Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Life's Lessons

Some lessons, that life puts on my way, show up at my door once and then again and again ... until I REALLY get it. At the end, I want to shout: hell! I got it now. You can stay out of my life now!

Interestingly enough, I read an article in Marie Claire Italia about just this topic. Imma Vitelli is a journalist and a traveler and she shares her thoughts and adventures/experiences with her readers once a month (she's got her own column). I love what she has to say generally but this time she spoke directly to my heart. A friend of hers handed out advice that started her thinking. Imma was convinced to have failed (it's not mentioned what "the failure" consisted of but it's not important). Her friend told her:
"Hai ripetuto l'anno. Ne avevi bisogno." (You have repeated a year. You needed it.)
(NB: like in school when a student needs to repeat a class...)
Then Imma continues with her own thoughts:
Ripetere un copione è lo sforzo, inconscio, di impararlo, di capirlo, di farlo tuo, per superarlo.
To repeat a scenario is the effort, unconscious, to learn it, to understand it, to make it yours, until you finally overcome it.

Wonderful words. Next time, when life has something to (re-)teach me, instead of getting angry at myself (for NOT getting it again), I will think of them. Next time I will be more gentle to myself. I will know that I simply needed to practice it again.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Being a more mindful eater is starting to please me very much. It does my body and mind well. The next logic step, at least it seemed logical to me, was to take up yoga classes again.
Luckily enough I found a Friday night lesson near the office. I had been looking for a new yoga teacher (my old one stopped giving lessons) for the last couple of months now. Nobody inspired me enough though. Only now, and thanks to my "old" yoga teacher, I "found" what I was looking for. You see? Things arrive when you are ready for them!
I wanted to do yoga on Friday night. I think that Friday is the perfect night to do yoga. The week is over and it's an ideal way to leave all the stress, the bad vibes and the too many thoughts accumulated during the week "behind you".
Last Friday was the first lesson with this new teacher. It was good. It was more than that. My body felt relaxed and "stretched" after two hours of being aware of only my breathing and letting all my thoughts go as soon as they appeared. For someone like me who thinks too much, NOT thinking is like going on a vacation :-)
This weekend I read an article just about "mindfulness":
(written by David Hochman)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Our World ... is Ashamed

It would be more correct to say that WE (as in humanity) should be ashamed of the way we treat our world!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Milano ... again

15 or more years back when traveling abroad, shopping was always an adventure per se. As these trips took place before globalization, the shops in the various cities were different from the ones back home and therefore unique (hence the adventure).
I am not saying that "old times were better" - on the contrary. I like present times pretty much.
I am just stating something that seems obvious to me.
I remember one trip to Paris (1990 or so) - just to mention one of so many. I came back with a coat, a skirt and boots that NOBODY ELSE had over here. That was so freaking cool. I admit it. Dressing in a different way always pleased me very much!
These days it's become more difficult. I don't say it's impossible. It's just more difficult.
All big European and American cities have shops of the globalized brands. I usually avoid them. I prefer to go looking for the "other" shops.

This Monday though I "discovered" a store of a globalized brand that I would very much like to have in my city.
Do you know "& Other Stories" by H&M?

I knew of if because I had read about it in various magazines but I had actually never been to a store.
I totally and irrevocably fell in love. Deep down in love.
Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to really go through all the clothes and accessories. So many things. So different. I liked it.
Next time I travel to a city where they have a shop, I will schedule enough time to go ALL over the store.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Milano - one

I spent my Monday in Milano shopping with a friend.
That you know.
Sometimes during the afternoon, while walking from one shop to the other, enjoying myself, the city and my purchases (!), I thought that probably I had to change my idea of a bag I wanted for this winter (this is how I shop BTW - I start with an idea and then adjust my wishes while shopping because reality not always matches my dreams, unfortunately!). In all the shops we had been (and there were many of them, believe me!) I hadn't seen ONE bag that even roughly looked like the one I had in mind. NOT ONE.
I was just thinking that I had to re-think the whole bag issue when my friend suggested that we enter the Benetton shop. We had a bit less than one hour time before we had to take the taxi back to the main station and therefore ... why not?

It was like destiny SMILE.

There it was. My dream bag. Dark green. Leather. Rectangular. Rather big. Can also be worn with a strap in order to have both hands free (this is important while riding the train in the morning - makes life simpler).
In one word: WONDERFUL.
Well, a tiny bit expensive but as the train was soon leaving and I didn't want to re-think the whole bag issue and the other stuff I bought wasn't that expensive and and ... (list whatever good excuse comes to your mind - I had them all!).
In short: I bought it.
And am so glad I did because wearing it to work this morning with my dark blue coat? Well, it looked fabulous! Can't wait to wear it with my new gray coat :-)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Getting Ready ...

... for a shopping spree in Milano!
Yes! I am going to Milano tomorrow (first train in the morning to go and last train in the evening to come back).
Can't wait. I have a real long shopping list and I hope that I will be successful :-)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013


I've met Emanuela in Chicago, back in 2009. Incredible but true. We were in the same language school and met because I heard her talking Italian in the hallway. Both our time in Chicago was short and therefore we just had coffee once (at the Lavazza coffee shop just a few blocks away from school - where else?). Thanks to Facebook we remained in contact though and I followed her moving to Shanghai. It was clear to me that I had to interview her for my blog and I am glad she agreed to do so!
Even though I don't know Emanuela that well (I actually don't know her at all, one coffee doesn't give you that much time to get to know each other), she is however one of these persons who leave an impression on you. Do you know what I mean? It has probably something to do with energy. Reading her words now though made me understand why we clicked all these years back - we have similar opinions and the same view of life.
Anyway, I am not only delighted to have her words and pictures in my blog but also grateful that I now have an excuse to travel to Shanghai!

The pictures are hers, by the way, and you'll find the English translation at the bottom (as usual, all mistakes are mine!). Buona lettura.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Do You Listen?

Do you listen to what your body has to say to you?
That was a question I asked a friend of mine but I should actually have asked this question to myself:

Do you listen to what your body tells you?

Why is it so much easier to hand out advice instead of actually giving this same advice to ourselves? You know why. And I know why. Giving advice is easy. It's just words for others. But when the same words concern your own life? It gets harder because YOU have to actually DO something...
And often, I come to realize, I give someone an advice which actually would apply to me as well. Interesting. As if my problem is being reflected by what my counterpart tells me. Or what I appear to actually hear. Oh my. Do I just hear what I want to hear? And are my words subsequently rather meant for myself then for my counterpart? I repeat: oh my!
That line of thinking is for another day.
Today is about: Listen carefully to what you say to others. It often helps you understand what is going on with you. It helps me a lot. I am into eating healthier BECAUSE I asked myself: Do you listen to what your body has to say to you?
I hadn't. Not lately at least. But this has changed now and I am very grateful to my friend for bringing up her health problems that evening a couple of weeks back. It made me realize what I wanted / needed to change in my life / for my health :-)

Our World ... is Overcrowded

Friday, November 8, 2013

Got Mail!

I got mail today! A very nice surprise actually!

Do you remember the guys from this post?

Well they just sent me ... their energy bar for tasting. Yummy! And not only. I hear that that their project is still going strong. Let's keep our fingers crossed for them :-)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Eating Habits - Suite

Do you wonder what became of my resolution to eat healthier i.e. to be more attentive to what I eat (see post

Well, it's going pretty good. Not as structured as I had imagined I would be but well nevertheless.

First conclusions after these two weeks:

1) I spend less money on grocery shopping:
Two reasons for this: a) I buy only what I am gonna eat. Before, I often bought too much stuff that I eventally had to throw away (honestly, what a waste of food! I am a bit ashamed!)
and b) convenience food (as it's called nowadays) is more expensive than a real cooked meal.

2) During the week I spend less time on thinking what to eat and have therefore more free time. It's totally liberating :-)

3) I like what I eat - it's varied and yummy.

What I do like less though is the time I spend thinking about the menus i.e. skimming through my cookbooks. On the other hand, this may become easier with time. Don't you think?
Anyway, it was a good decision. As I said, I am not always as structured as I imagined I'd be and therefore sometimes fall back on my old menus (like pasta with something or good old salad) but I sincerely don't mind (also because I like pasta and I like salad!).
Keep you updated!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Do you know the exact moment when I really (but really - like deep down) realize that wintertime has arrived, no, let me rephrase it: that wintertime IS actually already here?
When I clean my balcony and put away my (balcony) chairs and table.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Other's Words: Words of Wisdom

While reading an interview to the photographer Éric Bouvet in Marie Claire Italia (November issue), I was touched by his following words:

"Vivi semplicemente, fai attenzione al tuo corpo, prenditi cura del tuo spirito, stai con persone sorridenti e gentili, non farti dire quello che devi fare, sii padrone del tuo tempo e del tuo spazio."

"Live a simple life, be attentive to your body, take care of your spirit, spend your time with smiling and friendly people, don't let anybody tell you what to do, be the master of your time and your space."

PS: for more information on the artist:

Sunday, November 3, 2013