Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mi AIG llegó de Valencia (con horchata!)

 El viernes en la tarde mi esposo tomó el día libre, así es que yo aproveché para dormir un poco más (hemos tenido más de un par de noches difíciles). En cuanto la bebé decidió dormir, me fui yo también derechita a los brazos de Morfeo.

Entre sueños escuché el timbre y me pareció que Mark abría la puerta y firmaba por la recepción de un paquete.

En efecto, cuando desperté estaba ahí una enorme caja de cartón y al ver que había sido enviada desde España (de Valencia, en concreto), supe que sí, que era mi AIG (Amigo Invisible Gastronómico). Muchas gracias Adi, de Dulce y Azucarado.

En ese momento teníamos que salir, pero yo muerta de la curiosidad me fui con todo y caja y aproveche para ir abriendo el paquete en el coche. Fue muy divertido porque Adi empacó todo muy bien.

Como ir destapando una serie de muñecas rusas, dentro de la caja de cartón había un paquete azul en una bolsa de plástico, y dentro del paquete azul una caja de flores rosas y lilas, también envuelta en plástico.  Luego ya, dentro de la caja de flores, los regalitos,  envueltos individualmente!

Cada regalito fue elegido con mucho cuidado, y de verdad que Adi acertó en todo:

-un paquete de concentrado para prepara horchata de chufa
-una latita metálica de búhos llena de mazapán casero de almendras. Estaba delicioso, tanto, que no ha salido en las fotos, nos lo comimos rapidísimo.
-un molde de silicón para formar flores y guías en fondant
-unos moldecitos, también de silicón para cupcakes en forma de tacitas de té.
-un libro de decoración de tartas en fondant.
-auténtica chufa de Valencia
-una carta muy linda donde me enteró de pequeños detalles como que Adi y su esposo comparten la casa con un gato y dos hurones y que colaboran con la sociedad protectora de animales. Además de que también les encanta viajar y cocinar.

Muchísimas gracias por todo, de verdad que me ha hecho mucha ilusión. Me tendré que apurar a preparar auténtica horchata (me recuerda tanto mis días por Barcelona) y algún que otro postre, me has dado la idea de probar un flan con sabor a horchata. Digo que me tendré que apurar porque mi esposo es un goloso y es capaz de tomarse el jarabe tal cual.

A mí me ha tocado enviar un paquete hasta Tenerife, a Cristian del blog Arandabuesa. Si tienen curiosidad de ver lo que he enviado, aquí está su entrada.

De nuevo muchas, muchas gracias a Jess (de Decogalletas) por organizar el intercambio, es genial poder participar cada año en estas iniciativas que demuestran que esto del internet no es un lugar de aislamiento antisocial, sino todo, todo lo contrario.

Monday, November 17, 2014

World Prematurity Day

When our dear daughter was born 6 weeks early, it took us completely by surprise. The hospital bag wasn't ready, we hadn't yet put on the plastic mattress protector on our bed, my mom still had to arrive and I had big plans for washing her clothes and preparing all kinds of food to be frozen. She didn't have socks or a towel and we had no diapers.

All of those things and the ones I don't remember ended up being secondary and not very important (except for my mom, who was able to change her flight and arrive 3 weeks earlier than planned).

But the excellent medical care baby Y. received during the first three weeks of her life was crucial and we will forever be grateful for every neonatologist, pediatrician, nurse, lactation expert and staff member of the hospital where she was born. The support we received, the patience when answering to my endless questions, the knowledge and savoir-faire when it came to her first days is something we can never thank them enough for.

Today is World Prematurity Day. I thought I would share some information, only raising awareness will more babies be saved.

For some reason I can not set the infographics to appear larger, but if you follow these links you will be able to read them:  National Premmie Foundation and BioMedCentral

Friday, November 14, 2014

Motherhood: hypocrisy edition

Motherhood has changed me in many deep ways .

One of the aspects that has changed the most in me, hand-in-hand with the fierce will to protect our daughter, is an almost fundamentalism when it comes to food.
I've read, I've watched documentaries, I consider myself well-informed. We try to eat healthy food most of the time, but we also love our sugar, our salt, our dairy products, our meat.

We do get organic products whenever possible and we are on a mostly (70%) vegetarian diet. We do not buy pre-cooked or frozen meals and we try to avoid fast food. There is no ketchup in the house (at this moment).

And yet, when it comes to the child I have the tendency to become extreme.

We do not give her products that contain sugar. At some point the health center recommended "baby cookies" but I still refuse to give her those because they contain high fructose syrup. I make all of her food at home, we avoid salt (as her kidneys are still immature and can't process it yet); we do not, except on very rare exceptional situations, get her baby food in pots. I haven't dared to give her ham or other curated meats yet because nitrates are a known carcinogenic factor. She has had some yoghurt and cheese, but in small quantities. I still have trouble getting my head around the new tendencies that say dairy products, and particularly milk, are not the perfect product I was taught (The Harvard school of Public Health and Medical School have excluded dairy products from their daily dietary recommendations). Breaking paradigms is hard.

I know very well I can not protect her from everything, and that very fast she will be exposed to all kinds of risks and dangers. It is life. I can not attempt to keep her pure, perfect and sheltered. And while I have all these strong feelings regarding food, particularly, I sit there with her eating cake while she eats her vegetables, oh the hypocrisy.**

Has motherhood changed you in ways that you did not expect?

**(while at the same time my feeling of self, of who I am, remains intact).
** (I won't be able to do that for long though, because these days she tends to steal whatever it is I am eating. Which I guess is a good thing because she is forcing us to make better choices).

Monday, November 3, 2014

No-sew Twink & Rainbow Brite costumes

Rainbow Brite was always one of my favorite cartoons growing up. I probably still have a doll somewhere at home. I used to love it when I was 5. So when I saw this Twink (Rainbow Brite's white little fluffy helper) costume tutorial, I knew I had to give it a try. It is just, so cute. This is the reason people have babies!

Via PinkSuedeShoes Twink costume tutorial
 Unfortunately the instructions were not as easy as I thought... the "easy" tutorial asked for an actual pattern and a a sewing machine! Really? I was not able to make curtains, and I certainly do not have  the time or concentration to figure out how to sew right now.  But, the post did inspire me to find a way to make this happen.

One of the presents baby Y. received from one of our dear friends is a fluffy, hooded, white vest. I thought it would do the trick, so I tried. Next was getting rainbow- babylegs. I searched all over, but most companies would not ship them to Europe and I didn't find them anywhere in the Netherlands. I didn't give up, though, and I finally found a shop that would send them to us (and provided great customer-service too!).

Next I got some colourful foam sheets and pipecleaners and I was all set. I just made the blue belt, pocket, rainbow and stars for the antennae from the foam, and I attached everything together with double-sided tape and safety-pins.

Of course I wanted to be Rainbow-Brite as well, so I went on and fulfilled a life-long dream of getting bright orange hair and wore a blue-dress. I could have looked for rainbow leg-warmers for my arms and legs, and maybe with some red sneakers or even moon-boots it'd have  looked a lot better, but here we are. A super cute costume with material that I had laying around the house: scissors, tape, cardboard, a red onesie, red socks, a blue dress, and the white vest.

This might be my favorite Halloween (though admitedly not very scary) disguise ever. Did you dress-up this Halloween?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Molletes and hot chocolate

 Today I am over at Craftie Mum, the blog of Catarina, a portuguese writer, translator and expat in The Hague who writes about fun activities and things to do with children .

I a sharing a recipe for Molletes, a classic Mexican breakfast or dinner snack, made out of bread, refried beans, cheese and pico-de-gallo salsa.

Head over there for the recipe!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The busiest weekend at Engaged

We made it. I haven't been writing over here as much as I have been wanting to because the last couple of weeks have been hectic, with the preparations for the wedding fair,  with birthdays of friends and our everyday walks, with normal life that doesn't stop, cooking, doing the laundry, reading... and yeah, trying to get some rest as well.

As our first time at a wedding fair we were quite nervous and excited. We didn't know what to expect, we wanted to show that we are professional, and we were looking forward to meeting other people in the industry, as well as potential customers.

It was really, really a good experience (we did end up collapsed in bed on Sunday, and on Saturday as well, baking batch after batch of the lemon-raspberry and chocolate fudge cake bites that we offered in our stand). We met lots of other like-minded small companies with great ideas, wedding planners, stylists, bloggers and couples.

We made a few naive, rooky mistakes that luckily we were able to save at the last moment. The instructions for the fair clearly stated NOT to hang anything from the walls. Then, I got assigned an island stand in the middle of the fair, in front of the main entrance, and we thought:  "well, that solves the issue, if there is no wall behind us, no need to worry about that".

 Well, when we arrived on Saturday morning for the big setup we realized a). that we were right in front of a black, tall pole, part of the structure of the building and b). that everyone had set up all kinds of backdrops made, for example, of ribbons, old doors, lace curtains, cork boards, wooden stairs...

Luckily for us, that day we were meeting one of the boy's best friends, who happens to be a very creative engineer and is also very much into design and we were able to came up with a simple but pretty ( I think) solution.

I am really happy we participated and I hope it will give us exposure and hopefully some of the couples will decide to have their wedding cake  made by us.

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