Tag Archives: top tips

Another day, another glass of Prosecco!

7 Dec


My eyes open and a new day begins. I stretch out of bed to hear ” Momma Momma” and the day is underway!

I venture out into the cold to walk the kids to school as Grace is singing all the way. The city is starting to wake up, the smell of coffee in the air and a new discovery awaits.

I start with my morning coffee and I see what the day holds. From coffee dates, to volunteering to errands, some days are normal life while others are about discovery the city and Italian life.

I get asked most day where am I from? What brought you to Turin, Do I like Italy? And what school do my kids go to?

It is funny that the same questions are asked and the excitement I get to speak to someone in English. If they are Australia, it is like Christmas.

But what I find really interesting is that every expat is different and every experience is different. What is common to me isn’t the same for another.

So far it is interesting what people expect our Italian life to be like. People say I have spent time in Italy on vacation and it is magical, I would love to live there, all the time. Let the truth be told vacationing in Italy and living in Italy is entirely different. I mean it is completely different.

Now there are some similarities, the food, the culture and lifestyle. But what is not expected is the Italian bureaucracy, the inconvenience factor and the lack of technology. Once you face the fact that these factors can’t be changed and you personally just need to adapt, then your life will be easier and enjoyable.

From my recent blog, I have had requests on top 5 tips of living in Italy so here we go.

1- Patience ! Number one top tip is patience. Be aware that things take time, you are not in control of everything that is being done and time has no limit.

2- Flexibility– be flexible in all situations. Sometime things in Italy are not logical, and don’t always have a straight forward process so the key is to adapt and be flexible

3 Network– meeting people makes a big difference to your experience. Join meet up groups, international groups, moms groups, what ever interests you. Making friends and sharing experiences always makes me feel more settled.

4 Make your house your home– make your home feel like home. Send over your furniture , put up paintings, set up your house and make it feel like a home. We shipped all of our items and it made a world of difference particularly to our children.

5 Be open minded– go with an open mind. Try not to compare Italy to other places, try not to concentrate on the negative but instead embrace the positive. If you are constantly comparing you will always be disappointed, rather start new experiences, enjoy what Italy has to offer and embrace it.

So with all that said it is time for another glass of prosecco.

Until next time, Ciao!


Planning the unplannable!

16 Nov


As you all know I like to plan. Plan what I am doing this week, weekend, month, coming months. But sometime it seems no mater how hard you plan something happens and all plans goes out the window.

It could be dropping your phone in the toilet, planning a romantic getaway and hubby is away still, crashing your car, a family member passing away while abroad, driving a golf buggy into a car or throwing a surprise party for hubby and his flight is late and arrives half way through the party. What ever it is you need to be flexible, adaptable and calm.

Yes , to answer the question out there have I experienced all the above. Yes I have.

My life is a constant battle of being flexible. Is it because of the life I live? Is it because I a bit unko? Or is it both of the above.

The thing is to be adjustable. After the week I have had, I know I need to be. So with all that said, below are my top ways in dealing with the unplanned.

1- Breathe– as my mother always said, a deep breath goes a long way

2- Think practically- in unplanned situations it is important to think practically rather than emotionally

3- Make a plan– gather information, create a list and action accordingly.

4- Be Flexible– the unplanned event may not be ideal but be open to finding a solution

5- Wine & Girlfriends– if all else fails and it gets too much. Get your girlfriends or give them call and have a glass of wine to regroup.

Sometime the unplanned events are even better than the planned ones.

It is not about the destination but about the journey!

Party planner at heart- Top tips for a good party on a budget!

15 Sep


I love a good party. Doesn’t matter what type of party- dinner party, cocktails, celebration or wedding, I love them all!

Why do I love parties you may ask?

Well is it the fantastic food, the delicious wine or a fun time. Or in fact is it that I get to spend time with the people I love. Bingo ! That is it. Though the wine and food doesn’t hurt.

I have wonderful memories of all the weddings, birthdays, christening and parties I have attended. A few friends lately have asked what makes a good party.

Firstly I have held many different types of events. But the number 1 question I get asked is “I am on a budget how do I hold a fantastic party without breaking the budget”. So below are my top tips for a good party on a budget.

1- Invitations– Send invitations out ahead of time. Everyone is busy these days and it is important to give people notice. A good time frame is 4-6 weeks for a party and traditionally 12 weeks for a wedding. Make sure the invitations displays the feel, vibe of the event, a invitation says a lot about the event. Try evites, purchase invitations online and then print yourself or create them yourself.

2- Food– One of the biggest mistakes people make are not having enough food at an event. More focussed is made on the beverages and less on the food. The more food the merrier. If you are catering the food, make sure you make it as easy as possible. As you don’t want to be in the kitchen heating food all night. So mix it up between cold and hot food. Also your friends can help. Get them to bring something and cut the work load in half!

3- Beverage– Depending on your event will depend on your beverage needs. If you purchased your beverages ahead of time that will be cheaper. You can go with standard drinks- beer, wine, soft drink. Or go try punches, and cocktails. At a a Hen’s Party we made 5 different type of cocktails that the bridge loves and created names after the couple.

4- Decorations– Colour or theme coordination is the key. Pick a color/theme scheme and use that on the invitations, all the way through to the event. You don’t need to spend a lot on decorations- balloons, flowers, using decorations you already have looks just as good. The best inspiration is looking at ikea or pottery barn catalogs and see how they stage the room, then find items in your house you can use to replicate.

5- Network– A good party will have a good celebration vive. If a guest doesn’t know anyone go up to them and introduce them to other people. The more people mingle the better.

So with all that said go out and start planning your next party.

Life is a party!

5 Top tips for embracing being a expat

27 Aug

Yesterday I was asked by a fellow expat what my top tips for embracing being a expat. So hence my new post.

Below are my top tips for expats from a expat.

1. Embrace the country you are living in- enjoy local events, holidays and country events. From thanksgiving, to 4th July to local wine events.

2. Meet new people with similar interests- join a sports club or a theatre group. Such as as playing footy with GGAFL ( http://www.ggafl.com/) or sing with Broadway Chorus ( http://www.broadwaychorus.org/)

3. Research, research, research- learn about the area you live, what’s going on, upcoming events and expats in your area. It sounds cliche but research really pays off.

4. Travel- travel around the country you are living. Explore what the area has to offer. Also countries near you. Make a buck list of places to go and save and travel to as many as you can.

5. Speak to other expats-. The best advice comes from expats. From how long will the DMV take to how much will car insurance cost.

Embrace being a expat and

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined”

Henry David Thoreau


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