ewa samples, strawberry dark chocolate scons-7

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Chunks Scone

A few days back I woke up way too early.

My baby having a full belly went back to sleep very shortly but I didn’t.

Sitting in front of the computer and browsing through the Internet I stumbled upon post with a recipe for Berry White Chocolate Chunks Scones.

I actually had never baked scones before and after going through the recipe, which is crazy easy, I decided to make it for breakfast.

I took me about 20 minutes to make to dough. I didn’t bake it right away because I didn’t want them to be cold when my husband and two-year old get up.

I used only half of the ingredients from the original recipe and I ended up with 6 huge scones packed with strawberries and chocolate. 

I didn’t have white chocolate so I used dark instead and it worked perfect.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 (2 oz) cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup strawberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate, cut into chunks

3/4 – 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream*

extra cream or milk, for brushing (optional)
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)**

* I used only 3/4 cup and it worked just fine

**I used turbinado sugar and it tasted delicious!!!

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425F. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the chopped strawberries and chocolate and toss to coat. Add the cream and stir just until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times, then pat out about an inch thick.

Cut into wedges, squares or rounds using a knife, biscuit cutter or glass rim. Transfer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; if you like, brush the tops with milk or extra cream and sprinkle with coarse (or turbinado) sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.

The funny part in this story is that all of those scones ended up in my belly and nobody’s else. My daughter after a few bites decided that she doesn’t want them because they make her “dirty”. When hot the chocolate inside those scones is nicely melted in parts and… ohhh so gooey :)

My daughter, though, doesn’t like this kind of texture. She wanted me to feed her those parts where there wasn’t any chocolate or strawberry (which was hard to find in these scones) and she didn’t want to touch them. Husband ate half of one scone and decided it’s too sweet with what I don’t agree. I think they are perfect when it comes to sweetness.

Have a great day, my friends.

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On This Memorial Day…

… we visited Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.

The visit was short. Cold and sharp wind in our faces. Screaming newborn and wandering everywhere toddler… .

Got the picture?!

Anyway during this short visit I took a few pictures.

It was amazing to be able to experience a place like that not only from the TV screen but with my own eyes.

Very touching… .

I suck at panoramic pictures, so this one is not the best one but I just wanted to show how big and impressive this place is, and this is only a small part of what was around us:

Click on the picture to enlarge

Scattered Horizons

ewa samples, self-portrait 365:137b

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 20th)

What can I say today… . I had a really rough night and my eyes are really heavy today.

I’m sleepy. Very sleepy. I’ve been like that all week. I’m speechless as well. The lack of energy is killing me… . I smell like spit all the time and the only me-time is while taking a shower which these days I try to stretch as long as I can just to have that time for myself. But life goes on so do my 365 Project.

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On Friday while our No 2 was napping I took No 1 outside our apartment to spent some time with her… I ended up with bunch of pictures of her and a few selfies. The weather has been really beautiful. Too bad I can’t just go outside, lay on the chair with a book and a cup of coffee and enjoy the sun… .

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I do, though, have some time to read a book. A few pages at a time. Mostly while feeding No 2. I guess, she is in a growing stage or there is something wrong with me because she acts like she is hungry all the time. So she eats all the time and I have a book always close by so whenever I feed her I just don’t sit and stare blankly at the tv. I do actually do that with the book anyway. But at least I look like I’m reading and that makes me feel better ;)

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Sunday was the Solar Eclipse. We didn’t watch it. We just went outside with our No 1 to enjoy the weird light, sit on the grass and play. She didn’t play much though, she slept for most of the time :)

Photo Art Friday

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Monday morning I started with oatmeal-strawberry smoothie. I wanted to post this recipe but I had no time to do that.

Later that day we went to a pool. Fun time for our two  year old. Last year she was in the water trying to swim. This year she is more afraid so she just played around it which was fine with me as I really didn’t feel like getting into the water.

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I love scones – that’s official.

On Tuesday I woke up really early and to fill up the time somehow I baked some strawberry-dark chocolate chunks scones. Yum!

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That’s from when No. 2 was napping and the room was dark. I really like how this picture turned out.

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Random shots from yesterday.

While the last picture is not the best one, for some reason I really like it:

It reminds me of this photo from when I was pregnant with No.2:

Normally I would’ve used today’s picture in this post as well but I’ve decided to change it as I do not have that much time each morning (and I’m really tired) to think about it.

Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend.

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Chic Homeschool Mama

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

ewa samples, take a picture 1a

Memories captured

Yesterday I talked on Skype with my parents in Poland. A few weeks back they had their big anniversary and my sister made them a photo book. While my mom was going through it trying to show me the pictures my sister used in it I realized how just a few pictures we have from our childhood. All of us. My parents have almost non. Me and my siblings have just a few. Maybe a little more than a few but still… .

My 1 month old daughter already has more pictures than I had have taken from the period when I was newborn till about 15.

I do believe that pictures are a big part of our lives. They should be really treasured and we shouldn’t be afraid to stand in front of the camera just to capture the present moment in order to keep it for our future. Someday it will help us to get back, remember and cherish the moments from our life.  There is so many memories lost because we don’t have anything what would help us to remember. In my case I do not have many pictures from when I was young and pretty ;)

These days, though, I’m trying to cover this hole with my 365 Self-Portrait Project and it’s been going pretty good so far.

As for my kids I try to take as many pictures as I can so someday they will be able to look back at those precious moments and faces. I hope they will be able to fill more than one photo book with them :)

When our No 2 was born, the first week or so I was all about taking pictures of her. Newborn, newborn and newborn everywhere and all the time. I felt like I am pushing our No 1 away just to focus on the newborn.

These days I’m getting back to normal. I try to give each of my daughters the same amount of time with the same amount of pictures taken :)

It’s hard though as our New Family Addition needs much more attention and time then her Big Sister. I keep asking myself: do I do it right? do I make her feel loved enough? do I spent enough time with her so she doesn’t feel jealous and pushed away?

But…

look at her, does she look pushed away, rejected ?

So far she works really hard for the name “Big Sister”. She’s got her ups and downs but more often it looks like she really likes her Little Sister.

The kisses and hugs she gives her now and then are the most cutest things ever and she is not even asked to do that.

… and the Little One. She is cute and she knows it :) All the attention she gets… she’s simply being spoiled.

Hugs from our quiet corner (baby’s finally asleep in HER BED).


Simple BPM

ewa samples, cheesecake strawberry smoothie-2

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

My New Year Resolution was to bake a cheesecake this year.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cheesecakes. I really do… but I have never baked one on my own. The thing is that I really like to bake or cook from scratch and to make a cheesecake from scratch means to make graham crackers or whatever crackers from scratch as well. And I feel I am to lazy for that. In addition I do not have the right baking dish… and there is always something I find in order to not to make it… .

I made a cheesecakes bars this year but I feel like that doesn’t count. They were delicious, though :)

So, every time when we go grocery shopping I buy a cream cheese. Every single week I tell myself that I AM GOING TO make a cheesecake this week. 

Every single week I end up making a smoothie with it instead.

The first time I made it I wasn’t sure about the texture and the taste but after a few changes I really like it. It’s not the healthiest smoothie ever but once for a while it’s good to spoil ones self.

Ingredients:

6 big (or 12 small) cubes frozen milk,*

6 small cubes frozen vanilla yogurt,

1/3 cup strawberry yogurt,

1 cup strawberries, frozen

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup flax seeds,

2 Tbsp honey,

* this smoothies is thick. It has a consistency of very soft ice cream. If you want it to be less thick you can substitute the frozen milk with not frozen.

Put all the ingredients in blender. Blend until really smooth. The longer it blends the more of the cream cheese texture disappears.

Scattered Horizons

Three things I love to start my day with:

Coffee, 

smoothie,

browsing the web for new recipes

(in that order)

Have a good one, my friends!

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ewa samples, coconut milk-5

Homemade and fresh: Coconut Milk

Coconut milk, delicious, creamy and thick, that’s how I like it… with a hit of sweetness.

It’s been a while since I bought coconut or almond milk. I like to make my own and the way I like it. It’s not only cheaper but it’s made fresh and it taste better.

Normally I buy peeled coconut which I have to open on the top and scoop out the white soft part. I keep the coconut water for smoothies or soups.

It’s pretty hard work to open it but it’s really worth it.

Most recipes for homemade coconut milk call for:

3 cups of water

1 coconut (the white soft part)

Of course, this way the milk is less thick and you get more for your buck.

I normally use only:

2 cups water, filtered,

1 coconut,

1 Tbsp agave nectar

This way I get more thick milk (if I don’t strain it, it’s even thicker).

The white part after it’s scooped out needs to be washed.

Then blend everything together, add whatever sweetener you use and blend a little more.

Enjoy or store in the fridge for further use.

It stays fresh for up to 4 days in the fridge.

All the recipes I found online say that you need to strain it after blending. I do not do that and I LOVE IT that way. It’s really thick and creamy. Yumm!!!

I think that if you have Blendtec, Ninja or Vitamix kind of blender it does pretty good job in blending and you don’t need to strain it but it’s only my opinion.

I can drink it just as it is without anything else.

Have a wonderful Monday and stay thirsty, my friends :)

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ewa samples, bath time

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 19)

This week was pretty much normal. I got a few headaches and aches here and there in general. It’s because I do not sleep like I used to… (oh well). Our Sleeping Beauty is really good, though. I shouldn’t complain.

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She likes to be held. A LOT. It’s pretty hard to be a walking swing chair for her with my sore back. Sometimes I feel like I just want to sit and scream it hurts so bad… .

(for those who don’t know: I had a very serious back injury several years ago)

It didn’t bother me with our No 1. She wasn’t very needy. This one is all about hugging, kissing and sleeping in our arms.

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We visited a wonderful place on Mother’s Day. I couldn’t have gotten better flowers to celebrate it :)

photosbyleanne

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On Monday we had started the day very early. Our No 2 woke up around 6am and she soon went back to sleep but not me. I stayed up just to be able to enjoy the quiet time in front of the computer and a big cup of tea before everybody gets up.

At least during those hours when I’m up with the baby I have the time to blog and play with my pictures! 

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Before I even started the day, during one of the nightly feedings I created this:

This is one of the self-portraits I had posted last week so I knew I actually am not done with Tuesday’s self-portrait. I was really tired that day as we had a few wake ups that night what usually doesn’t happen.

I dragged myself to do the laundry and while doing it I had the most miserable expressions on my face, ever ;) I was just tired. Really tired.

After I took this picture I had a different idea for it and I had decided not to post it until I create what I really had in mind but later I changed my mind and here we go. Me pretending that I’m calm and have everything under control. [totally staged photo!!!] ;)

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Bath day and headache day. Lovely husband took care of the kids while I lied down for a nap. First I thought I am not going to be able to fall asleep, then I heard a terrible noise like something JUST GOT BROKEN and I knew I had to get up and see what’s going on and clean the mess…, but I couldn’t get up I was so tired. A few minutes after I was sound asleep.

When I got up there was a mess to clean up, of course. Our No 1 had gotten into a potted plant and broke the pot and there was a soil all over the kitchen floor which of course my husband tried to clean  but he is not good at that at all ;)

Photo Art Friday

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“Hello World”

She is finally awake for longer periods and more often. She still sleeps a lot but when she doesn’t she smiles and follows us with her eyes and makes the funniest sounds ever. She is totally different from our No 1!

I struggled with those pictures like crazy. Most of my selfies I have taken with 35mm lens. I think I haven’t taken a single self-portrait with my wide angle/macro cap which used with 18-55mm makes the camera really heavy, at least too heavy to hold it in one hand while twisting it and trying to take a self-portrait.

That’s why I look a little troubled on those pictures below ;)

I will not post today’s photo in here as I really don’t feel like taking one right now but I want to be done with this post as soon as possible.

Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend, my friends!

Hugs from my tired corner!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?


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ewa samples, coconut oil cocoa butter whipped lotion

Whipped coconut oil-cocoa butter body cream

Since the day I made my first cream from coconut oil I am in love in it. In coconut oil, I mean. It works wonderful and it smells pretty darn good, too.

Lately I run out of my last homemade body lotion and at the same time I run out of emulsifying wax as well, so I went without any lotion for a while.

Looking for an inspiration for a new homemade cosmetic I came across Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter. I instantly fell in love in this VERY SIMPLE recipe. So I’d decided to make it.  

By that time I didn’t have KitchenAid just a simple electric hand mixer.

The recipe is simple. You pour a certain amount of coconut oil to a bowl and whip it until it looks like whipped cream.

So, the first time it took me about 30 minutes to finally give up on this project. I whipped and whipped and whipped and the consistency hadn’t changed almost at all. I thought the cocoa butter I added to the mixture was the main problem. I ended up with something that had the raw honey consistency. I used it all anyway.

A few days ago I decided to try it again. This time in my KitchenAid. I thought: “oh well, at least this time I don’t have to stand and hold it for so long. I’ll just turn in on and leave to do something else.”

And I did that.

I pour about 1/4 cup of coconut oil to the mixing bowl, turned the mixer on and went to play with my kids. After about 10 minutes It looked at it and there was almost no changes in the oil. I turned a little more white and it looked more thick.This time I’d decided not to give up so easily.

I turned the mixer off and put the bowl to the fridge for about 5 minutes. It was a really hot day when I was making it so I thought maybe the warm temperature at the house is the main problem why my oil doesn’t want to get thick.

After 5 minutes in the fridge I whipped it again for about 5 minutes. Turned it off and put it back to the fridge for 5 minutes. While the oil was in the fridge I melted 2 oz cocoa butter (over double boiler). When it melted I put it to the fridge to cool it down and I took the bowl with coconut oil out.

This time while whipping the consistency finally started to change and it got to the point where it looked like that:

And then I got very excited. FINALLY!!!

It smelled wonderful. Just like a coconut. The scent was so vivid and strong. Normally you can’t smell that coconut strong scent in regular coconut oil but when you whip it, oh… it’s just amazing. I love it!!!

At this point I took the cocoa butter from the fridge, it was cold but not hard, it had the consistency of honey, and I added it to the bowl with whipped coconut oil.

Then I added about 6 capsules of vitamin E and a few drops of grapefruit essential oil and whipped it for additional 5 minutes.

This is what I ended up with: smooth and silky whipped cream that smelled like coconut. 

The thing is that I do store it in the fridge and at this point it’s hardened. It didn’t stay soft and silky. I didn’t want to keep it in room temperature because I am afraid it will melt in this hot weather we’ve got here. 

Now it has the consistency more like a hard butter. It’s not REALLY hard but I need a spoon or a knife to scoop it out from the jar. Whenever I take a shower I take that jar with me so it gets softer in the moist and hot bathroom environment and after that it’s easier to scoop it out. 

It’s easy to apply on my body because as soon as it touches the skin it melts beautifully and it’s absorbs really good, too.

So far I think, I have found my second favorite recipe for body lotion :)

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I am Mom Enough!!!

Breastfeeding is not a macho test of motherhood, with the winner being the one who nurses the longest. In fact there ARE no macho tests of motherhood. Motherhood is — should be — a village, where we explore each other’s choices, learn from them, respect them, and then go off and make our own. [source]

No matter how long I breastfed my No 1 and no matter how long it’s going to take me with the No 2, I’ll be always enough! 


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ewa samples, mothers day flowers, header

My kind of Heaven

I hope all of you, mothers, had a wonderful day yesterday.

Despite very harsh morning, which meant, I could have slept much longer but my husband woke me up VERY early. He didn’t know I had struggled with our Little Princess till 4:30 am. He had planned that trip much earlier and wanted to take me there really bad. At the end of the day I was actually happy he did wake me up even if I was a little mad when he did that ;)

We went to a beautiful garden (Elisabeth F. Gamble Garden in Palo Alto) with so many flower to photograph. All of them were at the peak of blooming stage. Just a wonderful place!

Despite that everyone was yawning…

… and throwing tantrums…

… in general we had a great time:

In such a beautiful place it would be a shame not to enjoy it.

Normally I’m not a big fan of photographing flowers… until I start doing it :)

"<em

Every single time we go visit a place with flowers I’m a little skeptical. I have the attitude: “Flowers? Again?” but then we get there and I take the camera out and from the start I feel like I’m in a hog heaven. Weird.

Scattered Horizons

They even had something Polish :

And after I fed my soul with all that beauty there was a time to feed my body… with pear gorgonzola pizza.

D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S

Have a wonderful after Mother’s Day day, my friends :)