Sophia Loren on Brenda Della Casa's website BDC Life In Style

50 Small Paths To Happiness

Be a light in the lives of those around you.

Bring shade and comfort when you meet the heated and weary.

Free yourself and let them live with what they have done to you.

Get Some Sleep.

Use love as a shield against venom and hate.

Do the things that are motivated by joy, love, curiosity and passion.

Have faith in your journey.

Shoo away gossip as you would a mosquito.

Call your friends more.

Elevate your conversations.

Respect everything in your life–people, places, things, yourself.

Be mesmerized.

Show love to your life, even when it acts out.

Travel (to new places) often and eat like the locals while there.

Forgive yourself.

Know how to behave in social settings. Have good table manners.

Sit down and design a life you actually want to live.

You want to succeed? Be the best you can be every single moment of every single day.

Don’t act like the person you want to be. Be the person you want to be.

Meet a loud ego with a quiet pride.

Make it your mission to inspire by example.

Fear less and go for it. Daily.

Get your finances, thoughts, home, body and spirit in order.

Say “please” and “thank you”.

Check it out and see if it’s a fit before you say yes or no.

Make decisions you believe in and are willing to stand by.

Don’t mistake gratitude for complacency.

Seek to understand more than to simply have an opinion on a topic.

Let go of whatever does not want to be held onto.

Understand that there is bad and good in this world.

Get a decent handshake.

Stand out for reasons you can be proud of.

See people for what they are: human beings.

Accept what is happening in your life. Don’t fight it. Fight through it.

Smile at everyone you meet.

Don’t just say grace, show it.

Stop deflecting compliments.

Don’t hang around with fools. Don’t be one.

Seek to be educated on a daily basis.

Speak clearly and properly and with great integrity.

Refuse to be distracted from the creation of your destiny.


Give others the benefit of the doubt.

Flirt with great abandon.

Don’t stew in misery of any kind.

Allow yourself to be both enchanted and enchanting.

Fight for what you believe in.

Wait. Ponder both sides and three possible outcomes. React.

Avoid reliving painful situations in memory. Call yourself out and snap out of it.

No “Maybe’s”. Commit to whatever it is you are going to do.

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Mixed (Text) Messages

Note: A lot of you have been writing me about your own personal struggles with breakups, and as a result, I have decided to publish something I wrote for myself while going through a difficult time of my own.  It is never easy to lose someone we cared about or to feel as though someone who once cared has stopped, but we must always remember that what is most right for us will not leave us, and what is best for us cannot find us until we let go of what is not–no matter how badly we had once hoped for it to be.

She had loved.

She had tried.

She had believed.

He had lied.


Then, one day, many months later, while searching through her email messages for an unrelated exchange, she  happened upon a door from her past.  Attached to an email sent so long ago and yesterday, was every text from an entire relationship, from beginning to end.   The document had been sent to her from him, the very man who deleted the electronic evidence of their  time spent together the same way he did everything else-frantically and thoughtlessly — as a way to avoid acknowledging that it was coming to an end. The man who carelessly shattered her heart and then fruitlessly tried to put it all back together by way of a Google application.

Looking back, it was a strange thing. It had taken five minutes to erase everything, both in real time and online.

Over the course of a very long and very sad year, she went from crawl to stand to fall  to stand to crawl to run to fall at least a dozen times.  After too many confessions and too much wine, the tears that fell into a silent phone had caused the texts to rust, and she finally decided that it was time to swallow the hard pill and hit delete. Like him, she regretted doing it the moment she saw the past was gone. Only now, he was no longer fighting to get  it back, and well, there was no app for that.

She stared at the email subject: “I’m Sorry.”

It was an empty message.

But attached to it was every word they had sent across the world. “I shouldn’t do this,” she thought. But she was trying to move on and it was her hope that the closure and answers that so eluded her would magically appear and set her free.   And so, she took a deep breath and opened it.  “Emotional cutting at its best,” she thought.  The messages startled her. Like the situation they were sent in, they were in mangled in a chaotic order and delivered in a distracting font that could be easily misread, just as the sentiments had been. But  there they sat, shamelessly frozen in time, in all of their beautiful and brutal glory.

The bold hello, the good mornings, the better nights, the excitement of finding one another, seeing one another, bringing two worlds closer. The miscommunications and misunderstood clarifications, the  sound of her heart and his ego crashing into a reality neither could accept.

The few promises of a new day, the many goodbye’s, and  finally the many times she had pulled out her phone…



“I just want…”


“I really…”


“I still…”

Oh God, delete.



He had moved on the moment she convinced him that she could not be easily convinced.  He was a ghost in her past who treated her like she was dead.

She pulled out her journal and put pen to paper.


“It’s a strange thing, when he was crazy about her, it was romantic.

When they were crazy about one another, it was crazy in love.

When he stopped  loving her, she was just crazy.”


One cannot just stop loving the “love of his life”, so the real question is how did she fall for a fantasy?

How does one sort through the madness in the mind?


He gave (me) up.

He  gave up (on me).”

Deep down, she knew all of the answers she ached to know.

She looked across the room and caught her reflection.

He was out there living his life and there she was, incredibly, still sitting there,

Trying to make sense

out of mixed (text) messages.


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Your Secret

If only you acknowledged how far you have come,

How many lives you have lived and changed.

If only you understood your power,

Your endless ability to offer something unexpected,

To the world and to yourself.

You are not stuck or held down by your past,

And when you see what everyone else sees in you,

you’ll never worry or be trapped by fear again.

You’ll see life for what it truly is…

Your beautiful transformation…

in progress.

Penelope Cruz

25 Things Every Woman Needs To Know

-Brenda Della Casa

You are not responsible for the things your parents did or did not say to you, do for you, or teach you. You are, however, responsible for everything you say, do and show others. Drunk or sober, angry or joyful, sincere or not.

Sometimes you “win” by just deciding to stop talking, get up and go.

You have things about you that are drop-dead, oh-my-heavens-look-at-her amazing.

Just because she is pretty doesn’t mean you’re not. Just because she has met someone doesn’t mean you won’t.  Turn that jealousy into inspiration and watch your life blossom.

Any girl can achieve “Hot”  with makeup, a blowout, a short dress and heels. Witty, charming, self-respecting, elegant and drop-dead smart?  That’s gorgeous.

There’s plenty of good guys out there. If a man gives you anxiety, excuses, a reason not to believe him or anything that requires a prescription, he needs to be out of your life.

Having a relationship is not the goal.  Having a healthy, happy and loving relationship (with yourself and then someone else) is.

There’s never a reason to be a mean girl.  You’re an intelligent, compassionate and professional woman. Carry yourself like one and surround yourself with women who think catty is best reserved for Lindsay Lohan movies.

When it comes to your relationships, spend more time than money, give more compliments than criticisms, and for goodness sake, flash your manners.

A negative imagination is a dangerous, destructive device. Just because they say it, or you think it, doesn’t make it true.

Men who have six packs and great biceps often  sustain themselves on a diet  consisting of chicken and eggs and will choose the gym over date night with you.  Remember that.

It’s OK to be ambitious, but ruthless?  Bye, bye Rolodex.

Everyone wants to feel needed, no one wants to deal with needy.

You want to be a boss? Take care of your business.

Don’t spend your time trying to date a baller. Spend it working to become a baller.She who dates a man for money should not complain when he treats her poorly.  How do you treat that sweater you bought three years ago?

Urban Decay eyeshadow primer, Bye Bye Under Eye concealer and Nars bronzer will give you an about face.

It’s OK to like sex.  If you have it with a man who has not shown you that he respects, loves you, or wants to date you before having it, don’t expect having sex with him to change your status quo.

The only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to them.

Just because you ignore it doesn’t make it go away, and just because you rationalize it doesn’t make it right, and just because you want him doesn’t make him right for you.

Men who want to be with you will contact you consistently and respectfully.  Men who do not will not. Pretty simple.

Karma is really cause-and-effect.  Change your actions, reactions and the way you put yourself out there and you’ll change the way the world responds to you.

Love means different things to different people. When you say “I Love You”, you are taking responsibility for your actions and suggesting you will care about another person and their feelings. If they love you like they love hot dogs and songs on their playlist, that’s not going to do much for you long-term.

Happiness may not always be as easy as making a choice to be happy, but we always have a choice as to how to filter situations we find ourselves in. Is it proof the universe hates us or is it just life?

Smart is sexy. Kind is beautiful.

Everything you want is out there and everything you need to achieve it is inside of you.

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Fearless and Free

Where would you go if you knew you’d never feel lonely?

What would you say if there was no judgement to fear?

What would you do if there was only passion to guide you?

With whom would lay if all that stood between you was love?

What would you say if you knew they would listen?

How would you feel if no rejection could harm you?

Why do you wait when life is for living?

When will you risk the good for the great?

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