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Living abroad

After having seen Bee crying while saying goodbye to my mom and my sister who recently left to go back to their home in Italy, I can honestly say that one of the downfalls of living abroad is seen my children getting upset every time they see someone leaving after having spent some time with us.

This time was even harder, because it wasn’t only Bee  who got sad but Leo too. He has now reached an age where he can actually realise when someone is not in the house anymore. For instance the day after my mom left he was going room after room calling “Nonna” or  in the car he would suddenly call her name…

It’s heart breaking…literally…

But we made a choice to live here, away from our family and friends and unfortunately we just have to, literally, live with it.

Beatrice and Leo love be surrounded by people, friends, family and they get very attached to everyone who comes to visit us from abroad.

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Last month was a big month of celebrations  in our house. We had both my family and my in-laws here to celebrate Leo and Bee’s birthdays. We spent time all together, we laughed, Bee got to take turns and slept in bed first with one Nonna then with the other and both my children got super spoiled with cuddles, kisses, presents. They got away with going to bed too late or eating too many sweet.

They obviously adore having family here and when it’s time to say goodbye it’s just so so hard… for all of us…

When people ask me if I’d like to go back to live in Italy I always reply that although I miss so many things about  “my previous life”,  now my new life is here in Scotland. Both my kids were born here and I would not have stayed here that long (In August it’ll be 14 years of me living here eeek) if it didn’t feel like home.

At the same time, I cannot help but feel nostalgic thinking that I cannot just jump on the plane every time I miss them…sometimes I happen to wonder what it would be like to go back, having Sunday lunch with the family, see friends for dinner while granparents look after the children, spend Christmas with all my cousins and uncles…

I try to see the positive in this though.

Every time we meet it’s special! Sometimes I actually feel we love our family even more now because we cherish so much the limited time we spend together that we make every minute unforgettable. And I honestly think we create amazing memories every time we are together!

One of the best things  it’s the countdown for their arrival day… and when we wake up and it’s almost time to go to the airport, the excitement is sky high!

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Every time we go and fetch our family from the airport we take the kids and we prepare big “welcome” posters and we take balloons and hearts and flowers and when the airport doors open our hearts beat faster because we cannot wait to see our loved ones faces in between many faces.  And when they finally come out usually Bee runs towards them and jumps on them! Ohh how I get sooo emotional and my heart fills with joy!!

The day after their arrival is a continuing celebration! In the morning the kids cannot wait to wake up  and go and play with them , show them their toys, their draws.

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When someone come to visit us we try to spend our days visiting amazing Scottish places, admire all together beautiful scenaries or have wonderful experiences like the time when we went to feed the lambs which were only few days old!

IMG_2574And obviously every time we are all together there is cake, lots of cake no matter the occasion! And lasagna! And pasta and more pasta! WOW, I get excited only to think about all this!

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Although it’s hard to say goodbye to the people we love, I try to remember all the experiences that we share together and when I miss them I smile and feel lucky because no matter what, we are blessed to have people who love us so much.

 

 

Seychelles Mama

All you need is Family love

On Sunday we are going to have a big celebration for my husband’s 40th birthday (eeeekk) and obviously we’ll have many cakes and sweet treats.

Because of this,  I thought I would bake a cake for Valentines’ day few days earlier.  This year I wanted to celebrate what I believe is the biggest love you can have: a family!

Valentine's family love

During the endless hours spent at night on Pinterest (I know I should be sleeping!), I often see these sweet little love birds on cakes and cupcakes so I got the idea to create a cute family of 4 birds which would represent us.

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I first baked some cookies shaped like birds, decorated with royal icing and set them aside. With the rest of the dough I made mini cookie hearts and coloured them with royal icing too.

I then baked a super moist sponge cake, prepared a Nutella and ricotta filling and assemble it all together. I covered the cake in lilac fondant and placed the birds on top by using some toothpicks. At last I attached the cookie hearts all around like a garland.

Valentine's day cake

The result is not perfect but I literally did in less than a day while the kids were nappy or playing so I guess it’s not too bad (self pat-pat on my back :))

love birds cake

Whatever you do, however you celebrate,  I hope this Valentine’s day will bring you much love … and cake!

I am a lucky mamma

Today, especially today, I feel like the luckiest person ever.

I’ve been following this incredible brave mum and her blog for quite a while now. Two years ago today, she lost her 9 months old daughter to SIDS and I cannot help but be moved to tears every time I read her blog, every time I see her pics on Instagram, every time I feel her pain through her words…

As a mom. I just CAN-NOT imagine how hard it must be. I wish I could do something to alleviate her pain, her struggle to keep living and fighting for the sake of her other precious children. I just pray… every day Matilda and her family are in my prayers.

It’s crazy how you can feel so close to someone you don’t even know…I guess motherhood keeps us all in the same pod and if someone feels the pain then we share it all together. I’d hope that knowing how much love we all feel for her could do a teeny tiny fraction of good but I guess the pain is so immense that it’s almost impossible to bear it…

Today, particularly today, I feel lucky, I know I am lucky.

I’ve got two gorgeous cheeky children who I adore with all my heart and I don’t think my life would ever make sense without them. It’s moments like this when you stop, once more, and you reflect.. and you feel silly for the many times you got crossed over worthless matters and for a fraction you forgot the real joy of life: every day moments with your loved ones, simple acts that make your life worth living.

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Every morning my children leave the house with their dad to go to nursery. They kiss me goodbye until I see them again in the afternoon.

For a while now, I’ve been teaching Leonardo to give me a kiss before he leaves the house. I usually have to call him and say “Give a big kiss to mamma!” so he stops, turns back and gives me a kiss (most of the time wetting my whole face! lol). This morning while I was tying Bee’s shoes, I could see Leo going out the door then, without me saying anything, he stopped came towards me with his little feet and with a smile he stamped a kiss on my lips…

It was precious… it meant the world to me… It was one of those moments when you feel your heart exploding because there is so much love.

my loves

For this and for many other little-BIG moments of my life,  I am extremely grateful…

Today, once more, I feel lucky.

Celebrating family time in our kitchen

As a family we tend to spend most of our time together around the kitchen. A part from using the kitchen table to have our meals, colouring books, playing games, we all love eating good food therefore my children love watching mummy preparing nice meals and baking scrumptions cakes (and watching daddy eating them) so I can easily say that the heart of our home is our Kitchen.

Last Sunday for Father’s day, we decided to prepare something all together.  We opted for Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes covered with Nutella frosting! Bee was the first one to put her apron on and impatiently waited for mummy to give her tasks to do.

She’s usually in charge of breaking the eggs (somehow she loves it!LOL) and then adding the ingredients inside (quite a lot outside too) the mixer. She looks so concentrated when she bakes along with me, it’s actually quite funny to watch!

Making these Nutella cupcakes is dead easy. I used my usual Vanilla cupcake recipe and I added to tbsp of cocoa powder to that.

For the frosting I just went with what I thought would create a yummy frosting so I mixed together:

– 100gr of Nutella

– 100gr of sifted icing sugar

– 80 ml of heavy cream

and once I had a creamy smooth consistency, I  put it in the fridge and left it for an hour or so before piping it on the cupcakes.

Tip: make a little hole and take some of the cake off from each cupcake so that you get more frosting in it!

“Hey daddy, do we look good in pink?”

This time Leonardo gave it a go too. He was mainly attracted to the noise that the mixer was making so he wanted to come closer and have a better look at what was going on.

Leonardo little chef

I had a fraction of a second where I thought nobody was looking so I quickly licked the mixture off my fingers but.. daddy caught me!

Daddy usually is in charge of entertaining the kids while mummy carefully puts the cupcakes in the oven.

A little fight broke over who was going to play with the cakepop mould…

Yummy chocolate cupcakes are rising well!

Bee is the happiest kid when she spends time helping to bake in the kitchen and if her adorable father is next to her, then there is nothing better!

“Mummy look, daddy is all mine!” I know, I know…

I truly enjoy baking and cooking, it totally relaxes me. But then it comes the time to tidy all up and I swear I cannot be bothered to rinse it all and clean well all the dishes before loading them into my dishwasher (like my mum thought me to do – sorry mum!). I found that by using Fairy Platinum, I really don’t need to do any particular pre-wash in the sink because my dishes still come out clean and shiny so why not use that time in a better way, ie frosting the cupcakes with a delicious Nutella topping ?

Perfect! A fresh strawberry on the top and voila’

We are all happy now, we prepared lovely cupcakes for daddy’s day and we just cannot wait to taste them ( in fact Bee is smiling in this picture but she was kind of getting a bit impatient as she had already been asking to eat a cupcake for 10 minutes!)

 Leonardo is looking pretty eager to get his hands on that frosting too!

 “Mummy, stop taking pictures, can I eat it now?!?”

Love and sweets, what else do you need in your family?!?

And this is how we spend amazing family time in our kitchen, laughing, playing and making the most out of every daily celebration!

I caught all three of you! Happy days!

 

*This post is an entry for the “My Kitchen Story” Linky Challenge, in collaboration with Fairy Platinum