Ciao bella! My bags are packed, my Kindle is charged, and in the event we get trapped on the runway, my supply of travel snacks could sustain our entire plane. Italy, here I come!


A beautiful almond bloom from my visit to the almond orchard

In what must be one of the single greatest pinch me moment of my life, I was invited to attend a four-day trip to Verona, Italy, by Giovanni Rana, an Italian pasta company whose refrigerated pastas and sauces are also available in the U.S. Our itinerary includes eating pasta, making pasta, eating the pasta we make, exploring Verona, tasting wine, and did I mention eating pasta? We’ll also have some incredibly special opportunities, such as touring the Giovanni Rana pasta factory and even meeting Giovanni himself! I’ve never been to Verona, so I am excited not only to visit, but also to be able to experience it in such a unique way.

Since I’m flying all the way to Europe, I felt it only made sense to squeeze in a visit to my favorite city of all time, Paris. I’ll be exploring on my own for a few days after our Verona trip. I plan to tour a few places I haven’t been (Giverny, the Picasso Museum), as well as to revisit as many of my favorite chocolate, bread, and pastry shops as I can.

Packing essentials: my passport and stretchy pants.

While I’m away, I have plenty of tasty recipes lined up to share with you. During the trip, I’ll also be posting to my Instagram (both stories and regular Instagram posts), so be sure to follow along for a firsthand look at my adventures.

In the meantime, I have a few fun finds from the last week, including photos that YOU’VE posted to Instagram. Read on for the juicy details!

Most popular recipe on my site right now: Lemon Layer Cake.

Favorite recipe I’ve tried lately: Chopped Mexican Kale Salad. Make it once, eat it for lunch all week long!

Upcoming blog recipe I’m most excited to share: Crock Pot Mexican Quinoa Casserole (SO GOOD) and Lemon Almond Cake (also SO GOOD).

Funny because: it is so true.

FINALLY: Found a drugstore mascara that I love. It works *almost* as well as the $25+ specialty brand ones for a quarter of the price.

Reading: When Breath Becomes Air. Actually, I’m listening to it on Audible, a service that lets you download and listen to e-books from your phone (and anywhere else you go). Your first book is 100% free to download too! You can test it here.

Latest mistake: Wearing high-waisted jeans to dinner at a burger joint.

Freshening up: My laptop with these beautiful (free!) desktop backgrounds. It’s the little things.

Who needs: a cooler when you have a bathtub?

INSTAGRAM: Here are a few photos of Well Plated recipes you’ve made and posted. I can’t say enough how much this makes my day!

If you make one of my recipes, I’d love to see it on Instagram and might feature it here! Just snap a photo and tag it #WellPlated, and I will be sure to find it. I absolutely love to know what you’re cooking.