Ladies be careful

Purse TheivesLadies be careful! I had my bag snatched from under my seat in a popular cafe near the station today. Luckily another girl realized what was going on and yelled at them so they dropped it and ran but it was a near miss. The staff told me it happens all the time in there. My daughter has also been pick-pocketed twice in the area around the station. I know this kind of thing happens in all big cities but I’m always really careful and it still happened to me!! Be on your guard and stay safe!

A description of the men is:  One older guy…short with glasses and one taller guy with a blue rucksack. Filipinos posing as tourists. One purposely dropped his glasses and when I didn’t pick them up (I was holding my friend’s baby at the time) he distracted me by asking directions to “Santa Maria”. In the meantime the other guy put his arm under the back of my chair and snatched my bag.

You need to be aware of your surroundings and where your purse is located.  They used the fact I had a baby in my arms to do this ruse.  There have been a few more incidents with an old couple and another friend.  All within the same area of Santa Maria Novella and shops in that area.  by Anonymous

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Normal middle class living overseas are turning in their Citizenship to the US

So there is a way out for my children. I wonder if we need to do it in those two years or wait until older. The thing that annoys me the most is that the US wants our information about our income abroad yet the US does not give it’s citizens living abroad any of the benefits of being a US citizen.  Where is my national healthcare? I am a US citizen and when I visit home to see family I have no insurance because I have a pre existing condition.  Really of course more and more normal middle class living overseas, for reasons such as their husband is here, are turning in their Citizenship to the US, that is because we get nothing from the US for being a citizen.  This is surely not the way to get those that are embezzling money overseas, but it is a way for those citizens living abroad to be more and more not happy with their home country and wondering why we hold onto our citizenship. Maybe instead of shoving us further and further away you should figure away to really include us as citizens that love our home country and should continue staying with our home country. You are keeping immigrants that cross over the boarders but yet you are driving your own nationally born citizens that have even lived there for years away because of a small percentage of people embezzling money overseas.  I am talking about the amounts of people not the amounts of money.  There has to be another way.

Americans Abroad Top Annual Record for Turning in Passports

The number of Americans renouncing U.S. citizenship increased 37 percent in the three months through December and the annual total reached a record level, data published Tuesday showed.

The trend likely is accelerating because of a 2010 law that gives the Internal Revenue Service unprecedented access to U.S. citizens’ foreign bank accounts, said Stephen Flott, an attorney at Flott & Co. P.C. in Arlington, Virginia, whose clients include expatriates. The U.S. is the only country within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that taxes citizens wherever they reside.

“If they have no real desire to work or live here, then the question for them is: What’s the point?” Flott said. “For those who feel no real affinity to the U.S., it’s a no- brainer.” read more……

What do you do with your children?

I am wondering what you do with your children when school is out and you have to work. 

work children

summerI know a few things moms do here.  Some send to Nonni (Grandparents).  Some send to Summer camps/schools.  Some take off work using vacation time and other times they can use.  But what do you do? Comment below and let us know what you do.  This is a tough situation for many with children and of course need to work.

Child Safety Class Date Confirmed

emergencyOur child safety class held in English will be on Saturday April 18 time 10-12 at Istituto Prosperius (Viale Fratelli Rossellli 62). Please bring a donation of 15 euros per person for ENGERA non profit organization, the charity we are supporting.

A few details–if you are driving, there is some limited parking available behind the building (access behind number 60) or paid parking nearby in the Porta al Prato parking lot.

There will be room for strollers, and stair free access through the back door (off the parking lot).  From both the front and the back door, just follow the signs marked “Child Safety Class.”

There will be a quiet space available to feed and change babies and washrooms on site. 

Any questions before signing up you can contact
Sarah McLean

Sign up now

Women Supporting Women Event


Toy Drive for the Angels for a Day

Dear friends:AngelsToyDrive14ENG_WEB

It is that time of year…..where I assist in organizing the Toy Drive for the Angels for a Day program.  This year we are helping 100 needy children

Angels for a Day is a volunteer program dedicated to children who live in situations of difficulty, poverty, in foster care or are patients in health care facilities.  By pairing a “guardian angel” (a youth volunteer) with a child the Angels for a Day program strives to give hope of a better world to those who otherwise may be forgotten.This Christmas you can be an angel for a day by making a cash donation, with the proceeds being used to purchase Christmas presents for the children of the Angels for a Day program. You can drop off your generous cash donation at the Paperback Exchange Bookstore - Via Delle Oche, 4R - between December 1st and 10th, 2014.
For those of you with Facebook I would appreciate you posting the flyer on your page so that as many people as possible can be aware of this very important Christmas initiative.  I would also appreciate you forwarding this email to anyone that you think would like to be an angel for a day by making a donation.
Thank you for helping to put a smile on a needy child’s face this Christmas.Elizabeth

Cara Domings a Private Music Instructor living in Florence

cara MatteoI got to meet Cara Domings, a 25 year old female American singer/songwriter and private music instructor, when she came to do a piano lesson for my son.   She studied under Dr. Faina Brayanskaya in Boston, who is a Russian pianist with a unique, holistic approach to teaching.  This approach involves working closely with the student’s personal musical goals and focuses on expressiveness, channeling inspiration, and most importantly, enjoying music. Cara balances her teaching with hands-on strategies (such as using vivid imagery and touch to learn and remember) and uses a mix of resources (instead of one series of books, for example). She likes to see exactly where each student is coming and works closely with them to gain positive trust as their mentor and to challenge them in healthy ways.

I have to say I love her approach and interaction with my son. My son loves music and has gone to a Music School but was getting bored with the putting a book in front and studying like in school.  He is very auditory with music and loves to play music more by ear. I liked the fact that Cara asked him questions to see if he was understanding and figure out what he already knows. She interacted with him in seeing what his capabilities and desires were. He wanted to continue playing after she left instead of the usual I did my chore attitude he would get with other instructors.

Cara teaches private music lessons in Florence to students of all ages and am currently accepting new students. She teaches guitar, piano, voice and songwriting, both in Italian or English.  She is very passionate and positive individual. She has been living in Italy for the last five years and is currently residing here to pursue her studies in Italian language and culture, which is her second passion. In addition, this year she wrote and released a single from Nashville, Tennessee, which you can hear by going to this link Though the piece has a country feel, Cara plays and teaches all styles and genres of music.

To contact her for lessons:  email is and phone is 3317798505

Joint Collaboration with Creative Corners

CC logoI have talked to Kirste Milligan who runs Creative Corners and we have formed a joint collaboration.  Creative Corners a nonprofit cultural organization (website is being updated) and offers many events to children dance, science, music and art. They even offer English classes and have some summer programs.

I wanted to post two events that are coming up in November:

“RIGHTS & CREATIVITY”  Children’s rights through Fables (with the Patronage of UNICEF) at Creative Corner- Via F.D.Buonvicini 17a Florence.

Tuesday November 18th at 5.15pm- 6.30pm.  Activity is FREE of charge, suitable for ages 7 -12, reservation necessary by Friday Nov. 14th via sms or phone call: 347 4841730

“FABLELAND” Fables from around the world in Original Language with simultaneous translation read from a huge book with after story activity.  Fable : King Midas (English)

Tuesday November 25th 5.15pm at Creative Corner -Via F.D.Buonvicini 17a Florence. Activity is  FREE  of charge as community service pro-literacy project, suitable for children ages  6- 11. Reservations necessary by  Thursday Nov. 20th via sms or phone call: 47 4841730.

*****Activities are held in ENGLISH & Italian .
*****Creative Corner can be reached by bus from SMN Train Station (bus 11 or bus 17) get off at 1st stop in Piazza Savonarola.