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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

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Warm-Yet-Ugly Sweaters

Alright, so shoot me: I like warm and beautiful sweaters. They may be flowing tunics, or sweater-coats, or more apres-ski looks, but the point is, they’re warm-and-cute. In other words, they’re the direct-opposite of warm-yet-ugly. Maybe it’s an age-related thing, but lately, the number of warm-yet-ugly sweaters in my closet is multiplying. A girlfriend actually…

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In the Middle of a Miracle

Things happen and we sometimes find ourselves needing a miracle. Make that a mega-miracle! I mean, a miracle is a miracle, right? If it’s something that’s basically very difficult, if not impossible, in the natural realm, well then, we might as well aim high-! I am in the middle of a miracle. That’s when you’re…

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Monday Mottoes – #125

While the blizzard blew up and down the East Coast of the US, we sat with perhaps a tiny shred of guilt with friends by a sunny, beachside restaurant reminiscent of New England, but in appearance only. Sure it was chilly outside, but inside, awash with soothing gray and blue and white decor.  We had…

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Snow Prep for DC/ MD/ VA

Snowmageddon is coming, they say.  A blizzard to the US mid-Atlantic East Coast.  Let’s all pray for safety and commonsense (stay home!) for all involved. Meanwhile, make preparations, if you have not, already. Meaning: bread, milk and toilet paper. If the grocery store shelves are already bare in your area (that started around Tuesday… hopefully…

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Ashley Olsen, Amanda Knox, and Italian Incidents

For many years, my husband and I were a fixture on the Italian scene. Locals often assumed that we lived there because we popped in and out for a few-day-getaway, or work-related visits. One thing that always concerned us was the behavior of American kids abroad. Maybe university or art-school students, their risky lifestyle choices…

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52 Final Hours…

I finished my deadline project with 52 hours to spare. After months and months of work, the final touches are yet to be added, but I’m pretty much done. Exhausted, happy and exhausted. Did I say exhausted? The brain is fairly fried. I continue sending the wrong texts to the wrong persons while undertaking multi-person…

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S’Rozhdyestvom Khristovim!

Walking through the forest, the trees appear bluish-silver-grey, punctuated by peeling birch bark white-with-flecks-of-black in the dark of a cloudy, snowy night. Lights from the dacha at last can be glimpsed as we arrive back from caroling at our neighbors’. The snow crunches beneath our feet. We are dressed in traditional clothes, kokoshniks and all,…

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Of Detours and Deadlines

Working, working, working non-stop. One of the biggest deadlines of my life. Feeling a bit nervous, but cranking it out. Nine-day countdown and it would be best to get it done before then. Camping out in one of our homes while the family is at the other one. Bless you, Benedetto. I cannot concentrate with…

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Happy New Year: Making Teachable Moments

Whether you’re a bio-parent or an adoptive-parent, holidays can prove to be rough. Different schedules leading to children’s dysregulation (if not parents’ dysregulation!) result. How to keep from going over the edge? I like to schedule down-time for the kids to unwind over the winter break, while not allowing them to totally veg-out. That’s when…

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Drop the Baggage

Hey! There’s a new year coming— wipe the slate clean, try, try again, get up and go, make those dreams come true! But before you do, you, here’s a tip: drop the baggage, just drop it. As a matter of fact, dump it— it’s only going to hold you back. I remember a song that…