Time flies, doesn’t it? As I write this post, I realize it’s been almost 3 months since we got home from our honeymoon and it’s almost been 5 months since our wedding! I wanted to share some of my favorite parts of our honeymoon and I’ll start in Rome since that was probably the best part of our honeymoon aka we experienced no food poisoning, air traffic control strikes, lost iPads, etc. which definitely were things that marked the first half of our trip. (haha… only funny in hindsight!)

This was my second time to Rome, but I hadn’t been in 5 years. It’s got to be one of the most historically preserved cities in the entire world – and the city still exists right where it always has! You’ll be walking in the midst of modern restaurants, stores, and buildings and you turn a corner and bam! there’s the colosseum (opened in 80 AD), bam! there’s the Pantheon (128 AD). Aside from the amazing history, there’s also beautiful architecture, incredible food, and amazing shopping. It’s a great city to walk and bike in as well.Rome Honeymoon

Stay:
We stayed at Palazzo Manfredi and I cannot say enough about it – a Coliseum view from the hotel, a Michelin star restaurant inside, as well as a rooftop bar. The rooms have been beautifully and recently renovated and it had the most comfortable bed of our entire trip. (Europe isn’t exactly known for having comfortable mattresses or pillows.) The staff couldn’t have been more welcoming or helpful, the lobby smelled incredible, and a phenomenal breakfast was offered each morning. Our room had an amazing soaking tub in it (with Aqua di Parma products!) and my only regret is that we didn’t stay longer!

View from Palazzo Manfredi!

View from Palazzo Manfredi!

Do:
Neither Tim nor I are big on tours, but you can’t go to Rome and not so we committed to doing one each day and while they were long (4 hours each!!) we were really glad we did them.

Bike Tour: We did this one on our first day and it was really fun to see Rome by bike. I didn’t realize we would be getting on electrical assist bikes, but they were very easy to ride and helped getting you up some of the major hills the city has. The group stays pretty small (12 max) and the guide takes you to most of Rome’s most historic sites and neighborhoods. It felt a bit long, but you wouldn’t want to miss seeing the places, plus there was a break for gelato.

One of the many stop on our bike tour

One of the many stop on our bike tour

Vatican Tour: On the website this tour is labeled as semi private – let me fill you in on something, it’s not. Your tour size is limited to 12, but you’ll be sardined into the Vatican along with everyone else. However, you do get to skip some lines, the tour guide is great (ours literally had a PhD in Vatican City History), and I don’t know of any better way to do it. You can’t go to Rome and not go to Vatican City, Saint Peter’s Basilica, The Sistine Chapel, etc.  Again, at 4 hours there were times it felt painfully long to me (like seriously, I do NOT care about the tapestries haha) but seeing the amazing buildings and art and learning about the history really is incredible and cannot be missed.IMG_0571IMG_0572 IMG_0573
Shopping at the Spanish Steps: After all the touring we were in the mood to have a couple of cocktails and do some shopping. It’s so much fun to wander in and out of all the high end shops in the area – Cartier, Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, and more were all within a stone’s throw of each other. PLUS if you make a large purchase, you can get your tax back at the airport when you leave! Prices are also significantly lower on some of these designer items overseas.

Eat:
Aroma: This phenomenal fine dining restaurant is located inside the Palazzo Manfredi hotel and offers a stunning view of the Coliseum as you enjoy your Michelin star dinner. The service here is incredible – on point, timed perfectly, friendly but professional and not pretentious in the least.IMG_0570 IMG_0576 IMG_0577 IMG_0578

Al Vero Girarrosto Toscano: Our Uber driver suggested this spot to us and it was unbelievable. We had lunch here and it was definitely the best gnocchi I’ve had in my life. (And I’ve had a lot of gnocchi.)

We ate at a few other places that were good, but not worth specifically mentioning – the beauty of Rome is that you can wander in almost anywhere and have a phenomenal meal. A few suggested to me that we didn’t get to try that I really wanted to were: Emma (for pizza), Armando el Pantheon, and  Jerry Thomas Speakeasy. Speaking of that, we were in Rome on a Sunday and Monday and many things are closed those days in Rome, so if you only have a couple of days to spend, try to make it on other days of the week.

even their airport food is pretty

even their airport food is pretty

Getting Around:
Uber in Rome is phenomenal. They have a luxury car option that is so fun and the service is safe, professional and fast. If you’ve never used uber, sign up with this link to get a free ride!

Rome is a city I could visit over and over again and never get tired of it. If you’re planning your first Europe trip, make sure it’s on your list of stops.

Something I’ve had a passion for for years is nutrition. Why? Because I want to look good and feel good. I like things that have quick results, so I’m sharing the supplements I take every day. These products have a pretty instantaneous impact which as a true millennial I love, but it also helps me stay on track with remembering to take them because I like the way I feel more when I do than when I don’t.

I’m going to list them in order of how I take them throughout the day. Also, these products are clean and easily absorbable, so even if you don’t use these brands, make sure you use a brand that is not synthetic, easily absorbed by your body, etc.

1. George’s Aloe Vera Juice
Please note: Some of these brands could be subbed for others, but please don’t drink any aloe juice but George’s. The impact of aloe juice could be either very positive or very negative – depending on what part of the aloe is harvested, etc. George’s is very pure and uses the correct part of the plant.

I take 2 ounces of this every morning first thing on an empty stomach. (It looks and tastes just like water) It is incredibly anti-inflammatory and is amazing for your digestive system. If you suffer from any type of inflammation (or even if you don’t appear to, everyone has it. Did you know that inflammation and toxicity are the root of almost every disease?) This is a great way to treat what you might already have or reduce the inflammation in your body. Easy.

2. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
I put 2 scoops of this in my coffee every morning and it gives me 18 grams of protein to start my day with 0 carbs and 0 fat. This is a dream product as I don’t always feel like drinking a protein shake and eating tons of meat. I noticed changes in my body pretty quickly – probably because I always drink my coffee on my way to work out and having some protein within an hour of your workout really helps with muscle building. This particular supplement is also amazing for your hair, skin, nails, joints, bones, and digestive health. It is basically tasteless and then I do my regular coffee routine, which for me is a stevia and a tablespoon of So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer.

“Our modern diets lack the collagen that was once abundant in foods. Without dietary collagen, our body can’t replenish what’s missing. This can have an effect on our hair, skin and nails, and joints, ligaments and tendons as we age. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are collagen molecules that are small enough to get quickly absorbed and used by our body. This bioavailability is the reason people see improvements in how they look, feel and move after using Vital Proteins Collagen consistently.”

3. Core Health Pack
I’ve been taking these digestive enzyme, probiotic, antioxidant herb packs for probably 5 years now. Conviniently individually packaged, they’re so easy to just toss in your pocket or bag. (Read my post about them here.) Take a pack of them any time you eat food that’s cooked, they help you break down and absorb the nutrients in your food and keep your gut and overall body in good health. In fact, the night I met my husband I told him about them, and he took them for 3 years (incorrectly, lol) before we reconnected and I helped steer him in the direction of correctly taking them. hahaha He even came up to me at our wedding reception and handed me a pack of them. It was partially to be funny and partially because he knows I don’t like to have a meal and not have them. My version of romance?? YAS.

4. Omega 3/Vitamin D Blend
Did you know almost every man and woman in the US is deficient in Omega 3s and Vitamin D? In fact, Vitamin D deficiency is actually being linked to several types of cancer now. It also plays a large part in our overall feelings of happiness. Omega 3s help our brains and joints. I had taken various versions of these on and off over the years, but I don’t eat fish and in fact am really grossed out by it, so taking omega 3s has always been gag-worthy. However, this gem of a supplement doesn’t give you any gross fish taste, ever. I also love how pure and absorbable these are. I take two of them after a meal.

5. Thyroid Support Complex with Iodine
I started taking this supplement most recently because I developed a non cancerous cyst. My chiropractor (who I love and am obsessed with by the way – he’s literally changed my life but maybe that’s another post) told me if I took an iodine supplement my cyst would go away. I started researching and found this supplement which has many other great nutrients that support mental clarity, metabolism, and giving me extra energy. The energy is the benefit I’m loving the most. Not feeling like I need a nap every afternoon is a great feeling! Start by taking 1 per day with a meal and then build up to 2.

6. Mag07
Most adults in the US are also deficient in magnesium. I take two of these before bed every night. (You can take up to 5.) This will definitely keep you regular. Awkward to talk about, but you should be going to the bathroom every single day. If you’re not, you  are setting yourself up for health problems down the road. (Because remember, a huge part of your overall health is directly related to the health of your gut.)

All of these can be purchased on amazon which is super easy and some of the bottles will last you for at least a couple of months.  Shop below:

The monthly playlist has arrived! As usual it’s a mix of old and new and several different genres, but I will say, there is a common theme here: this is a feel good playlist! Something about summer makes me want to hear all of that goodness. What’s your favorite tune on this list?

Jun
25

Wedding Video

I’m feeling a little bit sentimental today as it’s the 3 month anniversary of our wedding. Tim and I just watched the video together and I thought it would be fun to share today. Our wedding photographers (Love Is A Big Deal) also do video and I can’t stress what a great job I think they did. I almost opted not to do this, and it’s actually the number one thing I’m glad I paid for for my wedding. For anyone out there planning a wedding – seriously even if you have to cut something else out in order to have a video, do it! I love it even more than my photos (and I’m obsessed with my photos!) because there’s just something about the movement that captures the day and the place so well.

Brenna + Tim // Married in Rosemary Beach, Florida from Love Is A Big Deal on Vimeo.