The Bikini Test

Originally posted on The Sicilian Mama:
We Italians spend lots of time and energy getting our bodies ready for the infamous ‘bikini test’. With 3400 km of coastline, most Italian end up on the beach at some point or other during the summer. I remember looking at shop windows and saying to myself: “I’ll buy…

Better Sleep

Here’s a comforting thought: if traditional remedies exist, it means that our ancestors must have suffered from bad sleep. That’s even though they did plenty of physical exercise, had no artificial light, and didn’t use screens till late. We didn’t invent sleep trouble. One less thing to beat ourselves about. What are the traditional Italian…

How to Apologise When You’re Not in the Wrong

We Sicilian Mamas are never in the wrong. Still, sometimes, people think we are and they expect an apology. This is how you apologise when you’re not in the wrong: The “I’m sorry but…” apology. This is an apology with an educational value. With it, you can explain to the other person what really went…

How To Forgive

Forgiving means giving up revenge, seething and wishing painful death onto those who have hurt us. Why should we forgive? Because revenge is extremely energy-intensive and its return on investment is usually very poor. Also, if we don’t forgive, we’ll get stomach ulcers, heart attacks and migraines too. When we forgive, we imply that we…

Gift Ideas for the Unfaithful Partner

At this time of year, you’re probably scratching your head – and your wallet – to find the perfect gift for your other half. You’re looking for the kind of present that shows effort, care and deep knowledge of your beloved. But what if he/she has been unfaithful? Do they still deserve a present? Of…

How To Be More Attractive

Originally posted on The Sicilian Mama:
In movies, the ugly heroes/-ines turn into stunning beauties just by changing outfit and ditching their bottle-thick glasses. The actors haven’t changed, they’ve just switched to ‘acting attractive’ (and wearing better make-up). If they can make themselves more attractive, can we too? Attractive is as attractive does. Act attractive…

A good partner is like the taxman

(I originally wrote this for Headstuff.org ) If you want your relationship to soar to the highest echelons of couple’s harmony and satisfaction, take the taxman as your role model: When in doubt, overestimate the other person’s worth Assume that your partner is emotionally, mentally, spiritually richer than he/she looks. It’s just that the stress…

New Year, New You: unleash your inner teen!

It’s the time of year when resolutions, goals and plans are de rigueur. Teenagers can be an inspiration for our personal betterment. What can we learn from them? Live in the moment The ultimate experts in the mindful art of living in the moment, teenagers barely ever dwell on past lessons or future consequences. As…

How to survive family gatherings

Originally posted on The Sicilian Mama:
Family gatherings aren’t always the pleasant, heart-warming occasions they’re pictured to be. These are some of the reasons: The nosy parker. When you were little, Uncle Jack always asked about your school grades. Later, he often spared you the trouble of introducing your new boyfriend to the family (“Who…

There’s a Solution to Everything

Originally posted on The Sicilian Mama:
‘There’s a solution to everything, except death,’ goes an Italian proverb (A tutto c’è rimedio, tranne alla morte). My Grandma used to repeat it to me every time I despaired about something. Below you’ll find some remedies to common problems. Problem Solution Constipation Sicilian remedy: stewed apple Diarrhoea Sicilian…