we love pizza at our house.  we eat it all too often.  i love making pizza at home and recently shared our very favorite recipe here.  although some nights its just easier to order in.  here are a few of our favorite pizza joints.


grimaldi’s- is our favorite.  we love the pepperoni.  the pesto is really good too.  we get either the house salad or caprese. they don’t deliver, so pick up or dine in.


brooklyn v’s- this is the pizza we order in most.  closest to a ny slice that i’ve found in az.


sal’s gilbert pizza- garlic knots with cheese + antipasto salad + pepperoni pizza + chocolate dipped cannoli.  the italian sub is good too. it can get pretty busy. the kids like to go here for their date night and sit at the bar.


barros- who doesn’t like barros?!  we get a pepperoni pizza and a salad + olives. the kids and i like the cheese sticks (like a sauce-less pizza).


casanova brothers- we ate here a lot more before we found brooklyn v’s. the nicest owners from NYC. a great laid back place to take the kids and enjoy and easy night out.


lgo- all of their pizzas are great. the wings are even better.


slices- on mill or tempe market place. my favorite is the chicken pesto. ivan gets the bbq chicken or pepperoni.


anywhere you recommend? we don’t love spinato’s, the sauce is too sweet although i know a lot of people do. i grew up on red devil in phoenix. we don’t eat it often anymore. i know a lot of people in mesa like vito’s.




we’ve been swimming a lot lately. its the only way to stay sane when its 115. yep thats right 115 degree’s. we had the best spring/summer until last week and them bam just like that hotter than heck! so we spend our days hopping from pool to pool trying to stay alive. we don’t have a pool so anytime we get invited to swim we go!


i started this week off packing. my mom came over and helped me. at one point i looked up at her, standing there in my kids room and it hit me like a ton of bricks. i’m moving. i’m leaving home. this is it. moving away from my family, the only place i’ve ever known. its all very bittersweet. i have a love hate relationship with arizona. i love that its home. i know these streets like the back of my hand. its comfortable in a good way. all of our family is here except my sister in california and i always dream she’d move back. you hear me andrea!! come back to me! we have the best mexican food this side of the border and i know where to find it. we have great food in general. on the other hand the summers are brutal. like so brutal. 115 is the norm. sometimes hotter and it goes on and on. the nights are so hot. the asthma, oh the asthma. i sometimes feel like i can’t take another minute of the coughing. seeing my baby suffer. it breaks my heart. standing there with my mom it all became very real.


then i stopped packing. our close date is all over the place and its not going to be as soon as we had thought. so i decided to enjoy our last few days/weeks here at home. tuesday was ivan’s birthday. he worked, he’s so so busy. we met friends at a play place in the morning. the kids got some energy out and i got to laugh with great girlfriends. i grabbed ivan for lunch. mexican food per usual. we took the kids to our favorite sushi joint for dinner. we sat at the bar so the kids could watch them make our rolls and chatted with the owner about our moving plans. we had ice cream cake at home. i’m documenting that june 16 2015 i made ivan an ice cream cake for his birthday. his mom made him one every year growing up and i’ve slacked on keep up with the tradition. every birthday he jokingly says to me maybe i’ll get an ice cream cake next year. we laugh and i say but i don’t like ice cream. this year i did it! ice cream cake for everyone. wednesday we went swimming at my sister-inlaws parents house. the kids love her i love her. her family is great. her other nephews and nieces were there too. the kids had tons of fun playing games in the pool + eating popsicles + jumping on the trampoline. thursday we had lunch with my mom then went to my best friends house to swim. theres something so nice about a friend that is like a sister. comfortable + effortless, we can sit and laugh, chatting about nothing. gosh we will miss so many great families here!


i’ve been house hunting on the computer. i love having a small space and am contemplating a 2 bedroom. when i say that out loud it sounds crazy!! it probably is. i want a change of pace, city life sounds like a fun adventure. we are leaving all of our belongings with this house. including tv’s. i don’t think i want to buy another. i hope we spend our days outside. seattle has some great walkable neighborhoods. i’ve also been tossing around the idea of selling my car and getting a bucket bike. maybe one of those madsen cycles. you know, pile the kids in and pedal. depending on our proximity to school’s and store’s. oh and those hills, those can be killer. but i think it could work.


another thought i’ve had is homeschooling. anyone doing it? any tips for me? i love the idea of being so involved in their learning. getting out in nature + experiencing those teachable moments as a family. i worry if i am capable. i know it isn’t easy. the idea of taking the best of montessori + traditional + public school curriculum and rolling it all into one seems perfect for our family. just something i’m tossing around.


i guess we’ll figure it all out once we get there. for now i have to pack. we should close early next week. we have to stay a little while so ivan can finish up work. we will stay with friends + family. whoever will have us. preferably someone with a pool. only kidding. but really, say our goodbye’s. if he has to work too long the kids and i might venture over to california, spend our days on the beach until ivan finishes up here in az. we are going to be homeless. i say that with a smile and a laugh and i keep getting the “are you serious? oh i could never do that.” then i say  “whats the worst that can happen?” if we hate it we come home, right? if henri is still sick then we tried our best. we did everything we could. how can you regret that? here’s to an adventure. follow along. i think its gonna be good.



i started packing yesterday. my mom came over and we went through toys + clothes. getting rid of stuff. deciding what to pack and bring up once we are settled and what to take in the car with us on our journey. we sold our house furnished so in my mind i thought this will be easy. but you know how you start packing and after hours you realize you haven’t made a dent. thats where i’m at. four kids equals a lot of toys + books + clothes + jackets + shoes. along with dishes and all the little things. needless to say i probably should have started last week. last night we decided to take a break from packing and went to the grand opening of fat cats. we bowled, played arcade games, ate yummy pizza and celebrated ivan’s birthday with cupcakes! it was elle + jack’s first time bowling. elle loved it and jack was scared to death of the strobe lights. elle kept saying how much fun she was having and that she wanted to have her birthday party there. we bowled in the dark and now i’m wishing i had brought a camera instead of my phone to capture all the fun. we’ve been so busy with packing and work lately, it was so nice to forget about everything and just have fun. ivan and i both said how we had the best time we’ve had in a while. it was great for all ages which can sometimes be hard having a 10 down to 2 year old. usually activities don’t cater to everyone but this one did. they have a pizza place inside that was so good. like really good, i’d go back just for the margherita pizza. they also have a movie theater and golfing. we didn’t make our way to either but the golfing was glow in the dark and we promised the kids next time we’ll give it a try.



ava got the first strike. that’s my girl!


henri ended up beating all of us. i had the lowest score. i think i can count on one hand how many times i’ve been bowling.



henri’s always my biggest cheerleader. i’ve never met a sweeter boy in my life. he gave me the biggest hug when i got a strike.


look at that form. ivan was taking bowling very serious.



porter’s + huntington’s.  big thanks to the porters for such a fun night and doing such a great job with fat cats. i lucked out with the best sister in-law and her fun family.



so proud of you elle! i really love seeing her try new things. her love for life is the best. always happy always laughing. i hope she always stays that way.


jack gave it a go and then the lights starting moving and shinning all over the ground and he freaked out. yep thats a man bun on jack. i think he looks dang cute with it too.



we love hummus around here. the kids love anything dip. sour cream, ranch, salsa, frosting its all dip to them. i love that it gets the kids to eat their vegetables. hummus is one of those dips that is actually healthy while being delicious. this is our absolute favorite recipe. i don’t buy hummus from the store anymore, this one is so easy and tastes way better. jack was my big helper. ignore that he’s in his undies. keeping clothes on him is difficult these days. i’m really going to miss cooking in this kitchen when we move. the kitchens in seattle are tiny!













1 can garbanzo beans, drained

3 Tbsp. tahini

juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp. cayenne (we likes ours to have a kick. use less if you don’t like it spicy)

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 c. olive oil

combine all ingredients except olive oil in food processor for 20 seconds. while the processor is running drizzle in olive oil. serve with warm pita bread + veggies.


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