Posted in Random Stuff

Mother’s Day 2019

Hello WordPressland!!

Hope you had a great Mother’s Day weekend celebrating all the mothers in your lives.

What. A. Fantastic. Weekend.

Let me start with Friday. Per usual, it’s a holiday so I treated myself to a new pair of earrings that I have been coveting for a while. They finally went on sale, so, of course, I bought them. Love them?? They’re blue and green snakes by Betsey Johnson.

Then Saturday was a mix of work and fun; but more fun than work.

Saturday was my last free full day before going away, heading to New Orleans with my husband this Sunday. I was saving it for us to scrub the house, pack and do some laundry. But my sister ended up asking me and the girls to go out for pedis and lunch with our mom, which was tough to squeeze in. So, we met up with them for pedicures.  We had so much fun, well, me and my oldest did anyways.  We got seated together, then a few seats down were my mom and sister, then a few seats down from them was my youngest. :\  But, regardless of how we were spaced out, our pedis came out great and it was nice to spend the time with my family.


We rushed home after the nail salon to clean up the house.  My girls really did an amazing job cooperating on cleaning up. My husband ended up having to work last minute, so it was just the three of us.  With one man down, we worked so well together, they turned out to be so helpful, that we got through the major parts of the house in record timing. My gosh my kids have a lot of things!    All that hard work left us the night free.  Since my husband worked most of the day, and we were tired from running around all day, we decided to meet up with our besties last-minute for dinner at Biltmore and Main, which was super-fantastic.

The blood orange whiskey I got there was pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Biltmore and Main- Steak tips w chimichurri sauce, mash potatoes and asparagus

Sunday; Mother’s Day, started off perfectly!

My kids slept in late, which is a bonus in the parenting department. Especially at our house where our oldest is up and out of the house by 6:45AM! The skies were gray but that didn’t put a dent in our moods. The girls and I hung out making coffee as my husband went to grab some morning treats for us.  He insisted on grabbing us breakfast.  Even though I said it was crazy since we were going to brunch!  Well, he persisted, and got some pastries and cooked bacon from Whole Foods.  Their bacon is off the hook good, and bacon is like my all time favorite food.  And he brought me flowers. 🙂  We hung out a while eating as I was opening cards and gifts, which I have to say is a great part of Mother’s Day! ahaha  Then we lost track of time! We had to adjust our brunch reservations so we could get dolled up beforehand.


It is the most perfect meal ever created.

My husband surprised me taking us to Chickadee down in the Seaport area by the Innovation and Design building.  (I love birds and I love brunch, he gets me so well!)  They just started offering brunch, and since we are brunch nuts he thought it was a good time to check the place out.    This meal was a lot of fun, and their cocktail selection was so peculiarly great.  There were a lot of mixes on there that I thought were unique..maybe I am wrong, but look at the menu below and you tell me.

The place was so pretty, all dressed in grey and white, with birds.  I just liked it so much.  It smelled so good as we were seated, and the amount of families there celebrating Mom made me smile. The cocktail menu was, like I said, unique, but what was truly cute about it was that all the drinks were named after birds.  SO CUTE!!  I highly recommend the SnowBird; which was a lemony, elderflowery, vodkay, thymey deliciousness.  YES, those are all words.  

We started off the meal with a few donuts to share.  We got the s’mores crunch donut and rhubarb jelly donut.  I am not normally a rhubarb fan, my husband is, but the rhubarb jelly donut was terrific.  I could’ve eaten all of them on my own. haha   Our entree choices made me laugh.  Out of the four of us, three of us got spicy chicken and cheddar waffles!!  My husband got the dutch baby with blueberries.  The food was great, and we all agree to make a trip back to try more of the selections they had to offer.  Especially the chick-shuka and chickadee bowl.  Now I want to drive down there to eat..  arg!!

We dined for a while, really enjoying the atmosphere, food and cocktails..and each other’s company! After we left the restaurant, the rain was coming down a little bit.  We wanted to surprise the kids by taking them to Taiyaki on Seaport Blvd.  I don’t know if you guys remember my trip to California last year.  We had taken the kids to an ice cream shop that made Japanese Taiyaki, that is ice cream in koi fish-shaped cones… ring a bell?  Well, a few companies making Taiyaki started opening up across NYC and one came to Boston.   Unfortunately, the parking situation down on Seaport Blvd really blows.  It won’t stop me from being there all Summer, but it does deter us from time to time when the weather stinks.  We couldn’t find a spot for twenty minutes around that shop, and opted to getting an ice cream closer to home. So we did.

We ended the night cuddling on the couch, catching up on our latest family binge, Parks and Rec.  We have a season left; I know we plow through binges like nobody else.  The girls and I may finish it this week while my husband is away..because we can and will!  haha  When they went off to bed, my husband and I started our binge of Sneaky Pete.  Such a good show!!

That was my Mother’s Day!  I wish it didn’t have to end, it was really a good time.

I am so lucky with the family I have cultivated here.  My kids are the shining light in my life, who bring so much compassion, laughter and happiness to my days I can’t even explain it with any justice.  And none of this wonderful mother-life would be possible without my heart’s soulmate, my husband.  I have the most selfless, hardworking, caring and loving man. Thank you, and our girls, for making me feel so loved and thought after.  Not just one day a year, but every day. 


Posted in Random Stuff

Easter 2019 (in photos)

Hello WordPress!

I am keeping this one short and sweet, a photo collage, as I have to run to PT!  Today has just flown with work. 

Hope those who celebrated Passover and Easter this weekend enjoyed every moment with family and friends in peace.

Here is a collage of our day, minus the after dinner dessert with family.  Trying to use my phone less, which is great, but also lends to me not taking many photos.  :)~



Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- In Memory of Gordon

With a heavy heart I am dedicating this Top Ten post to our family pet, Gordon. 

Tuesday evening we had to say goodbye to Gordon, our beautiful cat.  Over last weekend, we watched in disbelief as our little buddy declined in health, and, by the time we saw the vet on Monday morning, he was unable to be assisted with medical intervention.   He never showed any symptoms before last weekend, it was a total surprise for all of us, as he was diagnosed with late stages of kidney failure. And as quickly as he was diagnosed, he spiraled further into the disease.  

It feels like he was taken too quickly from our family, even though he was here for nine years, it seems too soon.  We hope he felt how much he was loved every day. xoxo

I love you Gordy.


Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Gordon

  1. A few years ago, during Christmastime, he just looks so sweet here.  pb281659.jpg
  2.  When we first brought him home.  2009.IMG_8757
  3. How I will always remember him every day.  Looking out onto the yard to watch all the action.  Here it was fall time.P1040356.JPG
  4. His love for Christmas trees was always hilarious.  It was like he had his own personal forest under there.pc231849.jpg
  5. His big beautiful copper eyes.  They were soulful and perfect.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  6. The months he spent in the cone of shame..  my poor kitty!  img_0548
  7. He let our youngest daughter dress him up all the time.  I think he secretly liked it..img_0549-1
  8. He also indulged me with these silly cat selfies.  🙂 I will miss how he looked like he rolled his Eyes at me whenever I grabbed my phone for these.  img_0552
  9. Gordon loved putting himself wherever he wasn’t necessarily supposed to be.img_0547
  10.  Last photo from the vet visit.  He was so ill, but when we got there walked out of his carrier with so much curiosity, like a kitten all over again.  😦img_0540


I will always carry a piece of Gordon with me, he was that special.
Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Self-Care Ideas

Self-care is a deliberate activity, action, or purpose that helps in regulating your mind, feelings and/or body.  Taking time for one’s self is absolutely important. You can change your whole perspective of your feelings, day-to-day situations, your energy, or anything that you need to uplift yourself from.

Below are my top ten favorite ways to self-care.


Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Self-Care Ideas

  1. Meditate. If you have never done’s easy!  Find a comfortable spot to sit 10-15 minutes uninterrupted. If you have more time, that is even better. Set your cell’s alarm, place it close to you but not on you.  Close your eyes. Take conscious deep breaths. Listen to your breathing. Relax each part of your body as you feel the ground below you.  If you can, try to just be, without thinking about your day-to-day stresses.

  2. Apply a face mask. All faces can benefit from this!  Try any type that suits your skin type or needs- fibre, clay, gel, charcoal or mud, just follow the instructions.

  3. Listen to a segment of your favorite podcast, or watch it on YouTube.

  4. Take a bath.  Try it with lavender bath salts!

  5. Stretch. Since having my shoulder issues stretching is necessary.  I find I am so much happier on the days I stretch.

  6. Feel the sunshine.  Get outdoors, stand in a window, in the car..anywhere!  I like to  take a few minutes to appreciate the warm feel on my skin.

  7. Make coffee, tea or any drink you enjoy. My favorite pastime is to drink a latte on the couch; no cell phone, no TV, no books, nothing.  Just focusing on the warm joy of the coffee.

  8. Sit quietly.  I like doing this in the grass of my backyard. Looking at the colors and listening to the natural surroundings.

  9. Organize a cabinet or closet.  It’s funny to think that doing the work of organizing actually makes you feel good.  For me, it lifts that back of the mind stress, AND, I believe the concentrated motion of working, like this, helps us steep through situations to clear the mind.

  10. Read a book. Take a moment to read a few pages. Snuggle up on your couch, head to the beach, or, sit in your bed, anywhere you can take the time to dive right in for a few moments.


▶︎ I announced on FB that I am moving my Top Ten Thursday lists to a monthly post.  This will be my last TTT post for March.

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- January Highlights

Hello WordPressland!

Here we are, the last Thursday, and, last day of January! January has flown by pretty fast, right?

Today’s top ten theme may be something I write about each last Thursday of the month.  Highlights to reflect on to wrap up the month. 

I’m always trying to find the bright spots in life. Anything I can do to help me see..that life is pretty damn good even if it feels otherwise. Actually, this is a great exercise for everyone to do, as well. Think about your last thirty days.  You’d be surprised at what you will recall, where your mind leads you, and/or, what you learn about yourself. Some of your recollection may not be all that exciting, but parts of it may have brought you happiness. It may not be all that positive, but it may guide you to make better life choices.  That is my point, look for the bright spots!

So here I go…

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- January Highlights 

  1. Physical Therapy progress! I am having double shoulder impingement issues, and the pain has definitely lessened in my left arm!  Which is a win. My right shoulder, on the other hand, is progressing more slowly. Which stinks!
  2. Papi from the Red Sox walked by us with his entourage at the hotel at Foxwoods!
  3. Danced on chairs and sang (literally) a hundred songs with friends at a fundraiser.
  4. Finally made time for myself after a time robbing December.
  5. Which also means, I finally got to spend an entire evening snuggling with my daughters, watching movies and eating cheese doodles. I love the cheese doodles.
  6. Even with a lot of food centric events this month, and that night of laziness and cheese doodles, I kept the eleven lbs I lost in December off!
  7. Received a dozen red roses this Monday, which was a great surprise. 🙂 I also love surprises!  I am always accepting flowers and gifts.. jussayin’.
  8. Oddly, my farsightedness got better by a quarter point in each eye!! New prescription is sweet!  I did, however, think I was going old-age-blind before my eye appointment.  Also, I love my opthamologist! He is the coolest guy on the planet! 
  9. Stayed up till 3AM one night talking to my husband; which would’ve left me sleep deprived but because he is my biggest cheerleader, his support made me feel so good and clear. 
  10. Counting down from weeks to days till our big vacation. We are under double digits now!! Wooo!

AHH!! I loved writing out this list!! 

Reflecting on the month, like this, I realize that not much is needed for me to feel content.  I learned that sometimes it’s wise to talk through your problems with loved ones, even if it has nothing to do with them directly.  Speaking your thoughts out loud can help you think clearly.  Also, I see that I may have a crush on my opthamologist.  haha jk! But he is a great eye doctor. 

I know that not all months may convey this good message, but January 2019 has, and I am grateful. 



Posted in Random Stuff

You Meet People for a Reason

Hey Everyone!

My gosh I have been so busy lately, that I feel like I am forgetting something and I am just not quite sure what it is..  head’s on (check); got a coffee (check); showered and dressed (check).  I just don’t know what it can be, but hopefully I can focus to figure it out before realizing it’s something important.

I thought it was about darn time I buckled myself to this chair to write an update.  I haven’t done this in quite some time.. I feel like a broken record saying that, but it feels like all I do is throw pictures at you then run off to do something else.  But I want to change this and get back to scribing about my life more.   I am feeling a little less stressed, so this is a good time to start!

RIght now, I am in the thick of the girls’ birthday plans. Knee deep in crafts! As I have alluded to before, the girls have their annual joint birthday bash coming up next weekend, a Harry Potter birthday.  I am so excited!  As I have mentioned in previous birthday posts, they have a joint party because although they are two years apart, they are 2 weeks apart in the month. We started the joint parties a handful of years ago to be less of a burden on family with having to attend two parties in two weeks.  It has always worked out because I get to throw a huge party, something I love doing, and the girls end up having amazing memories together with all their family because everyone makes sure to attend.  We end up with more than 50 people every year after we invite friends and school friends; with about 24 of them under the age of 9!

Yes, I may be slightly insane.  😛  But I cap the kid count at 2 dozen.

This will be their last joint party. (sad face) I cannot believe it will be their last together..and I cannot believe it’s already upon us!  I am sorta bummed about this, splitting up their birthdays, but I did leave it up to them to decide if they wanted to keep their party together or not. You guessed it.  Not together. They voted that when my oldest turned 10 (next year) they’d be separate so they can choose their own theme and invite their friends only. It is only right.  It saddens me, but it also stresses me out a bit.  Idk why, but the thought of not inviting everyone then throwing two parties in less than a month, the way I throw them?  Well, let’s just say I need another job and some assistants!

I am just kidding. sorta.

Speaking of jobs.  This November 20th I will hit my 14th working anniversary with the Bank.’s so surreal to think about.   F O U R T E E N  Y E A R S.  I was so young when I started, and my job was so different then, too.  I have survived countless company acquisitions, watched great people come and go (some bad ones, too), got married, bought a house, given a promotion, to only be forced into a demotion two years later when this Bank bought us (without a pay cut TG), had two children, and moved to different cities and offices, all while under the same umbrella with the same manager. It’s been a whirlwind!

As of late though, well, a handful of months or so, some of you closest to me have heard me rant a little..just a little, about wanting to jump from this great ship.  Not for more money, cause I am pretty happy where I am there.  Not because my boss sucks, cause he is a great guy and so understanding. Not for the benefits, cause corporate life is good. Not for the commute, cause as we all know I love my alone time in the car to blast the stereo and drivitate (drive meditate=driving in pure happiness lol).  But. For the work at hand.  I have been doing so many creative things lately for my family on the side, that I have felt so inspired that I want to be in a creative environment.  What exactly, I am not 100% sure.

I have been giving this a lot of thought, over many months..and if you know me, you know how analytical my mind breaks down things that affect me.  It’s like a machine of ‘what ifs’.  Honestly, it scares me still to think of taking some risk of trying something new.  A creative, hands on business, that probably would leave me feeling amazingly exhausted at the end of the day, but that type of exhausted where I would be so happy and felt accomplished, or that I did something worth doing.

See what I am getting at?

Well, no I haven’t found a new job yet or started a business…but, I am not much of a risk taker off the cuff.  I love to be creative though.  I have free-spirited, insanely creative ideas all the time streaming from my soul. It’s fun when people ask for my help. Most especially when my husband bounces creative work ideas off me, and when we collaborate this way it makes me feel like a bolt of sunshine is bursting out of me. Like I am meant to feel.  I give the best advice if you ever need a push or boost of motivation.  I can offer my most unbiased opinion if you need it. I will support great ideas and the people who are magic makers to no end.  If you told me today you wanted to pack up your life to head to the mid-West to become a cattle rancher, well I would say go do it! And then help you research small town life and shop for the best quality chaps New England has to offer!

But to heed my own advice…pssh, NO WAY!!

This all has changed for me though.  I started thinking about doing something new after I went to a birthday party before the beginning of the Summer. My husband’s former colleague, good friend, had a fantastic turn out for his big birthday.  There I met a business owner, not just any business owner, but owner of Petsi Pies.

BUT HER ENERGY SCARED ME.  In a great way!! —>  Here’s why.

Well, at the party they had a table topped with a few selections of pies. It was odd to me, but hey what if the bday boy had an obsession?  My husband and everyone around me were eating pecan pie, chocolate pie and some bday cake.  I am not a big dessert person, so I drink more wine and grab a handful of chips.  🙂  Heaven right?  Well, they are all going on about the pecan pie, and well, I honestly never tried that before cause I am Italian..for the Thanksgiving holiday we eat ricotta pie, cannoli or other most amazing fattening desserts.  I say I am all set with the pie, but no one ever lets me get away without trying something. So, my husband proceeds to shove an unsolicited piece of pecan pie into my mouth while telling me, the food snob, that I will love it..and did I.  Ladies and gentlemen, I floated to that table after that one bite and grabbed the biggest slice of pie I could.  Ate the whole damn thing, and went back for the chocolate pie!  🙂  Now that is heaven, right?

Ok, that isn’t the whole story. But, man, her baking was off the chain good.

Well, the buzz was, as I was shoving more bites of pecan pie in my face, that this pie woman at the party was our friend’s former neighbor.  She is this big Cambridge pie shop owner and restaurant owner. Since I live under a rock, I had no clue. The birthday boy happened to swing by our group to chat, and he started on stories about how she would bake all these pies and had our friend taste test them, and how she was not a baker..etc.  Well. As I finish my pie(s), this force of energy, this gorgeous Maya Angelou soulful wisdom type woman sits next to me, and of course, it is the pie woman.  Since I have no filter or shyness, I start talking to her.  I should add I may have been a touch buzzed. Just a touch though.  BUT, right after my ‘hello’ I start up with ‘how did you go from pie maker at home to pie maker extraordinaire with a few shops AND a restaurant?’.

Well, this woman took me on a verbal journey like no one else.  This is what was so scary.  Claiming my own guts and glory.

She starts talking to me like we were long lost pals, walking me down the roads of her start to her today. The trials of having a family and trying to make a business a success.  She started to ask me about myself and lightly inadvertently advising me on what to do in my own life to make it happy. As if she could sense that I had this creative beast inside me wanting to come out and play in the real world. So, I told her how I always dreamed of owning a cafe, how much I love to cook and love to entertain.  She just continued spouting so many connected life lessons every time I brought something to light.

From this complete and utter stranger, came words that I had never heard before. UPLIFTING ONES. The go fight for what you want ones.  The look inside yourself and make that light happen ones.  The truly good ones you should hear your whole life.

I never really thought about my own happiness like she was sharing with a job.  Sounds weird, I know. But I always looked at my job like a place to just get through making great money. Even with my husband by my side, who is in a creative place and who never thinks of his job as a negative place or work to do, I never thought I could have that mindset.


After meeting her, I was literally shaken.  Afraid actually, but excited at the same time. Still am when I think of our encounter months later.  Just by this new outlook on thinking about things that surround me. To think that I can turn my world upside down, and it will all be ok. Because upside down may very well be where I need to be..well, it’s electric to think about.

Have I ever mentioned I have a ‘perfection’ complex?  :\    I think this is what holds me back from doing some things in my life. I am so frightfully afraid of failing, disappointing or hurting people that I figure not doing it is ok.  And well, IT IS NOT.

I am not saying that I am going to leave my job, for the moment, at least. And, though small changes have been made in my office lately that have been helpful in making me feel better about my office / job, it isn’t where I see my future.  I am saying I do not have a clue what I am trying to figure out.  But these feelings all came about, they are in me.

But that is life right? To figure out what ways we can change to make us happy. That type of happy that is in us always, not flighty, not short lived, but that feeling that drives us for more of it. Maybe it is taking risks. Maybe turning your whole life upside down is how you do it. As long as when you end your day you feel it is worth it.  Right??

I don’t know what this all means either, but the positive force that I saw in that woman made me feel so good.  Just good to see nice people who are hard-working getting ahead and how they are willing to share/help.  I never got a chance to get my guts up to email this woman, she gave me her card after she said she would love to talk to me. It scares me to write her. hah That happiness within, there is only so much I can handle at a time.  haha

She had given me so much encouragement, that when I look at her business card I become somewhat afraid.  I guess afraid of positive change..the real kind.  I don’t know, but it’s lessening, and one day I will get up enough of the guts to make some real good change in my life. For the time being, Thank you, Renee, and thank you to all those people like her, that are out there talking to others in such a positive and meaningful way.

I always say, “You meet people for a reason. No matter who. No matter how and no matter the circumstance.”  Everyone is here to teach us.  Let’s just hope they are the good lessons.  

Well, I gotta fly.  Of course!

Till next time. 🙂


Posted in Random Stuff

Should I Start a Kitchen Fundraiser?

Hi All!

Can you believe August is just a few days away?  Me either!  I am so not ready for this Summer to start coming to a close yet. So, I am praying hard for an Indian Summer and some more free time to hit the beaches!!  (Pray with me people! MORE HOT WEATHER!)

Thought to talk a little about what has been weighing on my mind.  Our house renovations.  If you haven’t kept up, we are in the midst of finding a contractor to work with us on a kitchen and guest bathroom renovation.  It’s been tough, but that is because this job is big and a lot needs to be fixed/updated.

We took a ride early Sunday morning to a cabinetry place in NH.  I was so impressed with this location.  My husband had contacted them check in on their cabinet selection and hours of operation. Within seconds of talking, the person invited us up to see their showroom on Sunday, even though they were not technically open. We showed up and they let us have full reign of the space, browsing, pulling out stock and talking for hours. Great experience.  The girls had a blast, too, cause this company was smart! They had a decked out TV room and a fun play room filled with toys. So, needless to say, we got to browse and shop alone!  And. Glad to say that we finally made a step in a direction with our renovations project.  We picked out a cabinet style and two finishes we liked..and counter tops, too.   God I hope this all works out well!! 

Tomorrow night someone from that company is coming by for measurements, design consultation and further pricing. Then right after they leave, another contractor is coming by, contractor #3.  I am looking forward to this meeting, he is a real nice guy, and was the contractor we used on our last humongous construction project in 2007 -the creation and build of new stairs, gutting and rearranging the bedrooms on the second floor. Also, renovating master bathroom, refinishing ceiling and walls in master bedroom and ceilings in living room.  Like I’ve said, I live in a quaint contemporary MONEY PIT. ugh.

Anyone want to contribute to my HOLY SHIT I AM POOR fund?  No?  Damn.

The hunt to find the right contractor at the right price is overwhelming me a little more. The thought of this whole project is, actually. I just want it all to be done!! Here’s our Houzz page or pinterest board of what I like.. now make it happen!  (Did I mention I am a touch like Veruca Salt? 😦 ) So far the two people we have met with have been fine and dandy, knowledgeable and nice, but they seem to have the pricing skewed.   One guy priced out the build without cabinets or appliances included, but $O RIDIC EXPEN$IVE!   And the other guy priced it out without the bathroom tiles included..and OMG! FAQN EXPEN$IVE.  Then we still have to add in the costs to buy appliances, lighting, table and chairs, faucets, bathroom storage, washer and dryer, and accessories!! With my husband sort of this business, we know pricing well, and feel like this job can come in less than the two quotes so far. We have a budget and want to stick to it as close as we can.  If this other gentleman doesn’t work out, then I am fearing we will hold off on this project longer, or snag someone too late with the job going on for weeks in the winter.

Our current kitchen is such an eye sore.  Some cabinets are falling apart. Drawers are not working properly. The faucet’s spray handle is temperamental and the garbage disposal decided to seize. I can hardly fit things anywhere. Since we’ve discussed this updating these past few weeks, our dishwasher has decided to be a jerk and not work right (like it knows we are trying to replace it!) and our brand new fridge’s handle broke off out of no where the other day; which we bought last year after our other new fridge died! My desire for this project is hard pressed since we have been talking about and looking at (and PINNING!) so many new, white, shiny things .  NEW AND SHINY in a kitchen! I want that!!!  My kitchen is so dated, ugly, drab and…brown.

I don’t like brown.

I like shiny.

OK!  Before I start more whining I should get outta here smiling.  Maybe I should weigh myself? ha  NOT BLOODY LIKELY TODAY!
Love you all!