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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…!



Pizza in Any Form or Any Place

Our kids love pizza. I mean they loooove pizza. There’s probably not a single pizza any of them would dislike. Maybe deep-dish…. Benedetto regals them with talk of potato-and-rosemary-with-olive-oil Roman slices. I try to explain Quattro Stagione’s delights and they all understand how to eat a thin-crust pizza with knife and fork at any self-respecting…


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…


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…


The Importance of Family Meals

It’s a proven fact: family meals will change your life. You know, eating together in blissful harmony. Not only does it beat grabbing a takeout taco, a stale salad, or a big burger, all the studies show it will benefit your family well-being, as well as your body and brain. For adoptive families, I believe…


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,…


Terrific Torrone

I don’t know what’s happened to me. Maybe after decades of marriage, I’m turning into my husband-! That could be a problem, as I explain to people who pass me a message to give to him, or vice-versa: he’s the beard, I’m the blond. Let’s keep it straight, folks. Anyway, he’s the Italian side of…


Una Tavola Per Due

A table for two. It’s not always easy for the two of us to get away. We’re great at the hit-and-run, under-an-hour, out-to-coffee. But a dinner out is not always possible. Until Benedetto learned that one of his favorite Italian restaurants is in town. Really Italian, as in just off the boat from Firenze (Florence)….


Fancy Party Foods

Like many this season, we’re hosting a party. Our neighbors throw them, our friends have them, the congregation enjoys presentations and receptions, the offices gather staff for good cheer. And living in DC, it’s easy for folks to go over the top with their celebrations. I try to keep it elegantly simple. But that doesn’t…


Chillax: Top Ten Ways to Alleviate Holiday Stress and Pressure

About now, a lot of responsibilities and deadlines may be coming at you. It’s the end of the calendar year for business, for sales, the end of the semester for students, the holidays for many… about the time we hope to kick back and relax, other issues of life are looming. Loved ones may be…


Monday Mottoes – #118

On this first day of Hanukkah and yet another chilly Monday morning, maybe a little levity is due. All of the holiday bustle in full swing, terrorist sabre-rattling and flags at semi-perpetual half-mast, it’s a clear comparison-and-contrast everywhere you look. Time to break free and focus on faith and family, friends and fun. In honor…