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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 past weekend I spent some time with some moms.

On the whole, they were exhausted and drained from the Thanksgiving holiday break.

And as much as they wanted to go home and sleep, they had projects to help their kids with and carpools to drive to soccer games and dance lessons.

They had gifts to buy for teachers, family, and work colleagues before year-end and holiday parties to plan.

Add all that to the ever-mounting pile of dirty laundry, dishes, housework, grocery shopping, and cooking.

And let’s not forget about their real work. The fast approaching deadlines, client proposals and paperwork piled high. All this was waiting for them when they finally made it to their desks.

Basically there was zero time left on the clock for them.

But taking time for yourself is vital if you are going to be of any use to your family. This is something I had to learn as I aged. And it was not easy.

I had a couple of ahhaa moments as a mom.

My first…

It was during a screaming match with Jade in 2nd grade. I was trying to help her with math. Saul turned to me and said, you can have a great relationship with Jade or you can helicopter parent her homework. And so I stopped helping her and the war ended.

The second aha moment…

Jade was around 5 and she wanted me to make a different dinner cause she didn’t like what I’d cooked. Again, Saul intervened with his wisdom and told me there was no such thing as a fussy eater. If she was hungry enough, she would eat. So, we left it out and every time she came to tell me she wanted a snack I would tell her it was on the kitchen counter. Now she eats everything, and cooking dinner is a joy.

The final moment…

This was not such an easy one for me… Infact I felt like an awful parent. Some of you might know Jade is super talented. Check her out on Instagram and give her a follow.

We don’t live close to her high school. But she was in the 9th grade musical. Every day I would take and fetch her from rehearsals. I was in such a pissy mood cause of rush hour LA traffic. I was fighting with her and Saul and he finally put his foot down.

“No more plays till she can drive”. It sounds brutal but the funny thing is that now that she has a car, she totally gets why I detest sitting in traffic. When I asked her if she was doing the next play, she vetoed it and said it was just too much driving.

You see as people we can only function at our best when we have some downtime.

You Can Do Anything But Not Everything!

And sometimes a family dinner, time watching a funny movie, reading a book, taking a long hot bath or putting on a face mask, and getting an early night is much more important than piling another task on the to-do list.

So, don’t feel bad for having that aha moment and saying NO.

Boundaries are critical to be the best version of you.

You have to take care of Y-O-U… cause if you are not okay than everyone else who relies on you is screwed too.

Selfcare is not a selfish act. Look after yourself gorgeous.


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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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The Magic of Italy
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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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