Letter from the Editor
Making decisions about travel this year take much more consideration planning and thought than ever before. I’m guessing our family is contemplating many of the same things that your family is on this topic. Truth be told while we look forward to spending time in Italy again next year; we are quite content in our new home exploring what is for us a very new adventure in Arkansas. And yes, my first “y’all“ slid naturally off my tongue a few times already. When I told a few of my new native neighbors they beamed with pride. This Autumn issue will bring you some of the influences that our travels to Italy remain with us as well as the new discoveries of living in a different part of the country with lots of new people in a brand new climate brings. It is true what they say about Southern Hospitality and we have been soaking it in since we arrive. By the looks of them, the gardens are loving the rain and sunshiny days as much as I am!
Not only is this a new tote from our
“Good Seeds Planted Here” Garden Collection but it is a theme throughout our Homegrown Style. I’ve seen this message plant a smile on many knowing faces at the Farmers Market this Summer season and it is the perfect way to introduce this issue’s Creative Couple. Mary Admire &
Justin Mitchell and their Front Porch Market at Greenhill Farm are certainly doing their part to bring the Queen Bee to their roost.
Since Justin & Mary are just down the road from us I had the pleasure of watching the fruits of their labor come together. This quaint barn serves as a market where you can find great gifts, divine homemade jams, duck and chicken eggs, gourmet mushrooms, freshly baked breads, fresh produce and more.
One of the most special things about this market is that the owners have painstakingly found local Arkansas farms and vendors to produce the product on its shelves. A rare gem if you’re looking to support the local economy even on a small scale.
You can see the gardens while you shop.
Mary & Justin are working on a bi-monthly craft market where other vendors can pay a nominal fee to set up a pop up shop to showcase their wares. Looking forward to joining them in September!
Mary & Justin have not quit their day jobs in the medical field but rather they see the organic farm as a way to encourage and provide healthy food to their community. A noble cause indeed!
The Good Seeds Planted Here Cap spreads a positive message. I was delighted to hear from this little beauty’s Mom that she kept her new cap on for 2 straight days!
Another Homegrown Style cutie pie in the making. Emmy a friend from the Burger Shack in downtown Benton scooped up new caps at a recent event at Meditating Market in downtown Benton. A zero waste retailer that is a fantastic resource for eco-friendly products for the home. We’ve enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of their pop up market events this Summer. @meditatingmarket on Instagram & Facebook
@burgershack72015 on Instagram & Facebook
What’s Growing Now Update
Patiently waiting the arrival of veggies and with temperatures in the 100’s this week I’m seeing another perspective on my favorite of all seasons. Yep that’s right Summer from the farmer’s viewpoint. Keeping crops alive in this heat is not for the faint of heart and much of what I learned up North is being relearned by trial and error. For now, watering is where it’s at!
Welcome In. Some of you have followed our journey from the Midwest to the southern skies of Arkansas. We dared to dream of a place we could reside in a sub tropical climate with a longer gardening season, the beauty of nature and lakes surrounding us. Add to that the creativity and ingenuity of the Fiser family of Fiser Development, the builders of our new home and community and we stand before you with a dream come true! Beyond grateful for good neighbors and new friendly faces. Hope you enjoyed the nickel tour. Enjoy!
For more info on Olde Salem Township:
or contact YoniJohnson@bpmrealtors.com
Setting up the guest room for Mom’s arrival. The place where some of Michael’s Mother’s antiques from Italy are kept was the perfect spot for Mom to nestle in.
Domesticity, Simplicity Necessity
It’s Back to School time in our local community. Michael and I had uniquely different experiences in school. I’ve had many teacher friends and customers over the years and I know from their experiences that educators need to be appreciated for what they do. No need to go to the back of the class! This video shares some unique gift ideas with parents whose child may be a candidate to be the Teacher’s Pet of the 2021 school season. While I peddle my goods at the Farmers Market; Michael is doing his part to give fresh haircuts to the boys and guys heading back to school. While the school day and schedule may look very different from when we were kids; it likely remains true that Mom and Dad still want kids looking tidy for their school pictures.
Back to School Time equals Make It Happen Time so be sure to check out our weekly/daily planner pages on Italylittlebylittle.com
Dario the Dog - My how he’s grown! If you’d like us to create a t-shirt with your dog’s picture- send us a j-peg and contact us for details and pricing.
Dario’s Tip: Make sure to check out our family’s new favorite show: Cesar Milan’s “Better Human, Better Planet” on National Geographic. He’s definitely making better dogs, one human at a time.
If you prefer a pet portrait here’s the artist Dario recommends. Woof woof.
Another great gift idea for any pet lover.
A dream that began as a cookbook with the help of technology has transformed into an Italy: Little By Little YouTube channel where we share videos on cooking, living, and doing. Here’s a preview of a few cooking segments:
Lemon Pesto Pasta with Broccoli
Mike, The Gratouch, & the Tomato Salad
Making a Practically Sugar Free Cannoli Cake
Look for homemade biscotti recipes on the website in September. One of my favorites to share is from Giada di Laurentiis probably because it was fail safe from the first attempt at making biscotti from scratch. If you aren’t familiar with biscotti it is a cookie that is hard in texture meant for dipping in Italian coffee drinks.
As we wander through the streets of Italy we are pleased just to happen upon an artist’s studio, a tiny trattoria or crafts person’s shop. While we were in Tuscany we found a small leather goods shop where Father and daughter sat together making finely handcrafted accessories. Their endeavor and a recent score of Recycled Italian Leather inspired me to give a few pieces a try. I was so delighted by the end results of these one of a kind products that I felt confident to take them to market.
Here is one of the leather accessories that we purchased from the father daughter team. Michael’s is much worse for the wear than my own which accompanies me in the garden on most days. It was extraordinary to me to watch their process in their tiny Tuscan shop and return an hour later to have our purchases crafted and artfully packaged.
My own version of a pruning sheer holder which clips easily onto a belt for hands free ease. When I‘m not using it for the garden it makes a handy place to carry my cellphone.
There is more than just the seaside burst of color one finds in Positano. There’s the seafood fresh out of the Mediterranean and eaten while gazing at the ocean at La Tre Sorelle. And of course there are the potters and the pottery that the Amalfi Coast is famous for.
Morning cappuccinos on the terrace watching the sailboats gliding to their next destination.
Climbing the 183 steps up to the condo and this view is etched in my mind forever.
So how do we find this local slice of handmade pottery here in Arkansas? Well here’s how:
A true passion shared by the Wilson family has turned mud into memories for many. Anna and her daughters Sydney and Taylor take mud and turn it into magic.
These lovely hand-crafted mugs initially caught my eye and they range from highly decorated to simplistic in style.
Anna shows how both hands on the wheel and smiles are made.
A few handmade pieces.
This is what we call getting your hands dirty.
Watching the creative process is part of the fun! You can easily find them on Instagram/Facebook at ARMuddCo Email at email@example.com
Don’t forget to pick up a t-shirt with Mudd Company style! Love the apron too!
Anna showing us how it’s done.
Road trips and Destinations
Sunday drives are taken earlier now that we are experiencing a new kind of Summer in the South. It’s ok we are not complaining especially when February rolls around. Recently became aware of a couple who will be showing us some of the best local haunts in Arkansas and elsewhere. Meet Sarah & Paul Heer of Arkie Travels and here is how you can find them.
You already know we always have an eye and ear out on good eats especially if it gives us a taste of Italy. When we discovered The Lost Pizza Company well, I think the pictures say it al!
Here are a few of our own special findings:
A casual environment with an outdoor deck for dining.
Blue House Bakery & Cafe
Hands down one of the most adorable environments I’ve had the pleasure to step inside. I’ll be back for the lavender and honey latte. For sure!
This place has all the feels of domesticity, simplicity necessity and we love it!
When Sandra began selling Mary Kay in addition to her work as a hairstylist I thought of Mom who did this type of work many years ago. I was delighted to learn that they have developed a 98%all natural skin care line called Naturally and set out to give it a try. I’ve waited quite some time to invest in a skin care regimen because I wanted something that was as eco friendly as it is effective. Definitely worth the wait!
Living Younger Longer - Monica Miro Marrone Long time friend Monica Miro Marrone at Living Younger Longer is showing men and women how they can live their best and healthiest life. Whether she is running a 10k, going on a kayaking adventure or exploring healthy eating in her kitchen, Monica inspires us all to give it our all. As a Health Coach she brings together her passion for healthy living with the nutritional products that help her be stronger, faster, leaner at 63 than she was 20 years ago! On Instagram @livingyoungerlonger and you can follow her adventures and join her group of kindred spirits on Facebook at Living Younger Longer. Or contact her directly firstname.lastname@example.org for a free health consultation.
For us, it’s a Sunday morning spent out in nature. It was truly a spiritual experience on our last Sunday morning drive sitting beside a Bald Cypress Tree that is one of the most magnificent in all of Arkansas and judging by the 5’ width of its trunk has been standing a very long time.
And when in Italy: Our 2nd floor porch all nature view from the villa apartment in Torrita di Siena. Believe me it was tough to leave it even for an extraordinary local restaurant experience in the village but we managed. A painting waiting to happen everywhere you look.
So if you believe in good signs here Is one we recently received from Mother Nature. I have seen one chameleon (anole) since we moved to our new home and it is a symbol of our first trip to Italy. We saw them as we were climbing around the castle fortress in Castiglione del Lago. Mike had the tattoo below added to his arm sleeve shortly after that trip. Mike was hoping to see one in Arkansas and the video above catches his first sighting.
Iron Trap Garage ( @irontrap on Instagram and www.YouTub.com/iro trap garage) has to be Mike’s “go to“ show for Hot Rod rebuild shows. What Matt creates and his process of buying parts speaks to Michael in a way that truly resonates. There’s really no drama just a guy in his shop showing you exactly how he pulls a car apart and puts it together. No frills or fluff just building street rods in the only way he knows how. I think it is a creative process that Mike can relate to from his younger years when he was working on his motorcycles and vehicles. A Hot Rod project has been on his mind since he was a kid and it’s one project he has yet to embark upon. He actually connected with Matt on the idea although his popularity is on the rise and the garage is at capacity with their own projects for now. Knowing Mike he’ll find a way. In preparation of good building projects to come Michael quickly had a steel work bench built that wraps around 2 walls of the new garage. What’s next appears to be a full on lift based on the research he’s been doing lately. A good old fashioned roadster sounds cool to me or an antique bread truck that we can modify into a mobile shop for my garden goodies. I realize the Hot Rod will be first priority but Oh well….a woman can dare to dream!
Look for the new “In the Garage“ Cap Collection available now on ItalyLittlebyLittle.com Inspired by @barbercarguy - Mike Pascolla’s Instagram handle. Created by the Little Mrs.!
Yes even in the rain, Michael is pulling over to start a conversation with a gentleman who had Hot Rods for the whole family including his 14 year old granddaughter in her favorite shade of purple. What a guy! His charming “Street Rods” sign on the garage had us believing he was in business although it turned out to be his personal residence. Thankfully we were greeted with a chuckle and a smile NOT a rifle. But that’s Arkansans for you- friendlier folks would be tough to find.