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nico_bellissimo
30 July 2012 @ 04:10 pm
Luca Salvatore!

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More pictures under the cut....

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nico_bellissimo
Domenico built an incredibly lovely gift for us - a garden in the backyard! Dolores wanted to see the garden, so we went out there and we found this incredible 14" squash! It startled us at first, LOL, like what in the world is THAT? Domenico prepared it the following day at the restaurant with onion, garlic, tomatoes, and bacon. Yum!

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Zucchini, okra, amazingly spicy jalapeños (you can tell by the stress marks), and this interesting white eggplant - it tastes soooooo much better than a purple eggplant! Domenico slices it and prepares it in olive oil, salt, and pepper in a skillet. It is so delicious!!!

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It is just so remarkable to have our own garden. I thought it would be difficult, but it's surprisingly easy and the kids love it!

Just add dirt, water, and LOVE! 

The moment it really wowed me was when I wanted to make a shiitake mushroom/tofu/vegetable soup and listed the ingredients to Domenico - "I need one jalapeño." "Eve, go to the garden and pick some fresh jalapeños." "Oh! OK!" LOL I came back with like 20+ jalapeños tucked in my shirt. Whoa!!!!!

This 14" zucchini seriously wowed me too! We are also growing carrots, watermelons, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and corn. Plus, I found herbs at whole foods for 2 for $5. Mint, lavender, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, green onion, and dill. Lovely!

Another "wow" moment I had the other day - I laughed at myself because I wanted to make my grandma's Spanish rice and thought I was missing two ingredients - cilantro and tomatoes. Oh my goodness, I have them in the jardin!!! So awesome.

It's so amazing to have a garden. What a lovely gift Domenico gave us! Thank you, Domenico! 
 
 
nico_bellissimo
27 July 2012 @ 01:08 pm
Wow, I can't believe it's been almost 8 months since I've posted on Nico's and Luca's journal!! We are all doing fine. Thank you to the person who wrote to me asking if everything is alright. :)

When the boys have been quietly entertaining themselves, I've been real busy working on numerous marketing projects for the restaurant - new menus, promoting the cooking classes, web site, etc. So much to do! It's been great when Domenico takes the boys to the restaurant to give me some free time, or when my mom comes over to help.

Anyway, I came across this cute picture I took recently - Domenico took the five kids to the restaurant, including our boys, so I could attend a friend's baby shower. The second one is my favorite! Snapped a great shot of everyone holding hands! (Raymond, Dolores, Gloria, Vittorio, Luca, and Daddy). Cute!

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Cristi! She had her baby boy July 12!

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nico_bellissimo
16 December 2011 @ 04:26 pm

Someone at the restaurant gave Nico and Luca some Glamour Barbie stickers....much fun was had. Even mommy and daddy ended up wearing the stickers. Ha ha!

Me: "Domenico, you have Barbie stickers on your butt."
Domenico: "VITTORIO!!!" "By the way, you have Barbie stickers on your butt too."
Me: "VITTORIO!!!"
LOL

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nico_bellissimo
16 December 2011 @ 04:08 pm
Glamour Barbie stickers all over Nico, then Luca, the sofa, the floor, and they eventually made a new home on the refrigerator. Fun! lol

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nico_bellissimo
16 December 2011 @ 04:03 pm
While we were waiting in the parking lot while Nonna ran errands, I thought it would be cute to teach Luca how to drive. lol just kidding

He had fun being in the front seat for a change. He looks funny behind the wheel.

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nico_bellissimo
16 December 2011 @ 04:00 pm
Cute  
Luca received a cute Gap letterman jacket from a friend of the family, Fernando.

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nico_bellissimo
05 December 2011 @ 04:18 pm
Nico surprised me with this lovely surprise. It was definitely the highlight of my day!

"Mommy, I drew a pretty heart for you because I love you so much."

AWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!

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nico_bellissimo
05 December 2011 @ 04:13 pm
After the festival downtown, we had a nice Japanese dinner at one of my favorite restaurants.

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Nico's reaction when I ordered gyozas for him! LOL

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Yummy miso soup, gyozas, shrimp tempura, and SUSHI!

I really enjoy making miso soup at home (thanks to Dana Dark for showing me how easy it is!). I like the following recipe - we just add mushrooms and ginger. The boys love it too.
http://steamykitchen.com/106-simple-10-minute-miso-soup.html

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nico_bellissimo
05 December 2011 @ 04:04 pm
My mom invited us to a festival downtown. It was fun!

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nico_bellissimo
05 December 2011 @ 10:01 am
Luca  
A few pictures...

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nico_bellissimo
01 December 2011 @ 12:16 pm
Luca and daddy! Luca is wearing a nice shirt that actually belonged to Domenico when he was a little boy. It was nice of Nonna to save it for Nico and Luca. Luca is styling in Vintage!

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nico_bellissimo
01 December 2011 @ 12:08 pm
The natural food coloring for the yogurt didn't work out as well as I had hoped, but it was sure fun experimenting! I experimented with what we had in the cupboard: tomato bouillon, hibiscus tea, turmeric, cilantro cube, and some fresh blackberries. The turmeric was a gorgeous orange color, but the others were subtle. The colors were pretty, but certainly not as vibrant as commercial food dye. Plus, cost wise, food dye is only $2, so, yeah, as long as Luca doesn't eat it, it should be okay. :) Anyway, I only have three containers of yogurt left, so it'll be fun for them to paint!

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nico_bellissimo
01 December 2011 @ 11:44 am
Mommy had some fun painting too!

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Nico started this one and I added his name.

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Nico's art. Pretty green.

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nico_bellissimo
30 November 2011 @ 11:36 am
My mom came over with several cases of yogurt, sour cream, and cream cheese! I was up to my eyeballs with all these containers, so in addition to giving a lot away and coming up with creative recipes, I came up with a brilliant idea to put them to good use after their expiration date.

KID PAINT! Wow, the yogurt is an awesome paint for the kids. It dries up real thick and nice on card stock. I'm not too crazy about using commercial food coloring, but I experimented with it anyway. It was really cool up until Luca covered his face in the green yogurt. I held him up in the mirror so he could see himself and he burst out into giggles. Yeah, I have a picture but I'm not posting it. LOL

Considering I try to avoid anything with red dye #40, that didn't work out too well. I checked Whole Foods for natural vegetable based food coloring, but it was crazy expensive for $20. Now I am looking into natural food coloring like hibiscus tea for red, turmeric for yellow, old blackberries for purple, etc. I'm looking forward to trying it out!

Anyway, these pictures are yogurt mixed with commercial food coloring. I still have a lot of yogurt, but at least the kids and I will have fun with it. :)

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nico_bellissimo
30 November 2011 @ 11:09 am
Cara  
Never in a million years did I think I would ever have a Chihuahua (I can't even spell Chihuahua, had to look it up ha ha), because I'm more of a Labrador kind of girl (although I really loved our Pit Bull Henneson too, but someone stole him shortly after Nico was born. I miss him). Plus we also have 2 Pit Bulls, Bellissima & Star...plus 4 cats!!

Anyway, Cara belongs to Nonna, but from time to time, she escapes and hightails it over to our house crying and scratching the door. Cara has adopted us now. I think she is a nice companion for the boys. They take really good care of her. Nico will check and refill her food and water and play ball with her. Luca will find the leash for her, hand it to me and say "walk. Cara. outside." So cute.

Cara is really sweet, loving, and pretty too!

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nico_bellissimo
30 November 2011 @ 10:43 am
Luca  
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nico_bellissimo
30 November 2011 @ 10:42 am
Domenico took some nice pictures of me and the girls, Dolores and Gloria, on Thanksgiving. They are such girly girls! Pretty in pink. It's fun to spend time with them.

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nico_bellissimo
30 November 2011 @ 12:33 am
At Ulta, I found a small MP3 player on clearance for $5 for Nico and put all his favorite music on it. He loves it! It was cute to see him sharing his music with Dolores and singing along to the music.

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They play so well together!

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Aww, Dolores and Luca were holding hands so sweetly, but I missed the shot. She is so sweet and protective with Luca, just like with her little sister.

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nico_bellissimo
30 November 2011 @ 12:17 am
So, I'm washing the dishes and suddenly I hear my mom and the boys bust out laughing....

I walk into the living room and find the boys like this. I might as well donate all their toys. I'm in awe how they have so much fun with simple things, like a cardboard Tupperware box? Really? LOL

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nico_bellissimo
29 November 2011 @ 04:04 pm

I promised Nico I would take him back to the art studio to make up for the day they were closed. My mom stayed with Luca, and I took both Nico and Dolores. They loved it!

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nico_bellissimo
29 November 2011 @ 03:15 pm
Silly, of course Luca wants to do everything Nico does.

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nico_bellissimo
29 November 2011 @ 03:07 pm
Yikes! Luca has been sliding the chairs to get to the TV and the computer. Not good. Anyway, I took this shot and realized his hair looks so pretty in this picture. Ha ha! His pretty curly locks suit his darling little personality. It is so cute to see his little curls bounce when he's walking.

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Much to my dismay, Little Luca figured out how to get on my desk. I snapped a quick picture before he destroyed my laptop. I'm even more freaked out now because I have a brand new laptop!! It's terribly annoying to have to put the chair down when I step away from the computer, but he is a determined little boy - he'll even use the laundry baskets or boxes or pots to try to get on my desk. If my mom accidentally leaves the chair up, boy he hightails it giggling straight to the computer FAST! Jeez, little boy. ;) He needs his own computer!

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I'm ready for my office now, Domenico! lol Very slowly, but surely we've been working on the third bedroom as an office, which I really need. Domenico painted the room a really nice green color (Green Tea) and the sunlight looks so warm, lovely, and inviting in the room. Even Cara enjoys basking in the warm ray of light in the room. Right now it's actually become a playroom for the boys, which is really nice too, especially for all their toys. It's awesome when they play in there together to give me a moment to do something.

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So, I'm torn - playroom or office? :) We need a bigger house!



 
 
nico_bellissimo
29 November 2011 @ 12:36 pm

Nico really enjoyed feeding the ducks. We weren't really prepared for the park that day, but fortunately Nico reminded me about the water crackers he put in his bag and wanted to share with the ducks. It was fun to spend the day with Nico and nice of Domenico to take Luca to the restaurant. Thankfully, Luca fared really well sans mommy for a few hours, so we are looking forward to doing it again.

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When we arrived at the restaurant, Luca was with daddy and looked so cute in his apron. :)

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nico_bellissimo
23 November 2011 @ 09:59 am
Domenico usually takes Nico to the restaurant on Wednesdays and Sundays (which is a big thrill for Nico), but I asked Domenico if he would consider taking Luca instead so Nico and I could spend time together. Domenico really appreciated the suggestion/opportunity and Luca happily went with Daddy.

Nico and I had a great afternoon together! We really needed some Mommy and Nico time. Even Nico said, "It was nice of Daddy to take Luca to the restaurant so you and I can spend time together." Awww, Nico.

We visited a nearby Mexican restaurant for lunch (actually, the restaurant I designed their to go menus for - I wish I could re-design their restaurant menu!). Wow, they have really great food. Much to my surprise, Nico really enjoyed the mildly spicy salsa and chips.  Afterward, we visited the art studio, but we were both disappointed it was closed for a private party. Nico was majorly bummed, so I took him to the playground and he had a blast. He also really enjoyed feeding the ducks (cute pictures I'll post later). It was a really fun day!

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nico_bellissimo
22 November 2011 @ 10:41 pm
Luca sitting pretty in our Ellaroo sling at the restaurant. I love our slings! Best thing ever!

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nico_bellissimo
22 November 2011 @ 10:33 pm
Nico is so sweet! During our walk, he picked flowers for me.

"Mommy, mommy! I picked some pretty pink flowers for you. Let Luca smell them too." lol

Awww!

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nico_bellissimo
22 November 2011 @ 10:26 pm
Cute pictures of my little Nico smiling pretty for the camera. Jeez, I really need to take time to go back to my house to get my photo albums because I know I have (my dad saved) my little girl pictures of me with the same silly and cute smile! It's so amazing to see myself in Nico.

Wow, he is getting so big! On December 25, he will be exactly 4.5 years old. Wow. Just, wow.

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nico_bellissimo
02 November 2011 @ 11:52 am
Nico loves his art class!

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nico_bellissimo
01 November 2011 @ 03:12 pm
Jeez, I can't count. I thought Luca had just turned 18 months on the 31st, I can't believe Luca is already 19 months old! On Halloween, Sweet Luca turned 19 months old! He is so darling! Our 18 month Emerald breastfeeding celebration ribbon:



Lilypie Breastfeeding tickers

Happy 19 months, Luca. I love you!!!!!

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Oops, I forgot to mention (and update my profile) that Nico stopped nursing around the time of his birthday, June 25. I remember he nursed on Mother's Day in May and a few times after that, but I think 4 is time. It's been an amazing journey and I am grateful he is healthy, strong, and super smart.
 
 
 
nico_bellissimo
01 November 2011 @ 01:56 pm
Pictures from the pumpkin patch at a local church. Nico was allllll smiles!

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nico_bellissimo
01 November 2011 @ 01:51 pm
My mom invited us a Halloween event at a local school. The boys really enjoyed the event and making crafty spiders. This was a cute idea for spiders. The lady made me laugh when she said, "let's give mommy's spider some bling!"

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nico_bellissimo
01 November 2011 @ 01:26 pm
Mommy having a little silly fun with Luca's hair in the shower. *giggling

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Wow, talk about simple toys. Nico discovered that the Simply Lemonade tops stick to the tub. He enjoys counting them and lining them up.

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nico_bellissimo
24 October 2011 @ 11:05 am
Nico  
Ooops, Mommy forgot Nico's apron again! I'm glad he had fun with Daddy at the restaurant yesterday. He's so cute!

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nico_bellissimo
22 October 2011 @ 05:23 pm
Cute new diapers for Luca!

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nico_bellissimo
22 October 2011 @ 05:18 pm
Luca playing peek-a-boo with me. :)

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nico_bellissimo
21 October 2011 @ 12:47 pm
Nico  

Nico looks so darling in his Vittorio apron!

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The Vittorio Special

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nico_bellissimo
21 October 2011 @ 12:40 pm
Speaking of simple toys, the boys made me laugh while they were playing with the Pellegrino box. Silliness!

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nico_bellissimo
21 October 2011 @ 12:21 pm
Luca fell asleep shortly before we left the restaurant, but when we arrived home he woke up fussy and couldn't fall back asleep.  Luca generally naps during the day between 2-3 hours, so boy, was he fussy from not sleeping very long. I gave him these plastic cups my mom brought over and he was pleasantly distracted playing with them for almost 30 minutes. It's so amusing to me how the simplest things make them so happy!

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nico_bellissimo
21 October 2011 @ 11:56 am
Nico took this picture of us. :)

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nico_bellissimo
21 October 2011 @ 11:54 am
We've been visiting the restaurant once a week so I can take pictures of the weekend dinner specials to post online and post on the board. Domenico prepared a really great spinach salad with blackened snapper and lump crab. It was delicious!

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What a feast! Even Nico was all smiles happy about his fresh oysters. LOL

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nico_bellissimo
21 October 2011 @ 11:46 am
Luca is almost 18 months old and the little guy still fits in his Moses basket. It really comes in handy, especially at the restaurant.

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nico_bellissimo
21 October 2011 @ 11:39 am
Luca  
Aww, cute picture Domenico took of me and Luca. 

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nico_bellissimo
20 October 2011 @ 09:39 pm
A few more pictures from the other night....

Nico enjoying his oysters! Emily was in awe that he likes them so much.

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A few pictures Domenico took of us. My camera settings were totally way off.

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It's cute how Luca likes to drink water out of the espresso cups. He's quite graceful and elegant with water in a wine glass as well (under adult supervision, of course).

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nico_bellissimo
20 October 2011 @ 03:01 pm
Wow, after the birthday party, the boys totally crashed and we (key word "we") slept 3.5 glorious hours! It was so nice to nap for so long with them. I think we woke up after 8, so we decided to go to the restaurant to visit daddy and nonno and have a nice dinner.

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nico_bellissimo
20 October 2011 @ 02:38 pm

We had fun at Marcos' 1st Birthday party!

Tabitha and the Birthday Boy, Marcos.

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More pictures under the cut!

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nico_bellissimo
20 October 2011 @ 01:43 pm
Nico with Nonna and Nonno.

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I am quite certain I have a little girl picture of myself with the same crazy smile. Silly Nico.

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nico_bellissimo
20 October 2011 @ 01:38 pm
Domenico has been taking Nico to the restaurant on Sundays. Nico has soooooo much fun hanging out at the restaurant with Daddy.

Nico has reached Pizziaolo status at the restaurant. I should add a new tag "Chef Nico." Domenico told me that he can make a cheese pizza all by himself! Ha ha! Nico made this one to share with Nonna and Nonno.

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Tasting the sauce!

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*Note to self: Remind Domenico to take Nico's apron to the restaurant. Ha ha!

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Boo, Domenico forgot to get a shot of the end result. Nonna told me it was a delicious pizza. :)
 
 
nico_bellissimo
20 October 2011 @ 12:09 pm
After I made breakfast for Nico and Luca, I walked into the room and found sweet little Luca sitting on the chair waiting for his breakfast. It was so cute to see his darling little face waiting for me at the table! I wanted to take a picture, but the battery was out. So, these days no more high chair for Luca. He is happy to sit at the table with us. I took these pictures at the restaurant.

Luca loves the salad bar at the restaurant....lots of vegetables including carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber and much to my surprise, he likes the garbanzo, red, and white beans in the vinegar marinade and green olives!

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nico_bellissimo
12 October 2011 @ 02:11 pm
I walked over to my desk and found these tiny little flowers by my computer. Nico said to me, "Mommy, I picked some flowers for you from the garden outside!" Awww, so sweet! Totally melted my heart. ♥

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