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Hot chocolate and childhood dreams

In my childhood dreams I would move on my own before my thirtieth birthday with a caring and beautiful husband who would resemble my father in every aspect. He would be able to build a shelf, hang a picture on the wall, fix the broken heating right when it’s snowing outside and bring a large and heavy basket of wood logs to light the fireplace when it rains. I know, I had pretty conformist dreams to be a child in the Eighties…

I used to dream a house in the countryside, because this is an essential part to me: I have always seen my life in a place surrounded by nature, I have never bothered coming back home with muddy shoes – maybe my mum did, since she had to clean … – or drive somewhere to buy bread or butter, as here in my tiny village you can just buy eggs from the farmer.

In a few weeks I will take the plunge. After my life changed one year ago – a new job and a new life project –  this year it’s time to move. Though, since I’m Italian, a mummy’s girl, fond of countryside and a single lady, I won’t come on in leaps and bounds and move very far, let’s say I’ll make a dozen steps, those between my parents’ house and the entrance to my future apartment. Same view, same air, same lime trees that fill the air of a honey fragrance during summer, same light for my photos and same street number. But it will be my own apartment.

I’ll be completely all by myself. On one side I am excited, just imagine waking up in the morning under a fluffy duvet, getting up and walking around the house in silence with my anti-skid socks, working in the kitchen and not worrying about the mess, because I will slowly clean up everything later… thanks to the second-hand dishwasher I inherited.

On the other hand it is all new, all huge, all extremely expensive, nothing that can be shared cost-wise, like I buy the sofa you buy the bookshelves. So since it is not shared with anyone, I decided to buy the oven and the hob, ’cause it is fine to redecorate the house with what I find, but the oven… oh I want it good, functional and possibly with a good design. If you ask me, it is already the attraction of the house, there are guided tours if you’re interested. With the same ticket it is also included the breathtaking view that you can enjoy from the bathroom window, my friends can testify that it is worth the cost of the ticket…

From my fantasies as a child it remains the countryside, and luckily my father. In the absence of the imaginary husband of my conformist dreams, he did his very best for me: saw here, brick up there, do a chase, put a tube… To make the kitchen tailor-made for me, for my job, for my cooking classes and for the boxes of moulds and pots that I keep under the bed now, he will make the furniture that is missing, trying to meet my dream of a shabby chic white wood furnished house. So yes, I can paint in white the old cupboard of your grandmother, but just forget I will paint the antique wardrobe. We must reach a compromise, uh?

Today is the day. I will make a pilgrimage to Ikea, where I hope to find those few elements that will make the house my house. I cannot afford a new sofa, but I definitely want to buy a pretty small plant in an old looking enamel pot to be nicely arranged on a shelf that soon will be there. Who knows if they sell the husband of my childhood dreams in the DIY department. I just hope he will be sold with instructions written in Italian.

In my dreams as a little girl, in winter I would sip a hot chocolate wrapped in a Scottish plaid (got it) comfortably sitting on the sofa (missing) next to the fireplace (got it). And as for the chocolate, luckily this can be done with a very little expense, and since I am already doing the moving rehearsals, this is what I made a few days ago.

The hot chocolate can be done in so many ways… I made this to fix an instant chocolate craving just by dissolving a big cube of dark chocolate into a pot with a some milk over low heat, stirring with a whisk until it becomes as thick as I like. You serve it with a spoonful of whipped cream and some shaved dark chocolate, but you can omit the whipped cream and enjoy it as it is, for a more intense flavour. When I am crouched on my dream sofa I want a thick, dark, intense hot chocolate, perhaps with a pinch of nutmeg or a hint of grated orange peel, if we are close to Christmas. Which is the hot chocolate you would sip on the sofa next to the fireplace?

I will soon tell you more of the book, which is coming out in a few days, and if you are not bored of the chatter of a woman of the verge of a moving, I will let you know how it goes with furniture and other little things in the new house, but for the moment I wish you a weekend of fun, relax and good food, cheered by your favorite hot chocolate.

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This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Love this!! What we want next is PHOTOS of your new place, and especially that new stove. I don’t think after all this chatting that I can wait till my next visit to find out what your new place looks like 🙂 Good luck and all the best with your new life! xx

    1. There will be photos, and stories, and a lot of chatter about the new house, I am really excited! And I can’t wait to have you here with the baby girl, and talk, and show you everything! xx

  2. I’ve always wanted to live in the countryside, in a farm or cottage and surrounded by animals…. I hope my dream will once come true!

    That hot chocolate looks divine!



  3. Dearest Giulia, your post made me smile in happiness for you. During my reading of it my minds I showed you running in your socks, smiling your beaming smile, clapping your hands together and enjoying what life has given you!!
    Hope you find what you are looking for at IKEA – man or not.
    You are WOMAN and that is great!!
    Happy moving in Giulia from all my heart!

    1. Oh, Karin, you make me cry! I just love the image you depicted, I hope it will be just like it! and you are right, I am a woman, and this is great!! A huge hug

  4. Giulia,

    I’m so proud of you. You’re starting a new life and I’m sure it’ll bring you a nice, handsome guy too! 🙂 I would love to see photos of the new kitchen (where I cooked with you) and the whole apartment.

    I’m so curious of your book as well. Do you think I can hold it in my hands at Christmas? 🙂

    My latest favourite hot chocolate recipe (I’ve just done it last weekend): thick almond milk, cocoa, maply syrup and spices. I’ll post the recipe soon on my blog!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. There will be photos of the kitchen for sure!! I am working on the kitchen right now, I bought a really nice pale green dinner set, a lot of dishes to have all my friends for dinner!
      The book will be ready by the end of the month, so fingers crossed!
      And I cannot wait to read more about your chocolate, sounds so good!
      Have a great week

  5. My dear friend, how I love to see you move into the place with the gorgeous bathroom view… breathtaking it is indeed…
    Your home will always be filled with delicious smells coming from your new oven and hob. The table, maybe old but it will always be decorated with the latest baking experiment or all time favourite. You have a long hall way, it will be a place to keep the happy pictures of your beloved Tuscany, London and your friends. You will smile when you walk passed them and memories will come flowing back. There will be laughter in the house, coming from your lovely sister visiting you in her pj’s, your friends coming for dinner and from you while reading mine and others funny comments and emails… And one day -the dream man – will come to visit you and he will notice all the happiness, laughter and love in your house… and he will never leave and love you for the wonderful girl you are.
    Lots of love, my dear friend x

    1. you are so so so right! I will start printing the pictures of my friends, the pictures of my holidays, and even recipes and nice and inspiring pictures to fill up the hall way!
      And there will be experiments, and friends and family visiting, and good food to fill the rooms with mouthwatering smells. My life will be full of love and friends!
      and if something else will happen, it will be incredible, but for the moment I will just enjoy this new amazing life! xxxx

  6. Good luck! Moving is always exciting and scary at the same time, even if you’re just moving down the road. And eventually you get sick of it. I move out of my parent’s house when I was 18 and would love to settle down into a countryside home that was permanent once and for all.

    Hot chocolate sounds soooo good right now. I may have to pick up a bar of chocolate and some milk on my way home from the market.

    1. I know the feeling, the need of settling down, the urge to call a place your place.
      have you tried the chocolate?!

  7. After ending a long relationship in my 20’s I was single for years. And years. I eventually ended up living in this amazing little 100-year-old cottage on a bluff overlooking the Puget Sound. Just my dogs and me. I decorated, gardened, explored all the things I loved, and became exactly who I am. Eventually I met a great guy who lured me away from that little cottage (500 square feet + dogs + all his vintage cars meant we definitely needed a larger place!) I look back on that time so fondly … thank you for taking me back! I’m now up pre-crack of dawn with a baby who has decided that 4 a.m. is the perfect time to take on the day. 😉 Wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I must admit I’m missing a little of that shiny glorious “me” time!

    Your hot chocolate brought me here initially; YUM! Total perfection.

    Best of luck on your new adventure. I’ll be back (probably again at 4 a.m. 😉 to see how it’s going!

    1. I read your comment and I couldn’t help but smile, and imagine you with the baby, up pre-crack of dawn, but happy and smiling at your end!
      Thank you for sharing a part of your life and memories, it makes me appreciate even more my me time! Hope to meet you again here!
      All the best to you and your family!

  8. Good luck, Giulia! As Kare says, don’t worry about the guy as he eventually comes along. The time that you have as a single lady, enjoying the love of your family, following your dreams, and building a home of your own is precious. I met my wonderful guy when I was 39, and I have absolutely no regrets about the marvellous adventures that came before as a single lady! Enjoy your beautiful new place.

    1. Hi Stephanie, thank you for your words, precious because you made me see everything from a special perspective! I’m building my special nest, and I am so proud of it! x

  9. Dearest Giulia,
    The princess is in her own castle!!!!
    What an exciting adventure you are beginning, moving out into your own space.
    You talked about it when Julie and I saw you in June and now it’s happening. I can just imagine you twirling and dancing around your own place with the biggest smile on your face.
    Enjoy it all, especially the trips to IKEA (hahaha) – every castle needs some accessories.
    My best wishes to you for Christmas and your beautiful family. Spending a day with you was the best part of my Tuscan holiday this year. Completely unforgettable.
    With love, Gail xx

    1. Dear Gail, I am so so so happy to read your comment, it’s nice because yes, I told you everything about this dream last summer, and now it is finally happening!
      I really enjoyed my trip to Ikea, I found really nice things, not expensive but enough to give a warm feeling to my house.
      Thank you for your Christmas wishes, I wish a special Christmas to you all as well!
      Your words really moved me, it was a special day for me as well, this is what I love of cooking classes, the special friendship left after every class!
      Love xx

  10. Yay yay yay!!!!! Bug HUGS to you Juls!!! I am so happy for you :)) and I can so relate to that feeling of freedom! that is how I felt in my first home that I lived on my own! You are going to love it!!!!

    And, we will work on the husband bit! *wink*

  11. I’m so excited for you! It is a big step, and I’m sure your very own home will just lovely. Happy moving!

    1. Thank you Tiina, I am so happy, excited and frightened at the same time to move, and I can’t wait for you to visit!

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