August 25, 2014

My 9 months of pregnancy

Everything started on December 18th, 2013, when I found out I was pregnant. The previous night, J told me he thought I was, {the reason being my boobs were unusually big}, but I totally didn't think so. Still, he asked me to take a pregnancy test first thing next morning, and so I did... He had already left to work by the time I woke up, so I was all alone, and ready to take a test that I was sure was gonna be negative. I read the instructions and off I went to pee on the little stick. I will never forget my shock when I realised a second bar was starting to show up on the test. Two bars meant positive for pregnancy, I was quite sure, yet I had to go and look at the instructions all over again just to make sure that was actually happening! There was no doubt, WE WERE EXPECTING A CHILD!!! OMG, I started shaking and didn't really know what to do next, I just thought I had to tell the hubby ASAP, so I sent him a whatsapp saying something like: "Guess what! We're expecting a baby!!!". He immediately called me asking me what I meant. I mean, it was pretty obvious, but I think he just couldn't believe it either after all lol. So I told him in plain English: I AM PREGNANT! It was such a joyful moment, OMG, I'll never forget the happiness I felt in the hubby's voice. It was so early in the morning, and I was already sooo looking forward to J coming back home from work to kiss him, hug him, and celebrate together!!!

Our Hong Kong wedding reception took place on December 29th, 2013. My parents, uncles and brother had made it to Hong Kong for the occasion, and it was the perfect chance for me to share the good news with them face to face. I told them on the day they arrived, which was December 27th, during lunch. I was oh-so-nervous before spilling out the news! We had ordered our food and the drinks had arrived, so I thought that was the moment I was waiting for. I said I wanted to propose a toast, because I had some great news, "I am pregnant!!!" My auntie was the first one to react, going all crazy saying congratulations and kissing me all over, my mom was more in shock and I could see she was starting to cry, but after seeing my enthusiastic auntie, she too came over to congratulate me. My dad, my uncle and my brother were still in shock, all I heard from them was "What!?" and "OMG!" but eventually got to process the information as well :D Unfortunately J couldn't be there when I shared the news with them since he was working. We had told his parents a couple days before that.

With our Hong Kong wedding reception and my family wanting to visit the whole city on the days that followed, I ended up exhausted, and morning sickness kicked in real bad. It all started on new year's eve, when we went on a yacht to watch the new year's fireworks from Victoria Harbour, and I got sea sick and couldn't help but throwing up. After that, I felt miserable every single day. I threw up almost every morning, and sometimes even throughout the day. On the 2nd of January we went to Thailand with my family, and I really thought I wasn't gonna make it, I was feeling just SO BAD that morning. The truth though, is that in Thailand my queasiness eased up considerably, I guess due to the fact that we went to Phuket on a total chill out plan, which is what my baby needed I guess, rest and relax. Once back to Hong Kong, morning sickness started again. I got terribly sick from the bus ride from the airport to home and the first thing I did when we opened the door was rush to the toilet to puke. Not the best arrival to "home, sweet home", huh? 

On January 28th, 2014, we saw our baby for the first time. It was my 11 week ultrasound, and he was PERFECT. Both J and I were amazed at how well formed he was already, we could see his pointy nose, big forehead, lovely hands and feet... I started crying the moment the first ultrasound image came up on the screen. It was seriously the most touching moment of my life! I guess birth is gonna replace that, but up until now, this is number one!

At that point in my pregnancy I couldn't even smell Chinese food. I HATED it. For some reason I just craved western food, more specifically food from back home, and it was really bad whenever we went to J's home and I had to eat Chinese, I just couldn't take it. Plus, I started dreading garlic to the point where I couldn't even smell it. It was not a nice month for sure. Luckily for me, we were moving back to Barcelona on February 25th, and I could finally had all the food I had been craving! Somehow my morning sickness stopped from one day to another some days before leaving Hong Kong, when I was 14 weeks pregnant. It was such a relief! I never threw up again, and started feeling my energy replenished and finally feeling a bit like myself again.

When I was 18 weeks 1 day pregnant, I felt my baby move for the very first time. I was having lunch with my mom and it was SO CLEAR! It felt like gas bubbles, except that they were not, they were lovely kicks! My 20 week ultrasound was really exciting, I saw he was a boy as soon as he appeared on screen. It was really obvious to me! So I told the technician and she was amazed I saw it that fast, but yes I did! Everything was good, and I was already half way through my pregnancy, so I finally announced it on my blog! We went shopping for clothes RIGHT AWAY. I had been so looking forward to knowing the gender of my baby and getting to splurge on baby clothes, yay! 

The second trimester was great, but the third has been even better. Liam has been a very active baby, and this is the main reason I loved this last trimester so much. I could feel him moving every single day, specially before bed time, and I LOVED it! Still nowadays he just won't stop moving, even though they say babies move less at the end of the pregnancy because they don't have so much room! I swear he could win the "active baby award".

I'm currently 41 weeks pregnant and so looking forward for him to come out. I'm one week overdue already... The hospital protocol is to induce labor at 41weeks 6 days, which would be next Saturday for me, but I so not want to be induced. You may not know this but I'm hoping to have a natural birth, maybe a water birth depending on how I feel at the moment, but definitely staying away from a medicalized birth. If they induce labor, you can basically say bye to a med-free labor... Because the natural state has been altered by artificial drugs, it is almost impossible to give birth the way nature intended. I don't know if this makes any sense to you but anyway, all I'm trying to say is I hope Liam will be here before next Saturday, or else I'll wait as much as I can. Hurry up baby boy, mommy and daddy can't wait to see you! I'll be announcing Liam's birth on Instagram as soon as he gets here, so make sure to follow if you want to stay in the know :)

August 1, 2014

Best Croissants in Barcelona : La Pastisseria

I made it! I found the BEST croissants in Barcelona. And the best ensaïmades, too! This place is so perfect it deserves the best of the reviews. It is a must try!

Everything started a couple months ago, when my mom mentioned a new bakery, La Pastisseria, had opened next to my parents place, and bought me an ensaimada to try it out. It was HEAVENLY. Never had I ever had such a delicious ensaimada in my life! This is starting to sound like a sponsored post, but believe me when I say it isn´t. After that first time, we started buying other pastries, namely croissants, enjoying each and every one of them. Plain, chocolate and hazelnut, cappuccino, crema catalana... lots of different varieties, and each just as delicious. There is a major winner though, it's the crema catalana-filled croissant. If you like creme brulee, you're soooo gonna love this!

A couple weeks ago, while buying some more pastries, my mom had the great idea of asking whether they served Spanish style hot chocolate {the super thick dark hot chocolate}, and they said yes! Plus, they said they make it on the spot, and you can choose between 60% or 70% chocolate. This was AWESOME news, because hot chocolate is like my favorite thing in the world {followed by sushi and the English afternoon tea}, and it is quite rare to have a place where they make it as you order. Usually they just make big pots of chocolate and keep serving from that one as people order. I was so excited I told my mom we were coming back to try this ASAP! And so we did! My mom, the hubby and I went back last week to indulge in a yummy feast! The hubby is not so fond of the thick hot chocolate, so he had a coffee and the superb crema catalana croissant, while my mom and I had hot chocolate with ensaimada. I had the 60% one while she went for the 70% one. Both were equally delicious mmmmmmmmm!!! 

Have I mentioned one of the best things of all this?? The price! OMG it's almost unbelievable. The whole meal for three was less than 11 euros! For this kind of quality this is really a bargain. In fact, the crema catalana croissant, elaborated a pastry as it is, is only 1.8 euros, exactly the same price you pay in other mediocre cafes for a simple chocolate croissant! 

It is no wonder that this bakery is so yummy, its chef, Josep Mª Rodriguez Guerola, won the 2011 worldwide best baker award. I'm sooo happy they opened in such a convenient place for me! This branch is the second one in Barcelona, it opened 4 months ago and... guess what! The first branch, which opened about a couple years ago, is very close to my home!!All of my pregnancy cravings at my reach =D

Visited on: July 23, 2014
Overall Quality: 5*
Price: 1.80 euros for the filled croissants, a bit over a euro for other not as elaborated pastries. 3 euros for the chocolate.
Value for Money: 5* {can I rate it 6*? :D }
Would I recommend it? Most certainly. It's heaven!

Closed on Mondays

La Pastisseria
Via Augusta, 166
Aragó, 228