Happy New Year!

“Some people swear there is no beauty left in the world, no magic.Then how do you explain the entire world coming together on one night to celebrate the HOPE of a NEW year?”

Let’s kiss last year goodbye along with all regrets, remorse and resentment. Let’s thank it for every moment, every experience, for our friends, our loved ones, our joys, for us surviving our mistakes and our losses… and send it on its way, as we pat ourselves on the back for getting to where we are now.

Let’s not burden ourselves with New Year’s resolutions, so that we are free to embrace new joys, new ideas, new challenges, new solutions, new adventures and surprises as we welcome the new year with open arms because, as they say:

“”Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a Gift. That’s why it’s called the Present.”

So as we prepare for the New Year, let’s throw away the list of things we’ll force ourselves to do in 2014, let’s just be ready to unwrap 31 million presents with the same excitement and gratitude we feel at Christmas.

FYI, There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year

What can we learn from this post?

  • to swear- to make a solemn declaration
  • to kiss something goodbye – accept the end of something
  • regret- a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction
  • remorse- a feeling of responsibility for doing wrong
  • pat on the back- to praise someone for something
  • to burden – to place a weight on someone, to make sad
  • to embrace – to receive or accept gladly, to put one’s arms around someone
  • to throw away – to get rid of something useless or unwanted
  • to unwrap – to uncover, to open a present

May 2014 Rock for you!



Video Watch ‘One Republic-Counting Stars’


My friend Taline posted this video on her facebook page. I thought we could listen, read and check out some new vocabulary. I love the tune. Catchy chorus, don’t you think?

What are the lyrics?

Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars

[Verse 1]
I see this life
Like a swinging vine
Swing my heart across the line
In my face is flashing signs
Seek it out and ye shall find

Old, but I’m not that old
Young, but I’m not that bold
And I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told

I feel something so right
By doing the wrong thing
And I feel something so wrong
By doing the right thing
I could lie, could lie, could lie
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

Lately I been, I been losing sleep (hey!)
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard (hey!)
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Lately I been, I been losing sleep (hey!)
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard (hey!)
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be, we’ll be counting stars

[Verse 2]
I feel the love
And I feel it burn
Down this river every turn
Hope is a four letter word
Make that money
Watch it burn

Old, but I’m not that old
Young, but I’m not that bold
And I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told

And I feel something so wrong
By doing the right thing
I could lie, could lie, could lie
Everything that downs me makes me wanna fly


[Bridge 4x:]
Take that money
Watch it burn
Sink in the river
The lessons I learned

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive


[Bridge 4x:]
Take that money
Watch it burn
Sink in the river
The lessons I learned

What do the lyrics mean according to me?
  • He seems to have some kind of addiction and it is stopping him from reaching his goals.
  • He is losing sleep because he is torn between not being able to reach his goal and not being able to keep his promises to his loved on.
  • He is praying hard (i.e. a lot) because he feels desperate. A small feeling of hope surfaces when he says that he will be counting stars in the future.
  • Seek it out and you shall find‘ means look for the way out and you will find it. He does not think that it’s that easy though.
  • Hope is a four letter word , make that money, watch it burn’ shows that they feel they are hoping in vain.
  • He says that he is not bold (i.e. audacious, strong) and this is an excuse for his addiction.

What do you think?

  1. Do you like One Republic? What bands do you listen to?
  2. Do you think being bold is a positive character trait in your country?
  3. When do you  lose sleep over situations?



2013’s Word of the Year ‘SELFIE’


Selfie (Photo credit: joeldinda)

Oxford Dictionary has announced ‘SELFIE” word of the year for 2013.

It has been around for quite some time but the use of SELFIE has increased by 17000% in this year alone. Can you believe it? That is mind-boggling,right?

If you snap a shot of yourself  with your iphone, then you have just taken a selfie!

It is definitely an  iconic word and it helps us understand how important images are in our world these days.

What is the official definition?

A type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera that is planned to be uploaded onto facebook, my space or any other social media platform.

Long live the SELFIE!

If you take selfies, then share, tweet or like this post!


p.s. Special thanks to Heather for posting the announcement on facebook

Video Watch: Water Campaign

Great video with subtitles…good reading practice and great for the soul.

The little kid talking his shower made me smile. How about you?


Video Watch: Only the Young


I have always loved low-budget motion-pictures (i.e. movies) and this one is amazing.

The trailer is 2 minutes long . I selected a few expressions that could be interesting when speaking about people, relationships & love.

She is attractive.

  • attractive means pleasing or appealing to the senses.
  • the opposite of attractive is unattractive, ugly, repulsive
  • you can use it for people and things

I guess opposites attract

  • ‘I guess’ is used when you are not sure. It is like saying that you suppose or think something is like that
  • Opposites attract’ is a proverb that explains the phenomenon of dissimilar people having a liking or attraction for one another.

I have a crush on her.

  • ‘ To have a crush on someone’ means you like that person. You usually feel uneasy and try to get attention around that person. Sometimes, it’s hard to stop thinking about them.
  • Crush is a verb that means that you press on something so hard that is breaks or loses its’ shape. I guess that in the definition above, we are talking about a person’s heart.
  • In Italian, we’d say’ avere una cotta per’

I could have added so many more sentencess. I choose to limit the expressions that I post because learning deeply is the best way to remember things. If I post 10 expressions, you may not remember any. If I post three, I hope you read this post over again 3 times and remember all three expressions forever.

Watch the video…pick a line you like and repeat it. Don’t think about grammar. You need to articulate to communicate!

You can share this if you like it.

We appreciate your visit…see you again soon!






Grammar Alert…8 Basic Verb Tenses


What does the world need more of?





A bunch of people answer the question, ‘what does the world need more  of?’


The most difficult expression used in this video seems to be  ‘a lily pad’ which is the leaf that frogs jump on when they are in water. He says that they are like pool rafts for frogs.


American Coot chicks near Klamath Falls, Orego...

American Coot chicks near Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA. They are sitting on a lily pad waiting for their mother to return with food. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)











I can’t make up my mind (i.e. I don’t know what to decide). All of their answers are great including the lily pad answer.


Watch the video and let us know what your answer is.


You can share this video if you like it.








Is Speaking English One of Your Top Objectives?

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Cooking Counts…Minestrone Faita-Style

acquacotta bean and minestrone soup

It is getting cooler and I am starting to feel like making soup again. How about you? Here is one of my old family favorites. You will review the names of 12 vegetables that are commonly used in cooking & I have also added a cooking vocabulary section that contains 7 cooking verbs. Read the recipe with your favorite trainer to review language and share your favorite recipes or book a 30-minute lesson with us to review cooking terms at info@easienglish.it .


5 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
150g leek, sliced
125g smoked pancetta, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 zucchinis, diced
2 potatoes, diced
2 tomatoes, seeds removed & diced
150g cannellini or borlotti beans, canned if out of  season
150g pumpkin, diced
150g peas, frozen
150g cabbage, sliced
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp basil, chopped
40g dried porcini, soaked and chopped
2 parmesan crusts
parmesan, grated (optional)
salt & pepper


  • heat olive oil in a big pot
  • add the pancetta onion , leek, carrots and celery
  • sauté until pancetta has browned
  • add the rest of the garden vegetables
  • sauté for a few minutes
  • add the basil, parsley and porcini to the mix
  • cover with water
  • season with salt and pepper
  • Cook for approximately 30 minutes
  • Add parmesan crusts
  • Let simmer for another 40 minutes
  • Serve with grated parmesan and drizzle olive oil  to taste


–       I use a pressure cooker because it is so much faster. If you do the same, then add the parmesan crusts with the porcini. Fill the pot with water but barely cover the veggies. Cook for 20 minutes after it starts whistling.

–       I normally serve my minestrone with  a grilled slice of old country bread. My son loves dipping day old baguette in his .

–       You can use  other veggies if the ones in this recipe are not to your liking. Cauliflower, spinach, fennel, swiss chard, sweet potato, celery root…it is all good.

–       Garden veggies are at their best in the summer months. They are cheaper and there is lots of variety. Trouble is my kids don’t like hot minestrone when it is scorching hot outside. When summer time comes around, I like serving minestrone at room temperature .

–       If your kids don’t like seeing chunky veggies, pop it in the blender and serve with crackers, soup noodles or rice, parmesan and olive oil…that normally does the trick. We should try to get our kids used to the taste of veggies at a very young age. A little sneaky creativity is allowed!

–       A table spoon of pesto at the very end can also liven up your minestrone if you don’t have a  12-veggie mix of ingredients.

–       Make a double batch and freeze the rest. We are hearty eaters in our family so I freeze 250g single portions. They are easier to thaw out.

–       If you are a vegetarian, just omit the pancetta. You may want to add another mushroom variety to give added flavor. a

Cooking Vocabulary

Heat: cause to become hot
Sauté:  fry in a small amount of fat
Simmer: boil at low heat
Chop: to cut into pieces by hitting it with a knife
Dice: to cut into little cubes
Slice: to cut something into thin pieces
Brown: to make brown by cooking especially for meat

You can share it if you like it.

Negotiation Solidarity

I was teaching a class today and we were reviewing key negotiation phrases.

I had set up a video break for the learners to relax a little & I showed this funny clip that was in line with the topic!

Three expressions came up that we all thought were interesting.

  • I am really working you over to make this deal. (i.e.to beat someone into submission…in this case verbally)
  • I got your back. (i.e. I will support you or cover for you)
  • He’s tough. (i.e. difficult, strong…requiring exceptional strength to beat)

You can share this if you like it!