Banana and chocolate chip muffin recipe 

My 2 year old son loves them and my husband can’t get enough of them! 

I have a very picky toddler when it comes to food, but he absolutely loves these!
Ingredients for 30 muffins:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup of brown sugar

4 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup of milk 

2 eggs

4 ripe mashed up bananas

100 gr chocolate chips 
Combine everything together, and mix with the mixer for a couple of minutes! Next pour the mixture in the muffin cases and their ready for the oven!
 

Preheat the oven and bake at 180C with fan or gas mark 6 for about 30 minutes.
Enjoy! If you try this recipe please let me know what you think!!!

Advertisements

Trying to make the best out of a bad situation 

I am trying very hard to stay positive during this hard time. My exhaustion and stress have taken their toll on my body. For the past few weeks I’ve been in and out of doctors offices for various reasons. Just last week I went to 5 different specialists! I have been having some gynecological issues where I’ve been poked around by 4 different doctors and still haven’t figured out what’s going! I’m currently waiting for some results to come out and then I’ll have to see my doctors again to figure out a game plan. 

Even now as I’m writing this I am sitting in a hospital waiting to see a doctor for a cyst that showed up out of nowhere under my tongue. This is the 4th doctor I am seeing about this and hopefully the last. I definitely have to have it removed and I am looking to have it done with local anesthetic rather than a full on surgery.

As you may or may not know I live in Greece. This both good and bad. If you have been following the news these past few years, you probably know that the economy here has gone to shit. Unfortunately we (my husband and I) have been caught up in this misfortune. I wont go into details but we are in a very hard situation at the moment.

The good side of living in Greece is that we currently have beautiful weather (18 degrees Celsius) which means we can spend our days outside in the sunshine. This a huge help psychologically! My son has a blast outdoors and passes out for his afternoon nap which is also a massive help!!! 

My son Leandros (or Leo) is 21 months old and is at the very best stage of his life. I absolutely love spending my days with him. He is a funny little human who loves making us laugh! Obviously we have our hard times, but my little man is what keeps me going! 

I can’t wait to get through all this medical crap so that I can enjoy myself fully without having this dark cloud over my head. 

Looking forward to better days!

I would love to hear what keeps you going during hard times. Do you have any tips on balancing health issues and raising a toddler? 

Looking back on the past couple of years 

Looking back on the past couple of years with tears in my eyes… Both happy and sad tears. It’s been a very intense, emotional and crazy time. In this time I have both lost and found myself. I felt I had to redefine myself. My world was turned upside down just to be brought exactly where it should be (somehow this makes sense in my mind). Due to postpartum depression I didn’t get to experience the first few months of my sons life to it’s fullest and that fills me with sadness and guilt. On paper I was the “perfect” mother (at least what I had in mind as perfect), but I just wasn’t feeling it. However, ever since recovering from it I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I get to enjoy my son the way I have always wanted to. I’m crazy in love with my little man! My son is at the age where every month he has something new to bring to us. He is growing and developing so quickly! He is a hilarious little guy that can go from babbling and laughing to a full on meltdown from one moment to another! Toddlers are tiny schizophrenics! I’m really enjoying this stage of his life! Every day is a new adventure. 

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2017 has to bring to us! Have a happy new year filled with health and love!

Spinach, leek and onion quiche

 I improvised a lot while cooking this so you have the freedom to add or remove ingredients according to your taste.

Ingredients:

1 unbaked deep dish pie crust 

1 tablespoon butter

2 eggs & 1 egg yolk 

200ml heavy cream

1 onion 

1 leek 

200 grams frozen spinach, thawed and drained 

1 clove garlic

200 grams shredded mixed yellow cheeses of your choice (I used gouda, regato and cheddar)

Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions:

* Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

* In a medium frying pan melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic, onion and leeks in butter until lightly browned. Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper. 

* Sprinkle half the shredded cheese on the pie crust and then spoon spinach/leek mixture into pie crust.

* In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg/cream mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach/leek mixture.

* Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Raising a child in Greece

I feel very grateful to be able to raise my son in Greece. If we put aside the economy and politics (which have nothing to do with raising a child anyway) this country has so much to offer. There is plenty to do without having to spend money. First of all the weather, we have warm weather about 8 months a year, we have a relatively mild winter in Athens with a few cold and rainy days here and there. If we’re lucky we’ll see some snow! 

So this means that we can enjoy outdoor activities most days of the year. We have the choice to spend the day by the sea or on a mountain, in the cultural city center, at parks, playgrounds or just simply taking a walk and taking in the beauty. 

The options are endless and this is on any given day in Athens. If you wish to take a trip a bit further away, you can obviously go to one of the hundreds mind blowing islands, or if it’s winter you can go to ski resorts, or go to lakes, waterfalls , hot springs or rafting down a river, or hiking or mountain climbing. The nature here is breathtaking. 

And the food! Oh the Greek cuisine is sooo good. It’s healthy and tasty. Going to the market can be a morning out on it’s own! When I go there with my son people keep offering us pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables for him to try! 

The people here are very hospitable and friendly. Despite the hard times that Greece has been going through the people still try to be positive. Being happy and carefree is a way of life here. 

I got a bit t carried away there… I’m not trying to sell you on Greece! I’m just in one of those feel good moods!

So a family life in a country with such a culture and lifestyle is really a blessing.

18 months and still breastfeeding!

Even before I got pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby, but I never thought I’d still be breastfeeding at 18 months. For the first 6 months I exclusively breastfed and from then on I gave him the boob on demand, which was 3-4 times when he was awake and 5-6 times during naps and night wakings. At around 9 months we gradually dropped the day feedings but kept the sleep feedings and at about 14 months he dropped his morning nap. Now at 18 months I breastfeed him to sleep in the afternoon, at night and a couple of times when he wakes up during the night. 

As a newborn my bub was extremely demanding. I would spend 9 hours a day breastfeeding and I was left with no absolutely no energy. He would wake up constantly! This lasted for 8 months! I thought it would never end! I tried giving him formula but with no luck… 

We were cosleeping until he was 15 months, not only because I wanted him close to me but also for logistics. I would just lift my shirt and voila dinner served! 

I’ve always been a person that needs to twist and turn in bed until I find a comfy position, but when cosleeping I couldn’t do that, because I would wake bub up. So when I finally mustered up the courage I transferred him to his own room. I started with his afternoon naps and 2 weeks later with night time too. I placed a single mattress on the floor, so I could lay down with him and breastfeed him when he needed me. It worked like a charm! Best decision ever! He even dropped a couple of his night wakings! I’m all for cosleeping but it just didn’t work for us. Now we both sleep better. 

I got a little off topic there… so we are still breastfeeding feeding. But I’m at a point where I don’t mind it because it’s not too often and it’s not for long. He used to have breastfeeding marathons that would last hours without stopping and now it lasts about 10 minutes on average. I don’t have a plan on when to stop, I’m just going to let him wean naturally. 

Breastfeeding leaves me with a bittersweet feeling, on the one hand it’s exhausting because he literally sucked the energy out of me, but on the other hand the bond and connection we have is amazing!

Tips to create a relaxing/spa atmosphere at home

Pick a room or corner in your house and make it yours. Soft lighting is key to creating a relaxing atmosphere. You can add scented candles, oil burners, incense or fresh flowers to give your space a pleasant scent. I personally like to use himalayan salt lamps or candle holders for lighting, oil burners for scent and bamboo for decoration. Watching the wood burn really relaxes me so I’ve chosen the fireplace to be my relaxing corner in our house during the winter. Next put on some relaxing music. There is loads of spa and meditation music on YouTube to choose from.

We all have very hectic lives and hardly any time to ourselves, but it’s very important for our mental and physical health to relax. Even taking 10 minutes to yourself just to sit down and put your feet up will make a big difference. You can create a little ritual for yourself, start by turning down the lights, lighting the candles, turning on some music and you’ll feel yourself relaxing. If you have a little more time you can give yourself a facial, do your nails, soak your feet etc. Every week I’ll post some tips on how to create a home spa. This includes various face and body treatments that you can make with simple ingredients, tips on relaxation techniques, aromatherapy and much more.