Monday, 27 April 2015

The one where we become video stars!

In my quest to amuse the kids (and find more content for my Cyprus information website) I'm always on the look out for places to go and things to do.  Last year we visited Dolfins Park in Agia Napa for the first time and it was a big hit with the kids so when we were offered the chance to be a part of a promotional video we jumped at the chance...

Aaron was working taking photos alongside James Ground who was filming the video to create one of the videos for the Daxi Holiday Guide to Cyprus. The guide will be published soon in print and online

The boys were excited to be part of it, and after a few arguments (as always) beforehand were warned to be on their best behaviour, I explained what we were doing as we always do with anything related to our work.  Louka is a bit young to understand but Leo enjoys hearing all about what we are doing and why we are doing it.  He takes his job as 'Mini Klik' very seriously and I love that we can make him feel part of the family business.



At first he was reluctant to actually go on any of the rides, annoying as for the purpose of the video we didn't have to pay for them, but he soon got into the swing of things closely followed as ever by his little brother.


It was a great afternoon, full of laughter from the kids and it was a great thing to be part of, as I'm sure you know I'm all for anything that promotes the East coast of Cyprus as a place to visit, and spend time in so this was a perfect fit.

Leo declined the chance to speak to the camera about his favourite bit, I can't say I blamed him - I was forced persuaded and when I opened my mouth I could barely string a sentence together - needless to say I was very relieved when I watched the final video to see that my part had been cut!

You can spot the boys a few times during the video, and if you keep your eyes open you can see Louka and I eating ice cream together - luckily it didn't catch the bit when I was taking sneaky bites of it!




Video from the Daxi Holiday Guide to Cyprus,  photos by Klik Photo CY

Saturday, 25 April 2015

73 Questions

It's been a while since I've written an 'About me' post and when I saw this on Mum Reinvented's blog I thought I'd give it a go and kickstart my blog again in the process.

Maybe it's an expat thing or perhaps it's because we are close in age but it turns out we are quite similar, I cut and pasted the questions and as I wrote my answers in place of hers there were a surprising amount of similarities! 
1. What’s your favourite movie?
I'm really not a film fan and I'm forever saying 'No, I've not seen that'  to hundreds of 'must see' films.   It's quite rare for me to see a film more than once if at all so anything I've watched many times has to be classed as a favourite - so I'd have to say Back to the Future, or Shaun of the Dead as the first that come to mind!
2. Favourite movie in the past five years?
I'm really struggling with this one, I watch so few films these days(even less than I once did!)  as I'm always online in the evenings, and if I sit on the sofa more than half an hour I tend to fall asleep. 
3. Favourite Hitchcock film?
As before, I'm really not a film fan, so I've not seen any Hitchcock films that I can think of!
4. A book you plan on reading?
I’m in the middle of 'Watermelons, a fish and a bible' I was really looking forward to reading it but it didn't immediately grab my attention which surprised me for a book set in Cyprus and I've not got round to finishing it. 
5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?
Forever by Judy Blume – I don’t know about ‘positively shaping’ me, but it’s certainly the one that sticks out in my memory.
6. Favourite TV show that’s currently on?
How I Met Your Mother, ok it's not currently on but I've only just discovered it and I'm watching nothing else while I plough my way through over 200 episodes on Netlfix.  (they are short enough that I tend not to fall asleep as often!) 
7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?
Probably an big fat 10 due to the FPN Fun Day this weekend and all the developments with our new photo booth hire company.  The boys are now almost 6, and 2.5 years old so they are becoming a bit easier to take out and I'm loving the fact that we have moved on from the 'baby days' 
8. iPhone or Android?
Android. I always wanted an iphone but now I have a decent Android I have changed my mind!
9. Twitter or Instagram?
As much as I have tried I still can't really get into twitter although I do give it a good try ever now and again.  I don't use Instagram as much as I used to but guess if I had to pick one it would be IG. 
10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?

Erm... I have NO idea.   So I'll say you should be following me - on here if you enjoy my blog,  on the FPN if you live in or visit Cyprus, and on Klik if you like photos!
11. What’s your favourite food?
Chinese food, or steak, or cake.....aargh don't make me choose!
12. Least favourite food?
Peanut butter.   I've hated it for years and once I accidentally ate a bit of discarded toast from the kids that was covered in it,  everyone thought it was hilarious as I ran to find something to eat to take the taste away -  serves me right for eating the kids food I guess!
13. What do you love on your pizza?
Pepperoni, ham, beef - basically the toppings of a Pizza Hut Meat feast!   Halloumi is a great addition to though!
14. Favourite drink?
Cocktails – Sex on the Beach or Pina Colada, or a beer or vodka and coke depending on my mood. 
15. Favourite dessert?
As long as it doesn't contain nuts, coffee or too much fruit it's probably a winner!
16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Milk
17. Coffee or tea?
Tea, can't stand coffee in any way, shape or form!
18. What’s the hardest part about being a mum?
Trying to balance keeping the kids happy and disciplining them,  and not having enough sleep!
19. What’s your favourite band?
I’m not really into ‘proper’ bands. I was a Take That fan if you include boy bands.
20. Favourite solo artist?

I couldn't pick one that I like more than others,  I've always been a fan of various songs rather than one specific artist. 
21. Favourite song?
Oh it's impossible to pick just one!   I usually go with 'Hold On' by Wilson Phillips. 
22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?
David Tennant, but the singing would not be the aim of the meeting!
23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?
I gave up with musical instruments after attempting to learn the recorder in school.
24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?
I've got on on my leg already but I am vaguely thinking about another one day as this one was supposed to be for the 'three' of us, and incorporates Leo's birthday, so I guess I need to even things out a bit!
25. To be or not to be?
To be,  why would you answer anything else!
26. Dogs or cats?
Dogs
27. Bird-watching or whale-watching?
Whale watching
28. Best gift you’ve ever received?
A weekend in Paris. 
29. Best gift you’ve ever given?
I'm not sure, I guess it depends on the opinon of the recipent!    I'd say the most unusual and one that took the most thought was a printed list of 60 memories from my childhood that I gave to my Dad on his 60th birthday. 
30. Last gift you gave a friend?

Leo and I painted a canvas for my Mum's birthday using his hand prints to make a sun and with the text 'You are my Sunshine' 
31. What’s your favourite board game?
Articulate  - so many funny moments have come from that over the years.
32. What’s your favourite country to visit?
I'd have to say England now as I get to see my old friends.
33. What’s the last country you visited?
England, the only country I have been to since I left it 5.5 years ago. 
34. What country do you wish to visit?
I'd quite like to visit some little Greek islands but since living in Cyprus I have no real desire to visit anywhere else, not yet anyway. 
35. What’s your favourite colour?
I haven't really got one. 
36. Least favourite colour?
Again, I guess it depends on what it's relating to but generally I don't have one. 
37. Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds.
38. Heels or flats?
Flats without a doubt!  I live in flat boots in the winter and switch to fit flops as soon as it warms up.  I avoid heels whenever I can even though I know they look better - as long as I'm not stumbling over! 
39. Pilates or yoga?
Pilates
40. Jogging or swimming?
Swimming
41. Best way to de-stress?

Watching random rubbish on youtube or messing about on social media. 
42. If you had one superpower, what would it be?
To be able to travel in time. 
43. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?
I had no idea so I turned to google, and this jumped out at me.
Tittynope  - apparently it means a small quantity of something left over. 
44. What’s your favourite flower?
Again, I've not really got one.  (I didn't actually realise I have so few opinons!)  I like flowers, but I couldn't name half the ones I see around. 
45. When was the last time you cried?
I couldn't put a date on it, but its been quite a while now. 
46. Do you like your handwriting?
No, I write too fast and it's because of that it's not often legible to anyone other than me. 
47. Do you bake?
Yes, I much prefer baking than creating savoury dishes. 
48. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?
My lack of patience. 
49. What is your most favourite thing about yourself?
I like to think I am a good friend.
50. Who do you miss most?
My friends in the UK
51. What are you listening to right now?
Aaron watching something or other on the TV,  I never really pay attention to what it is!
52. Favourite smell?
Bacon, or souvla cooking, or pretty much any yummy food!
53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My Mum
54. Who was the last person you sent a text to?
Aaron who was doing a food shop, adding on things I had forgotten to put on the list. 
55. A sport you wish you could play?
I used to wish I could play lacrosse as I loved the social life that went with being on the team but I was rubbish at it!
56. Hair colour?
Brown
57. Eye colour?
Blue
58. Scary film or happy endings?
Always happy endings
59. Favourite season?
Spring - the weather starts to warm up with the excitement of summer still to come, before we have had too much of the heat. 
60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
My Nan as I never met her, My Grandad as I would love to speak to him as an adult and get him to teach me Greek (he could speak many languages!) and Aaron's Grandad, as he speaks so fondly of him and I never met him. 
61. Hugs or kisses?
Hugs
62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
The Beatles
63. Where were you born?
Kent in South East England.
64. What is the farthest you have been from home?
Mexico
65. Sweet or savoury?
Sweet
66. Lipstick or lip gloss?
The only thing I ever use is the long stay lip colours with the gloss that goes on top as everything else seems to come off by the time I leave the house. 
67. What book have you read again and again?
Lightning by Dean Koontz
68. Favourite bedtime story?
There are so many, I always come back to The Monkey Puzzle or The Gruffalo as they are a nice easy read and the boys love to join in, although I am really enjoying reading the Harry Potter books to Leo, it's just taking rather a long time to get through them!
69. What would be the title of your autobiography?
It would have to be 'A matter of Choice'
70. Favourite sound?
I was going to say the sound of the kids snoring as it means they are asleep but in all honestly its really the sound of them laughing, even thought it often signifies trouble!
71. Favourite animal?
Dog - I grew up with dogs, and Aaron and I had one before we moved to Cyprus. I would love another one day when we have a bit more space and we can convince the boys not to be scared!
72. Who is your girl crush?
I wouldn't say I have one.
73. Last photograph you took?

It's a typical 'in the moment' photo rather than one for the family album.

I was deep in planning mode for the FPN fun day this weekend and I was in my element - sat in front of my laptop with a colour coded spreadsheet, a big to do list and a vodka and coke!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Dear So and So - The busy edition

Several years ago I used to regularly join in with a blog 'linky called 'Dear So and So'   where participants got the chance to talk, rant, thank or express themselves however they wished to people, or random things. 

Recently my blogging friend Michelle has breathed new life into 'Dear So and So'  and as my blog could also do with some new life I decided to join in once more. 



Dear Readers, 

Are you still there?  
Thank you for sticking around even though it's not as busy here as it once was. I'm spreading myself a bit thinner than I used too but you can also find me blogging at Klik Photo CY now for all things photo related and on my other site the Famagusta Parents Network for all things 'Cyprus' related. 

I love all three of my little bits of the internet and like three very demanding and high maintenance kids I try to treat them all whilst loving them all the same amount!

xxx


Dear Blog,

I nearly left it a whole month without updating you!   I told myself it didn't matter and I would make up for it in May but I couldn't bring myself to skip a whole month, that hasn't happened for over 5 years!

I am sorry I don't look after you like I did in the old days, I miss the time I spent writing here and all that went with that but I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, even as you approach your 6th year you are still my 'baby' and I will continue as and where I can.  

Thank you for all the opportunities you have sent my way - I wouldn't be doing all the things I do today if I hadn't started right here. 

xxx


Dear 'Cyprus' friends 

I hope you are looking forward to this weekends FPN fun day?   The weather forecast looks good and I am hoping it will be a brilliant day.   Please come along with your friends and lets see if we can beat the fundraising total from last year.  

Thank you to all who have donated prizes etc and to everyone who is coming along to provide fun and entertainment.  

I'm very excited!! 

family event in Cyprus

Emma xxx


Thursday, 26 March 2015

More luck than judgement.

After last week, and my poor effort at restarting Slimming World which actually saw me putting on weight rather than losing it, I am happy to be able to say that this week I have lost 1lb

I can't say I'm proud of it as it was more by luck than judgement to be honest.   Still I have not really planned my meals any further than the next one, and usually then only coming up with a choice at the last minute.

Although I have mostly avoided sweets, sandwiches and biscuits, I have not weighed or measured anything, and have eaten far to many weetabix and not much fruit and had a drink or 2 most evenings.

I can't for the life of me work out why I am not taking my own advice, I have been doing this, and doing it well for years now.

I have a lists of excuses as long as my arm, and I know they are all rubbish. Once you have spent as much time going to SW groups as I have there can't be many excuses that I've not heard, and they are just that - excuses rather than reasons.

I'm just not feeling the SW love this time, if I can drop another 2lb I'll be able to go back to group without paying as I will be back in my (cheats) target range.  Knowing I would not be able to afford to go back after a break I changed my target back in January, making it 1/2 stone higher than I actually wanted it to be and therefore appearing to be at my target weight- yep huge cheat!

Despite not going to a group, I'm still having a weekly weigh in, and being spurred on by my fellow blogger - Midlife Single Mum who is doing brilliantly. I've also found  Slimming World specific link up so hopefully that should inspire me too!

What I would really like to do is join an exercise class, I fancy Zumba having done it many times on the Wii and trying out a real class last year.  For now I'll have to stick to the DVDs though, and that requires a little more motivation!

It's not that I need to tell myself that I can do this, I KNOW I can do this, it's trying to convince myself that I'm going to!

image credit

Super Busy Mum

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Good intentions

There is a difference between a plan and good intentions.

This week I did not have a plan.

Last week I wrote about wanting to lose a stone for summer and get back on the Slimming World plan, after writing the post I had a comment from Midlife Single Mum and we made a deal - the following day we would both get on with it and then report back on our progress today. 

I had good intentions but I did not have a plan.

I ate the remaining chocolate on Wednesday night and prepared a nice big Slimming World breakfast for the following morning. I got up on Thursday picked a workout from my huge selection of fitness DVDs and got stuck in. 

Thursday was good, a great start - exercise, plenty of water and good food. 
Friday, was ok - nothing particularly bad but more by luck than judgement
Saturday, well in my head that was fine - I had almost a week to make up for any slipups. 
Sunday, Monday and the rest?

Well, I just slipped back into sandwiches for lunch, biscuits with the boys and even sugar (not sweetener in my tea - what's that about?! I always have sweetener! 

The good intentions were not enough. 

I want to lose the weight, but it seems I don't want to do the stuff that I know will make that happen - but WHY?  I've always done it before?

It doesn't work without the group, every time I stop going to the Slimming World meetings it goes pear shaped (literally!) but I must be able to do it on my own, I've been going so long I could run a group by now!

I nearly didn't write this post, I nearly told MSM that I wasn't going to but realised that would not help at all!  I didn't weigh myself until early evening as opposed to the early Thursday weigh I did last week but I decided to post anyway to make myself accountable. 

I put on 1lb, not a disaster  but not what you do in the first week of a plan!

But there was no plan.

Tomorrow I am making Slimming World 'KFC' style Chicken for dinner, tomorrow I am planning the weeks dinners. 

Next week I am aiming for a 2lb loss, if you see me eating something that will not help please feel free to slap me!

I will plan and I will prepare and I have to otherwise I'll have to come back and write yet another post about being a bit rubbish!

Image credit

Super Busy Mum

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Yesterday you said tomorrow...

Don't put off tomorrow what you can do today...

Yes, it's true I do sound like my Mother but annoyingly she is sometimes right (sometimes, I can't actually say ALL the time or it will go to her head!)

To a degree I'm quite good at sticking to the rule, better than many but every now and again I slow down at a certain thing or two and need to kick myself up the bum!  I say I need to as it never works if its someone else trying to do it, if anything it tends to make me put it off even more!

For ages now I've been about to start to lose the extra stone I put on since stopping going to Slimming World, but I can't get my head back into it. WHY?  I've done it so many times and I know how to do it, I know why to do it and I know it will make me happier in a relatively short space of time.

I know that when I put my mind to it that I'm bloody good at Slimming World, I know that it works and I know that I could lose a stone without any major drama.

For weeks now I've been going to start on 'Monday',  then I miss Monday and decide that diets don't have to start on a Monday and it becomes Tuesday, Wednesday and then oh look it's Monday again!

Yesterday we had glorious weather, and for a while now we've not had the heating on, I'd even gone down to wearing only 2 layers!  Yesterday I thought it was perfect beach weather and was going to take the boys but I arsed around all morning and it got to school pick up and I had not dug out the buckets, towels or made lunch. I was going to put a washload on but thought I'd just do it today instead.

I decided that this morning I would do all the above and go straight from school for a beach picnic.

Then this happened...


Right.

Yep, should have done it yesterday.

My first thought this morning, (other than I really wish I hadn't left Leo's school shoes outside in the rain)  was that I would do the school run and go back to bed, to be honest that still sounds appealing, but then I will have to do all the things tomorrow that I should have done today and then the sun will probably be out again.

In just a couple weeks I'll be out of jeans and jumpers and I will face the yearly problem of nothing else fitting me, it's possible that somehow I'll avoid the problem again until I'm wearing loose sundresses and bikinis which always fit and carry on without losing my stone.

The plan - get off backside, start exercising again and plan SW meals - seriously how hard is it?!

Maybe I'll just go back to bed for an hour and think about it...

Image credit

Monday, 2 March 2015

A Pirate Adventure

On Saturday the boys and I boarded the good ship 'Tiny Acorns' for a Pirate Adventure!


My boys have never been particularly interested in pirates for some reason but this didn't stop them both having a fantastic afternoon.

The centre had been transformed for the day, and the usual 'Big Kid's' group was replaced by the first of many 'Children's Adventure sessions'    With themed decorations, crafts, games, snacks and even a visit from a 'real' pirate it really was an afternoon well spent.


First up the 'sprogs' were given personalised eye patches, and made Pirate flags and hats.

Then each child was given a bag, and a scroll with a list of treasure to find - gold coins, nuggets and rubies were hidden around the place, and what was great from a Mum's point of view was the fact that there was more than enough to go around so not a single argument occurred in the hunt!

'Anne Bonny' from the Black Pearl was the special guest, and with her pirate training all the children became real pirates after taking the special pirate oath (which involved raising one hand and putting a finger up their nose much to the childrens delight!)

There was so much going on, they made their own pirates, took part in an obstacle course in which of course they had to walk the plank and hoist a flag among others and learnt a Pirate dance.

Pirate tattoos were painted on those who wanted them (of course not my boys as they hate face painting or anything like it!)  and pirate snacks were given to all the crew.


There was also 'Pin the Patch on the Pirate', plus activity workbooks for everyone and each child got to dig in the sand to find their own piece of buried treasure to take home.

Of course us Mum's all got a cuppa too!


From a Mum's point of view I couldn't find fault with the event at all - and that is rare for me! (as you may know, Sam is a friend of mine so I've been really racking my brains to think of how I would have improved it so to give her some feedback but I actually can't think of anything)

I can usually see room for improvement in most events (in my opinion of course!)  but I am struggling with this one!  For me, its not just the huge amount of activities that were going on it's the little touches that make a difference....

The box at the door which said 'Please leave ye weapons here, this is a peaceful voyage',  which of course meant no sword fighting and chaos like you would usually end up with when you put a bunch of kids dressed as pirates together. And the assurance that all the kids would get an equal share of the treasure so they knew not to worry are just the type of thing that makes me love Tiny Acorns.

Long term readers of my blog will know that I have been known to bemoan the lack of activities in this area and become frustrated at the facilities available but Tiny Acorns I think is well on the way to changing things.

Bring on the next adventure! 

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