A Weekend Stop…

…close to a ‘home’ river

Today’s post is long due but we had mini V&C down with those little annoying things that winter, nurseries and kids bring home…and also did a super quick visit to Lisbon this weekend!

Although a very quick trip, it was nice to feel the sun warming up, to see the sea that starts to have that nice blue colour and suddenly I felt that winter is finally coming to an end, the winter blues are slowly disappearing  and energies and hopes for the new year are renewing! Yeah!!

I want to tell you about our weekend Stop a couple of weeks ago! It seems crazy when put this way but in fact I could hardly remember of the last time we really stopped!


Since our crash move (that’s how I call it because it actually made me crash) we were focused on so many things…A’s new job, the house, T adaptation to new nursery, my adaptation to Madrid, reconnect with old friends in here, paper work and bureaucratic things which are part of the move but exhausting, try new places and go back to the favourite old ones (like if they were going to disappear any time soon…), find me some Spanish classes, get a gym subscription, get to know the neighbourhood, find myself a job and the celebrations of course… T’s birthday party, thanksgiving dinner, Xmas, New year’s, King’s day (very traditional in Spain), A’s birthday and our anniversary…they all came together, we loved it all but it made me really think that we have in fact never stopped!

After a good friend suggestion and taking advantage of the anniversary mood we gave ourselves a treat and head off for a weekend away to finally Stop!

A weekend away in a place where you can rest, enjoy a thermal swimming pool and drink wine? YES PLEASE!  

We spent our weekend in the beautiful Monasterio de Valbuena in Valbuena de Duero, where we could appreciate to be close to a river that is so familiar to us but in another country!


A good advantage of being in Madrid is that in short trips you can find nice places to visit always with good food and this one in particular with good wine.

The region of Valbuena de Duero close to Valladolid is part of a wine route that has the river Duero as a companion along the way.

There are several underground wine cellars to visit, different wines to taste coupled to the local gastronomy of the Castile Region. This time we chose not to visit any of the cellars but we will definitely come back of a full wine tasting weekend!


We carefully thought if we were going to take T with us or not as it was supposed to be a resting weekend! In the end we decided to do it and it was lovely!

He enjoyed as much or more than us…he loved the swimming pool and we were so happy to see him enjoying every minute of his relaxed parents!

The Hotel is absolutely amazing and although inside of a big Monastery is cosy and warm and full of nice spaces where I could so much see myself reading a book or just staying still (…not this time though)!

The staff were brilliant with us and the FOOD…was great! and also the wine! I have to say I tried no more than 3 different ones and after that I ended up always drinking the same – Dehesa De Los Canónigos, a red Crianza wine from the region of Ribera del Duero– it was smooth and very tasty and was a great reason to break the diet!


The breakfast was to die for, I didn’t take a picture of the breakfast tables because I could hardly focus on what I was going to choose from such a variety of things!

There were plenty of options for people like me (on constant diet!!!) detox juices, several choices of seeds and oats..but I can assure you that my breakfast had nothing of detox in it….just the green juice because it was so nice!



The top of the weekend was definitely the outside thermal infinity pool! We could move from the interior swimming pool to the outside one just with our heads popping out and enjoying the contrast in temperature, the slow music and the surrounding view….such a peaceful moment!

Unfortunately it was a bit of a grey rainy weekend..I can imagine this place full of sun and blue skies….maybe another time!


There are guided tours of the Monastery through the cloisters and visits to the Chapel and there is also a Sunday Mass!

We had a great weekend and of course it was a treat for us after such long time of stressful tasks and worries….but one lesson we got from this and from the time we had to relax was to  be more careful about us and our time and give ourselves time to really Stop…

Not just a sofa Stop, or a simple coffee with friends Stop…but peace and quiet for the mind! I am far from being an example as creating mindspace is for me as challenging as understanding the stock market or the use of Blockchain …but I am getting better (…on both) and trying to slowly underestimate the value of having all under control….family,career, friends, house…not everything as to be perfect or close to it…or at least not all the time!!!

So, today my random S goes for the word Stop

….our minds will acknowledge the effort and will surprise us every time and our bodies and health will definitely thank us!


A Green Soup Welcome

A good part of travelling is coming back home, there is that feeling of coming back to where we belong with a mind and body at rest…after a full weekend of diet crash and so much rain on the way back I could only think about a nice and comforting soup!


This one is based on the Mafalda Pinto Leite  recipe which I absolutely love, but after a weekend away I didn’t have all the ingredients needed so I skipped the miso and cashews and used coriander instead of parsley! It was still very nice…

The good thing of this recipe for me is that it can be very versatile as you can simply adapt it to the green vegetables you have at home, it’s so creamy and fresh and without potatoes!

On top I added a little bit of smoked paprika just because I love it!


  • 2 leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1/2  bunch of flat-leaf coriander 
  • piece of ginger
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Coconut oil or olive oil to sauté the veggies

Optional – Smoked paprika or black pepper


  • In a sauce pan sauté the sliced leek and garlic in coconut oil or olive oil and add some salt
  • Add the other veggies, ginger and coriander and cover with water only until it covers the veggies (it is important not to add too much water so the soup is smooth in the end
  • Blend the mixture after cooked, add the lemon juice and taste for seasoning
  • Serve and top it with more fresh coriander and some smoked paprika or black pepper



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