Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Home activities

When mum and grandmum were in London, Emilia got to spend a lot of time inside the flat doing the things she loves the most: crafting, colouring, painting, baking and making pizza! Here are some pictures that capture some of the best moments these three ladies had together.

They had a lot of fun. And one day, Rob and I got home from work to find these lovely portraits that Emilia had made for us. Aren't they super cute?!

Thursday, 19 February 2015


On Tuesday we celebrated Carnevale. If we were in Italy, we would have no doubt gone to a dress-up party and we would have seen many little ones going around, dressed in their favourite heroes or Disney characters. Here in the UK, however, they don't celebrate Carnevale, so it was much quiter. What's Carnevale for us, it's Pancake Day for them and we tried to combine the two celebrations.

It was a gorgeous sunny day in London so we got ready and went out for a nice stroll. Emilia decided to be a ballerina for a day and was wearing a lovely tutu dress together with her Frozen magic wand. We made colourful masks and baked lots of traditional biscuits that we enjoyed for dessert together with lovely pancakes made by Rob. All in all it was a very "sweet" day!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Valentine's Day

Sadly, the day before Valentine's day I got sick, very sick. Just a few days before, Emilia had had a bad stomach flu and my silly immune system didn't protect me from her germs. So, not only I spent a couple of days in bed feeling miserable and throwing up, but also we couldn't celebrate Valentine's Day as I had planned. Thankfully, I had bought a few things well in advance, so at the very least there were enough heart shaped tings around the house! A big hit were the personalised biscuits, aren't they super cute? And Emilia had made little heart shaped paper fans that we used to decorate the table. She also painted portraits of Rob and myself and I think she did a great job. All of us girls got beautiful flowers from Rob and I got cards and gifts from friends as well. I love Valentine's day!

One More Time!

When people heard we were leaving London, they started booking dates to come and visit us straight away. September, October and November were busy months with lots of visitors in the Otremba/Asciutti house. Everyone wanted one last trip to London and everyone wanted to come and see us in London one more time. Originally, we thought we would leave London around December, hence all the visits in Autumn. Things, however, have been progressing very slowly with my visa application and we are still here. So, we are now experiencing a second phase of booking! 

A little while ago, my mum told me that she would have liked to take grandmum to London one more time before our move. As our babysitter is holidaying in Italy at the moment, we thought this would be a great time for them to come and visit us, and offer a little bit of help as well. So, they arrived last Thursday and will be staying until Saturday. We kicked off their stay with a yummy lunch at Hixter last Friday. We knew they would appreciate the iconic chicken! Grandmum loved it and even played a bit with the bird's feet...while Emilia took part in the art competition (no doubt, she will win, right!?!). 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Saatchi Gallery and the Little Artist's Afternoon Tea

I love weekends and I love getting around this beautiful city.

When we first heard the news that Rob was being transferred to Washington DC, needless to say, we (and especially me!) felt a bit unsettled. We love London, are quite happy here and the change felt like something too big to cope with. However, with time, we came to appreciate the potential fun that comes with the move as well. It will no doubt be difficult to move to a new city, get familiar with a different system but it is also exciting to think about how our new home will look like, what are the things we are going to see, and who are the people we will call new friends? It has also been very helpful to have some time to digest the news and adjust to the change. Back in July, when we started the process for my visa application, we thought that the move was imminent and would happen by March 2015. Well, it's February now and we are still here and do not really know when we will be moving. This means that we have more time to enjoy London and get to see and do things that after ten years are still on our TO-DO list!

The weather on Sunday was just glorious, perfect for what we had planned to do. Late in the morning we headed West and visited the beautiful Saatchi Gallery

Emilia was ecstastic! I was a bit on edge...I thought she was going to break something and we would have had to pay thousands of pounds for it! Saatchi Gallery is not really a place tailored at kids, there is no dedicated area for little ones but they are encouraged to walk free and enjoy all the art around them. So, we took Emilia out of her stroller and she wandered around the gallery as she pleased. She absolutely loved it and so did we. The gallery is beautiful, the building itself is rather nice, very airy and relaxing. 

Having nourished the soul, we then moved to the cafe', the Gallery Mess, where we had booked a table for an Afternoon Tea for us adults and a Little Artist's Afternoon Tea for Emilia. I had read about this on the London Mothers Club blog just a few days before and I so wanted to take Emilia there. I knew she would love it and also I thought it would be nice to have a proper afternoon tea with Rob too!
So, while Rob and I stuffed our face with all sorts of sweet and sour things and sipped a lovely cup of Earl Gray, Emilia was given a babyccino (oh, was she excited to have her own cappuccino! Just like mamma, she kept saying!), a couple of sandwiches and a cupcake to decorate with fresh fruit and sprinkles! Needless to say, the colourful sprinkles were a huge hit!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Tower Bridge Exhibition

Sadly, the past weekend we couldn't do much of the activities we had planned. Rob had a bad cold and it was rather cold and windy outside. So we thought it was wiser to stay warm at home the whole day on Saturday. We had some indoor activities, baked some cornbread and watched the very first cartoon together, Frozen! All in all, it was a cosy Saturday in. Sunday, however, we opted to go out for a local stroll and I suggested visiting the Tower Bridge. We have been living in the area for over ten years, we cross the bridge on a daily basis, however, we had never been interested in visiting it inside. At least, until a few months ago when they revealed the new glass walkways. So, on Sunday morning, despite the low temperatures and wind, we walked to the entrance of the Tower Bridge Exhibition and finally went up to the very top of the towers. And boy did we love it! Now, look at the pictures and tell me it is not super cool! Emilia liked it so much that she asked if we could go again today!