Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ABC's Of Living A Good Life

Make mistakes, get
messy, and be happy.
The weather forecast in Rome has not been optimistic for this week. It's been grey and rainy since Sunday, which is not something I signed up for when coming to Italy. I can deal with it since it's still warm out and I'm not letting it ruin my last few moments here, and when life gives you lemons, you're supposed to make lemonade... Right? 
It's supposed to rain until at least Thursday, but since I have a pair of stylish rain boots and a cool umbrella, it gives me an excuse to pad around the city (not to mention I was also in the mood for pizza). I walked into my favourite pizzeria with a huge smile on my face because, well, I love pizza, and I was about to order a very generous slice. The Pauly D lookalike was there, which was wonderful, because he always gives me more pizza than I actually ask for and gives me a deal. What's not to like? He doesn't speak any Inglese, but I understood a comment he made in his southern Italian accent (he's from Paleremo). "You're always so happy!" he said. Well... That was a compliment! I like to believe that I'm an optimist and fairly happy person, and the fact that the pizza guy on the corner of my street recognized that made me stop and think for a minute.
It's a lot easier to be happy than it is to be sad, and it's a lot better to love your life than to wake 
up every morning and not see the silver lining in every cloud. There's always something you can do in your life to make it a little brighter, so I thought it would be fun to make my own ABC's of living a good life. Anything listed below is something that everyone can do, and I promise that even if you only pick a couple letter's to try, it'll make your day a whole lot better.
A: Al fresco. Dining outside allows you to let go of all distractions, enjoy your meal, and appreciate nature.
B: Bubble baths. One of my favourite things to do after a long day is to unwind by running a hot bath filled with bubbles completed with scented candles and a few pieces of dark chocolate.
Gelato - a pure staple of happiness in my life.
C: Cupcakes. Cookies. Cake. Baking is fun, and eating is even more fun. Treat yourself every now and then to something delicious (and go ahead - lick the frosting off the spoon once you're done).
D: Dogs. They'll never judge you, and will love you unconditionally (as long as you scratch their bellies and sneak them something off your plate). Everyone should have a four legged friend to greet them when coming home.
E: Ellen Degeneres. Her show is funny, informative, and never fails to make you think. The dance moves are a bonus.
F: Flowers. The way they smell, the way they look, the way you feel when someone gives them 
Cinque Terre, Italy.
to you... You don't need to have a bad day in order to deserve them. Pick some up from the grocery store or pick your own from a garden and put them somewhere where you'll pass by them. Just because.
G: Gelato. This creamy goodness comes in a million textures, flavours and colours is praised and licked on every street corner in Italy.
H: Heart. Have a lot of it, be sympathetic, and love, love, love.
I: ITALY! Even if you can't make a trip over yourself, do little things that can help you get one step closer to living la dolce vita. Take a 20 minute power nap in the middle of your day. Have a glass of wine with your lunch. And don't eat cheese that comes in plastic wrapping, damn it - go to a specialty formaggio shop. Worth the splurge.
J: Jog. When you least feel like moving is when you should move the most. I know that when I feel lazy and tired, a jog is just the thing I need to perk up.
K: Karma. Don't worry about seeking revenge on anyone - karma is a bigger bitch than you ever could be.
L: Lingerie. The worst thing about this touchy (no pun intended) subject is that it only seems to be worn during special occasions (i.e Valentine's Day, birthdays, Christmas). Ditch the fading ivory bra with the ginormous straps and take yourself to the nearest boutique (or Victoria's Secret) ASAP. There's no better pick-me-up then wearing a conservative outfit that's hiding a lacy, silky, risqué bra and thong set underneath. How else did you people think I was able to stand that Catholic uniform for four years straight?
M: Massages. Ok, this one is a no brainer. Even if you can't afford to go to a professional 
masseuse, it's worth asking your boyfriend/girlfriend/friend to caress your shoulders or rub your back for a little while. And if you're alone, even rubbing your own temples is a good way to calm down.
N: Nutella. It's a guilt free way to enjoy chocolate with a hint of hazelnut. Also, the Italians invented it, which means that you know it doesn't disappoint.
O: Orgasms. Enough said.
P: Perfume. It's just nice, but not in the same way that a pair of cashmere gloves on a cold day is nice. Even on a jeans and T shirt day, perfume allows you to feel a little more classy, fun, whatever. My favourites include Jean Gauthier's Madame, Chanel's Chance and Vera Wang's Princess. Just please don't wear them all at once.
Q: Quiet time. Everyone needs it at some point in their day.
R: Reading. There is nothing more wonderful in life than curling up and getting lost in a good book.
S: Sun. Even though it hasn't made an appearance in Rome for the past few days, when its sunny out, take advantage of the weather. A friend of mine once told me about a study she read about how weather affects people's moods, and that people who 
live in Seattle are the most miserable on a daily basis (in the United States, at least) due to it's annual rainfall.
T: Tea. A cup before bed is the perfect way to relax and get a good night's sleep.
U: University of Life! Seriously - do my posts ever depress you?!
V: Vino. Doctors say a glass of red wine per day is good for the heart.
W: Wedding dresses. Call me crazy, but there's something so special about passing a Wedding Dress Shoppe and losing yourself in the ballgown styled Pnina Tornai with a buttoned corset backing, sweetheart neckline, and diamond encrusted top. Eye candy is calorie free.
X: Xylophone. Sure, there are limited words that begin with the letter X, but let me explain what I really mean here - jazz music. It's sexy and soothing and gets you in the mood, and when I'm older and have my own place, I can assure you it will be played on the iPod speakers and flood my house every night.
Y: Yoga. You don't have to travel to India or have your own meditation room to feel good vibes. Rolling out a yoga mat in any open space in your home is good enough. And if all you know how to do is the downward dog or child's pose? That's ok!
Z: Zumba. It's a fun and easy way to get in shape. Even if you're not "good" at it, that's ok. Whatever gets your heart pumping is a good workout. Don't worry about looking like an idiot, because we've all been there.
Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day. Even if that good thing is a simple cup of tea or a cupcake. Pay attention to the good things in life and celebrate them.


  1. Of course my mother walks by around the letter O...
    Doesn't matter, still worth the read, thanks Michelle!

  2. I just laughed at loud at how timing is everything. Thanks for reading Jackson!