I mentioned on the blog that I have been reading Kristi Belcamino's book La Bella Figura: How to live a chic, simple, and European- inspired life and it has been very inspiring so far.
I am still at the beginning but I have gotten to a section of the book where Kristi gave 12 Easy Things to Do to Enjoy La Dolce Vita and I wanted to share them.
1) Dine al fresco whenever you have the chance. Even if you live in an apartment in a big city, have a picnic at the park, eat at a sidewalk cafe or if you have a rooftop, you can have a picnic on a blanket with votive candles. If you have a small balcony, invest in a cafe table and chair and wait until dark to light some candles and eat, admiring the city lights. If you have a backyard, carve out a small area for a picnic or bistro table and set a table with real dishes and linens each night.
2) Turn off the T.V. Go for a walk, listen to music, take a bath, play cards, read a book, take pictures, polish your toenails, make art, write a letter make love, garden, write poetry eat ice cream, daydream.
3) Walk. If you can, walk as often as possible instead of driving. It is good exercise, but also puts you in touch with the world around you in a meaningful way.
4) Learn to prepare one fantastically delicious meal that makes you happy to make and to eat.
5) Use cloth napkins and set a table every meal, even if you are dining alone.
6) Eat slowly and savor the taste of your food.
7) Don't schedule every minute of your life. Give yourself time to nap, read a book or stare at the clouds.
8) Take a class in something you are interested in: stained glass, yoga, cooking, you name it.
Read my blog post about our cooking class here.
9) Study a foreign language, even if you already are bilingual.
Read my blog post about a foreign language app that I use here.
10) Find your passions: be it French history, cooking, sculpture or roller-skating and devote meaningful time to it each week.
11) Have people over for dinner. I learned living in a 300 -square-foot studio apartment in Oakland that it doesn't matter how big your place is or how good a cook you are, you can still host a dinner party where people enjoy themselves so much that you have to ask them to leave at 4 a.m. so you can go to bed. Invite people to dine with you, even if you are just having soup. Add some wine, fresh bread, break out the stories, guitar or playing cards and enjoy each other's company.
I enjoyed watching this video with Garance talking about entertaining the french way.
12) Buy beautiful clothes, even- especially- if you can only afford to purchase one new outfit each year.
I hope you all enjoyed Kristi's tips and I hope to share more from this book as I continue to read it. Until then enjoy La Dolce Vita!
(photos via Pinterest)