the scariest costume of the night

Do you know which actress she’s supposed to be?



I do love costumes that can be put together mostly with things we already have. I’ve collected a few retro pieces (and saved some too) over the years, in hopes that one day my daughter would enjoy dressing up in them.


Happy Halloween!


I was all inspired by our family bug theme and created these treats for the nights festivities!
It was very fun to create these yummies!
Out on the streets for some Trick-or-Treating!
Debbie, Missi, Aiden, Kathleen, Bailey, Tony, Ellie, Karly, Stacie, Lola.

Ellie, Mommy, Lola, Emma, & Auntie Sarah

Aiden, being brave standing next to the spooky piano player.

Lola and Emma

Daddy taking Elle on a Trick or Treat ride!
This Halloween Season was so much fun!
I feel like we did so many fall and Halloween activities. Both Tony and I had a blast showing our girls a good time,
but we are ready to take a break and relax a bit.
We hope you all had a wonderful and fun Halloween!

Plan B

Little O did realise, however, that there was more chocolate treats to be scared out of the neighbours as a lion than as Mr Bump, so a quick costume change was in order...

Happy Halloweeners....

Our Halloween Pumpkins!

When decorating our pumpkins, I tried to get as creative as possible without actually having to carve out the inside of the pumpkin. So I found this kit that taught you how to carve off the skin of the pumpkin to create a design then paint Glow-in-the-Dark paint on the carved out section to illuminate the design. I thought they turned out pretty good (for my first attempt at this technique anyway).

Halloween Party!!!

The Mezzadri Family...aka family of bugs... headed out this afternoon to a toddler Halloween party at our friends Melissa and Brandon's house. It was great! All the kids and adults were dressed up and ready to have fun!
Ellie: Bumble Bee, Lola: Lady Bug, Mom: Butterfly, Dad: Spider
(Ellie kept calling daddy, the itsy bitsy spider)

Melissa the witch and her son Brady the tiger!
Kathleen and Bailey the Dragonfly
Amy as Snooki from "The Jersey Shore"
Leslie the Greek goddess and Joseph tiger number 2
Pinatas and lots of candy!
Lola figured out this game really quick and came away with a huge bucket full of candy!!!

She was not going to let anyone take her stash!
Ellie took her fair share!

Lola and Ellie pushed Ella, the little Nome, around the yard forever
What a fun Halloween thus far and it's not even 10/31 yet!

Introducing our 2010 pumpkin family

Not only do we have these welcome additions to the household, Mrs K/C/KC has already made some pumpkin soup and roasted pumpkin seeds. Yum !

They both seemed pleased with the results


Little O wasn't afraid to sit back and let someone else do all the hard work !

Little T wasn't so keen on the slimy contents.....

The annual pumpkin carving event !

The dynamic duo were keen to get started and get their hands dirty.

Hair today..... gone tomorrow ?

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Man Cookies recipe at
A better pic of the cookies in natural sunlight

The other day I read The Gingerbread Man with one of my fourth grade English Language Learners.  I asked him if he'd ever eaten gingerbread, and he said yes.  When I asked him if it was sweet, he said no, like bread.  I decided that I had to make some gingerbread cookies in order for him to truly appreciate the story.
Actually, I've been itching to bake something different, and gingerbread men (and bears, airplanes, fish, and stars) would scratch that itch.  I think they turned out tasty and cute.  The cookies are crisp the thinner you roll them, softer the thicker you cut them.  Pretty basic.  The pics leave something to be desired, but it's the best I can do without natural sunlight.
The recipe for the cookies is from, but I cannot remember what I did for the frosting, beyond adding awful amounts of food color paste that is.  I really think I did a basic sugar, milk, vanilla and coloring thing.  It firmed up pretty well and pretty much tasted sugary.
Here are some pics of what the kids and I did with the cookies.

Gingerbread Man Cookies
---Adapted from
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
3.Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

Isabel's gingerbread

Max's gingerbread

Gingerbread with rainbow sprinkles

Gingerbread with fancy icing

PJ Pics...

The girls have been a bit under the weather these past couple days... as a result they have been very cuddly.... especially with each other!

Waldorf Doll Girl for Jewel

a young girl’s journey from Milan to Minsk

Time for a room makeover.

Iz does not consider herself a girlie girl, but one might assume from her style choices that she has less of a tomboy personality than she lets on. Her tastes are very specific, but not at all predictable. That is to say I cannot just go out and pick something up without her approval. But that doesn't keep me from trying.

This transition from childhood to teen room started several weeks ago when Iz was digging around in the dark depths of the basement and ran across my old iron bed. “Would that fit in my room?” I got out the measuring tape and discovered that YES, it would fit. Tight. But yes.

What better time for a makeover than the transition from girl to teen?

This is what her room looked like before we took out the twin sized bed and moved everything else to her playroom, or into the hallway where we could stumble over them in the dark of night.


We began by putting a white primer on the walls to help our final color cover up that bright yellow.


We tried out several shades of pink...


Yes. Pink. For my non-girlie girl daughter.

More to come...
Toddlers say the cutest things…
here are some examples of what they are sying these days:


“Night night spooky.” (referring to the skeleton hanging in our family room)
“Where did daddy go?”
“Ice wader please!” (Ice water Please)
“I dun wan it.” (I don’t want it)
“Treaty kiddy” (treats fir Kitty)
“Bee Boos” (yes, for Boobies)
“I luv voo” ( I love you)
“Daddy kisses”
“Hold you, Please mommy”
“tickle you” (tickle me)
“yo-gut please” (yogurt please)
“go park swing”


“I faww.” (I fall)
“hold you, hold you.”
“ice, ice, ice, ice”
“shoes on, shoes off”
“Bye, Bye mama” (as she grabs her purse and walks to the door)
“I get it.”
“throw baww” (throw ball)
“bite please”
“ice, outside please”
“sissy crying” (Ellie aka “sissy” is crying)
“more, more, more.”
“Pak, sliiide” (Park, slide)
"Cheese!" (while holding up a camera)

I love their little voices and how much we can see their personalities through their newest form of communication. Each and every day is a new phrase! It is so exciting to watch them develop their own expressive language skills and use those skills for a purpose.

Harvest Festival

There is an annual Harvest Festival at the elementary school where I work. We all headed out for the festivities. The girls got to do a trial run on their Halloween costumes (with a few glitches I must fix before next weekend). It happened to be held on Aiden (my nephew's) birthday, it was so sweet, he thought this was a party just for him, and why not let him believe it! All of us , including my best friend Sarah who was down for the weekend, had a blast.
Mark, Sarah, Aiden, Tony, Ellie, Lola, Stacie

Kinda of a blurry shot, but Aiden was having a blast playing the carnival games and winning a lot of prizes!
The girls were having a blast too, decorating (and eating) cookies!
ellie & sarah
mom & lola

Sarah and I decided to dress up with the girls we both were butterflies and the girls of course were a ladybug and a bumble bee.

One of my students was in love with ellie and got a kick out of the fact that they both were bumble bees- we had to snap a picture.

We calmed the kiddos down with a display of bubbles after we took all of them for a walk down the HAUNTED HALL! All the kids were so spooked (hey I even got spooked a bit, it was that elaborate). At one point Mark lost Aiden because he took off running when he saw a huge mechanical moving dragon blowing smoke. Our girls were holding onto to us for dear life. Good news, we found Aiden and Lola and Ellie were full of smiles a few minutes later.