Thursday, 31 May 2012

actions speak louder than words...


I don't know about you, but this perfectly epitomizes my way of thinking/acting when im upset [or angry for that matter]. 

vogue material

Last week I read an article [which can be found here] which gave column inches to the fact that Adele's Vogue cover was somewhat a failure. The British Vogue editor, Alexandra Schulman commented "Adele is the most popular women in the world, but one of the worst sellers we've ever had". It's true that Adele, with her beautiful songs, husky voice and amazing talent, as well as down to earth personality, is one of the worlds most wonderful celebrities. But pop her on the cover of Vogue and everyone changes their minds. 

While a whole host of women worldwide may connect with her and associate with her on a multitude of levels, maybe the average Vogue woman (and man for that matter) just don't get on board with the Adele bandwagon. Lets look at this objectively; Vogue is a fashion magazine and there is minimal reference to fashion on the cover. While the close up shot is absolutely stunning, there isn't much in the way of fashion to entice the eyes. 

As Schulman said herself, "Music stars haven't sold well at all". For me very few music stars go hand in hand with fashion. And while her music has a cool, of the moment vibe, the Vogue cover doesn't currently come with free i-pod pre-loaded with Adele tracks for consumers to associate with. 

And to be honest I think the pre-conceived notion of what a Vogue cover should be and for that matter who should grace its page, is a very powerful thing. Adele is not your average fashion icon; she isn't a size zero and she doesn't have the typical model look. So I would have to speculate that the fashion industry just isn't ready for such an average women, representative of more British women than any model, to grace the front cover of such an iconic fashion publication. 

While the industry continually battles to make steps forward, moving away from size zero hooplas, numbers speaker louder than pictures in this case. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

For the love of a good Bikini!

In cyprus i face a perpetual problem in the lack of underwear and that being said, swimwear options available for more well endowed ladies. The standard women here is more petite than her English counterpart, which means shopping has become a bit of a headache. It seems the women here just dont have big boobs. And the women that do must all know something I dont, because I have never found a store stocking a size larger than a C cup. To find a D is a momentous occasion. 

But a lovely website, Simply Beach may just hold the answer to my swimwear shopping dilemma. Not only do they offer plethora of cool swimwear and beautiful underwear, better still they stock a range of brands with bigger busted ladies in mind, like Seafolly, Pour Moi, Panache and Freya. 

Hooorrraaaaay! And the even better news is that they ship to a whole host of countries. 

So with summer fast approaching I just have to decide between the million and one options and wait for it to land on my doorstep...... hmmmm what to pick. What to pick!?!?! 



Pour Moi

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Topshop does bridal

Topshop has turned its hand to yet another area of fashion....Bridal. With the help of Richard Nicholl, the British Designer who graduate from Central St Martins in 2002. With its fashion forward approach and super trend driven styling, it was about time Topshop got its hands dirty with a collaboration to suit another shopping demographic.


Usually affordable and bridal-wear aren't two words thrust into the same sentence, but the capsule collection offers a simple and somewhat understated approach to the perfect outfit for tying the knot, at a more purse friendly price. The collection has an obvious romantic feel, but with a quirky, Topshop twist, offering nude colours and beautiful silhouettes. I love the lace overlay shift dress.

With prices between £90 and £350, the collection, which is out in stores on the 15th June is sure to be a sellout!

For more images of the collection, see here.

The four legged friend

The unconditional love in the eyes of my four legged friend is second to none. I know I bag on about how amazing our doggie is and how beautiful she is but, as someone who used to be completely and utterly terrified of dogs, saying I love one is quite an achievement! Cue a doggie photo shoot to make you all do a simultaneous "ahhhhhhhhh". Millie knows how to turn on the puppy charm. 

photos: my own

Monday, 28 May 2012

sunday supper

For some reason, Sunday nights bring out my creative side in the kitchen. Don't ask me why, maybe its the weekend feeling and the notion that I actually have time to experiment a little, instead of just covering chicken in olive oil, salt and oregano (the classic Cypriot approach to chicken) and throwing it in the oven whilst simultaneously doing 15 other things before its done. So, when I found a recipe for chicken and sweet potato curry on the BBC Good Food website a few weeks ago, I knew it was something for a Sunday. 

I made it once already but it went horribly wrong. It was my fault really as the 15 things I was trying to do while I was cooking it meant I let it simmer for too long; the sweet potato went too mushy and the sauce thickened a bit too much for my liking. Take two and I learnt from my mistakes ( I guess using recipes off the internet should be practiced before you can expect perfection). 

This time round, I left the other miscellaneous tasks for later and fully focused on the task at hand. I used less curry paste, a full fat coconut milk (the one I used before was half fat - I really dont know what I was thinking when I picked it up - half fat is so not my style) and cooked it for the proper amount of time as dictated in the recipe. 

And the result was perfectly cooked chicken, firm sweet potatoes and a beautiful creamy sauce. Not to blow my own trumpet but it tasted pretty spectacular! And the recipe is super simple. Two steps.That's it. And when something sort of resembles the picture from the recipe, you know you did a good job. 

Find the recipe here. 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

My Patriotic Side

While I may be living a different life in Cyprus, I am still a London girl at heart and remain very attached to all things English. Courtesy of the BBC World News channel and their regular airing of the London Calling, I am quite up to speed with the notion that this is the year for London. Although I am not i amongst the mayhem and madness, I do know that the Diamond Jubilee weekend celebrations are fast approaching. 

Im not familiar with the expat community here in Nicosia, which to be honest is probably rather a small one, and have no plans to celebrate the Jubilee. I mean really, me on my own in the street trying to create a mini street party with union jack bunting and some crumpets and victoria sponge probably wouldn't go down too well with the neighbours. 

But my very thoughtful father gifted me with two union jack themed teaspoons to bring a little bit of patriotic spirit to my cutlery drawer and as a result I have been searching for other English themed items to clutter our apartment with in a rebellious stance against the Cypriots. 


John Lewis

sunday sound

The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the shorts are out. 
Welcome summer. And everyday this week I have seen the London Calling BBC advert which features this Ellie Goulding song and now is ingrained on my brain. Perfect sparkly song for a sunny Sunday. 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

being an expat.

An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex ("out of") and patria ("country, fatherland"). Thanks Wikipedia.

Being an expat is pretty challenging. Emmersing yourself in a new country and embracing a new lifestyle can be hard at the best of times and when occasions arise at home, it makes it all too clear that your life is somewhere else and popping to a wedding or christening, or funeral for that matter is not an option. 

Missing out on these monumental family/friend occasions is something I struggle with the most. While Cyprus is not exactly the other side of the world, it is the other side of Europe and once you account for the 5 hour flight, the 2 hour airport wait pre-flight and the passport control/baggage claim dramas that may or may no ensue, you have spent a whole day travelling. So popping home for the weekend is not feasible unless some wonderful airline wants to sponsor me with free flights for a lifetime. 

Recently I returned home for a funeral, spending a mammoth amount on flights for effectively a 2 day trip. And while the homecoming was a no-brainer (there was no way I was going to miss this occasion) it got me thinking that if we are to continue to live on this side of Europe, we either need to win the lottery or creating a little emergency "I really need to go to England for a few days" savings pot. 

And while I wouldnt change what we have here, knowing that the world ticks by back in England without us and missing out on these events just reminds me how much we sacrificed to start a new life in the mediterranean. 

With everything though, you have to find a silver lining. And the logistical nightmare of being an expat seems somewhat worthwhile when you have beauty like this on your doorstep. 

images: my own

Friday, 25 May 2012

home alone

One of the perks my boyfriend (as a visual merchandiser for Adidas) enjoys is the trips. Funnily enough this is the one part of his job I really rather dislike. This week the destination was Serbia, which meant I was home alone for a whole 5 days, with just the company of my four legged friend. And while she has been marvelous company, i'm not going to lie, i'm rather ecstatic about the boyfriends return tonight. 

While this week has disappeared without me even realizing it, there were moments where I thought I should just put Bridget Jones on and sing along to all by myself. Don't worry things didn't get quite this dramatic. 

So it's Friday, I survived the week. With no mishaps or major life altering events to report. Unless you count slightly sunburnt shoulders from walking to work. It does appear that summer has hit us here in Cyprus. Which means one thing. Time to relegate the jeans to the back of the wardrobe and wash everything thing, floaty and summer appropriate. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

wednesday visions

today is Wednesday, which means we are halfway through the week and Friday is ever closer. And today i'm sharing the the images making my eyes light up recently. 






Tuesday, 22 May 2012

welcome to the guest room

After moving in to our new apartment almost two months, the spare room was instantly turned into a storage room, walk in wardrobe, beauty space and general "im not sure where to put this, ok put it in the spare room" space. Finally this weekend I put my orgaisation skills to good use and with a little bit of help from multiple ikea storage boxes got the spare room in guest worthy condition. 

Well when I say guest worthy condition, my clothes aren't scattered across the bed, the suitcases are put away, a make shift lampstand was created out of my Elle magazines and the clean sheets were cast across the bed. And the final touch, the beautiful welcome pillow, which as a birthday gift some years ago, finally has its place. 

The next task. Get some photographs on the wall! But thats a blue job for the boyfriend isn't it. 

Monday, 21 May 2012

motivation for a monday

So Monday brings with it that horrible feeling in the bottom of your stomach. The "oh my god its Monday which means I have a whole five days to endure until the weekend" feeling which makes it oh so hard to drag ones body out of the duvet and pillows upon waking. So a little positive mental attitude seems apt. I saw this on http-// (my new favourite blog) and thought I should share. There is something so confident about the streaky black letters cast on the white background that kinda give you the "yeah ok lets be positive" vibe. And obviously, happiness is a lot more attractive than depression! So what if it's Monday, the boyfriends left me for a week for work trip to serbia, i fell down the stairs last night and now have a sore ass, ate way to many "bitesize" pastries at work thanks to the numerous name days and then tripped up on the way home. So the only way to solve this Monday feeling (aside from a desperate attempt at positive thinking.............homemade chicken and sweet potato curry with peas and rice (recipe can be found here, courtesy of the BBC good food website)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

love and life in...

I thought it was time to update the blog address in keeping with the new name. But since living in Cyprus may not last forever, I wanted to keep it open ended, hence the address. Nothing else is changing for now. Maybe a little layout shake up in the near future, with longer term goals for an all out blog style overhaul. For now, its just the name. 


there is something about a ridiculously comfortable bed, fluffy pillows, a soft blanket and the smell of freshly washed bed-sheets, that makes me happy and relaxed within an instant. Unfortunately, sharing my bed with a boy means there are fewer pillows than i'd like and not as many beautiful, floral blankets as desired but such is life. I have serious bed envy after seeing the pictures below.




this is definitely something for a sunday

A while back I wrote [here] about the wonderful Katie Quinn Davies and her sumptuous blog, What Katie Ate. She has just done one of the most ridiculously beautiful blog posts with some stunning recipes and photographs to boot. Im now contemplating making self saucing mocha choc pudding which looks as taste tantalizing as its sounds. You can see my favourite post picks below, but for the full post and recipes check out the post here. 


sunday sound

It's safe to say my music taste is kind of eclectic. Looking back at my sunday sounds tells you that. And while last week we had the husky tones of Ben Howard soothing us to sleep, this week its the more funky beat of Matrix & Futurebound. "All I Know" was the motivation I needed to get through the mammoth apartment spring clean that occured yesterday. I think there is something about this beat that makes my brain and body wake up and push through the boredom barrier. Enjoy. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

the guardian of fashion

she affectionately names herself the guardian of fashion and judging from the organisation of her closet she takes her job very seriously. Anna Dello Russo, the editor of Vogue Japan talks about the inspirations for her accessories collection with H&M and takes us round her eclectic apartment. 


Saturday comes just once a week, which is a shame since its my favourite day. Although for some strange reason my body never allows me to sleep in, always waking early in the sort of way that makes it impossible to return to slumber! 

Maybe my body and brain are programmed for the week a little too much that they get confused come Saturday and dont really know what to do about it. It's funny how quickly our brains and our bodies get into a routine and succumb to what is now the everyday. I guess I noticed this mostly when we packed up and transferred our lives to Cyprus. 

Routines in the Mediterranean are very different from London, with a more relaxed atmosphere, laid back routine and afternoon naps thrown in for fun. And whilst before my Saturday routine would have been centered around working and going to the gym, now its cleaning, shopping and doing fun things like walking round old town nicosia, coffee in the sunshine and bacon sandwiches. What a difference a country makes huh. 

It's easy to fall into a trap though and get almost stuck in a routine, something which has been nagging me lately. Maybe the reason for my itchy feet was the routine, the everyday stuff of being an adult like saturday cleaning and monday night cooking that got me frustrated. 

I guess the answer is to catapult yourself out of the routine or stop getting overwhelmed by the familiar. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

red sky at night

One of the things I remember from growing up was a saying my mum would bring out every so often when the sky turned that wonderful pinky/purple/orangey/red colour. 

" red sky at night, shepherds delight. red sky in the morning, shepherds warning"  

And tonight was one of those red sky nights. After a day where the huge black and heavy looking clouds hung over the city waiting to burst and shower their drops of rain everywhere, the monsoon cleared to leave a beautiful sunset casting an array of colours across the few whispy clouds left in the sky. On evenings like this a feeling of calm comes over everything and I find myself mesmerized by the colourful sky above us. And it brings memories of warm summer evenings in England, where the light remains till late and as a child the last thing I saw before bedtime was a pink sky fading away. 

It's funny amazing how years later, all grown up and living in another country, a pink sky can bring back so many memories. 

photographs by me