Welcome to Bella Vita, which means “beautiful life” in Italian. It’s my blog about all things that fall into the “beautiful life” category! I’m so excited to blog about beautiful things, big and small…how they look, feel, taste, sound…Hopefully someone will read this blog and get another dose of beauty in their day, and maybe some inspiration too. I mean, don’t you think experiencing beauty works so much better than Prozac? I find it can be so easy to focus on everything wrong in the world (I won’t pine away on our negative national media outlets) and even our own problems for that matter (because we all have those, don’t we?), so this blog is my small way of bringing positive energy into your life and my life. Your welcome;)
I came up with Bella Vita, through inspiration from my great grandparents, Nana and Noni. As Italian immigrants, they fell in love here, got married, had many children and built a home in Bronx, NY in the early 1900s. My childhood was filled with huge family celebrations at their Bronx home with all of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Just like all my female cousins, Noni would greet me out on the street, bend over, hold my face in his rough mason’s hands, gaze at my face and say “bella….bella!” Bella, Italian for beautiful.
As an adult, I still remember those moments and how special Noni made me feel by being called beautiful. If this entry can inspire you to do one thing today, it is to call someone beautiful, and say it sincerely. Whether it’s your child, friend, parent or a stranger on the street-just say it- and create a “bella vita” experience! Just the other day, I was waiting in a long line at the pharmacy, and when I got to the clerk, she told me I looked like George Clooney’s wife, motioning to the photo of him and Amal on the cover of People magazine. I tell you, that really improved my mundane experience at the pharmacy!
Back to Nana and Noni…they certainly knew how to live the beautiful life! It started with the unconditional love they bestowed on each other and on each and every family member and finished with more food (which always included pasta and the best meatballs ever), desserts and everyone drinking into merry song. Yes, their lives were filled with meat, gluten, booze, fat and sugar. Yet, Noni died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes at 88, and Nana did the same at 96.
Nana took her late son’s school backpack to the grave with her; many, many years prior, she witnessed him die of meningitis at 7 years old. I know she was ever so heart-broken, but it didn’t ruin her. Nana continued to love and live the beautiful life. If she did it, I know you can too.
Here’s a picture of Nana feeding one of her infamous meatballs to her beloved husband, Noni, in their Bronx home. Aside from the subway tile backsplash, Nana did not have the kitchen we expect today. The cabinets, stove and fridge you see on the left, are pretty much it. Yet she managed to cook huge meals for her huge family!
It’s amazing what $13 on an extra dog bed at TJ Maxx, can do for someone’s life. Specifically, my sweet Maltese, Sammy. He insists on lying by my feet as I work for hours in my home office, so I had to make life a bit easier for him. Well, this is until I break my sewing machine out of the box and create him a totally fabulous, custom dog bed, knowing I’ve never sewn since 7th grade Home Economics. Do you think he likes it? Can you tell which end is up?
Thank you for reading to the bottom of this post, and hope you come back again:) Hugs!