Archive for the ‘30 days of thanks’ Category

NaBloPoMo & NaNoWriMo–ciaooooooo!

And now, the end is here. And so I face the final curtain. My friend, I’ll say it clear. I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew [NaNo too?!]
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out [Take that Telecom!]
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it myyyyyyyy way!
Go ahead, give Old Blue Eyes a listen while you read the rest of this post.

So here we are at the end of a great, exciting month in the blogosphere. I survived NaBloPoMo, but came up a bit short on NaNoWriMo.

Thems the breaks.

The most important thing is that I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished, and I *really* am.

Thirty blog posts in thirty days is nothing to shake a stick at, as my grandmother would’ve said. And I’m proud of the content in each and every one of those posts to boot. I thank all of you for keeping up and commenting so fully and frequently; your continued support is appreciated more than you could ever know.

Now regarding NaNo, the novel that I’m working on requires a lot of research for one of the characters that I hadn’t done prior to November. Sure I could’ve cheated and continued working on a book that I already have nearly 50,000 words written for already (remember my manuscript counter in the sidebar?). But that wouldn’t have been very NaNo of me.

Instead, I wrote the half of the book that I was prepared to write going in, and I’m pretty happy with it. Indeed, I’m more inspired than ever to get into researching my other main character and get going on that part because I now see a wonderful novel coming out of these quickly thrown down words and ideas. There’s so much potential for growth there, and I wasn’t so sure of that before I began. So that’s been a nice surprise.

Even better? I’m also inspired to pick up that old manuscript and get working on it again. I may even join NaNoFiMo, National Novel Finishing Month to get working on those last 30,000 words or so on that book. Who knows? It’s all up to me, isn’t it?

But back to the blog. I do have some unfinished November business right now–my November Monthly Musing:

With each leaf that falls
We offer thanks for present,
past, and future life.

30 days of thanks
Today I’m thankful for:

Eden Marriott Kennedy, founder and organizer of NaBloPoMo. She started with a fabulous idea last year and has built an impressive community around it. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of (mostly thankless) work that is involved in keeping up with all of this, but I would like to give this special woman and blogger extraordinaire a pat on the back from southern Italy for all those hours of keeping us in line.

You’re a true blog heroine, Eden! Thank yeeeeew!

I’d also like to give a special thanks to BoogieMum who came up with the idea for 30 days of thanks. It’s been an amazing exercise in stopping and appreciating what’s important every day, and I will continue to do so in my own private journal.

P.S. Don’t forget that the Dolce Italiano Contest is over at Jenn’s The Leftover Queen today, where she’s made a decadent Chocolate Salami.


Past posts include:

Mosaic Biscotti, Sara’s Ms Adventures in Italy
Chocolate Kisses, Ilva’s Lucullian Delights
Ricotta Pound Cake, Here!
Chestnut Brownies, Shelley’s At Home in Rome

Remember, all you need to do is comment on any and all of the Dolce Italiano recipe posts to be entered into the drawing to win a personalized, signed copy of Gina DePalma’s fabulous new cookbook full of Italian sweets and treats, Dolce Italiano.

And, finally, buon weekend!

Phew. Breath.

mio amore and me

Lately I’ve gotten a few requests for photos of P from friends and family, so I figured it was time to post another. You can also see another photo of him in my post Amore Mio in case you missed it.

Now here’s the thing. I’m not very good at the holding out the camera in front of us and getting a good photo thing, so nine times out of ten P loses part of his head. And he didn’t help things this time either as he thought the photo was already taken and turned his head before the click.

But I still kind of like it anyway.

Paolo and me
This was taken last Saturday at the Feast of Santa Caterina di Alessandria. Why yes, I do have more photos. Stay tuned!

30 days of thanks

Today I’m thankful for:


Punto e basta.

Happy Love Thursday everyone!

P.S. Remember to check out the posts in the Dolce Italiano Contest and comment to enter the drawing to win a personalized, signed copy of Dolce Italiano by Gina DePalma:

Mosaic Biscotti, Sara’s Ms Adventures in Italy
Chocolate Kisses, Ilva’s Lucullian Delights
Ricotta Pound Cake, Here!
Chestnut Brownies, Shelley’s At Home in Rome

And tomorrow head over to Jenn’s The Leftover Queen to see what she has baking!


[tags]love, amore, love thursday, nablopomo, 30 days of thanks[/tags]

Finding Fall in Southern Italy

I grew up in the mountains of Pennsylvania, so finding fall was as easy as walking out the front door anytime after late September (and sometimes even before). From the unmistakable chill in the air to the red, orange, yellow, and brown leaves hanging onto the trees for as long as they could keep their grip, fall always found me.

Here in southern Italy, it’s not so easy. Yes, our temps get cooler and some trees even manage to lose their leaves, but you have to pay attention. You have to really look; blink and you’ll miss it. Fall can easily pass you by–and that would be tragic for me as it’s my favorite season.

Fall here, though, isn’t all about things dying as there’s a lot of new growth too. I mentioned the citrus fruits the other day, but there are also some flowers who are just making their appearance as well.

So while I miss fall from back home, I have an all new fall to appreciate here. I found her yesterday.

And she sure is pretty.

fall in southern italy
fall in southern italy
fall in southern italy
fall in southern italy
fall in southern italy
fall in southern italy
fall in southern italy
fall in southern italy

30 days of thanks
Today I’m thankful for: Please see above photos.

Dolce Italiano Contest with Gina DePalma

If you also read Shelley’s At Home in Rome (and if you don’t, why don’t you?!), you probably already know this, but just in case, I’m letting you in on the big news:

We’re having a contest! And it involves desserts! And books!

Dolce Italiano

Brainstormed and organized by Shelley, the Dolce Italiano Contest centers on the book by the same name by Gina DePalma, Executive Pastry Chef at Mario Batali’s famous New York City restaurant Babbo.
Dolce Italiano
And this is no ordinary cookbook. It’s getting rave reviews all over the place and has been named the 3rd best Cooking, Food, & Wine book of 2007 on and one of Publishers Weekly’s best books of the year (Lifestyle).

So now, Shelley, three other bloggers that you know and love, and I are getting together to help one of you win your very own signed copy!

Starting today and for the next two weeks (Monday-Friday), one of us will feature a recipe from Dolce Italiano. If you leave a comment on a post, you’re entered to win the book. Only one comment per post counts toward the drawing, but if you comment on each of the 10 posts, that gives you 10 chances to win.

Comments on all 10 posts will be accepted for the drawing up until 11:59 PST on Friday, December 7.

And you and your family can have a very lovely holiday season with all these delicious Italian desserts.

So where do you need to go? Here’s the schedule:

Mondays: Sara’s Ms Adventures in Italy

Tuesdays: Ilva’s Lucullian Delights

Wednesdays: Right here baby!

Thursdays: Shelley’s At Home in Rome

Fridays: Jenn’s The Leftover Queen

Since it’s Monday, you need to head on over to Ms Adventures in Italy and see what Sara has made just for you today. And comment! Don’t forget to comment!

Please note that comments on this post (that you’re reading right now), although sincerely appreciated, do not count as entries in the contest; only comments on recipe posts will be entered into the drawing.

Also check out Shelley’s three-part interview with Ms DePalma here, here, and here.

30 days of thanks
Today I’m thankful for:

The opportunity to be a part of the Dolce Italiano Contest. I cannot say enough good things about this book. Yes, there are recipes for cookies, cakes, spoon desserts, tarts, ice creams, sorbets, semifreddos, fried treats, dishes with fruit, celebratory desserts, and savory goodies–but there’s also a whole lot of information on Italian baking in general, techniques, equipment, ingredients, and more.

Goodness my grandmother would’ve loved this. She *loved* Molto Mario.

If you’re a foodie, this is a book you’ll want to get all floury and sugary during the day and then curl up with at night. It’s an awesome gift for anyone who loves baking, so whether you win one or not, I highly recommend picking up a copy.

little weaners

Ladies and gentlemen, we have weaning!


little weaners


The puppies are already 5 weeks old! Can you believe it?

They actually started the Big Wean five days ago and *all* took to it immediately. They still want their doggie mamma, of course, but now they also yipyipyip for me when I come into the room.

Ain’t nothing like puppy yips.

30 days of thanks

Today I’m thankful for:

Everything going smoothly so far with the puppies. I had read all the scary stuff about what *could* go wrong, and I have to admit I was more than a bit nervous when it all started really happening.

As neither P nor I have ever done this before, I count us very lucky that the first five weeks have fallen into place nearly by themselves.

It’s a lot of work to be sure, but the excited cries when they see me, those adorable eyes staring up at me, the puppy growls and barks while playing with one another, the quiet moments of fuzzy belly-stroking–they make it more than worth it.


[tags]puppies, weaning puppies, nablopomo, 30 days of thanks[/tags]

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake