Wednesday, April 26, 2017

rain rain go away...

Monday, April 24, 2017

sweet spring

And it seems that while Winter never wanted to end, teasing us with warm days late in the season and then immediately followed by snow or blustery winds, Spring has sprung. Sometimes it feels as if it happens overnight when you know it does not. Like most things, it takes time.

We seem to go from one day of bare, brown lonely looking branches, shriveled bushes and downcast plants to tiny little buds emerging, varying shades of green seeping its way into the light and finally, finally everything is in bloom. Colors firework there way into our paths. The grass takes on the green lush hue of Spring, bees are beginning to buzz again while butterflies flit about.

Gardeners are out in full force, birds are looking for spaces to occupy their nests and soon thereafter, their eggs. Ladybugs are spied and butterflies chased. Tis the season, the sweet season of Spring!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ice Cream Truck Smiles!

It has begun. Nearing dinner or bedtime and you hear the tune. The kids hear the tune before you even hear it which is amazing because when I call them from one room over, they say they didn't hear me calling them. But no, the tune goes through the neighborhood and they hear it calling to them. They immediately start doing some odd ice cream dance luring the tune closer to our street. Then you see it. The big white truck, painted ice cream cones on the side and the colorful display of sweet offerings. I couldn't resist tonight. They all endured a 5 mile walk this morning a special cause and they were pretty good sports about it. Especially after they found out it was 5 miles and not a 5k like we initially thought. Good weather, better company and a very worthwhile fundraiser. So, they deserved this ice cream treat.

And honestly, Mario seeing the ice cream truck up close and personal, asking the driver about the music and just so excited about all the options, made it worth it for me too. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Roasted Chickpeas

I've been on a decent health kick for awhile now. Trying to eat more veggies, less sugars and adding more fiber, protein and just all around good vitamins to my day. Now that doesn't mean I still don't indulge from time to time in my ultimate favorite - CHOCOLATE! But I feel with all the extra doses of healthy I'm getting it's ok to splurge from time to time. 

I love chickpeas! Who doesn't? If you like hummus and I would gather most do, you then love chickpeas since that's the big ingredient. I've attempted making my own hummus in the past and not too happy with the result but that's not stopping me from trying out other chickpea recipes. 

Behold - Roasted Chickpeas! Easy, easy, easy! I made this first batch with just a few staple pantry items and I can't wait to try out other ingredients in the near future. I also used dried chickpeas because I had that on hand and just had to add the overnight soaking step to be able to roast them the next afternoon. 


Chickpeas - 1 can rinsed, drained and plotted dry with a cloth OR 1/4 bag dried chickpeas soaked overnight, drained and plotted dry
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt


Set oven to 450 degrees.  Place chickpeas in a resealable plastic bag, add olive oil and both salts to the bag. Shake well so evenly coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup) and roll out your chickpeas. They don't want to be piled on top of one another but they can be touching. Chickpeas need loving too. Allow to cook for 20 minutes. You'll want to check them every 6-8 minutes to shake them around a bit to get evenly roasted. After the 20 minutes, try one and see if it's to your liking. If you like them crunchier, give them another 5 minutes. 

I placed them in a glass bowl and left them on the counter all morning and just grab a couple here and there. But you can store them in a container if you're going to eat them within the next few days. 

Easy and simple. That's how healthy snacking should be!

Monday, April 17, 2017

My little girls

I know it may seem rare these days to get the girls on the blog, what with them being in school all day, activities in the evening and then busy weekends, but it's happened. Yay. I tend to snap more pictures up on my phone of the girls and it's a bad habit, I know. One I will work on. But here they are in their glory on the morning of Grandparent's Day at their school and dressed in non-uniform clothes. They clean up nice.

Everyone says it, but it's crazy when I take a moment to sit back and really watch them. Watch them read, watch them do their homework, watch them play with their brother. They ask "why are you staring at me?" and then because I don't want to spook them say "I love you when..." complete the sentence with whatever it is I'm observing. It's of course true, I do love them. But if I am completely honest with them and tell them that I love everything about them in that moment, that it's going too fast, soon they'll be out of the house, they won't need me anymore, etc. etc. etc. I fear if I tell them all of that it will end in big, ugly tears.

I just can't believe how fast they are growing. And it's right in front of my eyes. It's not like I live on another planet, we share the same household, I see them ALL the time, but here it is proof that it's going so fast. They were just born yesterday, right?

Monday, April 10, 2017

sweet sentiments

They bring me flowers all the time. Sometimes there are weeds in the bunch but I don't want them to think I don't appreciate it, so I never point that out. Little hands pluck at the little blooms and with smiles on their little faces, bring them to me. Even after they've wilted, I can see their beauty and the happiness they brought to my little loves.

A morning at Linvilla

Spring has finally SPRUNG! Or has it, we'll see. The weather has been moody and so we take what we get, when we get it. And today we got it and we went with it. To Linvilla Orchards, a favorite little outdoor spot not too far from home.

We saw the animals, we bought fresh, local honey and we played at the park. I savor mornings like this out with my little man. Time is passing by all too quickly and these are the little moments I hold onto.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hold on...

Don't blink. It all happened so fast and I tried to hold onto all those precious moments. The first words, the first steps, first giggles and belly-aching laughs. The first day of school, first friends, first (and last) soccer game, first piano and ballet lessons. Embracing her role as a big sister (twice!) and being so very good at it - most of the time.

Becoming more independent with each passing day. Growing into herself, knowing what she likes and doesn't like. Learning to enjoy the surroundings, welcome change and going with the flow.

She's 10. I blinked and it happened. She went from needing me every second, every minute and then... she didn't.

I'm proud of her creativeness, her moodiness, her shyness and bold temperament. I am in awe of how she loves. She is who she is and there is no one else like her.

My nature lover, my girl with a dash of free spirit, a love of reading, hugs and cookies and sprinklings of bravery, humor and appetite for life.

The girl that first called me "mama" turns 10 today. I couldn't hold my breath, it was destined to happen.

Happy Birthday my wonderful girl Sofia Vincenza!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Reminiscing her first year...

Just another day and Sofia Vincenza will no longer be in the single digits. This little, sweet bundle that brought me into motherhood will turn 10 this week. It sounds so cliche to ask where the time went. With everything in life it just keeps moving, nothing to slow it down, no stop to get off on this never ending train ride of life. Her first ten years and looking back it seemed to happen in a snap of the fingers.

No book, no well-meant advice, no YouTube video can ever prepare you for the second the nurse hands you your baby, says to you "Congratulations Mom, here she is!" and how your life will no longer be the same. Yes, the developmental milestones, the sleepless nights, the first smiles, crawls, steps, foods, books, toys, cuddles, kisses, squeals. Nothing can prepare you as honestly and directly as just being in it and moving along. Going with the flow, be it the lulling waves or the turbulent waters of parenthood.

Those first real looks...

Those meaningful moments...

Those smiles simply meant for you and only you...

The budding of your little flower, finding her personality...

Showing you her various moods...

Letting you know early on her first real loves...

The breath of fresh air that was always present in your life but you never really knew it until she breathed it right alongside with you.

Her sweet side...

Her silliness, moodiness, snuggly and adoring little ways...

Sofia letting you know in the span of a relatively short time how much she learned from you, needed you, wanted to share things with you, be near you and of course, loved you.

Ten went by so fast, too fast. Still so much to learn from this amazing gal.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

a quick (and healthy) snack

It's been a few posts now so thought I would go back to my number 3 little man eating a mandarino. He is thankfully a very good eater in that he will eat a variety of foods, he loves fruit especially which makes this fruit-loving mama very happy. And I feel better about him also enjoying a piece of chocolate or an occasional cookie since he is really an overall great eater. Hopefully this phase sticks around forever. Makes my heart swell when I make sauteed spinach and baked salmon and he's enjoying it too.

A little blurry but I don't care. Those eyes just get me every time.

And those lashes, goodness what women do to get lashes like that and he's got them naturally.

As much as you tell the kids not to play with their food, how adorable are those little fingers stacking and re-stacking little mandarino slices?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

a taste of spring

I was getting used to the idea that Spring was nearing, that is until we're due a major blizzard. Tomorrow. School has already been cancelled and bread, eggs and milk purchased. Hopefully it amounts to nothing. Or it could be one last hurrah for Winter, the kids enjoy the snow, I get exercise shoveling and then do what I do best on snow days - engross myself in the kitchen cooking and baking.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

for the love of reading

I'm so proud that right now I can say all three kids love books. They either love reading on their own - the oldest- love reading on their own AND being read to - the middle - or love being read to - the youngest. It's something that has been a part of their lives since I was pregnant with each of them and continues to be a part of their day.

I especially love when the two big ones just go off to read on their own. They grab a book, find a comfy spot in the house and can be there for a good bit of time in their own little world. My little man and I find time to read every morning, before nap, after dinner and before bed. So, naturally, I love it too when I find that he's off on his own playing and I go in to peek on him and he's got a book on his lap and he's "reading" to himself.

Makes this book-lover very proud!

Monday, March 6, 2017

time to play

there is always time for play whether you are a 3 year old little man or a 38 year old big girl. finding the time to play is an essential part of our day and something we try very hard not to pass us by. little man is great playing side by side with me but has mastered the imagination play on his own too and is a favorite of mine to witness.

from the other room, i hear him talking and occasionally i will answer him and he says "no mommy, not you, the truck." he comes up with these great little 3 year old sized stories and i like sneaking up on him to see him in action. he sometimes picks the best (and most unusual) spots to play.

this time i caught him up on the radiator. not a care in the world - just a boy and his toys.

Monday, February 27, 2017

one of his favorite things...

truck spotting. he can hear them rumbling down the street. be it a garbage truck, utility vehicle and oh my goodness watch out if it's anything with a siren. he goes running for the windows and is so serious keeping a look out for them.

those feet though. they are the best, especially when he's on his tip-toes.

why do i photograph these things? because one day he won't run with excitement at the sound of a truck pulling down the street. the sound of a siren won't make him say to me in a super loud voice "oh my goodness, do you hear that mama?" he won't be still in his trance-like state eyeing one of his favorite things...trucks.
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