Oh Fall! Call it and it's practically here, right? I for one, am really welcoming fall this year. After spending the summer in Italy, with an unrelenting heatwave called "Lucifer," (I'm can't make this stuff up!), I am really eager for some fall weather. How hot was it? Oh, random fires in the middle of the road hot! See image below. Ironically, the one year I am craving an early fall, it feels like mid-summer in Boston today!
There's something so bittersweet about September for me and perhaps you can relate. It feels like New Years in a sense. The chance to start anew, if you will, and make new goals, new plans and take new steps in the direction of your dreams. I think it's the school year schedule that makes it feel so fresh. That's the sweetness part. The "bitter" comes in the realization that Boston winters are brutal, and they're practically around the corner and that my Calabrian vacation is over, so of course, that's sadness in itself. And to add to that, our 2018 Culinary Adventures feel so far away! Alas, yes, fall can be bittersweet to say the least!
That said, I wouldn't change my summers in Calabria for anything. I have been going back (almost) yearly since our move here some 30 years ago and it's as much home as Boston is. So despite the heat, it's a place I will always return to with fondness and eagerness.
The above view is of the sunrise from our home in Italy. I woke up early just about every morning to see it. I'm not sure why, it didn't change from day to day, but every morning it brought me much comfort. It also brought with it triple digit temperatures, so I'm not sure why I was so sentimental in seeing it! One of the things one might look forward to during vacation is the opportunity to sleep in, and I thought I was looking forward to that as well. And while I love sleeping in as much as anyone, like clockwork, (no pun intended), I would wake up in the morning and be greeted by this giant orange ball. A sign that it would be a great beach day indeed!
Keep scrolling below to see a few images of my Calabria 2017 trip.
So besides Calabria, what else have I been up to this summer?? And what does this magazine cover have to do with it??
I've been reading Success Magazine since the 90s now. It's one of the few magazines I actually subscribe to and actually read! Unlike the many others, that end up in my recycling bin barely opened, but I'm too lazy to cancel, Success gets read cover to cover, and each issue is saved for future reading. It's my go-to source for inspiration, business motivation, self-improvement articles and overall guide for great living. It's multi-purpose to say the least. A great resource not just for entrepreneurs such as myself but also ideal for just about anyone who is into self-improvement and betterment, and who shouldn't be?
Imagine my downright shock, amazement, out-of-this-world moment I had when my phone rang and have the other person on the line say they were calling from Success Magazine. "Succ... what?" was my reply! But it's no joke! If you picked up the August 2017 issue, there you see my image!
It's not a huge article, by any stretch of the imagination, just a simple quote on business matters. But what an honor it was for me to flip open my absolute favorite magazine and see my own image! Just one more validation that I am on the right path! And what am I holding? Some anise pizzelle, of course! Get your recipe here!
As exciting as being featured in Success Magazine was, would you believe it wasn't the only place where I saw my name in print this summer? Say what? Last year I submitted an article for publication to another great magazine, Tastes of Italia. It was December 2016, the publisher didn't seem overly interested, said they would keep it on file but that I was free to submit it elsewhere. Time passed, as it always does, and it just sat in my virtual folder on my desktop. I did not submit it elsewhere and figured some day, I would post it here on the blog. It was on Calabria, so a pleasure to write it, but I honestly forgot all about it.
Then while I am in Italy, I get an email: "I'm writing to let you know how much I enjoyed your article on Tastes on Italia, it's made me want to visit this region!" At this point, I'm in Italy. My magazines are stacking up at the post office, my internet connection is spotty and think he must be referring to a blog post or something. I respond with a short but polite email. "Thanks so much, glad you read it!"
Then the second email: "After reading your article on Tastes of Italia, I am considering renting a beach house for next summer in Calabria, can you help me?" What is going on here? (And yes, I can help him and you find a suitable place to vacation in Calabria! Contact me if interested.)
On August 30th, I leave Italy to return to Boston and I get a third email. "I just tried your swordfish recipe from Tastes of Italia, so easy, I love it, thanks for sharing!"
I rush to the post office the next day. I landed at 8pm or would have gone the same day. And there you have it:
On the cover is a story entitled "Craving the flavors of Calabria." Humm, my article was entitled: "Craving Calabria" - can it be?
And sure enough, there it is! Not only it's my article, it's a beautiful 6 page spread, with a mention on the cover and the highlighted story from the editor on the first few pages! I can hardly believe it! It's been beautifully laid out, barely edited and with my email address at the bottom, hence the emails. Having a story in national publication is a proud moment, but having a story on Calabria, a frequently overlooked region in food & travel magazines, makes it that much more special. Be sure to pick up a copy ASAP!
I got an email a few days later from the publisher letting me know that they had published the article and that they did not email me before as things change at the last minute in publishing and they did not want to disappoint me. No disappointment at all on my end! And it really was a nice surprise! How did all this press make me feel? See below! ;)
Success Magazine, Tastes of Italia, I was on a roll! They say good things come threes, right? What was around the corner?
I didn't have to wait long to find out! Here's a hint:
Chicken Soup? Not any chicken soup, Chicken Soup for the Soul, that is!
I remember many years ago, I bought my mom her first Chicken Soup for the Soul. As a fan of Jack Canfield (seriously, pick up his books now!), I knew my mom would enjoy the short, inspirational stories found in these books. And I often read them myself, especially during travel, at the airport or on a flight. They make good travel books, for some reason. The stories are "bite size" and as someone who must finish a chapter when I start it, sometimes I just need a quick pick-me-up of the inspirational kind.
A few months back, I went to their website and saw a call for stories on stepping out of your comfort zone. My first thought was, "When have I stepped out of my comfort zone?" I mean, the type of books I read say that growth happens outside the comfort zone and I realized that this business, my culinary tours, this blog, my cooking classes, all I have been doing this past year was way past my comfort zone! So I submitted a short story on starting Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures. This was March 2017. I didn't hear anything either way and much like the story at Tastes of Italia, I moved on. I find that you have to "move on" a lot and fast when starting a business. You can't focus too long on the Nos, you can't sit back and wait, you can't be lazy, despite my business name, and wait for things to come to you. You propose, you submit, you knock on enough doors that if the answer is no, or you don't get any answer, you just move on.
And then I get the phone call. "I've been trying to reach you for weeks, we want to publish your story but don't have your signed permission, did you get our disclosure form, our messages?" Ha? Who are you and where are you calling from?? Clearly, I had received no such calls or emails.
Long story short, signed permission and all, my little nugget of inspiration will be published in an upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone. To be published October 31, 2017. And once again, a publication I look up to, read and enjoy, will now feature yours truly. Oh the things that do happen precisely when you step outside your comfort zone!
So since summer is ending on such a high note, what's next?
I see the above as signs that I am on the right track and I have come back from Italy full-speed ahead!
I am excited for 2018 and where it will take me, most of all, to Italy! There are several private group trips in the works, our Puglia trip for September 2018 is scheduled, and there's one more group trip in the works, more info to come on that. I've received numerous referrals for private trip consultations, have more professional writing up my sleeve and have received inquires about appearing on a number of Podcasts. Not to mention endless cooking classes, both public and private ones!
Lots to do, see, plan and work towards, that's for sure! Turns out, there's nothing lazy about us after all!
Interested in joining us on our adventure, click the contact us button to reach us. I respond to all inquires!
Hi there, thanks for visiting my blog! Here you will find recipes, short stories, tales, rants and whatever else is on my mind with regards to food, Italy, travel and along those lines. Drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you!