Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Buon Compleanno, Mi Amore!

Happy 32nd birthday Mario! You're still catching up ;) Yesterday was the hubs birthday.  I have known and loved my husband since he was 21, so its been quite the journey! We have had wild times, haha.  Honestly, he is the most hard working man I know, along with my dad. I promise I'm not just saying that!  He is an amazing provider and family man for us girls.  Dedicated and loyal to all that are lucky enough to know him. He definitely doesn't like to be the center of attention, so his birthday was not complicated to figure out.  Just us four, and his immediate family. His birthday is very close to Christmas, like Gia's, so I try to make things special.  Even though he is an grown man.
Lucky for us he is on vacation this week.  Which the rest of the year he is working like crazy.  I try not to complain much about not seeing him in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. We just miss him so much.  I have to remind myself he is working for us.

So kindly, I let him choose his cake, and surprisingly he wanted Funfetti confetti, I'm not sure what its really called, with cream cheese frosting.  I did decide on the rest of the dinner, but I try to make things that will feed a hungry crowd.  So I made homemade lasagna, his favorite salad, and garlic bread.  That sounds like a filling meal to me?!  Such the great daddy he is, he let the girls blow out his big 32 candles. 

Mario has always supported me and given me strength with the decisions I have made. He is the NO social media type, likes to keep things private.  Obviously, I do things a bit different, but once again he is proud of me.  He is my best husband, and I am so blessed I met him so many moons ago! 

Thank you all for reading and listening to my ramblings.  Much love, Linzi

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Decemburr Favorites!

It is so cray cray that its almost the new year!  I thought I'd do a quick December favorites, so here goes.  I've currently been partaking in my favorites wonderfulness for over a month though, for good measure.  I am seriously going to need to be working on my fitness come the new year!  You're going to notice a bit of a theme going on here.  So I'm sorry in advance if you are not a fan of peppermint and minty things.
I love big chunky knit scarves, infinity ones are the best.  They are a must for colder weather and they can really make a outfit adorable.  Both of these scarves are from my favorite local boutique. I'm also loving the Hunter green jeggings, I'm not sure you can tell that's the color of these but I've been living in them!
Milani Eye Tech Bold Liquid Eye Liner is amazing!  Its from the drug store, inexpensive, very black, and easy to use! Perfect if you're trying to do a wing. 
L'Oreal True Match Powder in the shade Cocoa.  I have been using this everyday for a cheek contour. Nothing drastic just a natural look.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in the color Lilac Pastelle.  I have owned this for a while now but have been grabbing for it very often.  The sheer cool toned lilac is perfect alone or over a lipstick.  It's not sticky or gloopy.
Bath and Body Works Candles are always a favorite of mine.  This Winter the minty ones were calling my name.  I am especially fond of the Mint Chocolate one, if you love the ice cream than this candle is for you!
Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer from International Delight This the perfect addition to my morning home brewed coffee.  I also like the flavor of this one a lot more than Coffee Mates version.
Do you like tea?  I love tea, particularly this one.  It smells divine and just warms you right up after a day at the tree farm.  I grew up on Celestial Seasonings, my mom is a tea junkie!
Yikes!  These Peppermint dipped pretzels are freaking good!  I posted a picture of these on Instagram  a while back and I'm still loving them.  They're a perfect mix of sweet and salty.
Well, that is it for my favorites of December.  What are some of yours?
Much love, Linzi

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Aftermath of Christmas.

Am I the only one who feels sad Christmas is over?  I wish we had more Christmas Eves!  They are the best!  Christmas Eve and Christmas day were everything I hoped for.  They were perfect, surrounded by family, everyone in cute holiday outfits, lots and lots of yummy foods.  I hope that yours was fabulous too!  Like so many other families my kids were spoiled by Santa and family.  I honestly feel they may have gotten a little too much, but its just once a year.  I am super grateful for the gifts, but its the love you give your children that means the most.

One of the best parts of the last few days have been my parents visiting.  I was able to see them for four days, everyday.  It was sooo nice not only for me, but for Amira and Gia.  There is nothing like a grandparents love.  They are gone now, back home in Vancouver.  Hopefully we will be visiting them next weekend for a few days. 
The day after Christmas is a wild time for kids. They have finally talked mommy and daddy into opening all the toy boxes of torment.  Why are toys packaged so damn hard into the box?!  My littles received so many gifts I actually put some up and away in the closets.  They wont even know, plus I really want them to appreciate the presents.  My next project is going through both of their rooms and donating all the things they have grown out of and don't play with anymore. 
Look at those smiles.  You'd never tell that both of them are sick again with horrible colds and coughs.  We woke up this morning to Gia throwing up on Amira.  So lovely.  I was able to catch some of the vomit in my hands.  Mom Problems!

Thank you so much for reading.  Much love, Linzi

Monday, December 23, 2013

Baby Gia's 2nd Birthday Celebration!

We have a TWO year old! Since my little nuggets birthday was last Monday I decided to have a quaint party for her on Saturday.  I'm already feeling the guilt of not inviting 37 people but our house is just not cut out for that.  Plus, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy Gia's day, and that is what it is all about!
My other little nugget flaring some serious nostril, and favorite cousins.
 Having a birthday so close to Christmas, I tried making her day and week as special and festive as I could.  I put away the Christmas garlands and hung her special pink and blue ombre hearts. I puffed up some poms, which was harder than I thought it would be! She would barely keep on the glittery crown, but none the less she was adorable!  Trying not to go overboard with pink can be a challenge so I added in blues and her favorite yellow guy, Sponge Bob!  Daddy bought her some balloons but she was terrified.  We had to keep them in the bathroom shower, haha.
My husband even wrote on the chalkboard, talk about sweetness.  Yes, wrapped around the finger...

 On the menu, I made a spicy honey ham and homemade macaroni and cheese.  You cant go wrong there! I always order the girls birthday cakes.  It can be a bit overwhelming trying to do everything.  I did bake up some cupcakes and found these cute Sponge Bob toppers.
So once again Miss Gia was able to have some birthday cake and blow out candles.  She had to huff and puff pretty hard, I didn't realize putting two candles not that close together would be so difficult. Oppsy!
Gia Christina Scarsella, you are such a growing wonder.  We love you so very much! Words could not fully express the deep and overwhelming feeling of adornment and love I have for you.  You have made our lives so complete.

Thank you for reading.  Much love, Linzi

Friday, December 20, 2013

10 Days of Christmas Tag.

I was tagged the beautiful Kelly at Big Apple, Little Bites to share in this tag.  I have been following her blog for a little over a month now and I just love it and her.  She is living in Manhattan!!  I truly feel like I'm following a piece my favorite writer, Carrie Bradshaw.

Here are the 10 questions of the Christmas tag

1.) What do you love the most about Christmas time?
What I love most about Christmas is that it brings families together.  Since its cold where I live we seem to gather around the cozy fireplace more and do fun things like decorate the house and trim the Christmas tree.
2.) Do you celebrate the holidays in style or is it Bah-humbug for you?
I'd say I celebrate in style, I'm not wearing sequins everyday but I definitely try to wear a dress and some cute heels.  Our house is definitely in holiday style!
3.) Are you leaving out anything for Santa this year so he remembers your presents?
Yes, we always leave cookies for Santa.  Amira and Gia also leave carrots for Rudolph and the rest of Santa's reindeer,
4.) What is the one gift you are most looking forward to giving?
My oldest daughter, Amira is very much about Santa and she has been wanting the 2013 Holiday Barbie sooo badly.  It is the one thing she talks about most so I'm very excited to see her unwrap this gift.
5.) What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie?
I'm going to go with Home Alone, I adore that movie. It is from my generation and every time its on TV I watch it.  My dad loves it too.
6.) What is your favorite Christmas song?
I have 2, Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, which is from Home Alone too ;) and Last Christmas by Wham!
7.) Would I participate in a ugly sweater party, and what would I wear?
I would so participate, I really wanted to have a USP this year but there was no time, boo!  I actually found some pretty stylish sweater I'd wear.
8.) Have I started any Christmas traditions that I plan on carrying forward?
Yes, cookie decorating for the girls and their friends was so much fun this year. Also going to the Lights of Christmas as a foursome was so amazing. 
9.) It is Christmas morning, what does it look it look like?
It is snowing this morning for the first time in my town.  I wish that it does the same Christmas morning, it is so beautiful and magical to look at.  My littles would love to play in it!
10.) You just found yourself standing under the mistletoe, who comes up to give you a kiss first?
This is a tuffy, probably my husband.  He is very loving/Italian lol!  Then I'd say Amira, sometimes I think, she thinks I'm hers only ;)
Thank you for reading friends.  Hope that whatever you're doing it is bringing you joy and love!  Feel free to do the tag too, I'd love to read your responses!

Much love, Linzi

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday FUDGE!

 I'm calling this holiday fudge because the only time I ever see fudge, or eat it is around Christmas time.  That's probably a good thing seeing as this recipe is highly addictive!  We all seem to be reaching into the fridge for a piece a little to often!   Fudge is an odd word and I feel like I'm saying it way to much in this post, haha.

My mom is a total baker, and sweet tooth girl like me.  One of my fondest memories of my mom around Christmas is her slaving away in the kitchen for days making all her cookies, fudge, and mini cakes!  I shouldn't say slaving because she loves doing all that baking.  Sadly, we live over 4 hours away from my folks so I don't get to taste test her lemon bars and rum cakes (my fav)  anymore.  She makes trays and trays for her employees, friends, and family. 

My moms recipe for fudge is way more complicated than mine.  So I must admit I like my version a little better.  I think my mom will get a kick out of this because this fudge doesn't call for marshmallow creme or even butter.  It was so easy and quick to make my girls barely had time to sneak any chocolate chips.

Holiday Fudge Recipe

3 cups of Chocolate Chips, I used 2 cups of Semi Sweet and 1 cup of Milk Chocolate morsels
1 14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

Yes, only 2 ingredients! First off I lined a 8x8 pan with foil and sprayed the foil with coconut oil spray. Then I melted the chocolate chips in medium size pot.  When they started to melt down I added the entire can of sweetened condensed milk and stirred till completely smooth and melted.  Quickly spread fudge mix into the pan and put into fridge till it is cold.  I sliced ours into 2 bite pieces. 

You can add any toppings of your choice to make the fudge more festive, but I knew Amira wouldn't be hip to candy cane bits on top.  She would however enjoy mini marshmallows so I think we will try that next.  You could also add in dried fruit or nuts, very classic!

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you run out to the store to get the 2 ingredients for this fudge!

Much love, Linzi

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Italian Sausage with Spicy Beans.

I'm finally getting a recipe on here.  I've been blogging about my growing kiddos and makeup a lot recently so I'm sorry if that has been a bore to some of you.  This is a wonderful dinner for these cold winter nights.  Also a stand by recipe in my house, we all love.  Well, minus the littles a tad because of the red chili flakes.  Gia does enjoy the beans, which are my favorite as well because they sort of melt in your mouth.  Slather them on some crusty French bread and this mama is in carbohydrate heaven!
As you know we love Italian food.  There is very few ingredients in the recipe so you should try this one out.  You could also swap out the hearty sausage if you're a vegetarian and use a meatless one, or skip that ingredient all together.  Here is what you'll need.

Italian Sausage with Spicy Beans

8 Hot Turkey Sausages (I've used Sweet Turkey ones too, just as tasty)
2 cans of drained Cannellini Beans
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
5 thinly sliced garlic cloves
1 10 oz. pack of Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1 Teaspoon of Chili Flakes (or whatever speaks to you)
4 Dried Bay Leaves
Chopped fresh Parsley if you wish
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 loaf of French bread
Heat large pan, add olive oil and cook your sausages.  Remove them from pan and set aside.  Add your garlic, chili flakes, and tomatoes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Let the mix simmer for about 10 minutes, also when the tomatoes are soft and bursting.  Add your sausages back, drained Cannellini beans, and put Bay Leaves on top.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.  Here you can garnish with chopped Parsley.  I slice up my French bread and toast just slightly.

Our favorite way to eat this dish is by ladling some spicy beans and hot garlicky tomato on top of the bread and kind of smushing it in . This bite is so delicious my mouth is watering!  Add a fresh salad and dinner is complete!  I hope you enjoy one of my family favorites.

Much Love, Linzi

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gia is 2! & Amira's Christmas Concert!

So as most of you know it was my sweeties birthday 2nd birthday yesterday.  Gia and I say thank you so very much for the warm birthday wishes on Facebook and Instagram!  My little babe is just toddlering up.  These are the days you can clearly see her fun loving personality coming thru. It certainly feels crazy to say I have a 2 year old and 4 year old!  My husband is urging the third...
Yesterday was so special as it was Amira's first Christmas concert.  All those hours spent singing in her room really paid off!  She was smack dab in the middle, right by her bestie Kylie.  Such a proud mama moment for me, and my entire family.  I was a bit worried Gia would not sit through the program, but she did great!  After the concert was over she started to show the flailing signs of a no-nap Monday!
Amira had her grandma there, unfortunately papa had to work so he didn't make it.  My mom did video the entire thing for him to watch at home.  Also my folks will be back this weekend for Gia's birthday party, yay!  So more fun pictures to come.
After the day was said and done and everyone was home, Gia finally got to indulge in her chocolate cheesecake pie and open her gifts from daddy and mommy.  Now that we have a 2 year old on our hands she doesn't need any assistance in ripping open wrapping paper and even blowing out candles!  She blew that sucker out! 

Thank you again for all your love, have a blessed Tuesday! Much love, Linzi 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Easy Makeup Requests.

Hello lovelies.  A few of my sweet blogger friends have asked me to do some makeup tutorials on my Instagram. I am so touched you even thought it looked worthy of a tutorial!  I have no experience in that so I'm going to try my best to show you what products I've used and how to apply them.  I'm using makeup you can buy at any drug store so it should be quite easy to find.  Or just use what you have in your makeup collection that is similar.
My makeup is almost always neutral. Here I've used some coral, red, and orangey tones.  For my eyes I used Wet n Wilds Comfort Zone pallet, the 2 middle colors on the left side.  I recommend using a good blending brush so you don't have any harsh lines. I also used a redish color in my crease but I cant find it. Sorry, my girls are constantly in my makeup.  To finish my eye I use this Lorac nude shade under my brows for a highlight. For my cheeks I used a Milani Blush in the color Coralista. On my lips is Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya.
The second look here I'm using light pinks and purples. My brows are not good here!  Still the look is very wearable and neutral. This picture is actually from today.  I went to get my Jeeps emission test (passed), and we did a few errands. Little GG is sooo precious I just want to eat her!
I picked up this $3.00 Bonnie Bell eyeshadow box yesterday.  I've never owned anything B.B. except maybe in 6th grade with some lip gloss.  I was trying to find something similar in shade to the new $52.00 Naked 3 pallet. I used the 2nd and the last eyeshadow color.  I also used a soft brown in my crease.  Always blending colors.  For my cheeks I used my holy grail E.L.F. blush in Pink Passion. On my lips I used Revlons Colorburst Matte Balm Stick in the color Elusive.  I love these Balms Sticks!  They smell very good and I like them much better than drying lipsticks.
In both looks I have on black eyeliner and have contoured my cheeks just slightly.  I hope that this post some what helped, and that I at least listed the products used.  Please be kind, I'm not a makeup guru or junkie.  I'm a mom and wife ;)

Thank you so much for reading and if you have any other requests I'd love to hear them! Love, Linzi

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sugar Cookie Decorating with Littles and Recipes.

So my girlies and I came up with the idea of having a little cookie decorating party.  We love cookies and its a good way to have a play date.  Amira invited her bestie Kylie, her momma and sweet baby brother.  We always have a good time hanging out with this family and I'm grateful we met them!  Gia was needing a nap midway so we had a few mini meltdowns.  Those are some of the only the stressful times for me.  Other than that the afternoon was roses!
The next Top Chefs!

While Amira was at school, Gia and I whipped up some sugar cookie dough.  She liked the taste of that!  We also made a batch of my favorite cream cheese frosting.  Sorry peeps, no royal icing here.  We mixed three different colors of frosting and left one bowl white.  My littles love licking the beaters. We also had plenty of festive holiday sprinkles and chocolate chips!
Mmm sugar and butter
When the big girls got finished with school we met at my house.  Of course they went straight for Amira's room to play princesses and such.  They also decided they needed to dress up as Belle and Snow White for the decorating part.  Talk about divas ;)
Amira is such a hammy, and look at all of Kylie's cookies!

They really took their time decorating these cookies!  I didn't realize what intricate designs you can make with globs of frosting.  Of course we all ate a few a dozen along the way.  So yummy!  I am big fan of decorated cookies, but have never made them before. What?!  The recipe is super easy.

Sugar Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 sticks of softened butter
3 cups of AP flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

 Pre-heat oven to 350  Cream your butter and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla then mix. Slowly add in your dry ingredients till perfectly mixed.  Shape dough into a ball.  I made two for the girls but you could do just one.  Bake for 7-10 minutes until edges get browned.  I also lined my cookie sheets with a Silpat and wax paper.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick softened butter
1 8 oz. package softened cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 heaping tsp of vanilla
1 tsp cream cheese emulsion (if you don't have this don't worry, skip it)
little half and half to thin out.
Some of the girl's cookies that didn't get inhaled immediately.

Having a cookie party or gingerbread house party is a great way to keep kids occupied and out of the cold weather.  I will be making this a tradition for my girls.  Thank you so much for reading!

Much love, Linzi