Blackout…

Black is not just for sad days, to be honest, the minute the sun stops shining I turn to my dark clothes so you will probably see lots of dark clothes during this winter. I admit, I love black nowadays because it is such a forgiving colour. I haven’t met anyone that doesn’t look good in black and for me, especially during this period, it just feels right. We will try and do some more colourful shoots but given the fact that my body is only going one way (bigger and bigger) black is officially my comfort colour. This does not mean that navies or burgundies are out of the question because those, to me, are autumn/winter neutrals, as I have already made my case in earlier posts. Trust me, come a sunny day and I will bring back brighter colours, but for now, dark is my go-to.

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On the day of the shoot I was in a great mood mainly because I worked out the courage that morning to actually try out most of my autumn clothes and I was surprised that everything that had a bit of elasticity to it still fit me. For now at least… Thank God for bandage dresses and skirts! I realised that I had a ton of options for exactly this period so as long as it doesn’t rain, I am going to take full advantage and shoot as many pieces as possible as I have no idea if my clothes will still fit me nicely in a week or two. Unfortunately, D is rather busy these days so we are going to have to take photos according to both his schedule and autumn’s showers. Keeping my fingers crossed for as many opportunities as possible!

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On me:

Dress – Concepto; Boots – Rachel Zoe; Bag – Chloe; Bling – Swarovski (bracelet1, bracelet2 and ring); Watch – Ingersoll

Moving along to today’s outfits… I really wanted to shoot this lovely dress from Concepto ever since I bought it at Untold Festival in August, but I just didn’t find the time and weather to take it for a stroll, plus the fact that ever since I bought it, I thought it worked wonderfully with a chunky pair of boots. Since the said boots are not yet in my closed, I decided to try it with my Rachel Zoe over-the-knee boots and surprise: it looks great and I really feel less elephant-y and more model-y than ever during this pregnancy. It’s actually a pity that my hair did not look like a Victoria’s Secret model, but hey, the side pony worked out well enough.

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On D:

Pants – Replay; T-shirt – Replay; Shoes – Converse x John Varvatos; Bling – Fossil; Watch – Aviator

I was also excited about wearing my Chloe black bag which I haven’t worn in a few months – again, because black is not really my summer colour. I realised that I love most of the cold season items I have and now I am quite excited to actually wear them. Since the chunkiness of the boots was missing I decided to compensate by wearing my chunky Ingersoll Limited Edition watch that D bought for me last winter. Yes, I am well aware that this is a men’s watch, but I always loved men’s watches more than those flimsy feminine watches. Naturally I needed some more feminine accents so I opted for two white Swarovski bracelets (simply put, I do not have a black one) and a black ring, also form Swarovski.

Taking all that into consideration, D also opted for black and therefore ended up wearing those lovely Replay pants that you know I adore so much. To be honest, now that I am writing this, I realised that his entire outfit is from Replay : t-shirt as well. That doesn’t bother me at all as I think that Replay does some of the most amazing items when it comes to men’s casual wear. He wore his trusty and versatile Converse x John Varvatos shoes but he could’ve easily go for a pair of similar ones from Replay. He kept his accessorising light, only wearing his Fossil bracelet and his Aviator watch.

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Now that I think about it, this whole pregnancy thing is a really nice period to actually go through and my morale is at a max these days. Yes, clothes are that important and I really was hoping to skip the whole wardrobe change and save some money for the after-birth items that I will spoil myself with. I just hope that I will continue to feel great and will be able to take as many photos of this amazing period as possible.

L.

 

 

Tomato Madness!!!

The one thing that I have been madly craving during my pregnancy so far are tomatoes! I am telling you, our kid is going to hate tomatoes as I have had them twice daily (true, in different forms): soup and salad. I just love them! But not any type of tomatoes…No, those hard to find, sweet garden tomatoes! And they need to be a certain consistency for me to be happy… Therefore, one could argue that D had it quite difficult where my cravings are concerned so far, especially since tomato season is officially over, but I am still craving them like crazy!

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The bad thing about me craving tomatoes is the fact that you can’t actually order them online, no…In order for tomatoes to be perfect and satisfy my taste buds, they need to smell a certain way (yes, I am the weird person that smells tomatoes at the market), feel a certain way and look a certain way (I generally love the pink, non-perfect looking tomatoes). That being said, most of the time D found the precious, perfect tomatoes for me, except for two days ago, when he came home with these perfectly round and red tomatoes that obviously did not do much for my salad.

Which brings us to today’s post! I decided to venture in the kitchen to cook a cream tomato soup for the first time. While I do love to cook all sorts of other things, soups are simply not my cup of tea. Until this one. Besides the fact that I documented the whole thing on Instagram’s Stories, without having the slightest clue of how things will turn out (the pot could’ve exploded for all I know) – I now realise that could’ve meant social cooking suicidal – the damn thing turned out to be even better than either me or D expected, especially since I was too lazy to go out and buy anything and was left with using whatever I already had in the fridge/house – hence no fresh basil, but I did have a bit of fresh oregano leftover form the potatoes we cooked a few days ago (recipe here). I do admit that until now, I have been getting my tomato soup in a plastic container from the supermarket (fru-fru) which was great, but from now on, I will start experimenting with home made cream soups (make way for mushrooms, bell peppers etc).

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Let’s move along to the actual recipe for today… First of all, it will only take you about 30-40 minutes to get from ingredients to final product which means that there is absolutely no excuse to not try this recipe. Here’s what I had in the fridge for this one:

  • 1300 gr tomatoes
  • 180 gr red onion (two medium onions are fine)
  • 1 small pot of plain yoghurt (you can use sour cream, but yoghurt is lighter)
  • 10 gr of fresh oregano leaves
  • 15 gr of garlic (a small garlic head)
  • 3 tsp of vegetable cooking base
  • 1 tsp (not fresh) basil – fresh is better, but I was lazy and hungry yesterday
  • 1 tsp of pomace olive oil (you do not need more than that!)

Steps to follow:

  1. Roughly cut the tomatoes and the onions – do not stress about this step too much as it’s all going to go in the blender anyway.
  2. Slice the garlic, and pick the oregano leaves, arrange everything and take a few photos.
  3. Put the pomace olive oil in a pot and let it heat up for 30 seconds than add the onions.
  4. After the onion gets semi-translucent, add the sliced garlic and half of the vegetable cooking base and let them fry stirring continuously for another minute or two.
  5. Add half of the tomatoes and the basil and mix them all together until the tomatoes start peeling by themselves and then add the remaining tomatoes and let everything come to a boil (about 4-5 minutes).
  6. Add the oregano leaves and what is left of the vegetable cooking base and let everything boil for another 5 minutes stirring from time to time.
  7. Take the pot off the stove, let everything chill for 3-4 minutes and then blend everything really well – since we do not have an actual blender, I used the smoothie maker for this step, but everything turned out lovely.
  8. Put the pot back on the stove and bring to boil.
  9. Add the yoghurt, stir well and let it boil for another few minutes. You’re done!

This is one of those soups that you can make all year round using canned tomatoes or home-made tomato juice. It is nutritious, satisfying while also being low in calories and fats. This for me is the perfect lunch and I will start experimenting with soups as well because it was fun-fun-fun making this one. I added a bit of fresh ground pepper in the end, but if you do not like a spicy dish just skip that step. The nutritional info I’ve uploaded is for the entire quantity which provided four servings, so make sure you divide everything by four.

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D was truly impressed by this soup and by the fact that I managed to cook, take pictures and live-stream everything on Instagram all by myself without actually blowing up the kitchen, so I’d say this is a recipe everyone can make without stressing too much.

L.

Into the woods…

It seems that every single time we decide to take photos on this forest road we are wearing some sort of yellow shade (see this post here as well). None the less, it seems more and more like I am slowly but surely turning into the ‘elephant-element’ of these photoshoots. Yes, I am aware by now that I will not be one of those pregnant-model-like types, but rather on the rhino-side of the issue. I will admit that I do have days when I do not feel as good about my pregnant body as I should, but then I think about all the posts about my recovery that will be featured here, on my online diary, and suddenly it doesn’t feel that bad.

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As stated in an earlier post, I do not plan on investing in new and expensive clothes during this period therefore I am yet again wearing a full H&M ensemble. I did succumb to my first maternity piece – the jeans. I realised that I needed a pair of pants for those errand-packed days and even though my old jeans fit me (with a bit of struggle) they are very uncomfortable over my growing bump, so a maternity pair was necessary. I decided to chose H&M simply because I loved the fabric – it feels a bit like the Hyperflex jeans from Replay and you know I love them so much! I have to say that 100 new outfit opportunities have risen once I realised that I can wear a pair of pants and not feel like crap during this pregnancy.

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On me:

Jeans – H&M; Sweater – H&M; Shoes – Puma; Bag – Michael Kors; Bling – Swarovski (bracelet and ring); Watch – Tissot T-Race

For yesterday’s errands I decided to pair the jeans with yet another H&M piece that D selected especially for me – this sweater – but I strongly suspect that he got it because it matches his shirt perfectly and he really wanted to snap some photos of it. The reality is that I love it (as I love all the stuff D choses for me) and I think that the shade of mustard-yellow is just to die for. Somehow I think this is one shade that goes well no matter what season it is. I wore my very comfortable and fun Puma sneakers and decided on completing the outfit with my navy Michael Kors bag. What was rather unusual about yesterday was the fact that we did not wear matching watches as I decided to wear my Tissot T-Race simply because I love the way it compliments my Jawbone and Swarovski bracelets.

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On D:

Jeans – G-Star Raw; T-shirt – Scotch and Soda; Shoes – Converse x John Varvatos; Bling – Fossil; Watch – Aviator

D was extremely happy when he saw the colour scheme I chose because, as I told you a bit earlier, he really wanted to wear this gorgeous t-shirt form Scoth and Soda that he got a week or so ago. I also got pretty excited when he decided on wearing his G-Star Raw pants because I think that this pair is among my top three favourites form his closet and they match my (only) jeans perfectly. For comfort reasons he wore his Converse x John Varvatos sneakers and decided to keep his accessorising to a minimum with his Fossil bracelet. He also made the decision to not match my watch choices and went for his Aviator watch that he hasn’t worn in a while now.

Despite my growing baby bump and my obvious body issues, I am determined to keep on taking photos and be honest with you about everything as I find it liberating to talk (write) a bit about the down-days. I strongly believe everybody has them, but I am very thankful that mine are very rare and the nasty feelings just pass quickly. In the end, all that maters is that the lovely baby is growing healthily, I feel physically great and D supports me every single minute. So not much to complain!

L.

 

 

The best dish you’ll have all autumn long!

Yes, I know this is the second recipe in a row, but I just couldn’t let autumn come for good and not share what is in my opinion the best thing you’ll eat all autumn long. Did I just repeat the post title? Well, yes I did and that’s because this recipe is just that good. This has to be my favourite dish for autumn dinners ever! First of all, I have nothing to do with the recipe in itself, as opposed to the other recipes presented here that all have some sort of twist from yours truly that strays away from the original inspiration, this one is presented to you exactly the way my mother taught it to me.

Yes, this is a family recipe. Well, to be honest, I am the second generation in our family that knows it, so I can say that my mother invented it. A bit about mom… She is what I call an ‘intelligent cook’. Why? Because never ever have I seen that women actually follow a recipe or spend more than 2 hours in the kitchen to cook an entire dinner. She just adapts and uses whatever tricks she can to come up with the best easy recipes ever, that can make you think that she spent an entire day in the kitchen. True, she has been known from time to time to screw things up, but she always jumps right back at it and perfects the recipe so that it is easy and very tasty.

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Today’s recipe is one of those easy, hearty and amazing recipes. First of all, this stew is usually made with meat and using the traditional ways, it can take up to half a day to make. My mom intelligently removed the meat (which is great for me) and used some newly acquired tricks to have this done in less that 1 hour – it took us more because we has to take photos of every step. If you are a meat lover you can always add whatever type of meat you like next to it, but I cooked this one yesterday without it. First of all, there’s nothing that says autumn better than mushrooms in white sauce so this is best for those chilly autumn evenings, especially, as you’ll find out at the end, this is not really a heavy meal but it is quit filling.

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What you’ll need:

  • 800 gr of white large mushrooms (you can easily go for 1 kg and not mess things up – like I said, mum is not really one for measuring the ingredients)
  • 3 large white onions
  • 300 gr of full fat sour cream (if you use a lighter version you’ll need a bit more flour)
  • 2 tablespoons of white flour
  • 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable base
  • 1 teaspoon of hot chilly powder
  • 2 tablespoons of pomace olive oil

What you need to do (keep in mind that although there are quite a lot of steps to follow, the stew is really easy to make and basically foul-proof):

  1. Cut the onion as finely as you can, but do not stress over that, slice the mushrooms in big chunky pieces if you want to feel their texture and chop the parsley.
  2. In a bowl mix the salt and the pepper and in another one mix the vegetable base with the chilly powder.
  3. After taking lots of pics of your ingredients (for some reason I find it extremely satisfying to take photos and edit food pics), put the oil in a saucepan and let it heat up before adding the onion.
  4. After about 5 minutes add a teaspoon of the chilly mix and half of the parsley and stir well for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add half of the mushrooms to the mix, a teaspoon of the salt and pepper mix and stir well.
  6. After abut 5 minutes add the remaining mushrooms and another teaspoon of salt and pepper mix, give it a good stir and put a lid on.
  7. When the mushrooms have left a considerable amount of water, pour the remaining chilly mix, give it a good stir and place the lid back on. Keep in mind that the entire recipe will need a moderate-low stove flame.
  8. Now for the tricky part… take the flour bowl and carefully incorporate water while stirring continuously until it reaches the consistency of sour milk (not too watery).
  9. Pour a glass of cold water to stop the boiling in the saucepan and carefully add the flour mix while stirring continuously. The cold water you just added will keep granulations at bay.
  10. Leave the stew to boil for a few minutes and then add the sour cream, the remaining parsley and what is left of the salt and pepper mix and stir well.
  11. Bring it to boil for another couple of minutes and that’s it!

Keep in mind that, if you do not like your food too spicy, you should cut in half the quantity of both the pepper and the chilly powder – my entire family enjoys spicy food, hence the spiciness of this one. I really hope you’ll love this recipe as much as I love it. As you can see from the nutritional info, this stew doesn’t go overboard on any unhealthy stuff and, as usual, the info is for the entire quantity. If you followed the recipe to a letter, you’ll end up with about 5-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are, and after dividing the numbers I’d actually say that this can be considered a light (about 170 kcal), warm dinner. If you like it, than pass it on to your friends and family!

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L.