Saturday, 29 August 2009

Back to school!

I've been missing school since I've finished my second University degree and had been thinking of doing a master's degree when the sad news of my mum's sickness hit the family. Two and a half years of getting in and out of hospitals and an extremely painful end left me with no strength at all but for the absolutely necessary task of looking after my family. Work hasn't started yet but that's practically outside my door.
Anyway, I came across this wonderful blog a couple of days ago and enrolled to a course that sounds fun, without posing a burden on me. I'm actually thinking of buying school supplies first think Monday morning!
How about joining in?

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Beautiful Things Make me Happy!!!

Little changes around the flat always make my day and I've been in need of a mood boost these past few days so here's some new touches.
I bought these paintings one and a half years ago - yes, that's exactly how far back - and for some reason or other they'd been hiding in the closet all this time. Until last weekend when my darling hubby decided to hang them on the wall. When I first saw them at the shop I fell in love with them. I love their theme, colours, simplicity, colour of the wood, ... everything.

Two days ago, I passed by a gift shop and spotted a counter with goods on sale. I thought I'd have a look and saw these beauties for 1 euro each. I think they are the most beautiful mugs I've ever seen!

They've got drawings of herbs on them, and I love herbs: smelling them, planting them in little pots, learning about their medicinal value and of course, using them in cooking.

They'got rosemary on one side and ...

sage on the other... (if you click to enlarge you'll realise my coffee is in one of them!)

Now, a different room: I bought this duvet cover last month from Ikea. It was on discount and I knew I'd need one in winter so why not buy it on sale? I put it away since of cource we don't use duvets when it's 30 degrees Celcius in the flat. But then yesterday I thought 'why not enjoy it now as well? I can just throw it on the bed as a bedspread.' So I did. How does it look?
Then my best friend came with an unexpected gift. Partly because it was my name-day on the 15th and partly because I may be working and living in a rented place about 500Km away from home this school year (I'll tell you more on that when I know for sure), she bought me this lovely sand-coloured set of towels. 'I wanted you to have something new with you', she said. How thoughtful of her. Oh, I love her some much!

Finally, I got this little chest of drawers for my son's room from the same shop I got the mugs. Can you spot the little defect on it?

See the nose of this pirate? The knob is missing. So what? I'll find something to stick on it so that it opens.

I love wooden toys and ornaments and the pirates match the theme I want his room to have -sea, boats, lighthouses, fish...Something along those lines.
The little stone with Nemo on it was hand-made with paper-napkinks and glue at a children's fair during our holidays.

So how do you like my new goodies?
Take care and Have Fun!

Sunday, 23 August 2009


( click on the pictures to enlarge)

Can you guess how these were made?

Ok! Here is the answer: (I added another image that makes things clearer) it's a simple drawing paper, only blue, with tons of children's glitter! We were painting with brushes with my son and he spotted the little jars with glitter in his cupboard -the cheapest material you can imagine. So he took the blue paper, emptied all four little jars on it and mixed everything together with the brush. The smell was so intense I took it out on the balcony 'to dry' I told him, 'to throw away at some point' I thought. I couldn't believe my eyes the following morning when it was all dry and 3-dimentional from the huge amount of paint on it! I'm planning to frame it and put it up in his room.
Thanks for playing along ladies! Some good guesses there!
PS. Note to myself: buy some wooden pegs!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Busy Bee

Grape liqueur
tomato sauce
You're more than welcome to join me for some pasta and then a glass of liqueur!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Two Books and a Film

This is a board game. Right? Wrong! Well, partly anyway. It's at the back of an amazing book. The title could be something like '15 happy and crazy stories around the world'. It's a lot of fun and educational, too. The best way to learn some geography!

The illustrations are fabullous!

That's the cover of the Greek edition. I saw it about two years ago and just HAD to buy it for my son. I put it away and now that he's old enough to understand it and learn from it we started reading it. We both love it!!!
I searched and searched the net for a link in English but couldn't find anything. Sorry!
The original (French) title is ..."15 histoires pour les vacances autour du monde". This link is to the Greek publisher.

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Meanwhile, I finished reading this book. Finally! It's the first book I've finished this summer!!! Please don't judge me; it's been too hard for me to concentrate and not without a reason. You see, my mum passed away in June after being sick for two and a half years. My family, my friends, blogging and ... this book helped me to focus on the present, so I'll always cherish it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I watched this film last night. I saw it in the past but I was probably too young and ignorant to appreciate it. What great performances, amazing directing... but most of all, the atmosphere created but the fantastic photography and the music...ahhh, the music. I'm still enchanted!!!

Talk to you soon and thanks for your lovely comments.

Happy Wednesday!

Last night my husband was working late and little one went to bed early. "It's high time I posted a 'holiday update' on my blog", I thought. But then I ran across a film on TV. It was ' Out of Africa' which I watched ages ago and wanted to see again. So I had a relaxing evening in front of the telly thinking 'I want to mention it on my brog for my friends to see' (actually, I will do it a bit later tonight)
Then today as I was thumbing through a cook book, I came across a recipe with grapes. After a while I remembered the sweet peppers I brought from hubby's village and decided to try a recipe we'd eaten at a retaurant (well, something similar to be exact- imagination scores again!)
Lunch started to form in my mind with soup having been planned yesterday just when hubby called to say he'll be home early...'Hmmm! Family lunch!!! How nice!' As you can tell, that's very rare so precious as well. 'Why not making it more fun?' To make a long story short, I wrote the menu of the day (see picture above-click to enlarge), and with my dear boy, prepared a nice meal :

sweet peppers stuffed with cheese and herbs (before going into the oven)

(and after)

tomato and rocket salad with balsamic vinegar

griddled mushrooms (only half of them made it to the table)

chickpea soup (I soaked the chickpeas overnight)

grapes from dad's little vine with walnuts and soft unsalted cheese

and... griddled bread with olive oil and oregano

It was a happy meal and I'm grateful for moments like this. This is what a happy life is after all; a collection of happy moments; that's why I'm trying to create as many of them as I can for my family.
As you can imagine, the holiday update will have to wait some more!!!
Edit: check the comments for some details on the recipes (someone asked, I answered...)

Monday, 17 August 2009

So much happening in Blogland!

Hi everyone!
Just came back after a week away and found some lovely comments on my last post and tons of new posts from people I follow in blogland. So I made myself some ice-coffee and decided to pause a moment (well, a bit more :) ) before I dive into luggage with dirty clothes, seabags, toys...

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Easter book in the middle of August!!!

This is one of the books my son chose for his bedtime reading! So? Who says we must read Christmas books at Christmas and Easter ones at Easter?
After we'd read it, I noticed there was a website at the back. I checked it up the following morning and fell in love with it. Visit it if you have children (or not!) and play the games.
Have Fun!

Friday, 7 August 2009

It's raining! Yay!!!

It's so refreshing! It rained again the previous night while we were sleeping but now I can actually make a cup of coffee and enjoy it on the balcony feeling the light breeze and enjoying this shower of rain. I'm off before it stops!

The picture was taken a few weeks ago but I happen to have baked the same cake yesterday and I'm still reading the same book, so my tray is pretty much the same!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

How do they do it?

The day started very simply and quietly with the morning milk and cartoons for my son - who's changed a lot these past few days and he's calm and cooperative most of the time- and coffee and blogging for me. We had a visit to the supermarket planned and some ironing for me while he would play with his new toys (I bought him puzzles and clay and some relatives brought him a racetrack with Lightning McQueen).
I was halfway through my mug when a neighbour called (a pre-schoolmate's mother) asking if they could come. I said 'yes, of course' as I want him to get together with other kids so they came. At first, they didn't get along well as they are not good at sharing -the only-child syndrome I guess- but after a while they discovered the Punch and Judy box and played just fine with the puppets.
While this was in progress (and the flat was full of toys - but who cares if the children are having a good time, right? Right), the phone rang. It was my sister-in-law asking if she could bring my niece over as she had to go somewhere unexpectedly. I was at home so I was glad to look after her; she's adorable! Only problem is she's 10 months old and my flat is not a 'fortress' for crawling babies anymore.
After my son's friend and her mother left, I found myself having a baby that I couldn't leave unattended, my (I admit) jealous son and a meal to prepare for both. Luckily, I had started boiling some meat which, when the baby eventually napped on my couch-transformed to a 'baby-cot' with chairs and pillows, I turned into a healthy vegetable soup for both.
Now I'm left with a flat full of toys, no energy to pick them up, no shopping done, no ironing done. And I wonder: how do women with two, three, four... children do that every day?
Thank God for little favours:it's now 4.30 pm and my son is napping.

The gift tags and the card are my cutie findings at the toy shop we went yesterday.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Dear God...

'I can see the sun'
I can feel it burning, too. We'll have 38 degrees C today. Can we pleeeease have some rain?