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Toddler friendly vegan recipes

vegan pizza

I am a vegan mother that doesn’t have vegan kids.

I have 4 amazing boys-14, 13, 10 and my youngest son is only 20 months old.

I allow my older boys to eat whatever they like and haven’t made any restriction regarding pizza or any other foods, that they like.

I have made one rule thought. I do not give and won’t allow my youngest son to eat any animal flesh,regardless of the fact that the other boys can. It is quite easy actually as I don’t fuss about it and the older boys are perfectly fine with it.

On a daily basis I will prepare at least one vegan and one non vegan meal and recently nearly all of the vegan food I cook is toddler friendly.

I find it incredibly easy to feed him and he loves all kinds of food and I am hoping that he will continue to do so.

Apart from the obvious things like hummus, falafels , vegetables, beans, potatoes , a and different kind of roasted/boiled vegetables  I also make tomato based sauses and raw spinach pesto. He likes them both with rice or pasta, not so keen on couscous though but I am working on perfecting the recipe.

 

The tomato sauce is incredibly easy and simple to make and you can add your own twist to it. The other day I added some fried aubergines(another favourite of mine). Aubergines are amazing source of salty fatty yummyness if you like this kind of food. I will write a post dedicated to my love for aubergines another time.

Here is the recipe for the tomato sauce that I prepare weekly, sometimes twice weekly. I make a big pot of it and have used it when making pizza. Feel free to adapt the spiciness to your own taste as I know every family has their own sweet spot.

Basic Tomato Sauce (Mediterranean style)

  • 2 small onions -peeled and nicely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 spoonfuls of sweet paprika
  • 500 mg of tomato passata
  • 400 mg or more of water
  • some red wine(optional)
  • basil
  • oregano
  • cumin seeds
  • fennel seeds
  • mint
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. First saute the onions with the garlic in the olive oil with all the herbs .When they are almost cooked add the potato cubes and the paprika,
  2. Mix and let it simmer for 10 minutes.Add a spash of wine halfway if you choose to use wine.
  3. Then add the tomato passata and some water, making sure all the potatoes are well covered.
  4. Let it simmer on a low heat until the potatoes are cooked and become soft.
The wine adds richness to the recipe, but it tastes just as good without it. Once your sauce  is ready you can add lots of different vegetables. My favourite are broccoli, cauliflower, fried aubergines, fried courgettes, mushrooms, greeen beans. The possibilities are endless.
Serve the sauce with some cooked rice or pasta and enjoy.
One of the great things about being vegan is also the rediscovery of certain foods. Walnuts have become now a staple food in my diet as a source of Omega 3 as well as flax seeds and hemp seeds. All these are generally very easy to buy from most supermarkets.
When it come to walnuts though I am very lucky as my parents have a walnut tree in Bulgaria and we eat some of the nicest walnuts available.
I use walnuts in many ways, including walnut baklava which is by far the sweetest recipe I have ever created.
I make green pesto with walnuts almost every week as well. It keeps in the fridge for a few days, it’s versatile and so easy to make.
All you need is a basic blender.
Spinach walnut  pesto
  • a bag of spinach
  • big bunch of fresh basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 spoonfuls of lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • a handful of soaked  walnuts(soaked in water for a few hours)

Feel free to replace the nuts with cashew nuts or pine nuts. It works just as good.

All you have to do is simply blend everything for about 90 seconds until you get a smooth paste.

Serve with pasta and some sliced avocado and cucumber. My toddler loves it.So do I.

It is incredibly easy to make simple delicious and toddler friendly food.

Thank you for being here.

Drink sweet coffee and be spicy!

Ivelina

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blogger vs writer

 I will be a better blogger when I  give myself a permission to freely and openly share what I really think.

What is a blogger? What is the difference between a blogger and a writer.

blogger vs writer

She pours herself another cup of coffee.

There are differences between a writer and a blogger.

Here are 4 distinguishing attributes that bloggers and writers have.

1.Them verses I
When you are a writer you will write everything in second or third person, which will make it sound more professional.

As a blogger though, I will write everything from my point of view as I am talking to my best friend.It is more conversational and easy on the eye in most cases.

2.Keywords verses dictionary

Writers have mastered the use of language and have an extensive dictionary that goes beyond the use of common words in my opinion. As a blogger keywords are more important than remarkable use of the dictionary.

Blogging is about finding the trendy way to express yourself . While doing that if you do a good keyword research you will get the love from the search engines. The longer posts you write the better.

3.Paragraphs and sentences 

Blogging is about short sentences and even shorter paragraphs. Bloggers like to skim over an article and not stretch a sentence beyond its means. It makes it easy to read and most people will read the highlighted words and also very likely will skip parts.

4.Size matters 

As a writer I will have to write a well researched and properly punctuated article with over 500 or more words.There will be little or no space for my opinion, unless I have the credabilities to share what I know.

As a blogger on the other hand I can write as short blog posts as I like. It can be done in a form of poem if I feel inspired to do so.

I am a blogger, as I feel that writing is for knowledgeable people. This blog matter to me because I want to share more personal stuff and my own experiences as well as helpful information.

Thank you for reading this far.
Enjoy the ride and drink nice coffee!
Be sweet and spicy,
Ivelina

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4 tips on how to live better

sweet coffee and spice

“Human life expectancy has increased more in the last 50 years than in the previous 200 000 years of human existence.” (source)

Life is for living and it’s precious and it is a gift. This is all well and good to say but how do we make out time on Earth better. To live better means to wake up in the morning eager to get up after a wonderful night sleep. To look forward to your day and fill it with tasks, pleasure and communications according to your standards and wishes. 

I take great pleasure in the simple things, like a nice cup of coffee, freshly backed bread, ripe peach, soft warm sand(mostly green grass here in Northern Ireland),hugs, kisses, nice chocolate, red wine, eating falafels, drinking blueberry smoothie,talking with my kids,making plans for spending money, looking out the window when it’s raining and I am warm and dry inside,watching movies,walking,being alone in the morning, getting my hair done,having friends over for dinner, going on spontaneous day trios, shopping , reading, cooking…..The list is endless. I want to share with you this simple pleasure of living, being and breathing. Here are a few things, that might help you to live a little better in your own way.

1.Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes a day. In a world that demands your attention every second of your awake life you have to unplug and be silent in order to remain sane. I do feel I have to think about EVERYTHING. I am getting better at sharing my mental preparation and space with other people, I can do better every time. I do force myself to stop.It works.I prefer the morning quietness and sometimes the evening serenity. It is a mini therapy for the oversubscribed mind of mine, that likes multitasking and is constantly planning and organising “everything” .

2.Do the right thing .I know how it goes. Doing the right thing is not always fair. In fact it is most certainly un-fair. Just deal with it. I know that some situations require longer than others to get over/forgive/deal with but the main thing is to keep your myself in motion. One of the best things, that my granny told me once was not to take trivial, daily,domestic issue to heart. There is a time and a place to listen mainly to your heart, but when it comes to the small stuff, just deal with it. It took me ages to fully understand and practice this but I feel better for it.

3.What other people think of you is non of your business. I have to be honest here. I do care what others think of me, to an extend. I like to be liked appreciated and to make a difference in the life of the people around me and online. I feel responsible to keep myself useful and proactive, also want to avoid conflicts. Since I have made the decision to write a blog I have realised that I have to share honestly and truthfully. I do afraid of being criticised, but in the words of the philosopher the only way not to be criticised is to “say nothing and do nothing” .The choice is mine.

4.Enjoy the f&%$ing ride. Life is a f&%$ing roller coaster. One minute it’s all great and I am getting things done and then the next minute my dishwasher is broken. One minute my dishwasher is broken and another minute one of my sons brake his leg.One minute my son has a broken leg and another minute I get a new tumble drier. One minute I get a new tumble drier and another minute I am booking a trip to Bulgaria. One minute I am booking a trip to Bulgaria and another minute there is an argument shall we go through France or the Netherlands…..,……

Thank you very much for reading this far.

Keep your coffee sweet and your life spicy!

Ivelina

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4 Blog Writing Prompts for any Niche

In 1999 there were just 23 blogs. Today there are over 1.5 billion and this number continues to grow. There are 2 blogs created every second.

So let that sink. 2 blogs per second are created.So the blog-o-sphere is totally overpopulated. That means that there is a blog for nearly every Facebook user.

You have to get noticed. No matter how loud your voice is, if there is no one to hear you you are wasting your time.

It is nice to know that people are reading your articles and that you are making a difference.

I want to give you a list with 11 blogging prompts that you can use in any niche. I know that the best content is evergreen and authentic.

1.Find a popular trend in your niche and argue against or for it. This will give you an edge and help you create an audience. In my other blog I have written many blog posts in a very un bias manner. It is time to speak my mind.

2.Write a list related to your niche. I love lists. Not everyone has mastered the mind-mapping technique, including myself. I find the whole main mapping very chaotic and totally useless. Lists on the other hand simply get me excited about getting things into order.

3.How to’s posts. Writing posts about how something can be done are some of the most valuable posts that I will be creating for you. If you have a blog or a website I strongly encourage you to share as many how to’s as you want. Simple useful help is also easy to write and very practical.

4.Book recommendations/reviews .I love reading. I do also understand that most people take their literacy for granted. Knowledge will not necessary make you wiser, but it will open your mind and feed your imagination. If you have read books that you loved and are suitable for your audience do share the experience. There are so many books to choose from and reading a genuine review/recommendation is a wonderful piece of content.

Sometimes you will be taking a walk and a blog idea will pop into your mind and you will not have a way of recording it. This happens to me daily.I have bits of paper in my hand bag and I keep fining bits of paper inside books and notebooks.I will keep writing nevertheless.

Thank you for reading this far.

Enjoy the ride,

Ivelina

 

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Self development my a$$

personal development

The self-development industry in USA alone generates $1 billion in revenue every year. In 2008 Deepak Chopra made $1.3 million through a book and speaking tour where the core message was :to take responsibility for your own actions.

I had this book. It didn’t help me to find my purpose in life.It’s in the bottom of the pond in my old house.The  new owners filled up the pond with soil. So I am sure the worms enjoyed it.

The main force behind the self development industry is that we as humans have to strive to better ourselves in all aspects of our lives. Why should we? We are also told by the same personal development masters( read Brian Tracy and Antony Robins), that we are unique and magnificent humans.

I disagree with a lot of this. I do also know that for some people this is exactly the message they want to hear. Fair enough. Do whatever it takes to be yourself.

In my years of attending different personal development seminars and reading books on the same subject I have realised a few solid principles. I want to share them with you.

1.You are what you do daily. You are not your country, your religion or the smart goals that you are setting for yourself. You are not your magnificent intentions either, thank you very much Mr Chopra for this.Whatever you do daily frames you in many incredible ways. It is the small daily actions that you take that determent the person that you are and the results that you are getting.

2.You will never get it all done As much as I don’t want to I know now that life is in constant motion. Change is the only sure thing in life. No matter what I have completed, there is always something else next.Next task, next challenge and next reward. So for as long as I breath I will keep going and do my best to enjoy the climb!

3.You are free to make a choice. Yes, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice. In any given situation you have a choice including the choice of going with the flow. This is the choice that I take in 90% of my life. I don’t see myself as an Alpha Female. It feels much more natural to me to be following the invisible flow of the seen and unseen things, rather than trying to demand anything.

4.You are here to give and receive Love. The only thing that will disappear once you die will be the love that you have been giving and receiving. The rest is replaceable and sadly disposable. So while you are here give and receive love in whatever way possible you find fit.

5. Gratitude is the magic state of being alive. The next level is grace. This has nothing to do with any religion. This is simply a way of being human. It took me years to appreciate the importance of that state. I have been very ungrateful at certain times in my life and the ripple effect of my actions then still affect me from time to time.

Overall I believe that you can get more self-development results if you simply start being more present in your life and with the people around you. 

Thank once again for reading this far.

Enjoy the ride and drink nice coffee,

Ivelina

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How to cure writer’s block?

I don’t believe that writer’s block exist. It is simply a state of being stuck, that only writes claim as their own.Gardeners don’t get gardener’s block and drivers don’t get driver’s block, they are just having a bad day.

When a writer is having a bad day it’s called “writer’s block”.

So how do you unstuck yourself.

If you are like me and I haven’t written a blog post in a long time, what do you do to get yourself unstuck? My youngest son is almost 19 months but I stopped writing way before he was born, as my mind was thinking up other things.

Now I have given myself the excuse, that I have lost momentum to write .It is time to move on from that and truly focus on the solution.

My biggest obstacle (read excuse)  is procrastination.

So let’s dive deeper into this habit of mine. I don’t like doing things unless I really have to. It’s like I am afraid to do anything in case I fail or in case I have to face criticism. I don’t like to displease  people.Sounds so ridiculous but I like the comfort of being liked.

If you are going to write a blog you have to put yourself out there and express your opinion. No one like to read boring unbiased articles full with fluff and common sayings.

So concluding from that I can admit that I am not stuck, I am scared.

The first thing that comes to mind is to ask myself why am i scared.the answer is as you guest it possibly -I am scared of being criticized. So this is my dumb circle of exicuses cycle-procrastinating-fear-criticism-procrastinating-fear-criticism. This has been going on for months and months. So it’s time to get out of this and do something about it. It annoys me that in fact I do like writing, I do have an opinion that I want to express and in the process I want to serve other master procrastinators in some shape.

Here are three ways that you can cure writer’s block?

1.Stop writing to please others Just get on with writing. Stop worrying what comments you are going to get, stop trying to write as if you are afraid to speak your mind. Just write.There is no better time than now and just do it.Now.

2.Join a blogging/writing challenge .I joined the 100 day blogging Challenge yesterday and I can not stop thinking about it. It is one of the easiest ways to kick your own ass and do whatever it takes to start writing. If you are like me and love organised and minimalistic challenges the 100 day blogging challenge is perfect. The only requirement is to post a blog post a day on your website and blog. There is no obligation to comment or read anyone else’s blogs unless you choose to do so.

3.Wash the dishes/sort the washing/tidy up the living room In my mind this is a form of active meditation only when I am engaging my mind with other thoughts rather than how nice would be to pay someone else to do it. I find housework rewarding only when I have other things to do as well. Having a blog/website and building an online brand fulfills my need to feel that I make a difference not just as a mother, but also as a creative writer and recipe creator.

So to sum everything up in one sentence. Get over yourself and simply get on with writing.

Have the courage to take action every day and keep at it.

Thank you for reading this far.

If you want to start your own website now simply click here and enjoy the ride.

Ivelina

 

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Coffee Tote Bags

tote bags for coffee lovers
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Vegan Pizza

vegan pizza
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Welcome to Sweet Coffee and Spice

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