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Wednesday/On My Nightstand/In My DVD Player

March 24th, 2010

On My Nightstand/In my DVD

Apartment Therapy — Fiona at  La Vie en Fifi wrote about this recently and I am ripping through it after picking it up at the library yesterday! (although you are supposed to take 8 weeks to do the action plan). I’m taking notes and enjoying it enormously.

A Gate at the Stairs by Laurie Moore — This was on my library “wait” list for ages, but finally it is my turn. I started it last night and can’t wait to get back to it.

Parenting Without Fear by Paul J. Donahue  — this is a library book that may not be exactly what I was looking for when I saw the title … we’ll see

Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman — a friend loaned me this one

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson— My SIL loaned me this. I’ve been excited to read it for awhile. Misadventures with Andi also just posted on this.

Reading Lolita in Tehran — another thrift store buy I just barely began before I got a library book in. So far, it seems like it is going to be really good.

The Nautical Chart by Arturo Perez-Reverte — I adore this author and snatched this up at the thrift store.

In my DVD Player

Paris with Juliette Binoche — such a great story and beautiful scenery and inspirational style. i loved this movie.

Categories: Film, Literature, Mangia! Mangia!, Style Tags:
  1. Lorraine
    March 25th, 2010 at 01:04 | #1

    Nice look, also with the hair pulled back. Whatever you wear or do looks good on you! You’re a good looking woman. And you’ve got a way with clothes.

    Haven’t seen ‘Paris’ but I remember ‘Chocolate’ with Juliette Binoche, and enjoyed seeing her in that… also liked the reddish pumps she was wearing then.

  2. Patricia
    March 25th, 2010 at 02:38 | #2

    Hm, just looked up the movie ‘Paris’ on Amazon – it looks amazing! Thanks for the recommendation. Patricia D.

  3. aaonce
    March 25th, 2010 at 09:27 | #3

    Hard to see the black scarf against the navy jacket, but I am sure those two fabrics look lovely in person. I love blue and black together, especially when the fabrics are different!

  4. March 25th, 2010 at 14:04 | #4

    That navy jacket looks amazing on you!

    I watched ‘Paris’ last week and also liked it.

  5. Liz
    March 26th, 2010 at 09:25 | #5

    I just purchased an indigo velvet jacket from j. crew on sale. I was inspired by your pics. I fell in love with your velvet jacket.

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What is it about those Italian women? You know the ones I’m talking about: beautiful, sexy, dressed to the nines just to take the kids to the park. They have a certain something that is indefinable. It is in the way they dress, the way they prepare their meals, the way they spend their leisure time.

It is because they know the importance of la bella figura. Roughly translated from Italian, it means putting you best foot forward in everything you do. It means cutting a beautiful figura. The opposite of la bella figura is la brutta figura, which is what someone might say about the falling down drunken guy at the party or the super tackily dressed woman at church. It means ugly figure.

La bella figura is much more than your appearance. It goes much deeper than that. It is about how you act. It is about how you treat others. It is about how you care for yourself, your home and your family. Living a life in line with la bella figura doesn’t take money. In fact, it is more about how to have class without a lot of money.

Someone who exudes la bella figura will have clean, pressed clothes and be well groomed. They will not be rude or sloppy. Their fingernails will be impeccably groomed. Their hair shiny and clean and their shoes will be polished. They will not have stray threads hanging from their suit hems. They will not be driving a car in need of the car wash.

La bella figura means driving that 15 year old car and meticulously cleaning it and caring for it. It means keeping your belongings in good repair. It means taking time to clean your house and not cluttering it up with meaningless objects.

When you focus all your spare energy, time and money on the things that bring you the most amount of pleasure, then you are truly living a life in line with la bella figura. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be Italian to do so. You just have to think like an Italian.

Italian children are raised to present la bella figura in whatever they do. From the time they are small and are groomed perfectly to attend church or school, they know that appearances count. They count because it is the first thing people judge about you. That first impression does matter. Appearances are also important because when you take the time to look nice, you are showing that you care about yourself. When you care enough to look good, it shows you have good healthy self esteem. Nothing is more attractive than self confidence.

In addition, dressing nice also shows respect for others. If you invite people over for dinner and greet them in flip flops, baggy sweats and a stained shirt, it is really disrespectful to them. The same if you dress sloppy to go to church or even to the market. By dressing nicely and being well groomed, you show respect for everyone in your world.

Having la bella figura means presenting yourself in the best light possible in all your interactions.