Friday, 25 February 2011

Flashback Friday - Week 2

It's Friday again, and not only does that mean I am finding reasons to be cheerful, it's also time to look back through my old photos for my favourite link up.


I have so many photos that I love, and have a hard time deciding which to choose, (and that's only from a couple of folders of scanned oldies that I have on my computer - it's going to be a nightmare when I get the scanner up and running, I'll have to start trying to decide the week before!)

This week I'm going with another completely random photo. 


This was taken in 1987 and still makes me laugh 24 years later, (24 YEARS - oh my god!) It is my childhood best friend Catherine and me on holiday at good old Butlins in Bognor Regis. Catherine came on holiday with us for a couple of years running, we spent so much time together that we were like sisters. 

We were playing in a adventure playground and I had posed for a photo seconds before this one, just as my Dad took it Cath came up behind me to join in but stood up and hit her head. I can still hear exactly what she said and how I was worried that my Dad would hear her as it was a 'bad word' Cath often used to swear as did her boisterous brothers and it always worried me that my parents would tell her off (they 'corrected' her on occasion) and stop me being friends with her or something!

I remember laughing so much as she did it, like the nice friend that I am. In fact just reliving the story I'm chuckling away again. We had such a great time on those 2 holidays and doing all the other stuff we used to do. She moved away when we were 11 or 12 and I didn't see her for a few years but we did meet up on and off once I started driving. We lost contact completely once and I found her through "Friends Reunited".

Since then we have only seen each other a few times, last time I saw her was probably about 3 years ago. I think we had just decided to move to Cyprus so would have told her, but haven't seen her since. I don't know if she has moved or not, but we always seem to find each other sooner or later so I'm sure we'll meet up again one day!

Reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3 Week 7

This weeks reasons to be cheerful....



Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart


1. Spring has arrived here in Cyprus and the weather is starting to change, it won't be long before the shorts and dresses are unearthed from the back of my wardrobe and we can hit the beaches again. Also we will have a few months of lower electricity bills as we can stop trying to heat our uninsulated apartment, I love the bit in between needing the heating on and having to use the air conditioning!

2. I'm going out with the girls on Saturday night, and having a lie in on Sunday morning - yay! We are going to one of my local pubs so I don't even have to drive, looks like I might be needing the lie in :)

3. Leo is back to drinking water during the day after weeks of refusing anything but milk. It was starting to become a problem as he was filling up on it and eating less. Still won't drink out of anything but a bottle but it's only water so I'm not too bothered at this stage. He thinks it's juice though bless him, now says "duuce Mummy peese" I had offered him other drinks while trying to reduce his milk but he refuses all but water so I'm certainly not going to complain about that!

What are your reasons to be cheerful this week? Even if you are not feeling very cheerful check out the other posts and maybe that will help!


Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Discovering Cyprus

I started this blog initially as a record of our move to Cyprus and to document our adventures in our new country, I had got a little distracted so I'm getting back on track......

Since we've been here we haven't done much 'touristy stuff' except when we've had visitors, AJ is at work most of the time and it's not so much fun doing these things on your own, especially when you could do with an extra pair of hands to deal with a baby and associated baggage!  This year will be different, I have lots of things in mind to do and hopefully I'll be able to share them and you can 'see' some of Cyprus.
  
I've set up a dedicated "Discovering Cyprus" section and even made a button for it!
A matter of choice

Click the button to see what we've discovered so far.

Dreaming

At the moment this photo was taken I thought to myself "Oh my god, I'm getting married... in a minute"

I loved every single second of the run up to the wedding and all the planning (which actually wasn't hard at all) I never had any doubts, although at one point I tried to think if I was doing the 'right' thing just because I felt I hadn't thought enough about it -  he asked, I said yes, sorted! I then realised it wasn't something I had to debate, of course it was the right thing to do.

I think at that moment I may have remembered as child, standing at my bedroom window watching a bridal party leave the house, I saw the bridesmaids come out and I stood for ages waiting to see the bride. I loved weddings but only vaguely remember going to one as a child. I played 'Weddings' walking up and down in my room with a net curtain over my face (Did anyone else? surely can't just have been me?) and always wanted the 'big white (and red apparently) wedding'.

You kind of forget though, as you get older and obviously you realise that the wedding day is largely irrelevant in the scheme of things - after all it is 'just' a day and not the rest of your life, but at the moment that photo was taken I felt that time stood still - I remembered the little girl playing at weddings and realised it was me and it was real. Every time I see the photo I can 'see' the view from the conservatory window.

Just in case you were wondering, I didn't stay looking that serious... and it was a wonderful day


This post was written for this weeks Gallery, the prompt was Expressions

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Silent Sunday - Spring has sprung!


So many "meme's" so little time!

"The term Internet meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with "cream"[1]) is used to describe a concept that spreads via the InternetIn its most basic form, an Internet meme is simply an idea that is propagated through the World Wide WebThis meme may spread from person to person via social networksblogs, direct email, news sources, and other web-based services"

Interent memes and weekly link ups -  you might love them or hate them but you certainly cannot miss them in the world of "Mummy Blogging"  Personally I am a big fan, you may have noticed!  Link ups have been probably formed the majority of this blog since it I really got into last year, and it is because of them that I enjoy blogging so much. 

I read an interesting post yesterday - Where are the words? In it Nickie talks about the rise of the photo posts and asks if we are getting lazy with our blogging. Possibly - but I think all blogs should be what the blogger wants them to be and if that is all photos or music then so be it. Personally I tend to skim through some (not all) posts which are very text heavy, my favourite blogs are the ones who often particpate in the link ups that I enjoy doing myself, and I love seeing the snippets of the bits of their lives that they choose to share with us. 

When I first started this blog it was to be an account of our move to Cyprus and how we were settling into our new home. I nearly didn't start it up again after arriving as we had been without internet so long we were already settled! I'm glad I did though and I'm pleased that I joined the blogging community. 

Without taking part in all the link ups I am sure I would have stopped blogging months ago, it is through these that I have found most followers and it is these posts which generate the most comments - I love the comments, it's amazing to know people are reading and enjoying my posts but I have kind of forgotten the reason I started.I will definitely continue to do them as I really enjoy them, especially The Gallery, Listography and although it's only just started Flashback Friday is perfect for me, as I have always loved looking back over old photos and reminiscing. 

I will however endeavour to create more original posts, and remember the reason I started this, it is very easy to get caught up in the many linky's out there and run out of time to do anything else. I have had several in mind for some time so it's time to work on these alongside my usual favourites. 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The best of the best!

I love lots of different music, including quite a lot of 'bad music' as I have a 'bad music gene' I am always messing around with my ipod rearranging playlists as there are too many random songs to put it on shuffle, some of them just do not go together at all!


As I said, I love such a range of music I didn't really know where to start..... best dancing songs, sad songs, oldies, cheesy pop?  Well, as I was scrolling through my ipod I realised the best place to start would be my "Most played"playlist, so here are three of my favourites from it.



I suppose if I had to pick just one song as a favourite 'Hold on' by Wilson Philips would be it. I loved it at the time and then rediscovered it a few years ago. It is without a doubt the song I have listened to the most over the last year or so (with the possible exception of "The Wheels on The Bus") I sang killed it on karaoke on my birthday after my friend started singing it and I thought it would be a good idea to join in.



St Elmo's Fire - no I have never seen the film *hangs head in shame* and discovered this song only a few years ago. I loved it anyway but it became one of my all time favourites when it happened to be playing in the background as AJ videoed a walkthrough of our apartment for me to see when he was out here on his own to collect the keys, since then it has been the soundtrack to Cyprus for me.

I can see a new horizon underneath the blazin' sky
I'll be where the eagle's flying higher and higher
Gonna be your man in motion, all I need is a pair of wheels
Take me where my future's lyin', St. Elmo's Fire





There is no big reason for this one, I just loved it the first time I heard it, and was very surprised to find out it was by Kid Rock. I also killed this on karaoke too in the summer, after a few drinks (on buy one get one free!) it seemed like a good idea - it was even worse than Wilson Phillips but I kind of blended into the crowd and pretended I was a tourist!


Friday, 18 February 2011

Flashback Friday

One of the things I love most about my blog is the opportunity to use my much loved photos and share the stories behind them. I am a big fan of both The Gallery and Silent Sunday but am quite excited to find that Karin at Cafe Bebe has started a new photo link up.


Introducing the first ever Flashback Friday......
For now, let’s just get the ball rolling. Look back in your photo archives. It can be a picture of you as a child…your child in the early days/months/years…your house before a makeover…a winter photo…a “one year ago today” photo…The sky’s the limit. Just take us back in time. Share some words to take us there and we can all get nostalgic and smiley remembering “when”.








This photo was taken in our garden, I can't remember it being taken exactly but I can remember the kind of day it would have been. It was 1992, a week day as I am in my school uniform and obviously quite warm. I like this photo as it's a rare snapshot of a normal kind of day from that time, as I looked through the old photos, most are of a special event - a birthday or Christmas, either that or they are quite posed.  I suppose in the pre-digital days we didn't take as many random shots.


I wonder what we were having for dinner that night - I can tell you that if it was a Monday it would have almost certainly been chicken pie! 











Thursday, 17 February 2011

Cheeky monkey

I love to find the little slip of paper in my post box telling me I have a parcel at the post office, it's usually something exciting from the UK and usually for Leo. So imagine my surprise when I collected the latest parcel to find it was for me!  It was a cute little t-shirt from T- Shirt Printing.net, and did I mention it was for me!!

Except this happened..... 

He found it funny for a while but I eventually got it back as it was a little bit long and he couldn't walk properly in it.

When I actually got to try it on myself I was very impressed, it seems to be really good quality and the picture looks like it will last well.

T-shirt printing.net will print personalised t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts with a huge selection of garments and colours..... including kids t-shirts so they don't have to steal yours!


I was provided a free t-shirt for the purpose of this review.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Gallery - Togetherness

In honour of Valentines Day this weeks Gallery prompt is Togetherness. 


It didn't take much thought to know the subjects I wanted to use for my photos....


My parents came out last week to prepare for their move over to Cyprus next month, we hadn't seen them since last summer so it's been great to see them and Leo has absolutely loved having his Grandparents around.


They are flying back to the UK today but it won't be long until they are back for good and we are all together again.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Listography - My top 5 films

Ooh, tricky... this weeks list is "Top 5 favourite films" I'm not really a film lover, I do enjoy a good film but I want to know it will be good before I watch it, I hate the thought that I am wasting over an hour of my life watching some rubbish. (strange when I can happily waste hour after hour playing games on facebook!)

My list is quite random, and made easier because there are hundreds of films that everyone has seen except me. So in no particular order, here are my top 5 films.

1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - if you have been reading for a while you will know why. It's not a 'good' film on it's own, in fact its a bit odd but try watching it in full Rocky costume in a function room in the place where it was filmed with 80 odd other HUGE Rocky fans and you'll understand why it has to be the best film ever!





2. Towering Inferno - another random choice of film, probably more so as Rocky would appear in many peoples top 5, I can't imagine this would be a top choice for anyone else! I first watched this when I was quite young and I was on the edge of my seat all the way through, in my film naivety I was wondering and hoping that Doug the architect (Paul Newman) would make it out alive. It would not have been the same had I realised that they would not kill off one of the 2 main actors! I have now seen this so many times I can quote big chunks of it from memory!


 3. Shaun of the Dead - first time I watched this I missed huge chunks of dialogue through laughing too much. I love the bit in the pub when they are killing zombies with 'Don't stop me now' playing on the jukebox!








4. Back to the Future - It's old, it's full of paradoxes but who cares! I deliberately used a picture saying trilogy so I could get all 3 films in the top 5 but if I had to choose one of the 3 it would probably be the second one.






5. Sliding Doors - love love love it! I just love the way that although it's all gone wrong for Helen it actually means it all works out for the best if you know what I mean! It's so clever the way it switches between the two parallel lives, and shows you that everything happens for a reason!













To see everyone else's favourites, head over to Kate Takes 5

Monday, 14 February 2011

Mama Monday - Week 1


Today is not only Valentines Day, it is also the very first Mama Monday! 
Mama Monday is a new weekly link up hosted by Emma at Toddler Awesome, one of the first blogs I started reading. The idea is to learn a bit more about the Mum's behind the blogs and maybe make a few new friends along the way, and we are also set a weekly task - by the sound of the first task to be completed it's worth doing for that alone!

This week in honour of Valentines Day we are introducing ourselves and our partners.

1. Introduce yourself
I'm Emma, 33 years old, I have been married to AJ for 7 years this year and I am Mum to Leonidas who is 20 months old. We all moved to Cyprus in 2009 and are pretty much living our dream. I started my blog just before we moved but I only really got into doing it properly in May last year, I now really enjoy it and it has taken over from reading as my favourite hobby.



2.How did you meet your other half?
We met in my old local pub back in 1995, it was not a case of love at first sight, in fact my best friend and him dated for a while before we got together about 8 months later. No bad feelings between anyone though - she was my bridesmaid at our wedding!


3.How long were you together before you had the baby talk?
A long time! We had a few 'on and off' years before we eventually brought our first house together in 2003 and married in 2004. We had lots of hypothetical baby talks, about a future baby that we were not expecting anytime soon and then eventually decided to just let nature take it's course and see what happened - Leo "happened" quite a while later in 2009!


The task for this week.... 
Take time out to have a PROPER, UNINTERRUPTED luxury bath!  By luxury bath I mean use your BEST bubble bath, bath bombs etc.... light some candles, get a glass of wine (or fancy juice!), some chocolate or your favourite treat and a book/ magazine!
well, ok if I have to!

Love is in the air


In honour of Valentintes day, Jen at the King and Eye has given a love theme to this week's Blog Gems. Blog Gems is a chance to air your archives and share older posts with new readers. It's a fortnightly link up where you get to dig out an old post related to the prompt. 

As today is Valentines, and my parents have been out in Cyprus for the last week I decided to share a post from last year, about how I learnt about love by example.......



For more 'lovely' posts click on the badge above or check out the love linky below.......  feel free to join in with both!


Friday, 11 February 2011

Reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3 Week 6

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart

This week I haven't had to think too much about my reasons to be cheerful.....

1. My parents are in Cyprus! Just for a week at the moment but this time next month they will be here for good. 

2. AJ is off work until Monday, taken holiday to coincide with my parents stay and have a couple of days out.

3. Leo is loving having so many people around, and seeing his Grandparents again. They have only been here a day and all you hear from him is "dandad, nana, more" as they tickle him or chase him round the balcony.




Monday, 7 February 2011

Listography - Valentines wishes

Love is definitely in the air, as this week Kate's Listography is helping all the men who will (hopefully) wondering what lovely things they can get their gorgeous wives and girlfriends for a Valentines gift!



We don't really do Valentines in our house, I used to be very offended by this but now have been brainwashed by agree with hubby that it's just a load of comercial rubbish and what's the point of giving each other a card/flowers etc because you 'have to' surely it's better and means more on a random day because then you are doing it because you want to.  However that does mean that you have to do romantic things throughout the year or your anti-valentine argument is rubbish.....

I would like something for Valentines though.... and now I come to think of it, five things, thanks Kate!

1. A nice meal and drinks out with AJ, just the two of us. Due to a severe lack of babysitters we have not had an evening out on our own for over a year!!!

2. A haircut, I am desperate to get my hair cut having not had it done since AUGUST!!! I've been waiting for a bit of spare cash and then the chance to get it done. I've already cancelled one appointment due to AJ having to change his days at work.

3. A new outfit, I miss shopping, well I hate shopping but I miss having the option! Of course we have shops here but it's not the same, and because of that (and a lack of non-essential shopping funds) I've not got anything nice that's not been essential in quite a while.

4. Two lie-ins in a row (at least!), or in other words a late night followed by a lie-in but for that to happen I'd probably need to not be up at 5 or 6am else I might accidentally fall asleep at 9pm.

5. A trip to a spa, I think the previous numbers are quite sensible really, it's not like I was requesting expensive jewellery or city breaks in 5 star hotels, so this is my proper 'wish for item. Oh, and while we're wishing then.... I'll have a couple of my best girlies from the UK to join me, that would be great!

There may be trouble ahead......

Yesterday I offered the following beverage options to Leo....


This is what happened next.....


He cried like his heart was breaking, and looked at me like I was the most evil mother a boy could have! I was trying to see which he would choose - he could have milk but in a cup (have tried this before with various types of cups and beakers) or if it was the bottle he wanted he could have it with water in it. I thought it more than fair, but he wanted milk, and it HAD to be in a bottle.

Last year Leo drank milk at milk times and water throughout the day, during the summer especially he drank lots and lots of it, and sometimes 2 whole bottles of it in the night. I didn't offer him squash for ages and when I did one day for no apparent reason he refused it and carried on drinking water quite happily.

He only drank from a bottle, a fact I didn't even think about as I was too busy being pleased about the water, and it was 40 degrees so he could have been drinking from a bucket for all I cared as long as he was drinking.

Before I had Leo I had considered not giving him a dummy as I was worried about having problems getting him to give it up at some point. I did give him a dummy at 2 weeks old, and was very careful to remove it as soon as he stopped crying as I thought this would help later. At 3 months old though Leo decided he no longer wanted a dummy and refused to take it ever again, I was surprised but pleased I didn't have a future issue to deal with.

However, the bottle is the dummy equivalent, and to add to that somewhere in the last few months he stopped drinking water, and would cry and cry for milk - daft Mummy here started giving it to him when he asked (baby-led weaning is great but I may have got a bit carried away) and now will only drink milk, and lots of it.

I started to dilute it with water hoping it would put him off, but it seems that as long as it looks like milk he's happy - give him water with a splash of milk and he's happy, anything else and he looks at the colour and refuses it.

I'm not sure what the bigger problem is, the milk or the bottle, but it is driving me crazy! I want him to drink other things as it's difficult when out to refill his bottle with milk and will be much worse in the summer heat to carry milk around. But I feel that at 20 months old he should no longer have a bottle at all.

I suppose the only way is to go 'cold turkey' and throw them out, but like with the sleeping issues I keep finding reasons to do it another day. Stupid really when we sorted his night waking in just two days after months of getting up 4 or more times a night.  I just don't know how to start - do I change the drink or the bottle first? Shall I give him milk at night, in the morning or at a set time during the day? Do I offer water, juice, squash or something else? (vodka? oh, sorry that's just me!)

"This too shall pass" - a phrase I'm repeating a lot at the moment. I know in the grand scheme of things this is not a problem and he won't be going to school with a bottle hanging out his mouth but for now I am at a bit of  loss with what I should do now.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3 Week 5

This week I'm joining in with Michelle again in her weekly Reasons to be cheerful meme.

The cold is getting to me today so it's good to focus on the things that are making me cheerful. Sunny Cyprus is not living up to it's name today, it's very windy and I cannot get warm but not long to go before I can go back to just wearing one just layer of clothes, that's one reason to be cheerful right there!

1. I will be seeing my parents next week....NEXT WEEK!!! Very excited about that as I've not seen them since my visit back to the UK in August, and AJ's not seen them for almost a year and half.

2. Leo is pretty much all better after having a cold all week. Obviously it was not nice to see him unwell but we had a nice day on Wednesday as he wanted to do nothing all day except snuggle on the sofa, it was lovely having cuddles for that long and like having the worlds best hot water bottle on my lap! Good to see him back to normal now though.

3. I had a lovely child free morning out with my friend this week. We went window shopping in the lovely town of Paralimni and then had lunch in a nice little cafe I've been meaning to try for ages. It great to be able to finally get into the shops I had not been in since getting here (not even vaguely buggy friendly!) and eat lunch without having to share it!


Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Gallery - going round in circles!

This weeks Gallery was a no-brainer for me. The prompt is Shapes and the first thing that popped into my head was the shape I am asked to draw a million times a day.

Leo loves to draw, often he will ask for his crayons as I lift him from his cot in the morning. Because of this I spend a lot of time 'drawing' with him, the problem being is that I can never think of anything to draw, so I started drawing shapes. For some reason best known to him, he has taken rather a liking to circles, or as he calls them 'kerkels'

He will sit and watch for ages while you draw them all over the place, and recently has got rather good at doing them himself.......




He also likes to see you draw 'dars' (stars) and 'a-angles', (triangles) but hasn't yet mastered these ones himself.  Such is his love of shapes (and my lack of imagination at drawing) we are now moving onto numbers which I can manage to make look like they are supposed to unlike when I try to draw a car or animal.


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Listography -

This week Kate asks us what out top five annoying kids programmes are, I've been reading through everyone else's lists and feeling quite grateful that we don't get most of those programmes shown on our channels, that's one benefit of our rubbish selection I suppose!

Although the small selection does mean that the programmes get repeated A LOT, and by that I mean sometimes twice an hour on the BBC Entertainment Cbeebies, let me tell you that can make even the best shows   annoying. 

1. Me Too - this is the most annoying programme by far. What the hell is the point of this crap! Sorry going into a bit of a rant now but this programme actually pains me to watch. It's not been on for a while and the songs will not leave my head. It is truly the worst thing I have ever seen.

2. Balamory - I've noticed this on a few peoples lists, I can only assume they haven't seen 'Me Too' as that makes Balamory look good. But that's not to say it is, and they couldn't be any more politically correct which also winds me up. 



3. Barney & Friends - Leo loves Barney, he gets really excited when it starts and dances about shouting "Baba" for that reason I do like it, it taught him the colour 'purple' which was the first colour he knew. But... I would love to go and kick the crap out of that big purple thing. Actually it's not Barney himself that annoys me, it's the ridiculously happy kids I'd really like to punch but that might be a bit harsh!

4. Tweenies - Annoying voices, too loud and too colourful - gives me a headache!

5. Teletubbies - I actually don't mind the Teleubbies at all, it's a very easy programme to ignore I find, however when they do the video clip thing it really annoys me that they show the same thing twice. 

To see what everyone else is ranting about (it's not just me honest!) head over to Kate takes 5



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