I’m back! A long absence is usually due to life happening. Well life has happened for me down in the South of Italy. I welcomed my son into the world on July 7th, 2015. My husband and I moved to Sicily twice for a temporary stay and now are moving to Venice for 3 months. We are in the process of building a house in our home town of Casarano (province di Lecce), and I’m starting an online business that will be up and running by the end of the year.
I hated to neglect my blog; I love to write; but alas priorities are priorities and now that my gelatos are in order I can write again.
I have so many new experiences to share with you all such as what it’s like to have un partorito naturale (natural birth) in Italy, moving to Sicily, and of course starting a business in Italy and the long, wonderful process of gathering inspiration from the masterminds of art themselves!
BUT before I get to all that I am ecstatic to say that I was nominated for the Creative Blogger Award by Il Gusto di Vivere who sports a fantastic blog on food and recipes in Italy. It’s always nice to know people intently read your stuff in the nooks of their houses somewhere around the world, but more notably a fellow blogger in Italy! Thank you Il Gusto di Vivere!
The rules for the Creative Blogger Award are:
- Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
- Share five facts about yourself.
- Nominate five bloggers and add their links.
- Notify the bloggers you included.
- Keep the rules in your post.
So, 5 facts about me are
- As much as I would love to live in one of the famous, big cities in Italy I am quite content in my little town in the South because it has pulled creativity out of me and has forced me to learn Italian as no one speaks English here. I would encourage all people thinking of making THE move to consider moving to a town off the beaten track because they will experience the REAL Italy.
- After four years of living in Italy it does get easier; and reverse culture shock is a real thing in my life. When I go home every year my head cocks sideways for many things that I would have never glanced at twice before.
- My life motto in the last two years has been to “just do it”…I guess I stole that from Nike, but living in Italy makes you adapt that strategy really fast because no one here will do things for you, you have to create your life
- I’m a very factual person. All the books I read are factual books that are straight to the point. I buy my books in English from Amazon.co.uk or I bring them with me from the States every year. No E-Reader in these parts.
- Homesickness doesn’t ever go away. Staying positive is a life choice that I practice every day! There is always something to be happy about.
I’m pretty picky when it comes to liking something. With that in mind the 5 bloggers I’d like to nominate are those who in my opinion are truly unique
Surviving in Italy is hilarious to read as the writer doesn’t hold back her tongue and has a truly intriguing style of writing about her Italian experiences
Learn Italian With Lucrezia is an awesome daily blog where Lucrezia teaches a word or expression per day by video.
Becoming Italian Word by Word is an easy, poetic read where you can quickly pick up new vocabulary
Driving Like a Maniac is a narrative type blog where Kate shares her spin on life in Italy
Bleeding Espresso which is a fantastic food blog in Calabria
And now the quick overview of what’s happened the last 2 years of my life!
Once becoming pregnant in October of 2014 and going to doctors’ appointments in a foreign language I quickly felt overwhelmed and stayed off the charts for a while. Being pregnant in Italy had lots of nice surprises such as the overwhelming sense of women are strong and capable being thrown in my face from gynecologists, my birth class, and local hospital which were all for natural birth and breastfeeding. Some strange differences did occur in the midst such as not being allowed to wear nail polish and having my beautician make sure I de-haired my body before the big day as it was most sterile. When the big day came I walked myself into the labor room where my doctor dressed in a checkered shirt like a cowboy threw on his coat, coddled my face for comfort and then jumped on my belly to get that baby out. Love and hate him, almost like the whole irony of Italy itself. BUT apart from all that drama, one of the most enjoyable parts of my whole baby experience was sharing the American tradition of a baby shower with my close friends and family.
There were the nay-sayers that Italians wouldn’t get it, that they wouldn’t enjoy the games and things, but let me tell you from personal experience that they loved it and still talk about it. I’ll leave out the picture of my cake debacle having a queen-size bed cookie on top of the cake instead of a carrozzina (baby carriage) like I asked. Let’s just say
idiot pastry chef ruined my cake lost in translation.
And then one month later there was my masterpiece, William.
Everyone says he looks like his dad…
But let’s face it, he’s got my hair and eyes!
Like I said we moved to Sicily twice for months at a time as my husband was training for his new helicopter in Catania (yes, he’s the bomb diggity) and later to attend commanding school in Augusta. Here is a photo of William and me in Taormina.
One night while it was pouring raining we decided to go out to eat regardless because we didn’t want to be constantly kept up in our 8th floor apartment…well I’m so glad we did because we found this wine and food gem in Catania- Ristorante Il Cantiniere.
Sicily is known for certain foods as are all regions in Italy. One of the must tries is granita di mandorle e granita di pistachio (which are the classic shaved ice flavors to try, mandorla being almond)
If you’re looking for the best burger in Italy you have to come here! FUD in Catania is a hilarious place where the menu is written out in English as Italians would pronounce it in their language. Hence “FUD” is food and “burgher” is burger.
Apart from moving back and forth to Sicily I’m also entertaining my design skills and have been trying out new yarns as an avid crocheter. Here I purchased some giant yarn from an Italian Etsy seller. There aren’t many.
When I’m not crocheting I’m sewing. I love to make Christmas stockings and last year I had to make a baby version of a stocking that would suit my house style. I found some leftover white leather that I had from making pillows and cut out some bears which I then hand stitched on. Being surrounded by mom-and-pop shops all over the country it can feel like resources for homey makes are limited. I knew little 4 years ago, but now my world has been broadened to sites like www.tessuti.com for fabrics.
I have been in the beginning stages of developing my business since October of last year, part of that includes buying a camera and learning how to take good pictures. I chose to get the Canon EOS100D as advised by my photography savvy brother and professional photographer sister as a good camera for someone starting out like me who needs a package deal. Here I am playing with a white background on one of my crochet baskets.
One thing I love about Italy is its source of inspiration. I am inspired by so many things I see, and things like this concept of a bouquet of flowers speak volumes to me on thinking outside of the box. Every piece of art can transition into inspiration for what you’re currently working on. Italians have a vision and they’re teaching me to see.
That about wraps up what has been going on with me over the last few years-babying, moving, and designing. Cheers and a dopo!