2006 Year in Review: Tips, Tricks and Best Discoveries

Did you have an amazing 2006? Did you set a Guiness World Record? I tried to upset the Frosted Cupcake in Freefall record but failed (I only ate 47).


I think I had a pretty good year and I wanted to share some highlights, tools and tricks that keep me going and hopefully can be useful to you in 2007.

Add your own helpful sites and links in the comments!

I’m a big reader and I’ve been slowly converting as much as I can to ebooks as the English bookstores here are not always fully stocked and I get tired of paying �10+ a book, and Amazon’s shipping rates leave something to be desired.


  • Books read in 2006: 98 (52 of which were ebooks)
  • Slowest month: October (3)
  • Fiction Novels ideas entertained and elaborated: 7
  • Fiction Novels finished: 0 (ah, win some, lose some!)


I’m also going as digital as possible – moving around countries and cities means I need to keep physical items to a minimum. I upgraded to Flickr Pro so that I can upload all my digital photos and have them backed up somewhere, and stop juggling multiple CDs or DVDs. I’m also starting to use Google Documents to keep documents and spreadsheets online and centralized, I’m even collaborating with my mom on our recipe book which is a shared document on Google – we can both insert and keep it updated!


  • Blog posts this year: 113
  • Bloglines feeds following: 217 in 15 categories
  • Pictures taken / on Flickr: 1176 / 115 (+ some private)
  • Bloggers met in 2006: 13 (Gia, Sara, Cynthia, Nicki, Avery, Shelley, Melinda, Yael, Judith, Carole, Annika, Kellee, Tania) and some other non-blogging Expats in Italy!



Not much to say here. I hope to eat in 2007. Hopefully healthier and food of better quality, and more that I make myself.


  • Stops documented on the Tour del Gelato: 8 – Add yours!
  • Dominating tastes of 2006: Peperoncino – Hot Pepper, Cioccolato Fondente – Dark Chocolate, Gorgonzola
  • Tastes I’m leaving behind: Milk Chocolate, Kinder chocolate, Mayonnaise, Panettone
  • A re-discovery: Beets. After 20+ years of hating…I kind of like them now. I’ll have to try a few beet recipes I saw.
  • Favorite kitchen helper: My silicone pot holders


As for me, I’m following Ilva from Lucullian Delight’s example and making my list of “I Dare” cooking challenges for 2007:

  1. Eggplant Parmigiana – I always enjoy my mother-in-law’s and I know if I perfect this, my husband will marry me again. Don’t worry Mom, we’ll elope to Vegas.
  2. Troccoli– I’ve done homemade gnocchi a few times without a potato masher (lots of work) but I thought I’d try my hand at Troccoli, a handcut spaghetti-like egg noodle, this year
  3. Gelato– I talk about it enough, I should just make some! That way the best stop on the Tour del Gelato will be at my house.
  4. Roast– I have never made a roast. Can you believe it? I’m not sure if I’ll go with the English variety or the Italian one more like my MIL’s.
  5. Bread – I don’t know much about breadmaking, so I’d like to experiment a bit. The no-yeast bread sounds intriguing.


  • Cities lived in: 2 – Pavia and Milan, Italy
  • Countries visited: 2 – U.S. (once) and England (3 times!)
  • Miles run this year: 65 (this was a very slow year starting with the gym membership in September – I’m hoping to change that in 2007)
  • Amount spent on public / private transportation: �600 / �100
  • Methods of transportation used: 8 – Train, plane, automobile, metropolitan, bus, tram, bicycle, feet



  • Money helped to raise for charity: $60,000 + �120 euro (work-related fundraiser)
  • Pregnant bellies touched (no strangers): 3
  • People I asked “Do you mind if I take a picture of ___?”:7
  • Cameras broken: 1. Boo.
  • Average hours spent on computer/day: 14 (not good)

Still have spare time? Links:

Happy 2007!!

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  1. says

    Wow, what a site you have. I had a bit of a time tracking you down after finding your comment on my blog. We seem to have a lot in common after a quick perusal of your blog. Seems like I can learn a lot from you as you seem to be doing all the things I have been reading about how to have a better, higher ranking blog etc etc. Anyway, I look forward to reading on and asking lots of questions.
    About Sambuca, it’s totally different from Sambuco. Sambuco is anise and elderberry is a lot like a cross between blueberry and blackberry. It’s very yummy if a bit seedy.

  2. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    Ilva, I hope to hit everything on that list. Thanks for the inspiration! Alice, great link – we may use it when Sante buys a new computer. Pasticciera – oops – I thought it was spelled Sambuco, too but not really liking it, I conceived that it could also be a berry, too. :) Now I know. Welcome! I hope to read more from you.

    NYC, jealous…Maybe I’ll “drag” my mom there on my next visit…I’m thinking something small that can fit in my suitcase! :)

  3. Lieludalis says

    I am just diving into the Great Blogging Ocean, thank you for publishing such an interesting read! I may soon become an expat in Italy as well, and you’re giving me hope for an interesting year!

  4. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    Lieudalis, welcome! I hope you become an expat in Italy, it has its ups and downs but it’s a wonderful experience!

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