Sunday, November 9, 2014

Italy and Il Dolce Far Niente

Last fall I had the joy of visiting Italy for a couple of weeks. We traveled to Rome, Sorrento, Positano, Ravello, Capri and along the Amalfi Coast. To say it was amazing is an understatement. While this wasn’t a work trip, I did learn some things that I find helpful in the kitchen, bath and home arenas.

First, if you use fine and quality materials, you don’t have to add much else to it. From the food to the architecture to the clothing, quality materials were used and withstood the test of time. Use fresh, local ingredients for your meal, simply prepared and there is nothing better. Use quality stones and wood and metal and that beautiful door will last for hundreds of years. Fine wool and silk crafted into classic suits and scarves will far outlast my lifetime. I’m the first to admit there is a fine balance when building or remodeling a home. Is it your forever home or are you simply fixing it up to sell in the near future? Do you really need to put that $1,200 faucet in a $250,000 home? For most of us the answer would probably be no. But for you it may be yes. Examining and really being clear on your priorities is very important in the home building or remodeling process.

Second, do what you want! People ask me all the time what the latest trends are and I tell them “Whatever you want.” Today’s styles and trends are all about personalization and customization for each individual person. No size has to fit all. If you want that turquoise front door, go for it. Want to wear stripes and polka dots? Wear it with confidence and start a new trend. Want to mix chocolate in your pasta? Do it-you might have discovered the next greatest dessert.

Third, “Il Dolce Far Niente”. “The Sweetness of Doing Nothing”. As the busy holiday season is upon us, take time to be quiet and be still. To listen to the fall leaves rustle in the wind, the fire crackle and pop and the sun warm your head. Sit and enjoy the laughter of children, give thanks for the loved ones around you and remember with love those who are no longer with us. Enjoy good food and a glass of wine by the fire. Listen to great music. Dream about the future. Be present in each moment and revel in the sweetness of doing nothing.

I’ve definitely been bitten by the travel bug and am always planning the next adventure. What have you learned on your travels? Email me at

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