Sweet Bella Vita

a dash of motherhood… a sprinkle of homeschooling… and a pinch of photography ( with a side of compassion )


fiat flashback friday

fiat lineup




flashback friday

I have decided to start a series called flashback friday … pretty self explanatory I think 😉

These were taken 2 years ago in California… across from San Francisco … with a view of the famous golden gate bridge


you can see Alcatraz in the middle of the water, and San Francisco just above the bridge


I loved watching the fog roll over the hills


this above was the start of the fog rolling in

and below the fog rolling in from the pacific ocean … when I see this picture I can hear the foghorn.


this was a not so secret but secret looking tunnel


I wish you all a great weekend!



my mom and dad

For those of you that know me, you know that come fall I get a little depressed and somewhat anxious about the impending winter months. Some of that is impart due to all the losses I have suffered at this time of the year.
Today is the seventh anniversary of my fathers death … And just a few weeks ago it was the fifth anniversary of my moms passing.
my mom and dad dancing at their wedding

my mom and dad dancing at their wedding

Life without my parents is strange and even though it has been years once in a while I still pick up the phone and dial their number.

Someone told me when I lost my dad that it will get easier and that it takes five years to grieve . I am not sure that is correct .  According to that I should be “fine” now … But I will be honest I still have complete break downs where I cry my eyes out  and scream and wish that I could see and hear my parents again … Moments where I am mad as hell that they died on me.

And as for the five year grieving process; well I can say that, yes, it does get easier, as with time I  got used to not having them around. I have gotten  used to not calling my mom for her advice or expecting a birthday call from them and I have gotten  used to not seeing them or hearing from them but as for missing them less or the easier part I am not so sure about. It gets harder for me to truly remember the sound of their voices, or the touch of their hands.  And I hate that my children will never know them.  And as more time goes by the memories feel like they are memories of memories.

this was the last time my son and I saw my dad alive and well… he was saying goodbye to my son here, that is who he is smiling at.

this was the last time my son and I saw my dad alive and well… he was saying goodbye to my son here, that is who he is smiling at.

The night my dad died, I drove like a maniac to get the hospital (a moment I am not proud of) but I so desperately wanted to hear him or say goodbye to him and tell him I loved him and he was a great dad … I did not make it, and in fact I was told he had already died while I was driving over a bridge by a very cold and uncompassionate  male nurse who didn’t seem phased by the fact that he had just informed me that my father was no longer living . I was sooo  mad; which only made me drive even crazier. When I finally did arrive and walked into the room , he was still somewhat warm, but I could feel the warmth escaping his body , and in that moment I stopped breathing. I never experienced this before and for a moment I was unable to take a breath and my mind could not process any thing other then the fact that I lost my dad. It was at that moment that my mom noticed my wheezing and shoved my head out the hospital room window in a panic to get me to breath, thinking the cold air hitting my face would help me snap out of it, which it did.
my dad, me and my brother, our last trip to italy just before my dad passed away

my dad, me and my brother, our last trip to italy just before my dad passed away

Just a few weeks after our last trip to Italy together, my daddy was gone. He had such a charismatic personality. He would talk to everyone and made friends with everyone. This personality trait used to drive me nuts as a teenager. His way of telling stories of captivating everyones’ attention, truly enjoying life because of the people around him. He loved being surrounded with people. A good meal and a beautiful glass of water, yes water. It  was all about the company. The stories, the laughs. His stories always had a way of taking a turn for exaggeration. A perfect example; on a trip to italy, with a stop over in new york when I was about 14, we had been on the run way waiting for take off behind maybe 6 or 7 airplanes  ( that was causing a delay ) … by the time we got to italy and he had told the story to every person along the way . The story turned into “we were stuck on the run way behind 60 airplanes!!!!”  And by the time we came back , it was closer to 120 airplanes. It was all about the humour.
my daddy and me

my daddy and me

He had mastered the art of bartering (which I am so envious of today) . He would have tons of bread or oil or what not in his car  and we would take drives in the country and he would stop at random  farms and barter with the items he had . The amazing part is he always made friends out of this. And my all time  favorite memories is of  our many trips to italy. Italy felt magical and special. It was all about family and time together.   I was so lucky to have a dad who took the summer off to take his daughter to italy, to enjoy the food and the culture and spend time visiting family.  My eldest child reminds me so much of my dad.
the happiest I had seen my dad in a long time. holding my first born (the only grandchild he met)

the happiest I had seen my dad in a long time. holding my first born (the only grandchild he met)

I left the hospital that evening after my dad died like a zombie,  I had no idea what to do, my mom took action and started to plan his funeral.
my very handsome dad

my very handsome dad

I was so impressed at her strength and her energy . She spoke to people on the phone, whereas all I could muster up was ” bauuuuhhhhhhhh”  kind of sound as I passed the phone to my mom and ran away crying.  she asked for my advice and all I could do was cry and cry. I wish I had paid closer attention as little did I know that less then two years later I would have to muster up that strength and burry my mom.
my mom and me

my mom and me

And so on a cool October night, I asked my husband to go  check on my mom, as she was not answering the phone.  I paced in my kitchen dialing her number repeatedly, praying and hoping she would answer the phone  and if not she better have fallen down her stairs and broken her leg or she  better have a good damn excuse for not answering the phone. Finally I got the dreadful call from my husband and with five simple  words from him  “I am so sorry lisa”  the breath was once again knocked out of me, but this time I  yelled with all my might as loud as my lungs would allow me “nooooooooooo!!!!”
 No, I thought this has got to be a dream, this can not be happening, not my mom too, why ? Why ? What has she done? She was so generous and kind, and thoughtful, she went out of her way to help so many people. Wether it was for a lift, or company at the hospital or doctors office , or  just simply to lend a hand. She was the true epitome of the meaning of  giving of ones self. I had so much to learn from her still.  From her excellent sewing skills  to her passion for giving and helping others in such an effortless and kind way.  It was always second nature to her, regardless if the person was a friend or not. And in fact this is what bugged me about my mom. She had this HUGE garden and we lived by a subway station and people would walk down our street to take the subway or walk home at night she would start talking to everyone/anyone and tell them “wait here” and she would run to her garden and fill up a bag with as much stuff as she could.  What a strange thing to bug me, but as a teenager anything your parent does that is out of the ordinary  is embarrassing and I always felt like an Italian growing up in a North American culture.   As for her sewing , well she tried on so many occasions to teach me a thing or two, but I always thought she would be around.
one of the last times I saw my mom alive

one of the last times I saw my mom alive

And so on a cold October day I buried my mom in the same hole that was dug up not even two years earlier.  I waited after everyone left. I did not want to leave the cemetery; my parents where both there, and it felt so odd to just walk away.  And so I waited so long that the guys that work at the cemetery came to officially burry her. But before they lowered her down I asked if I could have some tool or something to feel my dads coffin. I know such a strange  request, but I wanted to know that my dad was there, and so the kind man went and got a long shovel and even moved the earth and let me touch my dads coffin with the tool. I could hear the sound of the metal that covered my dads coffin, and I think I may even have gotten a tiny glimpse of it as I am sure I saw the goldish color, but threw all the  tears in my blood shot eyes it is hard for me to know for sure.  After thanking the cemetery workers, I stood by and watched them lower my mom into the ground and in that moment I asked my dad to take care of my mom.  As I watched them cover the coffin with earth I said goodbye to both of them; I felt the cold autumn air hit my face and I wondered if they were cold too.
my beautiful mom

my beautiful mom

A little special memory is my oldest,  only 3 years old when my mom died came to me and asked me why I was crying, I told him I was sad because I  lost my mommy, and his reply was “mommy don’t cry I will help you find her.”
Life is indeed short, what it special is the memories you leave behind, for those you left behind, to fill the hole in their hearts.
my mom and dad on my wedding day

my mom and dad on my wedding day

To my mom and dad, wherever you are, may your souls be free and happy and know that you are forever in my heart and I love you and your memories at times make me laugh and at times make me cry.

This was a rather therapeutic post for me to write … thank you for reading.


vegalicious scones

My husband has been playing around with this recipe for the last month or so and it tastes so good ( he has made many variations of it from pumpkin scones to walnuts to cashews  to banana blueberry)  but this one, with pecans is one of our favourites.

heart shaped scones

3 cups of flour ( any flour you like, we have used 6 grains flour as well as spelt )
1 and 1/2 tablespoons  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 cups of pecans
1/4 cup sugar ( we replaced it with 7-8 dates)
1 large banana
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 and 1/2 flax egg substitute
8 tablespoons of melted cacao butter

Put flour in mixing bowl with baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.

Throw pecans in food processor to finely chop
Then add the pecans to the mixing bowl
Then put the banana, dates , and maple syrup in food processor  and mix together
Then add those to the mixing bowl

Get flax egg ready to add to mixing bowl

Add the melted cacao butter to the mixing bowl

scone mix

Mix well and work with hands


Lay on paper to roll out and cut into shapes


Lay on baking sheet


And bake in oven for about 15 minutes at 415 degrees
( this depends on your oven , watch scones carefully)


And enjoy 🙂

My husband likes to add a vegan glaze on top of his, I prefer mine without.


For the glaze in a small blender mix a handful of pecans with a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup and a dash of vanilla, salt, and cinnamon  and pour on top of scone ( this is for a small amount )



so… oh yeah… where was i again? oh, now I remember!

I get the kids going with some school work… and then head off to start doing dishes… then remember I forgot to start the washing machine and take the clothes out of the dryer… while I am on my way to the laundry room … I start to clean up the mess on the floor and realize I should vacuum … at which point I go get the vacuum and think of an email I forgot to reply to earlier that I had started … I go get my phone to reply only to see texts I need to reply to and another email which grabs my attention and sends me off  web surfing for then next 22.5 minutes, after reading an article about ‘better time management skills’ 😉 to which I finally snap out of it and say…

What was I doing again?!


Oh yes, the laundry! …

I start walking back to the laundry room and on my way answer the phone ,  then help one of the kids with their school work and then get side tracked by a naked two year old clapping as she just went pee in the potty all by herself  … to which I throw a big celebration party for the next 45 seconds!

YEAH!!!! hip hooray!!!  woohoooooo…

Okay, now where was I going ?!

Now I need to go get some clothes for the naked 2 year old … run upstairs only to find a mess on the floor in all my kids rooms so I start to pick it up … and remember that I need to do a TON of laundry …

Oh yeah, laundry; that’s right! … let me go get that started…

Head back towards the laundry room only to realize it is garbage day and I need to go bring the garbage out and to the curb, before the garbage truck passes … on my way there, at the corner of my eye I spot a teeny tiny rainbow and some pretty   flowers growing , drop the garbage to go grab my camera and take  pictures ( somehow I do not get side tacked from doing this 😉


Delegate the job of the garbage to my 7 y.o. ( who not surprisingly gets side tracked himself with his own stuff)  but the garbage miaraculusly does end up at the curb somehow.


I head back inside towards the laundry room again … only to  bombarded by 3 kids begging to go in the pool… oh yes, pool !!! that sounds like a great idea! let’s go! …

and here I am sitting by the pool … enjoying the sun and watching my kids….

What was I supposed to do again?

Oh yeah; laundry, dishes, clean … UGH !


Those things can always wait!  and those things are always there… I mean let’s be realistic, I have 3 kids and  2 dogs ( and a husband too 😉 ) … the laundry will never be done… nor will the other stuff…  and yes they do get done at some point … and I do relish that 2.5 seconds when the laundry is all done 😉

And no it’s not that I lost my brain with having kids… it’s that I have a million thoughts to process  and things to do  … and that is my story  and I am sticking to it… while I sit here on my deck soaking up the heat and enjoying the happiness surrounding me!

What was I supposed to do again?


Oh yes… I am doing it 😉

pool side


p.s. this post would probably be 50 times as long if I really included all the stuff that I attempt to do in a day and get side tracked doing or all the thoughts I process  … but I got side tracked while writing this post, so this is what I got 😉

p.p.s this post was written this summer but I got sidetracked with life, and haven’t blogged much … but have a few blog posts in mind, including a vegan scone recipe coming soon.