Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Christmas at our house

It's Christmas at our house,
The door is open wide.

It's Christmas at our house,
Don't knock! Just come inside!
(It's Christmas at our house, Lou Monte)
I am oh sooo blessed!!

Merry Christmas!
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sugar cookies (no chill needed)

I was looking for a recipe of cookies that keeps their edges firmly so I could bake them with the girls and have some fun together. We made them twice and they loved both "cooking" and eating them. Besides, the recipe was requested to me by two mommy friends, so here I share it.

Take time to select the cutters:
It took us about 45 minutes and the girls were changing there minds every 5 minutes. In the end I had to set a limit of 10 shapes, otherwise today we would still be selecting and I would have to bake a tone of cookies, based on Ilaria's love for every single shape!

Prepare your helpers. ( hopefully you have some serious ones, like mine ;-) )

Needed ingredients:

Mix all ingredients.

Roll out the dough 5-6mm thick. Cut it.

As these cookies are rather thick, bake them for about 4 minutes or until they are golden at bottom. Turn them upside down.

Bake them for another 3 minutes or until they are golden on both sides.

Enjoy the result!

Poftă bună!
Ralu & Co.

(cookies' source)


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Friday, October 25, 2013

Something I believe in

"(...) Yes, my wife is JUST a mother. JUST. She JUST brings forth life into the universe, and she JUST shapes and molds and raises those lives. She JUST manages, directs and maintains the workings of the household, while caring for children who JUST rely on her for everything. She JUST teaches our twins how to be human beings, and, as they grow, she will JUST train them in all things, from morals, to manners, to the ABC’s, to hygiene, etc. She is JUST my spiritual foundation and the rock on which our family is built. She is JUST everything to everyone. And society would JUST fall apart at the seams if she, and her fellow moms, failed in any of the tasks I outlined.
Yes, she is just a mother. Which is sort of like looking at the sky and saying, “hey, it’s just the sun.”
Of course not all women can be at home full time. It’s one thing to acknowledge that; it’s quite another to paint it as the ideal. To call it the ideal, is to claim that children IDEALLY would spend LESS time around their mothers. This is madness. Pure madness. It isn’t ideal, and it isn’t neutral. The more time a mother can spend raising her kids, the better. The better for them, the better for their souls, the better for the community, the better for humanity. Period. (...)"

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Maria is 2

My other October girl, Maria, turned 2 yesterday!


Oh my, when did this happen??

And what did I do in the meantime? I worried - a lot, dreamed - a lot, planned - a lot and contemplated God's miraculous creation - not enough. (Does every mother feel the same no matter how much time she spends with her child?)

I could spend entire days just kissing and hugging her. And I'm pretty sure she would allow me do this. I remember Adrian holding her and kissing her chubby cheeks few months ago and exclaiming: "Is there any job consisting in just kissing these cheeks all day long? I would gladly stay overtime." 

We are so lucky to have her. She is kind, sweet, huggable, kissable, all smiles and dances. (of course when she's not sick or scared)

And she is lucky too, being our second child, as now we know more, understand more, have more patience.

Lately she started to speak a lot and pretty correct too. 
But she was funny in the past saying: 
"acununu pazuzu"(= încă un autobuz), 
"Toto"(= Georgio - Curious George), 
"Mama, Mama, Maaaaaaaaaaaa" when I wouldn't answered fast enough, 
nana, mama, tata, buna (instead of nani, mami, tati, buni), because until few days ago she wasn't able to spell the "i" at the end of any word
"pot"(= nu pot)

She loves horses.

And Lego Duplo:

Thanks God, she gladly eats almost any meal I cook. 
And she eats a lot of fruits. Her own way ;-)


Few days ago.
Ilaria: Şi eu vreau sa fiu odată Maria.
Eu: De ce?
Ilaria: Păi Maria tot face şmecherii. Eu nu prea fac şmecherii.


Happy Birthday, sweet Maria!
 , Mami

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Ilaria is 4

Ilaria turned 4 yesterday. I think I am slightly depressed because of it. 1, 2, and 3 seemed OK. 4 is too much for me!...

She was the first one in the world to call me "Mami"!


She is the kind of kid that challenges me daily and makes me want to be a better mother. She constantly makes me remember the words: "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."

She is the kind of kid that makes us, her parents, stay late on her birthday night, asking ourselves "What's wrong?" and then conclude: "She's the kind of person that will change the world." (Thank you, Adrian, for these comforting words! I hope I will remember them when I should!)

She is the one who made me realize that caring for our family is the best job in the world for me.


She is the one who taught me the greatest love, the one in which no matter how big the today's fight, tomorrow I will be shiny again.


Happy Birthday, dear Ilaria! 

I love you to the sky and back!
Mami.

***


Few moments from yesterday:


Preparations for kindergarten, proudly presenting us the treats for her colleagues:


With her colleagues:


Sharing the treats:


Back home, in the evening, waiting for her present. And Maria waiting too!


If you are good enough you get something, even if it's not your birthday :-) 


With Peter, who sailed for months from America to Europe, but finally reached us, exactly yesterday, on Ilaria's birthday. ( or at least that's how she's been told ;-) )



With Daddy, reading about Peter's adventures.


Thank you, God, for my family! They are my life.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2 layer plum cake

Autumn is here. And fresh and juicy plums are here too. Here I share our favorite plum cake.

What you need:

Mix 200g butter + 250g sugar + 8g vanilla sugar + 4 egg yolks + a little bit of salt + 200ml milk + 500g flour + 10g baking powder

Add the 4 beaten egg whites

Mix gently

Cover the tray with baking paper.
Spread 1/2 of the dough on the tray. 
Cover with plums. 
Add the other 1/2 of the dough.


Spread it over the plums.
Spread some flour over it.
  
Cover with plums.
Sprinkle with 30g melted butter.
Spread 6T sugar over.

Bake it for about 1h.

Enjoy the result!!

Poftă bună! (Buon appetit!)

P.S.: 
1.) this cake is very good also with apples, cherries or apricots.
2.) don't forget the other favorite autumn cake here: pumpkin / apple cake.
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ilaria, thank you for the fun! (#3)

***

Am început lecţiile, în forţă!

Întrebare:

(de ales din activităţile din poza de mai sus)
Răspuns Ilaria:
- Dorm!

***

Ilaria a avut o perioadă în care vorbea doar în diminutive. "Căţeluş", "pâinică", "tăticule", "cărticică",... erau de la sine înţeles folosite până la refuz. Cel mai distractiv era însă să o auzi zicând şi "te roguţ", "te iubescuţ" sau chiar "În numele Tatălui. Al Fiului. Al Sfantului Duh. Aminuţ."

***

Ne-am întâlnit odată într-un parc cu o fetiţă, Rebecca. După un timp, încercând să-mi explice în care parc i-ar face plăcere să mai mergem:
"Hai Mami să mergem azi în parcu' ăla unde era Berbeca." 

***

Îi place în mod deosebit această carte:
Nu ca să-i citim din ea, ci ca să inventeze ea poveşti pentru noi, bazate pe pozele din carte.
În general sunt ilustraţii cu câte un singur obiect / vieţuitoare. Asta ii sugerează ideea de pierdut (rătăcit), aşa că e aproape sigur că poveştile vor suna de fiecare dată aşa:

"Fluturele.
A fost odată ca niciodată un fluture. Fluturele era pierdut...."

"Stropitoarea.
A fost odată ca niciodată o stropitoare. Stropitoarea era pierdută...."

"Floarea.
A fost odată ca niciodată o floare. Era pierdută...."

... 

Nu mică mi-a fost într-o zi mirarea să aud că în cartea asta sunt totuşi câte unii cu o soartă mai bună. Cred că şi Ilaria a fost surprinsă să dea peste un caz atât de fericit, pentru că nu şi-a mai rezervat nici măcar timpul necesar pentru a rosti clasica formulă de început a oricărei poveşti ce se respectă: "A fost odată ca niciodată...", ci povestea aceasta specială a început brusc aşa:
"Vaporul.
Nu era pierdut!!! Era cu apa."

***


Pentru a o face să zâmbească mai des îi amintim mereu că personajele ei preferate în acest moment (Albă ca zăpada şi Frumoasa balerină) zâmbesc frumos şi nu se încruntă niciodată. Şi-a luat rolul în serios şi de acum nu mai e prinţ!!, e prinţesă.

Într-o zi a găsit pe jos o muscă moartă. 
"Mami, te rog dă-mi-o în mânuţă!"
"Ilaria, eu nu pun măna pe musca aia moartă. Ia-ţi-o singură dacă o vrei atât de mult."
Urmează câteva minute bune de lamentări şi vaiete în care încearcă să mă convingă să-i îndeplinesc dorinţa şi care, slavă Domnului, se termină într-o replică memorabilă din partea Ilariei:
"Unde ai mai văzut tu o prinţesă chinuită de o mamă?"


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Friday, August 23, 2013

Very good (and funny).

The Intouchables. (based on a true story)
( Did I mention here already that I love true stories? ;-) )
Generally speaking, good movies based on true stories are dramas. Somehow this is the case of "The Intouchables", too. Miraculously, I didn't shed a tear this time, but we have laughed a lot, as it's a comedy in the same time. It's a dramatic situation put into an optimistic perspective. 
It doesn't have much philosophy or memorable quotes in it, but it's simply very good and... to be watched again!
And the main actor, François Cluzet, is amazingly expressive in the role of Philippe! I loved him a lot!

Have a good week-end!
Raluca

P.S.: Adrian watched it too and loved it too ;-)
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Watermelon lemonade (of Pinterest inspiration)


Watermelon lemonade is our favorite drink this summer.
I found the recipe somewhere on Pinterest (link) and abused of it ever since.
I changed the original recipe and don't use sugar & water.
Our choice is: 2 lemons' juice + watermelon puree (about 1/4 of a 10 kilos watermelon).
Simply delicious! 
Thanks God for summer, Internet, Pinterest and kids who love fruits ;-)
I hope your summer is great too!
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