Vegan + GF 'APPLE PIE' MILLET PUDDING




2017 was a year of millet in my kitchen. I have finally learned how to make it work for me, making it the core of my vegan diet. I make my breakfasts with it, my desserts, delicious vegan burgers and many more. I don't know if a more all-purpose product exists!
Millet is rich in B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and calcium. It contains high levels of fibre and proteins. It is just awesome!

If you're a fan of an apple pie, you have to try this recipe! It is a comforting, yet healthy, guilt-free and cruelty-free, creamy pudding. And gluten-free, just to throw in some more of '-free' names!



INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE MILLET LAYERS:
- 3/4 glass of millet,
- 2 glasses of water,
- 1 banana,
- 1 date (I always use the Iranian fresh dates, but you can use any you wish).


FOR THE 'APPLE PIE' LAYERS:
- 4 medium-sized apples,
- water,
- maple syrup,
- cinammon (optional- I usually serve it to the adults, not to my baby).



DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE MILLET LAYERS:

You can cook millet two ways. Choose any that suits you, but never skip the preparation. Without it, your millet will be bitter.

FIRST WAY:  Toast it in a dry saucepan, stirring it regularly until you can smell the nutty aroma. Do it over a medium heat and be careful not to burn the millet. Then add two glasses of water, cover your saucepan with a lid and cook over low heat until the water is fully absorbed (usually 15-20 minutes). You can also cook it without the lid over medium heat.


SECOND WAY:Put your millet in a strainer. Rinse it thoroughly with a boiling water, and then with cold water.
Put it in a saucepan, add two glasses of water and place a lid on it. Cook it over a low heat until the water is fully absorbed (usually 15-20 minutes). You can also cook it without the lid over medium heat.


Meanwhile, you can prepare your apple sauce.


Once the millet is cooked, it needs to be blended. Put it in a blender, add the banana and the date.
You really want your pudding to have a creamy consistency, so blend all the ingredients thoroughly.


FOR THE 'APPLE PIE' LAYERS:

Wash, peel and dice the apples. Pour a little bit of water in the saucepan (just to cover the bottom of it) and add the apples. Cook them over a low heat until soft (10-15 minutes). Then simply mash your apples with a fork.





SERVING:

I like to serve it in layers, adding a cinnamon and maple syrup on the top of each applesauce layer. Add as much, as you like :) For my son, I simply serve it in a bowl, and I mix the apples with millet. I do not add cinnamon nor maple syrup for him because banana and date add enough sweetness to his liking.


Enjoy!






Let me know if you have tried this receipe! And what is your favourite dessert x

















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'Grace and Frankie' season 4 review

Lily Tomlin as Frankie Bergstein and Jane Fonda as Grace Hanson. And yes, these are massive vagina balloons!   Photo credit: Netflix



 SPOILER ALERT 

If you don't want to know what happens in the 4th season, or if you haven't watched 1-3 seasons, please do not read this post as it contains many spoilers! You can read my spoiler-free review here
________________________________________


There are three topics I could discuss for hours. My baby, vegan pasta and 'Grace and Frankie'. If you have been following me for a while, you definitely know that I am the biggest fan of this duo. When Netflix announced when they're back with new episodes, boy, I was never this excited for January!

The fourth season is different. It did hit me at the beginning, and I have watched the first four episodes with a sad face on. I felt like this season was missing something. It was missing its witty jokes and the uplifting spirit that I love about 'Grace and Frankie' so much. It took me a good few episodes to acknowledge that it needed to be the way it is. It is a season of big changes and struggles, of painful reality and many endings. It is a reminder that ageing, and everything that comes with that, is a natural part of human life.
But it's not all down in the dumps! Frankie and Grace don't give up easily and they made laugh a few times! Yes, ageing isn't easy, but these two women do it the right way. I genuinely value Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin not only as great actresses but also amazing people. I love the chemistry between them.


Sam Waterston as Sol Bergstein and Lily Tomlin as Frankie Bergstein.   Photo credit: Netflix

Life doesn't spare Sol (Sam Waterston) and Rob (Martin Sheen), and they also are going through a rough patch in the 4th season. Sol remains my favourite character of this show. He is such a warm soul. Hats off to an incredible actor, one and only Sam Waterston!

Is it only me, or Brianna (June Diane Raphael) seems to be less cruel in this season? She is more human-like. God knows, is it because of the relationship she is in, or because she is facing a major problem at 'Say Grace'? The 'nicer' sister- Mallory (Brooklyn Decker) starts a life of a single mum of 4 (quite privileged, and stress-free, have to admit) after divorcing Mitch (Geoff Stults).

Sol and Frankie become grandparents! Bud's (Baron Vaughn) daughter is finally born, she is adorable, and the labour scene was just fantastic! And Coyote (Ethan Embry). He is doing ok! I felt that there was not enough Coyote in this season, but at least we got to see the inside of his tiny house!



Jane Fonda as Grace Hanson and Martin Sheen as Robert Hanson.  Photo credit: Netflix

With Grace going​ under a major​ knee surgery and Frankie being legally dead, this season is not as optimistic as the first three. Nonetheless, it is great. I hope that Netflix renews this series for the 5th season. And many more!




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HOW TO BOND WITH YOUR BABY


Being a parent means more than just feeding and dressing your kids. It is the biggest reward and happiness that we receive in our life. And a wonderful opportunity of bringing up your best friend and creating a lifelong, unbreakable bond with him.
We talk a lot about baby food, clothes, toys, books and the comfiest cots. But sometimes we forget how important it is to have a beautiful relationship with your kid.


PREGNANCY
The first and most important stage of bonding begins when you're pregnant (or when your partner is pregnant). This is when you should to talk and sing to your baby, touch your belly and respond to his kicks. It is your first way of commnication. Acknowlege the little person growing inside of your body, learn his little habits. All this will make you more excited to welcome him to your world and it will let you get to know each other.



AFTER YOUR BABY IS BORN

DO SKIN-TO-SKIN AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE

As soon as possible after the birth, an whenever possible later. The list of benefits of 'kangaroo care' is very long. It is not only a great way to stabilise your baby's blood pressure, breathing and body temperature but also an ideal way to initialize breastfeeding. And, of course, it makes the baby feel safe after leaving the cozy womb.

ALWAYS ANSWER HIS CRY
Apart from physical abuse, there is nothing worse you can do to you child than ignoring him. 
Your voice, your smell is all that he knows and trusts. Comfort you baby with your cuddles. Here you can read more about it.

BREASTFEED AS MUCH AS YOU CAN

Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to bond with a baby. It lowers your chance for postnatal depression, reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), it matures your baby's immune system and protects his long-term health. Children who were breast-fed usually start speaking earlier and have higher IQ.
The benefits for mum include lower risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

If for any reason you were unable to breastfeed your baby and you bottle-feed him, remeber to always make the feeding time special for both of you. Cuddle him, look into his eyes and pay all your attention to him. 

EAT YOUR MEALS TOGETHER
Eating together bonds the family. Actually, eating with baby is both practical (mums often have no time for proper meals) and fun! You can feed your baby and your baby can feed you 🙂

READ WITH YOUR CHILD
Start as early as possible. Reading is one of the best things you can do with your child to ensure he gets a good start into his life. Don't give up when he doesn't pay much attention at the beginning. Create a habit of reading everyday, and soon your baby will absolutely love it.

SING TO YOUR CHILD
I remember when my newborn son recognized some of the songs I used to sing when I was pregnant. It was such a fantastic experience!
Singing will make both you and your child more relaxed. You don't have to have Aguilera's voice to do it. But if you have it- your kid is luckier than mine!

TURN THE TV OFF,  TAKE YOUR EYES AWAY FROM YOUR PHONE
Enjoy the moment. Don't let the brain-washing reality show steal the most precious moments in life from you!

MAKE SURE HIS ENVIRONMENT IS SAFE
People need to feel safe to grow mentally. Don't make unnecessary noise at home, especially when you have a newborn. He needs peace. 

MAKE TIME FOR CUDDLES AND KISSES
Soon he'll learn to say no 🙂 Nothing makes me happier than kissing my son's little cheeks! (remember not to kiss baby's lips! Safety first).

SMILE TO HIM 

Don't expect your child to be smiley if you're always grumpy! Baby is like a mirror of his parents. Smile to him and keep an eye contact. Little signs of care and respect mean a lot to these little humans!

TAKE HIS EMOTIONS SERIOUSLY, RESPEECT HIM AND LISTEN TO HIM

Don't laugh at him when he cries, don't shout. Nobody likes to be ignored and disrespected.

RECORD YOUR MEMORIES TOGETHER
Take photos, videos and record the most important moments in the diary. Time flies and baby changes every day, it is easy to forget about his first turn or the day he took his first step.

SPEND TIME TOGETHER
Parenthood is the most beautiful journey you'll ever make.
The more time you spend with your baby, the more you learn. You will become more grateful, more humble, and happier! Life with a small child doesn't have to be boring. If you like swimming, join the baby swimming classes. If you like going to art galleries, take your baby with you.

WEAR YOUR BABY
In a wrap sling from birth onwards or in a safe baby carrier (when your baby is able to sit up independently). It is a phenomenal way to bond with your child!

LET YOURSELF BE A KID (sometimes)
Adult life can be draining. Sometimes is good to forget for a few moments about a loan, bills, road traffic and politics and just have fun with kids. Their limitless imagination, positive attitude and gratitude are the best energy boosters!



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THE BEST FASHION DOCUMENTARIES ON NETFLIX

'Franca: Chaos and Creation', 'The true cost', 'Iris'. Photos credit: Netflix

I  think I could call myself an extreme fashion minimalist. I don't own many clothes, nor shoes or bags. I stick to a few pieces which I wear all the time. And I often I shop in second-hands. I do appreciate fashion as an art, though. I could spend hours admiring beautiful fashion photography, or staring at well-dressed people 🙂
Today I 'll introduce you to my favourite fashion-related documentaries on Netflix. Hope you enjoy!



'FRANCA: CHAOS AND CREATION'-Francesco Carrozzini

Franca Sozzani in 'Franca: Chaos and Creation'.  Photo credit: Netflix

One of my favourite documentaries of all time. An incredible picture of a woman painted sublimely with words and photos by her son- Francesco Carrozzini.
Franca Sozzani was an editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia. A very special one. She revolutionised this magazine, and spoke about things that nobody wanted to talk about. She was a real risk-taker. Her Vogue was not only about glamour and money. It was about something. And that made her work stand out. Franca Sozzani was the one who created 'The Black Issue' of Vogue Italia and the controversial 'Makeover Issue'. I am sure that you all have seen these photos. But I am not sure if you have seen Franca's face yet. I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't. Because unlike many others in the fashion industry, she wasn't all about herself. She was about the case, the topic, the problem.

Beautifully shot and edited, this film is filled with gorgeous photos and Vogue covers. The magic energy mother and son share transfers onto this documentary. I can not recommend it enough!



'IRIS'- Albert Maysles

Iris Apfel in 'Iris'.  Photo credit: Netflix

Iris Apfel is probably the most colourful ninety-something woman on Earth.  She is a fashion icon, interior designer and businesswoman.
I am sure that you all have seen her before. Her calm eyes hide behind large glasses. A bright lipstick contrasts with her short, grey hair and strong nose. And her outfits are always as bold as it gets! She is, without a doubt, a charming and inspiring woman, and a real free spirit with a dry sense of humour.

'Iris' is a story of her success, passion and  67 years long marriage with Karl Apfel, who sadly passed away in 2015. The only thing that this documentary is lacking, in my opinion, is a look inside of Iris's soul. I would love to know even more what she really feels and thinks! Nonetheless, 'Iris' is well worth seeing!


'THE TRUE COST'-Andrew Morgan

'The true cost'.  Photo credit: Netflix

Fashion is an important form of art. Probably the most appropriable one. Fashion is exciting, dynamic and colourful. Fashion is cool. But most of us don't think about the other side of it. We see the pretty window displays and gorgeous models on a catwalk. What we turn a blind eye to, are factory workers, often underaged, always overworked and underpaid. They risk their lives working in unsafe factories somewhere in Asia, trying to make ends meet.
'The true cost' reveals the ugly side of fashion. It exposes the reasons behind dropping prices of clothes and the enormous impact the fashion industry makes on the planet Earth.
Yes, it is important to think twice before purchasing the 11th pair of high heels, or that pretty top that you may want to wear only once. Because who would show up in the same outfit twice, right?



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2018- PLANS AND GOALS


I am so glad that 2017 is over! It was not an easy year for me. Don't get me wrong- it was full of beautiful moments, I feel that I have grown so much as a person. I got to spend quality time with my best friend- my son. I have started my blog in January and went vegan after 9 years of being vegetarian.
But 2017 was difficult, too! I have learned a few important lessons and shed some tears. But I am more than ready for new adventures in 2018!



BLOGGING AND ONLINE WORK

LEARN PROFESSIONAL PHOTO EDITING
I am planning to buy Lightroom subscription in February or March and finally learn to edit. Good quality photos are such an important factor of a successful blog, and I definitely need to improve my skills asap.

WORK ON MY SOCIAL MEDIA
 I need to be more active on my facebook and share more of my everyday life on InstaStories. Let me know- would you guys be interested at all?

START A YOUTUBE CHANNEL
 As an addition to my blog. There is so much stuff I want to say, and so little time to do it:) I always wanted to talk publicly about things that really matter to me.

 START NEW SERIES ON MY BLOG
Monthly favourites- you can expect the first blog post at the beginning of February. There are so many inspiring books, articles, songs and movies that I want to tell you about. And some delicious food worth mentioning 😀 I also want to get back to the 'Happy High Need Baby' series, as many of you guys have liked it.



HOBBY

 WRITE MY SCREENPLAY
To write my screenplay and make it ready for competitions in 2019. The plot, the characters, the conflicts are ready. I need to add some witty dialogue to it and send my very first serious screenplay off!

WAKE UP MY INNER BOOKWORM
Reading books is one of my favourite things to do. Recently, though, I have been so involved with boring life stuff that I haven't been reading as much as I would normally. It's so wrong! I have a few amazing books waiting for me in 2018!

START SWIMMING REGULARLY
Swimming is the only sport I enjoy doing. It really relaxes me. I have to plan some more time for swimming this year!


LIFE

DO A PROPER HEALTH CHECK
In 2018 I need to do something I was stupidly delaying for way too long- do a proper health check. Self-explanatory.

GET RID OF CLUTTER
Even though I get rid of unnecessary stuff regularly (I donate/sell / or upcycle unwanted items), I still feel like I need to do a proper clear-out. I have planned to do it in January.

GET SOME REST
Yes. I think I need it. If you asked me whether I prefer to sleep 8h or watch a movie/call my friend/ read a book/ draw something and get the only 6h of sleep- I 'll always go with option nr 2. 4-6h of sleep is enough for me, I have been living like this for years. The whole 'sleep when your baby sleeps' thing doesn't work for me at all. Firstly- my baby doesn't really sleep much, secondly- there is always something important or interesting I need or want to do during his nap time.
So, when I am not with my son, I would either cook, clean or write blog posts. I like it this way, but I know that my body and my brain need to rest sometimes.


Happy 2018! Thanks for reading my blog in 2017. May all your dreams come true x


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