The power of being grateful

I have started to write this post a couple of weeks ago, while I was grounded with the flu and feeling like shit. All after having been grounded for two weeks already, because the two kids were sick. Twice, both, and from two different viruses. One after the other. God, I love being a mom! During that time, I have been going from moments where I could barely breath and think, to moments where I’d wish everyone would magically disappear and just leave me alone (on a warm sandy beach, possibly). Clearly, I was not able to see the power of being grateful at that time.

A revelation

The moment I started to feel like myself again though, a big revelation hit me. When I was at my lowest, I was literally feeling like I was going to die. Still, I was not able to appreciate the fact that I was not dead yet. Maybe it’s because, deep down, I perfectly knew that at some point I would get better, eventually. Which could explain why we appreciate the things we have only seconds after we’ve lost them. And why we can only start to acknowledge the power of being grateful after something bad has happened.

I have already said many times how lucky and blessed I am for having two beautiful and healthy children. Well, healthy clearly not. But nothing too serious so far, I mean. However, I have also always been very honest and opened about how difficult it is to be a parent (and especially a mom). It’s a hell of a roller-coaster journey! Especially those times when you are sick and not only there is no one to take care of you, but you must take care of two little sneezing and puking humans.

Is it the fever talking?

Well, maybe it was at some point. But I cannot blame it on the fever anymore. I think we must reconcile with the fact that we cannot feel gratitude every time. Our pain and our sadness must be processed before we can live again. Particularly, when we feel like life has let us down. And I have to thank my therapist for teaching this to me. Hes site is in French only at the moment but she speaks very good English and she is great.

It is very hard to acknowledge the power of being grateful when the only thing you wish for is you did not have a nose or a throat, for instance. But now I’ve come to realize that the moment you can take back control of your “normal” you, and you start to appreciate life again (which, in my case, was when I could have a sense of smell again), being thankful for what you have can help you feel even better and accomplish even more.

We are so damn lucky to be able to grow old and watch our kids grow and help them become fulfilled adults. Or even just adults, I am good with that. Only, we do not think about it in this way. At least not until someone dies or loses it all.

The real privilege is growing old

Why is it that all we see when we get dressed in the morning are the kilos we cannot put down? Why all we think about when we look at ourselves in the mirror are the wrinkles and the white hair? What if we decide to change that and only focus on what we are, what we can be, and the immense gratitude for still being able to be something? Growing old is a privilege, a luxury that unfortunately is not given to everyone. We are so stuck in society’s perception of life, that we forget what really matters.

Life is so fragile, yet we tend to forget it. Probably because we would be too scared to live and be otherwise. However, I find extreme strength in reconciling with the fact that it could all go in a second. And taking a moment to think about this can only makes us stronger. These things happen more often that we think unfortunately. Being grateful for what we are, day by day, helps to stay grounded and make the most out of the present.

I promise myself…

I am promising myself to be more grateful every day. To take a moment every night and every morning, to acknowledge all the great things that the day has brought. Starting from waking up, spending time with my loved ones, getting to see my kids smile, taking them to school, cooking for them, and yes why not, even yelling at them.

By expressing gratitude for what we have, what we are and what we can be, we inevitably focus on the positives, which also include things we have accomplished and not only things we’ve been given by others. And when you recognize the good you have been capable of doing to yourself, your self-esteem inevitably grows too!

So tonight, before going to sleep, I will try and think about all the little things I am grateful for. I have already written about the need to stop complaining about what we do not have and start focusing on what we do have. This time it’s more about thanking God, the universe, or anyone you believe in, for what you have been able to live today and embracing the power of being grateful. You will see that this positive energy will come back at you at some point.

The social media detox challenge

I love it when hubby and I throw challenges at each other. Like that time I challenged him not to drink any alcohol during the week. Which is literally every Monday. But we’ll get back to that one day. Today, I’d like to tell you about the social media detox challenge that hubby has recently thrown at me.

It all started three weeks ago as a bet, when hubby insinuated that I was addicted to Facebook and Instagram. How dare he? Just because I was literally picking up my phone every second to scroll down my social feeds and spy on my friends lives?

However, something that started just for fun, this social media detox challenge I decided to pick up basically just to prove my husband wrong, has now become a new life habit. And I am glad my life has taken this unexpected turn.

I was convinced I was not addicted

Digital addiction truly is like any other addiction. You do not want to see it, you do not want to accept it and it is hard to move away from it. I was addicted and my husband was once again right. Checking out on social was the last thing I used to do at night before falling asleep and the first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. I was not able to enjoy the moment anymore, because I was constantly worrying about what was “happening” on social.

I only changed my mind after week 2 of detox, when I decided to re-install Instagram to see what it would do to me. And it did me wrong. That’s when realized I was addicted and decided that I needed to do something about it.

Here are three instant benefits of social media detox as I could experience them on my skin.


Probably the most important one. Since I quit social media, the look on myself has improved. When I was spending a lot of time checking out other people’s lives, I was subconsciously hating mine. This only became clear to me once I stopped spending my time on Instagram and Facebook. After two weeks into the social detox challenge, I decided to re-download the apps to see what would happen. That’s when I realized that looking at other people’s “perfectly staged images” made me feel like the smallest piece of shit.

The moment I re-opened Instagram, I immediately felt overwhelmed. Those slick images of people doing stuff made me feel useless and boring. As if I was missing out on something important, as if everyone else had many important things to do. Except me. Even if I perfectly know that the majority of those posts are staged up stories, I still felt somehow depressed and sad. And no one needs this kind of negative energy!

Stress levels

To my biggest surprise, being constantly connected was giving me stress. I never thought I would admit this one day but it’s true: being on social does have an impact on your stress levels. Albeit stress is not always a bad thing, it is when your levels are too high and you are stressing about things you cannot have an immediate impact on. Like having a wonderful perfect life similar to what you see on Instagram. Which most of the times is not real. Even if we know that those things are not real, deep down they still affect us. And I guess this is where all the power of social media lays. You can influence people and make them want something, even before they consciously know that they want it. Super scary.


Given that my stress levels are lower, my attention has improved. I am much more focused on what is happening at present, instead of secretly worrying about what is happening on social. I can now enjoy the moment and concentrate on doing one thing at a time, instead of worrying about what will come next. Which is literally the way we navigate around social media. We just scroll down our feeds like maniacs, sometimes we do not even read what’s in there. And unfortunately, this way of handling information and people translates into the real life then.

Needless to say that I have removed the social media apps again and decided I’d better stay away from that negative energy. I do not want to exist through people’s likes. I want to exist in the real life as we know it.

A farewell to gluten

How you can stop eating what you love most in 5 (not easy) steps.

Step 1: accept the change

The first and most important thing to do in order to stop eating what you love most is to accept change. When change knocks at your door, most of the time it is unwanted and unexpected. Your animal instinct will immediately tell you to fight what is happening. And if you think of it, that’s the most logical reaction.

This is exactly what happened to me a couple of months ago, when the doctor told me I had to stop eating what I love most: gluten. Basically, anything that I love (pasta, pizza, pastries of any kind, bread, cakes, biscuits…). I am not sure you can understand how painful this revelation is for someone like me. I am Italian, for God’s sake! All my daily meals have featured white flour for 34 beautiful and unforgettable years.

Come on, is it even physically possible to live without gluten? And if so, is a gluten-free life worth living? I wanted to die at first. It took me a whole 2 weeks of gluten overdose during holidays in Italy, to realize that maybe my body knew more than I do. And that, maybe, a journey into the gluten-free world could not do me wrong in the end.

So here is what I’ve been learning: when change gets at you, the best thing you can do is just roll with it. Fighting the change will bring you nowhere, plus you will need all the energy you can spare to stay strong through the process. So suck it up babe! You got this.

Step 2: keep your eyes on the prize

Changing a life-long habit is never easy. It can help to think that when these things need to happen it is usually for something even better to happen next. Therefore, if you want to stop eating what you love most, you need to stay focused!

The key is to remind yourself that it is worth it. Think about the positive effects that this change will have on your body and your mind. Set reminders on your phone. Schedule some time during the day to circle back to your “why’s”. Think back at what awaits at the end of the journey. For me, it’s the promise of feeling better, less tired and galvanized.

At the beginning, I thought I could also aspire to lose some weight but you will find out this ain’t going to happen due to step 4. Of course, an intimidating, kick-ass doctor who keeps regular track of your diet can help too.

Step 3: celebrate the little wins

The road to change will be so very long. You have to praise yourself every single day for having controlled your basic instincts and for resisting to temptation!

Believe me: when you have lived and loved all sorts of bread since birth, you realize that even spending just one day away from a baguette is a huge accomplishment. Which, in my case, needs celebrating with a big nice glass of red wine. Again, you will see in step 4 how I am not going to lose any weight here.

I have tried so many different diets in my life. I’ve always found it easier to stick to the change after a small time of exaggeration. Like I said before, if you know you have to stop eating white flour, I suggest you start after a full week of cakes and pastries of any kind. That will make you so sick you will almost be even happy to start your new diet!

(Note to self: look at you, thinking you can trick your mind so easily. Good for you!).

Step 4: find an enjoyable alternative

There is always an alternative. Even if not the most suitable (like the big glass of red wine I just spoke about). But that doesn’t matter at this stage. When you are asked to remove something you love from your diet, the only way through is to find something that is somehow equally enjoyable.

Therefore, when you are told to stop eating white flour like me, sadly, you need to find something that will replace your afternoon cookies. I stuff myself with chocolate for instance. After all, no one said this new diet was supposed to make me lose weight.

This is your safe anchor, the one little thing that you will hang on to during difficult times, and the little treat that will keep you from falling into depression, so it has to be something that is enjoyable enough to keep you away from trouble and temptations.

Step 5: listen to your body

This is probably the most serious and eye-opening tip you can grab from this list. Believe me, your body knows better than you do. It does know what is good for you and if you take the time to listen to it, it will even tell you what is bad and has to be stopped.

When my body started not to function as expected anymore, I went to see a specialist. She told me that those little pains here and there were signals my body was throwing at me, to tell me that something was wrong and had to be changed.

Again, for someone who loves any kind of pizza (and when I say “any kind” that also includes “cheesy crust” from Pizza Hut, which normally sounds like an insult to most Italians) it takes a lot to digest an information like this. Your body does not tolerate the things you love the most. I almost fainted in front of the doctor.

At first, I thought my body did not love me at all, given it was basically sending me directly through a living hell. With time, and after spending a couple of weeks into step 1, I started to realize that actually my body did love me. And that is exactly the reason why it was telling me to stop gluten.

Now if you’ll excuse me: it’s breakfast time and I have a warm double chocolate croissant waiting in front of me (hey, nobody is perfect, and maybe I am still struggling with acceptance here…)

The power of comfort clothes

I never thought I would write a blog post on the power of comfort clothes. 20 year old me would not be proud, but I think that things are very different now from then. With social media pushing us to share every single aspect of our lives (and especially our looks), not revealing too much has become the new coolest thing! And I am super glad, as 34 year old me loves to be comfortable and feel good in her clothes.

I remember wearing crop tops (tank tops) when I was in my twenties and my belly was almost as flat as a board. I insist on the almost because I have never really had a super flat stomach, but growing up I have been doing a lot of sports which made it possible to eat whatever I wanted, and still have a pretty flat stomach. Just to make it clearer: not even close to J-Lo’s belly now that she is in her 50’s, but close enough to Britney’s “Baby one more time”’s.

Basically, I remember wearing crop tops when I could afford it. But the point I am trying to make here is that I don’t think I would like to wear them anymore now, even if I could afford it again. And I can’t.

It’s not just about the belly

The same applies to tight mini skirts and very décolleté tops. It’s almost like I am not in the mood anymore, and this all started when I entered in my thirties and I became a mom.

I have truly started to enjoy comfortable clothes that do not necessarily reveal every little inch of my body. I love loose shirts and jumpers, blouses and fluid trousers that do not squeeze me like a lemon from lunch onward. Silk is great as it embraces my body without hanging too tight on it. And I actually find it very classy and sexy. Not the kind of sexy I thought it was sexy when I was a teenager, but the kind of sexy I find sexy now, which means without revealing too much.

Back to J-Lo now. I really like her as an artist, and I cannot deny she has a fabulous body even now that she just turned 50. But I don’t agree with the need of showing that and over-showing that to the world. I get it, you can be super proud because you are stunning. Even after two kids. You look so damn beautiful in that super tight swim suit, that teens are jealous. But do you really have to show it to us all, every time you get a chance?

Who do you dress for?

I think there is a difference between dressing for yourself as opposed to dressing for others. And between dressing for your age and not your daughter’s. Of course, everyone is free to do whatever they like, fine. However, I am just saying that, maybe, the message we are delivering here is not the right one.

I want my daughter to feel strong and beautiful not because she has a flat stomach. Most importantly, I want her to feel cool even if she does not have a flat stomach. I wish for my daughter that she can be so free in her mind to dress up for herself and herself only, without worrying too much about what others will say. That’s the essence of the power of comfort clothes. I cannot believe there are actual women who are comfortable wearing super tight mini-skirts and 12cm high heels. I don’t buy that, ladies!

But hey-ho. Here is me talking now that I am 34. It might as well be that, the moment I turn 50 (and I am lucky enough to have even just half the beauty of J-Lo’s body) I will also be Instagramming it like a freaking millennial.

The revenge of serial procrastinators

Are you a serial procrastinator? And if so, is it a good or a bad thing? If you ask society (and your parents), the answer will probably be yes. I, on the contrary, have a different theory.

Procrastination is defined as the action of delaying or postponing something, the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. And I can tell you that I am the queen of procrastination. A serial procrastinator who cannot avoid postponing something even when hubby is constantly there to remind it.

What’s funny is that I am not sure this is the image I send. I have the feeling I probably look organized and as someone who manages to keep her shit together very well. But when you scratch the surface, I hate being late and feeling overwhelmed. Still, I keep on procrastinating. Over and over again.

And it absolutely involves everything, even the things I enjoy doing, or those that I know will make me feel better once I’ve done them. Like removing your make-up or brushing your teeth before going to bed. So it is not just the boring stuff like paying bills and cleaning the house. It is the same for answering a what’s up message from a friend or booking a free massage that a friend has offered you for your birthday (and here is all the beauty of writing anonymously).

Am I just a very lazy person?

And if so, is it really a bad thing? Do I need to be ashamed for being a serial procrastinator? I never thought I would define myself as “lazy” one day. Nor a serial procrastinator actually. And the weirdest thing is that I reckon I am much more productive when I have a lot going on, almost as if I was not given the choice to procrastinate.

Does it mean that I am not capable of establishing priorities and keeping up with them? Does this make me a follower rather than a leader? But then again – even if it was so, is it bad to be a follower rather than a leader? What would leaders do if there were no followers?

And you? Are you a serial procrastinator? Tell us your story and we will publish it on here!

Winter on, socks up!

I love wearing chinos and Converse shoes with no – or very short – socks. I really do, that is totally an outfit I could wear all the time. But it has to be in summer, when the sun is out and the sunscreen is on. When it is so cold outside that you decide to wear a fur, I really don’t see why you keep your ankles out. When winter is on, socks have to be up, please!

I seriously don’t get it guys

Especially, since we live in a beautiful era made of super funny and stylish socks. Colorful, embroidered, personalized, with many different patterned fabrics. I even saw on TV that at the latest Paris fashion week a French socks brand hosted a “Sock me I’m Famous” show, entirely dedicated to socks! Fine. They could have picked a better name. But I love the idea and the collection was super cool.

Fashion has to be comfortable

What’s the deal with being dressed like an Eskimo head to waist (including scarf, wool hat and gloves) and Fisherman Sanpei waist to feet?! And do not try to sell me the idea that you are perfectly comfortable with freezing ankles and feet. I do not buy it, when your feet are cold it’s an awful feeling.

My idea of fashion is an outfit that you feel comfortable in. The whole point of being a fashion victim (which I am not) is to be able to wear a combination of clothes that make you feel confident and fearless. That’s what I call fashion, and that is why I care about what I wear.

One last thing tough…

It goes without saying. White socks are to be banned from your closet 4 season a year. No excuses. If after reading this post you feel like trying socks, please go buy any color but white. And please, when winter is on, put your socks up.

An ex to grind

What do yo wear to your ex’s wedding?


If you ask a stylist, they’ll probably go to town with body shape, hair colour, skin complexion, season, setting, theme… but – oh, not me! And not just because I’m not a stylist, but because there are only 3 possible scenarios when it comes to most beautiful day in the life of an ex:

A) You genuinely care about this person, you are happy for them and can’t help but wishing them well. Then go for something that shows it. Find an outfit that makes you smile, because that’s the most important thing you should be wearing on that special day. (Just avoid long white dresses and everybody will be ok).

B) That loser has no idea how good they had it with you, but you’ve moved on and are now feeling sexy and ready to mingle. Go for it: be classy and irresistible. If you can show the part of you that you used to drive him crazy (but still be allowed in a church), then flaunt it. Dare and have fun – and yes, best men/maids of honour fully qualify as fun.

C) Your heart is broken, the invitation arrived as a cross between a stab in the back and a cruel joke and you still wonder why it won’t be you up there. Then don’t go. Save yourself the hassle, the money and the heartache. Take time to get over it and find your balance somewhere (or with someone) else. And when the big day comes for you, don’t forget to invite your ex (with a link to this post).

Style me – or not

Can someone please explain me why you can never possibly leave the hairdresser looking exactly how you wanted to?

No matter how hard you try and no matter how well you come prepared to the appointment (including pictures of the hair cut you want and a detailed power point presentation about the type of waves you like). And most importantly, no matter how much you pay!

My second thought goes to the guy who invented the wavy hairstyle: seriously buddy, why did you do that? Why. Because apparently, you are the only one who can really do it, given all the hairdressers I have been to clearly cannot! And I am not the only one who has felt the urgency of going straight under the shower to wash her hair back again right after the visit at the hairdresser. I know at least a couple of friends who have lived the experience and felt like a poodle instead of feeling like a Kardashian.

I hope you can help me giving an answer to this unsolved existential query. And if – even better – you are a hairdresser and you CAN actually do a wavy hairstyle like the Kardashians, please give me your number!!!

Compromising underwear

Let’s start by saying that I am Italian. So it is not my fault if I am pretty much always cold. When I am not cold, I am afraid of getting cold, because like mommy used to say: “you’d better wear it otherwise your tummy is exposed and you’ll catch a cold”.

So I admit it, I am guilty your honor: I do wear a canottiera, the most comfortable piece of underwear one could ever create, that extra layer that keeps your boobs and tummy warm, and – not to be neglected – helps keeping your after pregnancy jelly fluffy tummy stick more or less together under your shirt (or, should I say – gives you the ILLUSION that it will somehow keep together and hide your jelly fluffy tummy under that nice shirt that you can’t possibly stop wearing even if you bought it pre-pregnancy and now you really SHOULD stop wearing cause you cannot afford it anymore!!!)

I wear it pretty much all time, except when it is 30 degrees outside. But I agree with you: it is not sexy (and apparently, hubby agrees too, or at least, his laughing at me when I undress to get into bed unveiling the one and only “always on” last layer of clothes, makes me think he does too).

Is it because I am too functional? It is no secret that becoming a mum has changed me in many ways (most certainly physically, and we’ll get back to this as soon as I am ready to open that door). But to be honest, the canottiera was there with me (or better – on me) even before being a mum. I guess it has just taken a whole different meaning for me

Should I drop my beloved, comfy canottiera, and forget about it with the risk of being constantly cold but for the sake of my love life?

I need some guidance here – undershirt yes or no?

Raclette, sweat and tears

Why do certain people have to kill themselves at the gym, try to survive on goji berries and quinoa, avoid coffee/alcohol like the plague – and still not look like a Greek god?


There is no good answer to this, I fear – and sugar-coating it won’t help you either (the opposite, actually), so sit down and take it: life just isn’t fair.

As a (late) thirty-something individual who’s never been in shape, I promise you that I know what I’m talking about – and I feel/share/live your frustration. Just to set the context, let me add that I am surrounded by friends that don’t put on weight, love working out, don’t need to snack, thoroughly enjoy salads and have never been confronted with a muffin top. I even married one of those: I have often felt like he eats and I get fat from it.

So, really, this hits very close to home – in spite of the layer of thick skin (and bones).

(As I type this, a guy sporting a significant muffin top has just walked by me holding a giant donut. I had an instant urge to get up, high-five him and telling him “I salute you, brave ally of mine”).

It’s not like I haven’t tried: I’ve gone on diets – some more serious than others, I’ve fasted – but more often feasted, I’ve signed up for many sports, classes and workouts (which I’ve tried my best to stick to), I’ve been a jogger before being a blogger and I’ve even given it my all on every dance floor I’ve been on, because a voice in the back of my mind was always telling me that that, too, was burning calories. My latest investment has been on a personal trainer: for the past 8 months I’ve been going religiously to see him several times a week (ok, twice a week). I’ve almost fainted and I’ve almost thrown up – and I’ve hated every session. And before you blame the PT: it’s not his fault – he’s prepared, careful, attentive, creative, not to mention a hot piece of eye-candy, so really, I can only blame myself for the fact that I still look nothing like Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise (that said: who does, really?)

So I, too, like you, I often ask myself: is it really worth the hassle? If my six-pack is the world’s best-kept secret, why can’t I reveal it to anyone? Will I ever be able to have my cake, eat it too, but not have it appear on my cheeks?

Probably not, but I’ve come to realize that perhaps that’s not the point. Maybe one cannot have it all and life is just a matter of raclette, sweat and tears. But that’s the twist: it’s whatever moments we dedicate to ourselves – in indulgence or strictness – that help us better who we are.

Why should we have a killing body if we can’t crack a smile thinking of the next thing we’re going to enjoy eating? And why be miserable to ourselves and others just to get a couple of extra likes on social media and the attention of someone who won’t know who we really are inside?

Let’s focus on what makes us great people –and make a healthy effort to get there, for us and for those around us. This should be our goal: less super-foods, but more super-humans.

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