Sunday, 28 April 2013

Catching up at the weekend

Well, hello and welcome to Sunday. You see, I seem to have lost Saturday- For those eagle eyed amongst you, you might have noticed no Saturday snaps- It wasn't for the want of trying, I had it all up and ready for posting on Friday night, but lost Saturday!
Saturday disappeared for a full 24 hours, of sleep, fever and spending time lying on the cool tiles of the bathroom floor.- Hopefully it was just a bug and it has now gone!
 Anyway Sunday morning it is - and even though its a bit late, here's my Saturday picture.
This was the sunset on Friday evening- Straight out of camera and uploaded. I just loved the combination of blues and pinks. We do get some amazing sunsets.
I've also managed to find '52 Weeks of Happy' snaps for this week too.
22nd - 29th April 2013
A) This is the Mosque that I pass every morning on my way to work. The light from the early morning sun catches the dome everyday and sunrises always makes me smile. I also like the fact that we live in a very diverse community. We have a Mosque, A Hindu Temple, A Catholic Convent, and 2 different churches all on the same street!
B) Dirty Dishes in the sink might not me the nicest thing- but I love having people over to cook for- It makes a nice change rather than just cooking for one and so this is the end result! Lots of washing up and empty glasses says it all!
C) Brand new little swallow chicks- Or they could be swifts- I'm not so sure. But they have made a nest in our roof at school. They can't possibly get any rest with 250 children running about!
D)From one extreme to another - this is the evening on the same day as my sunrise picture. Not the best photograph of Mount Kinabalu- but as it's covered in cloud so much of the day- actually seeing it peeking through, is quite special.
So that's it - 4 more 52 weeks of Happy.
I'd like to say a big hello to all my new followers including Julie at Home Jules. It's so nice to be part of the blogging world and get to see what everyone else is up to.
I hope everyone has had a good week. Until next time :)
Amanda x

Friday, 26 April 2013

Sharing the Love- Liebster style

"The Liebster Award is for blogs with under 300 followers and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever nominated them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."
Warning!!!! This is a long read!!!!! :) You might want to sit back and relax over a cup of coffee!
...And a biscuit of course!
Just before my break to Vietnam, Note to self: Must write a post about this...I was in the nice position of being granted this 'Leibster Award' by Jennifer at Thistlebear. (Actually she asked me twice so rather than choose which set of questions to do, I'm going to both in 2 posts.)
This is a lovely way to meet new bloggers, read lots of really great blogs and generally share the love in the blogging world :) So thanks to Jennifer for nominating me.
But first things first ...My 11 Random facts...
1) I'm an Identical twin, born 10 minutes ahead of my sister- and she never let me forget it!
2)My Favourite colour is turquoise and all its variations. However I really do like a raspberry reddy pink colour too! - I told you I can never make decisions, even about what my favourite colour is!
3)I'm more of a visual learner than anything- I draw pictures and diagrams, mind maps and lists and any other way I can of organising my thoughts.
4) When I was about 2 or 3, I pulled the kettle over me, full of scalding hot water. Luckily I only have a couple of small scars to prove it.
5)I'm onto my second profession- In my previous life, before teaching, I was a paediatric nurse.
6) I have to admit that I have a rather sad love of the High School Musical Films, knowing all the lyrics to the songs and a rather large amount of the dialogue too! I used to make excuses that it was through my nieces and classes etc why I liked them so much- Now I admit it's just me!
7) A few years ago I had to go and have surgery on my throat because I had a small twig of oregano stuck in it! Pizza has never been looked at in the same way ever again!
This is me post surgery- I still think I was a bit giddy from the anaesthetic!
8) I am allergic to fresh peaches- I can eat tinned ones though!
9) I have a real tendency to lose and forget things- more often than not, it's things like car keys and door keys. However I did leave my passport on the roof of my car once and then drove off...:)
10) Talking of cars- I've only been involved in 2 minor(ish) car accidents (touch wood)- Both of which involved police cars driving into me!
11) I love sea glass and will spend hours hunting for it on beaches.
Jennifer's Questions
1. Do you like theme parks? Which is your favourite?
 I enjoy going to theme parks, but would never go out of my way just to spend a day in one- Saying that I thoroughly going to Florida and visiting all the Disney Parks and Universal studios. I was even there on opening day of the 'Wizarding World of Harry Potter ' and now wear my Hogwarts T shirt with pride! 

Opening day at Wizarding World, Florida, 2010

2. Do you like to craft? Which crafts do you do?
I do like to craft and always have done- I'm the queen of unfinished projects though. I'm definitely an ideas person- who likes to start things and then gets way laid in the process. I used to make lots of different things, cards, jewellery, papercraft etc and sell them at craft fairs. More recently, I took up quilting and have made every member of my family a patchwork quilt.

3. What was the last movie you saw in the theatre?
It was probably 'Les Miserables'. There were a lot more that I wanted to see but English speaking films do not tend to stay very long in the cinemas here, so before you know it, they have gone already. I absolutely loved 'Les Mis'. I've seen the stage version quite a few times (Maybe 6, maybe 7?) over the years and loved that, but wasn't so sure how the film would work out. I knew I would like the film, when I got so wrapped up in the trailer, I had tears in my eyes for its 2 minute duration. It was so exciting actually seeing the full version!
4. What was your best Halloween costume?
Living in England, Halloween was never as big a deal as it is in the states. So even as children, everyone was pretty conventionally dressed as witches and ghosts at any Halloween party that anyone went to. Over the years, as Halloween and trick or treating have got more popular, it's becoming a little more commercialised but costumes do tend to be of the witch and wizard variety. My most recent costume was a 'Gothic Angel' complete with dog collar, black wings and a halo!
5. What toppings do you like on your pizza?
Mmm- Not oregano! (See Random Fact Number 7 above!) I like most toppings, except fish ones- I know many people like seafood on their Pizza but to me that's just odd! I do really like caramalized red onions and goats cheese though!
6. What is your favorite thing to find in your mailbox?
Obviously not bills- But anything is good by me- I very rarely get anything at all. I'll maybe get something once every few weeks from England . My grandma will send me articles and newspaper cuttings from our local newspaper, just so I can catch up on what's going on- but aside from that I don't get anything else. I'm all in Favour of snail mail though and would love to get more stuff in the post- but often things have a habit of straying when you're posting things 8000 miles!

7. Chocolate with or without nuts?
Either way- as long as it's good chocolate!
8. Do you colour your hair?
I could lie and say my hair is bleached from the sun, but actually my sun kissed locks come from a bottle! I have too many grey hairs amongst the mousey brown not to colour it :)
9. Have you ever had a speeding ticket?
Honestly- No. Not that there hasn't been times when maybe I was going a little too fast!
10. What is your favorite place to buy clothes or accessories for yourself?
Over here in Borneo it's really hard to buy clothes that fit an average Westerner. Most clothes here are aimed at very short petite Asian figures, so it's quite a feat to find clothes that fit.  Back in the UK I have an obsession with 'White Stuff' and 'Fat Face' and will have a major splurge every summer when I go home. Luckily I hit sale time as I wouldn't be able to afford full price. My suitcase is always loaded with new purchases that have to keep me going for the rest of the year and luckily we don't have seasons- so summer attire is all we need!

Last year's Shopping trip!

11. Nightgown or pyjamas?
 On the whole PJ's, although with the hot nights they do tend to be the shortie ones.

Ok, so that's my interrogation done. Here's my set of questions for bloggers:

1) What is your favourite city and why?

2) What would you have for a leisurely weekend breakfast?
3) Who would be your favourite fictional hero or heroine?
4) If you wrote your autobiography- what would you call it?
5) Which is your favourite season?
6) What did you want to be when you grew up? Did it happen?
7) Starter or Dessert?
8) Is there a TV Series you have watched avidly?
9) If you could learn a new skill, what would you like it to be?
10) Do you have any bad habits?
11) What would you like to be remembered for?

I'd like to pass this Liebster award to the following blogs, which are all very interesting and worth a look-Please feel free to decline if it's all a bit too much though, as I know bloggers are all busy people- but it would be great to share and spread the liebster love -and it's all fun:) In no particular order, the awards go to......

 For those that have persevered and read this to the end- Thanks. Normality resumes tomorrow with 'Saturday Snaps', which I promise won't be as wordy!!
 Amanda x

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
 A weekly photo that needs no comment and no explanation- But then again, I might decide otherwise:)

Ok, I know I don't really want to comment on a Wordless Wednesday- But I just thought I'd mention that the photo may look a bit blurry- It was kind of intentional- as I tried to get some motion into the picture- of all these busy Vietnamese ladies working so hard at their Bar B Q- However, I may have to fine tune my night time photography attempts...!
Amanda x

Monday, 22 April 2013

It's all Greek to me!- Fanouropita

Over the weekend I baked another lovely recipe as part Rose's Greek Bake and Taste event. This one was even easier to make than the last. It's called Fanouropita- A lovely cinnamon, orange and brandy cake.
You start with all the ingredients:

 Then throw them in a bowl and mix!

 Ta Dah!! It's that simple
- Except I'd forgotten to put in the orange juice, so I had to add that later- Duh!
It then goes in the oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
 It really is easy. It's not just easy- but it fills the house with a lovely aroma of cinnamon and orange.
It tastes pretty good too! :)
I took it with us on our trekking day out yesterday- See 52 Weeks- and it travels really well. i.e it doesn't go all flat and squidgy when you have it shoved in your rucksack. It met favourable opinion all round and there was even some left for seconds- we needed it- we had worked hard- Honest!
Even better, I had some left over and made it even more scrumptious by warming it through with a little more orange juice and brandy, then eating it with ice cream.
What a nice way to finish off the weekend:)
Until next time :)
Amanda x



Sunday, 21 April 2013

52 Weeks of Happy

Week 16
Joining in with Jen at Little Birdie with some of the things that have made me smile this week. For those who want to have a bit more insight and have got nothing else better to do.. why don't you have a look at my 52 week page to see the stories behind these pics :)
15th - 21st April
a) My favourite weekend breakfast
b) Imports in the supermarket
c) Bubbles
d) Fanouropita with ice cream and more brandy!
e) Days out with the gang
f)Sun and swimming in an empty pool!
Hope you've had a good week too.
 Amanda x

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Saturday Snaps

Saturday Snaps- Santorini

A photograph, each Saturday- Quirky or Serious?, Fun or Interesting?, Real or Abstract?

A comment or not, a thought, a quote or whatever-Let the pictures do the talking!
It's Saturday evening and my apartment has a distinct aroma of cinnamon and orange with a touch of brandy about it. It's almost unseasonably Christmassy, but not quite.  I've been baking- another Greek recipe- that I'll tell you all about tomorrow.
However in looking for a gratuitous Greek photograph to go along side the blog, I found a whole album of old photos that I love. I don't know whether it's the combination of blues and white, sun or sea, painted doors or flower strewn walls- but Greek photos are to me the epitome of holiday postcards. It's from a few years back now, 2006, but they bring a big smile to my face. Maybe one day I will tell you all about it- But for now I'll leave you with this one, whilst I go and see if the cake is ready.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Now for something a little bit different!- Greek!

 Bake and Taste Greek

I admit I am partial to a anything that looks yummy and sweet, and seeing some great postings over on Greenthumb's "Made with Love" page, I decided to follow suit and bake. This in turn led me to a lovely idea that Rose from "Ferns at the Balcony" came up with - a Bake & Taste Greek Challenge.
Now I know it's not my usual thing to post anything other than me whittering on about nothing and showing lots of photos- But I do like to bake and I do love Greek food...  and so I decided to give it a go.
I chose Koulouraki with olive oil and orange

It used simple ingredients and sounded fairly easy to make and so I decided to give it a go.
Well, everything went to plan until it came to making the nice pretty twist shapes and then everything went to pot! I decided that I will never be an artisan bread maker as I couldn't manage a simple twist. So instead they stayed as bread sticks and small round Biscotti types.

Saying that- No matter what they looked like - They sure tasted good- which goes someway to explain the 'oh so many' that were tasted as they were cooling down on the rack!
 Which also leads on to explain why I'll just have to make some more at the weekend- Just to perfect my twisting technique of course! .... Honest ! 
Then after that, I might just have to try some more of her lovely Greek recipes:)
Amanda :)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
 A weekly photo that needs no comment and no explanation- But then I might decide otherwise:)
See you next time:)

Monday, 15 April 2013

New Term, New Resolutions...Not!

For many reasons I just love being a teacher and today highlights yet another great reason- It's a new term and because of that, we all (children and staff alike) get a new start. Three times a year, it's like New Year all over again! A time for starting afresh, new regimes, new ways and new resolutions. We can forget the things we meant to do, but didn't, Organise ourselves the way we wanted to, but couldn't and finally find time for the things we would like to do.
 It was the same when I was at school, I loved September- A new school year. Far better than the January version of New Year 'cos this one involved  'stationery'! Oh how I loved it all - New classes, new textbooks and best of all new exercises books and time tables that were pristine and blank, just waiting to be filled with our new pens stashed in our brand new pencil cases.
I love the quote from 'You've Got Mail' where the character played by Tom Hanks writes to Meg Ryan's character and says of the Fall in New York
'It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils'
He must have had the same obsession with stationery as I do! :)
So a new term begins and with it my 'not so new' resolutions- trying to finish and leave work at a decent time- Failed already! Not taking work home with me-Again another fail! Being more constructive with my time... the less said about that the better... time really does just fly when you hop from one blog to another (-I'm sure blog time is in a different dimension, because I lose hours!)
But one thing I have managed to do is to keep more up to date with my postings- I know it's early days but I'm going to start as I mean to go on - So I've added a couple more items to my pages above.
Now I've done that, I really must get on with some work...:)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Back to reality- playing catch up!

Here's a little montage of mosaics that give you a little insight of what I have in store on my other pages. Having two weeks, or more, to catch up on means that I have been rather busy in the photo department. These snippets are just a little insight into what you will find elsewhere on my blog. Feel free to have a wander through the relevant pages- you might just find something you like:)
52 weeks of Happy - Weeks 14 and 15- Holidays in Vietnam

Scavenger Hunt- Greenthumb's, Made with Love
Scavenger Hunt- CGDN

Camerashy 52 week Photo Challenge- Sticky

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Saturday Snaps

Saturday Snaps- Good Morning Vietnam

A photograph, each Saturday- Quirky or Serious?, Fun or Interesting?, Real or Abstract?

A comment or not, a thought, a quote or whatever-Let the pictures do the talking!
Xin Chao, or Hello there. I have just returned from a great holiday in Vietnam. It's a beautiful country, the food is fantastic and the people are lovely. After 2 weeks of travelling, sightseeing, shopping and eating- it's now back to reality with a bump. 
 1500 photos, give or take, to sort through and put into some kind of order- so it should keep me going for a blog or two. So, for a taster, I've posted a Saturday Snap of one of the many Pagodas we past on the way.
It's nice to be back!
Amanda :)