Monthly Archives: August 2010

What the Yuck?: The Freaky and Fabulous Truth About Your Body

Don’t turn off by the title of this book… yes, it is “What the Yuck?”. I found this book very useful and informative when it comes to certain health issues, which we may not know what is going on. There will be embarrassing questions, silly thoughts and so on. Dr. Rajapaksa (Dr. Raj) did very great job about explaining some confusing symptoms. You will know when not to worry or when to see a doctor… such as “Is it bad that I drank margaritas before I realized I was pregnant?” or “Can too many venti lattes (green tea latte made with soy) give you a heart attack?” or even some questions many were wondering for a long time “why one of my breasts is larger than another one?”.  Some are just normal, it happens to a lot of people and some are serious — you need to talk to a specialist doctor.  It is all about health … it is a great book for women of all ages. I totally love it, and hope you’ll get a chance to read it too.


Roshini Rajapaksa, MD.

Lisa Lombardi


Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0848734173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0848734176

My vacation is coming to an end… after spend a week in Greece, now I’m back to Italy. There is a small lovely town called “Sirmione” , which is about an hour from Milan, Italy, in which we decided to give a visit before returning to our normal schedules in September. It was such a great place to be. Although it is just a tiny place but it is famous for a lake view, Lake Garda. There were many German speaking residents in that town. No wonder why there are many signs in Italian and German along the streets. We spent our relaxing time there, just walked, ate and shopped. What a wonderful day!

Map of Sirmione, Italy


There is a famous old castle, Castello Scaligero, where the counts used to live in the past. Now it is quite a landmark of this small town. I couldn’t help taking some pictures of it.

Old castle in Sirmione - Castello Scaligero

Little canal near Castle Scaligero


There are many small villas and apartments for rent. I can see why many people want to spend a long vacation here. It really is a peaceful place… enjoying a quiet time and beautiful sight of Lake Garda.

A nice little town - Sirmione, Italy

A villa near Castello Scaligero

A little garden in Sirmione, Italy


Shops, bars and restaurants were many, despite how small the town was… it was so enjoyable to walk around and checked in some shops.  The sun was so bright but we had a breezy wind coming from the lake, it was truly refreshing.

A walking street in Sirmione, Italy

Sirmione, Italy - full of little shops for tourists

shops around Sirmione, Italy

A little tourist train in Sirmione, Italy


Another landmark of Sirmione is “Le Grotte di Catullo”, a ruined palace, used to be a house of a Count of Sirmione. It was quite a big palace in the past. They were lucky to have their place with a lake view.

A ruined palace in Sirmione - Le Grotte di Catullo

A ruined palace in Sirmione - Le Grotte di Catullo

Window of Paradise (a famous sight) in Sirmione, Italy

San Pietro Monument near Sirmione

A view of Lake Garda in Sirmione, Italy


And finally we visited a villa, which was a house of Maria Callas, a famous opera singer. You might have heard about her reputation, her talents… and her affair with Aristotle Onassis. They were involved quite a few years before he left her to marry Jacqueline Kennedy. Callas resided in Sirmione, Italy, toward the end of her life. She had made a really good decision finally!

A sign for a house of Maria Callas - a famous opera singer

House of Maria Callas - a famous opera singer


Hope you all had a great summer holidays… wish you all the best and have a wonderful day.

I have been back in Milan, Italy, for quite a few days. One of the things I really miss in Greece is “Greek Salad”. We had it almost every night as a side dish for dinner. I’m glad that it is so easy to make at home, all the ingredients can found in supermarkets here.

This dish is simple and refreshing. No wonder why it is so popular all over the world. Greek diet, though it could be heavy, is considered to be one of the healthiest diets in the world. Greeks do eat well… like Italians… I noticed that fresh vegetables there taste so good. People in Greece really pay a lot of attention about the quality of fresh products. I love that fact, because I do too.

Here is the recipe for Greek Salad, enjoy!

Greek Salad - tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta cheese, etc.


2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 cucumber, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried and chopped

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 (6 ounce) can pitted black olives

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup sliced feta cheese

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

A pinch of ground black pepper


1. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, onion, olives, bell peppers and feta cheese in a large salad bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, combine and whisk together the olive oil, oregano, lemon juice and black pepper. Pour dressing over salad and serve.

I really had a great week in Thessaloniki, Greece… glad I had a chance to spend my vacation there. Now I’m back in Milan, Italy…home sweet home… I have to admit that I really enjoyed Greek food and Greek frappé, a very strong and rich iced coffee. It is a coolest city for shopping. There are various kinds of store for shoes, clothes, beauty products, etc., at every corner of the city.


“Tsimiski” street is one of my favorite places to walk around and see all kinds of shops. It’s such a lively place! Beside that “Egnatia” Street is another place where I found the cheaper price stores… still interesting and fun to checking things out.

Tsimiski - a shopping street --- tons of stores, perfect for shopping

A walking street - connecting "Tsimiski" and "Egnatia"

Shoe Stores - hundreds of them around Thessaloniki!!!

Modiano Market - selling fresh food, meats and many fresh products


“Food” is one of my favorite things to mention — Greek food has variety of ingredients. I found vegetables and fruits are so fresh, very high quality. Greek salad became a must-order as a side dish for dinner… the freshness is just amazing!

Greek Salad - tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta cheese, etc.

Souvlaki - grilled meat (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc.)

Giaourtlou - Meat balls served with yogurt and pita bread

Greek dessert - varieties of sweets found at shops around the city

Our breakfast at Electra Palace - with a view of the ocean front

Greek Frappé - a rich, strong, iced coffee with foam-covered milk.


“Terkenlis” is a bakery shop which sells many kinds of desserts. It is a franchise brand, I found several Terkenlis stores around Thessaloniki. All of them are good! The one that is closest to us is near Aristotelous Square. We stopped by almost every day to refill our energy in the afternoon, love it!

Terkenlis - a famous bakery shop

Terkenlis - has many branch shops around Thessaloniki

Terkenlis Puddings- We tried several kinds of puddings, all are delicious!

Tsoureki - sweet bread covered with cream


There are still so many things to see — churches, monuments, museums, towers, etc. Here are the rest of the pictures I captured while walking around Thessaloniki, Greece.

Alexander the Great - a monument near White Tower

Church of Saint Gregory Palamas (Thessaloniki, Greece)

Church of Saint Demetrius, Thessaloniki

Area near Aristotelous Square - A view of roof top at Electra Palace

Church of Panagia Chalkeon, Thessaloniki

Roman Agora - ruins near Church of Saint Demetrius

White Tower - a view during the day

We were searching for a nice beach within 100 km from Thessaloniki and we found some information from the locals that there was a nice beach town not too far the city. “Stavros” is the name of the place. The way to get there is very easy. There is a bus which is leaving every hour from Thessaloniki. The bus station for Stavros is on Eirinis Street 17, which is a smaller terminal. Thessaloniki has a main bus station which located further away. The distance for Stavros is about 70 km, by car it would take around 1 hour. Well…by bus, it stopped at 3-4 small cities along the way, so it took about 90 minutes, which was not too bad. The bus ticket costs 6.40 euro for one way (they don’t sell a round-trip ticket). Tickets can be bought on the bus, paid in cash only.

The bus arrived in the town center, surrounded by restaurants and little shops… very nice place. We could see the beach on the left and right … there were 2 beaches divided by the pier in the middle. Along the beach, there were many chairs and umbrella provided, free of charge! Amazing, isn’t it? You may need to order some drinks for the courtesy of bar owners who took care of the property. We eventually found the area we liked and sat down… it was a gorgeous day! The sun was a bit strong but the breezy wind from the ocean had cooled everything off. It looked very much like a family beach for me. There were so many facilities for children; such as playgrounds, changing rooms, public bathrooms, etc. It was perfect for a day trip… lovely town, wonderful beach, relax day… I would love to go back again and again.

Stavros (Thessalonik) - Ocean Front

Beach at Stavros, 70 km from Thessalonki

Stavros - A Beach town

Stavros - beach area where we were

Greek Freppe - iced coffee served with thick foam-covered milk

Our sitting area in Stavros Beach

Stavros Beach – chairs and umbrellas are provided (free of charge)

There are many interesting places to see… related to long history before and after Byzantine civilization. We took a bus tour (number 50), which has a tour guide, audio/visual in Greek and English and a city map provided. The entire route took about 1 hour. The bus passed some landmarks in the city and went up north through the hills, where we could see a panoramic view of Thessaloniki. It was a nice tour. You could get off any stop you like to explore the area on foot and wait for the next bus.

Here are some landmarks of the city, Thessaloniki.

Rotunda (Rotonda) – The monument was built by Galerius Ceasar in ca. 300 A.D. This is the oldest structure still in use in the city. Initially it was a place to worship the mysterious Samothracian Kabirii or Zeus. It is well known for its mosaic decoration, one of the best samples of early Christian art. Later the city fell to the Ottomans, in 1590 it was converted into a mosque. In 1912, it has been restored into a Christian Church. It is definitely one the most important surviving examples of a church from the early Christian period of the Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire.

Rotunda (Rotonda) - Thessaloniki, Greece


Arch of Galerious – on Egnatia & Dimitrios Gounari Street. The arch was built in 298 to 299 CE and dedicated in 303 CE to celebrate the victory of Galerius over the Sassanid Persians and capture of their capital Ctesiphon. The structure was an octopylon or eight-pillared gateway. At present days, only the northwestern three of the eight pillars and parts of the cores survive. There are details on the pillar telling the story of Galerious and the celebration of his victory.

Arch of Galerious - Thessaloniki, Greece

Details on the pillars of Arch Galerious


Agia Sophiais part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The church, Agia Sophia, was built in 8th century. It was once converted to a mosque in 1430, when the Ottoman Sultan Murad II captured the city. Later it was brought back into Greek Orthodox Church. In 1917, many interior parts were destroyed by the Great Fire in Thessaloniki. There were many restoration works done to repair the structure. It is one of the most visited places in the city, situated right at the heart of busiest street of Thessaloniki.

Church of Agia Sophia - Thessaloniki, Greece


Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki – there are many invaluable archaeological treasures from the Prehistoric, Classic, Hellenistic and Roman eras and wider region of Macedonia.

Sign inside Archaeological Museum - Thessaloniki, Greece

Pillars and Statues inside Archaeological Museum - Thessaloniki


Museum of Byzantine Culture – it is situated at the junction of 3rd September St and Stratou Ave. There is an exhibition of historical and religious relics as well as objects from the Early Christian, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Eras.

Paintings from Early Christian Era - Museum of Byzantine Culture


Elenidis – We had “Trigona” at Elenidis pastry shop as our afternoon snack. It is a sugar coated cone filled with sweet and tasty cream, very delicious. One piece was enough to restore our energy of the day ^.^

Elenidis - a pastry shop at the junction of D Gounari & Tsimiski St

Trigona - Greek dessert, a sweet cone filled with tasty cream


Zythos Restaurant – we went for a Greek dining place — very traditional and charming location. The food is wonderful. It is on the Ladadika district — where there are many nice bars and restaurants. From time to time, we would hear Greek tradition music on the street. The ambience and atmosphere were wonderful. It is perfect for our romantic dinner.

Zythos - a restaurant in Ladadika area

Greek Salad - so refreshing, so good!

Pilaf Rice - Greek style (very tasty!)



It was such a nice and long day… but we had a lot of fun sightseeing around the city — love it!

Day 1 – We have arrived at Thessaloniki, Greece! yes!! what a wonderful city! Our flight from Milan, Italy, took about 90 minutes to reach the destination. The weather right now is so nice and warm… we had a long walk along the water front. There was a famous “White Tower” standing in front of us, a symbolic building of this city. In the evening, there were so many people around there to hang out and have some drinks with friends. It was very lively, I couldn’t believe!

Beside that, this city is full of history… archeological sights, museums, galleries, etc. We plan to visit as much as we can during this week… Right now, we’re staying near Aristolelous Square, a perfect location… close to everything. It makes a lot easier to get around the city. There will be more pictures to come… Hello from Greece, everyone! γειά σου (geiá sou)

White Tower - Thessaloniki, Greece

Electra Palace - near Aristotelous Square

Ocean Front - with a long sidewalk

Aristotelous Square - Thessaloniki, Greece

Aristotelous Square - full of bars, restaurants, places to hang out

A fountain near White Tower - Thessaloniki, Greece