMG_7535.jpeg IMG_7416.jpegIMG_7415.jpegIMG_7470.jpeg We look like we fit right in at The Ranch, don’t you think?

We met the pups and the Drummond Ranchhand. I can’t reminder his name, but he has been working for the family for 30+ years! The nicest Cowboy y’all! He even wanted to get his picture with us Texas gals! I think we were the favorite visitors that day! Clearly!

Looks like Ree might have a little competition in the kitchen with Thelma, Louise & Mert!

IMG_7420.jpegIMG_7479.jpegIMG_7514.JPG

Loved our time at the Lodge and highly recommend planning your trip to Pawhuska and The Mercantile when you can visit the Ranch too.

Our time in Oklahoma continued to Tulsa. Check back next Thursday as we Throwback and share the rest of our Thelma & Louise Adventures!

Have you been to the Mercantile or Drummond Ranch? Share your stories with us! Were you lucky enough to meet Ree too? What about your favorite Pioneer Woman recipes? I’d love to know which ones you and your family enjoy most!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(mostly Holly & TG this time! )

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

FaLaLaLa Fett’s Countdown To Christmas

The Christmas Holiday Season is my absolute most favorite time of the year. Maybe it’s the chill in the air, the joyous smiles radiating from everyone’s faces or the fact that I’m an {almost} Christmas Baby. Christmas has always been my favorite. Always.

We had all intentions of beginning our Christmas Countdown on Wednesday, but alas…here we are on Sunday, eight days to go until the Big Man shows and I am just sitting down to write this post.

So lets begin by backing up a few days and get caught up on our countdown.

Day 12 is for Traditions.

One of my {our} favorite Christmas Traditions began our first year of marriage. Christmas is a wonderful time- cheerful, full of family and lots of love, but it can also be a stressful time- I am sure you can all relate. Running from home to home visiting family, shopping and wrapping until the last minute, Christmas parties, are you tired yet?

Our first Christmas Adam and I were with my parents in Peachtree City. We spent the night on Christmas Eve at their house, woke up to gifts from Santa, followed by our usual Christmas Brunch. We packed up in our PJs, headed back to Atlanta to FaceTime with Adam’s Family from Michigan, change, have supper and meet up with his family that is local to Atlanta. Long story short…things didn’t quite go as planned. By the time we got back to our house in Atlanta making a fancy Christmas meal was not in the cards. Everything was closed and all we had was a Frozen Pizza, which is exactly what we had. Frozen Pizza on our Kate Spade China. Classy! Our brand of choice? Screamin’ Sicilian.

Three years later it is one of the things we both look forward to. It’s our time to enjoy the holiday together – just the two of us. Don’t get us wrong, we love spending time with our families and taking part in all the holiday fun, but there is something so comforting in spending time together, relaxing and enjoying the Christmas night just us two {for now anyways.}

This year the pizza is already in the freezer and depending on how our Annual Tacky Sweater Party goes we will hopefully have some Slush to go with it!

Does your family have a holiday tradition? Share your favorites with us!

PS: Wouldn’t you know after all these years I don’t have one single photo of our Christmas suppers?

Day 11 is for Elves. 

Before “Elf On The Shelf” was a thing…I had a Elf. He stayed at my Grandparents- Honna and Grandaddy’s-  House. I don’t remember his name or what his “powers” were, but I remember him having a little felt outfit, hat and shoes. He was a special Elf that us kids could not touch unless we had permission. He typically sat on the fireplace mantle and watched our every move. IMG_6531.jpg

Another Christmas tradition that Adam and I now have incorporated into our holiday season is our visiting Elf, Dewey. Dewey is a joyful, energetic, full of life Christmas Elf that makes his way to the FaLaLaLa Fett’s on December 1st. He helps us countdown to Christmas by bringing holiday surprises, planning Christmas themed Dates and of course sending reports to Santa. Why should kids have all the fun? It’s so fun having a little Christmas Spirit in the house and see just what tricks and treats Dewey has up his sleeve!

IMG_6777.jpg

IMG_6741.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does your family have an Elf or two roaming around this holiday season? Tell us all about him or her! Are they as tricky and mischievous as Dewey?

Day 10 is for the Perfect Christmas Tree. 

IMG_3009.JPG

If you’ve followed us the last 3+ years, you may have seen our previous posts about our Christmas Trees. Yes, you read that correctly. We have multiple trees at Christmas.

I grew up with 6 artificial Christmas Trees. Each one had it’s own theme- from Gingerbread to Barbie and the Great State of Texas to Sports for my brother Joey. Six different rooms in my childhood home was home to a tree at Christmas time.

Adam on the other hand, well….thats where our story about the “Perfect Christmas Tree” comes into play. He grew up with a Fraser Fur Tree. His family would go out to a local farm in Michigan, cut down their tree and haul it home. Well friends…that is us. The FaLaLaLa Fett’s turn Griswold Family Christmas.

Unknown.jpeg
Photo credits: www.rainforestislandsferry.com

We can’t just drive a half mile down the road to our big box home store or a mile to the nearest local Christmas Tree lot, instead we take a little 3 hour tour to North Carolina. The closest place to Atlanta where Fraser Fur trees are grown.

Are we sounding more like the Griswold’s now?

national-lampoon-christmas-2.jpg
Photo Credits: http://www.people.com

The two of us pack up the car, drop Samson off at his Tonna and Buddy’s and hit the road for North Carolina around the first weekend of December. Our first Christmas we went up to the Highlands, while the last two years we made the trip to Asheville.

What an ordeal it is! Adam is SO picky. My only requirement is the tree be skinny to fit in a particular spot in our little condo. Adam on the other hand…oh lord…let’s just say our tree hunt ends up with a few good laughs and a great topic to remission on for the next year.

He spends hours looking up the farms in the area- scoping out prices and reviews. Then once we get there we drive from farm to farm, in and out of the car, up and down the mountains of North Carolina to find the perfect tree.

IMG_6671.jpg

It can’t have holes of any kind. The needles can’t be droopy or have any dead spots. It can’t be too short. It can’t…it can’t…it can’t… The man’s list goes on and on. By the time we find out tree, Adam cuts it down using an old fashion saw and we get our picture with her, there is normally mud on his jeans, sweat dripping from his forehead, and me…there just “cheering” him on.  {Of course you would never know any of this by the looks of our pictures! HA! HA!}

IMG_6668.jpg

This year we came across the true spirit of Christmas and restored our faith in humanity a bit while on the hunt for our tree. We had already visited two other farms in Asheville. The first one didn’t allow us to cut down our tree, the second had extremely over priced {to the tune of $200+} for a tree the size we needed and by the time we pulled up to our third farm without a tree it was just about closing time.

The owner greeted us at our car, asked what we were looking for and said, “Come on. It’s just me, but I’d be happy to show you what I have.”

It was after looking around a bit and finding a tree we realized he only took cash or checks, something neither of us had with us. The Farm owner said not to worry about it and send him a check when we got home!

IMG_6305.jpg

Y’all, is that not the BEST story? In the world we live in today you rarely come across someone that would have faith and trust in a total stranger like that. Just goes to show there is still kindness in the world and by sharing it with others, we can all make the world a happier place to call home.

IMG_6703.jpg

Are you a real or artificial tree fan? How many trees does your family have? Tell us your stories!

IMG_6301.jpg

Day Nine is for Nostalgic. 

Is there something that is now part of your Christmas that you had growing up? Perhaps an artificial tree? An “Elf on the Shelf”? Or even the tradition of cutting down your own family tree?

In our home we have slush. Ah, the Famous Fett Family Slush.

25299428_10156033944499923_7125343367773869995_n.jpg

{Well, that is what our friends call, but it actually started on Adam’s Mom’s side of the family.}

Growing up Adam’s family always had Slush at Holiday Parties. There was “Fun Slush” for the Adults and “Kids Slush” for the kids…if you catch my drift. {wink wink} Think of an ice cold frozen Slurpie from your local Seven-Eleven, but BETTER!

Adam tells stories of his Grandma Yonker making it every year. Green was for kids and red was for the adults. There’s a secret to making it and let me tell you people…its a sneaky, sneaky drink. If Slush is invited, there will be no Grinches at our parties!

The FaLaLaLa Fett’s have incorporated it into our Christmas celebrations. Every year we host a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party and the Slush is a staple. Our friends talk about it all year- those that have come in years past tell the new comers all about it. Everyone is warned early on. Uber to the party the Slush will get you!

IMG_6340.jpg

We always get asked, “What’s in this? How can we make this? Can we have it at all your parties?”

Until last year Adam would NEVER give out the recipe for Slush. Sort of like my Strawberry Cake. It’s a Family Recipe, you don’t just give those out.

{Ah, but when you do you, don’t ever give out the full recipe. Their’s just can’t be better than yours!  Sorry friends!} 

Now the infamous Slush recipe hangs proudly in our Kitchen for all to see….hence the reason to why Adam now “gives it out.” Last Christmas we received our favorite, favorite, favorite Christmas gift from Adam’s parents. They know how much we both love incorporating our family’s traditions into our Christmas and what a big part of our FaLaLaLa Fett Christmas Slush as become.

Together they made a frame for the original, hand written Slush recipe by Adam’s Grandmother, who is no longer with us. The frame has a little wire basket attached with some of his Family’s favorite holiday recipes and extra cards for us to add some of my family’s and recipes we create together.

FullSizeRender-3.jpeg

I absolutely love it. 

Now when friends ask about it, we jokingly say we don’t give it out. If they happen to notice the recipe hanging they are more than welcome to take a picture, but Adam doesn’t go into detail about how its made, what all exactly is in it and how to make it just perfect.

Cheers!

Day Eight is for eclectic. 

I’d like to think our holiday decor is somewhat eclectic. The artificial tree is more funky, free spirited, glitz and glitter, while the real tree is more antique, filled with old fashion Santas and old wooden toy ornaments. All the other decor in the house goes along with those two themes.

Of course ANYTHING I see with “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,” Happy HOLLYdays,” or something about Holly in general I just have to have. We basically have a little Santa’s Workshop in Atlanta, GA. Adam may or may not love it…

One decoration that I absolutely love and I know he appreciates too is my antique ceramic tree. While these are all the rage now popping up in Vintage stores or replicas  in big box stores, mine is truly a priceless antique.

FullSizeRender-2.jpeg

Like most of our favorite things on this year’s countdown, a ceramic tree was something I grew up with. My Mom had one she purchased her first married Christmas, I believe. Someone at the school she taught at handmade them. Our green ceramic tree covered in tiny multicolored lights always sat on our entry way table for all to see. It was always my favorite thing to put up when our family came together to decorate the house for the holidays. To this day, it is still one of the “jobs” I help Mom with when I come over.

Two years ago, right around Christmas, my 100+ year old Great-Grandmother Gran passed away.  She left behind a ceramic tree, similar to my Mom’s for me. It is the first decoration to go up. The last one to come down and of course it’s home is on the entry way table. She is dusted with snow and adorned with miniature pink lights. She is perfect.

FullSizeRender-1.jpeg

Does your home have one theme for Christmas decorations or is it more eclectic? Do you have one favorite piece? The Christmas Season is our most favorite time of the year. We love our stories, but would love to hear yours too. What makes your house feel like a home over Christmas? What makes your heart the most joyful this time of year?

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

FullSizeRender.jpeg

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

 

 

 

Our Day: The Planning Process

Our Wedding Weekend was everything I could have imagined and more. It was full of family, friends, laughter and love. The BEST weekend ever!

After an exciting Christmas Eve Proposal, we set the date! October 18, 2014! Michigan’s Football Bye Week– priorities people, priorities.

We had about 7 months of {somewhat stressful} wedding planning. Typically 7 months is probably enough time to get organized, plan and execute the perfect wedding, but our day was all DIY. Did we mention we invited over 400 guests? Yikes! Now you know why it was stressful!

Note: DIY- Do It Yourself

I had a love-hate relationship with Pinterest– so many ideas! In the beginning I wanted everything, but finally focused on a “Rustic Southern Chic” look. I couldn’t wait to delete my wedding planning Pinterest boards post wedding- ha! Thankfully I had the wonderful Melissa, my Wedding Planning Sidekick, around to help me stay on-track with one design plan and not go “Bridezilla” on everyone! Adam and I could not have pulled off our vision without her and her amazing team!

View More: http://tulleandgrace.pass.us/airportI grew up in Peachtree City, Georgia. It’s home to over 90 miles of Golf Cart Paths and we’re know for enjoying life at 15 miles per hour. When we were discussing a location Peachtree City was a must! Our town is unlike any other and having Golf Carts incorporated into our Wedding Day was something we had to have. Since we wanted a “Rustic Southern Chic” wedding, we looked at old barns and open fields, but none were golf cart accessible and I did not like the idea of having to take a chance on the weather with an outdoor wedding/reception. After getting location ideas from family and friends we found the Peachtree City Airport– it was the perfect location!

Adam works in aviation with Helicopters and I used to be a flight attendant, the airport tied in perfectly with our backgrounds. The airport has a huge open hanger that with a little bit of creativity we turned into the rustic southern chic location I had hoped for. We hung hundreds of lights. Wrapped pillars with burlap. Built bars out of pallet wood. Painted 400 Mason Jars with Chalk Paint. Adam and I went on countless Junk Yard Adventures to find antique windows, doors, whatever we could find! Oh the details!

SONY DSCFriday morning us ladies left the Hanger Set-Up Crew for my Bridal Brunch at the Swan House in Atlanta, hosted by my Mom and Aunt Tina. The perfect Brunch spot for a Southern lady and friends. SONY DSC SONY DSC

 Later that evening, after setting up wedding day playlists and preparing for Saturday, we all met up for our rehearsal. It went quickly and smoothly and was exactly Adam and I’s personalities. Have you participated in a rehearsal that had Adult Beverages? Pretty sure everyone loved us for making an awkward situation {most of our friends met for the first time at the rehearsal} not so uncomfortable!

SONY DSC SONY DSC

The Bridal Party, Family and Friends had such a great time at Mellow Mushroom for a very casual Rehearsal Supper hosted by Adam’s Parents. There were lots of “Toasts” and it wouldn’t have been a celebration without a Bride/Groom Shot!

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3      photo 4

With one last “Cheers” we went our separate ways to {try} get some sleep before our BIG DAY!

We hope you’re enjoying your newly or nearly newlywed moments!

Cheers,

Holly & Adam

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds not experts.