carrot cake

Friends, I need to say it… I’m so proud of this recipe!

This carrot cake is moist and¬†fluffy… It’s just great, one of my favorites.

Today, I’m also adding to this post a short video to show you how easy this recipe is.

Now, friends, this is what you’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4¬†cup sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp¬†salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cup grated carrots

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F.¬†Grease a¬†9×5 inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla.

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Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix.

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Add the grated carrots and fold using a spatula.

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Pour mixture into prepared pan.

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Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

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Let cool in pan for 20¬†minutes, then turn out onto a plate¬†and until it’s¬†completely cool.

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Enjoy!

creating a sleep routine ‚ÄĘ construyendo una rutina del sue√Īo

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

I was about 17 years old when I read “The Nausea” by Jean Paul Sartre¬†and¬†who would have thought that I would find useful a phrase from that novel during my motherhood experience!

Those who know me, must have heard me saying it a lot of times. I always say it something like these: “Habits are like nurses, they wash me, dry me, dress me…” ¬†Read the complete quote here.

During Marco’s first 3 months, I was kind of a “hippie”,¬†I didn’t mind about schedules¬†but soon I found myself paying the consequences of not being creating the foundations of a routine.
It was about that time, when I started reading a lot about baby sleep and I found out that at 4 months Marco needed to sleep 2 or 3 naps during the day and not 10 naps of 5 to 10 minutes .
IMG_2265-3Marco in his bassinet
How did I start creating a daytime sleep routine? After learning how many hours of sleep he needed to sleep, I helped him to get to sleep when he had to. Remember, this was three times (3 naps) during the day.
Resources? Everything that could be useful: using the stroller; walking around the house with him in the ergo carrier; rocking him in the bouncer or my legs; white noise… Whatever helped him to get to sleep (and again if he woke up too soon).
IMG_3416Fussy, sleepy baby
So after about a week we had a consistent daytime routine and Marco started to be sleepy around the time I have been helping him to sleep.
Which is the secret? The same that you use anytime you want to create a habit: repetition and consistency.
And this is when Sartre’s quote comes to the scene, because as you will see, once the habit is created, it’s like a nurse that carries you to repeat that action.
IMG_2594Sweet dreams!


ESPA√ĎOL

Ten√≠a entonces, 17 a√Īos. Le√≠a, durante una adormecedora siesta posade√Īa, “La N√°usea” de Jean Paul Sartre.

¬°Qui√©n imaginar√≠a que en una frase de aquella novela existencialista encontrar√≠a una ense√Īanza que me servir√≠a para mi experiencia como mam√°!

¬†Aquellos que me conocen, la habr√°n escuchado hasta el hartazgo. Siempre viene algo as√≠ como¬†“Los h√°bitos con como nodrizas. Me ba√Īan, me visten me peinan…”¬†Pueden leer la frase exacta y¬†mucho m√°s detallada aqu√≠.
Durante los primeros 3 meses de Marco, puedo decir que fui muy “hippie”, no ten√≠a ni una rutina diaria, sobretodo en relaci√≥n al sue√Īo, pero pronto… me encontr√© pagando las consecuencias de no estar construyendo dicha¬†rutina.
Fue entonces cuando le√≠ acerca de la cantidad de horas estimadas de sue√Īo que los beb√©s necesitaban y me enter√© que a¬†los 4 meses mi beb√© necesitaba dormir¬†2 o 3 siestas durante el d√≠a… No como hasta entonces, 10 siestas de 5 a 10 minutos,¬†sino 2 o 3 siestas de un sue√Īo consistente.
¬ŅC√≥mo hice para crear una rutina del sue√Īo durante el d√≠a? Despu√©s de saber cu√°ntas horas de sue√Īo necesitaba, lo ayud√© a que se durmiera cuando le tocaba. En este caso, tres veces al d√≠a (y m√°s si despertaba luego¬†de dormir muy poquito).
¬ŅRecursos? Todos los necesarios: mecerlo en el coche, caminarlo¬†rapidito¬†en el cargador (en Argentina mis amigas le dicen “mochila”); mecerlo¬†en el bouncer (sillita que se mece para beb√©s); ruido blanco y mecerlo en mis piernas… Cuando se trataba de ayudarlo a que se duerma, me val√≠ de todo lo que ten√≠a.
IMG_4839A veces cuando no se dormía y ya no sabía qué hacer, salíamos en el coche. El frío ayuda a dormir.
As√≠ despu√©s de aproximadamente una semana, Marco empez√≥ a tener sue√Īo en los horarios en los que hab√≠a estado ayud√°ndolo a que se durmiera durante el d√≠a.
¬ŅCu√°l es el secreto? El mismo que el de la construcci√≥n de cualquier h√°bito: la repetici√≥n y la constancia.
Y es aquí donde toma protagonismo la frase de Sartre porque, una vez que el hábito está instalado, es como una nodriza que te ayuda a repetir aquella acción.
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¬°Dulces sue√Īos!

useful cooking tips

These are two quick and very useful tips that I’ve learnt over the years cooking and baking and that today I want to share with you.

wooden spoons

  • Buy 2 wooden spoons.¬†You wouldn’t like¬†a slight taste of garlic¬†in your sweet rice pudding, right? ¬†So, buy 2 wooden spoons and mark them, one¬†for savory dishes and another for sweet¬†recipes.

Use a sharp knife

  • How to stop chop onions without tears: I tried a lot of tips during my life but¬†no one of them worked until I went to the¬†most prestigious cooking school in Argentina and learned that the only¬†thing that actually works: Use a very sharp knife.

So, stop wasting water, biting your tongue, using vinegar or any other crazy idea the Internet can give you. Just sharp your knife!

Happy cooking!

#nowreading

During the lasts 2¬†months, I’ve been reading Sunset Park by Paul Auster.

It was my first book from this author. Unfortunately, this book¬†become tough and sometimes even a little boring for me ‚Äďsorry to disappoint you, definitely not a fan of Auster’s prose‚Äď but I liked that I could connect with the book through my dear Brooklyn.

The quote that I chose for this #nowreading is this one:

“It was the best thing that could have happened to him,¬†it was the worst thing that could have happened to him”

Paul Auster – Sunset Park

That’s how wishes work, right? When a wish comes true, it’s so amazing but then… you have to really deal with that! Sometimes we found ourservelves thinking that that was it…. The mere realization as a result but then we really discover that the wish that came true is only the beginning of a new path.

Best and worst… I liked that.

If you want to know about other quotes that I liked from this book, let’s be friends¬†on Goodreads!

See you soon, folks!

2015-03-18--now-reading-quote

baby nursery || el cuarto del bebé

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

Living abroad and having family and friends planning on traveling to meet Marco gave us the inspiration on how to decorate his nursery.

IMG_3897Marco sleeping in his crib

Using a dry-erase white paint we created a board where our loved ones could leave a special message for our little one.

IMG_2261-3My brother René came from Posadas, Misiones (Argentina) 

The process is simple. First, apply a primer and after it dries, apply the dry-erase paint.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVictor painting

It was a cool idea and before we moved, we took some pictures to save those special words of love.

IMG_3889My nephew Santiago, who lives in Caracas, Venezuela, made this cute message

*Info: After some months, it becomes more difficult to erase the ink. I think a chalkboard paint might work better in that way but the white was much better for the wall in this case.


ESPA√ĎOL

Vivir en otro país y tener familiares y amigos planificando viajes para conocer a Marco fue lo que nos dio la inspiración para decorar el espacio de nuestro bebé.

IMG_7328La pared de Marco

Con una pintura de pizarra blanca pudimos crear una pared en la que nuestros seres queridos podían plasmar mensajes para el chiquitito de la familia.

IMG_3888El mensaje que dejaron los JPSs

El proceso es sencillo en general. Primero usas un “primer” (¬Ņser√° que en espa√Īol es “cebador” como dice Google?) y una vez que seca, pasas la pintura de pizarra blanca.

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Fue una buena idea y lo disfrutamos mucho ‚Äďyo escrib√≠ su nombre y le hice algunos dibujitos e incluso uno de mis comics‚Äď y antes de mudarnos, tomamos algunas fotos de los mensajes tan lindos que hab√≠an escrito todos aquellos seres queridos que pudieron visitarnos.

IMG_5488¬°A Marco le fascinaba su Mickey!

*Atención: Después de mucho tiempo se vuelve difícil que no quede marca al borrar. Creo que una pintura de pizarra de tiza negra puede funcionar mejor en ese sentido pero el blanco quedaba muy bien!

create a playspace || crea un √°rea de juegos

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

When we moved to San Francisco, CA, Marco was 15 months. He had recently started walking -like 2 weeks before that- was full of energy and we had just moved to a small 1 br apartment in a city full of hills and not so baby-friendly, in my experience.

I soon realized that my toddler needed a play-area, so I decided to transform a corner of our living room as his play-area.

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I¬†only bought two things for Marco’s play area: the orange chair¬†(The Container Store)¬†and the 9-pieces puzzle foam floor mat (Amazon) which helped to feel like a delimitated area.

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Marco loved his little play area and I soon realized that it was also helpful to keep his toys organized just in one place¬†and not everywhere in the apartment. When you’re living in a very small apartment, just a few things out of place can make you feel that it’s a total chaos around.

IMG_0608Always remember to use your imagination to re-use what you already have. Do you see the popcorn tin can from Trader Joe’s? It was great for storage! (it’s the one next to the floor mat).

The white baskets from his nursery were also great for storage and they made clean-up easier and faster since I could throw everything inside them in just a few minutes.

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Art-projects found a place in the wall of the play area. I used some washi-tape to adhere them.

IMG_1958Good quality¬†washi tape¬†don’t take out the painting.

I hope you find these ideas useful! It’s nice that everyone in the family is happy with the home they’re living.

Have fun!


ESPA√ĎOL

Cuando nos mudamos a San Francisco (California) Marco ten√≠a 15 meses y estaba empezando a caminar, estaba con mucha energ√≠a siempre y nos acab√°bamos de mudar a un departamento peque√Īo de un solo cuarto en una ciudad llena de colinas y no tan c√≥moda y amigable para vivir con beb√©s, en mi experiencia.

Pronto me di cuenta que mi peque√Īito necesitaba tener un espacio de juego, tanto como yo necesitaba el¬†living. Entonces, decid√≠ convertir una esquina de ese espacio en su √°rea de juegos.

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Sólo compré dos cosas: la sillita naranja que ven en la foto (The Container Store) y el piso de goma-eva con animalitos (Amazon) que ayudaba a delimitar un espacio.

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Marco am√≥ su peque√Īo espacio de juegos y yo tambi√©n me di cuenta que hab√≠a sido una buena idea porque ayudaba a mantener los juguetes en un √°rea y no desparramados por toda la casa (lo cual al ser peque√Īa hac√≠a pareciera¬†m√°s ca√≥tica cuando estaba apenas una cosa desordenada).

IMG_0613Es cuestión de usar la imaginación: la lata al lado de la pelota traía pochoclo y ahora sirve para guardar juguetes.

Los canastos blancos fueron una buena solución a la hora de ordenar rápidamente los juguetes al final del día y poder tener un living para que Victor y yo pudiéramos mirar una película en la noche y relajarnos disfrutando de nuestro living.

IMG_1972De espacio de juegos a sala de living en 5 minutos

Una idea que fue muy √ļtil tambi√©n fue utilizar cinta washi (cinta adhesiva japonesa con dibujitos, como una cinta de enmascarar pero estampada) para pegar los proyectos de arte de Marco en la pared, sin preocuparme por la pintura ya que √©sta cinta no la despega.

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¬°Espero estas ideas te sean √ļtiles!¬†Es muy bueno que todos los miembros de la familia se sientan a gusto en la casa en la que vivan.

¬°Que se diviertan!

beef stir-fry

Today, I’m sharing a quick and easy beef stir-fry recipe¬†specially created for those “I don’t have much time¬†to cook dinner but I don’t want to order” nights.

Prepare ahead for those days¬†buying these¬†items from your grocery market, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 trader joe’s asian vegetable stir fry¬†package
  • 1/2 lbs. tri-tip steak (choose grass-fed for better taste and a healthier choice)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (*optional, but gives great taste!)
  • 1 tsp mirin¬†sweet cooking sake¬†(*optional, but gives great taste!)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds (*optional, but gives great taste!))

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high-medium heat.  Add the meat. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes.

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Add the sesame oil, the vegetables and the mirin. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce. Stir, cook for 1 more minute and serve.

IMG_1770Enjoy!

fabric and paper for sale + promo link!

Hello friends,

I’m very happy to tell you that some of my designs are now available for sale as gift wrapping paper, wallpapers and fabric! You can buy it here.

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Some of the designs are from the “cute animals: mommy and me” collection and there’s also the “milkshakes, sundaes and floats” design.

show_imageThe cute animals collection makes me think of a nursery, sewing baby/toddler bed sheets with those fabrics and¬†hang¬†an art-print frame with a similar theme illustration on the wall. What do you think? In case you’re interested, I leave you this link¬†so you can have¬†FREE Worldwide Shipping on art-prints and more.

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The sundaes, floats and milkshakes fabric inspire me to sew a blouse or a dress (this also reminds me that I need to improve my sewing skills! lol!).

I know that these are just the very few first steps, the¬†beginning in fabric and gift wrapping paper design but I’m enjoying it so much and I just LOVE the idea of ¬†wearing what I draw. So, I know ¬†that I will do some more designs. ¬†I’ll keep you posted when I upload the new ones!

Thanks friends for the encouragement and the support. I really appreciate it <3

Love,

andreacomenta

baby video monitor app || monitor de video para bebés

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

As a first time mom, I wanted to be able to know that my baby was ok and safe while he was napping if I was out of the room¬†but I didn’t want to access the room every 5 minutes because I would¬†wake him up.

I thought that a¬†video monitor could¬†be very useful but it was also¬†so expensive! Then, I came across this gem in the app store:¬†it’s called Cloud Baby Monitor and it only costs $3.99!

You’ll need 2 devices (iphones, ipads or ipods, any¬†of those combinations will work). First you’ll need to synchronize them and then, set one of the devices with the camera looking at your baby and access the video monitor from the other device. Easy, cheap and super useful!

What’s even better is that this app works with wi-fi but also with bluetooth! That was really helpful when we where at a relative’s house where we couldn’t access to wi-fi.

It also has some more features like a lullaby music, a mic from which¬†you can talk to your baby from other room if you need to and it also has the option to use the flash from the camera as a light in case¬†you need to see better when it’s dark.

IMG_5256*I can notice¬†someone woke up even if he¬†isn’t making any noise…

*I didn’t get paid to write this, I’m sharing it because it was¬†a very useful resource for me and I know it can also be useful for some of my friends and others parents around the web.


ESPA√ĎOL

Como mamá primeriza, quería estar siempre pendiente de que Marco estuviera bien y seguro cuando estaba durmiendo sus siestas si yo estaba fuera de la habitación pero, no quería entrar a la habitación cada 5 minutos o lo despertaría.

Siempre pens√© que un monitor de video ser√≠a super √ļtil pero tambi√©n muy caros. Hasta que me top√© con esta joyita en el App Store: una aplicaci√≥n para el tel√©fono que se llama¬†Cloud Baby Monitor y que ¬°s√≥lo cuesta $3.99!

Necesitar√°s tener dos dispositivos (iphones, ipods, ipads, cualquier combinaci√≥n entre √©stos sirve). Una vez que los sincronizas, ¬†ubicas uno de los dispositivos con la c√°mara mirando hacia adonde est√° tu beb√© y accedes al video desde la otra unidad. Es una aplicaci√≥n de f√°cil uso, econ√≥mica y sobretodo.. ¬°√ļtil!

Adem√°s, Cloud Baby Monitor funciona con wi-fi pero tambi√©n con bluetooth, lo cual era muy bueno cuando est√°bamos en la casa de alg√ļn familiar en la que no hab√≠a wi-fi.

Esta aplicación también trae una musiquita como de móvil de cuna, un micrófono para hablar a tu bebé desde el otro dispositivo y también puedes activar el flash de la cámara como luz cuando no logres ver bien en caso de que la habitación esté muy oscura.

IMG_3897Bebito durmiendo pacíficamente

*No recibo ninguna retribuci√≥n por escribir esta rese√Īa de la¬†aplicaci√≥n. ¬†Estoy compartiendo este dato porque ha sido un recurso muy¬†√ļtil¬†para m√≠ y creo que¬†tambi√©n¬†podr√≠a¬†serlo para otros padres amigos y de la web.