Amaro e Dolce

Life, unfiltered

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Oh hi there

What’s going on? I’m sure you’re trying to cram all the last-minute stuff in before the holidays, much like the rest of us. I admit, this year the holidays seemed especially daunting. Not only do we have two babies to contend with, but for the first time I’m staying put and my family is coming to me.

Some part of me is a bit bummed that I’m not making the jaunt up to South Carolina, but I’m mostly relieved. The thought of trudging through the airport (or driving 12 hours) with two teething babies in the midst of a growth spurt made me want to gnash my teeth with anxiety. I’ll happily deal with the logistics of driving stuff from one place to the other.

As the holidays get closer, we’ve made the following decisions regarding gifts:

No gifts for the girls as they are way too young and have enough toys and clothes. Besides, right now they get excited to play with granola bar wrappers and spatulas.

My siblings and I have decided to not give gifts to each other. Our gifts are that none of us has to spend time or money.

Our gifts are all in the family grab bag. Everyone brings one wrapped gift per round. It’s always a hoot and I’m pretty amused by our gifts. It’s our family tradition and it’s definitely my favorite.

I hope you all have a merry Christmas (if you celebrate). I’ll see you all after the new year!IMG_1497.JPG



It’s Thanksgiving eve and we are headed to the Keys tomorrow. It’s our first road trip with Z&E and who knows how this will go. Hopefully well.

As I’m pulling things together I’ve been reflecting on the things I’m grateful for. Thanksgiving is a good reminder to remember these things, but truthfully I think about these things all the time – especially since a few months back my brother started a weekly family “grateful” text. But I digress from my point.  These are the things swirling about in my head that I’m grateful for:

My family. From my husband who’s an absolute rock star of a partner and a great father, to my little minions. And of course my parents, siblings, grandfather, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws who are so supportive and positive. I couldn’t imagine having any better of a support system. I’m also thrilled to see my family continuing to grow with cousins also having babies.

My friends. Seriously, I have the best friends. These people never fail to make me laugh and are always there for me or to pull me out of the house when I’ve become too much of a hermit.

My opportunities. From my part-time work-from-home gig to being able to stay home with Z&E, I feel like doors just keep opening. It’s a lot to balance and sometimes gets overwhelming, but staying home with our girls is so important to both of us. And working for myself has always been one of my goals. Now if only we can get El Hombre out from behind a desk and also contracting… but it’s in the works.

My (now paid-off) student loans. Weird, I know. But hear me out. If I hadn’t been saddled with near-crippling student loan debt then I would have had a lot harder time prioritizing my finances right now. Sometimes eating dirt (or ramen) is what you need to do. It’s a lot easier to forego the things I don’t need in order to make memories I do want because I’ve done it for so long. I’m also grateful that I’ve paid off all my debt and saved money before these girls came along.

My renewed creativity. Admittedly I’ve not been writing so much lately. But I’ve been feeling the flow with my cooking, home and bits of work. But mainly in my cooking. And who doesn’t love a home-cooked meal and a full belly?

Naps. Without them I would have never finished this post. Or anything else in my life. Like the mountains of laundry that I’m also doing.

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Hello silence

There is nothing more luxurious than the sound of silence. Everyone is asleep except for me and Lola. I’m fighting the urge to bang around in the kitchen because then I have to clean. (I’m really into making cookies right now. Who doesn’t like cookies?)

Speaking of silence, I’ve made the decision to start reducing the digital noise in my life. I’ve started with deleting my Facebook app, which means I’m only checking it every few days or so. And you know what? I don’t miss it. It’s very similar to when we cut cable – most of the anger and rage of the every day world has disappeared. No longer am I stumbling across headlines screaming atrocities, written by one party or the other and only loosely based in facts. No longer am I seeing the world portrayed as a hateful place.

I’d blame all this on the election, but truthfully it’s only the straw that’s breaking the camel’s back. Rather than socializing, I’ve found many of my connections are surrounding themselves with like-minded people and supporting their views with memes, or articles that are based on bias and written months or years ago. That’s just not what I need. And from what I can see, it only creates more of a divide.

Honestly, I’d delete most of my social profiles if it wasn’t for my freelance work. But when the gleeful rage hit it’s fever pitch last Wednesday I shut down my computer and went outside. I spent an afternoon in the park with my friend and our babies and you know what? It was much, much more peaceful and interesting than any social media interaction I could have had.

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Things I never thought I’d say

After 5 months of Z & E, I’ve found myself uttering phrases I never thought I’d say. For those of you who wonder what it’s like to have multiples, here are some of those things:

Please don’t vomit on my face.

Don’t chew on your sister’s head. No, don’t chew on her elbow. OK fine, chew on her arm. 

Why are you chewing on my face?

Please don’t vomit on your sister’s face.

Please don’t punch each other in the face.

Thank you for blowing spit bubbles in my eyes. Yes I know it’s funny. Thank you

Seriously though, these girls are funny. They are very interactive with each other and they love to make each other laugh. Zoey loves making funny faces (that she learned from us) at Emma, and they love to hold hands and talk to each other. It’s interesting to watch this bond grow.

Most importantly, now they take naps. Which means I get quiet time!



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Agua de coco y limón 

We are not known for seasons here in Miami, not unless you count rainy season and hurricane season. I’ve found that I measure our seasons by whether it drops below 90. 

Because it’s so hot, I find myself eschewing my beloved fall stews and soups for more crisp, summery things and today is no different. 

I woke up today feeling rested (thank you babies for finally sleeping through the night!) and I was struck with inspiration when I opened my fridge this morning. A day or so ago, I stumbled across this recipe on Instagram and it reminded me that I had this at the Miami Flea while I was pregnant.

You see, I had just opened a can of coconut milk for another recipe, and it happened to be sitting next to the last two lemons from my tree. So I threw them together in my vitamix and it was love at first sip. 

This can be made with either lemons or limes, but I prefer lemons. I used less coconut milk than what Deb called for because I didn’t have that much left, but I also only had two lemons. 

I highly recommend playing with your portions, but this was my impromptu recipe:

1 cup of ice

1/2 cup, full fat coconut milk (stirred)

Juice of 2 Meyers lemons

3-4 tablespoons, granulated sugar.

Add ingredients in the order above to your blender and blend to your preferred consistency. I use a vitamix and start on 1 and slowly go up to 4.

Pour and enjoy. Add a good rum to make it more adult. 

This will make a tart, slightly sweet and smooth drink for 2. 


Around the web

Life is busy. So, so busy. I have two four month olds, I’m ramping up my “work from home” business and we have very little family here. What family we do have is not able to babysit for an hour.

So yeah, this blog has been neglected. But fortunately we have found some part-time help, which is amazing. Hurricane Matthew skipped us and I got a little sleep these last two days. Who’s feeling on top of the world today? This girl!

As I sit in my nursing chair feeding these babies, I have studiously ignored as much negativity surrounding the election as possible. Instead I’ve been seeking inspiration elsewhere. Here are some things that have caught my eye:

Can’t or won’t?

One of my favorite Insta accounts 


5 ways to reuse baby jars

Help cure Rett Syndrome


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Necessity is the mother of all inventions. 

I need my coffee in the morning and I can’t drink it without milk & sugar. I’m just not that hard. 

Si when we run out of milk it means an immediate run to the grocery. Except now the grocery store is impossible for me and El Hombre just started a new job. So I roughed it out for one day.

Then as I was looking for something else, I found half a can of full-fat coconut milk that I’d used a day or two before and I thought, “hmmmmmm.”

You see, I love coconut as much as I love coffee, so how bad could it be?

Full-fat coconut milk has the same consistency as yogurt so I wasn’t sure how this would work out, but it did.

Unlike regular milk or creamer, the coconut milk adds a richness to the flavor, only imparting a hint of coconut taste. It actually enhances the natural acidity of the coffee so you get the full flavor of the bean without the harshness of drinking coffee black.

Since coconut milk is a pantry staple in my home, this is a trend I will continue.