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‘Slow it down’

Changes are inevitable, the world keeps turning and life keeps going on, and on, and on, and on… And at one point you might realise you’ve been moving too fast without realising it, going too fast for your own good. You might be at the point in which you should take a step backwards, breathe deep and slow it down.

Chocolate cake intervention

Most of my roommates are in the exam period now, so today I decided to make a dessert to surprise them and cheer them a bit. I wasn’t really inspired about what to bake, so I went for the fan-favourite chocolate cake. Easy, quick and tasty. You want the recipe, don’t you?


You’ll need

  • 200gr of dark chocolate 
  • 125 gr of butter
  • 200 gr of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2  soup spoonfuls of flour

Then you

  • Melt the butter and the chocolate in the microwave 
  • Add the sugar and beat
  • Add the eggs, one by one, beating the mix after you’ve added each egg
  • Add the flour and beat the mix until you get a nice consistency 
  • Pour into a greased (with butter and flour) mould and introduce it into the oven, which should have been preheated at 180C
  • Let it bake for 20 min. 
  • Let it cool before turning out

I added some almond powder. It was discreet but you could still taste it, and it wasn’t heavy, as I feared. For the best effect, you can serve it adding some vanilla ice-cream. 

The surprise was a bit ruined because the whole place smelled baked chocolate, but the result was much appreciated. Nothing like chocolate to lift the spirit, right?

Projects, plans and resolutions 

I don’t usually do New Years resolutions. On one hand, I never keep them and I end up disappointed on myself. On the other hand, I realised that I do resolutions every day or week: get up on time, go to the gym, be nice to people despite a headache, learn a new recipe … Life is full of resolutions.

But 2017 is going to be a bit different. It’s the last year before I turn 30. Everything I’ll do will have that “things to do before you’re 30” feel. 

So I’m not doing resolutions, but I’m having projects. First one, surviving the Spartacus Run I’m doing on February the 26th. So first two months of the year will be full of gym and training and “why-did-I-sign-up-for-this” moments. But I’ll survive (I hope). Then, I think it’ll be a good idea to finally get my driver’s license while I’m still in my twenties, right? And I really need to learn Dutch. Not only because I t’s important for my job, but also from a personal perspective, I feel it’s something I need to do.

There you have it. Not resolutions, but three plans. And you, what are you expecting in 2017? 

Dive

Life advice from Supergirl.

You’re standing on the shore, afraid to dive into the new waters. And you’re afraid because you don’t want to say goodbye to the mild-mannered, love-loaned Kara Danvers, the sweet and beautiful assistant to Cat Grant. You’re standing there looking at your options: the icy blue water, the fast flowing river and choppy sea, and all look very appealing to you because you’re dying to go for a swim. But you know the water is going to be cold and the journey is going to be hard, and when you reach the other side you will have become a new person, and you’re scared to meet that new version of yourself. Now, we all get used to our own personas and are used to our own comfort zones, but trust me, in order to live, we must keep daring, keep diving.

Goals in life

We all have goals, wishes, a bucket list. They keep us going, trying, improving, daring: running a semi-marathon, finally getting your driver’s license, participating in a TED event, travelling to New Zealand… Or just being able to open a Chupa-Chups without breaking the plastic.

Because not all goals need to be big or life-changing. 

Run, María, run

This is it, I’m going public: I’m training in order to do the 20km run in Brussels next May. This been said, I don’t think I’ll be ready. So even though I’m training for it, I don’t think I’ll actually run it. Let me explain.

When I was a kid, I loved gym classes and I trained as a ballerina, up until I was 20 or 21 years old. I was fit, enjoyed physical exercise (the sweatier the better, because it meant I was really exercising). Then, life happens, and I stopped exercising. And life keeps happening, and a few years back, because of some various health issues, I had to start practising some sport again (my doctor went from «it’d be good» to «you should» to «I’m prescribing you sport. Do it»). It was a good timing, because a gym had opened at 5 minutes walk from my place, with nice installations and a nicer price. So there I went. And having payed for it, i intended to go, so that money would not be lost.

It wasn’t easy at the beginning, but once I started to recover my former physical condition, it became easier and funnier. I attended some Zumba classes and I discovered Tae-Bo. I forced myself tongo to the classes, and then, when I was already used to work out, I started going on my own to do some fitness on my own. Last year I ditched Zumba and started some Muay Thai classes, which I love. What I had never done was running on the treadmill. Bike, ok. Weights, ok. Elliptical bike, not a huge fan but still ok. Treadmill, no thanks.

I had had some issues with my ankles in the past, and I know I have to be careful with what kind of exercise I do, and running or jogging are not the best ankle-friendly disciplines. I had the perfect excuse not to run. The real one is much more simple: I get bored. Running for the only sake of running? Boring.

Then, after a deal with a friend and some encouragement of other friends, I went to the gym and started my workout with a 10 minute run. And I was surprised I could handle it. Since then, I’ve been running inside and outside a few times, and, even if I’m not running long distances, I’m doing fine. And it’s a bit less boring because now I know why I’m doing it. First reason: my gym classes are more focused on strength, so I need to work on my cardio to compensate. Second: if I’m ready, why not run an organised run? Even if I’m not ready when the moment comes, having the deadline of May’s run helps me persevere in my workout resolution(s). So let’s #goforit (my motivational workout hashtag).

Top image, from Mr. Wonderful app: «Run after your dreams. Even if you don’t catch them, you’ll have at least done some exercise »

Anyone can cook

Gusteau: What do I always say, Remy? Anyone can cook.Rémy: Well yeah, anyone can. That doesn’t mean that anyone should.

Do you recognise that quote? Yes, it is from Ratatouille, the Pixar film. For a long time I used it as an excuse not to, well, cook “elaborated” recipes. The simpler (aka, pasta simple) the better. Anything that involves a recipe which demanded to take care of more than one thing at once was systematically ruled out. I shouldn’t cook, even if I could. I guess I just didn’t want to face something that scared me and put me out of my comfort zone. 

Then… we’ll, I guess life happened, I grew older or maybe bolder, and I started trying things. I don’t do complicated fancy cooking, I stick to simple but good things. I started challenging myself. Experimenting with spices. Learning from others. Putting my own personal touch in the recipes. And I have to say, I have grown to become quite a competent cook. I think even my grandma (the one who always tried to make a proper lady out of me) would be proud. I am. Not because I learned to cook, but because I faced a fear and passed over it.