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Wedding Belles

I had never really thought of what kind of wedding dress I wanted. I had never thought of what wedding I wanted to be honest. I was never one of those girls who obsessed over ever frilly detail and knew the exact requirements before I had even found Mr Right.

Given I was marrying in Italy, I decided on something old style Italian and based my dress ideas around vintage Sofia Loren. Vintage but classic.

The dress is such a huge and personal decision. It’s worn for one day and looked at in photos forever more. The dress choice required a lot more decision-making and dedication than I had ever imagined! Couldn’t I just wear my jeans and flip-flops?

As an only child I couldn’t do my mum out of the privilege of seeing me dressed like a bride and although I made a fuss at the dress fittings because I felt like a transvestite in fancy dress, I actually did feel really special on the day.

Here are a few of the ideas I came up with and styles that I liked, from my Pinterest board, La Mia Bella Matrimonio.

Absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the fish tail silohette on this Oscar de la Renta dress and the veil is just stunning! Foto

I’m not one for massively long trains but as usual Style Me Pretty have come up trumps with this just right lace train, dress by Donna McMahon.  The back is beautiful for a summer wedding and bronze exposed skin but do avoid if there is an ever so tiny hint of a back boob! Thats not a good look for backless dresses, especially on your wedding day! Foto

Again, Elegant Elegant Elegant Love Love Love! This style of dress is ideal for any woman wanting to show off an hour glass figure. Foto

Im not one for getting my arms out! Let it be said, there is nothing hollywood vintage glamour about a bingo wing is there?! I am also not heavenly endowed in the cleavage department so whilst the arms on this dress are perfect for me, the sweetheart boobie affair is not.  Still, im totally in love with Italian lace so with a bit of tweaking, this idea was top of my list! Foto

So with a few drawings and a bit of dabbling in lace and cotton thread, I came up with some ideas that would fit my Sofia Loren style, vintage Italian wedding dress theme a treat.  Keep up with the next post to found out what “the dress” turned out like!

Puffball or pleats, basque or bodice, wedding dresses are a personal choice.  What does yours say about you?  Do share!

X-O-X

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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in London

 

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The Italian: A Romantic Proposal?

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on the story of how the Italian and I came to be in wedded bliss but you might recall I told you about how we met, our first date and how we came to live over the brush.

You would think that dating, let alone being married to an Italian means that i wake up every day to a rose on my pillow, sweet nothings whispered in sensual Italian in my ear and that I’m showered with romance at every given opportunity.

If you think that, you would indeed be incorrect. Our engagement is a perfect example of how romance doesn’t feature much in our lives.

We had been visiting the Italian’s family and friends in Italy and despite the usual rows with parents, we had had a wonderful time. We were both sad to be going back to london, leaving behind great weather, good food and fabulous friends.

When we got to the airport, I saw a vulnerable side to the Italian that was quite endearing. He is normally the type of person who talks incessantly, sometimes mostly rubbish just to fill the gaps, he’s not overly tactile or overtly emotional for an Italian and often prefers to keep his true feelings hidden rather than get into a situation where he feels the need to explain himself.

He was very quiet. Subdued almost. As we approached the gates to departure we thanked his parents for a lovely time and for the first time I saw the Italian get emotional upon his leaving his folks behind. This wasn’t normal, he usually can’t wait to leave.

Once we were through customs, I asked him if he was ok.

“I’ad a loverly time you’a know. This’a time. I’a always enjoy’a myself when’s you are’a by me.” he said softly, almost thoughtful.

“I’a don’a ever wan’a be in a situation when’a you’re’a not ‘ere.” he continued. Then, out of the blue, right there in the middle of the departure lounge, like it was an everyday statement, he looked me straight in the eye…

“I think’a we should’a get married!!”.

A statement. Not a question. Not on one knee. A statement. In the middle of the departure lounge in the most rubbish airport in the world (it didn’t even have a duty-free where we could by champagne!).

“Well that’s not what every girl dreams of but on then.. Let’s get married!”.

Like every other little girl, I had imagined fairy tale romances, hearts and flowed, candle lit dinners and a Milk Tray man delivering my enormous diamond engagement ring via circling helicopter over a snow-capped mountain!

“You really mean it? Married? Are you sure?” I double checked.

“Look’a, I love’a you, you’a love’a me…..”

“Ok!” I said rather blazé like we had just had a normal conversation and not like we had just made a life changing decision at all.

As we headed to the departure gate to catch our flight to London Stansted, we grinned from war to ear at what had just happened. When? Where? There was a lot to decide!

Once we had boarded our Ryanair flight and made ourselves comfortable, we started the celebrations straight away, with two large coffees and a large bag of peanut M&Ms!!

And that was it, our romantic airport proposal. There was no down on one knee, no ring, no fuss. It was perfect!!

How did your man propose? Do tell!

X-O-X

 

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Italia

 

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His First Impressions Definitely Don’t Count

 

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After I wrote the post First Impressions Don’t Count, the lovely but cheeky Ellie from Emerald Pie left me a comment.

My post highlighted a few Italianisms that at first annoyed me but that now I just live with, and enjoy, as part of our daily lives. Ellie pointed out that she was sure the Italian must have a few annoyances of his own…about me! Surely not.

I took Ellie’s challenge and turned it into an opportunity to ask the Italian to share with us a few of the things (I said “a few”) that at first annoyed him about me, and maybe still do.

Here is what he had to say, verbatim: (note that these are his own words, I promise you I haven’t adapted them in any way!)

1) When’a we first’a met, I ‘ated that you’a would’a never ‘old my ‘and’a in public. Thank’a God, my Italian’a charm ‘a changed that and’a now’a you’a all over me like a rash’a!

2) Why’a you always wanna talk’a to me about’a the bills’a when I’a getting into the bed’a and’a wanna close my eyes? I’a not’a listening to you eh!

3) You shout’a too much. It’a gets’a on’a my nerves’a. I talking to you, right’a next to you and I dunno’a know why’a you scream’a at me?! I am a bloody Italian’a, I’a not’a bloody deaf!

4) Black! Why’a you English’a women always’a wanna wear black? You’a going to’a bloody funeral every day’a isnt it?! I’a glad I took’a you’a shoppin’a ’cause now’a you’a wear’a all the colours and I’a love that!

5) Can I’a say’a about your’a ‘airs? That’a bloody annoys me! Every’a bloody time’a you wash’a your’a ‘air you’a never pick it out’a the plag’ole (plug hole!). Five’a years now it is’a that I’a been picking out’a your ‘airs from’a the shower! Bloody disgastin’a!!

There you have it, I’m not perfect after all.

X-O-X

The Italian: A Horses Head in my Bed #1 (teaandbiscotti.com)

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Italian: A Horses Head in my Bed #1

When I had returned from traveling, my flat was rented to tenants so I had to wait for their contract to end before I could move back in.

In the meantime, I was renting a room in a house, where I met the Italian who was visiting someone, that belonged to a friend. After a series of ‘you can’t do that’ and ‘you can’t do this’ arguments with the “managers” of the house, I decided to leave.

I moved into a shirt let studio flat about three months after starting my thing with the Italian and finally, adored what was going to be my own space. Wrong.

Obviously having our freedom at last was a great thing fit me and the Italian but after about a week, I realised that he hadn’t been home. Piles of his clothes had started to congregate in corners and he had accumulated more toiletries in the bathroom than me! I started to get cold feet.

Only a few months previous I had been downing cocktails in posh Sydney bars, kayaking in Laos and eating BBQ’d crickets in Cambodia. Now, here I was cohabiting with an Italian man, living in a bedsit and thinking ‘wooah, this isn’t what I signed up for!”.

The Italian did all the right things; called when he said would, always turned up on time, cooked me amazing dinners. It just wasn’t working for me.

I tried to approach the subject but I took the cowards way out and just started either being nasty to him or just ignoring him altogether. That’s what guys do, right? Turn on the Marty do that you get annoyed and end up calling it off.

One day, I woke up to the Italians main laying on the pillow next to me and everything started to close in. Breathe, breathe I told myself. Take one deep breathe, get up, get washed and leave.

I went to work that day with the decision made: OVER.  It was over.

X-O-X

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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in London

 

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First Impressions Don’t Count

My first impressions of Italy & Italians in general wasn’t great. I thought they were loud. They are. I thought they were obsessed with their own beauty, country or otherwise. They are. I thought they were obsessed with “their” food. They are. In fact, I already told you in a previous post that my brother-in-law was so bemused my preference of Indian food over Italian, and my preference over Buenos Aires to Bologna, that he hasn’t spoken to me since!

As mine and the Italians relationship grew, I started to notice little things that increasingly annoyed me. There were traits in his character that were just, well, odd.

For example, he would never, EVER, eat a meal without having a serviette by his plate. If there wasn’t one, he would rather his meal go cold whilst he got one than start eating a hot meal without it. He thought I was odd for not using a serviette.

“You’a need it’a for cleaning’a you’re mouth’a” he told me. Yes, that would be true if I missed my mouth and got my food all over my chin like he did.

After five years of being together and almost two of those married, I now realise how important the use of a serviette is.

Italian food consists of so much spaghetti sucking, sauce splashing and olive oil dripping that without a serviette to mop up the aftermath, Italy would be one messy place!

I, like any good Italian wife, now provide a serviette at every meal.

Still on the wiping topic, our kitchen is always full of cloths and tea towels. To this day, it drives me totally insane. The reason, the Italian claims, is because you shouldn’t wipe the work top with the same cloth you washed the dishes with. You shouldn’t dry your hands with the same tea towel that you dried the dishes with. Therefore multiples of everything is required. It’s the same in his mothers house, every cloth has a purpose and woe betide if you use the wrong cloth by mistake!

After all this time I have grown to accept, maybe not yet love, the nuances that make our cross cultural relationship different. The little things no longer annoy me but every now and again I feel it’s my right to have a rant about the things that make us who we are.

I have grown to adore Italy and much to the Italian’s delight, I now see it is my second home. I love the people (mostly), I love the food and I love the culture. I especially have fallen in love with and have adopted the Italian sense of family values.

I want Bambina to grow up embracing her two cultures and understanding that the differences are what makes our little family unique.

I’m pleased to say that I was mistaken about Italy and its race all those years ago.

First impressions don’t count!

X-O-X

* Check out this picture on my Pinterest board, La Mia Bella Cucina 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in London

 

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The Italian: Meeting the Family

Not long after the Italian and me became ‘official’, he suggested we go to Italy for a mini break.

It would have been a mini break if we had gone to Rome or Florence but he intended on parading me around his family and friends in his home town. The idea of this filled me with dread. I had visions of American Italian sitcom mothers squeezing my cheeks and wiping tomato sauce off my chin with the thumb they had just spat on!

Great. We were going to meet “The Family”. The Italian had told me repeatedly how amazing they were and how, of course, they would all love and welcome with me open arms. There was one issue.

I didn’t much like Italians. You may think this is odd as I was dating one but I suppose I had been led astray by my own ignorance. I had only ever had run-ins with Italian people before I met my Italian. I thought they were rude, arrogant and way too loud to be of any interest. I wasn’t concerned one iota if his parents were going to like me. I was concerned whether I was going to like them!

This preconception wasnt helped by the fact his mother was just down right rude to me within the first hour of us arriving. The Italian had warned me that his parents had only ever liked one of his ex-girlfriends and she too was English. Apparently she had had good parentage so I had a lot to live up to. He suggested I call them Signore and Signora until they advised otherwise.

So there I was being all polite, watching my P’s and Q’s when his mother, who had been jibber jabbering at me in Italian for the past twenty minutes, took out a pencil and paper.

“She’a used’a be’a an artist’a” the Italian offered in support of his mothers actions. He had assumed that she was about to draw me a picture.

She did. Not too dissimilar to the one below. I quickly realised that for the past half hour, the Italian’s mother had been trying to explain to me that she didn’t like my hair style. As I had been obviously nodding and saying Si in all the wrong places, she had taken to her art skills as a last resort to explain her conundrum.

As she muttered on whilst her pencil carried out stroke after stroke across the paper, a face was formed. Then, another face was formed. In the first one she lightly scribbled in a fringe and then placed a tick next to the face. Pointing at the second face, she left the forehead blank, extended it upwards and drew a huge cross next to it.

With that, the Italian burst into creases of laughter and told me that his mother had been trying to tell me that due to my massive forehead I should consider getting a fringe to disguise it!!

That was it, my preconceptions of the Italian nation were confirmed: RUDE!

Disclaimer: these opinions were my own. I grew to love my mother in law dearly and although it has has taken me five years, I have warmed to the quirks and nuances that is Italian culture. Follow my posts in the near future to find out how I adapted (learned to turn a blind eye) to the craziness that makes Italy such a wonderful place.
Ps, I did eventually get a fringe. It looked hideous!

Do you have a foreign mother-in-law? Have you had any lost-in-translation moments that have ended up in giggles? The misunderstandings are sometimes half the fun!

X-O-X

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X-O-X

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in London

 

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Mozzarella Heels

Shortly after I started officially dating the Italian, he went off to Italy on holiday for his nieces christening.

He called me everyday which was, I admit, very impressive. You see, that’s the thing about foreign men, they don’t hold back. There’s none of this call you in three days rule, or only call before Wednesday if you want a date at the weekend. None of that! It was so refreshing to have a net a guy who put it straight, “I’a like’a you, I think’a you’a like’a me, so’a wanna hang’a outta with’a me or no?”.

And there you have it, day calls from his holiday. Sunning himself, eating pizza, drinking Spritzers and thinking if me – bliss.

One day I couldn’t quite believe my luck. The conversation went something like this:

*phone rings, incoming call from Venice*

Him: I’a was in’a the town’a today, you’a know, and I’a saw’a the’a gorgoose pair’a shoes on’a woman’a

Me: Really? You were looking at Women’s shoes. Interesting.

Him: Yeah, I was’a in’a the town’a for’a santhin (something) and’a I saw’a those shoes and’a thought’a I’a gona get’a you’a a gift’a’

Me: Well that would be very generous, thanks, sounds lovely.

How lucky?? I had met this guy, an Italian guy, who was in Italy shoe shopping for me!! Oh the excitement, I was going to get myself a nice little pair of Prada sling backs!

A few weeks later when he returned, we made arrangements to meet up. He arrived with a box and wearing the biggest smile. That was it, I was hooked, he had me at “shoes”!

He handed over the box and I slowly unwrapped the brown paper. Peeling back the first corner I spotted a P, my heart sank – he had really bought me a pair of Prada shoes!!

I peeled back a bit more to reveal an A. Ok, odd. Slightly confused. Not Prada. I looked again, definitely not an R, it was most certainly an A. The Italian looked on with brown puppy dog eyes willing me to hurry up and open it.

I ripped back the paper to reveal a word: PALSE. To me this meant nothing. To him it meant the world. He practically jumped up and down on the spot with excitement, salivating.

Its’a from’a my’a Nonna’s village!!!!” he squeezed with delight.

“What is it?” I asked with a half cocked head

La Mozzarella!! Mozzarella Palse!! It’a was’a made’a this mornin’a..” he said waving his hands in a motion that suggested I should have known what the heck he was talking about.

Rewind. Let me digest this. Where’s the shoes?? The shoes that the stylish Italian woman in the town was wearing? The shoes that prompted you to want to buy me a gift?

Still in Italy, that’s where the shoes were. In their place, sat on my lap was a box containing four balls of mozzarella. Was I supposed to be thrilled at this concept? He wanted me to willing eat a cheese knowing that it had been the contents of a cow’s udder only hours before??

Seriously, I would have SO preferred the shoes!

This was the first of the Italian’s odd gift offerings. If you want to read how he almost blinded me with a christmas present, check out my post Amore Mio.

Red shoes, Prada

Red shoes, Prada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in London

 

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