So long, for now

January 6, 2015

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I thought about it, for quite a while. Remember when I said this blog missed something? I could not pinpoint exactly what , it wasn’t a matter of logo or looks or anything like that, but now I got it, or so I think. It lacked focus, it lacked heart. Well no, not exaclty. I have always put my heart into (almost) each and every post, but somehow I felt like I reached a turning point. In these past five years of blogging many things have changed. Social media have exploded, and the way we interact with each other online consequently has changed. At the time I started, blogging seemed still quite a revolutionary thing to do, but to be honest these days having a blog can be considered a fairly widespread phenomenon that has changed its purpose over the years. And it’s not wrong , it’s just the way it is. People have less and less time to linger on other people’s sites,The amount of content on the net is overwhelming and consequently there is less time to leave comments , less time to create connections, unless really meaningful, or useful or inspiring. Today there is just less and less space for random ramblings, and our little corner of the net must be gained and kept with hard work and meaningful, excellent content. Which is also not wrong. In these past years I have never really set a goal for this space, I never aimed at having a big readership but I enjoyed having people stop over and share their thoughts. It was all quite random and somehow, I felt I failed a bit at keeping my readers because my course of life took so many turning points and things happened in between me and my blog that left me for period of time absent from the scene. So I came back to it and struggled to get used to a new landscape where people didn’t meet in the comments anymore but on Instagram or facebook pages and groups or on twitter. It just all felt a bit fragmented. And chaotic. An I guess I already had enough of the chaos three little kids would generate at home that I wasn’t sure I had the necessary strenght to dive into online chaos anymore. In fact, what I would really aspire to is to create a space where people could find quiet, and peace for those two three minutes they are willing to spend in this corner of the vast blogosphere. I would like this to be a cozy corner where it is possible to linger and chat and have a cup of tea while looking at beautiful images and read about (hopefully) also some insightful things. But I need sometime, time to regain focus, to put things in order, to prepare myself because next time I jump on this crazy Internet bandwagon again, I would like to do it with more clarity, more purpose and more focus. Mostly I would like this space to be a true reflection of who I am today, which is inevitably different than who I was five years ago when this all started out.And that’s the beauty of blogging, the possibility to change direction whenever we feel it’s needed. So I guess this is the last post on Hollywood Road as you know it. I am not sure yet about the changes ahead. I am not sure if this space will change name, or just logo or maybe just direction, but one thing is for sure, I will keep it alive and it will hopefully come back. I want this to be a place able to gather a community (big or small) of people around it, a place to spark connection between like minded people , a place to give inspiration and good useful insights.If I choose to dedicate time to blogging, I want it to be worthwhile. I want to contribute to the blogosphere in a meaningful way not just pouring random content for the sake of it. I want my blog to have a project behind it. I am proud of this space and I truly love it and feel a connection to it.But I also think it suffered from lack of direction and purpose and above all, consistency. So I am ready to close this chapter and open a new one. I am not done with blogging, I am not done with sharing my thoughts, my photos, my life here because I still do believe blogging is a powerful, beautiful way to connect and share . And its most profound achievement has been the freedom it gave people to put themselves and their talents out there with no mediation and no condition.
It’s not coincidence that this decision came to me while I am here in my hometown in Italy. This has always been the place that have inspired the best ideas and best thinking for me. In this crystal clear silence I always find the clarity I need to proceed in life.I wish for you in this new year to find what I wish for this space. A bit of quiet, a bit of stillness a bit of clarity. The world is fast paced and we more often than not enjoy the ride, but in the midst of our hectic life I wish you moments of quiet. I wish you peace.I wish you clarity of vision.
Happy New year, thank you for your support in all of these years, I hope at least some of your visits to this space have been enjoyable. And see you soon, wherever this will be.

Little end of the year pleasures

January 1, 2015

Some things that kept me company towards this end of the year. Our stay in Italy is almost over and the thought of these little luxuries will perhaps put a smile on my face when I will feel homesick…

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New books
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essay on independent coffee shops found on Monocle Forecast 2015


a wintry garden

new bedsheets: I finally found a set of linen duvet cover from here together with soft new towels and a couple of pijamas.One of my new years resolutions involved introducing a bit more pampering in our bedroom.

this article

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the afternoon coffee: life in this town revolves around little rituals.Afternoon coffee is one of my favorite.I enjoyed having a bit of quiet time in the afternoon with the kids.House silent, day fading away, I would prepare a cup of coffee while looking outside to our semi dark garden, then I would sit at the table and sip my espresso quietly.

this is water : the best thing I have read this month

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the snow!!!! I had dreamed of a white Christmas, and we will have a white New year’s Eve instead. Yesterday she came. It started to fall softly, gently and before we knew it everything around us was wrapped up in white. The feeling of being warm and cozy inside while outside is snowing is one I hadn’t experienced in a long time and I feel lucky to have been able to seethe snow once again.

My main New Year’s resolution: how to cultivate the elegant art of not giving a shit

Last but not least: later mornings and cuddles in bed. One of the main perks of holidays and being a parent.

Enjoy the rest of your holidays and Happy New Year!! Whether you will opt for a fancy night out or a quiet home gathering be sure to surround yourself with people you love and care about, eat well, be a little crazy if you fancy it and get ready to start the new year in style! xx

Christmas this year

December 27, 2014


“He went to the church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and for, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of homes, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed of any walk, that anything, could give him so much happiness.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carrol

It’s the evening of boxing day (or Santo Stefano as we in Italy call it), and I find myself wrapped up in the familiar melancholy that follows a big day full of excitements and expectations. House has been full for the past three days and has now been emptied by a half. Kids are still happy, still playing but Christmas, even this year is gone. It was a bit different from the other years, slightly less joyful maybe, for sure more thoughtful. But the children had a blast and that’s what’s important. They had their presents, their very own Santa Claus coming on Christmas night. The grandparents house was bustling with preparation and excitement. They had the whole Christmas thing. I wish I could keep some for myself, I wish myself and you dear readers, to stash some of that Christmas magic in your own secret place. That sense of wonder and expectation only children can experience, I wish you to keep some with you to last for a whole year. Carry it in your pocket, fold it in your diary and take it out whenever you need it. Happy holidays from me, to you.

At home, the Australian way

December 16, 2014











Some apartments are more Pinterest worthy than others, let’s be truthful. In my language that means that when I come across a beautiful house, what separates it from the rest in terms of good design and eye catching decor is the amount of rooms I pin on Pinterest, meaning if I get extremely excited there are good chances that almost the whole apartment will be pinned. And that’s what happened with this Australian home, which I found on Desire to Inspire . There are a few elements that make Australian homes particularly fascinating in my eyes:

1 there is a freshness to them that you don’t always find anywhere else and that most likely is the product of a very exciting and young design scene.
2. The light. Australian homes are often inundated by that beautiful Australian light (I know this is more some kind of romantic invention of mine) for some reasons and therefore they photograph beautifully. I bet they are any photographer’s dream.
3 . Even when set in urban environment there is always an element of connection to the nature, which is also deeply ingrained in this country’s roots of wide open roads, ocean and mountains.

In case you are wondering yes a have a weakness for all things Australian and I think that started with that trip I took years ago when although I didn’t see as much as I wanted of this vast country, the bit I saw definitely stole my heart . Sigh.

Building Ninjas, painting trucks

December 10, 2014


I took this picture this morning and was undecided between using this or another one showing his face. I don’t think I have anything against showing my kids photos online but somehow this photo was more representative of him as he is now, that he’s turning five years old. He’s swinging between being shy and brave, dreaming of being a superhero and still facing his fears. He wants to be awesome , as he says, and strong and fast , and realizing his limits often gets him frustrated. It never occurred to me that his fantasy world of ninjas and swords, might just be a way to equip his five years old self with the best weapons he can to fight his own insecurities and the challenges he faces every day, which is why I decided not to worry about it anymore. I don’t encourage it, but I won’t stop him because that would mean stopping a process of growth and self discovery .Happy birthday, little prince. Yes it seems like yesterday but let’s not even start on that one…

I am writing from our dining table which, at the moment, is covered in Lego pieces , stained by painting proof of their latest creative endeavor, scissors, keys, a coconut with a straw and plates with some snack remnants in them. In my room a half full suitcase is waiting to be filled in as in two days we are leaving for Christmas holidays. The thought of a plane trip with the three of them is enough to give me anxiety chills,but there it is, my little family picture, a glimpse into what my life looks like at the end of this year. I won’t start by saying how busy have I been because nobody wants to read about it, I guess, but I have been busy, very much so. And I will be for the next, well twenty years? There are so many projects, ideas in my head and so little time to accomplish anything that it can be frustrating at times,and makes me wonder how come I decided to unleash all this creativity right now that I have three children? Right now my true enemy seems to be the constant tiredness I can’t seem to get rid of.This end of the year has seen the start of something new, tiny seeds of possibilities that I need to nurture and take care of in the months to come. In the meantime I am building Ninjas and painting trucks because you know being a mother is the full time gig that doesn’t give you time off, that thing that keeps you on your toes even when you don’t have the strength, the party you have to show up to even when all you want is to be in bed reading a book.Don’t get me wrong I am not ending what has been a beautiful year in a bitter tone, no this year truly has been beautiful. Challenging at times but so full of life and I enjoyed most of it, good and bad. More than anything since I don’t know if this will be my last post of 2014 I’d like to end with some resolutions:

-I’d like to learn how to put my needs in front of everybody else’s, not all the times, but at least sometimes
-I’d like to learn how to be more forgiving of myself and less of others
-I’d like to continue to nurture my inner world while taking steps to merge it more and more with my surroundings
-I’d like to continue to cultivate and appreciate the simple pleasures
-I’d like to make the less is more my guidance for almost everything
-this year, I will replace all of these I’d like into “I will”.

Merry Christmas everybody, hopefully I will pop by before this 2014 will end and if not, well…have a great new one!!!

Ting Ting Cheng

November 25, 2014






All images are © Cheng Ting Ting

Ting Ting Cheng is a Taiwanese artist who currently resides in the UK. I got to know her work because we purchased one of her print a few years ago and I just only now got it framed . I am in love with the simplicity but the powerful concept behind it. Tign Ting explores themes such as cultural diversity, communication , consumerism in a fresh original way. Her works goes from photography to artistic installation and it’s quite prolific. These pictures are taken from the series called “Invisibilty” in which the artist photographs found objects found at street’s edge to “celebrate the banality of everyday” and at the same time raising environlemtal issues considering the amount of items disposed in garbage every day and that seem to be invisible to most of the people. Her more recent work is focused on geographic existence, language barriers and cultural belonging and it’s been exhibited in various galleries worldwide . You can find her work here.

Hong Kong neighborhoods: Hollywood Road

November 18, 2014









I took a day off my usual morning duties to hop on the mtr to Central last week and wonder off Hollywood Road and surroundings. It felt like I was on holiday, camera in hand all by myself.A luxury I can rarely afford these days. Lost myself in time I felt recharged and energized when taking the train back. Street photography. Still my favorite kind of stress therapy. I hope I can do it with more different neighborhoods in Hong Kong. But you know Hollywood Road is in my heart for several reasons (you can find out here) although these days it’s not so much about what’s happening in the street itself but more in the lanes around it where little boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants are popping out almost every week. Anyway this leafy street that has the perfect mix of antique, art, food, and retains so many memories of week ends spent wondering hands in hands when kids were not yet in the picture, it’s of course my favorite place and that’s why it named this blog, among other things.Hope you enjoyed the photos. I know it was long time overdue!

At home: indoor gardens

November 10, 2014

image via kerouac and coke on tumblr

image via kerouac and coke on tumblr

image via my scandinavian home

image via my scandinavian home

image via happy interior blog

image via happy interior blog

image via kinfolk

image via kinfolk

image via finelittleday

image via finelittleday

image via decor8

image via decor8

image via freunde von freunden

image via freunde von freunden

image via design sponge

image via design sponge

If you remember I am on a mission that involves make some changes and generally improve our home, one room at the time. I started from the front porch, which by next week end should receive some serious and long awaited revamp and I intend to carry on roomy by room. This is not something that involves major changes like change of furniture or anything like that. It’s more an attempt at rationalizing the space we have , clearing up the clutter , make a better use of the storage available and well yes, generally make our space (and life) a bit cleaner. Part of said improvement is the intention to introduce more plants in the house itself and put them on strategic points where they are not at risk of being killed. So I thought I’d share with you some picture of indoor gardens taken from my Pinterest board, flowers and plants. Since I have started blogging I have seen many trends passing by in interior decoration and indoor plants (succulents in particular) is definitely a current one although it’s been around for a while now.Hoever more than a trend to follow, incorporating some green in your life is a way of being and a way to improve your home and your life. It makes me happy just looking at these pictures! Do you enjoy indoor plants and how do they improve your air/life quality?

p.s. for a list of plants that purify your indoor air you can check this fun illustration here

You can find all the links to the original articles here.

Photography: capturing your life

November 6, 2014



It is undeniable that the last few years with the exploding phenomena of blogging and social media, photography industry has undergone radical changes that have totally transformed the traditional image of the photographer as we know it. Some people say it’s terrible, some people stick to the positive side and see this as an opportunity. The world, on and off line seems to be more and more hungry for images and day after day we are literally inundated by images so much so that sometimes I wonder if people still use the verbal word to communicate (but this is a topic for another time, perhaps). I don’t know what it is that compels us so much to produce and share countless of images every day. Memory is one reason, being accountable is perhaps another one, but I see around me a kind of frenzy that pushes people to capture things , surroundings and well… themselves.
I think the main reason behind that is that people are more aware of their lives these days, they want to make the most of it, they perceive life as precious and ephemeral and so strive to have something tangible to go back to when the old good days are gone. Pictures are a wonderful thing indeed. They are able to transport us to places and moments that we had thought were lost in time, sometimes they move us, sometimes they upset us, sometimes, they just are what they are a record of days that in retrospect somehow always look better. It’s like we want to preserve a moment to enjoy and taste it for a later day. All good, but is this always good? And what’s the point in capturing life if we don’t live it after all? So I thought about a little vademecum for compulsive shooters to break down do’s and dont’s of recording life moments.

1 not everything needs to be photographed: this connects to the point I was trying to express above. We compulsively shoot shoot shoot and by doing this we miss the moment. So what’s the point? I was with my kids the other day and they were doing something I am sure unbelievably cute so I was tempted to rush to the Iphone until a little voice told me to chill out and just observe. Because by observing I would have been able to really absorb the moment, enjoy it , being moved by it , give it the importance it deserved right then and there. Also, let’s face it we all have our computer hardwares full of thousand of shots that most probably will never see the light of the day because who has the time for that? so it’s best to pause and understand when it’s time to grab that camera and when it’s not.Time is going fast yes, that’s an undeniable fact and our photographs will not stop it.

2. Have a purpose: thinking about what is that you’re trying to capture and so shooting with an intention will most likely lead to more thoughtful photographs that will perhaps stand out from the ocean of mediocre shots we took of our child’s face when trying solid food for the first time. If that’s what you want to capture well yes it is a good enough reason so plan in advance and choose the right medium which leads to the next point.

3. Choose your camera. it doesn’t have to me a fancy dslr. too many people ask me in frustration what do they need to take good pictures and what camera should they get for this. What I always tell them is that the camera is only one step along the way. It’s your intention, your vision, your eye the most important thing to bring to a picture. There are some excellent point and shoot cameras out there and even smart phones do a great job these days but my opinion is don’t stick only to Iphones. Invest in a good, simple, easy to use camera (maybe a film camera?? Yes!!!) and challenge yourself a bit, if you love capturing life, you will be rewarded with beautiful photos.

4. Edit it, print it.Edit ruthlessly, even if you’re only left with one picture. One picture is enough. just print it (or again use a film camera, the money you will have to spend to develop the photos will push you to think more about what to shoot, trust me). When we were kids, my mother used to compile photo albums for each and every one of us and to this moment these are the best memories I have of my childhood . The pictures were not perfect but I still remember my mom , camera on hand, trying her best to make a memory out of our birthdays , our days at the beach or days together as a family. Some of them are really good (by the way I am still using that camera from time to time) some of them are a bit out of focus but who cares. What emerges from these pictures are the memories, the belly laughs, the happy days, the people that are not there anymore and this is enough,when time comes to blur everything out this is what we want to remember I guess, the love we gave and the love we shared.

And indeed there are some very special moments to be remembered and captured. Our own stories. Stories of bellies growing and flourishing, births, teeth falling, lazy days at home or special days we want to remember. In that case you can always hire a storyteller to do it for you, so all you have to do is really just enjoy.And be in the picture.

Signs of Autumn

November 4, 2014

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photo 3

And suddenly it’s Autumn all around. We have been busy with last trips to the beach as the summer ended, grandparents visits, a halloween/birthday party that was a great success, first experiments in gardening, clumsy attempts at crafting with the crafty group of mums at school, a week end in Shanghai, my first photoshoot in Hong Kong with a beautiful (now) new mama, beginnings of autumn and of course …the sea. Oh and I also become a contributor for C+B the website founded by my friends Francesca, which offer resources to creative female enterpreneurship in Italy, for which I am now the photo editor. I have already said that but yes life seems to be so full right now so much so that I think I am on the verge of a momentous decision which involves a complete change of my mind set and try to become a better life planner. I guess if I learned how to drive I can manage to learn that too.I am trying to figure out what is that I want to achieve in the new coming year and how to achieve it while still be a full time mum. It seems so far fetched, but I understood that it all comes to that, what is that you want to achieve and how much you are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve it. You see, I have a hard time setting priorities, I am infamously bad at planning I work pushed by enthusiasm and feelings because I do put my heart into things, but this sometimes leaves me with no rational control over the parts of my life that are inevitably neglected. I decided that perhaps it’s time for a change if I really want to set goals for myself.So as my favorite time of the year starts and the cooler days are leaving a bit more time to introspection, I pledge to make some resolutions and for God’s sake finally stick to them.Enjoy Autumn, wherever you are!

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