Friday, August 20, 2010

la vita e' bella.

Beautiful Life.

at times the monotony of real life can feel boring or uneventful. let's face it, doing the dishes for an hour after planning, shopping for, and preparing dinner isn't exactly synonymous with the excitement of entering disney world, or in my world on occasion; sitting down to a slice of soft, velvety chocolate cake with extra dark chocolate frosting. i know you understand. ha.

after reading this post, if words like 'dark chocolate' or 'cake' and pictures of the moistest dark chocolate confection just won't stop bouncing around in your mind or if you need to make cupcakes for an upcoming birthday... try making these. i don't have a photo because someone and her sister practiced our magic disappearing act on them. you can frost them with store bought dark chocolate frosting or a better way to indulge is to make your own frosting.

this week has been the opposite of a boring or otherwise simple week. yes, there have been dishes and the unending laundry. there are bags to be unpacked (no, i haven't finished that yet as i just started today), things to be cleaned, loved on, caught up from being gone for 7 weeks.

forget all that important, yet equally less important bits and pieces of real life for things like...

not wanting to cheat myself and my family of the end of summer celebrations even though i am chomping at the bit for fall to arrive...

we finally sunk our teeth into the perfect, cold slice of seedless watermelon; we made blt's and corn on the cob for dinner, because that's how we roll during the hot months of this season; we invite friends over for impromptu swims; the kids made homemade lemonade with fresh lemons and real sugar and peyton even asked me for...hello, MINT LEAVES. ha. she is my child and has a monster memory!





note that i don't usually look this happy to be cleaning, but i looked up and saw peyton with my camera pointed at me. she knows better, but i love that she loves to take pictures. besides, i was cleaning up the lemony/sugary streaks of my kids independence. i've never seen a child look so happy and proud as when daddy and i both said that we loved her homemade lemonade so much, that we would like to have a glass for dinner. you woulda' cried at the pride on my
girl's face.

afterward, we read our fortunes...
nads, we adore this shirt so much. he's been wearing it for three days straight. ha. xo

and we stay up late because in a few days school begins for our oldest that means early bedtimes, but for this last week, we watch tv and eat drippy popsicles before dinner.

in truth, i am sniffing out fall like a hound dog hunts out a hare. i attack at the first sight or smell of the upcoming, chili-laden, candle-burning...finger crossing...crisp & cold season ahead.

so i am approaching our everyday life with new vigor and energy. my thoughts pump me up for a good and productive day as i think of freshly sharpened pencils, the smell of crayola crayons& elmer's glue. new shiny mary-janes for my girl and a sparkling new backpack that just arrived in the mail today.


peyton is starting kindergarten in a few short days and aside from a few random fits of tears over the fact that my little girl is slipping through my fingers and the official countdown to her high school graduation starts on monday, i'm good! i am looking forward to checking out her first real school desk that will be filled to the brim with brightly colored colored pencils and crisp lined handwriting paper. oh, and let's nor forget the brand spankin' new erasers.

is it just me or back in your elementary days, was an unmarked eraser like a present sitting in your desk just waiting to be made into a stamp? i used to draw hearts on them with red marker and then use it to stamp my work. on other days, my lack of attention was due to the fact that i would create a 'mural' on one side of the eraser and then use multiple colors to make it into a stamp.

i usually did these things during the math portion of my day which explains why i flunked college math for two years in a row...but that's an entirely different story. one the includes thick math books being pitched at my then-boyfriend and my-now husband, hours of tears, and deep and genuine prayers to God that included words like...
beg. never ask for anything else. i'll study every night. help. i love you. don't you want to help me? ha. yes, He gets the drama from as well. but it helped eventually.

i am keeping busy with setting out peyton's first week of outfits, note that my obvious energy and organization on this matter is sure to fade away as i will soon be knee deep dirty laundry, a smelly lunchbox, and homework.

and today we met peyton's new teacher! i already love her and we are so excited to learn together this year. peyton seems smitten with her teacher (shy smile and all) and that in itself couldn't have made this mama any happier tonight at meet the teacher at her school.

we marched in like the rest of the excited parents...
i felt special. being on that campus signified something big. something forever life changing. i wanted to tell anyone who would listen...
see that girl right there, she's mine and her first day of kinder is monday and we are so proud.

and she was excited and she felt special too... and we marched in with the rest of the families and i wondered how many of them couldn't wait for their kids to get back to school for a much needed break and how many mamas were finding it hard to let the lazy summer end and for school to begin.

her teacher says things like,

ciao bella
hello, beautiful. and

let's go!

and va bene!
and she loves on my baby like an italian grandmother might. she's says things to me like,
why don't you come over one night?! we'll cook meatballs together. she had me at meatballs.
i hope she really does invite us over, because she reminds me of my childhood. of my own italian grandmother...but nicer;)

we saw friends. lots of em'. this little guy was part of peyton's play group that we started when she was only six month old. the whole lot of those little people are beginning k next week. it takes my breath away how quickly time is going.

and if your wondering why my little one has her hands to her mouth in so many of these photos...
she has her first loose tooth!!! a very exciting rite of passage if you will. she tells everyone. my little shy buttercup has come out of her little shell and proudly exclaims to just about anyone...
"i have a loose tooth. see!"

peyton, we are so proud of the little lady you are becoming. we aren 't perfect and we sometimes don't know the right way to teach you, but we do love you more than anything and we love you even more for the little person that you are. thank you for letting us live our young years again. for opening the window into our past that your new experiences have unlocked for us. xoxo


reunited & making up for lost time...



we had a fashion show where we both pretend like we have been styling vogue models for years when in actuality i have no clue what i'm talking about. just the same, kelle is taking a trip and we needed to style her up for it.

we laughed. cried and just...soaked in our kids playing together again.
from there we hit anthropology and when the kids could take no more retail fun...we did this right before a thunderstorm threatened to hit...

jeff came for pizza:

fast fresh margarita pizza

homemade crust is prob best, but i haven't tackled that yet so i just bought a pre-made pie to make it quick.
about 1/4 cup of EVOO infused with garlic.

two cloved minced garlic

fresh mozzarella cheese that you can slice into thin round pieces.

a few thinly sliced roma or ugly tomatoes.

a bunch of fresh basil, whole.

sea salt & ground pepper.

corn meal to keep the crust from sticking to your pizza stone or in my case, baking sheet.

iam big on a few thimiuutffcxzbeckhamuuuyuuuttrrrreeewwqsssszzaaheidi8pooiiuuuuyyyyytreertiooh...
from beckham

i believe in a few tried and true rules when cooking. i don't have many as i'm not a pro and i learn better techniques all the time, however i am big on...
letting things simmer for a period of time long enough to let the flavors of the dish meld together.

using salt to bring out flavors.

and the one that pertains to this recipe...
slicing things thinly. it may break a cooking rule somewhere, but i find that i am very conscience of how thick or thin i am slicing ingredients to use in my food. i don't really have a good reason, but i do think about how hard it would be to eat cleanly.

if using a pizza stone, place it in a preheated 500 degree oven and allow the stone to heat up.

top dough with oil, minced garlic, fresh mozz, tomatoes, and basil. sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. (leave a one inch border around the pizza)

i used a baking sheet which you can do the same for. when heated, remove from oven and sprinkle with cornmeal. place the pizza on top and place it in the oven.

bake until golden and the cheese is melted. i would say i cooked ours for 10-15 minutes.

cut with a pizza cutter and serve with a salad.

note: you can make this pizza with basic tomato sauce in addition to the toppings above.

if you wanted to make your own i would throw something like this together and make it in a saucepan on the stove. something easy but super good.

tomato sauce for pizza

some diced onion, maybe a half or whatever you have left in the fridge.
three garlic cloves, minced
basil, chopped
a can of whole tomatoes. do not drain.

heat the oil and soften the garlic and onion (med heat, if you go to high the garlic will turn bitter), about 5 minutes. add the rest of the ingredients and some salt and pepper. bring to boil, then let simmer for 30 minutes. you may need to add some liquid. 3/4 cup of water should do it.

then enjoy. a father looking for his teenage daughter after she passed curfew, at about 9pm, my husband called and asked if the kids and i moved in? ha. so we packed it up and headed home and promised to make our fall time bucket list the next we met up. it's gonna be good. first thing on the list...

1. make strawberry jam!

okay, to end this post, i leave with this sky. our sky lit up like a beautiful fireball of colors...oranges and reds. we raced outside when we caught a glimpse while we were opening our fortunes.


our imperfect and super beautiful life!

i will use to choose the winner of the salt box and french salt tonight.
another giveaway in the next couple of weeks by someone super talented. loving her stuff so much.


Terri said...

Loves your posts! I will be having my first giveaway soon also, just hit 100 followers, very excited. Congrats on your little beauty starting kindergarten!

andrea said...

Love your blog. I hate to cook, but you make it look so fun!

Lots of questions:
How was your family ever able to take 7 weeks off? What does your husband do?

You and Kelle look like sisters? Are you related? How on earth did you both start in MI and end up in FL?

Your kids are beautiful! Good luck with school starting!

Brandy said...

Eraser stamps are awesome!That and trying to bore a perfect hole into the middle of the eraser without it breaking in two are probably the reason I am pathetic at math.
I have a big mound of berry mint in my garden will have to try it in some lemonade!
This whole post just made me hungry right after lunch!

Shaams said...

A beautiful post! I loved it. So glad your back to posting! :) Have a great weekend! I'll be at the hospital hoping your posting more!

Rebecca MacIntosh said...

Love it! Looks like Michigan was good to you, you look gorgeous, even cleaning! Congrats on an awesome teacher for Peyton! It makes all the difference in the world! Happy to be reading your lovely life again! :) xo

Anonymous said...

I follow both yours and Kelle's blog and I love them both. They make me happy because you two express the way I feel about my girls. I adore the friendship you share. I have to know...have guys been friends since you were kids, or is the fact that you are both from Michigan just a coincidence? I wish one of you would do a blog on the history of your friendship….With pictures of course!

Becky at lifeoutoffocus said...

i love all these pictures! esp the ones of peyton in school. her outfit is so cute. and so glad you're back home and with kelle again!

Many Titles said...

Oh what a fun teacher! I am sure having sucha great teacher that helps y'all transition into this new "era".
And yes, I think we are all ready for fall!

Daniele said...

Oh I had a flashback of happiness when I got a glimpse of the flowers in Peyton's hand for the meet the teacher. As a former teacher I can tell you that it truly would melt my heart every time when my students brought me flowers or handmade cards or whatever it happened to be. It really means a lot!
Good luck to her in her new adventure of school!
Now after your post I'm starving, I think that always happens. Off to eat something :)

Lisa Hewlett said...

Oh my GOODNESS that picture of Nella grinning = dark choc cupcakes - a tons of them! So yummy! And P looks A LOT like you in her school pictures! Good luck Monday!

Kelle said...

Oh, the meet-the-teacher thing was riveting! I can't imagine your little heart this weekend waiting for your baby to start kindergarten.

LOL on my one shoe. wtf? Where's my other shoe?! And the pic of the kids lying in the driveway looking at the rainbow slayed me. Uuuggghhh...makes me realize how much I love days like those. Where we hang with our kids. And Nella in the pool? Oh, Heidi!!! LOVE. xoxo I'm so glad you're home!!!

Taylor K said...

That pizza looks delicious! Do you guys have Trader Joe's in South Florida? Their dough is the best. I'm going to be in St. Petersburg for a family reunion this fall. I can't WAIT to capture some of your awesome gulf sunsets and colors while I'm there. I'm the unofficial photographer for the fam. :)

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, I missed you! You and your beautiful family! Love the pics of Peyton meeting her teacher, oh my word, I couldn't imagine the emotions!!

The pizza looks fab, I definitely a fan of homemade pizza, so gonna try that recipe :D


April said...

great post, heidi!! i am right there with you ... myles starts kindergarten next wednesday! it's so very crazy, this end-of-summer, start-of-school time!

and the pictures ... oh, loved the pictures. the rainbow and nella's smile in the pool!!

ps - 7 years ago today i became a mama! we have a birthday girl here!!!!!!!!!

Sarah said...

Beautiful!! I like that beckham wrote "I am BIG". your pics and stories are so sweet and beautiful. I hope Peighton has a fabulous first week of school, and I love how you are celebrating it with her. I teach 8th grade and thought, I wish every parent was as excited every year as you are and got that excited to buy supplies!

Anonymous said...

I've quietly read your posts for a couple months now, but thought I should finally tell you....You have some beautiful kids!! And Beckham's eyelashes are pretty much awesome.

Here's to new, crisp school supplies and fresh lemonade. Ahhh, nothing like it!!!


Amie said...

Don't you just LOVE a little boy in BIG BOY undies? They're out of their diapers, and their little butts just look just so darn cute in those boxer briefs! LOVE. IT.

Glad you're back!

(And OMG, so funny @Kelle with one shoe!)

Anonymous said...

i'm coming for the meatballs! kinder is so much fun-peyton will have a ball and in a little while-you will too--having kids is hard, letting them go is harder!!!

Heather Polleti said...

i LOVE all the pics....especially my little Peyton Mae taking flowers to her teacher.. :)

Jen Bacarella said...

This weekend is full of clothes shopping and school supplies. Cait is so excited to be in the Big K, but I am so sad to be closing my toddler year chapter
:-( We will have to share some tears together as our girls start their journey

Anonymous said...

Aww, how bittersweet it is your little girl is going to kindergarten... I know it must pull your heartstrings, but I bet she'll love it! I enjoyed all your pics -- SO beautiful. Your kids are adorable!

Sallinger said...

Oh, you made me fall in love with the K teacher! Good luck this week, mama! :)

Rhonda said...

What a great song to add to your blog during all the changes that life brings us...LOVE IT! It gives me goosebumps!!!

Anonymous said...

P.S. LOL on your recent comment -- Thanks so much for your kind words. I think you're an amazing mama, too... which, I have to admit even though it's kinda embaressing, I'm kinda addicted to your blog because it's super sweet and inspiring and fun... So what I'm trying to say is that your kids are really lucky to have you and your hubby as mama and daddy, too. :)

SDM said...

heidi!! I missed you this summer!! congrats on miss peyton starting kindergarten -- that's a huge step!! she'll of course do great... and so will you!
that pizza is making my mouth water! love your pics... and of course your blog :)
can't wait to see pics of the first day of school!

iColossus / Monster said...

Hey there, catching up on posts!

NOT ready for fall. I know you guys are and it's been so warm on the East Coast but here in LA, 2 miles from the beach, it's JUST been warm (like over 70) for the past couple of weeks.

So, I'm enjoying summer! Dresses and open-toed shoes. Summer, summer fruit it wouldn't be summer without them. Remember that jingle?
Our summer extends to November and sometimes later so we'll see what happens this year.

Wow, does Beckman get tangled up in those lashes of his?!

And Peyton, losing a tooth, woah...that's a milestone, huh?! Pretty girl, and pretty photo of you she took.

Oh, and I love your prayer to God....hilarious!

OK, big hugs to you and love you, miss you.

Kiki said...

That pizza looks DELICIOUS!

Her school looks so nice and her teacher sounds really amazing!

Your children are the sweetest and Peyton sounds like such a lady!

Heidi said...

my husband is a financial advisor and he has many clients in michigan, where are from, so he is able to work out of both places. a lot of what he does is done though phone and email, so he has flexibility. i feel so lucky that he is able to work like that!!!

no, kelle and i are not related in the biological way, but we act like we were cut from the same cloth. we are just really close and like a lot of the same things. we think alike a lot of time, we are both goofy and feel comfortable with one another being goofy.

we are both from michigan, but i did not meet her until the year we both started our first years as teachers in 2003. we had a...
ya know what, i will write a post on this. good idea, anon. i do get a lot of questions on that:) and it is a sweet story.

i love girlfriend stories of friendship myself, so it would be fun to write it out.

rachel, welcome!! i do love that boy's lashes!

RCShuey said...

So cute Heidi. Great job for a 1st Day of School blog. SO cute!

(auntie chelle is for my nephews Blog) =]

Patti said...

hahahaha. i just came back here to find your pizza recipe to try tonight...and i actually GOOGLED EVOO. i am such a dork. i really do know how to cook LOL, just didn't know that abbreviation.
Okay, so going to cook me up a HDP

Anonymous said...

2015-11-6 xiaozhengm
michael kors uk
mont blanc pens
nike roshe runs
louis vuitton handbags
toms outlet store
michael kors handbags
gucci outlet
uggs outlet
rolex replica watches
kate spade uk
michael kors outlet online
louis vuitton handbags
louboutin pas cher
fitflops clearance
michael kors outlet
nike sb
ugg sale
moncler jackets
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
adidas shoes
mizuno running shoes
ray ban
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors handbags
gucci outlet
moncler jackets
michael kors handbags
tory burch outlet
cheap ugg boots
running shoes
michael kors bags
kate spade outlet
michael kors handbags
ray ban sunglasses
tory burch outlet
oakley vault
canada goose uk
christian louboutin shoes