What we eat – 1

Hello everyone. I am already doing a series of meals with 3-5 ingredients (123). I though I’d give you some more food inspiration and show you what we eat in general, things that might also be with more ingredients. Part 1, here we go :)

Fried Rice

I am not a fan of fried rice when we get Chinese food, but I really like this homemade version. Don’t ask me the recipe, I just read a bunch of recipes and then mixed them all in one :P

Movie time snacks

On weekends we like to watch a movie with kids and eat snacks instead of actual food for dinner or lunch. Naughty naughty. In case you don’t know, Crostata is an Italian jam pie basically. Piroshki are Eastern Europe’s savory pastry (do you call it pastry?) with different fillings. I made a meat filling and fried them, but there are plenty of different fillings to choose from and you can also make them in the oven.

Veggie stew

Definitely a staple food in our household during colder months. I just throw in whatever vegetables I have in hand. Cut up the veggies, heat some oil in a pot, throw in onions and then start by throwing in the vegetables one type at a time, starting from the hardest vegetables cause they cook the longest. Add a little bit of water (or broth) at a time to help cook. I’m too lazy to make broth so I just add water and then crumble up the broth cubes and put them in, I add also salt and pepper. If your stew is too liquid add a little bit of flour (or just decide it’s a soup instead). The picture below is not the same as the raw one up, you can see that there aren’t any bell peppers down. As I said, it’s a staple food so I have different photos from different times. Enjoy as is or even better – with a side of black bread!

The Easy Peasy Oven Dinner

Here I just seasoned some chicken breasts, cut up some vegetables and added them to the pan, poured in some broth and threw in the oven. How long does it take you ask? Until it’s ready. Everyone always asks me that question and this is always my answer, when the chicken is fully cooked and the vegetables are soft. Just keep an eye on your food, put a times to 25min then check and see how much does it need to cook more.

I hope you enjoyed this post and got some inspiration. Take care and talk to you soon.

Italian Spinach Pie

Hello dear readers (or the only reader that reads this blog) :D Today I have another simple and cheap recipe for you. It’s great to have meat-less recipes, cause we all know that meat ain’t cheap. Or maybe you’re just trying to cut down on your meat consumption. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Ingredients:

DOUGH

  • ca 500g of flour
  • 235g of water
  • 25g of extra virgin olive oil

FILLING

  • 1kg of spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 250g of ricotta
  • 80g of parmigian cheese (you can use any kind of cheese, I totally forgot to buy the parmigiano once and used a regular cheese and we didn’t even feel the difference – just don’t tell the Italians)
  • 1 big egg (more if you want to put in whole eggs, read about it under nr.5)
  • salt pepper

BRUSHING

  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

or

  • 1 beaten egg
  1. First you need to make the dough. Pour the water and oil in a bowl and start adding the flour. It might be a little less or a little more than 500 grams. The dough needs to be elastic and not too hard. Wrap it in a plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour in room temperature.
  2. In the meantime cook your spinach.Drain and let cool. If you’re using fresh ones, chop them up a little bit. Heat your oven to 180° C.
  3. In a bowl mix your spinach, egg, cheese, ricotta and add some salt and pepper to your taste.
  4. Now divide your dough in two pieces. Use starch instead of flour, it’s much more efficient on helping your dough not to stick to the surface. Roll it out to a thin layer (mine came to small this time, I promise I’ve done better, I just don’t have any photos – I’ll update it later on). Brush a 26cm oven dish/pan with butter or oil and cover with the dough. Stick it tightly on the sides.
  5. Now pour in your mix, roll out the other piece of dough, cover and brush with the oil-water mix or the egg. If you want to, before closing the pie, make a few holes in the mixture and pour in a whole egg, then sprinkle them with a bit of salt.
  6. Cook for about 40-45 minutes. Serve warm (not hot) or room temperature.

 There you go, I hope you liked this recipe. I often try to get things to as simple as possible, especially when I am trying a new recipe. I will search for the simplest version and then I’ll build from there. It’s a great technique when you’re just learning to cook. As always, if you try it – let me know how it went, did you like it and feel free to share them with me on my twitter.

Pasta with tomato sauce – different versions

For Italians, pasta with tomato sauce is a staple food. Honestly I am not a fan of it, but I’ve learned to appreciate it and to make different versions to make it either better for me or to use up what I have at home. It’s much cheaper to buy a simple tomato puree and make your sauces yourself. I’m sure you can find a ton of fancy recipes out there, but I’m going to share quick and cheap versions.


Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

The Basic Tomato Sauce. My mother in law starts this with garlic and onion, but neither my kids or partner like it that way so we’re just going to skip it. Start by heating a sauce pan, add a little bit of oil, then add your puree. Add sugar, salt and pepper. Sugar is necessary to neutralize the acidity in the sauce, salt and pepper are for taste. You’re going to need to try it to see what’s the ratio that you prefer. Bring it to boil for a second and then let it cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. AND IT’S DONE! That’s it, you don’t need nothing else. Mix it in with your pasta, you can add cheese on top for extra taste. While your cooking your sauce don’t be afraid to experiment with spices, try adding sweet paprica, curry, fresh or dried basil, garlic or onion powder. And as I said in the beginning you could mince some garlic and/or cut onions to very small pieces and add in before the sauce. And beware of the tomato splashes, keep a lid on and use a sauce pan/wok or a smaller pot.

The Veggie Sauce. Here you can get as creative as you want. Heat the pan, add oil, cook your veggies, then add your puree and follow the instructions of the basic sauce. I mostly use bellpeppers for this and cut them into smaller pieces, I’ve also used just onion, I’ve used eggplant, carrots (cut them really small or grate with the bigger side). Mushrooms would work really well, I’m just not a fan of mushrooms in general so I don’t use them a lot. I often use a frozen chinese veggie mix too and that I usually serve with rice instead of pasta.

Photo from Pixabay by efirm

The Carnivore Sauce. I use either ground meat , wieners or boiled sausage (the doctor’s sausage). Same thing as with veggies: heat pan, add oil, add your meat (obviously raw meat is going to have to cook more than the sausages) and then the puree.

Other tips:

  • Add a little bit of water if you need to stretch your sauce. You can also put a little bit of water in the bottle/jar/box, give it a shake and you’ll get out the last of the puree.
  • If you like spicy food, add chilli powder or other spicy stuff.
  • This may sound weird, but I think it would taste pretty good – put in some pickles.

Other ways to use up your sauce:

  • On the pizza
  • Make some chilli
  • Cook meatballs or chicken drumsticks in it
  • Make an oven pasta dish, one layer of cream or besciamella and another one of tomato sauce
  • Use it in a soup
  • Make lasagne/parmigiana/cannelloni

I hope you found this little guide useful. Let me know how do you like to use your tomato sauce. Until next time!

Semolina Mousse

Time for another cheap dessert recipe! I grew up eating this and it’s delicious. I don’t make it that often cause one of my sons doesn’t eat it (he doesn’t like anything that has a mushy consistency) and I prefer making foods that all of us will eat. Just as with the Sweet Curd Balls, there are plenty of recipes out there and I didn’t come up with it. I just want to give you some cheap food ideas that you usually wouldn’t think to make :)

By the way I have never said where I am from, I am not hiding it, but I think it’ll be fun to see how long until someone guesses :) Anyway, here is what you’ll need:

1l of juice (any berry juice is the best choice, but you could also use somekind of fruit syrup and dilute it)

1,5 dl of semolina

sugar if needed (depends on your juice choice and preference)

milk for serving

  1. Pour your juice into a pot and bring to boil. Once it’s boiling lower the heat and add the semolina. Mix well with a whisk to avoid clumps and cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, until it thickens (stir often). For this recipe it’s better on the liquid side and not too porridge kind of thick. See if you need to add sugar, I added a little bit.

2. When it’s ready pour it into a big bowl and let it cool down. My mom used to cover it and put it outside.

3. Once it’s cooled down take your electric mixer and mix it until it’s nice and fluffy, more voluminous and the color gets lighter. I would say not less than 5 minutes.

4. All is left to do is to serve it with a little bit of cold milk. Mmmmmmhhhh so yummy. It’s especially great for hot summer days when you want something lightweight and refreshing.

I hope you’ll give this a try and if you do, let me know how it went! Talk to you soon people.

Social Media Benefits

Most of the time we hear about how bad social media is and I want to talk about the good side of social media in today’s post. Social media, internet, smart phones – it’s all fairly new and that is why I think it’s normal that we have been going through this fase of overusing it and using it the wrong way. Most of new inventions have brought some bad things with them because we simply did not yet know how to operate. Think about electricity, it was really dangerous back then cause they didn’t have the right regulations and understanding so a lot of accidents and fires and explosions happened. And let’s not even get into medicine.

At first it was this new fun and stimulating thing so of course we were all over it. Too much of the good thing is always a bad thing. The thing is, we’re fially starting to get the hang of it. We’re acknowledging the bad sides of social media, talking about it and taking a more balanced approach to it.


Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

New Mom Life. The new generations who are becoming moms are so lucky! They can get any information online, there are thousands of videos out there talking about the ugly sides of motherhood, staying at home or working moms, post partum depression & anxiety. It helps so much to know that you are not alone, that it’s ok to struggle and to not be happy all the time. There is endless information on anything you need to know about pregnancy & newborns. Many new moms feel like they don’t know enough and maybe never had a mother figure or live far away from family, so it’s great that they can get advice from other mom from all around the world, from different backgrounds and different lifestyles. When I had my first two kids there were a lot of baby forums and I quit them almost immediately cause they just made me feel like crap with all their “perfect” lives. I loved watching Teen Mom cause it showed the struggles of motherhood, not just for teenage moms but for all moms.

Teenage/Embarrasing Questions. How wonderful for the teenagers of today to be able to find all the answers to their embarrasing questions online! Whether they are too scared to talk to their parents or they don’t have anyone, they can get all the knowledge online. And this applies to any embarrasing questions you might have.


Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

How to evertything! From physical to mental to spiritual. How to be happier, more productive, better parent, healthy. How to learn more efficiently, budget, do your hair, learn to do anything. If I would’ve have all those productivity, happy mindset and learning videos as a teenager I would’ve been in so much better mental space. It’s wonderful that so many people share their knowledge and skills on social media for us to learn. Today you can pretty much do anything with the help of youtube!

Making money. A very important part of social media. How amazing is it that it’s possible to make money online and through social media! Especially for the stay at home moms, people with disabilities, introverts, people with social anxiety, students. There are so many possibilities for anyone!


Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

Getting to know people beforehand. How many time have we wasted on friends and dates to find out they’re a creep or have conflicting ideas about something (politics, religion, parenting, lifestyle, racism etc) with ours. Now you can gather a lot of information about people on social media, you can avoid getting invested in people that would eventually disappear from your life anyway. This saves time and heartbreak.

Finding your people. Whatever things you like, whatever hobbies you have and however weird they might be – online you can find people who are into the same weird stuff as you. In real life it might be rare to meet those people, but thanks to social media you get to connect with them.

Dating & hooking up. So much more opportunities for dating and hook ups.The great thing is that online people are more likely to be honest about their intentions and let others know they’re only looking for some fun or a one night stand. Much less heartbreak this way :) And dating of course. How many people have found the love of their life online today? A shitload – me included!


Photo by Ashley Schulze on Unsplash

Ok, I’m done glorifying social media for today :P The thing is, humans tend to exaggerate EVERYTHING. We turn so many good things into bad things because we just can’t keep it balanced. So keep it balanced people and enjoy the benefits of social media. Happy Valentine’s Day!

How to get out of depression/a rut/bad mood

Welcome lovely people. Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I have changed and improved myself and my life, I thought I’d share some of the things that have helped me. But first let me leave a little disclaimer: If you suffer from severe depression these tips can help you a little of course, but please seek professional help as well. Everything I’m going to talk about is from my own experience and your story is probably completely different, so take what you can from this and leave the rest :)


Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

Search for an outlet. The first thing I did that didn’t bring any big changes, but brought me a little joy and made me feel more human, was starting a blog. It was a beauty blog, it made me feel I was doing something and gave me a way to communicate without too much pressure. It helped me to stay afloat.

Get organized and clean. It’s a well known fact that the space around us effects us, but what it also gave me was something else to concentrate on. I started learning online more about organizing, cleaning and diy stuff. It kind of gave me a purpose and seeing my home becoming a nicer place made me feel good therefore my brain wanted more and it creates this good cycle of wanting to do more of these good things. And again it made me feel I was actually doing something, cause feeling useless, incapable and unimportant was a big part of my depression story.

Yoga. Shocker I know! It was a huge help for me and I only did like 5-10 minutes a day which is nothing! You don’t need to be good, in shape or flexible – just do the poses as you can and slowly but surely you will improve them. You don’t have to become this yoga/health guru, actually if you are extremely depressed don’t watch any yoga channels or follow any of those accounts – cause it will make you feel like crap about your life. Search the easiest poses online or get a book and just do them, that’s what I did. It’s less pressure that way. Also, let me mention meditation for a sec, it’s that miracle cure for everything, right? But when you have depression and anxiety your mind is a mess and it’s impossible to stay sit without losing your mind further. It’s much easier to get up and move your body for 10 minutes, even 5 minutes to start with.


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Workout. Maybe instead of yoga you prefer to let out some steam by working out, anything that gets your body moving is great! Just sweat all that bad shit out of your body! Running, lifting weights, boxing, pilates, dance, hit workouts, swimming, skiing, zumba – take your pick. Choose something that brings the most joy to you, something you won’t get bored of or just switch it up here and there.

Taiji. Luckily for me, my partner is a traditional kung fu master also specialized in all the other cool Chinese stuff like taiji quan, chi gong, acopunture and so on. I didn’t really believe in these, but I did the exercises he gave me and holy shit do they work. Actually I just thought there would be small, barely noticible improvements, I did not expect such a strong mental and physical response. It’s worth a try to find someone near you who is legit and can help you. There are videos on youtube, but first you have to know what exactly do you need, that’s why it’s better to search for a master first.

Grateful mindset. It is really hard to be thankful when things are going bad and your head is filled with dark thoughts. In the beginning force yourself to write down 1 thing a day you’re grateful for. It could be really small like smiling, getting out of bed, getting something done, not having a panic attack, talking to someone, getting out of the house, nice weather, eating a tasty meal. Or it could be the things we take for granted and don’t always think about like having a place to live, having something to eat, hot water, clean water, family, friends, clothing. I will guarantee you, that you will feel a little more blessed every day. Just start with one thing and when you feel like it, write more.


Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Find your voice. Set boundaries, ask for help, say no. It’s important that you tell people how you feel when they do certain things or they will just keep going. Often they don’t mean to make us feel bad, but they can’t stop unless you tell them. My partner definitely contributed to my depression back in the day, but he’s not to blame cause I never set the right boundaries. I never told him he was wrong. Now things are completely different, cause I started setting boundaries and assertively told him not to act this or that way. Things like helping out with the kids: with the first two he never even changed a diaper, he never stayed with them so I could do something for myself or rest. Now with the third child he does all that and often goes out all three of them together so I can have a break. People are not always bad and trying to hurt you, they have their own problems and sometimes all they need is a straight to the point talk, guidance aor encouragement (my partner needed to be taught how to take care of the kids and reassurance that he is a good father).

Social media declutter and cleanse. This one is quite obvious, but at the same time we may not realize that it’s harming us. Maybe you’re not spending a lot of time online, but the few posts you see make you feel bad about yourself and your life. Either go on a total social media cleanse for a period of time: uninstall all the apps from your phone and put blocks in your computer, whatever you need. Or just declutter all your social media and unfollow anyone who makes you feel bad, don’t feel quilty! Be ruthless! Then limit the time you spend on social media, for example give yourself only 1hour a day or no phone after a certain time. You figure out what’s best for you. Also, while your getting rid of people on social media, replace them with accounts that make you feel good. Maybe with someone who is struggling as well and you can relate to,someone who’s been where you are now, someone really positive, memes of course, inspiration, beautiful photos, something you can learn from.

Get out of the house. This can be quite daunting, but it helps to change your enviroment. Plus to see all the people being busy living makes you think: that little world of yours you’re living in, isn’t everything, there is so much more going on in the world and maybe, just maybe, your problems don’t seem so big anymore.


Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

Nature & sunshine. Nature is an amazing healer, if you have the possibility – get out in the nature. Take a little walk, touch the trees and leaves, walk barefoot. Depending on where you live and the time of the year it might be hard to get outside. In that case buy some fresh flowers or plants, maybe get a screensaver or a deskop background with your favorite kind of nature photo, or listen to nature sounds while you’re doing something at home.

Sunshine is so important for us, seasonal depression and vitamin D deficiency are a serious thing. So do your best to get all the sunshine you can get. If you can’t go outside or don’t have a garden, maybe you have a small balcony or even just open a window and let some sun on your face when you can. It’s the small things that make a difference :)

Affirmations. Very powerful! No, it’s not magic or woo woo, it’s to re-program your brain, because your brain will believe you and will start to act accordingly and help you to achieve your affirmations! Doesn’t hurt to try, don’t you think? :)


Photo by John Forson on Unsplash
Affirmations added by me

There you go. I really hope you try out at least some of these things, maybe even all to start clawing yourself out from that bad place you’re in! I know that taking action is really hard to do when you’re depressed, but it’s what is needed the most. Be strong, take that first step! Don’t ask more from yourself, just the first step and once you’ve done that take another one, and you’ll see it gets just a little easier with every step! If you came to read this post then it means that you want to get better and that was already your first step, now take the second one – YOU CAN DO IT! Sending you so much love dear warrior! Until the next time my friends.

Things you don’t need to buy when money is tight

Hello again. There are so many things to buy, so many things we need that it can make our head spin when money is tight. You need to reevaluate what you actually need. What are those things you need for absolute survival, the most basic of the basic. Some things we’re so used to buying that we don’t even think that we could totally get by without for a little time. Today I’m sharing a few ideas from me. Just remember, these are not forever solutions but just to get you by when times are really rough.


Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Cleaning supplies. That stuff costs! But you can totally get through by making your own detergents, you’ll spend a whole less & it’s even better for you and the enviroment. Pretty much all you need is white vinegar and baking soda. You could even do your own dish soap, but it’s really cheap so I still bought it, plus it’s a great addition to your other diy cleaning mixes or getting stains out of your clothes. For cleaning you can use rags made of old towels or clothes. I did still buy sponges to do the dishes, but tecnically you could even just use your hands and dish soap.

Body wash. Just buy a big packaging of delicate hand soap and use it for body wash and regular soap, 2 in 1.

Hair conditioner. I guess this depends on your hair, but most people can survive without conditioner for a little or long time. If you really need something, here comes vinegar to save the day again. Just rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar, don’t worry – it won’t leave the smell on your hair. I didn’t use conditioner until I was 18, even though I colored my hair, I just didn’t like to use a lot f products, I was a simple girl :) And I stopped using it for 9 months during our financial disaster. You can do it too.


Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Fabric softener. This is something I don’t use a lot anyway, mostly for towels and sheets, but not for normal clothing. And just like for hair, you can use vinegar to soften your items. If only use the fabric softener for the smell then you can use some essential oils if you have them in hand or just get used to clean clothes without any smell. Remember what I said in my How to get through tough financial times – you can’t be picky!

Big brands. For some reason we think that the most known and biggest brands are the best. Think about famous singers, just because someone isn’t famous doesn’t mean they can’t be an amazing singer! Other times we’re just so used buying the brand we always buy , it doesn’t even cross our minds that there are plenty of other options out there. Just give smaller cheaper brands a go and you might be surprised! Some of my all time favorite products are from small and cheap brands, cause they work so well.

Organic & expensive food . We all know the importance of good food for our health and wellbeing, but all those healthy foods are usually the most expensive. It’s ok to stick to the regular and cheap food for a little while. Don’t feel guilty about it, it’s important that you and your family have your bellies full!


Photo by Brad Stallcup on Unsplash

Clothes, makeup etc. I mean, this is probaly the most obvious. Unless you only have one pair of pants with a hole in them you probably can wait a little longer. What’s great about this is that you’ll get more creative with the things you own and use up clothes that maybe you haven’t been wearing. Or use a different lipstick or eyeshadow color. It’s awesome to discover new clothing & makeup combos that you really like. If you’re lucky then you’ll get hand me downs from friends or family. Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone for my boys so I had to buy everything but atleast they didn’t go to school therefore they only needed a few “going out of the house” pieces and at home they could just chill in old sweatpants and t-shirts.

Shaving cream for your body. If you’re a man and shave your beard almost every day then it’s better to use a shaving cream. But for all the women out there, to shave your legs you can easily use soap foam, simple shower gel, baby oil, olive oil, hair conditioner – all kind of stuff that you already have at home. It’s something that I have always done and not to save money but I was so used to it, somehow for me shaving cream was something only for men.


Photo by Agnieszka Kowalczyk on Unsplash

Food & beverages when out. This one is probably obvious as well, but bring your own everything – lunch, snacks, water, coffee. Even a soda or whatever kind of drink, it’ll probably cost more when you buy it at a bar near your office then buying it from supermarket when you get your groceries and buy in bulk.

 There you go, these were just a few things from the top of my head. There are definitely many more things you can give up to save some money. Use your imagination, get creative and remember that all have different thoughts about what are the absolute basic things we need. Next time your making a list or are in the shop, think about the items you’re buying – Can you get a more cheap version? Can you make it yourself? Can you go without for another week/month? Thank you for reading, hopefully you got some ideas on how to save those extra pennies to get through and see you soon :)