Monday, November 30, 2015

Benvenuti a Alba Adriatica

A happy place within our happy place...Alba Adriatica. The kids love coming here and what's not to love..the view from our balcony, the delicious pizza and gelato around every corner or even simply, the beach. They love the beach! We were able to spend some time with Nonno Mario and Nonna Maria in our days in Alba this past summer and I just love love love this picture of Mario and Mario on the balcony. Mario²

Pensive little tilt to the head looking out onto the street below.

Really enjoying his apricot. This kid loves fruit and really enjoyed all the fresh frutta we had this summer!

And these girls...they love the beach, playing in the sand, eating gelato, watching the people pass by from the balcony, everything. You name it and they appreciate it about this spot.

A veteran Alba vacationer. And proud of it too.

Gobble, Gobble!

Lots of food and fun this year in Maryland for Thanksgiving celebrating Gabriella Hayes' first one! She's so sweet and like a good newborn baby, slept so well during the day and hanging with her big cousins who were so excited to hold her again.

She's so smart, she's already learned how to sign "I love you!"

I must be boring to her because two seconds in my arms and be talking to her and she's out. She's so sweet and it's so much fun to have a newborn around the family again. And to give her back to Scott and Chaela. Heehee!

Nonna and Nonno in their prime with all 6 grands!


Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Palumbi's visit Disney!

We had our very first family trip to Walt Disney World a couple weeks ago and the smiles on our kids faces will stay with me forever. The girls were in complete shock, we had agreed to tell them the morning we were leaving and they really had no idea. They stared at us in complete surprise just asking "really?" a few times over with huge smiles on their faces.

After a relatively short flight which consisted of 2.5 hours of the girls just talking non-stop about what we would do, we landed and arrived at our gorgeous hotel. 3 nights of sheer fun, no cooking and cleaning and lots and lots of walking.

First character they met was Tinkerbell. And so set in the complete shock of seeing these characters up close and personal for the girls, it was so cute to see them actually tongue-tied at meeting some of their favorite characters.



Throw in a bunch of are the girls and I on the Dumbo ride.

And not to be forgotten, the famous sisters...

I wish I could poetically describe their excitement at meeting these two. Wait was not long at all but I feel like I would have waited longer for the smiles Anna and Elsa brought these two. And the giddiness afterwards too!

What a good boy. Didn't want him to miss out on our first family trip to Disney and he was just perfect. Enjoyed it all and napped well in the stroller when he needed to.

Waiting on the parade to begin...I can't even begin to tell you the look on the kids' faces when each float or character would pass by and their excitement. The music, dancing and staff involved brought such big smiles to their faces. Worth every penny.

Last but certainly not least, the real stars of Disney World...Mickey and Minnie!

The next day we were at Epcot and they loved it too! Lots of great rides and science showcases. AND the Wine and Food festival was going on too. A win for mommy and daddy!

World Showcase, really a plus for the kids!

He wasn't bored with the place, he was just so good for us to take his regular nap while we strolled around everywhere.

The girls were excited to visit Italy!

Outside America...

I think this was Japan.

Leaving! All good things must come to an end and we left with great memories and hopes to return again one day soon.

November was the perfect time for us to go, decorations for Christmas were up, weather was perfect and not the crowds we were expecting so I guess it's the ideal time for crowds too. All in all, a very magical experience for the family!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Italian Orzo and Vegetable Soup

I'm not entirely sure what makes this exactly ITALIAN, but I liked the way it looked in the title so I kept it. And it's my recipe to do as I please, so there's that too.

Simple, perfect soup for a simple, Fall day. Or really any day you feel like having soup. That is simple and tasty. Dress it up with some bite-size sliced and cooked sausage or dress it down with just veggies and grated parmigiano. Either way you can't go wrong.


2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small onion, chopped
5-7 garlic cloves, sliced
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper 
6 cups chicken broth
orzo pasta
2 handfuls of fresh spinach leaves, washed
grated parmigiano

What to do:

1. Begin by heating the olive oil in a large pot, saute onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery and tomatoes. Saute for maybe another 5 minutes longer adding a healthy dash of salt and pepper to the vegetables.
2. Add chicken broth to pot and give a good stir. Now I let the vegetables cook with the broth until  boiling, added the orzo pasta and then turned the flame down low. Give another good stir, cover but not completely and let cook on low for about 20 minutes. Check every so often so the pasta doesn't stick and broth doesn't evaporate down too much. Depends really on how soup-y you want your soup. More soup-y, add some water once the broth boils down some or don't and enjoy as is.
3. Once the pasta is cooked to your preference, remove from heat and add the spinach, stirring the spinach well into the rest of the vegetables and pasta.
4. Turn stove back on low and cook for a few minutes more.
5. Serve with a nice handful of grated parmigiano. Maybe it's the parmigiano in the recipe that makes it really Italian. The best is when the cheese gets all nice and gooey in the soup and sticks to the spoon.

Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The half birthday

This beautiful, funny, energetic, creative and thoughtful little girl turned 6 and a half this past weekend. Anyone with kids knows that the half birthday is pretty big news. Well, it is in our house at least. She can officially say "6 AND a half!" which she finds pretty awesome. And we think she's pretty awesome too. 

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