Tag Archives: Cyprus

A visit to Pissouri

So far Pissouri has got to be one of my favourite places to visit in Cyprus. It’s colourful, picturesque and brimming with character. The bright flowers that surround the area give it a whimsical, romantic that make you feel like you’re on the set of a film! The little narrow streets of the nearby village were filled with laid-back locals watching the world go by. We stopped off at the Columbia Beach Resort for an afternoon of rest and relaxation, and discovered a tiny little chapel which was simply stunning inside. It looks so traditional from the outside, but when you enter, you witness an amazing little chapel with incredible, awe-inspiring artwork like I have never seen before. It’s bright, colourful and simply magical. A visit to Pissouri is a definite must!

Advertisements

Maria in Maldives

After our wedding last year we were incredibly fortunate to travel to the amazingly beautiful Maldives in the heart of the Indian Ocean, for a week of rest, relaxation and pampering in paradise. And paradise it was; soft white sands, bright blue skies and crystal blue waters, filled with colourful, tropical fish.

We were spellbound by the beauty that surrounded us. The huge, tropical trees were brimming with amazing fruits and the sound of wild birds singing constantly surrounded the island. It was calm, peaceful and picturesque. That being said, as beautiful as it was, the island was absolutely tiny and had little more to offer than alternating between lying on the beach or swimming in the sea. Sounds like heaven. And heaven it was, though it made us realise that this is exactly what we have on our doorsteps here in Cyprus, every single day of our lives. Okay, so there aren’t the waiters offering summery cocktails, or the opportunities to spot wild dophins on a speed boat tour… But there is the gorgeous weather, the amazing food and the beautiful beaches (minus the sharks), as well as the entertaining visions that are compelled upon us on a daily basis (think CYPRIOTS).

I don’t plan to visit the Maldives again, however I do feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to that part of the world and get a feel for the people, culture and lifestyle of the Maldivian people. It is so important that we see as much of the world as we can, to embrace opportunities, open our minds and broaden our horizons.

 

A seasonal transition

As I have probably already mentioned, I am definitely a Winter girl. From the cosy feeling of wrapping up warm to the comfort of a cup of hot chocolate, you can’t beat it.

Which is why I would usually be dreading the long, hot, impending summer ahead. Not only does it relentlessly drag into October – even November, but during the thick of it you are forced to seek shelter in the shade or under the cool of the air-con, making it near enough impossible to get anything done. To make matters worse, the humidity quadruples the size of my hair and I feel as if I am carrying a Russian hat on the top of my head with me, wherever I may go.

Which makes me grateful that the summer is making a delayed entrance this year. The gradual transition has made me feel more prepared for the Summer ahead, and also more excited. Spring has spoilt us with showers, wonderful cool breezes and even some thunder and lightening. The mornings are perfect for sitting in the peace and quiet of our garden with a cup of coffee and a magazine*. And the idea of spending the upcoming summer relaxing by the beach basking under the sun, is enough to make anyone feel happy, content and stress-free.

* Definitely not applicable today.

A Temporary Goodbye

As I depart this little island of madness for more sophisticated climbs, I will leave you with some tunes that represent my current mood of the moment. Obviously I won’t be updating from dear old Blighty, so I hope this gives you a chance to catch up on reading those posts that you haven’t touched upon yet (if any), and of course, stay poised for future posts.

See you on the other side!

Here are some tunes that I am currently loving:

The Clash; Should I stay or Should I go

Eagle Eye Cherry; Save Tonight

King’s of Leon; Pyro

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s; Turn Into

Beatles; Hello Goodbye

Joss Stone; Arms of my Baby.

Survival of the Fittest

 

Baby Mumble

The bunnies have made it!

Despite what people said, all four of them have survived and are ready to depart the confines of their current home and flee the nest in their new homes…

Yes, I am more than a little heartbroken. One look at them will melt your heart and I can safely confirm that I have never seen anything more cute and innocent than these little furry bunnies. But we cannot keep them and I am grateful that we have found suitable homes for these little balls of fluff.

Rabbits are well known for being sociable animals, and therefore we encouraged the new owners to take them in pairs (which thankfully they did). Muffin seems to be adapting to their absence well, although I’m sure she is not only confused but feeling inconsolable as she comes to terms with her baby’s absence.

Having said that, from what we see, she appears to be pregnant again… and if this is the case, then we will have to brace ourselves for another round of furry little numbers in the near future. At that point, Easter will be over so the rabbit’s future could be in jeopardy (not that I would ever dare cook them). Rabbit and hare is such a popular dish out here, so I will have to keep an eye out for any prying eyes (human or otherwise), to ensure my little sweethearts remain alive, kicking, and well.

Mother and babies

Muffin with baby Gloria

A protective mother

I can’t live without

Every now and then we take a look through our handbags or make up collections and realise that there are a number of products that we simply cannot live without. Using them time and time, it is fairly evident that these are staple pieces in our cosmetic wardrobe, playing an important role in our day-to-day health and beauty regimes (obviously this is not really relevant to my male readership, but who knows maybe there could be some inspiration for a gift idea listed below?)

Particularly here in Cyprus, the change in climate has meant adapting to a different routine to ensure that my skin is well and truly looked after, and these products have become an indispensable part of my beauty regime.

Here are a few products which I simply cannot live without:

Elizabeth Arden’s amazing skin protectant balm:

Elizabeth Arden's amazing skin protectant

This product is brilliant if you suffer from dry skin, chapped lips and nails that are in bad condition. I also applied it to a few scars that I had and they have definitely faded. Amazing! I always carry this little pot around in my handbag and love its smell and texture, and I’m more than fully aware that I’m extremely behind in discovering this classic skincare product.

Evening Primrose Oil:

A miracle in a bottle

As far as I’m concerned I can’t live without it, and I’m discovering more and more people who swear by it every single day. Evening Primrose Oil is a natural remedy that has so many benefits there isn’t enough space on this page to list them. Described as the most sensational preventative discovery since Vitamin C, I started taking EPO to relieve discomfort from PMS, and have never looked back. I swear by it and won’t go for one day without taking a capsule. Harmony and balance in a bottle (as recommended by my mum – mother’s really do know best)!

Givency’s Eye Lifting Gel:

Givenchy Lifting and firming de-puffer Eye Gel

I doubt I will ever find the perfect cure for reducing those hereditary dark circles underneath my eyes, but that certainly hasn’t stopped me in my quest for a cure. Givency’s Eye Lifting Gel is an instant eye sparkler; it , tightens this delicate skin area and leaves you feeling bright-eyed and refreshed. Definitely a positive investment for an immediate refreshment.

Sudocrem; Antiseptic Healing Cream:

A great relief from rashes, cuts and sores

Most mother’s with newborns swear by Sudocrem, and this is most definitely a product that I have been using since a young age. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop using it any time soon, since it is the perfect remedy for bites, stings, rashes and sores. Thanks to Sudocrem I rarely have to visit the pharmacy upon being bitten or stung during the summer months, as I just apply it to the pained area before bed, and leave it to work its magic overnight (also great for spots). A little gem in a pot!

Cargo Lash Activator:

A great mascara that enhances eyelashes

Praised for its lash-enhancing formula, the makers of Cargo claim that this mascara can boost your lashes significantly, after just 30 days of use. I can’t figure out if my lashes were already this long before I started using this product, but I’m fairly certain that they weren’t! Topped with a more defining mascara (such as Max Factor Masterpiece mascara), this product works wonders in giving the illusion that your lashes are lengthy and luscious, opening up the eyes and giving you a naturally youthful appearance.

Soltan 8-hour sun protection face cream:

A moisturising sun cream for the face SPF30

Though I rarely used suncream whilst living in the UK, I will not go for a single day without applying it out here, even during the winter months. The sun is so powerful and has so many damaging effects that it is not worth exposing your skin to UV rays without being protected, particularly the more delicate and sensitive skin on the face.

So there you have it: 6 products that I simply cannot live without.

What products do you swear by?

Cupcakes and inspirations

One of my many custom made cupcakes

Having fulfilled my duties as a Cypriot wife for the day (bathrooms cleaned; sheets changed; ironing complete, check), I treated myself to a day of chilling out at home, which was probably motivated by the wintery climate and the overcast weather that took us by surprise yesterday. I love being creative around the home but I also enjoy baking and cooking, particularly baking. Inspired by one of my favourite books, ‘Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery’, I decided to indulge in some therapeutic me-time, by spending a couple of hours baking in the kitchen.

Although I am a huge fan of chocolate (what girl isn’t?) I decided to bake some lemon flavoured cupcakes with lemon flavoured butter cream, and sprinkled with various colours. I took the recipe from the aforementioned book (picture below), which is amazingly colourful and filled with enchanting pictures. The recipes are fairly uncomplicated (although the list of ingredients can be a little off-putting), but the procedure is straightforward and isn’t time-consuming. If anything, I’m sure you will have fun baking these little cakes; the decorating at the end is by far my favourite part!

To make these little gems:

-Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Fill a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

-Mix 110g butter with 225g caster sugar, using an electric mixer (for approx 5 minutes). Add 2 eggs, individually, mixing in between each addition.

-In a separate bowl, combine 150g self-raising flour with 125g plain flour. In a jug, add 90ml semi-skimmed milk, 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sour cream. Gradually combine both the above (the bowl and the jug) with the original creamed mixtures, gradually adding a little of each (the flours then the lemon etc).

-Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases to about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until slightly raised and golden brown (insert a knife and if it comes out clean, they are ready).

-Once removed from the oven and completely cooled, you are ready to ice and decorate your cakes as creatively as you wish.

For a deliciously zingy complement to your lemon cupcakes, beat together 110g butter, 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, the grated zest from 1 or 2 lemons and 250g icing sugar. Add another 250g of icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy. Spoon the icing as delicately or heavily as you please. For toppings, use hundreds and thousands, heart shaped sugar or even crushed chocolate, such as toblerone or aero mint. You can even add a sugared lemon slice, which you can buy from the supermarket or bakery.

These cakes are ideal for birthdays and celebrations, or simply just for enjoyment at home. They look so inviting and will be devoured before you know it!

Enjoy!