So I have not mentioned this yet because I don’t like to brag, but at the end of this week my husband and I will be traveling to Italy for the first time. Just him and I, no kids, zero laundry, absolutely no chores for a whole entire week!

Ok now I’m bragging.

It has always been a dream of ours to be able to get away and explore Italy together. With the last 12 years of our marriage being filled with having babies, starting (and closing) businesses, moving 8 times and everything else in between traveling to Europe has always felt completely out of reach.

Last fall we played with the idea of trying to go this summer, but being the worry wart mother I am I shot it down almost immediately.

“No way” I said. “The boys are just too young to be without us for a whole week. Maybe next summer” I argued. My husband knowing me all too well knew I would think of a million good reasons not to go then. So he took matters into his own hands, talked to my parents about watching the boys, booked the flights and found a romantic villa for us to call home for our week in Tuscany.

We’ll spend one night in Rome, take a couple of days to explore the Italian Riviera, and visit the small town of Lucca where my husband’s family is from. With these seven days our main objective on this trip is to enjoy each others company, slow down to experience the Italian country side and eat gelato everyday.

The catholic school girl in me is excited to visit the Vatican and hopefully see St. Peters Basilica, but the foodie in me is a bit more excited to enjoy all of the food and wine this magical region has to offer.

In honor of our upcoming trip I’ve decided to make the most Italian/American dish I could think of, the meatball sandwich.

Meatballs simmered in a garlickly red sauce served on a crusty french roll, topped with a slice of melted provolone cheese. I felt like this was the perfect dish to get our taste buds ready for the week long food tour we are about to embark on. I am hoping to come home newly inspired and full of stories, but if I start to drive you crazy by going on and on about a pizza we ate in Rome please feel free to bring me back down to earth. I have a feeling this adventure will leave me with my head in the clouds for quite a while.

Living in a house full of boys (even my dog is a boy) has not in any way stifled my girly girlyness. I absolutely adore being  a girl and all of the perks that come with that honor.

For example I love being able to cry at a moments notice with the only reason being “What?! I’m a girl! I can cry if I want to.”

I love owning 20+ pairs of heels and still being able to justify purchasing yet another pair.

I love being a mother with all the heart ache and joy this never ending, crazy fulfilling, life altering position has to offer.

I love talking about, experimenting with, and wearing makeup! My sister and I would play makeup for hours when we were younger and would beg my mom to let us walk out of the house all painted up. Of course she usually said no, but once in a while she would let us go to the grocery store with her all dolled up. I laugh to myself when I imagine what we must have looked like.

I love being a wife to my husband. In my late teens I thought marriage was for chumps and vowed to never let myself fall victim to such a dreary fate. What a naive young lady I was. I had no idea how much power and authority there is in this supposed lowly postion called “wife”. Being my husband’s biggest fan and crazy in love with him (& he with me) has effected our lives in such a way I never thought possible. All I had to do was let go of myself and let him in. Easier said than done sometimes, I know.

That said I love marriage and weddings, so of course I’m beyond excited about the royal wedding!! Oh stop rolling your eyes, you know you are too. What a story! Kate and William meet, fall in love, and he makes her a princess. Dosent get any girlier than that! No way am I going to watch (drool) over this wedding in my house full of boys. I’m off to a tea party with my girlfriends where I can “oooh” and “aaah” over every little detail without being teased. I whipped up these creamy, dainty opened face tea sandwiches for the party. The tarragon compliments the roasted chicken wonderfully and the crunchy almonds on top really make this sandwich special. Of course seeing that these are being made in honor of a wedding, cutting them into the shape of a heart only seemed fitting.

Apr 12

Spa Salad

So I’m a mom, and I have a ton of friends that are also mom’s. The best thing about my friends is that we all do things a little differently.

Some of us homeschool our kids, and some of us don’t. Some of us work outside side of the home, and some of us don’t. Some of us experience small mental breakdowns because our baby (he’s 3) is totally potty-trained, signed up to go to preschool in the fall, and can burp on command with the rest of his brothers thus demonstrating that he is not a baby anymore. Maybe that’s just a me thing…

Even though we all approach motherhood a little differently I’ve noticed there is something we all kinda do the same. We all tend to put our needs and wants at the bottom of our list.

You know what I’m talking about. Having to cancel on a girls night because someone got sick at the last minute, considering grocery shopping kidless “me time”, or holding off on buying those cute new sandel’s for yourself because everybody else in your house needs new shoes.

Now I’m not going to get all Oprah on you and remind you how important it is to take care of yourself. You already know that if you neglect yourself too much you’re going to find yourself locked in your bathroom with a bottle of wine crying because nobody seems to care about putting their shoes away. Maybe that’s just a me thing too…

When I need a little TLC ASAP I make myself a salad. Yes you read that correctly, a salad and let me tell you why. This lovely little salad is all for me. I only put in the things that I want to eat. I make myself sit down and actually enjoy this decadent salad that I made just for me. Did I mention that I don’t share this salad with anyone?

The next time you feel like you’re about to go crazy because everybody came home with book reports that are all due on the same day (aarrrgh!) just take a time out and fix yourself something beautiful to eat. At the very least it will give you the energy to call a sitter and get a spa day on the books!

I have one younger sister whom I love to pieces. We don’t get to see each other a ton, but when we do get together  we get along famously. Even better when ever we see each other something about what we have on is matching. Our shoes, our nail polish, our purses, it’s always something!

Of course a little teasing has to happen. For example we were exchanging recipes & I was telling her how much I love to make Mexican food. She reply’s:

“I’m sure it’s white girl mexican food.”

Me: “What exactly does that mean?”

Her: “You know, you’re a total white girl. Of course you’re going to make white girl Mexican food.

Me: “Hmmmm, I don’t know how to take that…”

So here are the chicken tacos I make. The are easy, full of flavor, and my white boys get super excited when I make them.

Mediterranean Pasta

I am a big fan of babyshowers. I love the food, the games, the gifts, the cake….

Who doesn’t love eating cake in the middle of the afternoon?!

I also really, really love cooking for babyshowers. This is the time where I am able to make food as pretty and as girly as I want it to be. This does not mean I want to serve my guest teeny, tiny, diet food. It can be big. There can be a lot of it. And it can still be beautiful and girly.

I made this pasta dish for a shower my friend threw. A surprise baby shower. Pregnant women LOVE to be surprised. Try it. See what happens….

Actually the gal it was being thrown for was pleasantly surprised. She thought she was coming over to babysit four kids. Instead she was showered with gifts, lunch, and cake. Definitely a good surprise. Definitely a great afternoon….:)