I'm Lisa!

I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.


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Meeting Thomas

Thomas Joseph Di Donato

thomasToday the 29th of July is the ‘official’ Due Date of Thomas, when I would have been 40 weeks.  Even though I knew that I would probably not go full term considering a cesarean was the plan at around 38-39 weeks, I certainly did not expect him to surprise us one month early, at 36 weeks!

There I was, just finishing dinner on the 2nd July, feeling pretty tired as had crammed as much as possible into the first THREE DAYS of my maternity leave when I crossed my legs and felt a little leak!  So my first thought was, “oops I really need to do more pelvic floor exercises!” The thought that my waters may have broken did pass quickly through my brain but I just as quickly dispelled any such thought!  It was too early!  I had a lot of plans for the next few weeks and giving birth so early wasn’t really one of them.  I stood up, felt more fluid run down my legs and then gave Emiliano a look that probably said something unprintable here but I’m sure your imagination can fill in the blanks.

Our first concern (after getting over the initial shock) was what to do with Matteo who was peacefully sleeping unaware that his new brother was about to arrive!  As Emiliano and I have no relatives who live nearby,  we had no idea who we could call to look after Matteo at such short notice.  As I was sure that I would be having a scheduled cesarean, we hadn’t really thought about who we would call if we had to do a late night run to the hospital.  We also didn’t want Matteo to wake up and find a stranger in the house so I sent a quick message to one of his favourite teachers from day-care who replied immediately and was at our house within 10 minutes.

There is a lot to be said for those of you who have your hospital bags prepared way in advance!  I was soon to discover that you can never be too organised! I threw a few things in a bag as quickly as possible only to find that when I got to the hospital and needed a change of underwear, I had packed no undies but instead, I had packed three bras! At the hospital, you have to bring your own cutlery, water-glass and coffee cup which I also forgot along with my moisturiser and a change of clothes.

After an uneventful night (no contractions) I was whisked into the delivery room and prepped for a cesarean. At 9:43am, weighing 2.680kg and measuring 48cm, Thomas Joseph Di Donato was safely delivered. As he was born before 37 weeks, he was taken off to the nursery for observation but he was fine and showed that he was putting on weight so he was discharged four days later.

The last 26 days have absolutely flown. I am soaking up the newborn smell, touch and tiny size of Thomas as I know that he will soon be a chubby toddler crawling around at our feet and getting at everything within reach.

Meeting Matteo

Meeting Matteo



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Ciao, I'm Lisa B,
I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.

I created This Tuscan Life blog, magazine and experiences to share everything I love about Florence & Tuscany, one of the most popular and visited regions in Italy.   Add a splash of watercolour & you've got a creative mamma of two who wants to show you the true & authentic side of Tuscany.

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I always love discovering new fashion brands and so you can imagine my delight when I was recently introduced to a beautiful new Florentine brand called @pavonefirenze.

Founded in 2019 by Creative Directors Angela Testani and Massimo Brilli, PAVóNE FIRENZE is a women’s shoe and accessory collection, designed and created in Florence.