Subscribe to UltimateMama Subscribe to UltimateMama's comments

Posts tagged ‘Kristen Duca’

Over the weekend, UltimateMama and her two children had a nice one hour shopping trip to stock up on holiday goods and craft supplies at Michaels.  Killing time as it rained on Long Island was quite easy as UltimateMama challenged her family to come up with a gorgeous holiday tablescape that was pleasing for all ages and works for either a dining or side table.  Mission accomplished with the 70% doorbuster promotions at Michaels. Best of all the total cost was under $25!  The breakdown:

Potted red poinsettia with gold foil (artificial): $6 (from $20)

Metallic garland: $3.60 (from $12)

Small champagne tabletop sisal tree:  $6 (from $20)

Large champagne tabletop sisal tree:  $7.50 (from $25)

Total cost:  $23.10

Happy Holidays!


 

 

Share

Was it on our bucket list?  Of course!  So, UltimateMama and her family took a quick (relatively at under 5 1/2 hours from NYC) flight to Iceland.

Day 1

After landing, UltimateMama picked up the rental car and headed directly to the Blue Lagoon for an 8 AM spa appointment against the volcanic landscape.  One must book visits in advance.  UltimateMama and her family were treated to the “Comfort” package which included:  entrance fee, silica mud masks, use of towels, and one drink per person.  Remember to take your disposable/water cameras for some fun pictures!

Next, UltimateMama drove approximately 1 hour 20 minutes to start the Golden Circle Tour!

First stop was Thingvellir National Park to see the Everyman’s Gorge between 2 continents-America and Europe as well as the Law Rock.

Second stop after a 50-60 minute drive was to the Geysir Geothermal Field to see Strokker.  UltimateMama and her group grabbed some pizza and did some souvenir shopping at the visitor’s center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third stop was a 10 minute drive to Gullfoss Falls to see the breathtaking waterfall.

Next was a 50 minute drive (in the pouring rain/sleet) to the Kerid Crater.

Finally, after a 45 minute drive UltimateMama and her family made it to lodging at the Hotel Ranga which offers outdoor hot tubs, delicious cuisine, and fabulous Northern Lights displays (if one is lucky and we were)!

Day 2

The Lava Centre, which was only a 5 minute drive from the hotel, offered a glimpse at Iceland’s active volcanoes.

Next, a 15-20 drive to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall enabled us to be fully encircled by a fabulous wonder.

Don’t miss views of Eyjafjallojokull, a glacier volcano that caused panic to air travel in 2010.

After a 10 minute dive one will reach Skogafoss Waterfall and most likely see a rainbow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another 10-15 minute drive takes one to Solheimajokull Glacier which is easily accessible to all. UltimateMama and her family really enjoyed walking on/around it. Be careful!

One can’t miss the black sand beach of Reynisfjara on Iceland’s South Coast, next to a fishing village called Vik, which is only another 25-30 minute drive. The basalt stacks are extraordinary!

Day 3

A one hour tour of the Lava Tunnel is worth one’s time if one wants to see layers of volcanic eruption.

Ægissíðufoss waterfall is a majestic site and close to Hotel Ranga too!

Day 4

Spend the day in Reykjavik before heading to the airport for departure.


Share

UltimateMama’s two little ones surprised her with a clever breakfast in bed funny face that put a smile on her face! Their secret ingredients:

-turkey bacon hair

-blueberry and strawberry eyes

-corn muffin nose

-scrambled egg mouth

Delicious and nutritious!

Share

UltimateMama had the honor of attending the opening of Chaos Theory Presents Flashpoint:  An Intersection of History, Perseverance, and Joy curated by Joyce Varvatos with Alexandra Hayden. The powerfully visual show is at 112 Hampton Road in Sag Harbor, New York from July 28 until September 2, 2018. Integrating pieces from various artists in different disciplines the exhibit features works by Francesca DiMattio, Friends with You, Dan Life, Susan Tepper, Do Ho Suh, Raul de Nieves, Kim Hyung Dae, Zeus, Lucy Winton, Friends with You/Daniel Jacobs collaboration, Ouattera Watts, Derrick Adams, and Leo Villareal.

The show blends the idea that chaos and order are not always opposed. The end result is a remarkable mix of the two that all will enjoy. Bravo ladies!

Share

UltimateMama’s girls had a brilliant idea for a recent casual get together with friends – make, bake, decorate, and serve cupcakes for all to enjoy!  Inspired by whimsical Lilly Pulitzer dresses, the girls used the Domino Buttercream Frosting recipe (found on the Domino Confectioners Sugar box) and food coloring to create beautiful pink and green frosting.  The girls loved experimenting with a piping bag and Russian piping tips to create stunning designs.

In a rush?  No sweat.  Betty Crocker makes easy to use decorating cake icing in a variety of fun “party” colors as well.

Share

UltimateMama was recently treated to a delightful, decadent afternoon lunch at KDHamptons founder Kelli Delaney and Dr. Mark Kot’s beautiful Water Mill home, Maple Shade.  The radiant hostess gave me a tour of this home’s his (Mark’s) and hers (Kelli’s) expansive gardens which include grand silver maple trees and the most elegant hydrangeas on the East End of Long Island.  Kelli and Mark’s ultimate summer garden is accentuated by a drizzle of blue and white pillows, vases, and urns surrounding their outdoor furniture which makes for a dazzling, sophisticated, yet comfortable atmosphere.

Mark’s garden:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelli’s Garden:

 

Share

UltimateMama’s girls are always excited to make these clever, easy, minimalist, nutritious, and tasty avocado boats.  The best thing about them is that they can be eaten right out of the avocado! Avocados are high in healthy fats and great anytime of day.

Ultimate Avocado Boat recipe (for 8 people):

-4 avocados

-6 plum tomatoes cut into cubes (or use a pint of washed cherry tomatoes which you won’t need to cut)

-1 container of fresh mozzarella balls (bocconcini) or you can cube one larger mozzarella ball

-4 tablespoons diced red onion (scallions work well too)

-2 tablespoons of lime juice

To do:  scoop out the “meat” from each avocado but remember to keep the “shell”.  In a large bowl, gently stir cubed avocado chunks, tomatoes, mozzarella, onions, and lime juice. Carefully, spoon into each of your eight avocado “shells” and serve!

 

Share

UltimateMama and her girls love to make this refreshing summer salad for lunch guests.  It is quick, easy, delicious, and filled with nutrients.  Best of all, it is colorful as well as easy to eat poolside.

Ultimate Pineapple and Chicken Summer Salad recipe

-Fresh kale

-Pineapple chunks

-Red (or yellow) potatoes cut in chunks

-Grilled chicken cubed (UltimateMama usually uses leftovers from the prior evening)

-Balsamic vinegar

To do:  wash and dry the kale, add the rest of the ingredients, and lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve in pretty summer bowls.

Optional:  Add some feta or goat cheese.

 

Share

UltimateMama and her family took a quick trip to Lisbon, Portugal and discovered the beauty of the city.  The amazing food (and wine for the grown ups) was an incredible treat!  UltimateMama’s kids still rave about the Pasteis de Belem–a MUST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few tips on Lisbon:

-Stay at the Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade in Lisbon, Portugal.  The rooms are pristine and the buffet breakfast (included in our room rate) was out of this world!

-Visit the Tower of Belem which is on the Tagus River

-Walk by the Padrão dos Descobrimentos which is also right on the Tagus River

-If you are visiting in the summer of 2018 don’t miss the M.C. Escher exhibit at the Museu de Arte Popular Lisboa

-Head to Pasteis de Belem and experience the sweet delights (one can buy a few and eat them while walking around the city)

-Tour the stunning Jeronimos Monastery

-Eat lunch at one of the shops in the Mercado da Ribeira Time Out (which has great canned fish you can buy to take home too)

-Explore the Bairro Alto area

-Have dinner at Petiscos no Bairro

 
 
Share

After enjoying several days in Athens, UltimateMama and her family flew directly to Santorini to experience a beautiful Greek island and it did not disappoint.  A few tips for touring Santorini with kids:

– Figure out your transportation in advance. As of June 2018, UltimateMama heard there were less than 40 taxicabs on Santorini which means you will need to lock in a driver (we met a kind one at the airport–luckily) or rent a car (which UltimateMama did not do as Santorini doesn’t have many street signs or street lamps).

-Stay at the Santorini Palace Hotel in Firostefani if you have a family as it offers a great location only few meters away from the cliff of the Caldera and the panoramic view of the volcano.  The pool was excellent, as was the location (a short 10 minute walk to the capital of Santorini, the village of Fira).  Not to mention a full buffet breakfast was included with our booking which made mornings easy for all.

-Walk up the hill and grab a family photograph opportunity with one of Santorini’s most photographed chuches, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Pamper your family members with some Garra Rufa fish spa therapy at Kissing Fish in Fira.

-Grab some gelato at Crema Latte Gelato in Fira.

-Spend the day at Perivolas Beach, a black sand beach with many amenities. UltimateMama and her family loved eating sushi under beach umbrellas at Sakura.

-Visit the prehistoric town and see the excavations at Akrotiri.  UltimateMama had a guided tour that was extremely informative as we learned about the elaborate drainage system, beautiful artwork, and intricate jewelry of a settlement covered by a volcanic eruption (Thera).

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Explore a traditional village in Santorini.  UltimateMama had a guided tour of Megalochori which had beautiful bell towers and mansions.

-Watch the sunset at Oia, one of the most beautiful places in Santorini.

 

Share