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I'm Melissa!

A Food Network chef + mama obsessed with travel, and mouth watering food. I also own a gorgeous cooking school in Italy. My mission? To share the secrets of La Dolce Vita so you can create a healthy, beautiful, delicious life filled with joy!


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This morning I woke up early to do what I always do on Tuesdays. I write the content for my weekly newsletter. I had 3 topics I was toying around with as I made my morning espresso. And then I received a call from my teenage daughter Jade. She was crying and hyperventilating and since she has only been driving for a few weeks, I began praying that she was not involved in any car accident.

She proceeded to tell me that she could not find her math homework. I told her to calm down and take 10 deep breaths and we would locate it. But despite my urging her not to panic, I could hear her breaths coming in short and sharp. I could hear the fear and dread mounting. The full-blown hysteria and racking sobs soon followed. But I insisted she just stop and take those 10 deep breaths. The same ones I have used over and over when I am struggling with a difficult situation.

I told her once she was done, to look again for the papers and I would do the same. But I stressed that she was to do nothing till she had slowed down her breathing. I explained to her that she would not be able to solve anything till she calmed down and that nothing was that serious. A few minutes later she called back all smiles. She had found her homework.

As a parent, I am horrified at the stress teenagers are dealing with today. Some of it comes from their peers, teachers, and the college system. But the truth is that most of it is actually self-imposed. While Jade is a straight-A student, neither Saul nor I care about her grades. We just want her to be happy and healthy. But she pushes herself to breaking point to be perfect. But perfect leaves no room for improvement.

And she is not alone. This plugged-in world has caused all of us to do more and more to be the best. We get out a yardstick and measure ourselves against everyone in the outside world. This is just our ego trying to dominate and win. But we don’t pause to go inside and check in on our real selves. The invisible light that flows through all of us. Our God spark.

We don’t carve out the time to slow down and center in and breathe. We don’t make time to connect with our Creator. The truth is that any problem we face, cannot be solved by the same mind that created it. The answers we seek are inside in the quiet.

So the next time you are falling apart at the seams, remember this post. And just stop. Sit down somewhere and close your eyes. If you are driving, don’t close your eyes. Take 10 of the biggest, deepest, fullest breaths you can. Breathe right into the bottom of your diaphragm. Hold it at the top for 2 seconds. Then exhale completely. Pause at the bottom for another 2 seconds. Repeat this 10 times.

As you do this imagine the life force that is all creation entering your space. Invite Him in and ask for guidance. And watch the calm descend over you when you realize you are not walking this journey alone. Then approach the difficult situation with a clear mind. I guarantee you will be much better equipped to deal with your challenges.

Safe travels ahead my love.


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I'm Melissa, your host & tour guide.

A Food Network chef, author, mamma, eternal optimist, wannabe-mermaid, spice mixologist, and “dough therapist” (yep, it’s a thing)—

I'm also the founder of Susina Cucina, the gorgeous, Italian cooking school I manifested into my reality. I’m obsessed with Aperol spritzes, travel, and mouthwatering food… especially pizza and pasta.

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Food Netwok Chef, Melissa is dishing up delicious food and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your soul.

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