The Hot One!

It was quite a relief last night waking up to the sound of the wind blowing through our bedroom blinds. The past couple of days were exhaustingly hot and utterly draining. My energy levels were rock-bottom and every chore required that bit extra effort to do. Thankfully it’s cooler today but the sun is no less hotter.

This weekend I baked a pistachio and ricotta cake which came out really, really good! I made some strawberry ice-cream and today I made Cesca’s birthday cake. The decoration of the latter will be left to more capable hands than my own. As you may know by now, I’m good when it comes to flavour, not so much when it comes to decoration…

The cake which took a whole afternoon to make was gobbled up in record time! Good sign ;)

The cake which took a whole afternoon to make was gobbled up in record time! (Recipe coming in following post!)

 

Almond cakes!

Almond cakes!

Cesca’s been spending all afternoons in her inflatable pool. She throws in all of her toys and spends hours at end playing and splashing around!

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Lethargy is hitting her hard poor thing – she has to get used to this heat! In the meantime, her naps have extended to three-hour ones!

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I hope your weekend was a great one and that you’re coping much better than I am with these temperatures. I need my body to start readjusting to the severe weather-change going on!

Have a great week 😉

Easy Tiger

It’s crazy isn’t it. One evening last week I met up with a good friend and it was so windy, I was dressed up in a denim jacket and was still feeling a bit chilly. Cue forward a couple of days and The Rock is in official summer-mode. The long, hot days are here and I think it’s safe to say that I can finally store my light cardigans away for now. All of a sudden we NEED air-conditioning, and it seems that  now not even a fan will do! To think that only a couple of days ago I was still making use of a light duvet…

There is no middle way for Maltese weather. It is either windy, cold and wet or else hot, humid and dry. We only have two officially seasons – winter and summer, there is no spring or fall for us, bar a couple of days which can not really classify themselves as proper seasons. Remember the dates when the seasons officially start? That does not apply to Malta. Summer does not last three months here, more like six months and counting. By October we are all officially baked, cooked and burnt.

So with this heat comes survival mechanisms.

Drink lots and lots of chilled water. Add some pieces of lemon and mint to vary it a bit.

Avoid the sun during the lethal morning and afternoon hours.

Slap on sunscreen like there’s no tomorrow. My laissez-faire attitude last year has caused me pigmentation spots and so now I’m always putting on sunscreen. I don’t mind if my face is that bit shinier, that’s what light powder is for!

Stop straight blow-dries. There is no real purpose in blow-drying your hair in a cool salon, step outside and end up with your pulled up in a bun or a pony-tail. In the past I used to really try to take care of my blow-dries. I would be the one with my hair loose down my back in the sweltering heat, trying to stop myself from sweating.  I now have two options this summer – I can either blow-dry my hair in a loose-curl manner which allows me to gather it up, or else I can rely on my cherished oil-spray to let it run loose (and wild) in its natural state. Either way I won’t have any hairs sticking to my back and that works just fine with me!

There is no middle-ground for us Maltese when it comes to weather. No there isn’t. As much as lots is said about English weather, I have to say it never really bothered me. Yes, there would be long, grey days at end when I would have killed to spend a day or two in sunny Malta just to properly realize that it was June or July after all. But there was no real humidity problem, no sweating, no mosquitoes and their irritating bites. And sometimes on a freakishly chilly day, even the heating would go on!

We are now learning to deal with this hot weather. Cesca’s appetite is practically non-existent but thankfully she still loves her milk. She has had some rash patches come up due to this heat and sweating. She’s learnt the drill of putting on sunscreen and knows that after putting on the cream, an outing ensues. She runs around in her nappy all day and sleeps longer during the night. Her normally light wavy-hair becomes a bird’s nest of curls whenever she sweats. Keeping her light and wet seems the way to do things. So I’m envisaging early morning swimming dips and lots and lots of water.

And sunscreen. And insect-repellant cream. And anti-irritation cream.

Summer. Bliss.

Oh, and did you hear the new version of numbers that’s going around? Here’s Cesca reciting it. You know the one – it finishes with ‘…8,9, face!’

A Special One

This weekend was a special one for the most simplest reasons. Nothing special was planned and nothing monumental was executed. All we wanted and all we did was spend the weekend as a family – us three. We’d all been longing for some time alone as a family, it’s something we’d been seriously lacking these past two months. So in all its simplicity, this weekend proved to be a success.

Cesca and myself went to the airport to welcome A back. While waiting for the hour-long delay to pass, Cesca managed to sweep clean the whole of the airport flooring, she was amazed by the planes landing and leaving, and was slightly bemused when A walked out of the terminal. It took a couple of days for her to realize that papa’ was here to stay. Finally!

We visited the beach and Cesca was the first one to walk straight into the sea. No shivering, no cries of ‘cold cold’, no pulling back – nothing. An hour after playing in the water, splashing around and building sand-castles, we finally managed to pull her out of the water and head home. It was the first time for us on the beach with Cesca as a toddler, and I’ve already started making a proper list of things to take with us because with every passing minute I started realizing how many things I had forgotten. Next time we definitely need to take an extra towel, some spare bags for the wet things, a bottle of water to rinse off the last stubborn sands and less toys. The more the toys, the more the rinsing off and picking up afterwards. Plus, the sea and sand proved enough fun for C! The ice-cream afterwards was a hit with C, and while half of it ended up on her face and in her hair, I think it was one of the happiest times for her! Heading back home she was quite a sight. Wet, messy hair, sand everywhere and her face, hair and hands all sticky with melted ice-cream. But her giggles and smiles more than made up for it!

Things were pretty laid back this weekend, so much so that I was not even bothered with taking a single photo. But every scene is clearly stored in my head. The simplest things are sometimes the best.

Eye-Candy: Wardrobe Revival

For the first time in many years, the majority of my wardrobe is in one single place. I can actually enter our place and see all my things, in one place, and believe me when I say that this fills me up with pleasure and wonder! While my mother still holds my pre-wedding and pre-pregnancy clothes, the things I wear nowadays are at hand and not scattered around two different countries and three houses. Now that our container and boxes have arrived and everything has been unpacked and put into place, forgotten clothes have been rediscovered and thankfully we (as yet) do not have a space and storage problem due to C’s extra-big wardrobe made by someone who had to custom-make my own wardrobe at my mother’s home because I wanted and needed it as big as possible. He knows my vice and successfully works around it!

Sorting through my clothes I came to realize how casual and comfortable my English wardrobe was. I, who had never owned a t-shirt or loose top before, am suddenly engulfed by them. Jeans, flat shoes and scarves form the rest of my wardrobe. I have written before about the difference in English and Maltese styles, and while I love and miss the I-don’t-care style the English have going on, I have to say that I do feel at ease on a Saturday night dressing up, matching shoes with the bag and applying make-up other than mascara and lip-gloss. The difference in styles is felt and seen, and enjoying the best of both is achieving the best balance.

I have to switch my winter wardrobe with my summer one because let’s face it, thick jumpers and woolen cardigans won’t be worn again till late this year. That in itself is another headache, but it will give me a chance to fully view my summer wardrobe and see what is needed and what I have. Ever since I had Cesca I have come to love maxi-dresses (no prizes for guessing why), and I need to look out for any nice ones I see around. I love the coral-pink combo that seems to be fashionable this summer, the playful prints and the sky-high wedges. I have started looking up some things online, and have already concluded that I want everything. I want them all!

Short of listing whole websites, here are a couple of my favourite pieces!

Let’s start off with a maxi-dress. I love the colours and the block design.

River Island

River Island

A definite summer piece!

Zara

Zara

Anything by Joules, I love!

Joules

Joules

A fun piece 🙂

River Island

River Island

And this perhaps more wearable

Mango

Mango

 

 

Something for the footsies…

H&M

H&M

Just how cool are these?

 

Senso Zora at Asos

Senso at Asos

I could go on and on and turn this into an infinite post. I could bore you senseless with the hundred of pictures I could put here. But for your own sanity (and mine too), I will stop now. Too much shopping can probably kill you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Birthday One

This weekend I had my birthday. Though I could not celebrate as I would have wished, my dear family went out of their way to ensure I had a great weekend. So a dreaded day turned out into a fun weekend. C and I enjoyed the sunny weather, we visited the bigger Rock, we got ice-cream in our hair and clothes, we laughed and giggled and had a good time 🙂

C is now a little talker. Yesterday she lined up her soft-toys and told me, ‘toys sleeping – schhhh’! She coughs and says ‘bless you’, she orders everyone to ‘sit down’ and ‘go bye-bye’ and insists on the ‘mirror, mirror’ whenever she puts her outfit on. She now recognizes and says the numbers out until ten, colours and animals are a favourite, and this weekend started calling out for her ‘uncle Edward’ and ‘auntie Ver’. She is growing into a little sweetheart x

We have paused playschool for now because the last two times she was in tears and telling me ‘door, bye-bye’ and needless to say she broke my heart, I conceded temporary defeat and for now she is with me again. But I will try again next week. Worst case-scenario I bring her back home with me like I had to do today week.

I hope your weekend was a great one! Summer is slowly approaching here and I still have to switch my winter clothes to summer ones – something I dread doing but can’t delay any longer. The wind does not seem to want to give us a break, and it’s been awfully windy lately, although today it seems to have stopped for a bit. Maybe we can go out for a walk without ending up in the midst of a dust-storm with teary eyes and sneezing.

In the meantime, here’s C’s favourite ‘move’ – throwing a balloon up in the air, running away from it and then going back for it. Bless x

SAD Sufferer

 

These past couple of days have been truly beautiful. While it’s still cold, no denying that, the sun has been out and we are seeing the blue skies for the first time in what seems like months. This winter was a tough one. We went through whole weeks of rain and grey skies and although I’ve become that bit more accustomed to the low temperatures here, I have to say that I’m that bit more gloomier on such days. My energy levels are in the minuses and I become lethargic without doing anything at all. Were it not for C, I’m sure I’d have spent days at end inside, perhaps not even bothering to get out of bed. But I no longer enjoy such luxury.

And then we have days like today, days when I don’t mind waking up with The Husband and making an earlier start than usual. Sunny days energize me, turn me into this strange Superwoman who manages to do tens of things I’ve been procrastinating about for weeks and I can’t seem to sit still. I open all the blinds, let the warm sunlight in and even unhinge the windows to let some pure and fresh air in. I get to hang out clothes outside, go for walks with C, enjoy the sun on my face (even though I’m cuddled up in hats and scarves) and everything seems that bit nicer. I even bother going through cookbooks for new recipes and turn a blind eye to C’s troublemaking.

I’m one of those people whose mood and general well-being is effected by the weather. I’d say I’m a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) sufferer, and it does not help living in England. But the very cold winters make me appreciate summers that bit more. The very thought of less clothing, warm skin and cold ice-cream keeps me going on cold winter days.

Of course Maltese summers are HELL, but then that’s a different post altogether…

July 2012

July 2012

 

 

Photographic Memory

A dear and old friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook.

Our super-group. M, L, M, yours truly and J - we have some great memories ;)

Our super-group. M, L, M, yours truly and J – we have some great memories 😉

This photo was taken in July 2002. Us five rented a beautiful bungalow for a weekend in July. We were a wonderful group. We were all so close and we all mish-mished together so well that we were like sisters. Each and every one of us brought something to the group, some brought an extra bit of craziness, others brought a sensible and reasonable mind and others that bit more laughs and jokes.

On that particular Friday night we had organized another friend’s hen’s party. Without ever seeing or meeting him, we booked ‘some entertainment’ to come over from Malta for the night, even though we had promised no such thing would happen to the poor bride-to-be. Upon the entertainment’s arrival we were all shocked and bursting with laughter, for this muscular, well-built, tall and hunky guy we had imagined him to be, turned out to be a short and stocky, miniscule man, who came with the cheesiest of apparel – bits and pieces of black PVC and jars of Vaseline (the morning after we found a glove and a Vaseline jar, ugh) I remember people approaching us and asking us how we could have chosen the least attractive of his kind and got it all wrong. But I have to give it to him – he did put up a funny show, everyone was in hysterics and it was one of the funniest nights of my life.

I remember us spending the whole of Saturday lying by the pool, making cocktails, napping, posing for silly pictures, singing Madonna’s Like a Prayer and trying to rid ourselves of the terrible hang-over we all had from the night before.

It was a great weekend.

And I remember the  Monday after this picture was taken – it was the 29th of July 2002, and I met a certain Anthony for the first time ever.

The rest, as they say, is history 😉