Food Jules featured in GlutenFreeConnecticut!

We have some very exciting news to share… Food Jules was recently featured in Gluten Free Connecticut.

What a great website! Filled with information on Gluten Free friendly Restaurants, Bakeries, Facilities, articles on workshops and classes for those with Celiac or Gluten Sensitivities. It’s a dynamite resource for finding all the information you need when on a Gluten Free diet. It’s also a great place to learn about other food allergies.

We are thrilled to be included on this amazing website. Check it out here. Here is a quick snapshot of what you’ll find…

“If you have a child with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or any food allergy, you know how hard birthday parties can be. But Liz Cerrato, owner of Food Jules in Monroe, CT,  is making it easier. She provides healthy, allergy-friendly cooking classes for kids of all ages, via birthday parties, private lessons, girl and boy scout workshops, after school enrichment classes, and even summer camp! 

Liz aims to teach children about nutrition and healthy eating habits while fostering a love and passion for wholesome food and cooking.  Her passion for both cooking and teaching ensures that no child is excluded from the food preparation or the party!  Menu choices range from gluten free, nut free and dairy free, to any dietary restriction you want or need.food jules liz

Liz started Food Jules shortly after her son Julian passed away as an infant. Helping to enrich the lives of other children through healthy foods is her way of honoring his memory.  If you have a celiac or a child with a food allergy, and you’re lucky enough to live in or near Monroe, definitely give Liz a call. Her dedication to helping our kids learn and enjoy wholesome foods is really special, and we are thrilled to have her in the Gluten-Free Connecticut family!

To learn more about Food Jules, visit www.foodjules.com, email  liz@foodjules.com or call (203) 414-6346. A portion of Food Jules proceeds are donated to SMA foundations in memory of Julian.”

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Five Years

On November 8, 2010 our second son, Julian was born. This past weekend, we celebrated his fifth birthday.

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He is love. He is beauty. He is faith. He is pure. He is eternity. He is a blessing. He is and always will be in our hearts and soul. We miss you Julian and we love you. Happy Birthday to our sweet baby boy.

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I apologize for the short post, it’s been an emotional last couple of weeks. Love.

It’s that time of the year again…

The leaves are changing and the weather is cooler. There is more baking (although the weather or season doesn’t preclude me from ever baking) and we start eating warm soups and stews. It’s a great time of the year but not such a happy time for me. I prefer the spring and the summer when all the trees, flowers and vegetables are blooming. It’s a time of renewal and growth, beauty and happiness. I don’t mean to be a downer for the Fall and Winter but it really isn’t my cup of tea. Also, it reminds me of a time of much sadness.

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Julian was born in the Fall, this is HIS time of the year and if he were here, I know my feelings towards the Autumn would be completely different, we would be celebrating his birthday with him and it would be so special. We do celebrate Julian’s birthday every year and we honor him in a very special way each and every year, but it’s just not the same as it would be if he was actually living and here with us, celebrating with us, smiling with us, opening gifts, running, laughing and enjoying life and his family. As I am writing this, I can actually imagine this in my mind and it is making me cry. I have been missing him a lot lately, thinking a lot about him every day. Again, maybe this time of the year is an extra reminder of our loss and how much we miss him. I do miss him sooooo soooo much.

Meet our son, Julian.

Meet our son, Julian.

In memory of my sweet, baby boy Julian. We love you and honor you and think of you every single moment of every single day. To all those who are reading this, give your sweet, living children a great big hug and kiss and remind them just how much you love them and how lucky you are to have them with you, healthy and smiling.

Welcome Benjamin!

I know, it’s been quite a while since my last post. It’s been very busy around here!

We have been enjoying our new little guy as well as the end of the school year activities, birthday celebrations, softball and tball games as well as many other summer fun with my kids. However, I didn’t want too much more time to pass without introducing our new little baby.

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It’s a BOY! As you all know, the gender of our new little baby was a surprise. We wanted to have that special moment when he/she was born and it gave me something to focus on why laying on that operating table. That and praying to our little Julian and God to watch over all of us and ensure all went well and it did. I know it’s common to hear, when asked, do you want a boy or girl that all you want is a healthy baby, but to be completely honest, that has a very deep meaning to us because that is really all that we wanted, a happy and healthy little baby.

I am so happy to announce that all went great with the surgery, even though there were many, many, many hiccups along the way, baby and mommy are healthy and doing well and for that I am extremely thankful!

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So, without another moment going by,  we are happy to introduce our new little baby boy, Benjamin Thomas Cerrato. He was born on May 14, 2014 at 6 lbs 13oz. and 20.5 inches. He’s a beautiful, sweet little baby and we are truly in love and feel very blessed. Here is a recent photo from this holiday weekend. He’s growing so quickly… now almost 7 weeks.

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Our new little addition to our family…. welcomed by his big sister, Lilliana and big brothers, Lucas and Julian.

Napkin Notes

Today, I listened to such an inspiring, heart warming story, that made me cry tears of both sadness, inspiration and gratitude.

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There is a father who has written notes on napkins every day for his daughter, Emma. It’s his beautiful way of connection with her, throughout all of these years. These notes bring her such joy and inspiration, and make her feel blessed and loved. Recently, her father has been diagnosed with cancer that does not react to chemotherapy, so they are just living their lives each day and hoping he has as much time with her as possible. His diagnosis doesn’t look optimistic, but he continues to live in the moment each day. He has written hundreds of napkin notes for his daughter, that will last her through all of the rest of her school years, in case he doesn’t survive.

Here is his story on USA Today.

This story is just so motivating to each of us, as there are so many struggles in life, so many hardships, yet we are faced with life each day. So, we have to try and enjoy each day we are living here on earth. As Rachael Ray said on today’s show, “Optimism is everything. If you are here to live, enjoy it and value it!”

I have to admit that I didn’t always “live in the moment” but after Julian’s passing, it really opened my eyes to the delicacy of life. Mike and I work every day, to remind our children and ourselves, that life is truly a blessing and we should try to live it and enjoy it the best way we can. It’s easy to get caught up in life’s downs, health issues, bad days, traffic, arguments with family or friends etc, and it’s ok to say “this really sucks”, but as long as in the end, we pick ourselves back up and say, “well, it is what it is, so let me make the best of it” and just try to look at the positive, happy things in our life. We have to keep in mind, that we are the drivers of our own happiness. If we allow our unhappy, sad, angry, bitter feelings to take over our life, then we are allowing ourselves to be unhappy. We can make a difference in our own life. It’s in our hands. 

So, tomorrow when you wake up, smile and say Good Morning to your family, friends, co-workers. Whatever life brings you tomorrow, know that at the end of the day, you can choose to push through that, and to be happy.

Blessing #4

We have some big news to share with you… Michael, Lilliana, Lucas, Julian and I are welcoming a new addition to our family, a new sweet little baby. We are so very excited and anticipating his/her arrival sometime in Mid-May.

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Our family has been through such a terrible tragedy with the loss of our Julian, a little over three years ago. It has been a rough road, but we have pulled it together, as a family, and we continue to show each other our endless love and gratitude. Life is quite a journey, some days are filled with so much hope and happiness and others with sadness and confusion, but we continue to live our life, together as a family, trying to enjoy each day together.

Now, we have this new little baby on the way, and it has brought us so much joy. We welcome this baby with our love and gratitude and know that he/she is a true blessing to us.

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I have finished putting together Lilliana, Lucas and Julian’s scrapbook and am so happy to be able to share these with the new baby. I believe this baby has also been touched by his/her big brother, Julian. I can feel it. We couldn’t have gotten to this place without Julian’s love all around us. Even though he is not here physically, it’s so nice to know he is living here with us in true spirit.

Of course, it isn’t always easy, there are days of doubt, worry and concern, but that is expected. Our family works hard to remind each other of all of our blessings in life and to enjoy and savor these special moments. There was a day when I was worried about the health of the baby and Lilliana knew that and wrote me a special note and included Julian’s picture on there. That meant so much to me. My children and my husband, my family means so much to me. Without their love and support, we couldn’t make it to today, but we did and for that, I am most thankful.

Our new Baby Cerrato will be here in about 11 weeks, right in the middle of my favorite season, Spring, and right after my birthday and our anniversary. It’s a special time of the year and will be even more special with his/her arrival.

Julian: three years ago

On November 8, 2010, we welcomed our little sweet, beautiful Julian. He was born via c-section and when the doctor retrieved him from inside my belly, she lifted him up to me and said, “here’s your miracle baby” and she was right.

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When I was pregnant with Julian, I had some complications that required me to visit the antenatal unit at Bridgeport Hospital every week, for an ultrasound. They had to keep a close eye on him. Once we approached the end of my third trimester, the doctors, family and I were all jumping for joy that he was doing great and going to be born soon. It seems that my body’s complications didn’t interfere with his growth at all and I was so relieved. So, when he was born, we were beyond excited that he was finally here.

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Unfortunately, that relief and happiness was cut very, very, short. Within a few minutes of his birth, the doctors rushed him over to the NICU. We were shocked and didn’t understand what was happening, since he seemed to be fine via every single ultrasound. Since Lilliana, our first born, was born prematurely, at 34 weeks, and had to spend a week in the NICU for assistance with breathing, we weren’t too concerned. However, Julian was born on time and weighed 6 lbs 11oz. so it didn’t make much sense.

Julian loved his co-sleeper but not as much as he loved sleeping with his mommy and daddy

Julian loved his co-sleeper but not as much as he loved sleeping with his mommy and daddy

Well, at that time we didn’t know he had SMA, we only found that out a couple days after Christmas. With his illness, his health was quickly dissipating and he should have gotten progressively worse as soon as he was born. But here is the miracle part. He actually got better after a couple weeks in the NICU, he was breathing on this own and feeding from my breast and bottle. It was our perseverance and our deep, deep desire to go home and be together as a family, and our love for each other, that made him succeed through those first two weeks. He was a fighter!!! and he wanted to go home with Mommy, Daddy and his brother and sister.

My "mothers day" with Julian... just a couple days after he was born

My “mothers day” with Julian… just a couple days after he was born

Even though, he suffered through many, many more tragic episodes during our stay at home, we were able to have him home with us for several weeks, especially to celebrate Christmas together. I was able to hold him on Christmas morning, cuddling with him as his brother and sister opened gifts. It was such a beautiful morning and I will never, ever forget it. It was such a blessing and so very special to have such an amazing baby, soul, spirit with us during such a beautiful, time. To this day, I believe with my whole heart, that Julian was our special Christmas miracle.

The proud Lilliana, holding her beautiful, sweet baby brother, Julian

The proud Lilliana, holding her beautiful, sweet baby brother, Julian

Cutie pie Lucas being the big brother for the first time!

Cutie pie Lucas being the big brother for the first time!

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Even though he was here for such a very short time, he made such an impact on our entire world and to this day, we all talk about him and love him every single day. He’s still our son, brother grandson, nephew and cousin. His spirit continues to live with us (but I really do miss holding him and kissing his sweet baby face).

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So, today we celebrate and honor his 3rd Birthday. Happy Birthday to our sweet, baby Julian.

Mommy and Daddy love you and that is forever!

Mommy and Daddy love you and that is forever!