What Does Vegan Mean? and Other Questions My In-Laws Ask

Now that we've given up "the world's smallest apartment" and are officially homeless (until our plane takes off on Tuesday...yep, still terrified) we're staying temporarily with the in-laws. This is quite comfortable, as they do most of the cleaning and cooking (if you as much as try to help an Italian mother while she's doing anything remotely related to the kitchen, it's likely you'll get your hand chopped off with the bread knife), and David's brother's around. But it does have its complications.

Since I've first started exploring a vegan diet, I have feared this moment. Turning up in an Italian household and saying, "I don't eat any kind of dead animal, plus I won't touch mozzarella or eggs, either" is like wearing a t-shirt with a print that says, "I am an alien...and I don't like your planet all that much."


Seven Days

I've downloaded an app that's called The Big Day. No, it's not about weddings, although I should get to thinking about that as well.

This app basically counts down days up until a day that you put down as The Big Day, complete with a picture of your choice.

I uploaded a phonebooth picture and started the countdown. Today, I opened the app to find that there are seven days left.

Seven. Days. Help.


On Goodbyes

I still remember when we first moved into this apartment.

It was the scorching hot summer of 2010 (history has a way of repeating itself) and we'd been house-hunting here in Milan for almost a month. A month during which we had the chance to witness more than 50 shades of horrible: the ad that said "40 square metres" for us to show up and find not even 15, the €200-plus "bills and extras" that weren't mentioned in the ad, the "great location!" apartment in the area that can only be reached by hours of buses we didn't even know existed, and my personal favorite: the three-month deposit. Even if I do have a stable job, where do I find three months' rent in advance? Mystery.

Then, one day, we bumped into our future home.

The first time I visited our street, I told David, "this is it. This is where I want to live." I just knew that this is where we'd end up, among cozy little cafés and small boutiques on one side of the street and the glittering nightlife on the other. One of the Navigli artificial rivers runs right beside our door and the beauty of this street is way out of Milan's league. I could already see myself going for a run in the park, having an aperitivo at the riverside bars and shopping at the huge nearby supermarket.
If I were to live in Milan, I told myself, then I am going to live right here.
And that's exactly how it went.

Our building - we're in love with living here, but it's time to move on.


Cuteness Alert: Dog-Walking Celebs

One of my biggest dreams is to adopt a puppy.

I'm not one of these people that claim that "anyone" can have a dog: at the moment, I most certainly can not. David and I live in the world's tiniest, least comfortable apartment - there's barely enough space for the two of us! If that's not reason enough, we're in the process of moving to another country. But it's something we'd love to do in the future.
Since I went freelance I'm way more flexible and the doggie would have company during the day. So we're definitely thinking about it - our new London home better be pets allowed!

While waiting for the chance to adopt a four-legged friend (adopt, never buy!), I decided to create a photo gallery featuring some of my favorite stars with their cuddly litte friends!

The girls...

Olivia Palermo - anyone who looks this chic while dogwalking deserves a medal!


Vegan on Vacation: Southern Italy

My new, veganized life has brought tons and tons of benefits: I never have stomach aches, wake up easier and feel less sluggish. My skin and eyes are clearer and even my teeth look whiter! Even if I've got a bit left until I'm 100% vegan, I'll never regret my decision.

Nevertheless, some social situations are still less than easy. Case in point: vacationing at my best friend's summer house. My friend is Swedish-Italian and loves good food. By “good” she, like most Italians, means mozzarella, seafood spaghetti and Nutella croissants. Things that I no longer eat and hardly even miss (I'm grazing on a handful of nuts as I type this post). As if that weren't enough, her family's huge, newly built summer villa happens to be in a small seaside town in the South of Italy, where “vegetarian” isn't even a word. So, how does one navigate such vegan-unfriendly waters? 


The Vacation Diaries part 2 - La Cittá Eterna

I love Rome.

Every time I visit the Eternal City (I've been seven or eight times), I'm blown away by how majestically beautiful this city is. The sheer greatness of it overwhelms you. The beauty, history and atmosphere of the Italian capital seem to fill up the air. Its most legendary monuments have countless stories to tell and it's an endless pleasure to explore them all.


The Vacation Diaries part 1 - By the Sea

Being on vacation is like escaping to another planet for a short, indulgent, luxurious moment.

For way too few wonderful days, I've enjoyed blue skies, scorching sun and endless miles of white, soft, sandy beaches: for those of us that spend the better part of the year running around a fast-paced city in high-heeled shoes, this is the stuff that dreams are made of. Pure peace of mind is not easy to find, but sea breeze, tan lines and ice coffee sure help.

I feel like I've been away from Milan forever and at the same time for way too short a time. The last five days have brought me what I needed: a quick reload. A hit of fresh air to relax and gather strength to face new challenges with fresh energy.


A Much-Needed Vacation

I have spent the past week apartment-hunting, trying to work, helping David fix a leak in the kitchen (don't ask), worrying and wondering if I'll miss Milan. Correction: how much I'll miss it.

I have woken up in the middle of the night sweating, caught up in never-ending nightmarish mind-monologues such as "oh my God, what if I won't be able to find any more freelance jobs? What are we going to do? What if Londoners hate me? What if everyone's right and it really does rain all the time? What if something else breaks in this apartment before it's time to hand over the keys to the landlord? What if I cry when handing over the keys? What if  David misses his family and wants to move back? What if I miss the dog shelter and want to move back? What if..."

...you get it: I need a vacation.


Death of a Muse: Dedicated to Anna

Yesterday David and I were walking around those hidden little streets in the center of Milan, looking for a shop that's no longer there, when I stopped in front of a house where very recently someone has passed away. And it wasn't just anyone.

picture from my Instagram


My Cruelty-Free Beauty Essentials

Today I went through my makeup bag and my bathroom cabinet, and I was so happy to find that since I first went cruelty-free in October, most of my beauty items are now animal-friendly. On my quest to eliminate animal cruelty not only from my kitchen but also from my bathroom, I have discovered lots of new brands and interesting products, many of which have become true must-haves!


Three Things

I got the idea for this post from Vashti at Maybe McQueen. Vashti is the wife of Spartacus star Andy Whitfield, who tragically passed away after a long battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (read my post about Andy here) and her blog is truly inspiring!

Three best choices I made over the past 10 years:
1. Leaving  my home country and exploring the world.
2. Daring to go for my dream career as a writer, no matter how "impossible" everyone told me it was.
3. Becoming vegan....or at least trying.

Three things I had to let go of to live life fully:
1. Eating meat and dairy...and I couldn't be happier.
2. Caring about what my parents think about my life choices. They're not going to like them anyway.
3. The idea of "working in fashion". It made me unhappy.

The major crossroads I faced over the last 10 years:
1. Whether to give up a permanent job to go freelance. I'm so happy I did it!
2. Whether to finish fashion college or drop out. I didn't love it, but I'm glad I stuck with something.
3. When to move from Milan to London. I'm finally moving now - September 4th is the big day!


Summer of Chaos

Following my latest post, I wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU for all your support and nice comments, both here and on Facebook and Twitter. I'm so excited about this, you have no idea.

But I'm also really, really scared.

Scared of nothing being like I imagine it. Scared of things that I had no idea would happen. Scared of feeling lonely. Oh, and then there's my biggest fear: running out of money.