November 24, 2016

Vegan Carob Cake Recipe


Truth be told, I hadn't baked in a while, let alone taking pictures of my creations or blogging about it! I feel like recently all I have time to do is cook proper meals, since to be honest, having to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day for two and a half doesn't leave you much spare time!

A couple weeks ago, we treated one of our friends to a vegan cooking class for her 30th birthday, and it was such a fun experience! The dessert was a carob brownie, which inspired me to cook this vegan carob cake this week. 



For those of you not familiar with carob, it's a healthy alternative to chocolate because it's naturally sweet, high in fiber, low in fat, has twice the amount of calcium compared to cocoa and, most importantly specially for kids or caffeine-sensitive people, it doesn't have caffeine.

I got the recipe from here (in Spanish), and it's SO GOOD! I feel like next time I want to go cocoa-free the whole way though, because this recipe has a bit of chocolate in it.



You know I'm a huge chocolate lover, but this doesn't mean I don't have a major crush on carob ever since I first tasted it a couple weeks ago. Some people dislike it because, obviously, it will never taste 100% like chocolate, but I simply love it. It's slightly different yet totally mesmerizing. 

So without much ado, here comes the recipe!

VEGAN CAROB BANANA CAKE

  • 2 or 3 over-ripe bananas
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup of carob flour
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 spoons of pure unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 spoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 spoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of oat milk
  1. Blend the bananas, sugar, oat milk and olive oil together.
  2. On a separate bowl, mix the spelt flour, carob flour, baking powder, cocoa and cinnamon.
  3. Gently place the dry mixture on the liquid batter and keep folding until blended. Fold in 1/2 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.
  4. Pour the mixture into a pound cake pan or any other baking dish of your preference.
  5. Last but not least, distribute the remaining 1/2 of chopped walnuts on top of the batter so as to create a nice coat.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 170C.
TIP: This recipe will be even healthier if you use 1 cup of dates or 1/2 of molasses instead of the sugar. 



***********

RECETA EN ESPAÑOL

BIZCOCHO DE ALGARROBA VEGANO

                                                        2 o 3 plátanos maduros

1 taza y 1/2 de harina de espelta

1/2 taza de harina de algarroba

1 taza de nueces picadas

1/2 taza de aceite de oliva

2 cucharadas de cacao puro en polvo
1/2 cucharada de canela en polvo
2 cucharadas de levadura
1/2 taza de azúcar moreno
1 taza de leche de avena


               - Bate en un bol los plátanos, el azúcar, la leche de avena y el aceite de oliva.

- En otro bol, mezcla la harina de espelta, la harina de algarroba, la levadura, el cacao y la canela.

- Incoropora la mezcla del punto número 2 al bol del punto número 1 con movimientos envolventes hasta que esté bien integrado. Añade 1/2 taza de nueces y integra suavemente.

- Pon la mezcla en un molde y esparce el resto de las nueces por encima.

- Hornea a 170C durante 50-60 minutos. 

NOTA: Puedes sustituir el azúcar por 1 taza de dátiles o 1/2 taza de melaza.

I hope you like it as much as we did. Thanks for reading!!! 


October 27, 2016

Second Baby Gender Reveal


* Boy or Girl?! *
 
I know you guys have been waiting for a long time for this post! Thanks for bearing with me and having patiently awaited until the gender reveal pics were ready!


So, without further ado, here it comes! Our second baby is a...


 BABY BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Almost everyone thought we were having a girl this time around! So if you're one of the ones who thought so, please comment below to let me know why! :p Also, on yesterday's Instagram post, a lot of you thought the surprise I was referring to was that we were having twins!!! Definitely not, what I meant is barely anyone bet for a boy, and that's what our little one is!




It's a little prince we've been blessed with!!! And the other major reveal... His name...



* NOAM *

Noam is a name of Hebrew origin, and it means "pleasantness, charm, tenderness".
I think Noam is really similar to Liam, and I love these two names for the 2 brothers! They are going to be 2.5 years apart, and I'm not sure I can handle so much cuteness! :p


It took me a while to decide on Holi Powder for this gender reveal. You may remember we did Liam's with balloons! I love the result and we could have never done it without the help of our friend KC Leung, our photographer for the day. These pictures require so much movement, it would have been impossible to take them as we usually do, with a tripod.


Baby Noam is due in less than 15 weeks, and we all love him so much already it's crazy! Liam likes kissing mommy's belly and even pronounces Noam's name better than his own haha! 


I hope you liked the pictures, we put so much love in them and hopefully we can show them to our Noam one day! <3 Thanks for reading!



October 24, 2016

Summer 2016


Our summer couldn't have started any better, after finding out we were expecting our second baby on the 6th of June :) Shortly after that, on the 11th, our road trip in southern France started, and we spent 10 lovely days in a secret early babymoon discovering the Languedoc-Roussillon, Camargue, and Provence regions. 


One thing we soon realized was how much better did French schedule fit our family rather than the Spanish one. French have lunch (as most of the world does I think) a bit before 1PM, and dinner around 7:30PM. In Spain, we eat at 2-3PM and 9-10PM respectively. This schedule is really bad for going out to restaurants with toddlers who need to nap/sleep by the time we're just starting to eat. Eating earlier as the French do definitely smoothed our trip a lot, as Liam was ok during lunch (it was in fact his lunch time as well), and same goes for dinner. 



In the Camargue region, we specially enjoyed the salt mines of Aigues-Mortes. They were SO pretty with their pink color, it was such an enjoyment for the eyes! There were several huge, white salt mountains around, and we were allowed on one of them! We took these pics below while on it, and Liam and I dared trying the salt directly from the ground :p



The Provence region was our main destination, and getting to visit the lavender fields was a dream of mine that finally came true! The bloom had just started in June, but they were already absolutely gorgeous.




We also enjoyed discovering Les Baux de Provence, St Remy de Provence, and Roussillon, lovely little Provence towns we fell in love with.

Les Baux de Provence

Roussillon

The farthest we went in our trip was Les Gorges du Verdon, which is the beginning of the Verdon river, an absolute delight, it was SO pretty! We really enjoyed this one-day trip.





The most pleasant surprise from our trip though, was our last stop: Collioure, a lovely little French town by the sea next to the Catalan border. I chose it because it was in the middle of Arles (our last real stop) and our home in Barcelona, but it ended up being a major highlight of the trip. We absolutely loved being in the seaside after spending our trip in the inland, and Collioure truly surprised us by being absolutely gorgeous. 




In July, I had major bleeding in my 9th week of pregnancy as I explained here and was on sick leave for 77 days, so I didn't take much pictures... 


When Liam's school term got to an end by the end of July, we moved to our beach house and Liam and I spent the whole month there.  The hubby came back everyday after work, luckily it's not too far from Barcelona. I didn't exactly get to rest having to take care of Liam one-on-one, but it was the best for him, he had a blast every single day! So I guess that makes it all worth it :) Plus my 20 week ultrasound confirmed everything was ok with my pregnancy and I could go back to work, so yay!



We also celebrated Liam's second birthday on August 28th, which is when we also announced that we were expecting our second baby. We've just recently taken the gender reveal pics, so you know which post will be next! I hope to post it within this week.

Thanks for taking your time to read all the way until here, I hope you liked our little summer summary!

September 22, 2016

Second Pregnancy: 20 weeks ultrasound


It seems surreal to me that I'm already halfway through my pregnancy, but I'm so glad I am because this is definitely the best half! I'm already feeling my baby kicking inside of me, my bump is showing nicely and, most importantly after thinking I was going to die in the first trimester due to morning sickness, I don't feel nauseated and my energy is back!


We went in for my 20 weeks ultrasound last week when I was 19w4d pregnant. This is probably the most important ultrasound in the whole pregnancy, because they check every single one of the baby's organs to the detail. Luckily, everything was just fine, not only with the baby but with myself as well, as the internal bleeding I had is completely cleared! We were over the moon about these news, and also about the fact the ultrasound confirmed the baby's gender as it was told to us in my 14 weeks ultrasound. Thank God, because we have been buying stuff and calling the baby the gorgeous name we have picked for her/him already!


Here are some ultrasound pics I'll treasure forever, how cute is this baby already?! Top to bottom: 12w4d, 14w5d and 19w4d.


Now, time to connect with this baby and let him/her know just how much I love him/her already! Oh, and time style my bump as well! I'm really enjoying putting together lovely maternity outfits!!! Are there any maternity fashion brands you'd recommend?

Love,



August 29, 2016

Second pregnancy


Yes, friends, this is finally happening! Our second baby is alive and kicking inside my womb! I feel so blessed and happy and over the moon I can barely breath. I already love this baby so much it's crazy. We found out we were pregnant on June 6th at 5ish AM! I woke up and had to pee but I didn't want to let my first pee of the day {the best to check for pregnancy} go to waste without doing the home test we had decided we would do that day since it was the day my period was due. So I decided I might as well just do the test at 5AM! We had been trying for a couple months without success already so I wasn't super nervous anyway. It goes without saying it was a mind blowing moment when the two stripes came out and I confirmed I was indeed finally pregnant again! You know what they say, third time's charm!!! It was at least for us! The thing is the pregnancy stripe came up even before the control stripe did (you need to be a little familiar with prengnacy tests to know what I'm talking about here), so it was even crazier! Because in that nanosecond before the control stripe came up (the urine reaches the pregnancy stripe first), I already knew I was pregnant but still had to see two lines to be absolutely sure and it was such a moment OMG! It's amazing how some seconds can have such deep impact in our lives, I will never forget the moment I saw I was pregnant with Liam, and I think the same will happen this time around! I went running {flying?!} to our room where Liam and the hubby were sleeping in our bed. I turned on the hallway light because I needed some light but I didn't want Liam to wake up either and I flashed the test in front of J's eyes after shacking his shoulder a bit. I think he was a bit too sleeppy to properly see anything on the test, but my smirking face was probably all he needed to see to know what was going on. He asked: Yes?? I said Yes!!!!! And again: Yes??? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And we hugged and kissed in an absolute state of bliss for a good two hours before falling asleep again for a little bit before the alarm went off. All of this without waking up little Liam sleeping on our same bed, ha! =D

Now, with this being said, this pregnancy hasn't been as smooth as was Liam's. The first trimestre was a bit better nausea-wise since I didn't throw up as much, but I felt way more drained physically. I guess it's normal since I now have Liam to look after and he requires SO much energy! 



Other than this, we had a horrible episode when I was 9 weeks pregnant, we thought we lost the baby and it was the most heart-breaking feeling I've ever felt. On Monday July the 4th around 9PM when we were almost ready for dinner, I noticed something coming out. At first I thought it was maybe just vaginal discharge, but after a while I thought it was too much and went to the bathroom. To my dismay, it was blood. Bright red fresh blood that wouldn't stop. I don't think I've ever felt the pain I felt at that moment. I feel so sorry that Liam had to see me like this, too. I know he still remembers. We left to the hospital immediately but it wasn't until after midnight that they admitted me in for an ultrasound. At that point my sanitary napkin was full and I felt so miserable. I just couldn't understand what the doctor meant when she said everything looked fine. I thought: the miscarriage looks just fine? But she said, the BABY looks fine! And she turned the screen so that I could see. My baby was there indeed, and I was able to listen to its heart. By then, the hubby and Liam where not with me because Liam hadn't been fed before leaving home and they had to go back at some point so that he could have his bottle and maybe fall asleep before coming to pick me up. I felt sorry J couldn't be there to see the baby, but the most important thing was that everything was just fine. There was no sign of internal bleeding either and didn't know where the blood had come from. They diagnosed me with miscarriage risk and sent me home on bed rest until my first official ultrasound three weeks later, the 12 weeks one. I spent two weeks literally not moving from bed more than to go to the toilet and to eat, and I started going out on the third week, when I started to feel better. 

Soon enough it was time for my 12 weeks ultrasound, and I was convinced I would be able to go back to work after that. Unfortunately, a retrochorionic hematoma, where the placenta attaches to the uterus, was discovered during this ultrasound, filling me with worries again and being confined to more rest. A couple weeks later, we did a follow up ultrasound and the hematoma was still there, albeit a bit smaller. I was sent home to more rest until my 20 weeks ultrasound, and this is where I am at the moment. 

I am now 17 weeks along, and I have been feeling the baby kicking since 16w 1d, which is a major relieve, too! :) Also, in my 14w 5d ultrasound we found out the gender of the baby! It is to be confirmed 100% at my 20 weeks ultrasound, but I do hope they were right because I've started buying clothes already! My due date is February, 4th, 2017, my babies will be 2.5 years apart, since my Liam turned 2 just yesterday! {Happy happy birthday my treasure, mama loves you SO much!}


This was a lenghty post, but it couldn't be otherwise after having been MIA for so long!

Prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby will be much appreciated. 

Love,