Half-way birthday party!

Hello my dear readers, long time no see!

If you’re wondering where I’ve been last week, I’ll reply with this post.

So on Saturday we finally managed to celebrate Maya’s birthday. She was born in December but, because of the covid, we didn’t manage to do so.

We actually fixed two dates, a couple of months apart, and we had to cancel both of them. Maya was super sad, but we couldn’t do otherwise since the covid was raging around.

This pandemic was hard for everybody but the kids, I think, had to endure the worse of it.

We decided to fix another date, which was last Saturday, and, after keeping fingers and toes crossed, we finally managed to celebrate.

Since we are always very slow in our errands and preparation, even last weekend was spared for last minute commissions before Saturday. Unfortunately, working both full time, until the shops closing time, makes things a bit more complicated.

We were delighted to see the guests arriving. The day was hectic and I was super tired by the time we finished, but seeing Maya so happy was the best reward.

The kids were super happy, the location was perfect, the sensei (yes, because Maya decided to have her party at our dojo) was a fantastic host and everybody had the time of their life. After seeing how it went, I can say this was the best party Maya has ever had.

I’m happy she finally managed to have her special day.

It doesn’t matter it was far away from her real birthday, the important is that we celebrated a beautiful little person!

And this is also why we decided to call it half-way party….right in between the 10th and the 11th birthday!

I’ll see you all next week!

What is going on with my writing?

Hello my dear readers, I hope you had a great week.

I was thinking I hadn’t spared a single word about my writing since I came back to this pages, so I believe that this is the right time to do so.

If you’ve been here long enough, you well know how much I love writing but, you also know, how time-crunched I am.

This is one the reason why I didn’t want to write about it, because is somewhat painful. I haven’t touched my novels for so long, that sometimes I don’t understand my own notes. Also, I hate complaining about my lack of time, although I cannot help it. Being expat and full-time working mum leave almost nothing to imagination!

However, I have to say, lately my stamina levels are improving, my daughter is bigger so a bit more independent, and I am managing to squeeze some time here and there for myself.

Not much, bear in mind, we are talking about 10-15 minutes per time here, but still it’s better than nothing.

Even blogging is a way to keep me going and avoid the total decay of my writing skills. Not that I’m any good or over the average, still I’d love to keep afloat in a way or the other.

So what I’m doing at the moment is to dedicate ten-fifteen minutes of my lunch break to plotting. I haven’t touched my writing for so long, that it’s taking time to get my head around what I wrote already and the direction I wanted to give to the story.

Although my high fantasy world seems almost complete and my plots are much more ahead and clearer than the my urban fantasy, I decided to concentrate on the latter anyway.

Still following the advice I was given by the person I consider my mentor in writing, and considering that I haven’t written for so long, I prefer to proceed on the line of writing which will take into account the fact I’m not a native speaker.

Although at the beginning I was completely lost, I’m getting back the hang of it. And if I’ll manage to keep going on with it, I’ll talk about this project in more details.

Any advice to get the most of the day for your writing, if you’re time crunched? If you have the secret recipe, please share it with me in the comments below!

Have a nice week!

I’ve always loved strong female characters!

Today I was watching the new He-man trailer and I had a sneak peek at the first episode when a chain of thoughts and images flooded in my brain and made me think.

When I was very little I used to watch Disney films as my dad was collecting them form me and my brother, but also many anime. In the 80s Italy there wasn’t such high censorship like we have now and luckily my generation enjoyed many anime such as ‘Hokuto no Ken’ and all the robots famous in that period along with Leiji Matsumoto’s masterpiece.

I remember that, even then, my preference was for those over the Disney classics, that I found entertaining but not exciting.

The only ones that I fully enjoyed were ‘The black cauldron’, ‘Basil the great mouse detective’, ‘The sword in the stone’, ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Alice in wonderland’.

They were kinda mixed genres so I didn’t understand what was the common ground back then.

I also remember that I used to play a lot with two small dolls: Teela (from He-Man series) and Princess Allura (from Voltron anime). They were strong characters, they were able to fight, so they were cool. I remember I preferred those and I chose to ignore the Barbies that after a change of clothes lost their appeal!

When I was a bit bigger, I discovered Miyazaki’s and, in general, Studio Gibili’s films: it was love at first sight. I lost the count how many times I watched them, but they hit the right buttons in my soul as I accrued re-watch sessions.

After being a big fan of strong character like Allura and Teela, I dreamed, as girl, to become one of those Miyazaki characters: independent, strong and self- sufficient.

Until I moved to university, I realized that I’d never been as independent as I wished. There were many things I didn’t know how to do, and many that I’d never done before. Little by little I learned a lot, I faced situations where I failed and, the most of the times, I felt the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I still feel like that the most of the times.

But there is something that those characters I loved, and I still love, left me with: the will of keep fighting. I don’t need a prince who will wake me up or the one who will look for me or who will do anything for me. I’ll find my way!

I don’t disdain help, bear in mind, and I ask when in need, so let me say it more clearly: I’ve always tried and fought to be like Aileen from ‘The black cauldron’, not Cinderella. Instead of waiting for the little mice to sort my problems out, I’ll dig my way out of prison to get back to my castle!

I know my opinion could be a bit unpopular and I’d love to know what you think about this, let me know in the comments!

If you could, would you live as a princess or like a warrior!?

You can also be both, look at San, the princess Mononoke!

I would love that!

Oh my weight!

I’ve always struggled with my weight, since the end of the high school years. If it was manageable when I was younger, now it turned out to be like a curse I cannot get rid of.

I’m overweight…a lot overweight, and in the past decades I tried so many things, so many diets, followed advices and opinions but nothing seemed to work.

It’s true that I have this nervous hunger all the times, but, also, that I genuinely tried my best every new attempt I made. Of course to no avail.

The highlight of this journey is that, through the years, I learned many things about food, healthy habits, stretching combinations, movement routines, healthy eating and so on. The lowlight is that, no matter how focused I was, the new trick wasn’t working or didn’t last long. I even went to A&E once thinking I was having a stroke…no worries, it was just fatigue and anxiety.

After the hundredth time I went to the GP and a dietician was offered, I finally decided to make a step ahead for my health and ask for a nutritionist. With all the due respect for the dieticians out there, I needed something different and more tailored than the food pyramid.

Luckily my favourite GP has always an answer to my questions and she gave me the name of a nutritionist and health coach. Her name is Alva and she’s based in Dublin; also, she was available to do everything online.

I know many of you would twitch their nose, and think that it would have been better to see me personally, and at the beginning I was skeptic too.

However, almost immediately, something unexpected happened: the scale was moving!

Ok, not massively, but yet the numbers were changing. And that hadn’t happened for years, despite the amount of exercise made or the kind of diet tried.

Alva is strong, full of energy and charisma and helps you with tips and tailored advice as she has a massive knowledge about dieting and exercising and much more. Most of all, and this is probably the thing that helped me most, is her positivity.

Alva sparkles with good vibes. No matter how bad you made that day or week, no matter how disappointed you are with yourself, she manages to cheer you up and, most importantly, motivates you.

I was so excited to keep working with her that last week I joined her summer term for the pilates fitness class. Once again online, which suits me perfectly working from home!

I loved it! I never tried pilates before! To be honest, if I knew it was this funny, I would have joined earlier!

But I suspect that Alva is the real magician of the practice once again!

My life-long gratitude goes to this woman!

You can find her here at this link, why don’t you have a look!?

What’s your story? Let me know in the comments!