Baby Porridge (Suitable from 7 months)

My little one has never liked the cereal you buy that you mix with milk. Why? Maybe he knows it isnt natural?

I prepared this lovely porridge for little one. I got it from a great recipe book a dear friend sent to me and added some of my touches to it like berries and raisins.
It's the best baby food book ever by Annabel Karmel. 
This recipe is suitable for babies from 7-9 months and  I still give it to Nakoa at 10 months because he loves it as well as chia pudding. 

Ingredients:

  • 150ml breast or formula milk
  • 15g porridge oats (3 tbsp)
  • 4 dried apricots (chopped)
  • 1 large ripe pear, cored and cut into pieces
  • (You can also make with Apple if you don't have pears)
  • A handful Goji berries or raisins




Put the milk, oats and apricots in a small saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer for 3 mins.
Purée together with pear and your done.

Oats help stabilise blood sugar and help give long last energy.
Also rich in fibre and protects intestinal surfaces and helps keep cholesterol levels down.

Dried apricots are high in potassium and there are so many benefits to them.

ESP

Ingredientes:

  • 150ml leche
  • 15g Avena
  • 6 albaricoque seco (cortado)
  • 1 para grande y cortado a trozos (También se puede hacer con manzana)

Mete la leche, avena y albericoque en una cazuela pequeña. Hierve y dejar 3 minutos. 
Triturar con la pera y ya esta.

Vegan Friendly Breakfast or Snack: Chia Pudding and Nice-cream combo


I recently decided to change up my breakfast because eating porridge in a hot climate country wasn't the one. Every morning I would either have toast or porridge with a glass of fresh orange juice mixed with chia seeds and it felt good and very filling.  However, I was getting fed up of bread or porridge, especially with the temperatures rising and the preparation of it all. As I follow so many amazing accounts in Instagram I realised I could change up my whole Chia perspective and start making chia pudding. Plus, it is pretty straightforward to make.




 All you need are the following ingredients to make your pudding (this is for two servings)



First you need to mix all your ingredients together and then put it into the glass/bowl/ container you are planning to eat it from. As I also prepare nice-cream I leave enough room in my glass to top it off with the cream of my choice. 





I topped with Goji Berries and leave in the fridge overnight. 





 Chia pudding is really tasty on its own but if you have a little more time in the morning I really recommend you prepare a nice-cream. Not only does it taste delicious, it is also super healthy and makes it look so much more appetizing.




Making Nice-Cream for your Chia Pudding:


The recipe's are endless for making nice-cream but you always need one main ingredient which is frozen banana or avocado.

I use one frozen banana chopped up which makes it easier to blend and depending on the day I will add different fruit or other ingredients to give it its flavour. All you need is a very good blender as you will put all your ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth and thick.


Here are some examples:

Energy boost:


  • 1 frozen banana
  • a splash of oat milk (or any non dairy milk)
  • 1 tbsp Peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp raw cacao powder




Green earth Breakfast:


  • 1 frozen banana
  • a splash of oat milk (or any non dairy milk)
  • 1 tsp Spirulina powder
  • handful of Spinach
  • 1 tbsp of oats (oats make it more filling)
  • Handful of grapes
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 tsp of hempseeds to put on top














 Berry Delight:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • a splash of oat milk (or any non dairy milk)
  • 1 tsp Spirulina powder
  • Handful of Raspberries, blueberries and cranberry
  • 1 tbsp of oats (oats make it more filling)




Mango Exotico

  • 1 frozen banana
  • a splash of oat milk (or any non dairy milk)
  • Frozen mango


Choco Hemp:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • a splash of oat milk (or any non dairy milk)
  • 1 tsp raw cacao
  • 1/2 tsp of hemp to put on top


I always add some fresh fruit, oats and seeds on top to make it look pretty and give it a more fresh taste.

If you are a busy 🐝 like me when I'm working full-time. Why not make a weeks worth? put it into your fridge and grab one every morning before work or school. You can mix with the chia puddin with cacao or vanilla extract.

ESP:
Para 2 personas.

1/4 vaso de semillas de chia
1 vaso leche vegetal 
1 cucharita sirope de tu elección (yo use de remolacha)

Dejar cuajar en la nevera por la noche. 
Si lo quieres ya mismo deja 30 minutos. 
Aquí tienes la base de un buen postre o desayuno. 
Las semillas de chía no contienen gluten, son saludables y contienen Omega 3, antioxidantes y fibra. 

Aquí tienes algunos de sus nutrientes: 
• 5 veces más la cantidad de calcio que la leche. 
• 3 veces más la cantidad de antioxidantes que los arándanos. 
• 3 veces más la cantidad de hierro que las espinacas. 
• 2 veces más la cantidad de fibra que la avena. 
• 2 veces más la cantidad de proteínas que cualquier verdura. 
• 2 veces más la cantidad de potasio que el plátano.

Vegan Friendly Recipe: Porridge for Breakfast


 What do you have for breakfast in the mornings?

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why do most of us skip it?

We are all in a rush and like to get extra minutes in bed and this is one reason why we don't bother. Then mid morning comes and you are starving. I know waking up a bit earlier in the morning to eat seems like a chore in itself, or most of you don't have an appetite in the morning but if you get used to eating something you will wake up with an appetite for something and you can turn this into your ritual.

Wake up, be grateful for being alive, get ready for work / school and make yourself a breakfast that is healthy, nutritious and yummy.

Since my baby was born I started to lose weight at a fast rate, this is due to my very active lifestyle and fast metabolism. I was getting worried that I'd lose too much weight so instead of skipping breakfast I made sure I had it every morning and my partner told me to try porridge.



"Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth.
They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.
Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits.
These include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease."
Source: https://authoritynutrition.com/9-benefits-oats-oatmeal/

In the beginning I wasn't too keen to be  honest, porridge to me was a boring dish that reminded me of when I lived in the UK and my dad would eat it before work to keep his belly warm and so he could last till his break. I associated porridge with cold, why would I eat this in sunny Barcelona? But I needed to eat something healthy and cereal contains so much sugar that I knew I needed a change,

Nowadays with social media we can get plenty of ideas and inspiration and that's exactly what  I looked for.

I wanted to eat porridge but add some flavour to it and I did.




Ingredients:

1/2 cup Oats
2 cups of water
Pinch of salt
Banana
Goji Berries
Grated Coconut
Cacao

Method:

Put 1/2 a cup of oats (per person) with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and bring to boil. Once it is boiling lower the heat to a low one and put the lid on it and leave for 10 minutes,

I added the goji berries into the porridge so they would cook as I usually add them in raw but they can get a bit too chewy. Add some cacao (1 tbsp)

Once porridge is cooked add the other ingredients and serve.


I have this every day (I change up the added ingredients) with freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice and chia seeds. If I don't have my juice I feel like i'm missing something. It's good to feel that for something healthy, right?




Vegan Friendly Recipe; Grilled Veg, Carrot noodles and avocado




This evening I was planning on trying out my vegetable noodle maker and wanted to do them with courgettes but I didn't have time to go to the grocers and preferred to do something out of whatever I had in the fridge.

I had seen colourful vegan dishes on a few Instagram pages I followed and decided to make use of all the ingredients in my pantry and make something appetising and tasty.  I have so many jars fool of seeds, nuts and beans and I need to use them more when cooking.



Ingredients:

1/2 Butternut squash
4 Potatoes
2 Carrots
5 Mushrooms
1 Avocado

Olive oil
Pink Himalayan Salt
4 tbsp Sesame seeds
1tsp cumin

As my partner loves his pasta I wanted to buy myself a vegetable pasta maker. I had seen them online too, and thought it could add some fun to my cooking. I bought one in a shop that sells items for cooking and baking and it seems to be okay so far.  It's a small hand one and I was told to make the pasta with raw vegetables like courgettes, cucumber, carrots and potatoes.

I had some carrots but they had gone a bit soft and weren't comfortable turning so I gave up on two and made a very small pasta dish in the middle of the main plate. I boiled the carrots for 15 minutes and in the meantime chopped the garlic and onion into small pieces and fried. I then added the chopped mushrooms and let it fry at a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to fried mushrooms and mix in.  I add sesame seeds and it tasted deli and was not enough, so I'll have to make it again soon.

I chopped 1/4 of the Butternut squash into thin slices and did the same with 2 potatoes.
I grilled them for 12 minutes and while they were grilling I steam the rest of the squash and potato,
I left them for 15 minutes then once they were soft I blended them with salt, pepper and cumin. I left that to cool and then served and added seeds on top.

I cut the avocado into thick slices and drizzled olive oil and sesame seeds on top.

I served it so it would look pretty, I needed to take advantage of all those colours.

It took me less than an hour to do, that is with preparation, cooking and finally sitting down to enjoy it, which takes me slightly longer with my little one not feeling well.

Hope you enjoy

Palo Alto Market Barcelona

The Palo Alto Market is a new(ish) market in the urban district of Poble Nou in Barcelona.

I discovered The Palo Alto market through my instagram friends and considering my baby boy is getting a bit bigger and the weather is getting nicer I thought it would be nice to go and visit the much talked about market in Barcelona. It's a hip market with great street food held the first weekend of every month in Carrer dels Pellaires, 30, 08019 Barcelona. You can buy tickets online which works out a little cheaper. Online entry is 3€ and there on the door it is 4€

There is a nice chilled atmosphere and does get busy, especially the food section and trying to get a table requires patience. I think they need to expand the food part or make more space for people to sit in different sections of the market. 
I do recommend you visit this market if you have time, however I think with two or three hours you have plenty of time to have a look around, enjoy a drink and some food and music from the Aperol stage. 

What I also recommend to any parents is to avoid taking a pushchair. There is a lot of paths with pebbles and is very uncomfortable to move around with the buggy. I noticed I wasn't the only parent struggling to push the buggy. It was slightly annoying and made me miss out on some parts of the market as it was too tiring.








Cheers! 



Kids go for free, but I recommend you take a sling instead of push chair.


The market stalls are run by budding designers and small businesses trying to promote their product. My cousin had her stall with her collection of bags. The brand is KIMU BCN and I bought a bag from her. 















Happy Mother's day / Feliz día de mamá







Walks, Tunnels and Graf's




Nakoa in his Blue hat made by his Aunt Cristina

My boy Nakoa at 3 months. He is wearing a blue hat made by his aunt in Italy. She made it in under 2 hours, just before she had to leave. 

Jo Frost Saved us - Teaching baby to Self soothe

Over a week ago my partner and I came back from a short visit to London with our son. 
It was only 5 days but it felt like two weeks. Initially I knew 5 days would be enough as it was our first trip with Nakoa and even though I wanted to make it longer it was a good thing I didn't. Not long before going to London he was starting to eat solids, he still wasn't sleeping and my sleep deprivation was really getting to me. Eventhough he had a routine and a bed time I didn't know how to make Nakoa go to sleep. During the day I would only put him to nap if he rubbed his eyes and that didn't always work, which meant he had very poor naps. He would sometimes wake up from me moving him and then I would have to start the whole process again. 

While we were in London Nakoa seemed to be teething from the symptoms; but as his teeth still haven't come through I wonder if it was something else that was making him irritable. This made daytime napping a no no and nights were very difficult. He was waking up some nights every hour. I was shattered, cranky but wanting to do everything at the same time. We stayed with our friends who were well and truly prepared for us, (they have a child and knew how to help us), they were amazing. It was nice to be back seeing my old friends but it did take it's toll on my moods. 
One morning towards the end of our holiday I was with my friend with the T,V on in the background. Jo Frost the "Super nanny" was on talking about sleep deprivation. My undivided attention went onto the programme but it was ending. 
Fortunately my friend had the +1 channel option which meant we could continue chatting and watch the repeat in an hour. I needed this for my health and sanity. I was so tired and at my wits end. Nakoa finally started napping that day which meant I could lap up as much of what Jo Frost had to say. My friend then told me about her programmes and I knew she used some of the techniques and they seem to be going well for her and her daughter.


I watched her, I liked her demeanour and what she had to say, so I wasn't going to stop there. I needed to learn more to teach my baby to self soothe and give us all a bit of rest. As soon as I got back to Spain, I searched the net about her and her techniques and found out about the Controlled Timed Crying Technique and It has worked wonders for us. 

Here is what I wrote after the unforgettable first night.

Day 1 April 2017
I managed to read Jo Frost's sleeping method, the 'controlled timed crying technique' and I just tried it out. The advice was amazing but it was really distressing hearing him cry like that, I read over the main bullet points several times as he cried as it really helped to settle the nerves and that adrenaline feeling. He has finally fallen asleep.
I checked on him and put the bedding on him again. He was still angelic as usual.
Two minutes later he cries once and falls to slumber.
I know he will wake up several times tonight and I need to continue this method for at least a week. She guarantees it will work by then.
Fingers crossed.


My problem was getting him to know it was bedtime without falling asleep on my breast and waking up after 1 or 2 hours. He used me as a dummy and I couldn't continue to make that conscious mistake. 

After 8 days I can tell you that it has worked. When bed time arrives after story time and some milk, as soon as I put him down into his crib, he knows it's bed time and he may moan a little bit when either of us leaves the room but he then falls asleep. The moaning seems to be the way he soothes himself.  
The first night was the worst and I was ready to give up straight away, however, after that night it did only get better. The crying turned to moaning and they got shorter. He would fall asleep in 8 minutes and now it has gone down to maybe 1 or 2 minutes. There are times where he may just lay there now and not say a word and then he eventually falls asleep. The fact is, he has learnt to self soothe which means nap times are also better too. 

Nakoa's eating was also getting better and before bed I added a bottle of milk with cereals as well as my breast milk so he goes to sleep on a full tummy and that also helps in getting him to sleep through most nights. It didn't seem to work a few months back when we first tried but now he seems to enjoy it. 
He has given us a few uninterrupted nights of sleep and it has been amazing. Strangely, I still feel really crappy and don't know if it is because I have a cold coming on, (Nakoa has one), or it is my body reacting after not sleeping properly for over 7 months and is feeling crazy with all this sleep. Nonetheless, the method worked for us and I'm really happy. I had tried other ones that didn't work for me and this came to me like a gift. If it hadn't been for me watching morning t.v with my friend I wouldn't have learnt about Jo Frost or the technique.  

Organising myself







 I am a mother of a 7 month old boy who I absolutely adore. I'm also a language teacher on a break until baby goes to nursery. I am very active and social, I do many activities and sometimes I do too much. There are times where I also lack energy and need to have time to myself which means by myself and nowadays that can be very difficult now that I have someone under my wing.
I know it is important to separate my roles but not myself and I feel I can do things if I don't over do them. However sometimes it's hard because I sometimes forget I can't always control situations and I that multi tasking isn't always a good thing. Being organised is the way forward. Not overloading oneself and feeling exhausted due to doing so much.
We have one life and need to enjoy each aspect of it. Who is going to remember doing chores?
You need to do things that make you wake up and go sleep feeling grateful to be alive.
You woke up today.

That's why I am finally writing, I have managed to have some alone time while my partner and son are out for a walk.
Despite them leaving me to "rest", i'm still cooking dinner and washing up dishes in between thinking of making myself a relaxing "cuppa" tea and finding time to start writing something and hopefully finish off one of my posts properly. I think today is the day!

I want to try to organise my blog as well. I will continue my posts but I have a new role to include, which is, motherhood.

My main posts will be separated into sections:


  • Motherhood - Experiences and any advice that works for me.

  • Art - I have a creative side and like to share some of it when I have the chance. I like to write poetry, take photos, to hand craft and restore furniture with the help of my aunt. My instagram has a lot of posts on photo's and other poets works and quotes if you want to follow me its miss_carla_yorkston
  • I like to do yoga, snowboarding, skating as well as other activities like going swimming. I'm not very sporty though, I do these for fun occasionally. I will most probably share stuff to this too.
  • I would also love to try writing short stories but that is an ongoing struggle as they never leave my head.
  • I'm a real Foodie and I will share my quick and easy recipe's with you. I try to be as vegan friendly as possible as my intention is to one day become a full vegan.
  • Travelling is one of my dreams which I try to live at least once a year with a different location. The world is so big and there is so much to see, but sometimes we forget what is in our own towns or cities, My posts will be about local events and when I go abroad too. 



Note to self

I've realised that I have had my blog running for over 8 years now, in fact it might be coming up to 9 years.

It has  followed me through many journeys and also missed other important ones. This has been my personal blog. I don't expect others to read it, I don't use it for advertising, it's my space to write my thoughts.

Now that I'm a new mother I have more things to post about and hope to help other mummy's but again this is my personal space and I don't work for anyone and am giving my personal opinions and experience.

I will continue to share recipe's and write about my trips and keep this blog going even if it gets deserted for months on end. I will try and be consistent with my posts however it can be hard as my brain is pretty weak lately. Sleep deprivation being the main cause.

Hopefully in a few months I'll be slightly better in terms of sleep yet I'm sure there will be other things on my mind to cause me to forget to write.

Fingers crossed or fingers to the keyboard!!

9 months + 4 months summed up

It's so crazy to see that my last post was a year ago. I didn't know I my life was about to change in so many ways. For a while I wanted to become a mother and I had been trying and by the end of January last year I found out my wish had come true and that I was expecting.




It was a whirlwind pregnancy as there was constant changes to my life. Just before I found out I was pregnant, my partner and I moved house. We finally got out of Carmel area in Barcelona. We were there for a good few years and I was unhappy where I was. It wasn't a pleasant area. Our neighbours were not very friendly and the area in itself was uncomfortable. Hills that looked like the tips of a roller coaster which made it impossible to go for walks are do a decent shop.

So, we moved to the centre. A perfect location for a young and active couple. We moved in to an old building which had  no lift but we were in middle of the hustle and bustle, in under 10 minutes I would be in the centre or at work so the sacrifice or walking up and downstairs was worth it, until I started to get the symptoms.

Considering I was looking for this pregnancy as soon as i had any symptoms I knew I'd might be pregnant. I waited the full week and followed all instructions. I was nervous the night I bought the pregnancy and waited till the next morning to take the test as that was when results were more accurate.
I was up at 6 am peeing onto the stick, nervous and trying not to get my hopes up.
The lines showed and that was it...i was pregnant. I couldn't believe it but then my next worry was that the pregnancy goes well. So many things ran through my mind. Shall I tell my family? Should I tell my partner? What if I miscarriage? What will he or she look like? How shall I break the news?

After coming to terms to these news, I had to tell my partner. He didn't express himself much, but then again he doesn't normally. He hid himself under the covers and I left him to digest the news.

I had to go to work and that's it. I couldn't keep it a secret any longer so I called my mum straight away. The first thing I said was "What do you think of the name Jason?". This was the question she asked me when I discovered she was pregnant with my sister. She got very excited about being a grandmother. To be honest my whole family were overwhelmed. There was no child in the immediate family and this was a blessing for my aunt as well as my mum as she feels like a second mother to me.

Last year was like a baby boom with my surrounding friends or acquaintances. friends or friends of friends were either pregnant or had just become parents so it really helped with some doubts during the pregnancy, but the best thing I was recommended was the Baby centre APP. It sends you notifications on how your pregnancy is going, comparing your foetus to different sized vegetables. You could take photos and read about your progress. It was really useful for me as I need to read everything online, even when I have a cold.

My pregnancy wasn't incredibly awful but it wasn't great either. I had ALL the typical symptoms which was hard for me to go to work. It changed my way of seeing my life. I was used to waking up at 5 am to go to work and I was working up to 12 hours a day. I was living well financially but I was weighing 42 kg and for my height that is exceptionally low. That is when I decided to prioritise my life. I was no longer able to work so many hours a day without any time for eating if I wanted to give birth to a healthy baby.
I cut down my work hours and focused on living healthily. I stopped being a Vegan but continued being a vegetarian and eating fish and very occasionally I had to eat meat when  I would go to my family's home out of respect (this can be explained further in a future post). I quit smoking and drinking and ate well. I managed to gain 12 kilos and looked and felt great.





Because I was living in the centre of Barcelona my family were not too happy with the fact I lived in a block that had no lift, which would mean problems with the push chair and me walking up and down the stairs with an extra 12 kg of weight. My aunt tried to persuade me to move and we started to look for flats. I must admit I wasn't up for moving again in such a short time span and I knew it wouldn't be easy to find something so quickly and all I wanted to do was chill and enjoy my pregnancy.

My aunt insisted on finding us a place and she succeeded. She is a determined person and gets what she wants and she did it again for us. She found us an amazing place in El Prat, close to her and other family and it was a place we could buy. Again, I wasn't up for moving out of Barcelona  but I realised it would be the best thing for us to go as a family. It met all the requirements too. I wanted minimum 3 rooms and a terrace and we got the 4 rooms, a large balcony and a large living room space and it had a lot of light. It was perfect for what we wanted.  Everything was falling into place. All the paperwork and move was very swift.


We moved when I was 6 months pregnant and we managed to do a lot before baby was born. We decorated the flat and managed to refurbish our bathroom. It was all a very exciting yet stressful move as my hormones were all over the place, i had a room to decorate and a flat to organise before my baby was born and I didn't think it would be possible.






Fortunately it was and not even a week before my baby was born I was sanding down my pallets trying to finish my terrace for the baby shower.
So, it was literally all done in time. My in-laws even managed to arrive on time as I went into labour the night after collecting them from the airport.
It was as if everything was smoothly timed.
I then gave birth to my son, Nakoa. He is the most amazing thing that could happen to me and I know it's so cliché saying you don't know what it is till you give birth to your child but my goodness.
I knew I had a lot of love in me, but I didn't think it was bigger than that, and all for this little person.

We have now arrived to my son being almost 5 months old and my life has changed so much.
This time last year I had just found out i was pregnant, I moved twice. I got Engaged!!! I had a son and now i'm living the next chapter of my life called motherhood. I want to share how this experience is going for me and want to share places I go to incase there are any mothers out there looking for ideas.

My blog is going to change in terms of topics but I tend to continue posting recipe's I've learnt and trips I have taken.
I will shortly do a post of my engagement trip last year and other exciting things.

I must say it is so good to be back writing. It is the best way to let it all out. Doesn't matter if it is read ever or not. So, I urge you to write as well,



Pastel Colours for Hair

When the clock struck 12 on December 31st I wasn't feeling as optimistic as I had liked to but one thing I knew was that I wanted to make 2016 a more positive and focused year.
2015 was a year of learning and jumping many hurdles.
This only means one thing in my world, after a mental detox with meditation and time to myself I knew I need a change of look
as it had been a long time since I had one so I woke up one day with that itch to do something crazy and as I had a morning of errands I knew I would find at least one decent hairdresser open. I say decent because it's sometimes difficult to find a hairdresser in Barcelona that shows professionalism, good styles, are not too expensive and that are open all day! I found one that ticked all the boxes. The salon was right next to my dentist so what way to reward myself after a painful session at the dentist. I found Centros mimas on Calle Diputación and it had a very professional feel to it. The staff are young and very polite and they gave me a nice talk before letting me decide.
I had the idea of what I wanted and the hairdresser helped with the decision. Usually I go for cutting my hair really short but it has taken me a good few years to grow these locks so I thought why not dye it and destroy it till I need to cut it (I will take good care of my hairi) I decided to go Pink, but not the type i'd usually go fo like fucsia, this time I opted for a more subtle and pastel pink.  The result was fantastic. I was really happy with the result knowing it wouldn't last. 





The hairdresser told me before dying my hair that the colour would go straight away but I didnt know how little it would last. After a week it's gone a more blonde colour. It doesn't look bad but I like the pink!

Getting my hair done wasn't expensive but it would turn out to be if I had to go every week to the hairdresser, so aside from getting my hair bleached in an actual hairdresser, (I think it's preferable to get it done at a salon as they will know how to look after your hair and know the timings according to your hair). However, I've decided to colour my hair myself. I'm going to go for pink again and hope it lasts longer than a week. If not I may go for another pastel colour like Smokey or Ocean Storm. This dye is from   Wella Professionals Instamatic by Color Touch and the colour i'll be trying is Pink Dream. This is the most similar colour I got done last week.
Let's hope it lasts a little longer than the original colour put in. I'll give an update next week.