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Showing posts from December, 2012

New year, new ideas and no resolutions!

Although I'm not really a fan of making New Year resolutions as such I don't like to pass up an opportunity to make a list, even if it's just in my head!   I've always said that January 1st is a rubbish day to start something, especially if it's dieting or stopping smoking which always seem to be popular resolutions.... I will be doing neither!

Instead, each year I tend to come up with stuff I would like to achieve in the year,

In 2013 I will get back to my target weight, I made quite a a good start back on Slimming world after Louka was born but I kind of abandoned it all just before Christmas.  As I proved several times now actually going to a group makes all the difference so on 7th Jan I will be joining a new group local to me.

Along with Slimming World, I would also like to regain my former fitness!  I was never the sportiest person but when I lost weight the first time round I was exercising regularly and really enjoying it.  Of course it also meant the weig…

Silent Sunday

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Boxing Day fun and madness

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Whilst getting ready for our Boxing day walk in the sunshine I happened to mention to my Dad that a friend of mine had been asking a few days earlier if anyone was up for a Boxing Day swim.  Straight away he replied 'Why not, I'd do it'

I was surprised (although I don't know why) but without thinking I smiled and 'ok, lets do it then'   Aaron thought we were mad and I'm sure many people would agree with him, (especially my friend Sam who is such a wimp she won't get in a pool by the end of September!)  but I figured if hundreds of mad people survive a swim in the Channel at this time of year then in 22 degree sunshine it shouldn't be too bad. 

It was bloody cold though, as you can probably tell by how I'm holding my arms on the way in!  I did swim but not for long, Dad on the other hand was in quite a while.  We did have a few funny looks from people walking along the beach path, and we even got asked by some Russian tourists if they could take …

Flashback Friday - Looking back at 2012

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It's been an interesting year, it started with Aaron at home looking for work, then had him working 7 days a week for the whole summer whilst I got increasingly large and waddled around waiting to give birth. Leo started school, and in August we welcomed Loukas and our little family became complete.  I decided to look back over the year with my favourite blog post and one photo from each month. 
In January I made the announcement that I was expecting our second baby,
In February I had got used to the idea of a new baby and I was really happy to have found a doula. 

In March I shared the story of my Mum's little travelling companion and introduced Travel ted to the world!

In April, we found out that our new addition was going to be another boy and I wrote about how it felt we were entering a  new chapter in our life.

In May, Leo turned three and I wrote him his annual letter, he enjoyed a Thomas the Tank engine themed birthday party and a day out and a ride on a miniature trai…

The bells were ringing out for Christmas day....

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As the line from the best Christmas song ever goes.... the bells here were certainly ringing out for Christmas day, at about 6am at the big church just down the road.

We had a lovely Christmas day at home (well here and my Mum & Dads but it's the same difference - it's only downstairs!) Louka was first awake but we still got a lie in as Leo didn't wake up till gone 7am, despite the church bells. Leo called me into his bedroom and I went and sat on his bed, he asked if it was time to get up but made no mention of presents.  
I asked him if he remembered what we had hung up the night before, he looked around, didn't 'see' the stocking hanging right where he had put it and said 'ah, no presents came Mama'  Slightly bemused I pointed to the stocking and he gasped and jumped out of bed to get it - 'Aaaaah look Mamma, there's presents for me, woo hoo' 
He was so excited he didn't even realise there were some more under the tree!

Mum and Da…

Silent Sunday

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Flashback Friday - Christmas Memories

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This week for Flashback Friday I'm handing you over to my Mum, as she shares her Childhood Christmas memories.




As a child on Christmas morning, my presents would always be at the bottom of my bed in a pillowcase. If I woke up during the night, I would chose one of the presents to open and snuggle down in bed again till the morning, although I wanted to open them all, I would have hated to have nothing to  open when I got up. I always had a selection box, normally books or games from my Aunts and Uncles, things that could be made or drawn and usually something doll related. 
My Dad was always the last to open his presents and did so with the use of his penknife. In memory of those days every Christmas Dad’s penknife is still put on the unit and if it is used we always thank him.
Mum and Dad always made Christmas exciting, Chicken was always on the menu (turkey was not a traditional dish then), and to have chicken was extra special! The three of us would have Christmas dinner and then …

Our Angel child!

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It's not often it can be said but tonight our little Leo was an angel!

He played his part in his first ever school play and was brilliant!
I had no idea if he would take follow in my footsteps and refuse to do it and burst into tears or if he would do what he was supposed to.  He had learnt his lines off by heart, even correcting me on my pronunciation of them, and had been excitedly showing me how he had to run around on the stage but I didn't know if the huge audience and camera flashes would put him off.
Unfortunately we were sat the other side of the stage to where he stood but we did see him and also manage to get a great photo. It was the only photo we got of him as he refused to let Aaron take one before we left home.  Not wanting to upset him before the play we didn't force the issue!
He had been looking forward to going to school at night (the play was at 6.45pm - interesting as he usually goes to bed at 7pm and he has to be at church with the school at 7.45am tom…

Our alternative Christmas Pudding

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Nothing says 'Christmas Desert' quite like a good old Christmas pudding but unfortunately I cannot stand them!    Without meaning to be difficult I also dislike Traditional Christmas Cake, and only realised that I like mince pies in the last couple of years,   this meant that Christmas day desert when I was younger meant Yule log  (always too dry)   or Arctic Roll (good but didn't really say Christmas to me!)

Until I met Aaron that is and we realised that we both dislike Christmas Cake and pudding, along with his brother and sister.  He then introduced me to his Mum's alternative Christmas pudding she has made for years now, which I promptly adopted and have used every year since.
Christmas is now NOT Christmas without Chocolate Chestnut pudding - (I've yet to see chestnut puree in the shops here but so far I've got someone to bring us a tin out each year!) 
The first year my Mother in law introduced it as 'Chocolate Pudding'  rather than 'Chocolate…

Deryneia Christmas Avenue

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It's often said by expats here in Cyprus that Christmas doesn't feel like Christmas, there's several reasons for this, blue skies being one of them but also not being surrounded by family and friends, not seeing Christmas adverts and programs on the TV and the fact that it is not so 'in your face' as in the UK.  The first couple of years we were here we struggled to find things to do with a Christmas theme, friends of mine who have been here for years say that only 6 or so years ago there was nothing at all.

It seems to be changing though, Agia Napa has several events including the switching on of the lights and a visit from Santa and this year there seems to have been a lot more Christmas fairs and such like.  Last weekend I was really looking forward to the 'Deryneia Christmas Avenue' event held in our village. 
It sounded brilliant... A very large section of road closed off to traffic from 11am till 8pm with stalls and entertainment throughout the day.  …

Silent Sunday

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Christmas Eve Snuggle Sack

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Last year was the first year that Leo got excited about Christmas, admittedly he still didn't know exactly what was going on but he certainly got the excitement. I've always loved Christmas and have looked forward to having our own family Christmasses for a long time so I was really excited about developing our own traditions that the boys will grow up with.

So last Christmas I made the first 'Snuggle Sack' created after seeing this post over on Thinly Spread.

The idea of the snuggle sack is for it to be a family event unlike the stockings the boys will have one each of the following morning.

Last year it contained.....

A Christmas DVD (think it was The Polar Express)
A Christmas story book
New pyjamas for Leo
Chocolate for us all to share
Hot chocolate sachet for each of us
Some Christmas themed colouring pages (found online and printed)
A hanging decoration - (sign saying 'Santa stop here, Leo has been good')

It was great fun giving Leo the sack to open up, a…

Leo's thoughts on Christmas

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I'm not sure what the average 3 year old thinks about Christmas but I wondered what Leo could remember about it all so we asked him at the end of November.  I would imagine that if we were in England some answers would be a bit different.....

What is happening next month?
Mardi, (Aaron's Mum) Tomas and James are coming to Cyprus.

Yes, but what else?
Don't know.

It's Christmas next month, What does Christmas mean?
Don't know (this is a very common answer, to many questions as you may have gathered!)


What do we see at Christmas?
Father Christmas

Do you know what happens at Christmas time?
We put a tree up and put lights on it.

At this point he turned to my Dad and asked him what happens, he replied 'We eat a lot of yummy food'   Then Dad said 'Maybe you will get some presents'  Leo turned to Aaron and I with a questioning look on his face  and Aaron said jokingly 'Ooh I don't think there be presents, not at Christmas'

Leo looked back to my Dad laugh…

Silent Sunday

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Three Years in Cyprus - Flashback Friday

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It was our three year anniversary of moving to Cyprus on 24th November. Many people have said they can't believe its been that long and although in some ways it seems hard to believe I feel like we've been here forever.  It feels like a lifetime ago that we lived in the UK.  My parents have UK tv channels and it seems 'foreign' to me to see adverts in English or watch the local Kent or London news. I'm vaguely interested at times but it just doesn't feel relevant to me any more.

It may seem a long time ago but I remember our first couple of days so clearly.  Our shipping was due to arrive about a week after we did so we had huge problems in packing our final suitcases.  Although our apartment came furnished we had nothing except the basics and we also needed a cot, steriliser and various other baby paraphernalia.

We had brought Leo a seat on the plane even though at 6 months he could have gone on our laps, but at £35 a ticket it was worth being able to strap h…

Christmas Cyprus style

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Christmas in Cyprus is generally much more low key than in the UK (Easter being the bigger celebration here) so I'm always keen to find 'Christmassy things' to do. This year so far has been more successful than our previous years here, partly because Leo is a bit older and can enjoy them more. Last weekend we kicked off the festivities with two Christmas events....

Saturday was the Christmas lights switch on in Agia Napa, a great free event which takes place each year in the town square.  
It's always very busy with locals and tourists alike and to get involved you do have to repress the extremely British urge to queue!
Santa arrives in a horse drawn carriage and gives out free presents to anyone who can brave the scrum - luckily my Mum seems to have adapted to the surroundings and can wiggle her way to the front of crowds quite well now!
There are also stalls handing out free wine and snacks but we decided it wasn't worth the effort (especially having tasted the wi…

Christmas Decorating time (Giveaway)

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I have declared that this weekend will be 'Decorating Day' in our household, this is purely my decision as Aaron was over ruled for the last time last Christmas when he tried one last time to get me to put them up on Christmas Eve.  Instead this year we have been having a debate about swapping Christmas trees with my parents, we have a Christmas tree brought years ago before we left England from Notcutts Garden Centre which has been nicknamed 'the biggest Christmas tree in the world',  it's a great tree but unfortunately we don't have the biggest apartment in the world to match!

For the last few years we've just put half of it up (so it sat flat against the wall) but now we've gained an extra child and a whole load of associated stuff, our small apartment seems to have shrunk even more!  The solution seems to be to temporary swap as I love our tree and can't bear to sell it!
One thing which will stay the same from previous years here in Cyprus is o…

Silent Sunday

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