As we move forward in life, second acts can become necessary. Priorities can change, schedules may need adjusting and aspirations evolve. For me taking stock of what I've accomplished since we've relocated to Arkansas has helped me to take a look at all of the beautiful experiences I've had here and all of the wonderful hobbies I enjoy. For me it's simply about making more time to do the things I love to do. Cooking, gardening, arranging flowers, decorating and designing everything from clothes to a business card.
Time is the key to successful cooking, this I am convinced. It is likely the reason so many of our American friends do not cook. The life in America has them running in all sort of directions and cooking requires one to slow down so as to savor the experience. I've heard oodles of excuses for why people don't cook over the years and truth be told; it's none of my business and not really my concern. The challenge for an enthusiast is to not encourage your passions in others. When you have a great experience you can't help but want to share it with others. The years have taught me that to each his own; wherever your passion lies it is just one of the things that makes you uniquely you so embrace it! Knowing what those passions are will aid you greatly later in life when you find yourself with more time on your hands. They will keep you engaged in life and interested in getting out of bed in the morning. So you see a second act doesn't have to be a career move; it can simply be a transition or move you want to make or perhaps have always wanted to make. Healthier, happier, simpler, whatever the mission it's your bliss to follow.
Some second acts start with justifying your reasons, the money and gas you save, the time you now have, the improvements you've made and while all of those reasons are valid nothing compares to just knowing you are on the path to doing what it is you were born to do even if no one has done it before.
Getting Back to Nature
In our family we've been talking about grounding after watching a program on the importance of staying connected to the Earth in ways we often did when we were children. Making time to kick off our shoes and feel the grass under our feet in November is a luxury we'll never take for granted now that we live in Arkansas. Recently Sunday was redesignated a day to get back to nature by visiting a local
State Park, Mountain or National Forest. When I realized I hadn't been making time for nature in the ways I always had I decided to recommit to making that time for solitude a priority again. What's the nature ritual that you've done without for too long? How can you get it back?
Making time for Art
Whatever creations you enjoy making- Winter is a good time to remind ourselves to make the time to unwind with activities we love or at least enjoy. Why in November? It's the onslaught of holiday busyness that makes it so; the thing you need most is often right at the time you think you can't afford to spend the time. Do it anyway and remind yourself what it is about life that makes it worth living. no better time than the present.
Looking for ways to express my Homegrown Style is one of my passions. This reusable hand woven tote from Bella Cucina is the perfect accessory to take to the market or to the beach. Now available at italylittlebylittle.com.
These 100% linen kitchen towels are perfect to add beauty to the cucina. Only in Italy would they think to wax the linen to resist red wine and tomato sauce stains. Have fun choosing nature inspired motifs from the talented artisans at Altroiero in Tuscany. Now available at italylittlebylittle.com.
Cooking Per Tutti
Come join us in the kitchen with style and ready to work with an adjustable apron. Not just a place to wipe your dirty hands and protect your clothes, this apron is also functional with a pocket and a place to clip a pot holder or kitchen towel.
#Hashtag Private Label
For years since studying Fashion Design in my youth; I've dreamed of having my own private clothing label and the time is coming soon! This new label created in Ireland will find its way onto a hand-selected sustainable clothing collection. Whether reconstructed into a one of a kind piece or recycled because the condition, silhouette and fabric deserve a second act this clothing will reflect the fabrications, aesthetic and quality found only in Italy.
Announcing a collaboration in our local community of Benton, Arkansas with The Front Porch Market at Greenhill Farm. As the owners, Justin and Mary transition into a larger and newly built space, Little by Little will have a pop up shop within the new space. Collaborating on the merchandising, decor & design of the new market to create a unique statement of Homegrown Style. Little by Little will feature European made or inspired products such as Patina Vie's home collection, Bella Cucina's artful food, antiques, organic teas, baked goods, homemade and imported linens, plants, and garden essentials. A lifelong passion for growing herbs and flowers and creating one of a kind floral arrangements- my style uniquely blends the teachings of floral designers UK's
Willow Crossley and French born Christian Tortu's affinity for minimalist Japanese floral artistry with a soul rooted in homegrown flowers, foraging and wildcrafting. The concept of this charming pop up was inspired by my many gardens over the last 30 years and our travels to the countryside of Italy and France and their appreciation for history beauty and a culture that reveres a slower, natural way of life.
If you are looking for a traditional Southern Italian cookie to serve family and friends this holiday season look no further than the Cucidati with its complex mix of tart, earthy and sweet flavors of fig, dates, raisins and citrus wrapped in a vanilla cookie dough.
Lemon Cream & Preserve Cookies
A test recipe to play with new baked good packaging. Made with real slices of lemons and lemon cream preserve from Bella Cucina. The perfect balance of tart and sweet and so pretty in pink.
Essentials- Seeds and Oils packaged in pretty glass vials and comes in an adorable homesewn pouch with Rick rack detailing.
Sparkle & Shine - whether it's Prosecco, Mocktails or Champagne show your appreciation by the simple sentimental and honorable gesture of making a warm, heartfelt toast to your hosts this holiday season.
Share a warm mug of something with a friend this holiday season. We decided to request a ceramic mug to sit and savor the moment at Onyx in the darling college town of Fayetteville Arkansas.
This was our Thanksgiving dinner menu which felt like a feast. It could be a lovely menu for Christmas as well. If you'd like more behind the scenes details check out the video @Italy: Little by Little on YouTube.
Looking for the perfect gift for a nature lover? Call the Freckled Hen in Fayetteville Arkansas for these whimsical yet practical birdhouses covered in birdseed. A DIY project for our craftier friends.
Domesticity Necessity Simplicity
Homegrown teas- introducing Little By Little organically grown teas-Lemongrass/Mint & Raspberry leaf and Fig Leaf Tea- loose leaf ($20) or individually hand sewn tea bags ($24). In addition to the relaxing ritual of drinking tea there are wonderful health benefits in each of this holiday season's featured flavors. Available at Italylittlebylittle.com and at The Front Porch Market in Benton, Arkansas.