It has been 1 year!

happy anniversary with wordpress

The 30th of December 2014, was the day when I officially started off my blog. One year later, with close to 17,000 unique readers and 180 blog posts, I can happily say that I managed to keep my last year’s resolution. I have had readers from 112 countries around the world with my top 3 countries being Malta, Germany and almost a tie between US and UK.

2015, was a very interesting year for me.

I have had too many opportunities to call it quits this year… had a lot of struggles with the house, finances, friends wise, emotionally… but at this point in time, I feel happy. I have tackled every issue I have encountered; I know I have not fixed them all to their entirety but I know that eventually, I will get there. I have took the bull by the horns; I’m fighting….  and I am winning.

Finally, I feel like I am in a good place, and I am getting what I deserve.

Here is, to another new year of fighting, not giving up and chasing dreams.

cheers

Happy New Year to all of my friends and frenemies!

Inspired by Van Gogh

So today, I spent some time looking at Van Gogh’s paintings; something I do from time to time. Afterwards, I have done something I have not done in years. Don’t fret – nothing wrong ;P

I painted something! Inspired by Starry Night, by Van Gogh.

vangogh inspiration

I know this is not of a high standard and nothing compared to his work, but him being my favourite artist of all time, I thought it was about time I do this 🙂

Christmas Time… ♫

holly
“Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
Children singing Christian rhyme
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see” ♫

 

Yes, it is Christmas time… and yes I do tend to indulge on some extra ̶w̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶  mulled wine at this time of the year… Unfortunately no mistletoe here, as I won’t be spending my Christmas with a special someone; but rather with my family and friends… which is still good none the less.

The plan is to go out at around 10PM for a few drinks and chatter on Christmas Eve  and then off with my mates for the early Christmas Breakfast. For those not in the know, it usually is a continental and English breakfast buffet and this is quite a popular way to start off Christmas day in Malta. Afterwards, it is resting time and then at noon I’m off to lunch with the family. Luckily this time round we are not going to cook ourselves, which means that I will have enough time (!) to charge my batteries after the night out.

Once that is over, I am hoping to make mulled wine and teas at home, and soon after all the family opens gifts from each other. Usually this is quite fun as we leave the presents as a surprise so we have no clue on what we are getting, unless the gift wrapping shape is too obvious, such as when the gift is a bottle of alcohol.

How will you spend Christmas this year?

Wishing all my readers a lovely Christmas with lots of smiles, hugs and beautiful experiences. May you get all you wish for… and more! X

What women look for in a man

This is just my point of view here, so agree to disagree ;p

Honesty / Loyalty
To me, if you are not honest and loyal, you might as well call it quits. Truth be told, at one point I’m going to find out, so you are better off giving up already. Never lie, no matter how bad the situation is, and there is no other option than expressing your true feelings. If you are not ready to commit, just be sincere about it and don’t give the wrong impression.
Honesty is the best policy as it works.
Be faithful.

Intelligence 
They say, that physical attraction is important, which is true. But going out with your partner solely for that reason is very shallow. I find intelligence as a huge turn on. I love  it when a man is able to talk about his experiences and subjects which I am not familiar with; like I can learn something from him, and we are not just talking for the sake of not being silent.

Sense of Humour 
If a man can’t make me laugh, and if I don’t feel like I can be silly (myself) around him, I don’t think there’s much of a future in that relationship. Having the same sense of humour would be the cherry on the cake :o)

Confidence
Not in the sense that you think that you are a God sent to women, but in the sense that you act on your promises, knowing what you want in life.
Nothing is sexier than a man who is decisive and goes after what he wants.

Self Security
If you cannot love yourself, and if you are not willing to work on yourself to fulfill your life and your dreams… How can I expect you to love and respect me?

Chivalry 
As much as us women want to be equal to our partner, I’d say that from time to time, it is lovely for a man to go the extra mile and for instance, open the door for their lady, or take off her jacket, just for the sake of being nice.
Chivalry is only dead if you want it to be dead.

The ability to listen
Sometimes, all we want is someone to listen. Forget about logic, just listen to us, without trying to find a solution to everything. Listening is caring. Just hold our hand, and hold us, while we pour our heart out

Romance
Well, isn’t it romance that keeps a relationship alive?
I’ve always been into guys who are masculine, however I think that every woman loves to be swept off her feet; that a man is not embarrassed to show off his love and desire for his woman.
Personally, I’d find these things irresistible.

Help in household
Ok, this might sound lame… but in the 21st century both the man and the woman work to make ends meet, which means that both of them should do the dishes, cleaning, cooking etc. Plus, I love it when a man can cook.

Considerate
Being thoughtful is important for many reasons. We all love the idea of being called or texted randomly during the day, just to be reminded that we are being missed…. Or perhaps, being surprised by a bouquet of flowers, or find a meal ready when we go back home. Not just this, being considerate means, not make plans without the other knowing, unless of course it is a surprise 😉

London Tea Exchange Review

I have always had a strong bond with tea, but always preferred teabags over loose tea leaves just because it is so much easier to make tea.  But when I opened my mind towards loose tea leaves, I realised how many more options I have at hand, and how much I can experiment with various flavours, even making my own flavour.

During my loose tea leaves discovery, I was in London, and this is where I came across London Tea Exchange. Right next to the tea shop door, there were various teas one could sample. And so I did…

Entering the shop was like I was in heaven. Everywhere I look, it was tea and more tea… Over a hundred choices, and I couldn’t be more excited.. and confused.

It was hard to just choose just the one flavour, but since I never had chocolate or coconut flavoured tea, I thought that I should opt for a black tea… with these two flavours. May I say that…. It is magnificent?

The tea was given in a golden packaging which made it safely from London to Malta.

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The tea itself looks something like the below… Although not cheap, it is very tasty and makes me feel all warm and tingly inside….

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When in London, I’d suggest you give this shop a try, if like me, you are a massive tea lover 😉

Good Deed This Christmas

During the Christmas season, and its cheer, I do my best to be a better human being to see the people around me smiling and having a good time.

I don’t usually pride or talk about this with people or my readers, but this year, I thought it I share one of the things I’m doing because, perhaps you will find it in your heart to do the same 🙂

Meet Safyre Terry, an 8 year old girl who two years ago lost her father and three siblings when their house caught on fire. Although she is also a burn victim, she survived and is now living with her aunt. When Safyre told her aunt that her wish this Christmas was to receive Christmas cards from all around the world, her aunt made a plea on Facebook, and they expected perhaps 20 random cards arriving to her PO Box.

When I read this, I wanted to be one of those 20 people who would make this girl smile and happy this Christmas. But it turns out that thousands of people worldwide have answered her dream, but with my card in the post, hopefully already on its way, I know that this little girl will realise that even the tiny island of Malta loves her and cares about her happiness.

 

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The Valletta Waterfront

The Valletta Waterfront is a promenade which you can get steffisays-upperbarrakkagardens-liftto easily either from the Upper Barrakka Gardens by using the elevator facilities at a price of around 2 Euro (you would get a return ticket when you purchase one), or  by walking through Valletta city center towards the sea, and keep walking to the direction of the Cruise and Ferry terminal. Funnily enough, although the area is known as Valletta Waterfront, it is located in Floriana.

One of the reasons I go to this area is the obvious fact that it is lovely, especially in the evenings for a pleasant walk by the sea. It is also frequented because of the fact that there are a variety of restaurants to go to for lunch, dinner, coffee or for a couple of drinks. Different cuisines such as Mediterranean, Italian and Chinese are available.

Plus how can you resist this view?

201501209 - Valletta waterfront by night copy
The WaterFront View at night

Going there is a must, I tell you!

 

St. Paul’s Catacombs, Rabat Malta

The underground roman cemeteries are dated to be
used up until the 4th century AD. Since the roman law at the time, prohibited burials within the city, these are catacombs2found on the outskirt of the capital of Malta at the time; Mdina.

The name of the these catacombs derives from the widely known story which relates to St Paul’s Grotto. As such, these catacombs are a great example of Maltese underground architecture as well as it represents the earliest evidence of Christianity in Malta.

The site itself consists of two large areas, with a good number of burial chambers. During a talk with one of the curators, I was told that there were more than 30 underground burial chambers.

catacombs
Should you be interested to visit, the opening hours are 9:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday.
Tickets cost €5.00 for adults, and €3.50 for youths

How to get there
– By Public Transport: From Valletta Routes 51, 52. From Bugibba Route X3 (Airport Route). The catacombs are situated in St. Agatha Street which is a narrow street running through much of the town’s core. Follow the signs to St. Paul’s Catacombs.
– By self-driven car: Drive towards Rabat and park close to the Domus Romana. The St. Paul’s Catacombs are around 5 minutes away by walk.

The Librarians [Series Review]

If you clicked on this blog post and you are worried about any spoilers, rest assured… you are safe!

tnt_the_librarians

The story is about a number of people with special skills such as (world class thief, mathematician etc) who have teamed up together to form a team of Librarians in order to solve impossible mysteries, recover powerful artifacts, and fight against supernatural threats.

As one could imagine, this series is all about adventure as well as some humour here and there. The Librarians meet several well known characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Dorian Grey, Moriarty (in several episodes actually!), Frankenstein’s monster… and the list goes on.

At the moment the series is airing the second season, which means there are quite some episodes to watch and devour 😉

You can start off by watching the two trailers down below:

Which language do you think with?

This is a weird one, I know.

I have been, for years on end now, thinking and “talking to myself” in a foreign language. By foreign language, I mean English. Malta is a bilingual country, and in fact we start learning English at the young age of six. I always loved the language and the literature that came with it. I always carried a book with me and preferred British TV and movies over Italian (I’m mentioning Italian because all of my friends watched Italian TV when I was growing up).

homer-simpson-thinking

Although I love the English language, I knew that there is one barrier that I won’t be able to surpass. This is, because even though I know that my spoken and written English is better than the average Joe’s, I will never have enough practice verbally to become super fluent and master it as it was my first language.

It was in 2011, when things changed for me. Leaving Malta meant that I had to leave my mother tongue behind (to an extend). When I landed in Manchester airport, I knew that at this point,  I have to deal with people in English. I think, that this is when my head decided that I should start thinking in English. I think, this was rather beneficial (yes, I googled it):

  • Apparently, if you think in a foreign language, you are not only practicing the language itself but also learning new vocabulary. It’s almost like when you are reading a book for the very first time.
  • Another reason according to a study is that since a foreign language provides psychological distance because you need to make a bit of an effort to use it, it will affect your reasoning and decision making in the sense that they become less biased, more analytic, and more systematic.

In reality, in my daily life, unless I am speaking with my friends and colleagues, everything else is done using the English language, which means that I was very surprised that it took my brain this long to switch languages:

  • Reading news, blogs, articles
  • Google searches are conducted in English
  • Reading Books
  • Listening to music
  • Making use of laptops (or computers) and phones using an English interface
  • Watching TV, Movies and Series

Am I the only one who took this leap? Do you think in your native language or did you choose another familiar language to do so? I want to know! 🙂

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//Obviously this is targeted to users who can speak multiple languages rather than just the one.