Musings of an Italian-American Catholic wife, mother, and writer

Musings of an Italian-American Catholic wife, mother, and writer

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

La Dolce Vita Goes to Target (a capsule wardrobe post)

For those of you who traveled with me to Italy, or who followed our adventures either here or on Facebook, then you know that I'm a big believer of the capsule wardrobe when packing for a trip. I stand by the mantra that less is more -- simply by choosing a color palette wisely a few key wardrobe selections can then be mixed and matched to form endless outfit combinations.

Here are some posts I wrote on the subject:

La Dolce Vita Travels: The Art of Packing

La Dolce Vita Travels: What to Pack (a Capsule Jewelry Wardrobe)

The concept of a capsule wardrobe has gone a long way in simplifying my life, not only when traveling but also in what I keep in my closet. Again, less is more; I'd rather have a few, quality pieces than a stuffed closet with things I don't wear.

Now that spring is just around the corner (I realize it's still February, but here in Augusta the daffodils are blooming) I have decided, for the first time, to put together an official minimalist spring capsule wardrobe. The key word being minimalist. So I purged my closet, decided on a few key colors (blush, blue) and neutrals (black, tan), and identified key clothing items (tops, bottoms, layering pieces) that I can mix and match. Did you know that with just 26 pieces you can come up with 100 outfit ideas? It's true.

It's important to note that planning a capsule wardrobe is not an excuse to shop; instead, the idea is to first shop your closet and only then make a list of any items that you need. The best thing is that once I have everything at hand, I won't need to go shopping for clothes again. My wardrobe is set.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are a few web sites that have capsule wardrobe plans that you can purchase. Alison Lumbatis at Get Your Pretty On has a SAHM capsule wardrobe builder that you can order and download (it comes with shopping list and outfit ideas). My personal favorite is Leanne Blackmon at Classy, Yet Trendy. I especially like her French Minimalist Capsule Wardrobes.

I am almost finished planning and I have to say it's not only been fun, but I feel on top of things. I like being organized and I like keeping simple. This morning I went to Target for a couple of items and came home with the following: blush espadrilles (they go with my color scheme AND are designed by Dolce Vita), a bandana scarf (popular spring trend), and the book 25 Ways to Style Your Scarf which I found in the Bargain Bin.

And you should see my closet. Neat, organized, and simple.

How could I not get shoes designed by Dolce Vita?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

What I learned after spending an afternoon in an art museum with my guys

1- My guys have some weird honing device that enabled them to seek out and find benches. Whenever they found one, they sat. And waited for me.

Look for a bench, find a bench, take a seat, wait for mom.

2-  After just one hour, our little bambino looked like this:

Timothy, in an art museum

3- At the two hour mark, art started to look like food. They saw food everywhere.




4- To keep them amused, I challenged them to find artwork that reminded them of someone or something, then take a photo of the art and give it a new title. For some reason they started picking on me:

Mom, texting

Mom's hair at the beach

5- Eventually their eyes glazed over and everything was a blur.

A selfie through 11 panes of glass
Gerhard Richter
11-Scheiben (11-Panes), 2003
"The eleven panes of glass reflect the immediate environment
in which the piece is placed, absorbing the space and the spectator
into the work of art. Instead of presenting the artist's version of reality,
Richter invites reality into the work itself."

distorted reality

6- Finally, by the end of the afternoon I'm not sure what my guys learned, but I learned this: my guys spent three hours following me around an art museum on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Atlanta. And that, my friends, is love.

My guys spent three hours following me around an art museum.
That's love.

Friday, February 17, 2017

One Good Deed a Day

Perform a kindness, but do it anonymously.

There is nothing so uplifting as being the recipient of a kind deed. And when that action is done anonymously, the kindness is taken to another level because the anonymity itself becomes a gift  -- a way of saying: This is for you. There is no need to say thanks, or feel beholden. Take this, I give it freely.

Twenty years I was teaching high school in a rough neighborhood when I had to be present at a parent conference in the principal's office. It wasn't one of my students, but I had witnessed an incident and had to be there. The entire situation was ugly, the parents were hateful, and when the conference was over I returned to my classroom in tears.

The next morning I arrived early to school and found a beautiful flower arrangement on my desk. The vase was ceramic, made to look like a stack of books, which made it the most perfect gift for an English/Spanish teacher.

Best of all, nestled among the flowers was a lovely, encouraging note telling me how I was making a difference in the lives of my students. The note was unsigned.

I never found out who sent the flowers or who wrote that kind note, but I have never forgotten.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Life Lately: Lego heads, big feet, magic beans, good eats, Costco, apple cider vinegar, and haircut #2 (the mundane and perfectly ordinary in 7 quick takes)

~1~ Lego Head Dispenser: Sunday morning project for Timothy

~2~ Healthy Haul: Nothing but good-for-you stuff

~3~ Lucky score on the Costco chairs: I've had my eyes on these for several weeks,
but couldn't make up my mind; today, however, I went to Costco and discovered that
all the chairs had sold EXCEPT the floor display which had been marked waaaaay down.
Suffice it to say I took it as a sign. The chairs and table came home with me.

~4~ His foot, my foot, big foot, small
someone is growing
way too tall.

~5~ Wisdom from a refrigerator magnet:
I really do believe in fairy tales! 

~6~ I'm a believer: One Tbsp. in a mug of hot water every morning,
sweetened with a little honey.

~7~ Getting ready for my second haircut in three weeks:
There is a story here, and I will write it down
as soon as I get over the trauma.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

When Not to Follow an Itinerary

This weekend we are headed to Atlanta, and last night as we were planning our itinerary of things to do and places to eat Timothy asked if we were going to eat at The Varsity.

What is it about that place that has taken hold of his imagination?

A few years ago our little guy had the following art assignment: Draw yourself flying over a famous building, monument, or landmark.

Now, for someone so young he's visited some extraordinary places so this is what I imagined he'd do: draw himself flying over the Roman Forum, St. Peter's Square, the White House, the Grand Canal in Venice or Monticello.

Instead, this is what he did: he drew himself flying over The Varsity.

It boggles the mind. All the places he's been to in this world and he chooses a burger joint in Atlanta? Didn't he remember how we laughed at the ridiculously small hamburgers and the floppy, greasy fries? Didn't he remember how we all collectively agreed that the place was highly overrated? Didn't he remember how I got into a battle with a cockroach right there in our booth and how we all decided the place was just gross?

Evidently not. He remembers it with all the nostalgia of a 12 year old boy.

So, last night I added The Varsity to our itinerary. Now whether or not we actually go is another matter; after all, we just might be on the wrong side of town or get caught in a traffic jam, or something.

Upper left hand corner is Timothy's flyover ...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What I Love: 500 Years of Tradition

This year marks the 500th anniversary of this church, Santi Nazaro e Celso (or San Nazaro as the locals refer to it).

Growing up in Verona, Italy this was the home parish for my mom and her sisters.

This is the church which contains a chapel dedicated to St. Blaise, patron saint of throat ailments. My uncle remembers when he was a little boy he and his mother would participate in the procession celebrating the Feast Day of St. Blaise. Following the procession they would go behind the altar and -- get ready for this -- LICK the altar. Oh how we laughed when he told us this story.

This was the church where my parents married.

This was the church where I received my First Holy Communion. On that day, I remember stepping out of my Nonna's house and walking to the church, my veil fluttering in the breeze.

Incidentally, the same priest (Monsignor Venturi) officiated BOTH occasions.

See? Tradition.

Parrochia Ss. Nazaro e Celso

Monday, February 13, 2017

They Don't Have Cars in Camelot

Yesterday a friend and I went to see Camelot at Augusta University's Maxwell Theater.

I drove, and this is important because of what happened after the show was finished.

I couldn't find my car.

Actually, it was Joe's car, and it's a non-descript slate gray that looks like every other non-descript slate gray car in the parking lot.

"I think we parked over here," said my friend, heading left.

"I'm pretty sure it was over here," I said, veering right.

We bumped into another friend who wondered what we were doing. "Looking for my car" seemed like such a lame thing to say, but since it was so incredibly obvious what we were doing the only thing I could do was 'fess up.

After wandering around for a couple of minutes I decided to pop the trunk. I'm not proud of this, but better the trunk than the alarm button. As I looked around, though, no trunks had popped open.

What the heck? By now I'm beginning to feel stupid.

Finally, between the three of us, we found the car, parked behind a behemoth SUV that dwarfed my little non-descript slate gray Toyota. I blame everything on that SUV ...

especially since the lyrics for Camelot will be forever changed in my mind.

In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering
than here in
 the parking lot.