Our year in pictures.

It's not been easy to come together and recall this past year. If we're honest, it's something we have been terrified of doing. Yet, as we sit here drinking coffee and daring ourselves to look back on 2017, we feel truly grateful for the good moments and that we have made it through. It goes without saying that we couldn't have done it without the love that we are surrounded by. And so, in thinking about those times we have smiled and those moments that have made us happy, we wanted to share our year in pictures with you, because while this year has been the most painful, heartbreaking year of our lives, we have an incredible family who have also made it a happy one, and that's not something we ever wish to take for granted. We wish you all nothing but love, happiness and the absolute best for 2018! Thank you so much for reading!

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!


We just wanted to take a few moments to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We hope more than anything that you all have a happy and safe holiday period, that's filled with love, laughter and family.

Pan Di Stelle Cheesecake,

We've talked on here a lot about our favourite Italian foods, cakes and produce, yet we feel there is one biscotti that we haven't quite done justice. That being Pan Di Stelle. Considering how much we absolutely adore this biscotti, we are quite shocked at ourselves. We first enjoyed this scrumptious treat when we visited our family in Praiano when we were thirteen. We went to see a lady who lived above our Auntie and she bought out a bag of these cookies for us to nibble on while she caught up, chatting with our Mum. It was love at first bite...seriously.

Book Review: Falling for Mr Wright by Robyn Neeley.

Release Date: 4th December 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Lovestruck
Twitter: @RobynNeeley

I have to say a big thank you to Robyn Neeley for getting in touch and sending me this book. I had a feeling I would enjoy it and enjoy it I most certainly did! 

Book Review: Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair by Heidi Swain.

Release Date: 5th October 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Twitter: @Heidi_Swain

I have been chatting to Heidi Swain on Twitter for a little while and yet this is the first wonderful book of hers that I have read. With blog tours, reviews scheduled and a seemingly never ending TBR pile, I just hadn't had chance to pick one up. Alas, it's the holidays and when I saw this in Sainsburys I knew I had to grab it and that it would be perfect for snuggling up next to my Christmas tree with. Was I right or was I right?

Learning to cope.

The song itself says "It's the most wonderful time of the year" and for the majority of our lives we can say that this has rung true for us. We have been blessed with some magical Christmas's, enjoying the simplicity of our small family, cozy home and delicious feast. With each passing year we felt thankful for a Merry Christmas. We felt grateful to be surrounded by those we love, being gathered around the table, laughing and joking; mostly at Grandad wearing Christmas cracker hats in the most unique ways. Then laughing some more in the living room opening our gifts, not really bothered by what was in them, but getting more enjoyment out of Grandad guessing every present he received  before unwrapping it and Nanna crying when receiving a bag of nuts or a jumper...it's the little things that mean the most.

Book Review: I Heart Forever by Lindsey Kelk.

Release date: 7th September 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Twitter: @LindseyKelk

It has taken me a hot minute to write this book review and for that I am so so sorry. I have been a lot slower than Kelly recently in trying to keep up and catch up with reading and reviewing. Furthermore, Lindsey very kindly sent me this book over Summer, when I was very much struggling to want to do anything, so when I finally picked up the book and found that Angela was a welcome distraction, I think I disapeared into my own little world so much that putting my thoughts in to a review was a little tricky. 

Book Review: The Season For Love by M.W.Arnold.

Release Date: 16th December 2017
Publisher: PIP Publishing
Twitter: @Mick859

Thank you Rachel Gilbey for setting me up on M.W. Arnold's blog tour and for an advanced copy of The Season For Love. If you're an avid book reviewer and reader check out Rachel's Random Resources.

Dolce Vita Bloggers: Our Italian Connection.

For those of you who are regular readers of our blog you will most likely know about our love of Italy. We have shared many Italian recipes on here over the years and talked about our favourite Italian foods, places, people and memories. For those of you who are new to our blog, hello and welcome, and for those that may have missed a post or two and wondered why we talk about Italy so much, today we thought we would delve deeper into the reason behind our passion for Italy and chat about what connects us to this amazing country so strongly. This post is inspired by the beautiful @kellysdolcevita @mammaprada and @questadolcevita over on Instagram and their fabulous #DolceVitaBloggers

Festive Q & A with Rebecca Raisin and book review.

If you're looking for a fabulously festive read then look no further than Rebecca Raisins 'Winter at Cedarwood Lodge.' With it's new release just last Friday, that sees all the stories together in one pretty packaging, we thought we would delve into the archives of our blog and share our reviews from each story with you today! Not only that, but at the bottom of this post you will find a Christmassy Q&A with Rebecca herself! We hope you enjoy and happy Monday! 

Historical Must Reads.

Since venturing into the book reviewing world, it's almost impossible to express just how many amazing people we have met... almost...the authors we chat to across social media are simply some of the most lovely people in the world. They're kindness, trust, support and guidance over the last few years has shown no bounds and for it we are eternally grateful.

Products from Italy.


We love Italian TV for many reasons, one being that you can guarantee, without a shadow of a doubt, that the majority of their adverts will be about food. Who doesn't enjoy watching elegant women in red dresses dancing with packets of Spaghetti, or seeing three different types of mouthwatering Kinder treats being so lovingly eaten by cute TV families, in between watching their favourite show? Just the thought of these adverts is making us want to jump on a plane to Italy right now. No one does food like the Italians. We really need a TV show where we travel the regions of Italy eating!!! Someone...anyone...can you please make this happen?? ;)

Book Review: Christmas at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett


Release Date: 6th October 2017
Publisher: HQ Digital
Twitter: @sarahlou_writes

All aboard the mini bus heading to Butterfly Cove this Christmas. Who's with me?? The answer will be all of you, once you've read this enchanting book by Sarah Bennett. This is the last book in her charming Butterfly Cove series and what a brilliant series it's been! 

Book Review: Besieged and Betrothed by Jenni Fletcher.

Release Date: 30th November 2017
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Twitter: @JenniAuthor

When Jenni Fletcher got in touch with me about reviewing her new book 'Besieged an Betrothed,' there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to read it. She mentioned that this story was Medieval and whilst I hadn't ventured into that time period just yet, I couldn't resist taking a chance on it and guess what?? I am so so SO glad I did!! 

Home Sweet Home: Life Update!

Hey Guys,

We hope you are all doing well. It's been another hot minute since our last post and we felt like we needed to sit down and write a life update. You may have noticed a change to our routine lately. This is because quite a lot has changed for us in recent months. Here's what's been happening...

Book Review: Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances by Sue Watson.

Release Date: 9th October 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Twitter: @suewatsonwriter

Us bookworms are so spoilt, especially at Christmas time. There are so many pretty little books, sparkling at us from the bookshelves, just asking to be picked up and devoured, alongside a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. We are incredibly lucky that there are stockings full of talented men and women out there who send our imaginations to worlds better than our wildest dreams and keep our brains from turning into soggy Christmas pudding! 

Book Review: Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis.

Release date: 26th September 2017
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Twitter: @JillShalvis

Whenever I'm in the mood to disappear in a sexy, romantic and heartwarming story, I know I can turn to Jill Shalvis. Her books have the ability to make me shut everything out and get lost in a cloud of humor, heart and naughtiness.

Book Review: Till Death Do Us Part by Eliza Daly.

Release Date: 16th October 2017
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Twitter: @ElizasBooks

As is becoming the norm, every time I log into Netgalley to share a book review, I always end up downloading more books, no matter how big my TBR pile is. What can I say? There is always one that catches my eye. Case in point, this book by Eliza Daly. I have raved about Eliza's 'The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw' series on numerous occasions, of which she writes under the name Eliza Watson. As Eliza Daly she writes for Crimson Romance and her books are a little more sexy and romantic. 

Book Review: Christmas at Mistletoe Cove by Holly Martin

Release Date: 22nd September 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Twitter: @HollyMAuthor

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a wonderfully festive, romantic read from Holly Martin. We know we've said this before, but it's true, so we feel like it's only fair to say it again. Holly is brilliant at bringing cozy, quaint, magical villages to life at Christmas time, so much so, that you will wish you could visit them, or even live there yourself, in wintry wonderland bliss.  

Mama O's Pumpkin Bread

Living in America for the past few years, we've become accustomed to the fact that Holidays are a HUGE deal. Yes, they may celebrate the same things as we do in the U.K but somehow they just do it bigger. So, when they say Autumn is the season of Pumpkin Spice everything, they ain't lying y'all!!

Book Review: Return of Scandal's Son by Janice Preston.

Release Date: 24th September 2015
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Twitter: @JaniceGPreston @millsandboon

Whisk me away to a far away place, where i'm surrounded by Tea, Coffee, Cake and a huge pile of Janice Preston's books and I will be a very happy lady. I've read quite a few of her books now and each one has made me fall further and further in love with historical romance. I could possibly go as far as to say, it's my favourite book genre!! 

Book Review: The Other Life Of Charlotte Evans by Louisa George.

Release Date: 9th September 2017
Publisher: HQ Digital
Twitter: @Louisa_George

I've only read two of Louisa George's books, but I've come to expect that they will always surprise me and make me think. She doesn't write straight forward love stories with rainbows and sprinkles,  she writes heart wrenching, emotional stories that are real and raw. 'The Other Life Of Charlotte Evans' is a beautifully written story. Thank you Louisa for sending me a copy. 

Loving the sound..,

When we were in our teens, music played a huge part in our lives. We bought singles and albums like there was no tomorrow and played them non stop. We followed our favourite bands on every TV show, in every magazine and used our precious internet time to copy and paste pictures to make files and band scrapbooks.

Book Review: The Christmas Holiday by Maxine Morrey.

Release date: 22nd September 2017
Publisher: HQ Digital
Twitter: @scribbler_maxi

Maxine Morrey did it again. I swooned over her last book, 'The Christmas Project' and I beyond swooned over her most recent release 'The Christmas Holiday'. Where do I even begin? The cute story? The wonderful settings? The gorgeous people? There is just so much to love in this wonderful book. It's pure Christmas perfection.

Book Review: My Christmas Goose Is Almost Cooked by Eliza Watson.

Release Date: 21st July 2017
Publisher: Elizabeth Watson
Twitter: @ElizasBooks

There are a lot of things in life that bring automatic comfort: certain foods, smells, clothes and places. They remind us of good times and make us feel happy and safe. For me "The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw' series is one of those things. When I hold the books in my hands or see pictures of them on social media, I feel instantly better. My days feel brighter and I can't help but smile. There is just something so comforting about the covers and the titles. I feel as though Eliza Watson getting in touch with me last year to read them was meant to be. 

Interview with Author Kirsty Greenwood.


I have been a huge fan of Kirsty Greenwood's writing for a few years now and have been eager to get her on our blog. So needless to say, I am extremely happy to be able to share this interview with you today. Kirsty's books are fantastic reads that will make you laugh out loud but also shed a tear.

Book Review: Gut Feeling by Victoria Browne.

Release Date: 12th September 2012
Publisher: Neville House Publishing
Twitter: @VixBrowneAuthor

When Victoria Browne got in touch with me over Instagram to read her book, I couldn't say no. It sounded like a fun read and one that I could possibly relate to in certain ways. I was right about both of those things so thank you Victoria for sending 'Gut Feeling,' to me.

Book Review: How Not To Be A Bride by Portia MacIntosh.

Release Date: 17th October 2017
Publisher: HQ Digital
Twitter: @portiamacintosh

Portia MacIntosh has returned with a brand new book, which means I have my book soul sister back and couldn't be happier for it. I could read Portia's stories all day, in fact I pretty much did with 'How Not To Be A Bride.' I couldn't help it. I had a nice little day to myself and decided to just curl up and read - is there anything better? This is the 6th book of Portia's that I have read and I can honestly tell you that her books just get better and better; I have never once been disappointed by her work. 

Thinking about tattoos!!

Last week I touched on the fact that I had been thinking lots about getting a tattoo. I got tons of feedback on Twitter, Facebook and in our blog comments about pain thresholds and what tattoos you guys have got. It's been so much fun chatting about them that I thought I would write a blog post and share my own tattoo ideas. In addition, I would love to encourage you to share what tattoos you have and any blog posts you may have done to show yours.

Book Review: The Girl Who Saved Ghosts by K.C Tansley. PLUS Giveaway!

Release Date: 17th October 2017
Publisher: Beckett Publishing Group
Twitter: @KourHei

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to K.C Tansley and a big big thank you for sending me 'The Girl Who Saved Ghosts.' I have to admit that it wouldn't have been my first choice of genre and initially I thought it wouldn't be my cup of tea, but oh how I love that I was so wrong about that! This book was such a nice change of pace for me and I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it. I am so happy that I gave it a chance.

Book Review: Pursued for the Viscount's Vengeance by Sarah Mallory.

Release Date: 22nd August 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Twitter: @SarahMRomance

I know I've probably said this before, so I apologize in advance for repeating myself, but I absolutely love when I'm in the middle of reading a book and I have to stop for a moment to just sit and think about how amazing it is that all the words in front of me, that have been put together, are making me so happy in that moment. It never ceases to amaze me how fantastic certain authors are when they can whisk me away and make me feel like I'm in a different era, even when I'm in a car with the radio blasting and people talking! I just love it!

Dear husband,

Dear Chris,

I started this blog a little over four years ago and every year on this day I have dedicated the post to you. Today, 12th October, marks our wedding anniversary and it's a day that brings me more joy as each year goes by. This year, 2017, we are celebrating four years married and it's actually the first year we are spending it apart. So, as I'm sending my love to you from 4000 miles away, this post is an extra important one and I feel I best make it good.

It's been a while.

Hey guys, how are you all doing? It's been a little while since I've felt compelled to write a blog post but today I just felt like writing. It's going to be a little different to the usual posts in a way, as really I just wanted to chat and sort of give you a bit of a life update, so I hope you don't mind.

Book review: 50 Ways To Live The Life Of Your Dreams by Chris Silvio.

Release date: Oct 4th 2017
Publisher: Independently published.
Twitter: @thechrissilvio

So, I feel like I have to start this book review by stating that this review is in no way biased at all. No matter my fondness for the author, I promise I am giving you my 100% honest review. With that being said this book is delightful and you should buy it! I bought it on Kindle and in Paperback because, yes, I am getting it signed.

Book Review: A Beginners Guide to... by Jennifer Joyce.

Want to know the best way to get through a 12 hour car journey, when the AC doesn’t work and your butts gone numb? Read Jennifer Joyce’s ‘A Beginners Guide to Salad’ and ‘A Beginners Guide to Saying I do’ back to back. Time will fly by and you won’t notice how uncomfortable you are because you’ll be too busy laughing and getting lost in wedding preparations and crazy diets.

Book Review: The Millionaire's Redemption by Therese Beharrie.

Release Date: 8th August 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Romance
Twitter: @ThereseBeHarrie

This is the first book of Therese BeHarrie that I have read. I love meeting new authors, so was very excited when Therese got in touch about 'The Millionaire's Redemption.'

Book Review: Redeeming the Rogue Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes.

Release Date: 1st September 2017
Publisher: Mills and Book Historical
Twitter: @ElisabethHobbes @MillandBoon

I just got off the phone with my Mum, where I couldn't resist chatting to her about this book. I am currently introducing her to all of the ladies of The Unlaced Book Club and it's making me so happy. I know she has her own TBR pile to get through but I love it when we can share books, especially when she loves them as much as I do. Redeeming the Rogue Knight is definitely going on her list. 

Book Review: Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream by Sue Watson.

Release Date: 27th June 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Twitter: @suewatsonwriter @bookouture 

I feel like I have to start this review by telling you that I finished this book in three days and the night I finished it, I wasn't actually intending to. I had, had the luxury of of an evening with just myself and my book and I just couldn't stop - I'm not even kidding - I actually could not stop! The minutes kept ticking by, it was creeping further and further past my bedtime but I HAD to find out what happened. How would I find sleep if I didn't know if Dani and Chris got together? The answer is, I wouldn't, so, I just kept reading.

Book Review: Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood.

Release Date: 29th June 2017.
Publisher: Amazon
Twitter: @kirstybooks

Jeebus I don't even know where to begin!!! I am feeling so many emotions right now, it's untrue! What an absolutely beautiful book! Kirsty Greenwood I am bowing down to you for creating such a heartfelt, brilliantly written story...even if you did make me cry! 

Book review: Blind Item by Kevin Dickson and Jack Ketsoyan.

Publisher: Imprint
Release date: 6th June 2017

I received this book from the amazing Lindsey Kelk. She recommended it to me as she thought it was something I would enjoy. Now, I think I may have told you on one or two (try fifty) occasions how much I love Lindsey Kelk, so you know I was more than happy to read anything she suggested. Blind Item was written by Kevin Dickson and Jack Ketsoyan, both of whom have worked in the entertainment business for over twenty five years. It's safe to say they know a thing or two about a scandal and dealing with celebrities. Therefore, this book is an inside look into what goes on in Hollywood. The stories and plot are real but we just have no idea who they actually happened to. And believe me when I tell you, our leading lady deals with many a scenario that will make you say 'Wow', ' Nooo way', 'Really?' 

Book Review: The Knight's Scarred Maiden by Nicole Locke.

Release Date: 18th July 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Twitter: @NicoleLockeNews

What's better than any old post? Getting book post, that's what!  Especially if it arrives in a sparkly blue jiffy bag, with a cute card and bookmarks. Thank you Nicole Locke, this made our day! If you don't know already, I am currently working my through all the novels from the nine ladies who are the admins of The Unlaced Bookclub, the same nine ladies, who have written a short story for our blog - Captive At Cragdale Hall, Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3. They are all wonderful and I have found myself completely lost in worlds full of dashing knights, handsome rogues and brooding mercenaries. I absolutely love it.

Ti Voglio Bene Per Sempre.

On the 29th July this year, our lives changed forever. Subsequently we’ve had quite a big break from blogging and can’t honestly tell you when we will be back to our regular schedule. On the 29th July we lost one of our biggest inspirations, one of our greatest motivators and someone who made our life magical just by being him. We lost our Grandad. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. We were four days away from going home, back to the UK, after being away for seven months. Four days away from getting to cuddle him, cook with him and just spend time with him. So, this post hasn’t been an easy one to get our heads round and we’re not sure we’ll actually be able to express everything we feel right now, but at the same time, we couldn't possibly continue with any posts without taking the time to write one about Grandad. We're still going to be talking about him constantly and in time, get back to sharing the recipes we treasure, but for right now we just wanted to express our love from the rooftops to the man we feel truly blessed to call our Grandad. You only have to glance at our blog to see that he was a huge part of it, from the family stories, photos and recipes, him, our Nanna and our family in general are simply everything to us. And Grandad was, and will always be, a piece of our heart that will never stop beating.

Captive at Cragdale Hall by The Unlaced Book Club. Part Three.

Will Emma and Hugh escape? Why have they been lured to Cragdale Hall? And, most importantly, are they ever going to kiss? Will Unlaced authors Jenni Fletcher, Janice Preston and Harper St George lead our intrepid hero and heroine to their happily ever after?

Pistachio Torrone.

pistachio-torrone-italy-baking-italian candy

The postman has just dropped off a parcel. Our sister, Jen and the two of us are squashed in the doorway thanking him, waving him off, while trying to stop ourselves from squealing and jumping up and down on the spot in front of him. It's an incredibly hard feat as the parcel he has just delivered is from Italy. You know we are bursting inside, our joy and excitement bubbling. We push past each other, banging elbows and tripping up over shoes in the hallway, until we reach the dining room. 

Book Review: "I Have Never" by Camilla Isley.

Twitter: @camillaisley
Publisher: Pink Bloom Press
Release Date: July 13, 2017

I'm going to start by saying I am currently doing the happy book dance! Yes, please picture me dancing, jumping and wiggling on the spot. My dancing contains a lot a of wiggling from side to side because who needs skill and rhythm? :p This book was just wonderful. I got to read it while on the cruise which was heaven for me. I feel like I have been trying to get through my TBR pile for quite some time now, so it felt great to tuck into these books that I have been eager to read.

Chuck! 10 reasons why it's the BEST show EVER!

chuck-zachary levi- nerd herd-pineapple-nbc-yvonne strahovski-

The instrumental version of Short Skirt/Long Jacket starts to fill the room; waking me from my slumber. My eyes flicker as I reach over to my phone to silence my alarm. Careful not to wake my snoozing husband, I slide out of the blanket and exit the bedroom, closing the door behind me. Once I have my coffee in hand, I scroll through my notifications to see that I have a message from my sister, Jen. I click on it and am greeted with a picture of Chuck. I smile at his facial expression. I carefully choose my response. Ten minutes later and we have had an entire conversation using only pictures of Chuck and his various expressions, because who needs emoji's when you're a true Chuckaholic?

Book review: 'Sunshine After the Rain' by Daisy James.

Publisher: @HQDigital 
Release Date: July 5th 2017
Twitter: @daisyjamesbooks 

Oh how I adored "Sunshine After The Rain" by Daisy James. I read it while I was on our family cruise a few weeks back and it could not have been more perfect. Oh it just made me happy. I love when books do that; when you are immersed in their world and it just feels exciting and colourful and special. This book ticked all those boxes, I simply loved it.

Captive at Cragdale Hall by The Unlaced Book Club. Part Two.

What’s in the attic? Who is the spooky Arthur and what does he want? And where is the mysterious Miss Mary Delford? Unlaced authors Elisabeth Hobbes, Virginia Heath and Catherine Tinley now pick up the quill as our story takes a darker turn…

Foodies at Sea!

food, foodies, cruise, vacation, good eats,

Oh my goodness, where to start! You knew this post was coming, didn't you? Oh how excited we were when we were told we would be getting three course meals every night, that ice cream and pizza were available 24 hours and that there were restaurants a plenty on board our Carnival Magic Cruise ship. We were salivating just thinking about the possibilities.

Book Review: A Warriner to Rescue Her, by Virginia Heath.

book bloggers, books, Virginia Heath, historical romance

Release Date: 29th June 2017
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Twitter: @VirginiaHeath_ @millsandboon

I intended to read the second book in The Wild Warriners series while on our family cruise. However, I was simply too eager to find out more about the next Warriner brother to wait very long, so started it two days before we set sail. This meant that the first two days of the cruise, I spent a lot of time in the ship's library with my head firmly in James Warriner's story. Time well spent, I assure you.