Lake Como {Varenna, Italy}

Italian Honeymoon: Part one – Varenna, Lake Como

We flew into Milan and from there we were able to take a train to Lake Como.

Everyone was so nice and helpful, and luckily my super awesome husband was able to learn Italian on the flight over 🙂

We started our 12 day honeymoon in Lago di Como (Lake Como).

This was the view from our  villa in Varenna.
This was the view from our villa in Varenna.

We stayed at Hotel Villa Cipressi. They were so nice and friendly.

This was the first place we stayed on our trip to Italy. It definitely set the bar high!
This was the first place we stayed on our trip. It definitely set the bar high!

Hotel Villa Cipressi sits right on Lake Como.

At Hotel Villa Cipressi in Varenna.
At Hotel Villa Cipressi in Varenna.

…and the views were amazing!!

View from Hotel Villa Cipressi in Varenna, Italy. (Lake Como)
View from Hotel Villa Cipressi in Varenna, Italy. (Lake Como)

We had the only room with a balcony & it was well worth the 175 euros per night.

Our Room
Our Room

We took advantage of the balcony for cocktail hour!

Eating some Pecorino cheese for cocktail hour!
Eating some Pecorino cheese for cocktail hour!

Restaurante La Contrada was part of Hotel Villa Cipressi and we had dinner there our first night. They served us complimentary champagne and the house wine we ordered was amazing!

Note: Contrary to The States, in Italy house wine is the best (it’s made at local vineyards)

Dinner at Restaurante La Contra.
Dinner at Restaurante La Contrada.
We took a ferry to day trip to Lenno. It was so beautiful!!

Ferry ride to Lenno on Lake Como.
Ferry ride to Lenno on Lake Como.
View from the famous villa used in Star Wars 2 and Casino Royale.
View from the famous villa used in Star Wars II and Casino Royale.

This was at the famous VILLA BALBIANELLO featured in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” and also “Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones”.

Villa Balbianello in Lenno, Lake Como
Villa Balbianello in Lenno, Lake Como

I would highly recommend visiting Villa Balbianello in Lenno. The villa was built in the 1500’s and was absolutely breathtaking. It sat right on Lake Como with the most amazing views!

View  of Lake Como from VILLA BALBIANELLO
View of Lake Como from VILLA BALBIANELLO

When we got back to Varenna we stopped for some Gelato! I had the fresh lemon & strawberry and Chad had Pistachio Mousse & Nutella.

Gelato from a local Gelateria.
Gelato from a local Gelateria.

After we finished our delicious gelato, we decided to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Relaxing on a bench in Varenna.
Relaxing on a bench in Varenna.
We had to get another shot of Varenna during the day. The buildings were always so colorful!
Daytime in Varenna, Lake Como
Daytime in Varenna, Lake Como
We had dinner at Restaurante La Vista. We had our own private table out on the balcony. 
Eating Dinner at Restaurante La Vista in Varenna.
This was our view when the sun started to go down at Restaurante La Vista in Varenna.
Our view from Dinner at Restaurante La Vista when the sun started to go down.
Our view from Dinner at Restaurante La Vista.
After drinking a bottle of wine with EVERY meal we had, I decided to spice it up a bit and splurge on a Sangria. It was well worth it!!
Stopped off at the Nilus Bar for a Sangria. One of the best I've ever had!
Stopped off at the Nilus Bar for a Sangria. One of the best I’ve ever had!
We had dinner reservations at Ristorante il Caminetto. The restaurant owners actually came into town to pick us up (and everyone else who had dinner reservations at the same time as us) because their restaurant was up on the mountain top! Talk about excellent customer service! {and experiencing Italian driving at it’s finest}. 
Dinner at Cavillino
Dinner at Ristorante il Caminetto
Chad tried to order a cappuccino (coffee with frothed milk) with dinner. The restaurante owner/chef, Chef Moreno, told Chad that would be an insult to him as the chef. Needless to say, we ordered a bottle of wine instead. They also gave us complementary lemoncello after our meal. It was delicious!!
Dinner at Cavillino in Varenna.
Overall, our stay in Lake Como was relaxing and extremely enjoyable! I would highly recommend it 🙂
Lake Como

Lake Como
Villa Cipressi
Lake Como
NEXT STOP: CASTELROTTO {THE DOLOMITES}

Handmade Dog Car Seat Cover

I recently purchased a new vehicle {named Ruby} and decided it was time to invested in a nice car seat cover to prolong the life of my new seats. However, after searching the internet for a nice seat cover, I couldn’t find anything less than about $85 dollars. Are you serious?! To me, that seemed a little ridiculous for something my cute hairy and sometimes cuddly dirty dog would make a home on during long car rides.

After much research I finally decided it was time to bust out my sewing machine and make one.

{Keep in mind, this was my FIRST EVER sewing project!}

**well, other than making barbie pillows with my mom when I was little**

Now, isn’t this the cutest dog car seat cover you’ve ever seen?!? 🙂

Handmade Dog Seat Cover

Here is a list of supplies you’ll need:

4 yards duck fabric {it’s nice and heavy duty} 2 yards for the top & 2 yards duck fabric for the bottom Make sure each of them is 54 inches in width.

Cotton Batting – I bought enough to fold it in half so there was double the padding

4 one inch plastic buckles

4 yards of one inch cotton strapping

thread

pins

and of course, a sewing machine!

First, I laid out 2 yards of the duck fabric on the carpet, placed the cotton batting on top of that {in order to cut it down to the right size}.

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I made sure the leave about an inch around the edges…

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Next, fold the edges of the Duck Fabric over about a 1/2 an inch – and then fold it over one more time and pin.

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continue to go around the edges of the fabric keeping the ‘folding’ consistent.

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Once you’ve got all of the edges pinned, it should look like this:

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I made sure to mitre the corners {they’re not perfect but I didn’t think Bentley would mind} 🙂

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Once you’re done pinning, you’re ready to start sewing! Finally, you want to have your sewing machine on a counter or a larger surface so you have somewhere to rest the blanket to make for an easy slide under the sewing machine.

THis is what the edges looked like when I was finished:

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As you can see, my pup was already a huge fan:

Handmade Car Seat Cover by healthyhappyhearts

This was made to fit a small SUV.

Once the seat cover was finished, I took it out to my vehicle to pin on the straps. I used 1 yard of the cotton strapping for each buckle. Also, when you’re sewing on the straps make sure to run it under the sewing machine back and forth a few times for a sturdy hold.

Bentley couldn’t wait to test it out!!

Bentley

This was so much fun to make and I think it turned out pretty darn cute, too 🙂