Italy in the ‘Bu

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OMG, stay-cations are easier said than done.  I thought I had a brilliant idea this summer to NOT travel, save some money and plan the festivities in house.

The biggest challenge isn’t planning and using your imagination, but making the commitment to take REAL time off – which means no busy work and a tech break.

My concept was to bring Italy or Mexico to our home in Malibu.  Considering the cash we would have to spend to fly our big brood overseas, book a hotel and feed our crew – the idea was a budgeter’s dream!

My vision was to skip the awful jet lag, save the airfare, sleep in our own beds (which are quite frankly so much more comfy than any hotel), and design an international environment with our creativity. 

For example, Italy. We created an international Italian playlist to soar throughout the house plus an Italian chef (who BTW would cost a fraction of the dining costs per day in any resort for my hungry family).  The money we saved on airfare and accommodations could be put towards a masseuse, a bartender and even some beautiful flowers to adorn each of my children’s rooms, which we would convert to a bed and breakfast-like shack for a few friends.  Kids and playmates could pile up anywhere, couches, bunk beds and even our movie room, which makes the perfect slumber party locale for them. 

The only rules: No driving, no phones and no working.  Sounds pretty amazing but the problem is trying to check out and totally unwind when you’re at home and there’s so much to do.  But as soon as I kick the workaholic’s ass inside of me, I’m good to go!

David and I made a commitment and blocked out three days of our summer to relax, imagine and enjoy… This summer has flown by and Back to School is moments away – not to mention Season 15 of DWTS for me.

So this is my dream vacation at home.  With friends, family, decadent food, spirits, and my favorite Thai sisters working on my sore OMB! body simultaneously alongside my husband. The music will transform us.  I have paid my housekeeping duties in the last few weeks and now I will pretend that our home is a villa in Tuscany and we’re vacationing with our loved ones.  We just were lucky enough to be zapped there without the flights and jet lag, no packing required or unpacking for four kids.

I am cooking one of the nights. Here’s my Italian menu: Fried calamari, Caesar salad, puttanesca penne with vodka pea cream sauce, and garlic bread with an endive avocado cucumber salad.  Oh, BTW, no dieting allowed that night!

I’ve gotten all my favorite Italian wines to accompany the meal and stocked our pool fridge with Italian beer. I’m pulling out my Italian dishes from our last adventure there and the delicate tablecloths I found in the Tuscan alley market.  My beach dresses purchased from the Sardinian peddler will be perfect for poolside lounging.  Each morning, Rain and I will knock out the zucchini frittatas that we discovered in Tuscany last summer. Pizza will be delivered for lunch.  And my many Italian cookbooks and friends will inspire dinners. That’s Amore!

Really, we do NOT have to travel far to unwind and vacation.  Most of what I love best is right here at home.

I took some pics to share this fun idea, which only requires family, great company, your favorite theme with cuisine and spirits to match and an open mind…

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