Saturday, 29 June 2013

365 Project - week 26

As is often the case lately I have so many blog posts in my head yet no time to get them written.  This week has been no exception and I'd have liked to have written posts about several things we've done this week.  However for now I'll let the photos show what we've been doing....

Playing with ice in an attempt to cool down!

Lost 5lb at Slimming World which took me to my 1.5stone award as well as my 'Club 10'

Discovered a new park.... with nice shady trees too!

Spent most of a morning trying to make a 'Spartan Shield' birthday cake for Aaron - it was ok but the colour didn't turn out quite as I expected!

Cake for breakfast, as we had to do it before school and work so Leo could see!

End of school for the summer so we celebrated with cocktails much to the delight of the kids!

Spent the afternoon at a party and everyone enjoyed the magic show.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 27 June 2013

An unusually quiet birthday celebration

Today is my lovely hubby's 40th birthday, for many years we have spoken about a big celebration in honour of this milestone and given our love of parties it always looked like it would be the biggest one so far. Unfortunately with his the seasonal nature of his work and no time off until November we soon realised that it would not be the case.

I've been racking my brains for weeks now about what I could do to make it special, what to buy him with our limited budget and few shopping options here.  I asked everyone for suggestions and scoured the internet but inspiration didn't strike me.

I fancied the idea of a personalized gift and went to many websites, unsure of what that gift should be but eventually gave up trying to find one that would deliver to Cyprus without costing the earth.  At the last minute I decided to do it myself.

A photo frame, family photo and a carefully chosen film quote and this is the result....

300 Spartan film quote
Can you name the film?

When I was searching for the quotes I found several that I thought I could work with so couldn't resist  doing a couple more just for fun.   If you didn't get the film from the first one you should from these....

300   an honour to live by your side

This one just amused me....

and if you hadn't got it already...

Leonidas - This is Sparta

In case you were wondering, Aaron is a big fan of the film '300'  and where he got the name 'Leonidas' from.  One idea he had had for his birthday celebration was a 'Spartan' themed night out, hence the themed photos for him.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Are we nearly there yet? - Slimming World Update

I know I've been a little overdue with my Slimming World updates but I'm still going to group and I've also been enjoying setting up a facebook page and closed group for those who attend our weekly session.    This has been great as not only so I love doing things like that, it has also helped me stay focused and 100% on the plan - you just can't be eating too much of the wrong things while doing that can you!

So, how have I been doing?  
Well after several weeks of '1lb off, 1lb on' I finally got myself in gear last week and at today's weigh in I lost 5lb  - I think that's a record for me!

It also meant I collected my 'Club 10' award (for losing 10% of my starting weight)  and my 1.5 stone award!

I took Leo with me today as it's a Bank Holiday and school was closed, he was very good although upset that he couldn't stand on the scales too!   He asked loads of questions, (nothing new there!) and was a little confused why it's good for my weight to go down but his should go up.

He was quite happy with my explanation of how I got bigger (width ways, rather than big as in taller) when Louka was in my belly and how I wanted to get slimmer again.

But... and THIS is why I LOVE Slimming World, I explained how I do it, and how I will stay there when I get there. I showed him the 'BMI chart' and how it shows what is considered a healthy weight range for my height and I told him the kind of food I eat to do it.

I love the fact that by me following the plan it means he eats like me, but with the addition of full fat yoghurt, bread, and many more treats than me at the moment. Of course he still has pizza, and burgers smothered in 'red sauce' and he is forever picking out 'yucky' bits of veg from his dinners but the basics are there.

Many years ago I was so worried I'd end up with 'fat kids' like I was as I didn't know how to stop it, and I'm so glad that Slimming World has taught me how to eat healthily for life.

He loved listening to all my answers and seeing my shiny award stickers on my book, and jumped for joy along with me as the scales showed my 'number' had gone down!

When we got home he got on the scales (as promised when he couldn't do it in group) and then made everyone else do it.  I got on holding Louka and was surprised to see that together we are the exact weight I was when I joined this group back in January.  For an even bigger coincidence though, I was amazed to see that getting on holding Leo, which was hard work as he's really heavy now,  I was the exact weight I was at my very first weigh in back in 2006,  What are the chances of that!

I'm now just 1lb away from my target, I hope I can do that this week. Last week was very very strict on the plan and I made many different dishes to usual and tried several new recipes (coming up on the blog over the next few weeks so stick around!)   This week is Aaron's birthday, and there will be cake and alcohol involved so I'm trying to plan around that!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Lots and lots of bloggers went to #Britmums and this little expat stayed at home...

I'm sure there are many people who would like to swap places with me for a while, to be in Cyprus, in the sun, at the beach and usually there is no place I'd rather be but this weekend I'd have loved to have been in good ol' London town at Britmums Live, the UK's biggest blogging event.

For the last two years I've watched the build up and the tweets during the conference, and the blog posts afterwards from a place that is less than an hour away on a train from my old home and wished I could have been a part of it.  

There are so many people I would love to meet, people who have become real friends to me even though we've never met. I would love to hear the fantastic speakers they always have and pick up lots of blogging tips and most of all I'd love to have a weekend away with like minded people and maybe a sneaky few drinks and dinner!

The first year, I swore I would attend in 2012, I almost brought a ticket when they were announced figuring I'd then HAVE to find a way to get there. Luckily I didn't as we did not have the money and I was too pregnant to fly. When the ticket sales opened for 2013 my finger hovered longingly over the 'buy now' button but I realised it would not be possible.

Reading the posts about this year and comments from those who missed it but are planning to go this year makes me want to try but with two kids to take to England to do so it's not even just the cost of my flights and accommodation to consider, with Aaron working the season I couldn't leave them here - although I gladly would!

I don't regret my move to Cyprus for a second but there are often things, usually blog related, sometimes big celebrations that I hate that I have to miss, it may seem strange that this is the big one (with the possible exception of my friends wedding party) but yet again as now seems to be a tradition I'm now racking my brains for a miracle to get me there for next year!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

365 Project - week 25

I showed Leo our wedding video, his comments were hilarious... 'Why are you wearing a Princess Mummy?',   'Why has Nana got a funny thing on her head?'  'Was I listening to the music in your belly?' - He is adamant that he was in my belly at the time although it was five years before he was born!

We went to 'Tony's' again, to celebrate a friends birthday.

Once Aaron got home from work I popped down for a sunset swim to cool down!

Taken from my usual evening position, blogging on the balcony.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

The Cake free 'Birthday Cake'

It can be so hard to think of good gift ideas for birthdays, especially here in Cyprus without the variety of shops we've been used to in the UK and for someone like my Dad who doesn't really need anything as such.  So when I saw this fab idea on pinterest I thought I'd give it a go.

It's so easy to make.... obviously as homemade stuff is not generally my strong point!

You need.....
no bake birthday cake

An empty 2 litre coke (or similar ) bottle - cut the top off so it sits flat
8 cans
12 -14 mini choc bars
Cake board

Start by placing the bottle upside down on the board, and place the cans around it.  Tape them all together so they don't keep moving around.

Place the chocolate bars around the top in the same way.

Cover with ribbon.

birthday cake gift for all ages

I used a bit of blue tack to secure my candle but you could make a hole in the top of the bottle instead.

There you go, an easy yet effective gift that will always be appreciated!

Leo, aged four loves....

Following on from last years 'Leo, aged 3 loves' post, I've made a new one to join in with Lauren's linky.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Leo becomes a 'football man'

I always imagined that once I had children I'd be taking them to lots of activities - not in a pushy mother type way you understand, more of a 'How the hell do I keep them occupied' kind of way!  This was back in the day before I ever imagined living in Cyprus and I could see the huge range of activities for them to take part in in England.

Little Kickers classes have been running for a while now in Cyprus and I've had my eye on them for Leo for some time, although at first there was no class in our area.  This month however Little Kickers  launched in Paralimni, just down the road from us!

Although Leo enjoys playing with a ball, football has never been part of his life as both Aaron and my Dad are not fans themselves so I wasn't sure how excited he would be about the classes. I guessed he would enjoy them as what's not to like about running around with your friends for a hour but I have been surprised just HOW much he is loving it!

He's been to three classes so far and has been really sad at the end of each one that it's time to leave.  He is more than happy to go off and play and follow all the instructions and is full of enthusiasm for the next week talking about what he did.

His highlight so far was getting his kit on the second week, and I love how he calls it his 'football man costume' rather than his football kit!

Several of his friends also go so I enjoy it too as I get to sit on the sidelines and have a chat, well when I'm not chasing after Louka that is...

Little Kickers Cyprus

Most of the time he makes a beeline for the group, I guess he can't wait to join in!

Little Kickers Cyprus

I'm not trying to create a future football star but the point of Little Kickers is to use football as fun way to increase confidence, co-ordination and a sense of camaraderie, it is certainly doing that!

There are two classes running in Paralimni at the moment - Junior Kickers for ages 2 - 3.5 years and Mighty Kickers for 3.5 to 5 years. For more information you can contact them via the Little Kickers website  or find them on facebook

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sunday, 16 June 2013

365 Project - Week 24

Agia Napa limnaki  fish feeding

A day out at the harbour in Agia Napa, Leo fed fish for the first time and loved it!

Little Kickers Cyprus paralimni

Second Little Kickers football lesson, Leo was very pleased to get his kit.

Slimming world Cyprus paralimni

I set up a facebook page and group for my Slimming World group, and spent most of the day promoting it on facebook.
Cyprus school play

Leo's end of year school play, he was an absolute star!

Enjoying being the 'big boy' and helping his friends walk down the stairs!

My Dad's birthday and he got cuddles from his grandsons. 

baby sleep

He does sleep, just not very often or when you actually want him to.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Agia Napa - not just for clubbing!

There's a large misconception that Agia Napa is just for party people and only comes alive at night.  It is true that it is a fab party place during the day it's a totally different place. Last Sunday a friend and I went for the afternoon and had a lovely time. While I often pop down there to see Aaron at work it's been a long time since I did anything else so it was great to and do something different.

First of all we explored the small church at the harbour, Agios Georgios.

Agios Georgios church Agia Napa Harbour

Leo was surprisingly interested in it and was comparing it to the big church he has been to with the school.  I pointed out the beautiful decoration and it was all going well until he started asking who all the pictures were and lots of other questions, I came a bit unstuck trying to answer all his questions!

Next to the church is a restaurant with a small playground so we popped in there for a sneaky play before walking around the harbour itself to look at the boats.  Leo was interested in the different types from the small traditional fishing boats to the large tourist 'submarines' and party boats.  He was desperate to go out on one and I told him we would go very soon with Grandad while Nana looks after Louka.

Agia Napa Harbour

Leo and his friend Jack were excited to see 'Nemo' who was with the guys handing out leaflets for the 'Nemo Submarine boat trip'  I just couldn't believe he could survive in wearing that suit in the heat!

We stopped to feed the fish such a simple activity but something Leo has never done before. He was absolutely over the moon about it, fascinated how mad they all went as he threw the bread in, I think this was the highlight of his whole day!

We stopped for a picnic lunch near the water in a lovely little shaded area with benches and the boys had a run around playing ball for a while, until Leo randomly announced he was cold.... I have a temperature gauge on my pushchair and it was showing 35 degrees in the shade!

Agia Napa limnaki picnic area

Heading back to the harbour we decided to stop for some frozen yoghurt at a new place that has recently opened which happens to have a great little play area right next door. The boys were not at all interested in the yoghurt, or even the sweets we'd put on the top, preferring instead to play leaving us to eat it all ourselves!

Next to the playground is  coffee bar, restaurant and a nice looking pool so I think we're be heading down again very soon.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 14 June 2013

Flashback Friday - A birthday surprise

Today is my Dad's birthday so I thought I'd flashback a few years... not many of course, to his 50th birthday.

My Mum decided to arrange a surprise for him, she did it brilliantly considering how much time they spend together and he didn't suspect a thing.

Dad was told that the two of them were going out for dinner at a local restaurant.  What he didn't know was they were being joined by his friends and family!

It was arranged that a friend would give them a lift to the restaurant on his way out. At this point Dad thought that the friend was going to be joining them for dinner as a surprise, on the way there he asked if that was the plan but was told no, the friend was very sorry but had other plans.

He didn't believe them and expected him to get out the car when they arrived but instead he dropped them off and drove away.

Meanwhile I was inside the restaurant and with all the others waiting for them to arrive. As they walked in I happened to be the first person he saw and he smiled at the 'surprise'. We didn't live that far away and the fact of Aaron and I being there would not have been that unusual.

It was a second later however that he noticed the others one by one and was genuinely stunned!

I think there were about 15 of us in total, some who had traveled a fair distance too.

It was a great evening and enjoyed by everyone, especially the guest of honour!

Linking up to Flashback Friday

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