Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Suite Blanco

Somewhere in the depths of the mall in Nicosia, a little store popped up that I had never heard of and to be honest, didn't even notice until someone told me. Standing proudly opposite Zara, Suite Blanco's somewhat small shop front does not do its actual size, or products, justice.

For me Suite Blanco falls into the Zara/Mango/H&M category of the high street. They have some great on trend pieces and seem to have mastered the affordable fashion thing. But what I love about this place is their accessories, in particular their great range of chunky necklaces. I was seriously in heaven when I saw these. And I couldnt leave without snapping one up.

I opted for this silver ethnic necklace. It goes with everything and the detail is fantastic. And it was a bargain at €12.

Monday, 29 October 2012

starting traditions

If something happens twice, can it be considered a tradition? 

Today is the second Monday in a row I have returned from work to find the boyfriend pottering round the kitchen preparing dinner, candles lit and roses on the table. And no, he hasn't done anything wrong, I am not in a bad mood, nor am I stressed. 

I guess it's a new tradition. 

Monday has been declared boy night in the kitchen and im not complaining; Monday is one of those days we could live without and the thought of coming home to cook generally doesn't thrill me. 

Having a man who can cook is a blessing. I owe a lot to that mother of his for making him independant from a young age. And while he cant find the washing machine, his efforts with the oven make up for it. 


Friday, 26 October 2012

blue sky and rain clouds

This week in Cyprus, the weather systems have been out of control to say the least. Mornings are cool and fresh, midday is sunny with clear skies, afternoon brings the black clouds and wind and evening offers an array of thunder, lightening, rain and positively chilly temperatures. 

This afternoon I walked the pooch; walking down the street all I could see was this....

...but as the pooch stopped to sniff some grass, I turned around and up the street, behind our apartment I was confronted with a totally different season encroaching on our Friday afternoon.

Not only is it playing havoc with my mental health but with my wardrobe too. How are you supposed to dress for work when its summer and winter in one day? I really wish the weather would make up its mind; either let go of summer entirely, or restore it to its former glory please.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

2 years

Today marks 2 years of living here.......

 Hmmmm, not actually there, thats Latchi, my favourite place in the whole of Cyprus and if I could live there I would be very happy, but its a tiny fishing village; perfect for holiday, not everyday life. 

Back to the point.

This time in 2010, we had packed everything into 3 suitcases, spent a bumpy morning on a BA flight with cheap champagne and sat nervously waiting for the boyfriends dad to pick us up from the airport. 

I dont think either of us really knew what we were letting ourselves in for, but stepping off the plane to sunshine and 25 degrees in October certainly made us feel a bit better about the decision to leave everything and everyone behind and move to Cyprus for...... well nothing. 

With no jobs, no apartment, no car and no friends, it would have been easy to call it an extended holiday and head home as soon as the savings dried up.

Somehow everything fell into place. And 2 years down the line we have carved out a pretty decent life here. We have jobs, we have a home, we have a car and we even have a dog. But more importantly I have found a fantastic little group of friends and without them, I dont think I would make it through the "I miss London" days.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Voracious Vander; my new food fetish

I love food [not a secret I know]; I love reading about food, looking at pictures of food and obviously eating and cooking. As a blogger I would love to have one of those fantastic food blogs that have you drooling all over the place - but I am just not t.h.a.t great in kitchen. I can prepare a pretty decent meal that keeps the boyfriend happy, but certainly nothing thats blog worthy. 

Therefore I have a small fetish for food blogs; I regularly sit drooling over the posts and plan what recipes I will attempt to execute. And the newest addition to my reading list (thanks to an introduction via pinterest) is Voracious Vander.

An American ex-pat living in Australia, Leah's gorgeous blog is full of amazing looking food and fantastic recipes. And as an ex vegetarian, there are some fantastic and imaginative recipes with veggies that will make your mouth water. Check out my favourites below.

Check out all that the wonderful Voracious Vander has to offer here.

Monday, 22 October 2012

it's Monday. enough said.


...for the boyfriend that continues to surprise me 7 years and 11 months down the line. Coming home to roses on the table set lovingly in a vase and dinner being cooked for me was possibly the only way my day could have been saved. Today I am thankful for his surprise efforts. I'll always be thankful that I found a man who can cook.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

the sunlight hurts my eyes

Today in Cyprus we had all weather scenarios; sun, heat, wind, rain, thunder, lightening and now cold. This little island is a funny old place; autumn lasts about a week and comes in December, winter happens around January and February, spring in April and from then on its summer all the way.

It's that funny time of year where I wish winter would just hurry up; day time temperatures still average something similar to one of those heatwave days in London which is great when you think its nearly the end of October. But I just want the seasons to sort themselves out.

Before winter sets in, I am reliving my summer holidays with this song.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

thought provoking Tuesday

It's good to step back. 
Gain a little perspective. 
And realise what's really important in life. 

I have a tendency to stress about the insignificant. I don't know why; maybe because my nature is to be organised and prepared. [I am the sort of person that takes baby wipes to the beach, has a plethora of items such as vitamins, plasters, tissues and hair grips, neatly tucked into a a little pouch in my handbag and packs for trips at least a few days in advance.]

So when something throws me off guard I feel a wave of panic that I wasn't prepared for such an occasion and I tend to dwell on the negatives of such a situation. Which is silly really because how can you prepared for the unexpected. And the above is true; you can't live a positive life with a negative mind.

In this instance I have to use all my strength to find those positives in each situation. And failing that, I head for the kitchen. Because you can always find comfort there!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

C is for cute

Watching a man with kids always gives you that awwwww feeling right. And watching the boyfriend sitting on granny's step, with his baby sister, pointing out animals and saying the Greek words made my heart melt a little bit.

She is so young and so cute and has no idea that between her dad, and her two older brothers, potential boyfriends don't stand a chance!

back to nature

Nicosia is not really a nature hot spot, unless you count stray dogs (but thats a whole different story). So while my friends from England were visiting, we took the opportunity to embrace some different environments; namely the calm and natural environment of Latchi and the cool climate of the Troodos mountains. It was at these locations that I realised the true quality of my trusty little Casio Exilim Digital Camera. So, time to share the fruits of my labour. 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

all you need is love

A statement i'd like to add to.

In my house you need love and a dog. Because she will be by your side always offering her own version of love; keeping your pillow warm and watching over you. 

Every morning I wake up to the pooch, sleeping across my pillow. And as soon as my eyes open, she looks at me with so much love. Maybe its because she is a rescue dog, or maybe its because we spoil her, but the pooch exudes this unconditional love that reaffirms the notion that animals are just as emotional as people.

Monday, 8 October 2012

another one bites the dust

Usually I am a hive of activity over the weekend, catching up on blog reading and blog posting. But this weekend was quiet for one very big and very important reason. My best friend got MARRIED!!

I met Domi at work and we instantly clicked. She is one of the kindest, most generous and genuine people I have ever met. She has been nothing but amazing since I met her nearly two years ago. She is one of those selfless people that exude so much warmth and support that you just fall in love with her. Which I guess is what happened to Andreas, her now husband, when he first met her. 

They have a simply beautiful love story which culminated in a wonderful wedding on Saturday. The thunder and lightening didnt stop the traditional Greek Orthodox Ceremony and the rain clouds dissappeared in time for the outside cocktail by the pool surround with lanterns and little candles. 

This was the soundtrack to a super cute video, with childhood pictures, dedicated to their parents. What a tear jerker; my table was a blubbering mess by the end. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

the unidentifiable season

I have a need to shop. Every so often I get that wave of shopping desire, but it's this time of year that throws me into a worldwind of doubt. Summer is nearly over and it's a waste to spend money on items which will get a few weeks of wear and then be flung to the top shelves of the wardobe. But it's still too warm to even contemplate trying on those chunky knits in Zara and knee high boots in Mango that keep catching my eye. 

Living on a Mediterranean island causes a whole lot of wardrobe related problems; obviously you feel sorry for me [not].

It's October and while the temperatures are dropping day by day, our climate could still easily be described as warm, even hot. And all I want to do is empty my bank balance (post bill and rent payments - because im kinda sensible like that) in Zara. I never thought I'd say such a thing but where is autumn when you need it! I already have my wish-list.....


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

its one of those days.....

....where everything explodes in a big ball of chaos. Nerves are pushed to their limit and stress is an unwelcome emotion. It's those days that test you and make it even more apparent how far from "home" you are. From those friends you miss so much every other day, but miss even more on this day. From the family you have become detached from due to distance and make you long for those moments you remember so fondly. A bit philospohical I know and I do apologise.

I don't really have many beliefs - I mean I have morals and standards and believe in certain rights, and wrongs for that matter, but sometimes a little sign just plops in front of you that thats makes me believe there is no other optoin. The first thing I saw when I opened my facebook was this.....

A sign if ever I needed one. It's lucky then that today I requested my holiday from work to venture to the big city for christmas. And after searching high and low, flights are booked, paid for and confirmation is sitting neatly in my inbox ready for 18th December to roll round.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

summer essentials

Summer is possibly my favourite time of the year. I am one of those people that suffers from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) - although I am self diagnosed - and the seemingly never-ending summer months of Cyprus make me very happy indeed. With that being said, it is so important to have good beauty products to utilise for those hot and sweat months that cover about 75% of the year. 

With a second Cypriot summer under my belt, I have located, tried and tested and found my favourite products to see me through. 

Gosh nail varnish in Silk is the perfect nude/pink shade. Gosh is a brand I never really tried before but I have fallen in love with their varnishes for their consistency, the brush and the colour palette. This nude varnish looks perfect on tanned hands and feet. 

MOA the green balm is one of those multi purpose salves that is a handbag essential. It is 100% natural and packed with all sorts of goodies. Not just that its uses are simple endless; dry skin, bites, burns, lip balm, cuticle cream, after shave balm, the list goes on and on. But you can find more info Needless to say it has become my go to for everything and anything.

 Rimmel Sun Shimmer Bronzer in Medium Matt is my favourite budget bronzer. Its cheap and cheerful, has just the right tone; not too orange and no shimmer, a real sticking point for me. When I cant get my hands on my beloved Benefit Hoola, this is the next best thing. 

I hate dry and cracked summer lips; cue Piz Buin 30 spf Sun Lipstick. When you spend endless weekend as the beach, walk to work every morning and walk the dog on a regular basis, its easy for your face to bare the brunt of the sunshine. This has great protection and a super creamy feeling so lips feel soft and moisturised all day long. 

 When it comes to my hair im kinda naughty. Beach time its thrown up in a ponytail and the rest of the time its blow-dried and straightened to within and inch of its life. My saviour is this L'oreal Elvive damage care, repairing serum for split ends.

 Organic Young SPF 15 face suncream is another one packed with all sorts of natural ingrediants. Great for oily combination skin like mine, it offers great protection, has a mild lavender scent and isn't the usual greasy suncream consistency.

 With super frequent visits to the beach, this Mark Hill Cover Up protection spray is a must! It offers a great level of protection for your hair to stop it from drying out with all that sea, sun and sand.

With summer coming to end, I have plenty of time to find some new products ready for testing next year.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Independance Day

The 1st of October is Cyprus Independence day; the day that Cyprus gained independence from the British. And this day is marked with a big military parade, which just so happens to pass our house this year. Think noisy tanks, men with guns and military processions. As a British person living in Cyprus, it may have been wise to keep a low profile today.....

Instead we took the pooch for a walk and watched in awe at the huge machines pounding down the road. Even I, who has no interest in anything like this whatsoever, was sucked into the excitement of seeing tanks and the such outside our apartment building. 

More exciting than our usual Monday morning routine.