2016, here we go!

It (only) took me eight days to wish you a happy new 2016! With work, some travelling, Cesca having her Christmas holidays, some new teeth for Bettina and preparing for Christmas, life was pretty hectic, hence my absence.

We had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful Tuscany, this time round going to Lucca, Montepulciano, Cortona, Montalcino and the picturesque Pienza! The scenes, food and wine were beyond great, and thankfully everything went well. There were some uncomfortable moments flying out to Italy with Bettina when we had to tie her in the plane seat with me and her seat-belt, but thankfully food won her over and proved to silence and quiet her for a couple of moments.

Everyone is settled back into their routine now. I started work again, as did A, Cesca is back to school and Bettina is back to staying with Nanna during the day. Also, our kitchen is functioning once again after a much-appreciated break. Since all our bodies were all craving some simple soups, I wasn’t in for that much work. However after three soup meals, we needed something more concrete than a liquid meal, so yesterday I tried out this recipe, choosing to leave out the rice and leave it a prawn and potato dish. I added some thyme, some substituted the fresh coriander with the dried bit, and it truly came out delicious! The best part is that it does not take up that much work and you can leave it cooking slowly whilst you do something else (in my case it was feeding the girls and tidying up the kitchen).

As for new year’s resolutions I haven’t done any really, knowing fully well that I always fail in keeping them for more than a couple of days. My only wish is that I take care of myself, physically and mentally, a bit better. So I will try to properly wash my face every other day, instead of using the lazy girl’s option for cleaning my face – make-up removal wipes. I am not going to use the word ‘diet’ because that never works. But I will try and be more away of what I consume and eat. And as hard as it is, I will start finding half an hour a day, at least a couple of times a week, to go out for a walk. My level of exercise is sadly zilch. To be honest, it is not something I can do anything about, because my day is fully packed and jammed between school, work, the house and cooking. I sometimes joke that I need to set in toilet breaks in my schedule. Which in all honest would not be a bad idea. But I will try and find thirty minutes, children-free and just get out and walk. The weather is really beautiful at the moment, and I do believe that nothing works for

a healthy mindset than getting out in the open and wander around. So this I will truly try and hold on to.

Is there something you’re holding yourself to do/not do in 2016? Yesterday I read that if you keep doing something regularly for thirty straight days, your mind sets it as a habit and you become accustomed to doing it. So I’m setting small goals so hopefully I’ll have small victories to celebrate.

So stay healthy and happy dear friends. Let’s hope 2016 will be a peaceful ones, for us, our family and friends.

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Cesca’s eyes speak volumes about the way she feels about her sister 🙂 

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No filter needed.

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I swear her clothes, her Dumbo and her hands managed to gather every speck of dirt Tuscany had to offer.

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A beautiful read. If you can translate it, I suggest you do so. Wise words!

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Cortona’s hot chocolate.

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It’s like we wind them up , and then zoom they’re off!!

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Chickpea soup never looked so good.

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My everything.

 

 

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She’s a lucky girl indeed.

Normal Grounds…

Forty-seven days later we’re back home. On cooler land, non-sticky weather and beautiful breezes.

How was our holiday? A bit too long (when A was not there), but overall great fun.

  • Cesca grew up so much these past seven weeks. The little girl who did not crawl and move about still does not crawl, but she walks (sometimes runs) just by holding my one finger. She’s become more assertive and is not afraid of letting her voice being heard. She’s a charmer and an entertainer. Her hair is growing all over the place, so much so that we had to give her her first hair-cut and styled it into a mini-bob. I can’t wait for it to be a bit longer – I’m already practicing pony-tails 🙂
  • The grand-parents bonded really well with C. She still does not miss me or cry for me or A, so we did not hesitate leaving her with our parents whenever they offered. Fortunately she has an easy-going character and no one minded the babysitting duties. By the second week we were there her face would light up whenever she saw them, and would sometimes cry for them rather than for me!
  • I stuck to my plan of enjoying summer and the sea. I’m not a swimming-lover but I do love getting baked in the sun. I know, I know, it’s not healthy. So I put on loads of sun-cream and spent as much time as the awful heat would let me, giving my limbs some colour, and I managed! For the first time since 2009, I have a proper, Mediterranean-style, slightly browish, tan. And I also know that by this weekend, I’ll be as white as a sheet again.
  • C loved, loved, loved swimming! She would stay in the water for hours if we let her. She never made a noise or pulled a face if the temperature was slightly low. She splashed, laughed and paddled away. That’s something she’s taken after A 🙂
  • Hubby and myself snuck in four days in Sicily which were absolutely perfect! We didn’t take C with us mainly because we really needed some time together as a couple and not as parents. Plus, it would have been torture taking her with us since the heat was as strong if not stronger than Malta. That way we enjoyed a wine-tasting session at a local winery, we walked down narrow rubble-tiled streets, drove for hours covering nearly half of Sicily, we had the most romantic dinner I can think of in the ten years we’ve been together, we snuck in the drinking of bottles of wine in village squares whenever we felt like it, we showered and were ready to leave in half an hour and I did not need to worry about feeds and milk because I was reassured C was in great hands. We’re already planning next summer’s trip!
  • We ate, ate, drank and drank. So much so that we’re definitely going to start detoxing and dieting. How much that will be a success we’ll just have to wait and see.
  • I managed to meet all of my dear friends, either for coffee, a chat or dinner (bar R with whom I’ve a date coming up this autumn!) We shared news, we laughed like old times and I even managed to meet their new babies! C met and interacted with babies her own age, lots of pictures were taken, and some baby tears were even shed!
  • We made some important decisions, although like I told you last time, right now everything is back up in the air. So now we’re thinking and evaluating and hopefully, we’ll soon be able to make a final decision.

And now we’re in a cool England, something I was wishing for these past couple of days. The clothes are back in their place, the washing machine hasn’t stopped all morning and I’m slowly setting up our home again. It feels good to be back. I feel better in this cooler weather. C’s hair is no longer flicked outwards and her heat rash has miraculously disappeared. I won’t be missing the Maltese heat any time soon. But I have some lovely memories which make up for all that!

Little Miss C couldn’t wait to share her new bob. And by the looks of it, she loved it 😉

At her happiest!

Introducing herself to her friend Jean x

They eventually managed to let go of each other for a quick picture!

Even the simple coffee and croissant taste better in Sicily

Gole Alcantara, so beautiful.

Our hotel-room view, Ibla

Happy me 🙂