A Fond Farewell

Hello, hello, friends!

2017MaddyNyexDLF088(via Maddy Nye)

This post is long overdue, but after nearly eight years of maintaining this site and sharing 993 posts (!), it’s with a bittersweet heart that I announce I will stop writing here on Ciao Bella.

I struggle with the idea of quitting well, anything, hence my hesitancy to do this any sooner, but I’d rather leave Ciao Bella in a spot I’m happy with than continue a half-hearted attempt at keeping it active. If anything, the timing feels right – as I enter in a new decade, start a new academic year, delve deeper in other activities – to say goodbye. And while I considered an Irish exit, I feel that this site and its readers (you!) deserve a proper farewell post.

Blogging is an interesting hobby. I started posting as an early teen, eager for a platform where I could share my interests in books and baking and art. It can so often feel like publishing in a digital void that I feel lucky and grateful to have found a rich, vibrant, and supportive community of fellow readers and writers in return. That in mind, if there’s anything I’ll miss most about blogging, it will be connecting with others over the things and stories I so dearly love.

As I was mulling over the decision this summer, I read and listened to a lot: pieces on the state of the internet, our capacity for digital interaction, the creation of our online selves, what blogging was and what blogging is – a, reflection, perhaps, of my realization that here on Ciao Bella I can see myself grow up.

Needless to say, the internet makes for a strange little place. How fortunate am I to have been able to carve out a space on it where I felt right at home. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

With much love,

May 2017 Hiatus

Hi friends!

May 2017 HiatusHow are things? Terrific, I hope. I’m popping in to share a short announcement: I’ll be taking a brief blogging break! So what does that mean for Ciao Bella? While posts have been sporadic throughout the spring, I’ll officially be on hiatus for a few more weeks, with new content returning Tuesday, May 30. It’s my hope that after my final spurt of senior activities {prom, spring musical, Top Ten Breakfast, and the like}, I can devote plenty more time to both blogging and reading, hobbies I’ve sorely missed over the past several months.

In the meantime, I wish you all the most wonderful May and a happy spring! :)

Currently: May 2016


Long time no see, friends! Thank you for sticking around during my brief hiatus; it was much-needed in these past few weeks. While I’ve been having a blast, I can’t lie: I’ve missed writing in this little space and hearing what you’re up to. With that said, I’d thought I’d ease back into blogging with a “Currently” post – less as a way to focus solely on my life, but to encourage you to take a prompts for a spin as well! How is your May coming?

LemonadeListening: Beyonce’s Lemonade | Add me to the legions of Beyoncé fans who have played her instant hit album, Lemonade, on repeat ever since she released it in late April. From the catchy and powerful “Formation” to my personal favorite “Daddy Lessons,” each and every track demonstrates an incredible level of talent and expertise, not to mention sharp insight on a number of modern issues. The visual component is just as impressive, and just gushing about it has me tempted to listen to it all again. You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard one of her new songs by now, so I’ll take this opportunity to ask: what’s your favorite song?

The CrucibleEnjoying: The end of AP tests | If you too were enrolled in AP courses this school year, you know that much of the spring is dominated by exam preparation. I’m delighted to say that I finished the second of my two tests last week, so I have a far easier school schedule until I finish up in June! In APUSH, we’ve just started our Model Senate project – I’ll take debates over practice essays any day – and in my AP Lang and Comp class, we’ve begun The Crucible, which made this theater and Tavi Gevinson fan happy. I just have one last round of standardized tests to endure {SAT subjects, anyone?} before I’m done with those pesky College Board multiple choice bubbles for junior year – cue the excitement.

Needing: To write my graduation speech | After a tech week like no other, I can turn my attention to things outside of the school auditorium, including my speeches for my school’s end of the year events! I’ve begun brainstorming, but work still remains: I need to polish them up and get them down on paper before Class Day and the official graduation in June. Fortunately, as the junior class president, I’ve been assured that I can keep it brief; in other words, nothing that I can’t get done in an afternoon with the Hamilton soundtrack on in the background.

Me and Earl and the Dying GirlWatching: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl | I mentioned it on Twitter, but it bears repeating: I waited far too long to watch the film adaptation of Jesse Andrews’ hilarious and heartwarming story Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and I’d encourage you not to make the same mistake! The charming indie film was released last summer to wide acclaim, thanks in part to the stellar performances of Thomas Mann as Greg and Olivia Cooke as Rachel. The style and structure of the movie was right up my alley, and better yet, it made me want to read the novel again. To the summer TBR list it goes!

Reading: Plenty of YA contemporary novels | I’ve been in a reading slump like no other since the beginning of the month, but I have hopes that I’m only a novel away from getting out of it! Fortunately, with so many library books awaiting me, I don’t think it’s a lack of good reads that’s the problem, but, rather, a lack of time. The books currently on my nightstand include novels When We Collided {I can’t wait to dive in to it tonight!}, The Unexpected Everything {no doubt I’ll be reading it in one sitting}, and Tim Federle’s The Great American Whatever {I’ve heard nothing but good things}. There’s nothing better than a new story from queens of YA Emery Lord and Morgan Matson to finish off a week right.

Footloose CrewMissing: Footloose | My school’s annual school musical {we did Footloose this year} was last week, and although we just finished it, I already miss my time at rehearsal! The show was, by and large, one of the most fun productions I’ve stage managed – and I’m so sad it’s come to a close. The cast was one talented and friendly bunch; the crew was such a hard-working and funny group {that’s us above!}; and tech week itself flew by, nine-hour rehearsals and all. We still await news from the judges that evaluated our show, but in the meantime, I’ll just look forward to my next stage managing gig :)

NeogenesisLoving: A-Z Visuals of Unusual Words | This creative take on language popped up in my Twitter feed earlier last week, and it was a clear case of love at first sight. The premise is as the title suggests: artists James and Michael Fitzgerald made visual depictions of strange words {examples include jettatura, noegenesis, and biblioclasm}. Perhaps I’m biased – I do love expanding my vocabulary and learning about words of all sorts – but I think it’s such a unique project and worth a look! It debuted ages ago, but then again, art this cool always deserves a shout-out.

Excited for: Prom | Finally, I’m so looking forward to my school’s prom this Saturday night! I know firsthand how hard our prom committee has worked to plan an excellent evening, and I have no doubt it will all pay off at our 1920s-themed dance. I’m not much of a dancer, but I know that the fun is in getting ready {I’ll be wearing this pretty dress!} and having a blast with your friends. Has your school hosted prom yet?

Have a terrific Tuesday!