Saturday, February 23, 2013

An evening stroll

We had a lovely walk after dinner last Sunday. It was still very cold but quite beautiful out. I'm REALLY looking forward to the days getting longer and the weather getting a bit warmer and doing lots of after dinner walks. 

Messy faced Jessy. Adorable.

Yes I know nothing I have on matches.

My little warrior.

Be dorks posing by the pond.

I love the pink light behind the trees and the reflection on the pond.

Can you spot the owl?

The sign at the end of our street. 

Happy boy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ciao from Italy

As an early Valentine's gift to each other we took a trip to Milan, Italy. Chris and I both love love love Italy. We love the food, the wine, the culture, the art, the history and the natural beauty of its landscape. I mean what is more beautiful than the rolling hills of Tuscany or the deep blue waters of lake Como. Every time we are here I feel like I'm in a dream. 

Lake Como is just as stunning as everyone says it is. It's simply breathtaking. I would love to return when the weather is warm as it was off season while we were there so there was no place to rent a boat which was our plan :( 
Hopefully we will make it back this summer and we can visit George Clooney at his lake side villa, HA!

The snow capped mountains in the background gave you the feeling that you were so close to the Alps. I'm sure in the spring when the mountains are green it will be quite spectacular. 

We drove around the bottom half of the lake (it's a big lake) just gorgeous. Truly NONE of my pictures do it any justice:( At every turn Chris and I would look at each other and exclaim "Oh My Gosh Amazing"!

Even though it was off season we were still able to have a wonderful lunch over looking the lake.
Sadly I cannot recall the name of the restaurant but it was in the square that looks over the lake in the village of  Cernobbio. The restaurant  was filled with Italians not tourists which is always a good sign in my book. The food was excellent and the view was incredible. Jessy loved the risotto as did Chris and I, while Connor was very happy with his fresh pasta. 

Also in the little square on the lake was a playground with a carousel. It was a great spot to let the kids burn some energy before we got back in the car.

These 2 loved the carousel! Jess was dancing and bouncing up and down with excitement and Conn`or is always game for a carousel ride.

We also found a place to get what I would have to say is the best hot chocolate in all of EUROPE!
If you are ever in the village of Bellagio make sure to stop in to Birra Bellagio, it's right across the from the ferry.

Baby Diva and mommy having an aperitivo in the beautiful lounge at the Westin Palace.

After our last trip where I accidentally booked us an apartment in the ghetto I decided to splurge a little this trip, I mean it was our valentine's gift to each other after all. We stayed at the Westin Palace Milan in a super deluxe suite. It was the most gorgeous room I have ever stayed in and it was HUGE! It reminded me of a few of the residential jobs I worked on for SFA Design before Connor was born; beautiful decorative molding, venetian plaster, gold leafing, antiqued mirrors, old books and several crystal chandeliers. EVERY detail was perfect and perfectly Italian. We had a beautiful bedroom with sitting area, a separate living room and dining room, our own Turkish bath as well as multiple bathroom!  When we arrived there was a  wonderful bottle of Champagne with fruits and chocolates waiting for us in our room. I really felt like a princess. Thank you Chris!

The first night we were there we decided to eat in and enjoy our room a bit. When they delivered our meal they came in and set the dining table and even brought Jessy a highchair! We were feeling very spoiled. 

I have no idea why but Jess decided to sit in the corner to eat her snack . . .  maybe she was avoiding Connor so she wouldn't have to share. HA!

Duomo di Milano


Gelato is a must have while in Italy.

Bar Turati was a simple old Italian espresso bar where we had lunch one day. I speak a tiny bit of Italian, which I think is the most beautiful language. I could just sit and listen to people chatting in a cafe for hours. I find that people really appreciate when you try to speak their language even if you butcher it. (sadly 6 month into living in Holland and I can barely speak a word of Dutch, MUST work on that). The Italian people are so warm and friendly and they always seem to love our kids. One lady came to our table at lunch and asked if she could just hold Jessy for a minute. Then later in the day one of the gentleman who had worked in the bar recognized us on the street and greeted us so warmly and gregariously . . . we were starting to feel like we were locals.

I love how the sunlight is just kissing the top of Connor's blond hair. 
He looks so much older and serious here. . . 
You are growing up too fast!

Date Night
We celebrated an early Valentine's date night out in Milan. We put Jessy to bed and left Connor to play go fish with the babysitter (an American gal living in Milan who was the mother of a 7 year old boy. We knew he was in capable hands). The concierge had made us a reservation at Ristorante Solferino which was fabulous! I am no food photographer but I had to document this meal and this night. The homemade pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage was delicious and Chris dinner WOW! Fillet with roasted zucchini and artichoke and white beans (bean are bean but man Italians do something magical with the simplest of foods).
After a wonderful meal we headed to Blue Note which is a famous NYC Jazz club that happens to have a venue in Milan as well. There we caught the late performance of the Billy Cobham band.
A simply perfect date night. Thank you Milan :)

One morning Connor was not feeling well after breakfast. Chris being the sweet sweet husband that he is said he would take the kids back to the hotel and I could go off on my own. At first I was a little sad to be alone (I'm really not used to it as I have a 24/7 side kick) but after a bit of time and a glass of wine I was thrilled to be enjoying some alone time in the fashion capitol of the world. First I had a leisurely lunch in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which is an absolutely gorgeous glass covered arcade connecting 2 famous piazzas: Duomo and Scala. It really is worth it to google images of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to see what I mean. It's truly stunning! I also roamed the Duomo and did a little window shopping.
All in all it was a lovely trip and made me very excited to plan another trip there this summer hopefully one where we can lounge by the Mediterranean sea.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Oh Jessy girl you make my heart swell with love. You have the sweetest little smile.

And the best ears I have every seen. KISS KISS. 

A face that say "I can do no wrong". 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What's happening here . . . random iphone pix

The kids are growing at lightening speed and changing everyday. 

Here is Jessy and daddy playing dolls in the kitchen on a Saturday morning. 
Oh and that skirt is Jess' favorite and she will wear it for several days in a row and even over her pj's. 
She will bring it over to me and lift up a foot to show me she wants to step into it, then she will bring over some boots and sit in front of me with her foot in the air until I put her boots on. She is not saying much yet but she is very cleaver at communicating her wants. 

Chris and I had a "day date" in Amsterdam last week to go art shopping. The house we are renting here has lots of wonderful art (I am going to do a post on it soon) and we are enjoying it so much, that it's inspired us to look for a piece or two. We are hoping to find a painting that really represents the natural beauty of the Holland landscape. No luck yet . . . but it's been fun looking. 
The curators (I think that's what you call them) working in the galleries we looked at were very warm and informative. In a few of the galleries you could really tell how much the curator loved the artist and loved to talk about the work and life of the artist. It really was such an enjoyable process.

Oh and the frozen canals . . .
I just love the little duck foot prints through the snow on top of the ice.

Seeing the frozen canals in Amsterdam  was such a unique experience, one I will never forget.

Chris the Eskimo. . .  yes it is very cold here.

Connor being a sweet sweet boy to Jess.

My poor little angle. 
Jess has been very sick this week, high fevers, vomiting, and wheezing. Sick enough that I brought her in to see the doctor twice :(
He gave us a prescription for a rescue inhaler but since she doesn't understand how to use it we have to hold her down and hold a facemask on her until she breathes in the medicine. I do this 4X a day and it SUPER SUCKS. She doesn't understand what is happening and freaks out every time but it works like magic! She is breathing better in what seems like less than a minute. Yay for modern medicine.  

And when Jess is not sick she is tearing apart the house. This is the scene in the bathroom after I locked her in with me so I could take a quick shower. (note to self remove toilet paper from role and hide plunger before doing this again). HA!