Tag Archives: Malta

Hibiskus Flower Ice Tea

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New vlog is out!! Whoowhoo!!

Wanna learn how to make a super simple & delicious ice tea instead of the shop bought version which are loaded with refined sugars??

This is a yummy and refreshing ice tea recipe which you can make with Hibiskus flower or Raspberry leave tea, shared with some practical and simple health tips for your own and your family’s health. This video also contains some helpful tips for pregnant ladies ☺️🙌🏼

You can also keep the Hibiskus flowers & jazz up the ice tea with some bubbles >>> Hibiskus Flower Mimosas- doesn’t that sound awesome??!!

Hope you enjoy it!
❤ N

P.S. If this video caught your interest and you’d like to learn more about what I do, check out the About Section on my blog and/ or follow me on Facebook or Instagram. Every like/ comment/ message / share makes my day a little brighter ❤

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9 1/2 months, lots of special moments & a scrumptious Bircher Muesli recipe

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Gosh! What is going on this month?

For the last 2 weeks I’ve been wanting to sit down and write this blog, postponed it again, postponed it again – I must say, life with a baby is a busy one, much more than I ever thought!

To be fair we had a lot of exciting stuff going on.. we went on a lovely trip to our home country Austria, crossed the country from the West to the East twice by train, went to a funeral, a wedding, enjoyed lots of precious moments with family and friends and soaked up the lush and green beauty of Austria ❤ Yes, it’s always great to be home.. no matter how much we love our life here on the little rock, Malta.

 

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Our little traveller enjoying the different views in Austria

Mummy life was pretty exciting too! Zoe spent her first nights without mum and dad and did really well with her granny, she once again proofed to be a super traveller, no matter if it’s in a plane, bus, car or hours on the train, she suddenly began to love all different kinds of fingerfood (yay, little foodie baby!), started to push herself around (not crawling yet, but won’t take much longer I’m afraid!), we celebrated our first Father’s Day and today, exactly 1 year ago my big love P and I got married in Gozo, with little Zoe still in my belly, dancing and rocking for three days in a row! Oh well, I guess she has a little party gene in her – lol!

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A very pregnant me – exactly 1 year ago at our wedding pre-party on a boat in Gozo

 

With all this stuff going on, my psychological sanity has been pretty well, with many helping hands when we were at home, which was sooo lovely for a change! And amazing summer weather once we returned to Malta, which makes life so much sweeter, especially if we hang out together in the shade next to the sea and start our first little attempts in the baby pool ❤

It was a good month, I must say. And I must say, I’m also quite excited and nervous when I think about what I’m gonna write in my next blog post, as another big thing is coming up these days: on Sunday, 26 June 2016, my first workshop in cooperation with my dear yoga teacher and friend Sarah, from Pre- and Postnatal Yoga Malta on Mindful birth centred around yoga and healthy eating for all pregnant mummies-to-be. For more info, check out all details on our FB page here.

H is for Happiness (115)

Our first workshop centred around yoga & healthy eating takes place on 26 June 2016

But enough stories of my life for now, let me share the recipe of one of our favorite breakfasts this month:

A scrumptious Bircher Muesli

This muesli is so simple, quick and so lovely. It’s refreshing, healthy and can be prepared in bulk which I love doing since I’m a mum as it simply saves so much time and trouble in the morning. Recently Zoe even tried some of it when we had it in bed in the morning and she absolutely loved it! (If you try that be careful to pick the nuts out for your little one to avoid choking). Another time I made some more and offered some to a friend, since then she’s pushing me to post the recipe – so here we go, lovely 😉

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A scrumptious Bircher Muesli

What you need….
(Serves 2)

  • 2 cups of oats
  • A few nuts, seeds & dried fruit of your liking (I simply used my good old muesli mix which usually contains oats, sunflower/ pumpkin/ flax & chai seeds, as well as some raisins, goji berries, almonds and hazelnuts)
  • 1 apple, washed & grated
  • 4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt (full fat, as I never go for low fat products – good fats are good for you! There’s a ton of information on this topic around, e.g. in this article)
    Vegan version: coconut or soy yoghurt
  • Cinnamon

What to do….

Soak the mix of oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit in your favorite bowls with hot water (just cover them with boiled water and add a bit more). Give it a good stir and let it stand for 10min or while you make yourself a nice cup of tea, lemon water or have a shower. Grate the apple, add half of it to each bowl, add the Greek yoghurt, mix it all nicely and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon. Dig in 😀

If you want to make a big batch just multiply the amounts written above and store it in an airtight container or a big jar. Very handy indeed!

Hope you enjoy it & spend lots of relaxed & happy mornings while you eat it.

Wish us luck for the workshop & have a great month until next time..
Sunshine, love & lots of good food ❤
N xxx

 

 

 

7 months of gratefulness & a lovely Strawberry Chia Jam which tastes like spring 

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Enjoying a spring day in San Anton Gardens in Attard

When I started writing this blog post last week, I was sitting on a bench next to a pond in San Anton Gardens, breathing in the lovely smells of flowers, feeling a mild spring breeze in my hair and watching the birds fly in the sunshine. Now I finish it sitting it in the same spring sun next to the sea with my darling Zoe playing happily away in her pram next to me. Have I ever imagined mummy life like this a few months ago?? Nope, I definitely haven’t. Sometimes I even think it’s too good to be true… And while I know from my fellow mummy friends that in a few weeks things might change drastically when our babies start to crawl and walk I’m even more devouring these quiet, peaceful moments in the now 🙂 .

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Chilling in Gozo with my parents. Zoe loves the sea just as much as we do.

A few days ago our little sunshine turned 7 months. Yes, of course she still wakes up at night and interrupted sleeps are part of my life, and yes, even though Zoe is a very happy and content baby, she also cries at times but all in all I must officially say I’m a freaking happy and grateful new mum and I fall in love with being a mummy even more every day. Who would have ever imagined the love I would feel? The worry when Zoe sleeps so deeply that I have to check her belly breathing (yes, paranoid. I know)? The joy when she cracks a huge smile as soon as I open the door to her nursery in the morning? But also the peace and tranquility when she’s nursing or napping and allows me to have a bit of time to myself, to sit next to the sea like now and to give me a chance to breathe, think, reflect and to feel happy, free, inspired and open. Have I ever sat on a bench in a past just enjoying the moment and being grateful so much?

A baby definitely changed my perspective on many things. I take each day by each day. Each night by each night. I try to go inside myself more often and listen deeply to myself: Am I happy? Am I doing the right things? Am I taking the right decisions? I’m a strong believer in the sayings “Happy mummy – happy baby” and “You have to be happy to make others happy” so I try to live accordingly to them.

What I’m definitely learning at the moment is to put ourselves first. Not to always please others, always doing others a favor, learning to say no – it’s a hard lesson for me but I’m getting better. I also think much more about my own childhood than ever.  How our parents raised us and what a great influence it makes later in life. Recently my parents came to visit us in Malta and for the first time I was consciously aware of how incredible it must be to see you own child have their own baby. The gift of life is something so incredible and I catch myself more and more reflecting on it. What will our future be like? What will our children’s future be like? Every topic on sustainability, be it protection of nature, saving the planet from too much rubbish, overfishing of the sea, politics, wars, terrorism, diseases like cancer on the rise.. The list goes on and on. Every time my head starts spinning by all these thoughts I gently remind myself that all we can do is be aware of the now, be grateful for every moment and every day and trying to be happy, sharing the happiness and enjoying the little joys of life to the max ❤ . Yoga has helped me learn this over the last years and little Zoe teaches me to do it even more! I remember my dear friend saying at our wedding ceremony “Shine brightly, together” and I think it’s important passing this on to our children.

So I try not to be nostalgic that our little baby girl is growing by the day, that all our favorite outfits are getting too small (yes, I know – I have to sort them out!), that she’s slowly getting too heavy for long walks in the baby carrier, that I can’t see, cuddle and kiss her non stop when she’s in her big new stroller.. – stop! No! I try to do exactly what she does – enjoying to see and learn new things everyday and enjoying the moment of life you’re right at NOW 😊

Which finally brings me, of course, also to eating and enjoying to cook lots of wonderful spring foods Malta has to offer right NOW! Be it citrus, artichokes or strawberries.. The fruit and veggies in the spring are just as fresh as inspiring and just as delicious as easy to prepare! As most of you know I’m a big fan of easy cooking and all these ingredients can be transformed into lovely meals without spending hours in the kitchen. Be it a nice fennel citrus salad, steamed artichokes with a parsley egg and lemon dip or the recipe for yummy and healthy strawberry chia jam which I’m sharing with you today! It’s not only good for breakfast on homemade bread or as a topping on porridge, but also lovely for tea time or a little healthy dessert (e.g. on yoghurt) in the evening ❤

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Tastes like spring! Strawberry Chia Jam

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lt; h1>Strawberry Chia Jam

Probably all of you know the benefits of the super food chia seeds by now, but to sum it up briefly, chia seeds are a great source of plant protein, contain Omega 3 and 6, have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and help digestion. They can help you you lose weight (even more if you use this jam instead of normal one! 😉 ) because they have a low carbohydrate, are rich in natural magnesium, contain many essential nutrients and can therefore strengthen the immune system. As always I try to get organic whenever I can, for my superfoods I love the products of my Austrian friends of Green Panda but of course any chia seeds will do the job. You can take black chia, white chia, the whole seeds, ground seeds – they all work the same. Chia seeds have binding properties which makes them perfect for puddings (recipe here), jams or in baking.<<<<
u don't have strawberries at hand you can also try other berries like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries etc. You can add different notes of flavors likes orange blossom water, rose water, vanilla, cinnamon – play with it!

What you need…< /strong>(for a small jar)< /em>As a rule of thumb 2 cups of washed and chopped fruit plus 2 table spoons of chia seeds work very well. For a thicker texture add a bit more chia. 2 cups of washed and chopped strawberries (or other fruit)2 table spoons of chia seeds

  • 2 table spoons of orange juice (alternatives: lemon or lime, rose or orange water)
  • Agave or maple sirup according to your sweet tooth (honey for the raw version is nice too)

What to do… Mash or roughly chop washed strawberries depending if you like your chia jam rather fine or chunky. Heat them up in a small pot on medium heat, I added some blueberries which I had to use up but only strawberries are fine, too. Add a bit of fresh orange or lemon juice, the sweetener of your choice and let it simmer for a few minutes until it reduces and gets nice and thick. Turn of the heat. For a raw version simply blend it all in a processor instead.

Now add the chia seeds and let it stand for a while. The longer it stands the thicker it gets but I’d wait at least 15-20min. If you’re hungry and want to eat your fresh jam right now – go for it and enjoy it some home baked bread or simply brown toast with a lovely cup of tea! Alternatively store it in a jar in the fridge and use it as a yummy topping on your bfast or on your greek yoghurt as a snack. It even goes well with a  nice goat cheese and with these temperatures it would also be a lovely topping on some banana or chocolate ice cream (recipe here).

Hope you enjoy it and have a lovely new month ahead! For regular food inspiration don’t forget to follow my Facebook fan pay  or Instagram.

Big love & thanks for reading, lovely people<<<<
on't forget to shine brightly ❤

N xx

P.S. I'm also taking new clients for private cooking classes, and an exciting workshop on yoga and healthy food for mummies is in the works so watch this space or get in touch with me for more info.

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The calm before the storm.. 

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Dar-Tal-Kaptan Gozo

Dar-Tal-Kaptan B&B, Ghasri Gozo

It’s already a week ago that we went to Gozo for our last little weekend trip before baby arrives and I don’t want to miss the chance to praise the cute gem which we found in Ghasri:  B&B Dar-Tal-Kaptan. Don’t miss to scroll down further for a yummy smoothie recipe and lots of book tips and recommendations how to help pregnancy the natural way.

Review B&B Dar-Tal-Kaptan
From the moment of your arrival, the hosts Peter & Warren spoiled us with their friendliness, a super cosy home with spacious rooms and lots and lots of attention to detail all over. The rooms are all decorated in different themes (ours was Serenity <3) and offer lots of privacy and comfort. We had our own little kitchenette with water, teas, coffee and a bowl of fresh fruit in the fridge waiting for us. The views from our room and own terrace were just lush and green and perfect for a daily gently yoga session in the morning. Blissfulness and calm are the words which come up my mind when I remember these moments…

Breakfast let my foodie heart beat faster. Next to all the usual things like cold cuts and cheeses, fresh fruit and veg, yoghurts, muesli etc Warren made us a different healthy smoothie with interesting combinations in his Vitamix and freshly prepared eggs every day. When you decide to just chill and read at the pool like us (see book tips below), you’ll get cold flavored water with fresh herbs from the garden (think rosemary and lemons) and a little surprise during the day like slices of frozen melon (such a simple and yummy idea!) or an organic apple sorbet.  Peter and Warren are always up for an interesting chat when you feel like it but give you total privacy at the same time. With joy I remember inspiring conversations about food, yoga and traveling… 🙂 It was the perfect place for us to just relax in their wonderful garden, paddle on a lilo in the refreshing pool or reading on a sun bed in the shade and enjoying the sound of the palm trees in the wind and the green around us.

To guarantee absolute relaxation the B&B generally has a no child policy but when you book all 3 rooms you can bring children which we’ll definitely try to organize with our friends in the future.

Thanks for an absolutely wonderful weekend, guys! We’ll surely remember it forever and will try to come again soon 🙂

The Calm Before The Storm Smoothie
Of course I also had to recreate a bit of a twisted version of Warren’s smoothies, so here comes a yummy new recipe for a healthy smoothie.

Next to lots of goodieness from organic wheatgrass powder (alkalizing), cinnamon (good for digestion), I added my chocolate pregnancy vitamin protein powder, so if you’re not pregnant please take raw cacao and a protein powder of your choice instead (e.g. pea or hemp)

Chocolay green smoothie

What you need..
(1 portion)

  • 1/2 a banana (if you don’t have one at home, I always keep chopped up frozen ones in the fridge – you never know when you feel like the next raw banana ice cream hehe..)
  • 1 cup of milk of your choice (I used organic brown rice but you can take almond, soy, oat or even organic cow’s milk if you drink it)
  • 3 tablespoons of chocolate protein powder (I used this pregnancy powder throughout the whole pregnancy which was great, but you can also just use your favorite protein powder and add 2 teaspoons of raw cacao)
  • 2 tablespoons of wheatgrass (or any other greens like spirulina, chlorella etc.)
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon

What to do..
Easy peasy – put it all in your blender, mix for a minute and enjoy 🙂

 

Books and other pregnancy tips

Book tip: Bountiful, beautiful, blissful

Book tip: Bountiful, beautiful, blissful

Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation
This book is pure bliss and positivity for the bump, heart and soul, even if you’re not into yoga and mediation – I promise. Recommended by my lovely Prenatal Yoga Malta teacher Sarah at the wonderful freemyme in Sliema.

The Gentle Birth Method: The Month-by-month Jeyarani Way Programme
Lots of helpful tips about visualization, relaxation, nutrition and especially holistic recommendations for each week e.g. which areas of the body to work on with reflexology. Talking of reflexology: if you’re lucky to be in Malta go and get some appointments with Cat from Butterfly Therapies, nothing makes you calmer and more centered 🙂

Die Hebammensprechstunde (freely translated “Consultation-hour with a midwife”)
Recommended by German speaking friends this book is like the bible of natural oriented midwives. Full of tips about herbs, teas, essential oils, homeopathy etc. So so happy I listened and bought it! So far in German only which is a real pity – maybe I should approach the author and propose to market it in English speaking countries 😉 Many of the herbal tea and oil mixes you can even buy in pharmacies in Austria and Germany so I asked my mum to send me some. But at least I found some good sources for homeopathy and essential oils here in Malta as well if you’re looking for some get in touch with the lovely homeopath Ashley from Tigne Holistic Centre or the always helpful Charlene from Soap Cafe.

The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting
Only in the beginning stages and partly a bit extreme but I get the idea of introducing a routine and will maybe take out some elements (some others definitely not 😉

This list of recommendations would not be complete without mentioning Robert Grech from Osteopathy Malta who helped me several times with an existing hip issue which came up again during my pregnancy and was sorted out completely within a few appointments. Yep, you don’t have to suffer physically, just because you’re pregnant – just get help and do something against it!

Also, thank you to Dini Martinez, a lovely friend, yoga teacher and experienced doula who travels the world with her family on a sailing boat (check out Sailing Yoga Family) for holding a great workshop on pregnancy and birth a few months ago which was really inspiring and helpful, too!

Last but not least I also want to say that I’m really impressed and positively surprised by the 7-week-parentcrafts-course organized by the Malta Midwives which is available for free at Mater Dei Hospital. I didn’t expect a lot and took out heaps and heaps of great information. Keep up the great job ladies!

What a network of wonderful people I have in my life, aye? Feeling really blessed and grateful to have you all here on this little island ❤

Now all I can say is that I’m super excited and I hope all these preparations will help our big event ahead and maybe help some of you, too. Of course you can never really be fully prepared and everything can always go differently all the time but in the end I think it helps to know what’s gonna happen, what you can do to help to do it the natural way and to tell yourself you prepared yourself as good as you can.

Let’s just hope it will all go well with the final spurt, birth and afterwards and I’ll definitely keep you posted.. One thing I know for sure, it was an amazing process and experience so far and I’m super grateful for all the love around me (you know who you are!), all the things I learned so far and look forward to the new chapter ahead!

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the blog or the nadisunshine FB page.

 

Lots of love & good vibes, especially to all the other mummies to be out there ❤
N xxx

Thai delights!

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One thing I sometimes miss here in Malta is proper ethnic food. Having lived in Vienna before we moved here, we were really spoiled with choice of food from around the world. Vienna’s loveliest food market, the Naschmarkt, was 5min around the corner and you could find anything a foodie’s heart could wish for.. Lebanese, Jamaican, Creole, Indian, Turkish, Japanese of the best quality – you name it.

Malta being quite a small island in the Mediterranean (thus called “the rock”), naturally offers lots of delicious places with Mediterranean dishes but all in all less variety in food. What I miss the most here is a proper, genuine Thai restaurant (yes, Thailand is one of my favorite places in the world. Also, because of it’s kitchen which also led me to attending some courses and trying to cook Thai myself).

Anyways, the search for a cosy, casual place for genuine  Thai food is over! In the middle of Gzira, just next to the road, where you’d never expect it is a small little bar called Times Gone By (for the Maltese readers, it’s just opposite Azzopardi’s fish shop).

Surprisingly you don’t only find a huge variety of over 40 foreign beers and a super friendly host, but also some really amazing Thai food. Don’t expect a fancy, pretty restaurant, it more looks like a bar in an old antique shop, but the atmosphere is great and the owner Ferry welcomes you with a big smile and heart. But the secret lies in the kitchen. Ferry’s wife is from Thailand herself and therefore really nows what she does. Our Tom Yum and Tom Ka Gai soups were like in Thailand: fresh, spicy and super yummy. Also the mains (we had a red curry and Thai noodle salad) were just delicious. All fresh, tasty and only leaving you with the thought when you can make it again next time. The belgium beers to accompany our meal were the perfect match. Also, the prices are really good (32 eur for 4 courses and two beers).

Cut the long story short: whoever in Malta likes genuine Thai food in a relaxed environment, check out Times Gone By.
Ferry, we’ll definitely see you again soon!

Times gone by - Thai food, Gzira, Malta

ราตรีสวัสดิ์ or good night 😉

Love, Nxx

P.S. Please note that Times Gone by will soon move to a new location. So better check their Facebook Page to go to the right place whenever you wish to check it out.

winter time, risotto time!

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Winter is cold, even in Malta. This time of the year you want something warm, comforting, which makes you feel cosy and to be enjoyed with a glass of lovely red wine. For me a risotto is just the perfect food these days. I always think, no.. it’s a lot of work, but actually there’s nothing cosier on a dark cold winter day than stay at home, open a bottle of wine, put on some nice music and start cooking a risotto. Perfect with some nice company as you don’t really have to focus much on the cooking!

winter time, risotto time!

What I also like with risotto is the fact that you can actually throw anything in it what your fridge gives you. Left overs of wine, any kind of veggies and cheese. Doesn’t matter if you went shopping or not, I guess you’ll always find something you can make a risotto with.

In my case I wanted to use up a box of mushrooms and a lovely bunch of green asparagus. So I cleaned the asparagus and shortly cooked it in boiling water with some salt and lemon and kept the water for later. The cut up mushrooms I fried in a pan with some olive oil, oregano, thyme and seasoned with salt, pepper and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar. In the meantime I fried the cut up onion slowly on medium heat, added the garlic and the risotto rice until fragrant nice and shiny. Then start to top up with liquids, but only as much to cover the rice. During you finish the veggies and set the table never forget to top up with liquids. When everything is ready (ca. 20min later) and the risotto rice is al dente add the knob of butter, the grated cheese and some of the veggies. Stir it, so the cheese melts, and decorate on a nice plate with some of the asparagus and mushrooms on the side. Lovely with some salad and wine. Enjoy with some nice company and music 🙂

Ingredients:
1 box of mushrooms
1 bunch of asparagus
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of risotto
liquids: left overs of white wine, 0,5l of veggie stock (I used the asparagus stock)
olive oil, knob of butter
salt, pepper
some nice herbs e.g. dried oregano & thyme, rosmary etc.
parmesan or similar cheese (grated)

A hidden bakery gem in Sliema, Malta

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i’m outing myself. i’m very much in love. with dark bread of every kind. big loaves of sourdough, little crusty ones, crispy south tyrolean ‘schüttelbrot‘, i just can’t get enough of it.. since in malta i started making my own and furthermore all our friends and family who visit us in malta have to bring us a loaf or two of dark bread (next to elderberry syrup to make my hugos), so i don’t get totally crazy without it. like most southern countries, malta doesn’t really have any proper dark bread BUT…

… check this out, it’s not that bad either 🙂 i found this in a tiny little bakery, hidden in the narrowest alleys of sliema, one of the main hubs in malta.  i promise you: just the smell in this bakery makes you fly…. i tried out some maltese bfast delights, all white but every now and then we feel like something naughty too and that’s ok! ever heard about the 80 -20% rule? i’m a strong believer in it! so pick your little (occasional) treat, eat it with some butter and home made jam & some nice morning coffee! hmmmm.. delicious! 

how to find it?
go to sliema ferries where the ferry leaves to valletta. go to the opposite of the road where you will see a black cosmetics shop called inglott. walk there and turn right up a street called st. piju V. walk up and then turn at the first on the left. there is not even a sign outside but the smell will guide you 🙂

maltese good morning pleasures

so as always i try to make the most out of what you get wherever you are 😀

thanks for reading!
love & sunshine,
nadine