20 Questions with Danielle Ciavarro

    On the cusp of the 21st century, blogging officially became a “thing,” and with it spawned millions of people around the world sharing their lives online. When I started blogging in 2005, I was introduced and exposed to bloggers from all around the world, each with his or her own story to tell. I’ve met some of my closest friends through it, and remember fondly blogs that were just fun to read. Reading a blog was a visceral experience, and was something that ignited and inspired me. The 20 Questions series seeks to remember what made blog writing and blog reading so great by highlighting intriguing bloggers with interesting stories to tell.

20 Questions with Danielle Ciavarro

Danielle Rossi was one of those original Vancouver-based bloggers, having started hers in 2005. I met Danielle soon after through mutual friends and have been a reader throughout the years. She has since married the love of her life, Chad, and became Danielle Ciavarro while building her Smelly Danielly brand. Let me be clear that her blog is anything but “smelly.” Over the years, Danielle’s blog has been her vehicle for sharing her stories, adventures, photos, motherhood musings, and a way to connect with others. Danielle is a fiercely-dedicated Italian housewife, doting mother, traveller, cancer ass-kicker, wine enthusiast, admirer of fashion and design, and – of course – blogger.

1. What are you really excited about these days?

There are less than 50 day left in my pregnancy! Haha. While this pregnancy has in no way been difficult, I’m ready for it to be over and to get my body back! I look forward to having a snuggly baby in my arms and not having to pee every five minutes.


2. What was the last picture you took on your phone?

I planted all my pots this past weekend so the last picture I took on my phone is of the finished job. I love this time of year and am addicted to buying all sort of plants to go on my deck. Our neighbours recently cut down some trees so now we get more sun in the afternoon which has opened up a whole new world of plants for me!

3. Making yourself accessible through social media and blogging opens the door to admiration but also criticism. How do you handle criticism?

Well, let’s just say the stubborn Italian in me wants to fight anyone who has anything slightly critical to say about me. Haha! Of course, I hate confrontations, so I would never actually follow through, but the thought is there. I definitely get my back up and get very defensive when it comes to any feedback I deem “negative.” After my initial “fight” reaction, however, I do try to take a step back and look at the criticism constructively, but I will admit that sometimes it’s hard.

4. What is your bottom line, number one, golden rule when it comes to blogging?

For me, personally – since my blog is a personal blog – my posts have to be about my life or about something that interests me. I have tried to do sponsored posts for products that I’ve been offered, but unless it’s a product I already love or something new that is right up my alley, I really struggle to write about it. It ends up not being fun and feels more like work, which is just too much pressure. If the post doesn’t come about naturally, there is no point in writing it. That’s also why there are times when I might post frequently throughout a week or not at all for a month. It just depends on how I feel and what I want to say. Nothing is forced.

5. Everyone has a spirit animal. What’s yours and why?

Humm… is there an animal that likes to be super lazy but also super productive!? I often joke that it would be a sloth, because there is nothing I love more than spending a ridiculous amount of time laying down doing nothing, but there is also a part of me that can accomplish a great many things in a short amount of time. Maybe I am my own spirit animal!?

6. The Breakfast Club featured a rebel, a princess, a brainiac, an outcast, and a jock. Who were you in high school?

This one is tough, because I don’t feel like any of those fit. I was definitely not a princess and I’m way too scared of authority to be a rebel. I was good at school but in no way a brainiac. I was co-chair of our Grad class so I wasn’t an outcast and sports were never my thing so I was not a jock. I’m not sure where that leaves me!

7. If I gave you $50,000 to start a business, what would you start?

I think I would take a serious run at finally starting and developing the crafting business I have been thinking about for years. I know there are so many adorable things you can find on Etsy and such, but I’d still like to take a run at it. I have a real passion for all things crafty and I think I have a definite talent, so it’s something I would love to pursue.

8. What’s your all-time favourite jam from the ‘80s or ‘90s?

There are so many of them! It’s hard to pick. I think I would have to say “The Freshman” by The Verve Pipe though I am currently very into “Inside Out” by Eve 6. I really love emo songs from the ‘90s, haha!

9. Blogging can ebb and flow for a lot of people. Where do you see your blog in 2021?

That is a very good question. I have felt like quitting many times, but like Michael Corleone once said, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” If I’m still around, I will probably be doing the same old thing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

10. If I was a highly-skilled bartender, what drink would you ask me to make for you right now?

Oooo definitely a Brazilian from Cactus Club Cafe. Those things are addictive!

11. It’s now 2:00 a.m. and I’ve made you half a dozen of those drinks. Where are you going for your greasy food fix?

The tried and true McDonald’s Cheeseburger.

12. In Coquitlam, what’s the one restaurant that no one has heard of but everyone should eat at?

There is an adorable little Italian place called The Golden Boot. All the locals love it and it’s a great place to treat someone for lunch.

13. What’s the biggest misconception people have about you in real life?

Interesting. I’m not really sure to be honest. I try to be very open and honest about my life. I don’t think my blogging paints a false picture of who I am so I’m not really sure what other people might think. Perhaps they think I am more of a social butterfly than I truly am?

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14. If you could star as any character in the remake of any movie, which famous role would you reprise?

Well I guess I would reprise the role of Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice so I could have Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy be my love interest. *swoon*

15. If you could learn a new skill, language, or hobby, what would it be?

I’d love to learn more about embroidery. I can cross stitch all the things but don’t have much experience at all with embroidery. They are similar in some ways but completely different in others so I would love for someone who is really skilled to teach me all they know.

16. Who are you most proud of?

I am most proud of Chad and all the work he puts in to support our family. He is constantly improving himself through education and work opportunities to further himself in his career so that he can provide for us. He is fortunate to have a lot of great resources at his fingertips and he takes advantage of them. The other day he figured out how many accreditations he could technically add to the end of his name and the list was ridiculously long.

I’m also really proud of how he has come into his own as a father. For someone with little-to-no experience with kids, and with the rough start Matteo had, it definitely took him some time to feel comfortable in his role. But as Matteo continues to grow and interact I can see just how great Chad is going to be as a father and role model. Plus he sneaks Matteo spoonfuls of Nutella so he is sure to be the favourite!

17. Who is (or was) the single most influential person in your life?

Each phase of my life has been accompanied by an influential person. I can think of a specific period of my life and remember exactly who it was that I influenced by at the time. It’s a very fluid, constantly changing thing for me. The most constant person, of course, would be Chad. He challenges me and inspires me and definitely influences me (I eat peanut butter for breakfast now, need I say more?).


18. I’m throwing a dinner party next weekend. You’re invited and can bring three others with you (dead or alive). Who should I set the table for?

Ah, well the introvert in me is going to need Chad to be there for “security blanket” reasons. Plus, he is very social and I love watching him interact with new people. Then I would have to say Al Pacino and James Gandolfini so we could chat about all things Italian and mafia.

19. What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you?

“Do you want to be featured on an HGTV show where the rest of your home renovations will be paid for in exchange for filming the mass chaos that ensues?”

20. Do you want to be featured on an HGTV show where the rest of your home renovations will be paid for in exchange for filming the mass chaos that ensues?

Where do I sign?

Meet Danielle:
Blog: Smelly Danielly
Twitter: @SmellyDanielly
Instagram: @SmellyDanielly
Facebook: /Smelly Danielly
Flickr: Smelly Danielly

All photos courtesy of Danielle Ciavarro.

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