Vegan Cacao Cupcakes

Yesterday I was looking at my fridge thinking I had to go to the farmer’s markets the next day because it was EMPTY. I had some Brussel sprouts and a couple of left overs but I felt like a little treat, something sweet. Since we didn’t have any fruits, I decided to check my recipe books to see what I could make considering our Zero Waste lifestyle and the bulk produce I had. Then I found these amazing cupcakes from the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

I tweaked a couple of ingredients from the original recipe but the method is exactly the same. I just love getting inspiration from books but being able to make it my own too!

I usually do not make anything with that amount of sugar. I am not much of a sweet tooth and I have two kids that have never had any processed sweets. We usually make our own nutritious, vegan ice cream and give them dehydrated mangoes, raisins and dates as their sweets. Considering this, I made this recipe anyway, so I call this “naughty cupcakes” since they have a delicious amount of sugar in them! Still, they are not overly sweet and decadent.

The recipe book called this a crimson velvetted cupcakes but I didn’t put any artificial colouring so… I won’t call it that.

Let’s just call them Vegan Cacao Cupcake. Here is my version of this fluffy and moist, sweet treat.


1 cup milk (coconut, soy, almond or regular milk)

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups of wholemeal flour (I used self raising)

1 cup of rapadura sugar

2 tablespoons cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking sofa

1/2 teaspoon sal

1/3 cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon pitaya powder (I used this instead of the dye but honestly it didn’t make any difference)

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 coconut extract


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (170C fan forced) or 350F and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk together the milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, cacao, baking powder, baking sofa, pitaya powder and salt into a large bowl and mix.
  4. Add the oil and extracts to the curdled milk. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until large lumps disappear.
  5. Fill cupcake liners about two-thirds of the way as these cupcakes will rise fairly high. Place in hot over and bake 18 minutes until done, don’t make sure to not over bake. Let cool for a few minutes and transfer to a cooking rack to cook completely.

Now, is a cupcake a cupcake without icing? I don’t think so. I tried making a coconut oil, icing sugar, vanilla extract and açai icing but it taste horrible in my opinion.

I recommend with this something creamy like this recipe. It is very similar to the vegan yogurt I make so I trust it must be delicious! A bit of warning, coconut oil is very temperamental so if you put it over warm cupcakes it will quickly melt.

I will make it next time but please comment if you do before I do!

Hope you enjoy!

Luna xx


Christmas giving: sharing, gratitude and the law of attraction 

After reading many books on the law of attraction, belief and faith, it finally clicked, and it all comes down to the power of gratitude. In a bit of a dark moment, I was most inspired to give to others and take the focus off that “darkness”. And this because, whatever you put energy into will grow.

It wasn’t until I went through this thankful and giving experience that I figured out HOW this “divine Matrix”, as called by Gregg Braden, worked. There are many scholars like him, that have been talking about how the Universe matches your energy. Whatever you put out there, the universe will copy and duplicate it. It is understood that your thoughts are like a blueprint that is being read, almost like a strand of DNA replicates with its correspondent partner and synthethises, your energy is being copied to perfection with the code or language you use: the language of feelings, beliefs and thoughts. As the common saying goes, you reap what you sow, in your mind and heart that is. 

After reading numerous articles, books, watching documentaries, and many hours of conferences, I got in the zone again of understanding how to harness the FEELING and energy I wanted the universe to match: GRATITUDE.

If you are in a thankful and grateful attitude, the universe matches your frequency and gives you more things to be thankful for. Stemming from this fact, I made the decision to be thankful every single day! I have affirmations I say every day above the toilet, I have a wallpaper in my phone with a positive message and I do my best to look at the bright side on the darkest moments. Because, thanks to the dark sky, and new moon, is that we can see many stars. 

So in this awareness of being thankful and search for new things to be thankful for, I thought about Christmas and how lucky were my husband and myself to be talking about budgets for our family. So, I decided to give humanity, the world, the universe, the SAME budget that we got for our family. That money went into getting cards, scratchies, mini candy canes, to charities and other causes like Syria’s White HelmetsChildren’s Hospital Foundation, and the RSPCA

In the cards I got, I wrote a nice message about Christmas and hoped to inspired the person to share a random act of kindness one day. I wanted to make it as clandestine as possible at the start: leaving them under wipers on parked cars, inside bike baskets, in between library books I was returning, and in a random car that had the windows down (thank you Jane for helping out with this one), but then I got a call from my librarian saying I had left some cards in between the books… and as I told her it was for the ladies there I realised my approach wasn’t personal enough. So I started to push myself outside of my comfort zone to actually say “Here you go, Merry Christmas” and just leave with a smile. I was feeling the people’s energy and seeing who was needing it. By saying this, I gave cards to very different people: a lady that complimented my kids and dog, a young girl cleaning in a cafe, a man that always plays the harmonica in front of a store, an old lady in a car, etc. There is no need for recognition or explanation as why I was doing this to these people, a smile and a Merry Christmas was inviting enough to inspire them to open the envelope. I gave from the heart, because it felt good. If you have an opportunity to brighten someone’s day or make someone smile, why not do it?  Even during the days I was making the cards, I wondered who would receive it and got immense joy from it.

Also, this Christmas we gave away all the clothe I was planning on selling once, and clothe from my kids and husband. Plus we donated some non-perishable food to a church I attended for playgroup a couple of times and on 1 occasion for a service the week before. And, I don’t know if it is a mere coincidence (who believes in that anyway?) or part of what the universe is giving us but… you know what happened next?? As soon as I got to the church, for the Christmas Family Party, they stopped me, right after handing in cans of food for people in need, they told me to approach them before leaving. As we were leaving I started saying goodbye, not wanting to be too forward on the matter, but one of the senior men said to park the car in front of the church doors and he gave us a BIG hamper full of Christmas food! I was incredibly grateful! I was not expecting anything at all. It was quite the surprise and honestly, didn’t quite understand the reason why they gave one to us and not to others… but I was thankful. At that moment it didn’t matter the food that was inside, what mattered was the beautiful gesture, the kindness of those people that we barely knew and thought about sharing with us that blessing.

For many people it might be easy to give but, part of the act of giving is receiving. In this life we need to learn how to be thankful, because in that case, you are granting someone else the opportunity to give, and that as well is a great honour. Think that someone chose YOU to make an act of kindness. Such a deed should be appreciated so the person as well feels joy from it. When we do not accept, it stops that cycle of giving and can sometimes hurt someone’s feelings or confidence while that person just wants to do good. So let us be more conscious about this and learn how to receive with love.

Hope this can inspire people to give, and receive, not necessarily material possessions but time, a smile, volunteer, flowers from the garden, a walk, a talk, etc. This is the only way we can regain our humanity and help others regain their faith in it. We are a world full of wonderful individuals and everyone needs love. Please feel free to share with me your experience of giving and receiving! I love to fill myself with beautiful stories of amazing people just like yourself.

Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

Luna xx

Por qué ahora sí me siento Puertorriqueña


Recuerdo en algún momento haber preguntado e investigado toda la antología de mi pasado, sólo para compartir que tengo por lo menos 3 gotas de sangre turca, que uno de mis apellidos proviene de Portugal, el otro tiene origen en Egipto, y tiene su propio escudo en España. Aparte de haber sido una trayectoria de aprendizaje, la misma me llevó demasiado lejos de lo que soy… Fui víctima de querer ser la minoría, resaltar dentro de una isla llena de personas como yo; en un lugar donde apoyan más lo importando, los acentos y todo lo que no es cotidiano, los habitantes se disfrazan… Esta superficialidad nos lleva a disfrazarnos… Y con esta mentalidad, perdí vista de quien era, de ser yo, naturalmente puertorriqueña.

Estando 11,037 millas lejos de Puerto Rico, fuera de mi isla me siento más parte de algo que se me había olvidado estando en ella…. El ser yo.

He aprendido varias cosas al estar lejos de mis raíces…
El estar libre de maquillaje, libre de preocupación por lo que me ponga, por la moda, por tener el pelo perfectamente lacio cuando es naturalmente ondulado… Desnudándome de las expectativas de los demás y conociéndome como soy, con miedo y sin miedo.

El estar en contacto con el océano Pacífico y sentir que detrás de cada corriente ‘caliente’ quizás haya alguna partícula que me conecte con mi agua Caribeña… El sentir el sol sobre mi espalda y al ver mi piel cambiar de color, celebrar, ya que mi sangre antillana es producto de 3 razas. El explicar la historia de mi isla, demostrar su contorno utilizando mi mano izquierda y aclarar porqué mi acento es como un “americano exótico”.
Al tener 14 horas de diferencia, sé que cuando despierto y rezo por seres queridos mis oraciones se manifiestan en sus sueños.
El aceptar mi acento, mi piel, mi spanglish, mis greñas que la única manera en que se vuelven “perfectas” es cuando voy al mar.
Mi corazón late al canto del coquí, y le enseño a mi hija cómo se siente escucharlo al atardecer, en una noche de navidad… Recuerdo escuchar el canto del coquí y ver las luces navideñas brillar en perfecta armonía con el ritmo del sonido natural…
He aprendido a aceptar y dejar ir. A amar de nuevo las personas que dejé de amar. A perdonar aquellas que nunca dijeron perdón, y a decir perdón a los nunca me disculpé.
Estando acá he aprendido que las amistades y conocidos llenan el alma y engrandecen el ser. He aprendido que el círculo de amistades es tan grande como puedas expandir tu corazón; que todas las personas quieren ser escuchadas, amadas y entendidas.
He aprendido que en realidad el amor no tiene distancia, no tiene barreras, hasta no tiene palabras… Sólo se siente y cuando se puede, se expresa.
He aprendido que la nostalgia puede doler, en la parte de atrás de la garganta… pero el regocijo de el momento presente puede romper cualquier tentación de volver a aquel lugar que una vez fue conocido.
He aprendido a utilizar mi pasado para crecer, pero no para definirme ni defenderme.
Estoy orgullosa de ser puertorriqueña, de tener las colinas más frondosas que haya visto, de nuestro español caribeño, casi pirata; de la pasión de nuestra gente; como todos se saludan con besos y hacen sentir a extraños como familiares.
Fuera de Puerto Rico he aprendido que si no lloro luego de leer algo que he escrito, no fue de corazón, no tiene suficiente pasión. He vuelto a creer en la magia, en crear nuestro mundo con los pensamientos, en dar de mí ya que esa es la manera más pura de felicidad.
He aprendido a ser madre e hija una y otra vez, para muchas personas en distintos momentos; y a querer a un ser tan pequeño más que mi propia carne.
Por estas y otras razones ahora me siento más Puertorriqueña; por mis hijos, por mi esposo, por mis amistades, por mi familia, por mi pasado y mi futuro. Porque siento en mi sangre la valentía de mis taínos, la perseverancia de los españoles, el sazón de los africanos, la innovación de los americanos y la pasión de los puertorriqueños (que no puedo ni quiero ocultar). No importa la distancia represento a mi isla, ya que mi isla vive en mí.  En nuestra familia soy el único vínculo que tienen mis hijos a su ascendencia, así que mientras estemos aquí, Yo seré su Borikén…
19 enero 2016
Luna Woolcott
(Escribano Pereira)

Becoming a Morning Person

 It is known that lack of sleep increases daytime fatigue, interferes with memory and concentration and it also increases hunger during the waking hours. The majority of people do not enjoy waking up early. Primarily, this could be because they have to go to work or do some other tedious task they do not enjoy. That is why I believe that making your morning a GOOD one can change the whole outcome of the day!
There is a serious problem of sleeplessness and over-sleeping in many households. Another big reason why some do not feel that spark of energy as soon as they see the sun rays peeking through their blinds is because they didn’t have a well rested sleep the night before. It is not so obvious that to become a morning person the first thing we should focus on is the night before
Instead of trying to just wake up with the annoying buzz of the alarm clock on that morning (and snoozing it for almost an hour!), lets focus on having an early dinner and go to bed earlier.
If you make a habit of going to sleep earlier, you will find that getting up earlier becomes easier or even natural! Simple right?!
Tips from early risers:
  • Try to go to bed at the same time each night.
  •  It is recommended that we turn off all our electronic devices, or at least put them on the other side of the room, at least an hour before going to bed (preferably 2 hours before if possible).
  • Getting into a nighttime routine is helpful as well. You can take a warm shower, put on relaxing music, read a book, write in your diary, stretch, meditate, anything you can do to help relax the mind and body.
  •  Research recommends to not eat 2-3 hours before bedtime.
A heavy meal at night can cause indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn, weight gain, disrupted sleep, etc. Unfortunately, if we lie down after a huge meal, it can be a strain and lead to a feeling of lethargy in the morning making it hard to wake up.
Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine believe the late evening and early morning hours are the time for cleansing and healing the body from the day before.If we are using the body’s energy to digest food (which should have occurred during the active day-time hours), we are not giving the body that precious cleansing time that it needs to help fight off disease, as well as help heal ourselves naturally. (taken from )
Tips To Avoid Eating Late At Night
  • Eat a moderate breakfast and a heavier lunch.
  • Have a larger dinner before/at 6 PM.
  • When you feel like eating late at night, drink a cup of warm lemon water or an herbal tea with raw honey. Hot liquids are soothing and warming.
  • Brush your teeth earlier! It may sound simple, but some people find that if they just brush their teeth, they are less likely to indulge in late-night eating patterns.
  • Go on a brisk walk after dinner. Ayurvedic medicine says that we should eat no later than six o’ clock, and afterwards take a walk of at least 108 steps!
Something else that interferes with my morning momentum and vibrancy is the amount of sleep I actually get. If I sleep too much I tend to wake up overslept, over tired. I am a firm believer in getting to know your body and what works for you.
Personally, I have more than enough sleep after resting for 8 hours. So, for example, my sleep time when getting up at 5am is 9pm. If I sleep more than that, it gets harder for me to spring out of bed early like I enjoy.
There are certain things I like to do to make the transition easier. Here are some things that motivate me!
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Motivations To Get Up Early:
  • Organise something nice to do, even better if it is with someone else because it keeps you accountable (daily walk is perfect).
  • Place your alarm clock out of reach. Make it a song you love 😉
  • Have a nice outfit already picked out.
  • Sit up in bed as soon as you open your eyes.
  • Have pre-cut fruits, soaked chia seeds, bircher, etc, to have breakfast pretty much ready when you wake up!

Wake up with the sun!

Took me a bit to post this blog because I wanted to first settle into a good routine where I could find time for everything we wanted to do. A lot of good changes are happing at the moment and we are really excited about them!

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After vacationing in Puerto Rico and New York from August to September, I was ready to start again with our routine in Australia. Motivation, and probably a bit of jet lag, made it easy for us to start our days early! My favourite thing at the moment is waking up every day at 5:00am in the morning, with no alarm, energised, well rested and ready to start the day with the sun. An earlier bed time is also helpful. I go to sleep at 7:00pm – 7:30pm and have early dinner, which in turns facilitates digestion and I am never bloated or exhausted when I get up in the morning.


I absolutely love getting up with the sun. Our ancestors used to make the most of the sunlight and I agree it is the best way to have a productive day even before 9:00am!

Waking up early has many benefits. I personally find:

  • More energy during the day.
  • Inspiration to cook a ‘proper’ breakfast, lunch and dinner (and prepare snacks for the day, or week!).
  • Time to exercise before our toddler wakes up and walk more than 4 miles/8 kilometers a day.
  • Getting so many things done even before 9am and being able to just enjoy the rest of the day.
  • Finally able to read the book I wanted to read, write, organise my diary, work, and join as a volunteer to a greater cause! (Before I thought I didn’t have time for it).
  • Time to meditate, visualize and do yoga.
  • Better memory, retention and more organized…
  • Great mood, more optimistic (if that was even possible, haha!), generally happy with life!

Wow… All this because I woke up earlier? Thanks sun!

Here is what our schedule looks like at the moment:

5am Parents wake up
5:10-6am Exercise
6:30am Sienna wake up and fruit snack
6:4oam-8:30am Walk to lighthouse
8:40am Have breakfast
9:00am-10:00am Sienna Playtime or nap (she is cutting down this nap now)
11:00 Lunch
1:00pm Sienna Nap time (If her first nap was less than 1 hour or if she didn’t take her first nap, she will sleep for 2 hours now)
4:00 Walk around town
5:00pm Bath time
5:30pm -6:00pm Dinner
6:30pm-7:00pm Quite time and Bed time for Sienna

Here are the benefits I have seen in my 1 year old:

  • Earlier naps and earlier bedtime.
  • It helps set her body clock. Feeling energized in the morning and tired at night.
  • She gets to have more outside time (which she loves!) which means: higher understanding of nature, compassion for other beings, awareness of things around her, heightened senses.
  • Developing healthy habits, etc!

We love waking up early and seeing how our lives unfold. Everything comes together with the extra time in the morning we were missing before by sleeping in!

For more information about routines and their benefits, check out this Australian website. You can also get inspiration for routines depending on the age group of your kids there.

Happy and Warm wishes!
Luna xx

Travelling Alone… With My Baby.

My husband and I booked tickets to go to Puerto Rico from Australia a month ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time because, since we were both going, we could share the baby duty for the 36 hour flight of my now 1 year old daughter Sienna.


That is why it was a baffling surprise to learn at the moment of boarding a plane from Sydney to Dallas that my hubby could not go because his visa to go to USA was declined. This all happened at the check-in, an hour before we were supposed to board the plane. We were shocked and the clerks were rushing us to make a decision so the plane could wait for us or leave…! It was a hard decision, probably because there were a couple of factors underlying the issue:


#1 I was going to have to do the baby duty all by myself on a 36+ hour trip.

#2 We were celebrating Sienna’s birthday with my whole family (50+ people) in 2 days.

#3 If I stay I could help Luke get things settled with the embassy: getting documents, printing things, writing emails (because he isn’t the most proficient using technology).


#4 Our suitcases had our clothe and shoes mixed. Since we were travelling together, why pack a suitcase each? We packed all our belongings together and my shoes and his pants on another suitcase. He ended up keeping the bag with my shoes, hence me wearing either thongs (Aussie slang for flip flops!) or black boots everywhere.

#5 The battery of both our iPods died, my computer ran out of battery when I was emailing the US embassy and Luke had left his iPhone at home… (my iPhone broke a few days before). I tried charging the computer at the airport but I only brought the US charger because I thought “Hey, it is such a short layover anyway… I won’t need the adaptor…!”.

#6 We had 5 minutes to make a decision!!

I said: “No! I won’t go!”

After asking again: “Yes… I have to!”
Then: “No, I can’t leave you…”

and finally a “YES”…


The Qantas ladies took our passports, our luggage, and started racing to get us in that flight while we rushed trying to settle Sienna, that was screaming her poor little lungs out in the outburst of stress, while I was getting Luke’s documents ready, trying to email people, telling his sister he wasn’t going to fly that day and then a quick goodbye!


In the haste, it didn’t really sink in until I started walking with the escort around the airport with Sienna in the front carrier, a backpack on my back, a heavy nappy bag on my left and the laptop on my right. Tears started to come, I was so nervous, stressed and embarrassed that I took so long to make a decision and now I had a whole plane just waiting for me!

I believe everyone saw me cry… So silly and funny now that I think about it. Haha! But since 2012, this was going to be the first time ever that I didn’t see Luke for more than a day! We were never, not once, a day apart. I knew I could do it, but I didn’t want to do it alone. I was sad to leave him behind.

Once on the plane, after a few cups of water and some tissues, they closed the plane right behind me and we took off. Sienna fell asleep straight away. I have never flown 16 hours with her but I thought I was prepared. The case ended up being that I was.


Breastfeeding on take offs and landing, and any time in between to make her fall asleep helped as well



One’s full potential is never achieve by staying in your comfort zone. I remember thinking before the trip: “Good thing Luke is coming! I couldn’t imagine that 16 hour flight without him!”. Funny that saying this over and over again, even in an attitude of gratitude, made it happen. In the end of it all, I did it. Went on 4 planes, last two got delayed for 2 hours which made us get to our final destination, Puerto Rico at 2am.


The most challenging part of the whole ordeal was sincerely going to the toilet! I love that people were generous and played peek-a-boo with Sienna and some even offered to mind her but, as a solo, responsible parent, I felt I couldn’t leave her with anyone, so I did everything one handed.


It was challenging but doable. I traveled with my daughter, and met many other parents travelling with their kids. This is a generation of conscious parenting 🙂 were we love bringing our babies everywhere! I am young, have lots of energy and absolutely LOVE being a mother. No better time to travel with my little one than now! There is no reason why we shouldn’t do the things we love because we have kids.

Have you travelled with your kid/s? How was it? Comment bellow your experience 🙂
Luna xx

Far From Perfect

It is Ok to have off days in parenting. It is not always to breeze to raise and mould the mind of a little human being. It can be quite an overwhelming responsibility at times. Being a mother sometimes means not taking a shower, not washing your hair in a week, or like me, having the same hair bun for 3 days in a row; putting everyone else’s need before your own. Looking at yourself in the mirror? No thanks, not now… Today was one of those days for me. Got up and my husband watched the recap of the surfing comp while drinking his tea, I made him a shake while he minded Sienna on his lap, and he went off to work with a mate straight after. From that moment on, my daughter has been practically glued to my hip. From breakfast, doing the dishes, making tea, trying to go to the toilet and later on the in the day having a shower. Who needs two hands anyway? I blame the teething stage… ugh!


I am really taking advice from my lovely mother-in-law, or SuperMum, as I like to call her. She mothered 7 kids all 3 years apart and fathered them as well after 1999 when her dear husband passed away. She has old-school advice that comes in handy many times. One golden rule I love at the moment is the breathing technique. I have been using this lately. It is quite simple but can be easily overlooked. Just breathe in and count to 10… in those moments when you re breastfeeding and you get bit, when they tip juice/milk/food all over the floor, they throw a tantrum, etc…

just breathe 1After trying to put my daughter to sleep and having our dog wake her up after 3 tries, I breathed, and breathed, and well… I was very well ventilated and the end and my daughter didn’t absorb my stress because, even if it sounds rudimental, breathing is the key, and feels good! Then, she finally drifted off and closed her dear little eyes… what an angel!

We all have our moments in parenthood. It is not about being perfect, what is perfect anyway?!
I feel doing my best is all I can do. I feel for others as well when I see they are doing their best. We shouldn’t strive for perfection, or comparing ourselves to pinterest “perfect” mothers (no offence on their diligence, talent and discipline!). 1950s-housewife-620x958
I am not the best cook, I am far form the best cook, I recently realise I am terrible at baking but I will probably keep trying until I nail at least 1 recipe.
Even though I absolutely love the idea of sewing and making your kids clothe I haven’t gotten around to trying it but i have can sewn up holes, patches and made some dolls!
My crafty side could be ‘craftier’. I say to myself that I would like to do more creative things and as soon as I have everything out to start my masterpiece my daughter wakes up, its time for a nappy change, she is going somewhere dangerous, and then she decides to join me and my craft activity ends.
So for now I sing, entertain her with books, dancing, exercising, being silly, going outside and actually playing with her. I am not the best cook, best artist, best dancer or singer, but I try to be the best mom.
I am good at getting things done, organizing, being minimalistic, enjoying the basic joys of life and pass that down to my little one. I am not into heaps of toys and games… It is just the way I see things and that doesn’t make me any less or more than anyone. The beauty comes from the moments you get together with your friends, their kids, and see how beautifully different they are and how they get along so well (for the most part). We need to learn from kids to let things go, forgive, manners, live in the moment, love, play and have fun! This is the foundation of happiness. Be yourself and the best version of you!
Luna xx