Monday, 30 September 2013

something old

The last day of blogtember has arrived. Which kind of scares me because September has flown by without me even noticing it and now I have to organise myself for October. If only Jenni did this sort of challenge every month. Today's prompt: Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it's special.

I have had this blanket since I was a baby; I have photograph from when I was around a year old, sprawled out on this bad boy. It has been a constant part of life and travelled to Cyprus with me because it was one of those items I simply couldn't leave behind. 

It is hand-made, it has its own little 80's character and it has sentimental value. The funny thing is I don't know who made it for me. But it lasted 24 years, with only one repair job (thanks' to a very talented auntie) so they did a good job!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The day we got honest with facebook

Today's blogtember post calls for a little honesty. 

Dear Facebook, I don't like the continual changes that surprise me when I just got used to the current way things are done. I do not like the randomly generated funny status updates. I do not like the suggested pages; which FYI are never interesting to me. Just because I live in Cyprus does not mean I want to buy a house or am interested in UK expat pension plans.

I have way too many "friends" on my friends list; maybe the 6 month rule I use for my wardrobe (if it hasn't been worn in 6 months, it is no longer needed) should be applied to my facebook. 

The feelings option does not make me want to share my feelings. Neither do I want to know what friends of my friends of my friends are doing. And in that box we can put cryptic, attention grabbing status and the oh my child is perfect photographs. 

So you know what I am doing this weekend.....facebook spring clean anyone? 

P.s If we are actually friends in real life, or you have a blog I follow, none of the above comments are meant for you. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

writing from the same place I do everyday...

I really wish I had had the time to embrace day 18 of blogtember properly. Instead I am in my usual blogging spot (my bed) with the pooch. Im half way there though since I still managed to blog today! 

Today we were meant to go to a coffee shop, order our favourite drink and write about what makes us happy/sad/or anything we want. I failed to go to a coffee shop. I failed to write from some place new. But I am writing. Which in itself is a small achievement.

The past few weeks feel like a blur of work, sleep, dog walking, more sleep, showering, more work and as much blogging as one can manage when they work full time. And being a single pooch mother  means all dog related responsibilities which were split between me and the boyfriend, now fall on me. It's kinda tough being solely responsible for a little four legged friend. 

But she is my constant little piece of happiness.

I come home and she is there, waiting, tail wagging with excitement, ready to walk and play. It would be so easy to get angry at her when she cleans her paws on my bed and leaves a nice little dirty wet puddle on the cover. But the puppy eyes melt my heart. For the few trauma's that come along with being a dog owner, there is a whole lot of reward! 

This weeks happiness came from the London Grammar album, the home-made doughnuts (thanks to my Polish friends very talented mother who is visiting) which came to work today and the cool temperatures. 

The sad stuff is always there, but lets not get into that now.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

midweek mix 25/09/2013





I'd rather have a life littered with mistakes

I think in my life time I have made a lot of mistakes. 25 years is certainly enough time to trip up every now and then. Whether it's the small "whoops" mistakes or the bigger "oh how is life ever going to be the same" mistakes, human nature prevails and mistakes are an inevitable part of life. 

For me the problem is not making mistakes; no one is perfect. But the sticking point is how you handle them. And how you learn from them. I would much rather have a life littered with mistakes because they are opportunities for you to learn. If there is no bump in the road how do you ever learn how to handle situations and problem-solve?

Ok so now I sound like a careers counsellor or something. 

One of the scariest things is admitting you made a mistake; sometimes (usually those dark days where you would rather stay under the duvet than face the world) I wonder if taking the expat route was a mistake. Will people think I failed if I leave? Was leaving London a mistake? How would life have panned out if I had stayed? But the answer to all those questions does not compare to the experiences I have had, by removing myself from London. 

Leaving was not a mistake. It was probably the best decision I ever made; I have met some wonderful people, I have formed amazing relationships, I have worked in another country, I have lived in another culture and I have (loosely) learnt another language. 

The things I have learnt along the way have changed me forever. I am a better person for the "mistakes" I have made. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Budget Beauty

I am not a beauty blogger, but I know what products I like and what works for my skin/hair. I also know what products one needs when one is living in a hot climate. So today I am over at Touch of Belle, talking about budget beauty items that I cannot live without.


For me today's blogtember prompt was a no-brainer. I had to review a book.

I used to read a lot when I was living in London. My morning bus/tube/train journey was the perfect excuse for a few pages of escapism and there was always a trip across London to see friends or visit something which meant a good hour with my head buried in the pages of book. But here in Cyprus, my reading ceased somewhat. Mainly because of a lack of English books at an affordable price. So the boyfriend gifted me with a Kindle which transformed my reading experience. 

So today we are going to talk about The Last Letter from Your Lover, by JoJo Moyes. The best book I have read in a long time. Mainly because I have an affinity with the writing style of the author; something which I think is so important for me. It is actually kind of the deal breaker for me, you know the moment where you either read past the first chapter or put it down, where it will sit gathering dust on the coffee table. 

The Last Letter from your Lover is one of those wonderfully raw, witty and modern books, that suck me right into the story. It has the perfect amount of romance, without be soppy and emotional and the harsh realities of life really balance the story line. 

A journalist, Ellie discovers a love letter from the 1960's in the newspaper archive. The love letter, was written by a man to his lover, asking her to leave her husband. That women is Jennifer, who wakes up in 1960, after a car accident and doesn't know anything. Ellie's life is somewhat awkward and cringey, while Jennifer's is glamourous albeit unhappy. I love how the two stories intertwine throughout the book; a 1960's love story and a modern love/lust story which collide at the end in an oh-I-did-not-know-that-was-going-to-end-like-that type of ending. 

Obviously I don't want to give too much away. But if you like sarcastic, modern writing and can follow two story lines as the swerve in out of each other, then this book is for you. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

life lately

Such a broad prompt for day 14 of Blogtember (which is going too quickly for my liking). A "life lately" post. What you're up to, how you're feeling, how you're doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!

How to sum up life lately. I would say (with great honesty) that it has been turbulent. A bit like a  bumpy plane journey, everything is swell and then bam! A bump in the airspace. Except the bump in my instance is usually my emotions. I would tend to blame the seasons. Summer seems to be slowly fading; and when I say that I mean we are now averaging just 30 degrees and I can bare wearing jeans and trainers again. 

Although the bumpiness could also be explained by the pang of homesickness that has cropped up this week. But thats a normal thing for an expat. I haven't been to London since May and while the months have flown by, suddenly my heart and head are both craving a little London time. A little time to be in the city, use public transport, walk across waterloo bridge, eat chinese food, visit museums and sit for hours talking with friends face to face instead of through facebook/whatsapp/viber/email. 

In other news there has been some eating, some drinking and some pretty skies. 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Saturday, 21 September 2013


Blogtember day 13. And today we are reacting to the term "comfort". Everyone know's I am a home girl. I am all about comfort and feeling at ease. So for me comfort is all of these things:

Being under the duvet (because for 4 months of the year, the duvet is banished from my bed).

Drinking wine al-fresco, in the summer, with friends, and a cheese board!

Walking the dog in the morning; it's cool, it's quiet and it's the best way to start the day.

Sweat pants and trainers (and I am even a little surprised at that one - I never liked trainers).

Landing at Heathrow - grey sky, terminal buildings and traffic jams strangely (I never thought I would miss this stuff) bring instant comfort. 

Blogger; my little comfort zone that no one controls except me.

My phone - it's my way of documenting my world, my way of communicating and more importantly my way of maintaing relationships. 

Hagen Daz. Enough said.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

something fictional.

So day 12 of Blogtember is all about writing a fictional short story with the first sentence: "To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.". Ok so I kinda have an overactive imagination and thought this one would be easy; think again. It turns out I have too many thoughts and writing something fictional, short and somewhat acceptable was harder than I thought. But I made it...finally!

To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century. Firstly, dinner party's upset my balance; all that forced interaction with people you don't care for really makes for one uncomfortable evening. 

And being a food writer always makes for those awkward conversations like "so what would your review say about tonight". Err I am not working now and fyi I charge by the word! It's like asking a comedian to tell you a joke or a doctor to give you an on-the-spot diagnosis. 

And then there was the fact that Emma was one of the most insufferable women I have ever met. She had that perfect air about her. The I-am-effortlessly-pretty-and-can-tackle-anything-that-anyone-throws-at-me look whilst always looking immaculate and being nicer than snow white. How do those women do it? Do they never have a bad day? Do they wake up with a smile and a full face of make-up? 

I had been procrastinating for too long now and I had just 15 minutes to get ready; bravo Amy. Not only was I dreading such an evening but now I am going to turn up late, looking like crap and sweating cause I ran from the tube station in an effort to not be so late that I look like I don't care. Marvellous. What an entrance that will be. 

And there I was, still sitting on the floor in the bathroom painting my toenails which I will inevitably cover up with tights and some sort of boots which vaguely co-ordinate with the dress hanging on the back of the bathroom door. 

Unfortunately I don't have a Carrie Bradshaw closet. So if there was one thing that was going to make me feel better about tonight, it was a new dress. And in these sort of situations, new dresses can come from one place and one place only. Burberry. 

Maybe I was channeling some sort of Emma Watson style; however the similarities between me and her ended at the same hair cut. Well it was purchased now and the labels had been hastily removed because the price tag felt like it was screaming at me from the bathroom. So there was no returning it. And there was no going back on this evening. I had run out of excuses and now was the time to suck it up, put on my mascara and endure 4 hours of dreary conversation with people who claim to be my friends and no nothing about my life. 

As I stepped off the tube my heart felt like it was in the bottom of my stomach and I half wished the nice lady telling me to mind the gap would be silent for one minute so I could fall down said gap and all my problems would be solved. Ok so maybe throwing myself onto the tube lines was a bit dramatic. 

I had walked at a casual place so as to not look sweaty but all the thinking about tubes and platforms had clouded my brain and I was now standing outside the perfect duck-egg blue front door. Even her front door was perfect for goodness sake. If I had a black marker pen it would be the perfect opportunity for some impromptu graffiti. 

I rang the doorbell and waited. And waited. Oh good maybe the party's cancelled. 

Just as I was about to turn and run away, the door opened. And the smile I had perfected for Emma's benefit was almost smacked off my face as I looked up to see him. And the only thing I could say...."what the hell are you doing here".

Well the Burberry dress was a good investment wasn't it!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

midweek mix 18/09/2013






say it with pictures

the cleanser fixing my summer savaged skin!

my current breakfast of choice (at my desk at work)

this little lady is lovable but boy oh boy is she driving me crazy at the moment

my mornings - up before the sun

winter colours

sleepy dog

street cafe

breakfast bagels

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

to snack or not to snack, that is the question

I am a snacking person. I often find myself hovering in the kitchen, biscuit in hand. And my desk at work usually has a little trail of cracker crumbs across the keyboard. I snack pretty consistently throughout the day and prefer to have a smaller lunch in favor of a midmorning Ryvita with avocado or peanut butter and banana.

I will be the sort of mum that forever has a ziplock bag with her, filled to the brim with crackers, grapes and cheese sticks and they wont be for the kids!

My problem is I don't always pick the right snacks. I mean my favourite snack would be cookies and cream ice cream with extra cookies and a side of malteasers...........well at least I am honest. But in pursuit of healthier snacks, pinterest came to my rescue. Seriously what did we ever do before pinterest...?


A memory to relive

When I was approximately 7/8, I went in a helicopter. 

At the time I was young and innocent and my feet had never left the ground. I had never been a plane and I remember the anxiety of that moment, sitting in the helicopter waiting to go up. My little seven year old self was almost peeing her pants she was so scared. 

Squished in between my brother and my aunt, because sitting at the edge meant the possibility of falling out just incase the door flung open, I didn't exactly have the best view. But at that age, it was more the feeling that overtook the moment and to be honest I think I was almost too scared to look out of the window.

Unfortunately, back in 1990 whatever, we didn't have fancy phones or cameras and the only photograph of me and said helicopter is sitting somewhere in my aunt's house. 

So if anyone has a helicopter and wants to come pick me up from Cyprus....just drop me an email.

Monday, 16 September 2013

the look of Love

Day 10 in the Blogtember challenge calls for a public love letter. The problem I had with this post is that I could have written it to one special person but that was kind of obvious. I could even have written to the dog who has kept me sane but then you would think I was crazy. Then there is any number of friends both near and far. But I could't pick just one. 

And then it hit me that this whole love letter malarky could be turned on it's head and instead of approaching it in the traditional, star crossed lovers, separated by oceans with just pen and paper for communication, kind of way, I could take it as an opportunity to vocalize the unconditional love I have  for papa Finerty. 

You have been the voice of reason since I was just knee-height. You fed and clothed me for 22 years. You have silently supported every decision I have made and have never passed judgement. You have respected my privacy and you have put my happiness first. 

You are the reason I am the women I am now; you taught me respect, honesty, sarcasm and humor. And even though I left you for another country and a boy, I am sure you love me every bit as much as you did the day I was born. 

And for all those reasons I love you more and appreciate the opportunities you have given me, with every year that passes. 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

today I'm on Expats Blog

Are you an expat? Are you living in a country where you cant speak the language? Are you like me and have been incredibly lazy about learning? 

I wrote before about language learning here and here.  So you will know I do not have a brain the picks up languages easily. You will also know that my methods are kind of weird; yes I am the one standing in the supermarket reading food labels, not for nutrition purposes but for the vocabulary! 

sunday sound #33

Saturday, 14 September 2013


It's self portrait day. 
Which reminds me of art class. And being given a pencil and a blank sheet of paper and being told to draw myself. You see I kind of have a problem with my face. I think my face is kind of long, I have a large forehead which is the reason for my fringe and I dont like my mouth; it doesn't do a natural smile and I always look a bit awkward in photographs. 
Most women have their hang-ups so I know I am not alone. I think as I got older I grew into my features a bit more and began accepting that some things cannot be changed. But I certainly feel more at home behind the camera than in front of it. 
That being said this is my favourite picture of myself this summer; Ray Bans, sand, sea, sun and a Mojito in hand. Oh summer of 2013 you have given me a sunburnt nose on many occasions and many wonderful weekends at the beach. But now, I want you to go and bring some colder weather so I cant start wearing hoodies and jeans again. 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Day 8 - how has blogging changed me?

So yesterdays Blogtember post got lost somewhere in the whole mess of my day. But since the prompt was how has blogging and social media changed you.....I guess it was quite appropriate in this context. Although I am still kinda disappointed that I am day late. And I was doing so well. 

But let's get on with it now we are here. Blogging has brought so many positives and some negatives to my life, but overall it has made me more confident as a person. Having an outlet to write is very important for me and my self-esteem, because writing is my thing. 

Having a space to put pen to paper so-to-speak has allowed me to embrace my passion for words and also develop a more confident approach, not just to my blogging but my everyday life. And then there is the sense of community. Whatever type of blogger you are, you will find like-minded people who will hopefully comment and give you feedback and who you can share your passion with. I know I always bring everything back to the fact that I am an expat but, having such a community, can really be a boost on the days when your feeling a little lonely. 

Of course there are negatives to blogging and social media. I mean I really want to post everyday of the week and that can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you work full time and have social commitments, sometimes it is just not possible (unless your superwomen or super organised). And sometimes I can be a bit hard on myself if I don't manage to post something each day.

It is at these times that I realise how much blogging has taken over my world. When you are constantly thinking about updating twitter, how many followers you have on facebook, or taking the right photograph of a moment to use in a blogpost, it can be stressful and often you will look back and realise the moment you were so worried about capturing is gone and you didn't really soak it up. 

But I guess with every hobby, you have to choose how much you let it into your life and as a result how much you let it affect you and your everyday. I think after several years of blogging, it has pretty much become my everyday.