Monday, February 29, 2016

Pasta Salad to-go

We recently had a potluck event with friends and I tried my hand at pasta salad to-go. Easy and adorable.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Jarred pesto - you can make your own but try a good brand for an easy add
Cherry tomatoes, sliced
Tiny mozzarella balls
Farfalle pasta

1. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
2. Place pasta in a large bowl and scoop out as much pesto as you like. I used 3 Tbsp so it wasn't too much for anyone that maybe didn't care for pesto as much as I do. Stir in well.
3. Add mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. Give a good stir to combine.
4. Scoop a ladle full or two into cups and top with fresh arugula.
5. You can chill this pasta overnight or eat right away. Before eating, give the cup a good shake.
Buon Appetito! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and I wake up looking forward to it each and every morning.  I eat the same thing almost everyday during the week and it helps to keep me going through to lunch with minimal snacking. I'm a crazy snacker but I find on the days I stick with this breakfast, that I can make it to lunch with no bad attitude due to a growling belly. I've been known to be in a bad mood when I am hungry so I try to avoid that by sticking with things that work for me.

My DIY Starbucks Mocha - delicious! 

A tablespoon (or more) of Hershey's Dark Special Dark Chocolate Syrup , a shot of decaf espresso (only the good kind brought back right from Italy, but you can purchase on Amazon too), 1 cup of steamed and frothed milk and a swirl of whipped topping. No extra sugar needed and almost as good as the one at Starbucks!

I love making espresso on my stove-top espresso machine, the beautiful aroma coming from my stove is amazing and brings me back to Italy each and every time I use it. I think it's time to clean the base of the outside of it, don't you?

And now for the main attraction...oatmeal and fruit! Yummy! I use the Quaker Instant just to save time, but found a great recipe on Pinterest for mornings when I don't feel rushed. Add some raisins, blueberries and sliced banana and I'm good to go. Delicious and filling!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

puerta plata, dominican republic

i love taking pictures and sometimes they're not of the most obvious things, like this weathered dock. when i look at this picture i will remember the sound of the waves crashing right underneath me as i snapped away...

other times it's things that are right there in front of your face, but at a different angle. i've always liked looking up at trees, they make me feel so small but looking up at palm trees is a favorite. reminds me to stay grounded...

loved the contrast of the green vine trickling over the perfectly white rocks. love color, love the simple.

there is beauty in worn and not traditionally beautiful objects. this tree clinging to the rocks beneath it, has for certain seen better days. but the harsh structure against the cool waters and endless blue sky is breathtaking...

palms by night. there is almost nothing better. i was mesmerized by these giant palms laying against the dark, cloudy night. need to work on my night-picture-taking skills though

the perfect glare. i love love love it. not a perfect picture by any means but the wind catching the palms, the bright sun shining through and the blue sky just makes me smile...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

these little guys...

...were all over island. the kids loved spotting them and watching them shrink back into their shells.  and were quiet long enough to watch them bravely come back out to scurry away.

trying to hide among the rocks and plants...

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A tropical treat

7 days on a tropical island. palm trees, amazing villa, friendly staff and the sound of waves crashing on the rocks. just a few of the things that if you could bottle up to sell, you would make millions.

First sunrise and I nearly missed it, but tiptoeing out of the room I grabbed my camera and made it out in time to catch the sun just lifting from the water's edge. And then I did some yoga. It was pretty awesome and while I know you should be pretty calm and collected doing yoga, I kept laughing out loud at the absurdity of my amazing view on the dock overlooking the crashing waves and rising sun. It was a moment.

Before heading out to a fancy on the dock. Love this one of the kids with Nonna Maria and Nonno Mario.

Adults only picture, thanks to little photog Sofia Vincenza for snapping one of the big people

Of course, the silly face picture. Daddy included.

Just chilling in the infinity pool. Life is good.

Happy little boy playing in the shallow end.

The palm tree shadow over the pool is filed in one of my favorite images folder. It doesn't get more picturesque than that now does it?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

i love palm trees

And just like that, we're back. Back from 7 days in the Dominican Republic. Back to the cold and crazy weather of the East Coast. Back to our normal. And back to many pictures to upload and post of our trip. But first...palm trees.

How I love palm trees. Not only do they mean we're in a warm weather region, they're just pretty to look at, pretty to photograph. I tried my hand at some night pictures this trip, more on that on a later post.

Friday, February 5, 2016

where my girls at???

this week has been brought to you by catholic schools week. which meant every day included something additionally fun for the students. spirit week if you will. one day was pick a famous person/someone you admire to dress up as AND talk about what you like most in front of your class. dressing up was optional (of course they did that) and can you guess who my 6 and 8 year old dressed up as...mommy and daddy. their ideas, not ours and they decided what to wear too. sofia said she was just missing a wawa cup from daddy's hand while wearing a soccer jersey.

love it. love them.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

one of us now...

so remember my post about holding on...well we moved the high chair and in place little man is at the table with us in a booster seat. of course that called for milestone pictures...

he looks so little to me sitting at the table with us but he loves it. grabs for whomever is nearest him and whatever he can get his little hands on...forks, spoons, napkins, FOOD!

and not to worry, I give him the toothpick to have fun picking up certain foods and supervise him like a hawk - and it really works! (most of the time anyway)

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