Sunday, December 22, 2013

New Blog Series

The new subject I will write about each Sunday is...

Simple Pleasures

I will detail a recent experience, regular or occasional, solitary or shared, little or big, that I took the time to savor. Or boast about something I find beautiful, delicious, luxurious or positive. Anything that makes me smile. I believe that these moments and items could, and should, be found daily. I plan to publish about one on a weekly basis.

On this blog, I intended to write about how I elevate the little things in life and make them into what matters. Italians live passionately. I can't wait to share how I remain present in the moment, how I embrace and enjoy life. Plus, I figure a series will do nicely since I tend to do well with routine. I really hope you will enjoy it, dear readers.

I was inspired for this regular feature after realizing I amassed a collection of links on the subject from the wonderful bloggers and authors out there. For example, Shannon behind the blog The Simply Luxurious Life who, in this post, insists followers indulge and provides a delightful list of simple luxuries as part of her "Why Not...?" series. Read how entering a bakery means "having it all" for Delia Ephron in this piece adapted from her book, Sister Mother Husband Dog, (etc.). Check out this post entitled "The Little Things" by Carin of Paris In Four Months who savors french toast and quality time with friends at LadurĂ©e. Oksana of Foxy Oxie  Supernova considers it ladylike to transform an ordinary occurrence into a beautiful, luxurious event in "The Art of Being a Lady: 10 Ways to Embrace Luxury in the Ordinary." I highly recommend the aforementioned reading.

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Wine and Cheese Event

This week's simple pleasure of mine was hostessing a wine and cheese get together with my two neighbors, an older couple D and S, on Tuesday night. I had always talked about some sort of European excursion in order to celebrate my 30th birthday with them for years now and I wanted a special way to tell them I was actually going to Paris. Since they are world travelers, (European travel particularly launched from a home base in England for like 8 years) they have been there. I invited them over for wine and antipasti as well as some surprise news.

I had two white wines, Moscato and Pinot Grigio which I had chilled, and two red wines, Chianti and Cabernet Sauvignon on offer. I served their wine choice in the appropriate white or red wine glass. On my round wooden cutting board, I placed brie and sharp cheddar (at room temperature), proscuitto and Genoa salami, grape tomatoes and a couple of basil leaves. I also sliced a baguette and poured olive oil for dipping. On a strict budget, I bought all the food items at the local grocery chain, with the exception of the basil that I grew myself. The salami at the deli counter is on sale every once in awhile. Everything was easy; I served food but didn't cook a thing! That's very Italian, to simply arrange something beautifully (in order to get out of real work!), to make something out of nothing, it's called l'arte di arrangiarsi. (I do prepare bruschetta all summer though, when tomatoes are in season, which means I toast bread by grilling.) Anyway, I set it all up on my coffee table. We toasted my happy news. The three of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves for over an hour. They left with promises to hang out more often.

I love to play hostess! If I could fund it, I would have people like over every other night! Despite being pretty poor, I do manage to invite people into my home though. Often, I'll have a single person over, doubling my number of guests that Tuesday night felt like so much more than usual! While I do believe that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" (guess who said that! An Italian named Leonardo da Vinci), it'd be nice to be more elaborate with entertaining in the future, and to somehow work that into my budget more often. I suppose there's always potluck...

I could have just stopped them in the hallway and told them, but it was so nice to create something special. It was certainly a memorable evening. As I hope to clearly illustrate with this series, life is made up of little moments. I truly believe that life is what you make it.  

"Life is made of the little moments" in French.
The French definitely know how to savor something, especially food.

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