Friday, December 31, 2010

My year in review

Arrivederci to 2010!

What a year it has been. So many wonderful memories from Sofia's 3rd birthday, Olivia's 1st birthday and Scott & Chaela's wedding. Our summer consisted of our 6 week long trip to Italy where Olivia basically learned to walk and then came home to a kitchen remodel. Fall brought with it new milestones...Sofia's first day of pre-school, ballet and family gatherings. Our annual trip to New York City with my brothers and sister-in-law and of course, Christmas - the most wonderful time of the year.

Too many pictures, not enough time to post them all! But I am so grateful for all of the memories we have made and shared in this past year. I'm reminded every day just how special this life we live really is and to remember to hold onto each moment. Another year come and gone, but new days ahead with new memories to be enjoyed.

Buon Anno a tutti!!!

Christmas Day

After opening presents with the girls Christmas morning at our house, we made the drive down to MD to spend the next few days with my family. It's been awhile now that both of the girls know where it is we're going as soon as we pass certain mile-markers. They get so excited to see everyone even before we've arrived!

An afternoon and evening filled with amazing food thanks to Chef Nonna Lisa and great times. We tried to get a nice family shot after dinner, but thanks to a couple guys that will remain nameless, it didn't quite turn out as nice as we would have liked. The first picture was supposed to be a silly one, but I guess our two trouble-makers didn't get the memo for a normal smile. I do love how in all 3 pictures, Olivia is concentrating so hard on her sugar cookie - a sweet tooth, just like her mama!

Sofia was all set to put some Christmas gifts to use that day! My girl loves to paint and thank you to Zia Chaela for playing with the play doh with her too! We are already looking forward to next Christmas when there will be another little one joining the girls in the fun! March can't get here soon enough!!!

Christmas Eve

I don't think my girls could have looked any cuter than they did Christmas Eve in their coordinating red dresses. Getting them all dolled up at home was so much fun with them running around in their matching white tights and black mary janes giggling and squealing. They knew they were dressed extra special.

After a very successful Christmas Eve mass, we headed over to Nonno Mario and Nonna Mario's house for dinner and presents. I don't think I have to tell you how happy I was to be eating at their house rather than the restaurant. Don't get me wrong, the food is incredible, but there's something about eating in the comfort of a home you know, plenty of distractions for the kids and zero timeline.

I think it's safe to say that the girls loved their gift from Uncle Danny, Zia Paola and Baby Simon. They love the beanbags! Just look at how comfortable Olivia is already on it and she's owned it for all of 10 minutes!

Father and Son

The Nonni with the grandkids - I love how they're all in red!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Past

With just a blink of an eye, Christmas has come and gone. All the decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping and unwrapping is a thing of the past. We celebrated Christmas Eve with my in-laws and Christmas Day with my family in MD and we came away with beautiful memories.

We also came away from our fun holiday weekend with colds. We're neck deep in humidifiers, orange juice and tissues...Oh, My! Pictures to come soon of our Christmas, for now there is Vicks to be applied and noses to be wiped.

Buona Notte!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Buon Natale a tutti!

From our family to yours, a wish for a very Merry Christmas! May Peace be in your heart, Joy in your voice and Love in your life!

Buon Natale!

Famiglia Palumbi

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:9-12

As Sofia said this morning "Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!"

Christmas Eve morning

Snuggling in their Christmas pjs!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tanti Auguri!

We had a great night last night celebrating Anthony's birthday. In our house, whomever is celebrating the birthday gets to choose what to have for dinner. This year Anthony chose wisely -- our favorite Chinese/Japanese restaurant. I was so excited because this meant no grocery shopping or cooking!! Woohoo. It was like a birthday present to me as well.

Anthony's parents, sister and nephew all joined us for some good food and good times.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hat and mitten season

Not the wool hat and mittens that you were probably thinking of though! The girls lately have taking a liking for wearing their baseball hats AND my oven mitts around the house. Here they decided to watch Curious George in full gear because as Sofia said "It's fun Mommy!"

Happy Birthday to my husband!

Happy Birthday Amore Mio! The girls are so blessed to have such a caring and devoted daddy. You may not always know how to dress them so they match or know how to braid their hair, but they are so lucky to have you to laugh, play and learn with. You are their best teacher!

And words can never express how happy I am to have you day in and day out. My true best friend forever and always.

Ti amo!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peppermint Bark


3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
4 crushed candy canes


1. Line a baking pan with wax paper.

2. Place semi-sweet chips in a microwavable cup and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds. Check to see if there is a smooth consistency to the chocolate. If not, microwave for another 10-15 seconds. You do not want the chocolate to burn. It will smell awful and you won't be able to use it anymore. No one likes to waste chocolate.

3. Pour chocolate mixture onto wax paper. Using a spatula, smooth out until about 1/8 inch thickness.

4. Place in freezer for at least an hour.

5. Repeat microwaving process with the white chips and pour over frozen chocolate layer. Smooth out over chocolate layer.

6. Sprinkle crushed candy cane over top. Place back in freezer for a few hours. I usually let it sit overnight.

7. Break into pieces and store in refrigerator.

I recently made another batch of holiday bark but only used semi-sweet chocolate chips and in addition to the crushed candy cane, sprinkled with mini M&Ms. And I'm also going to make a dark chocolate bark and mix the melted chocolate with crushed pistachios to take down to my parent's house for Christmas Day. Such a simple little recipe that you can have a lot of fun with experimenting different flavors. My friend Molly has a great recipe using just white chocolate. Delish!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gearing up for Christmas at Casa Pitocco

The girls and I were in MD last week for a couple days getting into the Christmas spirit with my family. We did a lot of baking ranging from the traditional sugar cookies, chocolate-dipped almond cookies and peppermint bark to our Italian favorites of pizzelle and bocconotti. We sat by the Christmas tree listening to Christmas carols, watched Christmas cartoons, even did some shopping at the Eastern Shore Outlets and went to Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park.

We even got to see some snow. How's that for Christmas spirit!?!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Jingle all the way!

This morning was Sofia's Christmas Program at pre-school and it was beyond adorable. The singing portion of the program only lasted just over 15 minutes but it was worth each second. From the time Sofia's classes was led to their chairs, to them singing and acting out the songs and then when it was over and her running over to me for a hug. Each second was incredible as a mother to watch her daughter participate in something so fun. Naturally, I teared up more than a few times but luckily was hiding behind my camera for most of those times.


My girl is in the back row, right in the middle.

And I don't need to mention what a lucky little girl Sofia is that both of her Nonna's and both of her Nonno's were able to make the program. Yes, Anthony, Olivia and I were there but she was so excited to see all her grandparents. When you think her smile can't get any bigger...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Big Apple

This past weekend we made our annual Christmas trip to New York City and this year we took the girls. Sofia has been to NYC two times before but this was Olivia's first trip. I had prepared a bag of extra clothes for any accidents, extra mittens/hats/blankets for the cold weather and plenty of distractions ranging from coloring books to stickers to little toys. I barely needed any of it.

The weather was as perfect as it can possibly get for December and we only pulled the hats out occasionally. And the girls were plenty distracted by the lights, sounds, and throngs of people EVERYWHERE. Not to mention that 3 of their favorite people were with us for the day - Zio Antonio, Zia Chaela and Zio Scotty. It was just the perfect combination for a incredibly fun day.

Can you see who I see? Scott and Anthony being silly near the beautiful Swarovski star.

The girls burning some energy in an empty plaza near Times Square. Got to love just letting them out of the stroller and having them run circles around anything.

After lunch near Times Square, a visit to Rockefeller Plaza to see the tree and decorations, another walk near Radio City Music Hall, we headed to the opposite side of town. Greenwich Village, Chinatown, what's left of Little Italy and Canal street were swarming with more lights, sounds and people all in the spirit of the season.

It was a truly wonderful day and there's nothing I would have changed. I'm so glad we brought the girls with us this year to experience something that Anthony and I have been doing every year since we began dating. I love that it's become a tradition for my brothers and sister-in-law to join in the fun as well and that my girls had the best time with them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sofia's first present of the season

Sofia brought home with her a gift from her preschool yesterday and could not wait to open it. She was bouncing up and down and so excited that we went to sit in front of the tree to see what was inside. She was so excited - she said "another t-shirt to wear when I play!" There are a couple gifts already under the tree from friends but we're waiting to open them Christmas Eve. She is being so patient, not sure where she gets that from!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

Linvilla Orchards is a favorite spot for us and we go pretty regularly. In the warmer months anyway. But after having to cancel plans for a few mornings last week due to Olivia and Anthony's stomach bug, I needed to get out of the house and so did the girls. Not wanting to go to the malls, the only other place I could think of was Linvilla. A little fresh air is always good anyway.

So, we bundled up and took a walk through their new Garden Center and then a walk through the Christmas trees. The girls each picked out a new ornament for their tree and we even got a couple gifts checked off of my list.

Despite the cold temps, I got more than a couple of smiles out of my little girls. They were probably just so happy to be out of the house!
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