The Sweet Life

Some experiences remain so vivid, years may pass and it still seems like they happened yesterday. Studying abroad is one of those experiences. And in that experience there are a million little experiences that continue to shine brightly in my minds eye.

I’ve written a bit about my time overseas on Kindred Grace (before I was a regular contributor!) and I’m happy to be sharing a bit more about my travels today on Little Did She Know.

I mention a lot of delicious details in my post for Cara’s de(tales) series, but only sent her one photo. I thought it would be fun to share a few more visuals of the sweet life I wrote about.

When you read my description of Dolce Vita, you’ll notice I took a minor editorial liberty in the color of the pastry trays – silver not gold.  Oops. Apparently my memories aren’t as vivid as I thought they were…

Dolce Vita

Completely unassuming store front to Dolce Vita. Who knew the inside held such special people and pastries.

Dolce Vita

The son of the mom and son duo who ran Dolce Vita. Such a patient fellow.

Dolce Vita

My 20 year old self with two of the six other students in my study abroad program, enjoying a cappuccino.

Dolce Vita

The Occhi I talk about…

Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita

Pastries on silver trays. They were gold in my mind’s eye.

Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita

One of those cups now resides in my dining room!

Thanks for indulging my seven year old memories. To read more about Dolce Vita, head over here.


Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce

Simple ingredients are transformed into a rich, thick fudge sauce using the convenience of a microwave. This is my comfort topping for anything ice cream related.

Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce

Please excuse the lack of food photography for this recipe post, but some things get consumed too quickly for me to style and shoot even just a few pics. This hot fudge sauce would definitely be one of those recipes.

Hot fudge sauce is classic. Like this particular sauce, the best kind is thick, deeply chocolatey, and simple. A good hot fudge sauce can turn any kind of ice cream or cake or pie (or spoon) into a decadent dessert worthy of company.

What makes this hot fudge sauce over the top is the method you use to make it. A microwave provides the hot in the hot fudge. It’s unfussy and quick – all good things when you’re bowl of ice cream is sitting out, waiting to be bathed in a fudgy pool of liquid chocolate.

Not convinced yet? Read my post over on Be. Mama. Be to find out why delicious simplicity isn’t the only reason I flip to this microwave hot fudge sauce recipe so often.

Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce
Author: Emily C. Gardner
A simple, classic hot fudge sauce made easy using the microwave. Your ice cream won’t know what hit it!
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Add evaporated milk and sugar to the chocolate.
  3. Stir until combined.
  4. Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes. (Keep your eye on the mixture. Depending on your microwave and bowl, it could boil over.)
  5. Remove from microwave and add butter, vanilla, and salt. Beat with a hand mixer until slightly thickened and smooth. Fudge sauce will thicken as it cools.
  6. Store in refrigerator if there are leftovers.

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A Couple Posts in a Couple Places

I’m (writing) in two places at once today!

You can find me over on Kayse Pratt‘s blog and at Embracing Marriage.


My blogging buddy Kayse had her sweet baby boy a few days ago. She planned ahead and scheduled guest posts, with the theme of gratitude, for the month of November so she could fully recover and enjoy her little Nathan. I’ve collaborated with Kayse before (How To Maintain A High Maintenance Marriage) and am glad to be over in her neck of the interwebs again today.

His plansThis time around, I’m writing about motherhood, not marriage.

You can read my guest post about struggling to accept God’s pregnancy plans for our family here. I promise it does stick with the gratitude theme…



Embracing MarriageI’m a newer contributor to Embracing Marriage, but I have enjoyed being part of the community developing on the Embracing sites.

My post today is all about being weird – embracing who God made you to be, especially in the context of a marriage relationship. You can read the post (and all about some of my quirks) here.

photo credit: pregnancy test via photopin

Pure & Simple: Cherish

Sometimes you find a blog that feels just right.  It’s a joyful, uplifting, and beautiful. A couple months ago, I found a Pure & Simple and it’s that kind of blog. I was immediately taken with the soft, simple design that seems to echo the heart of the blog’s content.

Amanda, Becca, Natalie, and Meg are passionate about being who they are and embracing what they love to do. They are willing to take risks and accept grace.

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 9.39.58 PM

Every month, these ladies pick a different topic and ask other women to reflect and share. I was so excited when Natalie asked if I would write about February’s topic: Cherish. All month, posts are focusing on how we can cherish the relationships in our lives.

Today, I’m over on Pure & Simple sharing tangible ways I cherish my husband. Pop on over to read the post and peruse this gem of a blog!