I had the privilege to travel to Italy. A long awaited trip that I have been wanting to do for years. This was the destination for our honeymoon, a year after our wedding. Italy just seemed to be the perfect place for so many reasons, Ryan being part Italian, the food being fresh and Italy just being Italy. So either way this trip couldn’t get any better until I had the opportunity to get myself on a Tuscan Retreat.
I was lucky enough to be one of the 16 chosen girls to join Debbie Travis, (TV Host, producer, author and so much more) on her Tuscan Girls Getaway. The trip just seemed to fit so well for me since I was going to Italy anyways. This was a week for me to truly indulge and treat myself to a week full of wonder and amazement. My goals for the retreat were just to relax, enjoy and meet incredible new people, and each one of them was met and surpassed.
For those of you know don’t know Debbie Travis beyond her TV hit show The Painted House, she is a kind, warm, genuine soul with a sense of humour and sense of adventure. Getting to know her personally over the week was a real pleasure.
She lives by the motto Dream it, Do it, Live it. It was her dream to have a place in her paradise, Tuscany for her and her family to escape to. Her even dream is to have groups of fabulous women gather together for a week of pure enjoyment.
Debbie has created success in her life through the media, but she is about so much more than that. Passion, fulfillment, love and joy are at the true heart of her success. I can tell you that because I experienced it.
The week was amazing – the retreat was created with all of us in mind and to truly put us first. We were driven around to different villages by excellent chauffeurs, we did yoga, ate the most amazing fresh foods, drank local wines (sulphite and tannin free) spent a day at a spa, went bike riding through Tuscan hills, went to an organic sheep farm, made homemade pasta, visited local wineries, shopped, and just laughed A LOT together. The ladies came mostly from Canada all the way to New Zealand.
My overall take away message reconfirmed the motto that I try and live by everyday, do what you love and love what you do and that is the true success in your life. I luckily get to do this everyday with the work I do. And on a personal note, I got to feel a sense of true happiness and contentment with who I am, where I am right now in my life.
I wish for you all to do the same. My goals is that you find a way to take a week for youself somewhere during the year that is all about you. I am lucky enough to be able to provide such an experience in March 2013 in Costa Rica where my goal, similar to Debbies is to provide a week that is dedicated to make each person feel special, help them reach their goals and to just relax, indulge and enjoy while being place in a beautiful setting.
I hope to see you there.
Warm Tuscan Farro Salad
What’s in it:
2 cups farro
3 cups of water
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 bunch of greens, kale or swiss chard
4 sweet potatoes (I used white, red and orange ones from the farmer’s market)
½ cup white beans, cooked
¼ cup snap peas, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 drop of white truffle oil (strong flavour)
½ teaspoon sea salt
Optional: Add 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
Pre-heat oven to 35oF.
Pre-soak farro for 5 hours in room temperature water.
Pre-soak white beans in water for 5-8 hours.
1. In a medium pot bring beans and water to a boil and allow to simmer for 1 hour or so until beans are tender.
2. In another medium pot bring farro and 3 cups of water to a boil, add a pinch of sea salt, lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
3. While the beans and grains are cooking, wash, peel (optional) and chop the potatoes into bite size cubes, place on a baking tray toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and chopped garlic and place in warmed oven for 1 hour.
4. Wash and chop the green vegetables, and snap peas into bite size pieces.
5. When the farro has absorbed all the water and the beans are done, place both into a large bowl. Add in the roasted sweet potatoes, greens and snaps peas. (the greens will wilt naturally with the warm grains, beans and potatoes).
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