Saturday, November 30, 2013

Love Notes

Over the years, I've collected quite a few love notes written by husband. Some of them are very well-written. Some of them have a lot of flowery language. Some of them sweet and sentimental. Some grateful and thankful. Some of them funny. It's always a fun treat to go back and read them.

Lately, my husband's love notes have been very short and simple.

Nowadays, he just gets right to the point.

How very practical.

Christmas Gift Guide - Christmas I love!

I am one of those who believe that Christmas are really for the children – and for all of us who still feel children!

The Christmas period is often the perfect time to go on holiday with the kids or stay at home and enjoy priceless family moments. And while gift-giving to adults can be quite stressful most of the times, I am sure that you agree that presents for children have to be full of fun and joy! Our choices are really endless!

From a small handmade toy to a hero figure, clothing, accessories, footwear or even a pet, the range is huge enough to satisfy our little ones!

Finally, do not forget the most important : It is not actually the gift, but the thoughts and feelings that really count! What is the meaning of the perfect gift without love, time or a cheerful smile?..

mats mouts
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Friday, November 29, 2013

Smiles, Love, and Food

So often, holidays do not live up to expectations. For me, this is usually true of Thanksgiving. We've gone to different places the last couple years and so it just hasn't felt very traditional lately. With so many families to try to include, it has been hard to find our "place."

When we go to other peoples' house, it doesn't always feel right. Everyone is on their best behavior. But my family is loud and crazy. To me, holidays are just not the same when there isn't loudness, people fighting for food, and trying to talk over each other.

Also, somehow the stress of the holidays always results in tension between my husband and I. This is the single biggest holiday killer and has a domino effect on everything else going on that day. But yesterday was perfect in every way.

Yesterday, the kids woke me up at 7:00 am and, after making them a fancy breakfast of crepes stuffed with eggs, chicken meatballs, and cheese (which they totally did not appreciate), I got to work cooking for dinner. I made this sweet potato casserole recipe. This recipe for scalloped potatoes. And my favorite ricotta gnocchi recipe. It was all so amazing!

In total, I spent four hours in the kitchen, sipping a vanilla cappuccino, singing along to the music of Annie, and taste-testing as I cooked. My husband got the kids started on coloring hand turkeys and every other minute, one of the kids would storm into the kitchen, grinning from ear to ear, to proudly show me their art.

I was done cooking by noon and got to putter around the house and hang out with the kids. My sister, whose husband is overseas, came by to join us for Thanksgiving. We hung out and created a very amateur, impromptu Thanksgiving skit for the kids to act out, complete with costumes (nothing Martha Stewart would approve of!) The skit and the costumes came together in less than an hour, thanks to our pathetic creativity, leftover Halloween felt, and a hot glue gun.

It was awesome having my sister there for Thanksgiving since I couldn't be with my parents or other siblings. She helped me bring more chaos and loudness to the Thanksgiving celebration and was my partner in crime for our grand performance. She was also there to snap a rare family photo.

The kids loved that they got to eat olives and grapes for dinner (and only olives and grapes)

Then we had our grand performance. My sister was the narrator. Jacob was the Pilgrim. I had to be the Indian since my nephew (for whom I had designed the part) was not too trilled about the idea. With some coaxing and with the promise of going into the hot tub, we convinced my nephew and niece to be Turkey 1 and Turkey 2. Please note my fantastic turkey costumes on the right:

We only did a couple pre-performance run throughs but Jacob memorized all his lines well and impressed the heck out of me. He just may have a future in theater.

Here we are singing our Turkey Song: "I like big butterballs and I cannot lie."

At the end of the day we all gathered in the living room to chat while the older kids were upstairs playing. Ryan, getting a rare opportunity to have all the adult attention to himself, stood in the middle of the living room entertaining everyone. He kept taking a funny exaggerated stance, pointing his pointer-finger at everyone (including the dogs) and yelling "shoot, shoot!" (something wonderful he learned from his older brother). Then he kept marching around in circles, totally hamming it up, and doing pig impressions until he would make himself laugh too hard to keep going.

Ryan is usually the quiet, overlooked child in a large gathering of people because he is so content and easy going and shy. But he has such a big, lovable personality which he usually reserves just for his parents and grandparents. It was wonderful to see him take a turn in the spotlight.

We got home, tucked the kids right into bed and snuggled on the couch to catch up on our favorite shows (Homeland and Boardwalk Empire). Then we just sat and reflected on the wonderful day and our home full of blessings.

The day was so full of smiles, our hearts full of love, our bellies full of food, and our glasses full of champagne. It was a fantastic day.


Atmospheric images from Turin's central avenues...

The famous 'portici' (arcades) which line a large part of the central avenues...

Stylish elegance...

Festive atmosphere...

Thanks Giving Sales!!!

What a great period… we are almost 1 month to Christmas and we are already started the preparations! Beautiful decoration in the house, great aromas from the sweets and amazing colors all around. I love Christmas, I love holidays!

So a small surprise for you… sales season has started at Ef Zin Creations, 15% OFF everything with the coupon code BLACK15 during checkout from 27/11 until 04/12.

Happy thanks giving everyone!

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dainty Accessories...

This week was a really mess for me. Too many things to do, too many problems appeared…but at least tomorrow is Friday and we have a birthday party in our plans and I hope many walks and coffees with beloved friends and fun with my family and maybe a few hours for myself!!!

I have to admit that since my baby bump is really growing fast (believe me on that) a casual and comfortable outfit is a must! And in order to make it more unique I use dainty accessories. My favorites? Bows! I love them especially if they are small, cute, made by leather in wonderful pastel colors! I have plenty for my daughter’s hair, I have them in jewels, in my favorite cup cozy, in my notebook…

Aren’t they just adorable?

Outfit Details........
- Leather Bow Bracelet // Akamatra
- Dangle Bow Earrings // Akamatra
- Ivory Shirt // BSB
- Blue Jeans Skirt // BSB
- Black 
stockings // Calzedonia
-- Shoes // Migato

mats mouts

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Climbing to the sky…..

Hello my friends!

I know that I have written already about the short vacation we had in the forester village (two relevant posts Micro world... and Just Colors..., but the feelings of that weekend and the memories are still "warm" in my mind and in my heart. It took as only a couple of days to relax and at the same time to feel the nature, to check our limits, to organize our mind. It was just perfect!

And one thing that I actually couldn't try , but I will next time, was climbing the wall! I do not know if this has a specific name, but I know that it was a great challenge for my friends that they tried it and managed to reach the top!

The procedure was the usual… wear specific armament, check the rope, be informed about the tactics you have to follow and get ready!

And yes it was a really huge challenge! I think that all the three of my friends told us later that it was an experience that they will definitely do it again in the future, that they reached their limits at some point and that when they got on the top they felt awesome!

Really, isn't this like life??? Every day we have new challenges and maybe problems to deal with. But if we are organized,  calm and always check our “equipment” , reaching the end is something that will always remember, a new experience and a great feeling! I love that feeling….

Have a wonderful day full of beautiful experiences!

mats mouts
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My new clay and ceramic creations... now sanded and varnished. They will be rings!