Friday, 18 April 2014

Embrace Happy


The last couple of years haven't always been the easiest of times, especially when it can be hard to shake the idea that 'we are living the dream' Aaron, the eternal optimist powers through convincing me it will all be fine, and eventually a whole lot more than just fine while I can find it hard to focus on the end of the week let alone any further than that!

Don't get me wrong, I have (usually) tried to look on the bright side but often have failed to find one despite the blue skies and sandy beaches (I hate sand anyway!) so being consistently happy is something I have to actively work at.

There has been a change this year, despite many of the existing problems still ongoing but it's still worth while realising there is always something, no matter how small to be happy about.


A fellow blogger, Karin (Cafe Bebe) is trying to help us all remember this, and is doing a very good job!

After joining in with #3goodthings for a while on Instagram and facebook, where you stop and find 3 good things in each day no matter how small, I decided to join a small group in the 'happy snail mail' challenge. Being in Cyprus I had to wait a little longer than most but soon enough I recieved my own little bit of 'happy' through the post....


a lovely card and picture from Karin with a short message inside, and the address of another participant to 'pay it forward' and share the happiness!

Being all caught up in Fun Day preparations I got a little bit delayed but eventually I got round to my task and sent my own snail mail with a little bit of Cyprus sunshine on wards to the next person, as well as one back to Karin by way of thank you.


I love the 'snail mail' idea, its so rare to receive it these days and being in Cyprus we get very few birthday or Christmas cards even,  it's even harder to go to a post office and check international postage than to just pop something in the postbox!

I love the whole #embracehappy idea and it does make you stop and notice the little things a lot more.

'Embrace Happy' has a new home and you can find it at embracehappy.com and join in on facebook in the Embrace Happy group which is open to everyone. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Fun day Sunday!

I've been to many events here in Cyprus, some good, many bad but usually leave muttering how easy it would be to improve them in some way. So when I was was offered a venue to hold my own just after I had set up the Famagusta Parents Network I jumped at the chance to do just that!

As a child I loved the school fetes, Brownie fairs and enjoyed getting involved in them. (I helped at Brownies for many years after I actually left!) and my ideas for the event I guess were based on those. I knew I wanted to have things for the children to do, and that if they were happy, the parents would be happy.  I knew I wanted to promote and support local businesses and I wanted to raise money in the process for a local charity.

From the idea it might happen to the day itself was just 6 weeks, some people mentioned this wasn't very long - I shrugged and said it would be fine!

And it was!


The support I had from the community was quite amazing both in the run up to the day, with businesses getting involved, donating prizes, promoting the event and arranging activities for the day itself. On the day it was estimated that between 300 and 400 people came which I was very pleased with, especially as there were several events on the same day (which of course I hadn't realised when I set the day -  I checked, assuming that promotion would have already started for something happening in 6 weeks time, forgetting that this is Cyprus!)

The event was held at a local football training ground which has a cafe bar and a municipal skate park and playground, a great venue that no-one I knew had heard about they provided a bouncy castle and bbq for the day. We had many local businesses with stalls there, some selling products and some with activities to participate in.

There was toys to play with, pottery painting, drawing. face painting and cute poodle dogs to see as well as a variety of games arranged by Anagennisi, the football club who own the venue.

With help from some friends I ran a tombola stall with over 100 prizes which had been donated by local shops and several people helped me to sell raffle tickets.


Local dance school Performers Academy put on a great little show for us and we had a DJ playing good old family friendly music all day creating a brilliant atmosphere - I may have been dancing around at several points in the day!

A representative from KEPA, the charity I chose to support came along and very kindly presented me with a plaque for my efforts and as a thank you for raising funds for them, which in the end totaled €550


I was so pleased with how the day went, and at one point looked around at all the people and especially considering I'd never done anything like that before! Many people have told me what a great day they had but none made me smile more than Leo telling me the next day that 'it was the BEST fun day ever Mummy!'

You can see more photos of the day on the Famagusta Parents Network facebook page and find the website at www.famagustaparentsnetwork.com

Thursday, 3 April 2014

For the first time in forever...

For the first time in forever, I am more than 'just a Mum' 
For the first time in forever, I am busy, having fun!
and I know it's totally crazy to think I wasn't 'me' 
but for the first time in forever it seems I've found the key!

Looking back, I can't really think of a time when I was 'busy', before Leo was born I worked but I finished at 5pm on the dot, never took work home with me or gave it a moments thought once leaving the office and did as I pleased in the evenings and weekends. Never chock a block with social arrangements or struggling to fit things in, always free for any meet ups or last minute plans.

For the last five years I've been lucky to be a stay at home Mum, and I've spent a lot of time being busy doing nothing,   'nothing' being washing, cooking, cleaning and general housewifey stuff and looking after one, then two children, which of course isn't nothing at all but often feels like it!

I'd arrange to meet with friends and never have to think if I had other plans, it was never anything that couldn't be moved, maybe just a vague plan to go shopping or mop the floor!

Aaron was working 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, and then in the winter it was the complete opposite and he was at home 24/7.  He was then able to help out with everything and it felt like we were both sitting around the house doing 'nothing' together.

And then it all went crazy!

Aaron started his new job, in which he basically sets his own hours and arranges his own appointments, so it varies when he is around.

I started a part time cleaning job working the hours around Aaron being at home.

I am still going to Slimming World (3lb from target now)  but am also the 'weigh lady' which I enjoy - I like helping out and it means I 'have' to attend group even if I've had a bad week.

Aaron had time to re-discover his love of photography and created a facebook page showing some of his favourite photos and offering his services at local events.

Last month I started year 2 of the government's Greek lessons, they were due to begin back in November but in typical style they were late and because of that they are being run as double lessons - hence 3 hour long lessons twice a week!

In February I launched the Famagusta Parents Network (FPN)  a website and online community group for families of all nationalities in my area, and just in case all that wasn't enough I started arranging a Family Fun Day to celebrate the launch of the FPN and give families a great day out whilst supporting local businesses and raising money for charity!

It's madness but I love it!

Week days are crazy busy, with Aaron and I competing for time out the house for meetings and time on the computer for working whilst the other occupies the boys!

Weekends are starting to feel like weekends again, and becoming a time that feels different to the rest of the week!

I think some people may think I'm a bit mad - running a non-profit organisation but it's my 'baby' and I really feel like it's going to go places - the fun day is a first for me and so far seems to be all under control. I'm really looking forward to the day and hope it goes as well as it is playing through in my head!

I still love my own little piece of the internet with my personal blog here, and I have no intention of abandoning it, posts may be less frequent but I'll keep 'em coming as and when I get a chance!

Image credit
Louka is now 19 months old and rapidly approaching the 'terrible twos'  - he's starting to talk but has also started to develop a real temper when he can't get what he wants or can't make you understand him.    Leo is almost 5 years old -  loud, crazy, still reasonably high maintenance but on the whole increasing easy and fun to be with.

I am ME, a wife, Mum, daughter, friend and throwing it all together with lot of  'to do' lists and my fingers crossed!

Who knew that being properly busy was the thing to make me happy than I can remember being for ages?! (well, either that or the repeated watching of the film 'Frozen!)

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