A handbook for anyone embarking on domestic independence
Press Kit

From Italian Pasta to Hassle-Free Ironing,

Lucia has the Answer for the New Homemaker

and the

"Domestically Challenged"


As college application deadlines approach, there is a perfect segment opportunity.  Over 2 million high school students will apply to colleges this school year.  Just taking those students, their immediate family and grandparents, that's over 10 million interested viewers!!!


The majority of those individuals will be addressing the challenges of their loved ones moving from home for the very first time.  The timing is wonderful for a segment with Lucia Campilongo (Lucia's Survival Guide and Cookbook).  Not only a compelling story of a mom coping when her daughter went away to school for the first time, but her household and cooking tips are now being passed down to the youngest grandson, who also just applied to college.


Lucia's kitchen would provide a perfect backdrop for demonstrating examples of easy and healthy meals for a new college student - or a refresher for an existing or new homemaker.  Many would be surprised how simple, but tasty, some basic Italian recipes can be.  Lucia's daughter is still using the guide almost 30 years later!  Following are some bullets and a brief overview.


  • Advice for the anxious parent whose child is leaving the "nest"
  • How do I cope???
  • How do I iron?
  • A concerned Mom's college co-ed tips for surviving campus life or a first-time apartment 
  • Mom's "recipe" for eating well and staying healthy
  • Cooking 101 for the kitchen "klutz" — simple, yet delicious recipes passed down generation to generation
  • Laundry — how to get those whites white and make sure you don't end up with a load of pink underwear
  • Stocking your pantry with the staples — the ultimate grocery list
  • 30 years in the making: the touching story behind the original Lucia's Survival Guide and Cookbook


It was 1980 and Gina was leaving to study abroad in Italy, planning on living in a foreign country. The only problem? She could barely boil water let alone survive and thrive as she adjusted to living in a different culture. Needless to say, her mother Lucia Campilongo was worried. She thought of all the things Gina would not know or think about, and started writing them in a notebook to make sure she would know what to do if a situation came up. Each time she thought of a problem that Gina might have, she'd pick up the notebook and write like crazy.

Over 25 years later, Gina returned the favor by publishing the guidebook, Lucia's Survival Guide and Cookbook, as a Mother's Day surprise.  "To say I was surprised is an understatement," Campilongo said. "I was thrilled to be able to pass on my expertise. How often does a homemaker get that opportunity?"

Nothing could have prepared Campilongo for the success that followed. A local newspaper published the story behind the book, and Campilongo said things "blossomed" from that moment.  Shortly after the story printed, Campilongo was honored by a local restaurant that hosted a book signing and included Campilongo's recipes in its menu.  "What a kick it was to see 'Lucia's Special' in a restaurant and not my own kitchen," said Campilongo.

Once NBC discovered her story, Campilongo was asked to appear on NBC's The Today Show along with her daughter and granddaughter, giving survival tips for the domestically challenged. Campilongo said host Meredith Vieira calmed any nerves she might have had.  "I think she had a sincere interest in the book and its use through several generations of my family," said Campilongo. "I still can't believe we shared that moment with some six million viewers."

After the interview, Campilongo was also asked to help train chefs in Sicily, but politely declined. She said the amount of traveling would be "a bit too much."  An Editor's Choice title, Lucia's Survival Guide and Cookbook quickly became an iUniverse bestseller.  "I had no idea it would strike such a common chord with so many people," said Campilongo. "I wasn't even sure if Gina would use it back then, let alone anyone else decades later."

Campilongo attributes some of her success to the way her book resonates with readers. She calls the book "very user-friendly" for those with limited experience.  "It is written as if you have someone standing over your shoulder, telling you what to do in a friendly voice," said Campilongo. "It is not overly academic or intimidating. Betty Crocker, no, but Mama Lucia, yes."

Since the book was published, Campilongo has received an overwhelming response. Even so, her first commitment remains to her three children and four grandchildren.  "Just the fact that my life-long commitment as a homemaker and looking after my wonderful family has been recognized to this degree brings a level of satisfaction words cannot describe," she said.

Whether you're a young adult leaving home for the first time or an anxious parent nudging your precious offspring out of the nest, Lucia's Survival Guide and Cookbook is a fun and easy manual for anyone faced with the daunting task of creating their first home. Filled with helpful tips on everything from the first trip to the grocery store to removing the worst laundry stains, this guidebook is a no-nonsense primer for all the basic tasks involved with homemaking. Easily adaptable to any new living situation, the guide comes complete with everything you need to know for keeping a clean, comfortable home. It also includes an Italian cookbook with recipes even the first-time cook can quickly master.

"The art of traditional homemaking has been lost in this era," says Campilongo.  "Not only do I hope to rekindle those ideals but also bring back together the family unit. Following my guide will ensure you live in comfort and cleanliness. Your clothing will be immaculate and wrinkle-free, but most importantly, you will EAT WELL!"

Lucille "Lucia" Campilongo acquired her culinary skills from her parents who immigrated to the United States from Ragusa, Sicily. A seasoned, enterprising and proficient homemaker, she has always prided herself in the profession and art of homemaking.  She still enjoys generously sharing the fruits of her profession with her husband, three children and four grandchildren.


Lucia's Survival Guide and Cookbook can be purchased from, or through any online bookseller.

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