wtorek, 8 grudnia 2015

Happy Dress

I find it hard to find pretty and stylish dresses for my little girl. Dresses that would have this elegant charm and sweetness without being to cute. Too many times I see overload of that awful bright shade of pink screaming from the shelves and hangers in girls section. Overuse of bows, frills and cequines doesn't help either.
Therefore when I spotted this dress I knew that we need to get it, that it was so unique it would be terrible to miss it. We wear at crafts market and the dress is hand made and designed in Ireland. It possess this old fashion, timeless charm and is beautifully finished. It was created by brand called HappyClose. Can't wait for the little one to wear it next summer!

niedziela, 22 listopada 2015

Courgette vegan fritters

This delicious new recipe has been recently tested by me. I knew it will be vegan one and for some reason I didn't want to believe in it. I had eggs ready at hand to add to the mixture but I decided to wait and see if the original recipe will work. And it did! The dough was very sticky and there was no need to add anything else. What it consist of is grated courgette, flour, sun dried tomatoes, lemon peel, capers and fresh parsley if you have it. Salt and pepper to taste. Couple of minutes on the frying pan and voila - ready! They taste so light and are full of flavour - gentle hint of lemon makes them irresistible. Will be making them again very soon!

piątek, 20 listopada 2015

Best use of parsnip

My new culinary discovery this week was delicious parsnip and pear soup. So easy and so tasty! Also quite different - would make a perfect starter for a dinner party. What is needed is just parsnips, pears, vegetable bouillon and almond flakes to garnish. Step one is to peel all to roots and cut in small pieces. Once that's done cook them slowly in the pot with olive oil for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh or dry thyme. Then add peeled pear and let them cook for another 5 minutes and pour the bouillon and let it simmer for 15 minutes once parsnip is soft. After that is just blending, seasoning and serving! Voila! 

czwartek, 19 listopada 2015

Back in love with Brussels Sprouts

I can honestly say I love all vegetables but one - brussels sprouts. I can still eat them but they definitely won't be on my top 10 list. I tried couple of times to cook them in a new innovative way, but without much luck. It's just the bitterness that dominates their flavor is bothering me and I can't get rid of it.
Recently it happened that a box from a friendly farmer ended up in our kitchen, full of fresh, seasonal vegetables straight from the farm. Among carrots, cabbage and parsnips here it was - two branches of green and beautiful brussels sprouts. I don't like wasting anything in my household so I knew I have to find a new way of preparing them. Researching through my cooking books I found something that was easy enough and didn't require any special ingredients - it was brussels sprouts winter soup - perfect timing! Thanks Jadlonomia! Within next 40 minutes I had absolutely delicious meal ready for dinner and I loved it! So far the best recipe I found for using up little cabbages. I've thrown in parsnip, carrot and apple and some organic bulgur and voila!

wtorek, 27 października 2015

Fall favourites

September brought autumn to the island. October came and it is fall season in full swing. My personal favourites to look forward at this time of year are delicious creamy root vegetables soups, new pumpkin recipes to try out, hot herbal tea infusions like cardamom tea, playing board games and catching up on our favourite tv series.
Can't wait to putting all the old photos together and getting them printed out. Couple of projects here to be done mostly documenting first two years of life of our beautiful little girl.
Looking forward to doing it all!

czwartek, 15 października 2015

Andalusia - my favourites

During our stay in Andalusia we tried to balance relaxed days with sightseeing and spending as much time as possible playing with little H.
 Our hotel was amazing - set right on the beach with beautiful views on the sea and mountains. Fantastic pool area and small pool for babies were great place to relax in the sun and provided plenty of fun for the little one. Nice green grounds around the hotel were indispensable for our active girl to run around - it was great advantage of this small resort and we loved it.
 However every other second day we headed out to discover local towns, villages and andalusian culture. Here's a list of my favourite places we have been to.
Ronda - recommended town by all guidebooks didn't disappoint us. Full of character thanks to the breathtaking canion. Beautiful views, one of the oldest bull rings and a museum was worth the visit. 
Cesares - this was a total surprise and probably the best trip of the whole holiday. We found it by chance deciding on a whim to extend our drive and head towards what was on a local map - town with picture of a castle' ruins.  It turned out to be absolutely magical - very quiet and beautiful little white town - pueblos blancos as they known locally. We walked around through tiny cobbled streets in silence, listening to surrounding sounds. It was extremely peaceful - perhaps because of the siesta time. We had super relaxed lunch there in a small village cafe, by ourselves and H was playing with a cute dog who kept us company. It was magical and unforgettable experience.
Ojen - another little town where at the time of our visit, preparation for a local festival was happening. Amazing, windy streets, secret side caves and very cool museum of oil of olive and local eau de vie de Ojen. Really enjoyed that museum as was always curious how olive oil is made.
Estepona - next town by the coast from Marbella, quite touristy but what I like about it was beautiful long beach and lovely promenade perfect for a long walk with stunning views. This town also has one of the coolest restaurants we went to called Rickie's. It's almost secret place hidden in a maze of small little white streets. The inside of it could not be further from Spanish style. It's been meticulously decorated with pictures of old Hollywood movie stars and tiny lamps that give the place this cool kitschy character. The food was also good!
Marbella's old town - very pretty old town with small streets and plenty of delicious restaurants.
Malaga - old town was really beautiful in Malaga with amazing cathedral in its centre. Lively little streets full of restaurants and shops gave it a real city vibe. Picasso's museum set in beautiful building was one of the highlights.
We also went to Giblartar, which was quite interesting. We got on the top of the rock by cable car and said hello to wild monkeys, the residents of the rock.
Overall this was a fantastic holiday, full of sun, good food and discoveries. We will be back!

wtorek, 29 września 2015

Late holidays

Our holidays season has come and we are lucky to had travelled abroad and discover beauty of Andalusia. This southern region of Spain is well known for its wonderful landscape, beaches and moorish architecture. 
We located ourselves in quiet part of Marbella city - Gualdamina. Our hotel has stunning views on the sea and mountains at the same time.
As much as we like to relax the plan is to go sightseeing too. We love exploring new places and different cultures and would love our little daughter to enjoy it too!

wtorek, 18 sierpnia 2015

Review of holiday packing tips

Surfing through the web in order to find some help on packing I found this wonderful blog A Pair and A Spare. The author has many posts on how to pack light and I've read all of them. Mixing her advice, tips for other places and my own experience - I'd packed, went on holidays and came back. Now it's time for some feedback and review. 
Firstly - destination: I was away for over two weeks, in a big city but knowing I might be going more relaxed places like countryside. Weather: very hot summer time, it turned out it was even warmer than expected.  
So I decided to follow the 5,4,3,2,1 rule which allows you to take 5 tops( including jacket), 4 bottoms, 3 dresses and 3 pairs of shoes, 2 handbags and 2 accessories - sunglasses and a straw hat in my case, 1 watch. What was super helpful was lying all the clothes and accessories on the floor and making sure I have a colour theme. This also allowed me to see different outfit combinations. Definitely something I will do again.
 However I know I've packed too many shoes - I could have lived in maybe two of them. 
Another feedback - there were two items I haven't worn at all - jeans jacket ( it was too hot for it) and a black top ( I had another one in black). 
Going forward I will definitely follow the rule but edit final picks even more to make sure I don't bring items I'm not going to wear. Can't wait to next holidays . Luckily another trip is still ahead of me in couple of weeks - destination Andalusia!

środa, 29 lipca 2015

Easy delicious dinners

To have an idea what to cook every night as a busy working mother is sometimes a bit of a chalange for me. Therefore I came up with idea to build up a list of fail safe favourites which tick all those three most important criteria when eating well:
They need to be:
- delicious
- don't require special ingredients
- quick to make
So far my favourites are: 
Veggie pasta
Veggie tortilla

All the above are well tested except recent discovery which is gratin.
So easy to make and you can throw in any veggies you have left over from the week.
Ratatouille is the one that takes a bit longer to cook, but huge advantage here is that it cooks itself - meaning after the hard work of chopping all your ingredients you just throw it in the pot and leave it on a small heat and let the magic happen. That's my favourite summer/ autumn dish! But we are loving them all!

wtorek, 14 lipca 2015

Mini holidays

Holidays it's something that I am to busy to even think about at the moment but every so often I get that message displayed in my brain: You need holidays! Half of the year is already gone and I'm staring to feel it. Also I'm being reminded about the fact that it's holiday season by all co workers and friends who are just about to go to some exotic places or just back. My body starts to scream for a break!
Luckily I got a fabulous birthday present from my husband - a weekend away in a hotel, spa hotel it is. Couple of years ago I would consider it as the most boring thing to do but when you a parent your views change dramatically. The idea of a spa weekend equals vision of heaven for me now. 
Set in the beautifully green part of Irish countryside the hotel proved to do the job. The tranquil setting helped enormously to recharge my batteries. The spa treatment was superb. The mini holidays were a big success and that quiet time will be remembered for long. Yes to more mini holidays!


To serve a desert or not to serve. To your child it is. My answer is definitely yes. The true secret is in balance and moderation and I wish I was a pro at this. But hey what life would be without trying to improve every day!
I've read an article about children food education that is part of their everyday upbringing in France and it made a lot of sense to me. Also I saw it in practice when and I spent time living with French families as an au pair. One of the things that stands out is the fact that children get cheese for dessert from a very early age. And they treat it as a desert. Such a great idea! There is a huge variety of cheese in France and they are truly delicious.
I've decided to try similar approach and serve cheese after dinner to our little girl- so far she tried soft ones like Camembert and harder types like cheddar. Begining wasn't to promising but now the little piece is dissapearing in no time!
Also natural yoghurt is a part of our dessert routine and a piece of fruit. No need to explain how delicious these are!

poniedziałek, 6 lipca 2015

Birthdays Season

End of June is a very busy season for us - 5 family members have birthday around that time including myself. 
I love celebrating and entertaining and don't think I'll ever grow out of this. 
Firstly the search for perfect presents begins, secondly - card making. As I am very determined to make my own cards, this takes time. I love crafting but don't have as much time to do it as I wished. The only way, as a full time working mother, is to become more organised and focused. But this is a completely different subject.
My newly discovered passion for cooking was fully indulged while preparing birthday lunch for my husband. We had a small family gathering and were lucky to enjoy rare summer weather and eat alfresco. Here is what we served:
- courgette, mint and feta salad ( delicious)
- green salad with tomatoes and herbs
- vegetable quiche
- prosecco for aperitif 
- mojito cheesecake ( sugar free)
Children ate the same as adults except for the drink and desert. 
The biggest excitement came with the cheesecake - it was frozen and super healthy. Luckily super delicious too!

wtorek, 16 czerwca 2015

Summer is here

Finally we got some better weather which is still very relative compared to other countries or even my native Poland. But we can't complain. Strong heat was never my thing so I'm happy with the weather the way it is in Ireland.
We could finally sit outside in our garden and enjoy the sun! Bliss!
Here's a list of other summer pleasures.
Strawberries. The flavour, taste oh my this is my favourite fruit ever. The seasonality and anticipation I'm sure amplifies my love but still nothing can't beat it to me.
Watermelons. So delicious that I could never resist a slice when I see them around. Love them chilled on a hot day. Also must try watermelon pizza recipe I saw somewhere online! Feta, balsamic vinegar and some fresh basil leaves- so simple!
Roses and other flowers. The joy of looking at and smelling flowers is unbeatable. I love going to roses gardens and smelling different colours of roses. I know it's a subtle type of fun and maybe sounds weird but I just can't stop myself doing it!
Prosecco. Or a glass of chilled white wine on a hot summer day with a delicious brunch. Heaven!
Picnics. Love eating outdoor and as close to nature as possible- on a blanket with some gorgeous food at hand and fantastic views.
Cycling. For me it's a summer activity only and very relaxing. Love going on a leisurely trip along the sea side. Bliss!

poniedziałek, 11 maja 2015

Super healthy cake

This cake didn't work for me before but I knew I have to try it again. The reason - it's so delicious and good for you! There is no added sugar in it and still it is amazingly sweet. The secret- four bananas! As simple as that! It also contains coconut flour and coconut oil, four eggs, baking powder, cinnamon and raw cocoa. Voila- super easy too!
 What if we could completely stop using sugar?! If I didn't need it here and yet managed to bake this delicious cake that must lead to some other discoveries!
 I'll challenge myself to experiment more in this direction. Because the outcome could be equally tasty!

czwartek, 7 maja 2015

London (with a) Baby

We had a fantastic long weekend - mostly because of the lovely people we spent it with but also because of the place. We were lucky to travel to England and visit London and our family. It's only an hour away by plane from Dublin, but even such a short flight is a bit of a chalange with a one year old. Once you are well organised and have tons of patience packer nothing can come into your way. More about flying with a baby some other time.
 One of the highlights of our UK trip was a visit at Godstone animal farm in the outskirts of London.
This place has an amazing variety of animals. From pigs, rabbits and chickens you can also see spiders, lams and snakes. There is also a vast play area with picnic tables. This is heaven for any young child but also for a parent. We absolutely loved it and would love to come back at some stage.
 On the other hand London itself is not the most child friendly place on Earth. Busy streets, underground stairs, tiny trains. At the same time it is not impossible to move a round, but definitely hard if you are on your own with a child in a buggy. We stuck to parks and  less popular streets. I'm sure we will come back with an older child to discover different museum and other attractions which are especially designed for kids. 

wtorek, 28 kwietnia 2015

Why I love flea markets

This Sunday we went to a flea market. I haven't been there in ages and that explains why I was so surprised. It has grown massively since my last visit and I was positively surprised. Even more - I was super excited to see this vibrant gathering of vintage sellers and happy buyers or lookers. It was also a nice sunny day which made it even more delicious to be there. Whole families were there and I was happy to see many 'modern' dads having their babies attached to there bodies in babie carriers. Such a great new movement! I think they now this makes them look cool.
I simply love browsing and poking at flea markets. I love finding original, different and sometimes funny items. I love talking to the sellers, asking them about the history of the items and simply having a nice chat. That's a part of the package I'd say. Flea markets are perfect for home decor - plenty of pictures, sculptures, paintings, plates, furnitures, accessories. That would be my first aim - to pick up something for the house. Then I love looking at vintage clothes too.
So this time I came back with this figurine. It's not small or light. This animal weights a tone but I love this shiny creature! 

wtorek, 21 kwietnia 2015

Spring views

Finally spring is visible! And that is a truly delicious view. I love looking at beautiful blossoming trees and flowers poping out everywhere. We are lucky to have a gorgeous park near us and lots of blossoming trees around the house. All the bright, rich colours are a delight for eyes. It's a pleasure to go for a walk and admire all those nature gifts. That also means it's time for garden work, but it's completely another story! Weather is getting better too, there are more sunny days now. We could wish for higher temperatures but that's to come anyway and hopefully soon.

wtorek, 14 kwietnia 2015


When should a baby start walking? Or crawling? Or smiling? All those developmental stages are very individual but if you start reading books which gives you timeframes it's quite easy to get too concerned if your child is not there yet. Especially for a first time moms. I know a friend who rushed to a doctor to have her baby checked out and see if she's ok despite not turning on her back at a certain age. That little girl is absolutely perfect and chasing butterflies no problem.
Our little Plum has just turned 15 months and not walking yet. While other kids younger than she is already running around. But I know she has time. Child suppose to make attempts to walk between 10 and 18 months - that is the official version of a experienced Public Health Nurse who is looking after us. And I am sticking with that advice.
Over last couple of weeks our girl made huge progress - she can climb sofa and chairs. Two days ago she had a go on this wooden trolly which is now her favourite toy. She is very close to making her first steps on her own. Still she has to get more stable while standing on her own.

But this could be it! She is almost there. And we are delighted! No rush my little girl!

czwartek, 2 kwietnia 2015

Day trip with a baby

We went away to Belfast to visit the Titanic museum. While the experience was amazing, the same cannot be said for the staff in the museums that was serving us. It was a lunch time for all of us and we went to the museum's little bistro to eat something. 
One of the great advantages of Baby Led  Weaning is the fact that your baby can eat whatever you eat providing its a healthy, nutritional meal with reduced salt. We have ordered a big salad and a burger ( for daddy only). Unfortunately all the pieces of food were landing on the floor. Not even underneath the high chair but in a wide radiance too! Normally we would pick up all the bigger pieces from the floor when we leaving as we don't like to leave a mess behind but this time we were really surprised by the reaction of the café's staff. They couldn't be nicer about the whole situation! We were told to not to worry about the mess and enjoy ourselves! They said it couple of times too! We ended up giving H our packed lunch from home and there was no problem with heating it up either. We appreciated it so much!
At the same time it's always good to apologise for the mess and extra work someone will have to do.
Hopefully this will not last for ever and throwing our food will end. This will be noted for sure!

czwartek, 5 marca 2015

A month without sugar

...was surprisingly sweet! 
I always knew sugar is bad for you, but we all know it - don't we? I was blissfully ignoring that fact for way too long. Following my uncontrollable binging on sweet things during the festive season the time has come to say stop. I've noticed increased cravings for sweets and realised its just a downward spiral. Also constant tiredness, mood swings and problems with focusing started to become alarming. And the last straw - clothes became suddenly way too tight.
Can't remember the exact day when I stopped eating refined sugar but that doesn't bother me. I know it's not for ever - life is too short to deny yourself creme brûlée (my favourite dessert) from time to time. But at the moment I am using nature's transition from winter to spring as a perfect moment to get rid of old bad habits and to recalibrate.
 First step for me was to cut out sweets. As my cravings for them were quite strong I had to find a replacement. I allowed myself to eat fruits and dried fruits too - but in moderation. I threw in nuts in the mix as well. It wasn't easy but it worked. After more than four weeks I feel cured of my bad habits. I know my taste changed too. I tried banana bread ( wanted to be polite) at a social occasion and it was shockingly sweet to me, way too sweet. 
But what I love most about it is the fact that I got more creative with my desserts. I have made delicious almond, dates and raw cocoa balls and they are just amazingly delicious. As my taste changed any fruit now is a huge treat. 
My clothes started fitting me better too.

wtorek, 24 lutego 2015

Surviving winter

Dark early evenings are almost gone but the freezing weather still holds strongly. 
While I'm stopping to dream about spring and summer, I'm doing my best to survive and even more - enjoy winter season. 
Here are my favourites things to do in winter ( not including here any snow or ice related sports. The country I'm leaving in doesn't get much snow)
- warm breakfast 
Oh I love porridge with almond milk and cinnamon. But recently I got hooked on milet groats with coconut milk, pomegranate and maple syrup. It's like best party in my mouth. Also I started warming up brown flakes with almond milk and coconut. Delicious!
- warm smoothies
My favourite is warm almond milk with banana, two dates, walnuts and cinnamon 
- evening Netflix sessions 
We are finishing Homeland on our projector screen. Brilliant view and no ads at all!

wtorek, 17 lutego 2015

The V day weekend

We never cared to much about Valentines but it would be risky if one of us forget about it. Simple flowers are enough to mark the occasion and this year I got lovely no fuss bouquet of red roses. Love them! We also decided to give each other a book and cook for each other. Mine was the desert and I created it according to my own recipe. The challenge was that there has to be no added sugar as we are both trying to give it up. The result was amazing I must say and we felt great after it. I made a blueberry tower. The layers are made of paste of raisins with dates, ground almond, bit of corn flour and a tbs of row cocoa powder. I baked them for 10 mins. On the top there is Greek yoghurt with almond flakes and it's all garnished with some grated hazelnuts in Orange juice. Delicious! 
Other then this we were tiding up the house. Very romantic.

niedziela, 8 lutego 2015

It's a getting better weekend

Last week was really tough for all of us. Our nanny got sick and poor baby Plum had to be taken out of her rutine and transported to her granny so she could be minded in her house. The temperature dropped down again and we all got sick. Runny noses, blocked noses and chesty cough. Not fun for an adult and definitely nothing pleasant for a little girl. When I start sneezing I always reach for a natural remedy. I am strong believer that nature can cure us from anything. It's also been well documented in many books but where I got that from was my own mother and grandmothers advices.
So here is what I was drinking all day yesterday and previous evening. I feel great now. I know it's easy to buy lemsip, fervex or any other over the counter quick chemical fix-me-ups. But they actually cause more bad side effect and all the chemicals stay long in your body. 
Than why not trust old Mother Nature?
This quick hot drink is easy, accessible and delicious. I put a slice of lemon, slice of ginger and a tablespoon of honey into a cup and pour hot water in it, voila! 

Na katar i przeziebienie zawsze najpierw siegam po naturalne sposoby radzenia sobie z nimi. Pyszny napar z cytryny i imbiru z odrobina miodu jest moim sprawdzonym przepisem na cieknacy nos i pierwsze symptomy choroby. Tym razem po raz kolejny mnie nie zawiodl!

czwartek, 5 lutego 2015

Winter mornings

It is so cold at the moment, middle of winter here. I'm looking for delicious views and tastes and flavours to wake me up and make the process a bit less harsh for me. So far I love:
- my orchid flower blossoming 
- hot water with lemon - I love lemon flavour
- warm soya milk with my bran flakes and bit of coco
- winter sky
Co tu zrobic by zimowe poranki byly lzejsze. Oto moje pick me up!

sobota, 31 stycznia 2015

Sweet dreams smoothie

After a super busy day and last nights visit to hospital emergency dept with our little one, I was dying to relax and just chill out. As I decided to try to quit sugar, I'm getting creative with evening deserts. 
This time I came up with a hot smoothie. It's beyond delicious! Creamy, sweet and coconuty. Here's how I made it. It takes literally 5 minutes!
Heat up a glass of plant milk - I used soya and almond.
Pour warm milk to a blender with two dates, 4 walnuts, 3 tbs of desicated coconut, couple of raisins and blend it all for 3 minutes. Voila! 

wtorek, 27 stycznia 2015

Yoga challenge

I'm back practising yoga again! Finally I had no choice really as my Christmas indulgence went a bit overboard. I just had to do it! So I'm delighted to exercise again and trying out different classes. For me it's not really exercising which has a slightly negative connotation. To me yoga is simply delicious pleasure!
The begining was hard, but three weeks on I feel a little bit fitter and definitely more calm inside. I tried the following classes: hot yoga, vinyasa, ashtanga, mindful yoga and yoga- pilates. My favourite are vinyasa and yoga-pilates. Genius!

Also trying out new green juices. So far I hate them, maybe using wrong recepies. But nothing that is both delicious and healthy will not get my aproval.

Wreszcie udalo mi sie wrocic do jogi! Wyprobowuje rozne zajecia, jak narazie moje ulubione to vinyasa i joga- pilates. Sama przyjemnosc!
Po trzech tygodniach juz odczuwam pozytywne zmiany. Ach jakie to cudowne uczucie, wiedzac, ze cos dziala!

poniedziałek, 26 stycznia 2015

Super delicious balls (and sugar & gluten free)

Struggling a bit during my transition period of quitting refined sugar, last Saturday I whipped these beauties up! Not only beautiful outside but also inside. No added sugar and gluten free too - if you into that. Simply delicious and deliciously simple. Genious.
Rasin & dates balls:
You need:
- raisins (handful)
- 3 dates
- ground almond ( about 5 tbs)
- ground hazelnuts (4 tbs)
- zest of half lemon
- one ts of vanilla extract
- two tbs of organic raw cocoa
Soak the raisins and dates in hot water for at least 15 minutes. Then remove the water ( keep it just in case it gets to thick) and mix all the ingredients in a blander for 4 minutes or until smooth. Form little balls and roll them in raw cocoa, hazelnuts or desicated coconut. Makes around 12 little balls. Enjoy!
Super delicious and healthy! 

Chcecie odciac sie od cukru i slodyczy na dobre ale jednoczesnie nie tracac na jakosci zycia? Oto rozwiazanie idealne - pyszne kulki rodzynkowo orzechowe.
Ukrecilam je probujac zastapic czyms moje niezdrowe slodkosci. Nie wroce do nich juz nigdy!

czwartek, 22 stycznia 2015

Big organic shopping

I bought loads of organic goodies to try out. One of my presents for Christmas was this amazing cooking book with vegan receipies, beautifully published called Jadlonomia. It's by a Polish author and was released in Poland only. For now I'd say as its flying of the shelves. Inspired by the book I got some products I have never tried before like tempeh. I'm not even entirely sure what it is. I tried out first recipe last night and it came out quite delicious! 
I have also made almond milk myself. Surprisingly easy. I'm very excited to try out more!

Zainspirowana ksiazka Jadlonomia kupilam pare produktow, ktore do tej pity byly mi nie znane. Zrobilam tez sama migdalowe mleko. Pysznosci! Wkrotce wyprobuje wiecej przepisow, nie moge sie juz doczekac.