Category: Blog

I Have Scars

We can all paint a pretty picture – the image we portray to the world and a beautiful portrait depicting laughter and joy which thankfully hide the scars we’ve accumulated over a lifetime. Large and small, they are masses of distorted emotions left behind from wounds afflicted on us so deep that some will never recover.

I think my first scars appeared quite young and was surprised to learn from my cousins that I was excluded from their pass times – the baby and too small to participate in whatever they were doing. “We were really mean to you!” said my cousin, Joanne. I don’t remember this but it may explain a few things such as my desire to create my community support initiative, Ro On The Go.  The title says it all!

I acquired a few more scars later in childhood and in my teens. In grade 7 I was the only person in school not invited to a party because I was Italian – along with another girl who had developmental disabilities.  Fast forward several years where I was constantly referred to as ‘anchor nose’ and ‘wop’ and of course not one boy through high school liked me because of my ethnicity…and the verbal jabs across the lunchroom table didn’t help attract boys either, even if most were in jest.  No, Romina Jelmini was definitely not girlfriend material and you’d better stay away…unless you wanted to be the butt end of the joke yourself.

Yes, I’ve been scared deeply and although a nose job could never remedy the pain, I miraculously survived my teens!  Suddenly in my twenties, with my heritage now somehow irrelevant to the opposite sex, I blossomed and as a result reacted by becoming a not-so-nice girlfriend while leaving a few broken hearts behind me. It was self-preservation until my husband came along and refused to give up.

You can keep the wounds open, feeling a lifetime of pain while taking your anguish out on the world – or you can heal and wear your scars which I have done by working for an Italian Canadian magazine and supporting my community.  Yes, wounds continue to afflict me even today – friends who have hurt or let me down as well as being used to accommodate others’ agendas. These things happen to all of us and are a part of life. So know that when you look in the mirror the scars will never go away but remember that you are ultimately spirit and the love or hate that has fueled it over a lifetime. Choose grace and realize your endurance and strength to continue living with loving intention will be your greatest legacy…YOU ARE A SURVIVOR!

Italian Girl- Inspired By Venice

Shimmering like colourful, moonlit canals that gently interweave the palazzos of Venice, these Swarovski crosses on 18 carat gold-plated brass are some of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery I’ve ever owned. Reminiscent of Venice, Florence and the renaissance, I am grateful to artisan and Monnaluna creator, Giovanna Bruno for this handmade violet cross necklace and my hubby who gave me the gift of the green – such a beautiful birthday surprise!  Imported from Italy exclusively by Italian Girl Bijoux in Toronto, Giovanna’s pieces inspire, spark the imagination and transport me to another time and place.  To see more Monnaluna visit italiangirlbijoux.com.

ALL Monnaluna pieces are hand-crafted and plated in either 18 carat yellow, rose or white gold…whatever you want!! You can also choose your favourite colours and personalize Swarovski/Preciosia crystal cross necklaces, bracelets and rings. Rest assured that no one will be wearing the same jewellery as you.  Each piece is nickel-free, hypoallergenic and will not tarnish. Delivery takes two weeks. .

*Canadian distribution of Monnaluna jewellery is exclusive to Italian Girl Bijoux.

Power Of The Mind

Someone give me a medal – and not for losing 30 lbs weight loss but instead for blogging these ‘before’ photos!!

These are definitely NOT my most flattering shots but I felt it was important to bare all because I’ve been told for decades that losing weight during perimenopause was IMPOSSIBLE.  Well, they were wrong!

As many of you know via my social media postings the shift in my hormones (in addition to severe stress brought on by my dear mother’s passing) caused a variety of issues including this weight gain and although I packed on 25 lbs in just a couple of years the purpose of embarking on this journey was not to be skinny, but instead to be HEALTHY!!

My last birthday was the big eye-opener. I thought, “How do I want to live the rest of my life? And do I really want poor health to be the culprit that makes me dependent on others in my later years?’ Suddenly, my mortality became a reality.

It’s not easy for me to admit I had lost control of my health.  However, through these images and my story I want to show women experiencing the painful reality of weight gain during perimenopause that they can indeed lose weight and feel good again.  Although Dr. Micheal Carozza of Applemed Clinic  (a.k.a.Dr. Mike) has been an essential guide and wealth of knowledge I wouldn’t have lost a pound if I was not disciplined.  On my first appointment dated March 16, I expressed my doubts to Dr. Mike. It felt like a pipe dream. However, after my first 5 lbs loss I was elated and knew without a doubt that I would lose my intended 30 lbs goal.

I’ve received hundreds of messages from women inquiring about the ‘diet’ I am on and what ‘the secret’ is.  There’s no gimmick diet here and easy way out! My meals are a balance of healthy food choices. The secret? It’s all in the POWER OF THE MIND.  You can have all the tools but if you’re not patient, determined and do the work that’s involved, then you won’t lose the weight. Plain and simple. Your mind can either be your prison (woe is me!) or the gateway to freedom (yes, I can do this!).

All I can say is that I’m relieved to feel like my old myself again.. and to finally fit into all my clothes! Coming soon will be some tips I learned from Dr. Mike.  If you’re perimenopausal and gaining, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Introducing…Me!

‘Adversity introduces a man to himself’ – this quote from Albert Einstein came to mind over a month ago in a moment where I felt I could not go on.  I’d spent the last year in hospitals dealing with my mother’s illness and her traumatic death due to ovarian cancer. Yes, watching my extremely active mother take her last breath was traumatizing and is etched in my memory forever.

Despite being her caregiver, I was still working and at the same time I launched my own COVID-19 initiative, Vaughan Together, which became a full-time job as the need was so great.  My dream of writing for Hello Canada magazine also came to fruition during this time.  In addition to this workload, I was managing my anger towards my mom’s gynecologist who misdiagnosed her…and neglected her. Could she have been saved?  One week following my mom’s passing my father underwent heart surgery and the day after his hospital release he was rushed to emergency with complications.  It was here that I cracked. ⚡ S Sprawled on my bed, engulfed in total rage and despair, Einstein’s words came to me and knew I was at a crossroads in my life.

I’d seen people paralyzed by their grief and change forever. I was not going to be that person. The love and support from family and friends was vital but what ultimately got me through was my faith in the mystery of God.  Although my human eyes saw injustice in respects to my mom, I knew in my spirit this was her destiny and the pact she made with God before coming to this earth – just as I have a destiny and you have a destiny. Although I didn’t (and still don’t) understand the reason for her fate, in that moment I realized I was being given a choice and in the days following my faith became unwavering. Through adversity and free will, I was introduced to myself – I am strong and my spirit will never be defeated.  For all my friends in despair, it is time you are introduced to yourself! Find your faith, believe in the unexplainable and know there is a bigger plan and reason for everything.