Wednesday, 30 October 2013

midweek mix 30/10/2013

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being social

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The power of social media and its prevalence in our lives today scares me and soothes me all in one go. I am the generation that has grown up on Facebook, has lived out moments in 150 characters or less on Twitter and has Instagrammed every day life, holidays and mealtimes. I am the generation that thinks it's normal to share status updates regularly and create boards on Pinterest for houses we don't even own yet.

I remember the first computer we got. Me and my brother nagged my dad for so long until he cracked and when the computer came home it was the most excited day of my 11 year old life. Looking back I don't even know how we fit it on the tiny desk in the dinning room it was so chunky; none of those flat screens back then. 

And now laptops, phones and social media are part of my everyday life. I wake up and check my emails, check any whatsapp messages that came in the night (the boyfriend, friends and family are all in different time zones) and usually have a morning snoop at facebook before I leave the house. 

I have two views on the whole social media phenomenon. Part of me feels like our generation has got way too caught up with sharing our lives' we no longer live in the moments but instead want to capture them to share around the world. But being an expat, I am also so grateful that the world wide web allows me to share my life in another country with my family and friends back home in London. I can keep in touch with friends around the world and have a sense of instant contact.

And then you have to factor in the power of social media in business. I use social media for my blog. I use social media at work to connect with clients and promote the company I work for. Social media has changed the way people live life and how people do business. And one company doing more than the rest is ASOS. I stumbled across a great article (via Linkedin by the way) about social media being at the core of their operations. Go check it out here. 


Monday, 28 October 2013

beauty: Elizabeth Arden Cleanser


The Elizabeth Arden Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser is part of the Visible Difference range and I am starting to see why they call it visible difference. A few months back I had a sample of the moisturiser and for the 2 weeks that it lasted, and my skin transformed. It was less oily, more manageable and less blotchy. 

So I had high hopes for the cleanser. 



And it didn't disappoint. I have real combination skin; you know oily and dry and generally a little unbalanced. This creamy cleanser tackled the dryness, balanced the oil and the exfoliating beads gave me a fresh feeling after every use. 

I used this as my night-time cleanser, after I had removed my make-up and I only used a small pea sized amount each time, which made this 50ml tube last longer than I expected. This is a must-have cleanser for anyone with oily/combination skin living in a sweaty, hot climate. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

in black and white




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When it comes to photography, I love anything in black and white. There is something about the simplicity of a colourless image that really excites my eyes and can leave me staring at the same photograph for hours, soaking up all the details within.

Photography is my favourite art form; I like the power an image can construct while accurately presenting a moment in time and perfectly preserving it, laying it bare for the world to see. Black and white photography combines this idea of power, while hinting at the notion of vulnerability. An image without colour holds a certain simplicity, while allowing you to interact with every single detail captured at the click of a button.

In terms of portraits and fashion, it would seem that colour is an integral part of an image. But at times I think it clouds the real presentation of the subject, detracting from the beauty and emotion of a face and overshadowing the details and structure of clothing, rather than enhancing it.

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sunday sound #39

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Happy Cyprus Anniversary

Yep. That's right. 
Today marks my third year in Cyprus. 



This exact day, three years ago, I was landing at Larnaca airport with the boyfriend, three suitcases and some savings. We went to granny's place, played with the dog and ate kebab for dinner. Today, I went to work, I had lunch with the girls and I did the standard Friday house chores. 


So much has changed in three years. And it is almost a little scary how quickly time passes right before your eyes and bam! You have been living in a foreign country, have a job, a dog and a life in a completely different culture to your own. It's pretty amazing and a little unnerving at the same time. 


I could blab on about how this whole experience has changed me, but I am late for a skype date. Oh the trials of transatlantic relationships. Plus I wrote about how becoming an expat has changed me on Kayleighs blog a few weeks back so pop on over here to check it out. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

A magpies dream; BaubleBar

You know those suggested pages that Facebook keeps throwing out on your timeline, well mine are usually for Cypriot property developers, holidays abroad and some wonderful beauty cream that has goodness knows what benefits since i'm to bored to google translate from Greek. And then one day, one actually caught my eye for all the right reasons.....because it was about beautiful shiny things like statement necklaces and earrings (not that I wear earrings but you get my point). The name is BaubleBar and they are a fantastic New York based jewellery business. 

Ever since I have spent hours gazing through the pages and pages of wonderful creations, wishing that I lived in New York so I could go visit their showroom and gaze in person. They do ship internationally, but the countries are limited and this little island did not make the list. Which kind of works out well for my bank balance huh!

That doesn't mean I cant spend the hours browsing their website without any real purpose. Although this blog post is my sole reasoning behind said hours wasted on the internet. But when the necklaces are this good, who can judge.



Emerald Palm Bib $48

Pastel Feather Bib $36

Amber Renaissance Collar $42

Torch Blossom Bib $36

Alaqua Bib $36

Pink Phoenix Necklace $36

Find their full collection of necklaces, rings and bracelets at their shiny website here, and be prepared to loose a few hours of your day!


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

culture shock

The whole point of being an expat is living and breathing a different country and culture and experiencing the different way of life that runs alongside. But this is probably one of the fundamental parts people struggle with. That and the homesickness. 

Culture shock is not necessarily a bad thing. Like many things that challenge your current perceptions or understandings, all it takes is a little adjustment period. And believe me, moving countries will challenge your perceptions to no end. 

Everything from the signs, the way people drive, the products in the supermarket, the customs for specific occasions and the daily life of people in a different country will shock you at first. 

culture shock works both ways - realising you can drive 2 hours and be on "holiday"  is shocking in a good way!

But one day you will wake up and the things that were once strange and new will not even make a difference to your day. You will easily adapt to the "way things are done" and while you may not agree with them, you will accept them because if you don't, you can easily drive yourself crazy. 

Judith divided the experience of culture shock into several stages, in a recent article for the Internations Expat Magazine. She says there is The Honeymoon Phase, The Negotiation Phase, The Adjustment Phase and The Mastery Phase. Definitely go read the full article because anyone who has, will or does live in a different country will be able to take something from this. 

Personally I did the honeymoon phase; the novelty of life in a new country makes everything exciting, whether it is going to the supermarket and finding local products or exploring new environments and landscapes. Even living with the boyfriends granny for a month in a small village outside of the city was exciting. But this phase disappears just as quickly as it comes. The negotiation phase is an inevitable part of the transition to life in a new country. But I found the adjustment phase came shortly after.

As for the mastery phase, well I think I am still trying to figure that one out!


Monday, 21 October 2013

Autumn Style

So it turns out that I like the colder seasons more than I thought. Maybe that has something to do with the several sweaty years I have spent on this sunshine island. Or maybe it is just a case of wanting want you can't have. But this expat girl wants skinny printed trousers, jumpers, wintery dresses and cute shoe boots. Unfortunately the weather is more fit for sandals, cropped trousers and t shirts. 

And the new collections in-store at Zara are teasing me to no end. I am lusting after so many items right now that I have mentally spent next months paycheck. I can live off bread and cheese for one month right!?

The Trouser




The Dress




The Top






The Boots




all items from Zara

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Nivea Purifying Facemask

Sometimes I feel like my face holds a weeks worth of make-up leftovers, stress and pollution. I remove my make-up every night. I cleanse and clean and moisturise. But by the end of the week my skin sometimes needs a little deep clean action to prepare it for a new one. 

This is where the Nivea Purifying Facemask comes in pretty handy. Just ten minutes and a thin layer of this mask really makes a difference to my skin. 


The formula is great for my oily skin. Recently I have noticed my skins sensitivity level racking up a few notches (probably due to three years worth of sun, air conditioning and other damaging bits and bobs) and while the formula deals with my oily skin, it doesn't irritate the new found sensitive spots. It's not too heavy and after ten minutes I can still move my face; you know what I mean if you do at home facemasks which dry super quick and become heavy and cakey. 

I use a muslin cloth with warm water to remove the mask and every time, I emerge with a fresh feeling face and squeaky clean skin. This little pouch contains two applications and cost around €2. Not bad if your looking for an effective and affordable, at-home cleanse. 

sunday sound #38

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

midweek mix 16/10/2013

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road rage

You know that moment. 
The one where you have been standing at the crossing for more than 10 minutes. 
Waiting for that little green man to light up your life.  
And then you realise that the green man is never coming. 
Because it's broken. 
And you have been standing there. 
With a very impatient pooch. 
Looking like an idiot. 

Ahhhh the life of an expat.....always an adventure! 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

not a normal muffin

When I think of muffins I think of gooey chocolate chip filled cakey goodness or super sweet and juicy blueberry bites. And then I discovered savory muffins. In particular, courgette and cheese muffins. My discovery came in pursuit of new breakfast ideas and what's better than a breakfast muffin. 

I followed a great little recipe from The Well Floured Kitchen but made a few alterations to suit the contents of my fridge; I had white flour, I used melted butter and I didn't include the onion since I wanted to have these for breakfast. And if I do say so myself....they came out great! If not a little misshaped, 




The full recipe can be found here.