Sunday, 30 June 2013

52 Weeks of Happy

Hi, It's that time of the week again to show some of the things that have made me happy this week. So linking in with Little Birdie here are this week's happy moments
Wk 26
23rd - 30th June
 No more haze = Blue skies, sunsets and sunrises again! Definitely worth a smile!
Bird Song- we don't seem to get lots of bird singing around here, but this little bird was singing away merrily, one morning this week.
 Crafting: I finally got my crafting mojo back after months of not making anything. Just a bit of paper craft, that I may tell you about someday.

Chilling over coffee- End of reports, Magazine at the printers and exams all finished, means that life is a little less hectic and I can chill- well, just for a minute or two:)

Hope you've all had some reasons to smile:)
Amanda x

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Saturday Snaps - Where am I?

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

2 photos today- 2 different places,2 different continents, both taken on this weekend, 2 years and 3 years ago respectively.

But where am I ?

Why don't you have a guess?

Let me know what you think :)
 Amanda x

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wordless Wednesday

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

One word: Cute!
Amanda x

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

10 Things Tuesday- Sunsets

It's that time again for 10 things Tuesday- but I couldn't decide this week on 10, so actually its Twelve Things Tuesday! You know I love taking pictures of sunsets, well here we go-Twelve glorious sunsets from around the globe.

1. Biloxi, Mississippi

First up was taken at Biloxi, Mississippi on New Years day 2010. The sun was going down across the Gulf of Mexico and it was glorious- My friend Amanda and I had just spent New Years Eve in New Orleans and were slowly heading back across the South and up to North Carolina. A great Sunset to start the year.
2. Key West, Florida

The First week of Summer holidays 2010 and we'd headed on a road trip from North Carolina down to the Florida Keys.
3. San Francisco, California
Another road trip, this time 4 weeks on the west coast. For the most part there were four of us, for some of the trip, there were 7 and at one point about 12 of us were travelling together. It was such a good vacation. San Francisco was our first stop and last stop on a wide circular route that took in 4 states- and a lot of sunsets!
4.Near Cusco, Peru
Now I have no idea the name of this little place, but it is somewhere near Cusco in Peru. If you look carefully, you'll see a little village with the Andes Mountains peeking through in the distance. The rays of the sun really did look like that. My friend, Anne Marie and I, had been visiting some Inca ruins for the day and were heading back to Cusco, when we stopped to have a look at the view. 
5.Islay, Scotland
For the last 4 Summers, my mum and I have gone on a camping trip to some of the Scottish Islands. Last year was the turn of Islay, Jura and Colonsay. We were camping on the edge of this beach, just out of camera shot on the sand dune. Absolutely stunning !
6. Temperung, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

An old faithful. 2 hour's drive from here in KK and you'll arrive at Temperung. My weekend beach retreat. Perfect peace and quiet. I have hundreds of photos of Sunsets from here and for those eagle eyed of you, will now begin to recognise some of these pictures.

7. The Lake District, England
Home- Or as near to it as I can be. My home county.
The top image is looking west towards Whinlatter, Causey Pike way. The bottom left is over Bassenthwaite and the bottom right is actually a very poor photograph, taken over my neighbours wall, looking towards Anthorn, The Solway Firth and Scotland in the distance.
8. North Carolina
For a couple of years I lived in North Carolina. I loved it- a land of beaches, farms, mountains and everything in between. This was taken at my friends Ranch / stables, one evening- it's not a very clear shot- its a bit underexposed, but I like it.
Greece, quite a while ago now, but the scenery was stunning. I was on a walking holiday, taking in various islands, good food, good company and great places. Santorini must be one the worlds most photogenic places- truly beautiful. The bottom pictures were taken on Naxos, equally beautiful:)
 10, Miami, Florida
A Carnival cruise ship cruising out of the harbour, December 2008. I was on the one in front, heading out for a week's cruise over Christmas, down to the Caribbean. It was a lovely sight! And the ship wasn't too bad either!
11. Grand Canyon
I've been lucky enough to visit the Grand Canyon on more than one occasion and each time I have been I still marvel at the greatness of it all. These images were taken from our big West coast trip, at various times, at the Canyon.

12.  Santa Monica, California
Another West coast image- A bit dark- but I like the silhouette effect of the Santa Monica Pier in the background- And lots of fit people running in the foreground- Rather them than me!
 Oh, Alright, 13! As I couldn't go and not leave a photograph of a sunset of Graham's Landing. It's not a true Sunset either- as it's on the East coast- So we'll call it a sun downer. Of course this isn't really Graham's Landing either. (There is, I believe, and unbeknown to me, a restaurant called Graham's Landing somewhere down in South Carolina- I shall have to visit!)

  In reality, my favourite place on the East Coast is actually a small part of Carolina Beach, Near Wilmington in North Carolina- But to me- it will always be known affectionately,  as Graham's Landing :)
Until next time,
p.s. I have no idea why my photos suddenly decided to put themselves in a white box frame- it was intentional- sorry- but I'm not technologically savvy enough to start to change it all!
 Amanda x

Monday, 24 June 2013

Hummus or Hummous

The first time I had this delicious concoction of chickpeas and tahini was in Eilat, Isreal about 20 odd years ago. I was sitting at an outdoor café, with a small white plate of paprika sprinkled hummous, swimming in olive oil, on the table in front of me  I remember how good it was, wondering what on earth was in it and at the same time being very perturbed by a soldier sitting on the table next to us, holding a very large rifle!
Nevertheless, it did not put me off eating my hummous!
I would always buy this at supermarkets and delis, as I never realised how easy it was to make- But now I've tasted the home made version- nothing quite tastes as good.

 If you have a Blender, this is the easiest recipe on earth. If you don't, it just takes a little more work to smash up the chickpeas and blend by hand.
So grab all the ingredients, except the oil and paprika,
Put into blender,
Add the Oil
There you go - it's done!
You can add the paprika at the end, sprinkled on top, just to add a bit of colour!
Enjoy eating with crudités, pita bread,crackers, toast, falafel, etc etc
Until next time,
 Amanda :)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

52 Weeks of Happy.

Hi, It's that time of the week again to show some of the things that have made me happy this week.So linking in with Little Birdie here are this week's happy moments.
Wk 25
17th- 23rd June
I often have a nice morning drive to work but this particular morning was just lovely. Sun rising over Mount Kinabalu.
Home made and on toast.mmmmm
Tickets for a festival-

 My darling sister has just bought me tickets to go to the Rewind Festival in Scotland in July. Definitely made me smile as last year was such good fun. (This was taken last year at Rewind- It's an 80's festival, hence the very strange costumes and attire!)
Clear Skies

Now this is a bit of a strange one- Clear blue sky on a Monday morning- That made me happy, for a while at least. As you see since then the slash and burn haze has come over from Indonesia- and we haven't had a clear sky all week.
Luckily for us, it's not at dangerous levels as it is over in Singapore and the mainland- but it does feel like it's not doing us any good. So I'm wishing it won't be long until it brilliant blue again.
One more Happy to round off- but no photo- just to say I had two very happy days of  lunch with friends. A very pleasant way of spending a couple of hours away from working (Well, supposedly!), just catching up over good food and coffees.
 So that's it- hopefully I 'll feel I have a few more happies next week- Reports will be finished, the magazine will be back from the printers and I have a school trip to go on.
 Hope you had a good week too!
Amanda x

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Saturday Snaps

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
I love this snap- It just goes to show that you can never be too old for ice cream!
It was taken at the Dragon boat festival on Sunday and the ice cream vendor did a roaring trade.
It looks like she's having a double scoop- I hope she enjoyed it :)
Off to write more reports!
Amanda X

Friday, 21 June 2013

More to Hunt!

I tell you, I'm a gluten for punishment.. Let me explain - You know I love my Scavenger hunts  and I love taking part in Made with Love and CGDN'S monthly photo hunts. Well I have found another!
This one is a little different and I have all Summer to find the photographs and post them as I go along. If I trawled through my photos - I probably have all of these all ready- but I'm not allowed to- so it will be all new photos to search for- Yay!

 This is my challenge:
2013 Scavenger Hunt
 I have until the last day of summer (September 21) to find and photograph the following items:

1.   Open air market
2.   Theatre for performing arts (not a movie theatre)
3.   City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building
4.   Airplane
5.   A sunset
6.   Someone or something taking a nap
7.   A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny
8.   A tower
9.   A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong
10.  A bench that is outside
11.  An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.
12.  A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)
13.  A fence
14.  A stained glass object or a mosaic
15.  A fire truck or police car
16.  A windmill 
17.  Candle(s)
18.  Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop
19.  A fisherman
20. A dinosaur
21.  A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply (you cannot substitute for this item)

Let the Games begin!!!
Amanda :)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Wordless Wednesday

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

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

10 Things Tuesday- Guilty Pleasures

I'm feeling very guilty this week. I have my reports to write and no matter what- I just can't seem to get myself motivated to write them- so I go and do something else- like read blogs, or trawl you tube, or swim- and then feel very guilty that the reports are still untouched.
Procrastination is one of my flaws- They will get done- if only at the last minute! As I was thinking about this, I thought about all the other guilty little pleasures I have : Things that maybe I shouldn't enjoy- for many reasons-or things that I just feel guilty about.
 So here you are, 10 of my guilty pleasures.

 1. Cakes, bakes, biscuits- If it's sweet I just can't resist- I wish I could- but my will power just isn't strong enough.
 2. Spending money on pretty fabric- Well actually spending money full stop... But I could spend hours browsing fabric shops, buy a load and then feel guilty that my fabric stash is huge- and not do anything with it.
3. The hours of reading trashy, cheap magazines and Chic lit- when I should be doing work or reading more intellectual fare. But I just love sitting, curled up with a book that doesn't over stimulate the brain cells.


4.  Now this is one I'm sure we've all done at some point- but don't dare admit!- Dancing around the living room, to rubbishy / old / eclectic / pop music- not caring what we look like. Such a good thing to do- but perhaps only behind closed doors!
5. This is a real indulgence of mine- and  one I feel particularly guilty about-  Late night snacks, when I really should have gone to bed hours ago- but just feel I want something sweet. (I know it's chemicals in my brain telling me I'm tired and I should just go to bed)  but then I then try and justify it all by having 97% fat free food!!!
6. Stationery- Stacks of it- so lovely, so new and untouched- that I don't want to write in them.
Then I just feel guilty so I  go and get more.
7. Spending too much money on really nice little boutique hotel rooms when I go on holiday (not always, but when I've saved for it!)
 I know I could go cheap and cheerful and do the whole backpacking palava- But I've been there, done that and wore the T shirt - So my excuse is- there's only me to please- and I'm too old to want to share a smelly dormitory. 4 and 5 star luxury is the way forward!!!
8.  Just once in a blue moon- nothing can beat the taste of Junk food at its worst, or best- whatever which way you want to look at it.- So guilty but so good!
I'll worry about my arteries later!
9. My obsession with handbags- Even though I have too many- I can't pass by a shop and not have a look.
10. Spending hours in the Blogosphere- when I should be doing other things... But I bet we all do that:)
I wonder what your guilty pleasures are...
Amanda :)

Monday, 17 June 2013

Dragon Boat Racing- and a little Bit of People Watching.

The annual Sabah Dragon Boat Race happened this weekend here in KK.  It was open to international teams as well as local ones and was meant to be quite a spectacle- so I decided to go and have a look. 
 To be honest I didn't really get all that was going - lots of various races- lots of teams, but I'm not sure how it all worked. But it was a great spectator sport and the turnout was amazing.
There were flags and ribbons and prizes to be won  and as all things here in Sabah, there was lion dance to start things off too!
The Dragon Boats were waiting eagerly to be filled with enthusiastic teams.
As the teams waited- they chilled, trained, whooped, hollered and cheered- and waited some more!
It was a real family day out- for young and old. There were hundreds of people just watching and playing on the beach.
Then they were off, 800 metres of racing to the beat of the drum.
And at the end, victory!
Whilst all that was going on- I had a great time just pottering about taking photos and people watching.
And some more people watching...
And generally having a very nice time on a Sunday morning :)
Hope you had a good Sunday too.
Amanda x