Tag Archives: surprise

Favourite things

We all have our passions and our favourite things in life.

I think I have always made it clear with all those who know me, that nature and medieval / gothic buildings are close to my heart; my inspiration. It kind of ties in with why I enjoy traveling so much, and why it is one of the few things in life which relaxes me and make feel at ease.

Fact: at least two thirds of my photos on social media cover these topics,  so don’t act surprise on what you are about to read!

When I bought my 300 year old house,one of the things I fell in love with is the courtyard. Although not huge in size, it is very homey and it had one gorgeous tree which flowers so many times a year. It felt like it was my own private garden. I was so happy to have found such a serene and beautiful place.

In the past 3 years, I have kept the yard as green as I could, considering that I work full-time and my gardening knowledge is not the best around. I have maintained and kept alive all the plants which came with the house and added a few new ones too!

Too many times, I have had tea outside, admiring the calm and peace of my safe place. At times, even birds came by.  My little peace of heaven!

bougainvilleaBut this week, the unthinkable has happened. My beautiful bougainvillea tree was snapped from the bottom of its trunk due to the winter winds. And now, I feel like I have lost a part of me. I must say, it has been a shitty start to the new year. The courtyard feels so empty now, and what’s worse is that I have spent three days chopping down this gorgeous healthy, full grown tree. It’s painful that I have to do this; putting it into boxes for the bin-man to take away in the morning.

And for those who think I am being dramatic, imagine that your favourite thing in the world is broken and is irreplaceable. (you will not find the exact replica) How would you feel then?

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8 things to strengthen one’s relationship

Given the last 13 years of somewhat unsuccessful relationship “experience”, I have tried to gather and combine a list of things or tips, which I think would make or help in having a satisfying and working long term relationship.

  1. Honesty; Possibly the most important thing of all. Always be honest and truthful to each other, on all things in your life, be it as a couple or individual. Honesty helps you feel more comfortable and assured on where you stand in your love affair.
  2. Be respectful – Mutual respect is important in maintaining a healthy relationship. The wishes and feelings of each other are valuable even when you disagree. Be genuine and show interest in your partner’s life and hobbies – such things can only bring you closer as a couple.
  3. Trust – This is the foundation of a happy and fulfilling relationship. It take time to build trust and can be lost in a split of a second if one feels betrayed. Examples of being trustworthy are: being reliable and following up on your promises, share what you feel and always say the truth, be a safe place for your partner, be consistent (not only when it is convenient or things are going well).
  4. Be considerate – Keep each other in the loop, ask for holdinghandssunseteach other’s advise in decision making, especially when this will affect your life together as a couple.
  5. Affection – don’t just say that you love your partner; demonstrate it. Kiss each other good morning, be passionate, hold hands in public, take pictures together – make memories… surprise each other with a romantic date or a gift.
  6. Know your Priorities – Although we all lead busy lives, we should always find time for our partners. If you don’t see this as important, perhaps you should spend some time to think about this and why you are hanging onto a relationship which you don’t feel devoted to. If we all invest as much time on our relationship as we do texting, playing games, on social media and watching TV  or films, we might actually have a meaningful relationship.
  7. Security – Show that your partner can count on you to be there in times of need; be it emotionally or physically.
  8. Be a team  – You are stronger together, as a team. Make plans, ensure you have shared goals and same purposes and views long term. Work together.

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What Does The Science Say About Staying Happy At Work?

A lack of happiness in the workplace is a big issue. So it won’t come as any surprise that scientists are trying to figure out what makes workers see the brighter side of life. Unhappy employees lead to high rates of absenteeism and high turnover and it all damages business’s bottom lines.

So how does one create a happy workplace? It all comes down to positive psychology and positive emotions. It’s the reverse to how we usually think about our mental wellbeing. We see mental health as all the things that can go wrong with our minds. But positive psychology is different, It asks what we can do to actively make ourselves happy.

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The findings from this field are relevant and can be applied to the workplace. Let’s take a look at some of the field’s most pertinent conclusions.

Positive Emotions Are Contagious

In one study researchers wanted to find out if positive emotions were contagious. They set up a group situation and planted an actor in its midst. The actor was trained by the researchers to exude positivity in the group setting. The researchers found that the person acting positively transmitted their positivity to others. The group experienced less conflict, more cooperation and better performance in doing tasks.

It showed that being around positive people really does have an impact on workplace productivity and wellbeing. Being around happy people rubs off on the rest of us misery guts.

Small Actions Have A Big Impact On Personal Happiness

You might think that in order to achieve happiness, something incredible has to happen – like winning the lottery. But the evidence suggests that people react far more positively to the smaller things. This is great news for employers, as it means that they don’t have to spend vast sums of money trying to make their workers happier.

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Take bereavement for example. As the bereavement leave guide by Peninsula Group explains, employers don’t have a duty to provide workers with time off right now. But employers who allow compassionate leave can help to improve the wellbeing of their employees enormously. Small gestures like this are surprisingly effective. So too as things like making lists of all the good things a worker did or writing a letter saying how much a worker helped you.

The Unexpected Makes Us Happy

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When good things happen to us that we didn’t predict, it makes us a lot happier. The researchers found that people’s happiness centres lit up more on MRI scans when positive stimuli were unexpected.

At work, managers often create very predictable happiness programmes for their employees. They organise summer and Christmas parties. They give out bonuses. And they organise team events. But when it comes to happiness, this might not be the best strategy. It might be better, in fact, to make your happiness activities more random and to surprise your employees.

Random acts of kindness around the workplace seems to be the way to go. You could surprise a high-performing employee with a reward. Or you could give workers a surprise trip out of the office to a local theme park. The possibilities are endless.

So Many People Make These Mistakes With Their Trip To Canada: Don’t Be One Of Them!

Canada is one of the most popular countries in the world to visit. After all, it’s one of the most picturesque places you can go with dozens of lakes and mountains. And the cities are fantastic to take a look at with so much to see and do. However, so many people make mistakes with their vacation to Canada. Here are some things you should avoid doing when you make a trip to the country!

They don’t travel around by bike

You will be surprised how many people have to pay out to rent a car while on their holiday. But it’s often an essential while in Canada as you want to get out exploring while you are on your vacation. However, you should consider hiring a bike instead. While you are biking, you get to view amazing sights around you. Biking instead of going in a car means you can get to more secluded areas where you can see beautiful surroundings. Also, having a bike is so much easier to get around the cities such as Vancouver. Therefore, don’t make the mistake of hiring a car when you can get around much easier with a bike!

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They think it’s the same as America

A lot of people group America and Canada together as the same place! But it’s not the same, and the rules differ. For example, you won’t be able to use your dollars in the country; they have their own unique currency (Canadian dollars). They also have different rules to the USA when it comes to drinking. A lot of places you can actually drink at 18, unlike our rule of 21. Also, not everyone speaks English in Canada. A proportion of the people in America speak French, so it’s best to learn some basic words for your trip. Also, just because you are American, it doesn’t mean you can legally get into the country with just your passport. You might need to apply for an Official Canada eTA so that you can make a trip to the country. You can look online to see if you are required to get one when traveling from your state. You don’t want to end up stuck at the airport as you don’t have the right documents!

They think everywhere is within close distance

Did you know that Canada is actually much bigger than America? It has fewer people living there, but there is a lot more land! In fact, it’s one of the largest countries in the world. However, a lot of people don’t realize that, so they head to Canada thinking that everything is within close distance. But you need to check exactly where you are staying and how far away things are located before you book. For example, Vancouver and Toronto are actually a five-hour flight away from each other! Therefore, choose wisely where you want to stay. If you want to enjoy Niagara Falls while on your trip, you should choose Toronto. That way, you can enjoy famous landmarks like the CN Tower, while only being an hour and a half away from the magnificent waterfall.

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And don’t just stay in the cities while you are in Canada. There is so much more on offer in the beautiful countryside.

Hunters; The Alien Invasion

When it comes to aliens, what could be scarier than aliens who look like humans? Aliens that are able to integrate well into the society – be it work, relationships, marriage, children… You wouldn’t be able to tell human from alien, and you can go on for years and decades not knowing that your partner is abnormal. Until suddenly, they receive a message, go mad and kill everyone in sight.

Sure a strange looking alien adds up to the scare/horror factor, but psychologically the thrill works out much better when you do not know if the person in-front of you is human or not.

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This is just a glimpse of the Sci-Fi TV Series I am watching, which goes by the name Hunters. The title is not a reference to the humans who are hunting the aliens; but rather Hunters are the new species in the world.

The TV Series is a good adrenaline rush, even if it was not made with the highest of budgets. The plot is great, especially when you get to episode 5 and I cannot wait to see what happens next. There are some twists which are a bit predictable, but most are not.

The TV Series is based on the book Alien Hunter written by Whitley Strieber.

The biggest shame is that this series was cancelled last month – I never understand why series are not given a chance to evolve before they are terminated. This definitely did have a future if promoted well and to the right audience.

Why you should watch Stranger Things

It has  been quite some time since I have made a TV Series recommendation but  in the past days I have come across two which are worth your time and consideration. Today, I shall talk about the much hyped new Netflix series “Stranger Things.

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It has been in my to-do or, to-watch list since it was released, but I knew, that since it was just an 8-episode run, I had to watch them in one sitting. This means, it was ideal for an afternoon during the weekend, which is what I did on Saturday afternoon.

With the fact that Netflix have already announced a season 2, this sounded promising; now more than ever.

Before I give you a brief about this astounding, fast paced AND exiting series, here goes the official trailer:

 

Back to the point now, here’s some fun facts to help you get started on this series:

  • Winona Ryder is the main actress in this TV Series
  • The story-line is based in the 80s, so expect that some great music throughout – I was singing along!
  • The story is about a young boy’s disappearance in a very small town
  • The series is spooky, adventurous and very pop-culture in its own way
  • Supernatural vibe,which is THANKFULLY not over done
  • Have I mentioned creepy monsters yet?
  • Don’t worry about the fact that the cast is mostly children and teenagers – they have been very well selected.
  • The season finale gives us some answers yet leaves us in awe of what is coming

Questions:

  • Eleven. What happened to the ten before?
  • Will, will he be okay?
  • Is Chief Hopper legit?

May I just say that the hype on this series was for once very well deserved?

 

That day when my name made it on a billboard in London!

I never thought I’d see the day that my name would be on a billboard in London… I know it is not going to make a difference in my life or yours, but it is still a rather cool moment to treasure.

A few weeks back (or was it months? Gosh, time flies…), Lauren Aquilina who is an England based singer (with Maltese descendants) made a competition and I was actually one of the 2,000 fans which made it on the billboard.

Thankfully the designer was wise enough and wrote the names in alphabetical order, and so it didn’t take me long until I found my name on there.

Here is me making history, right next to Shepard’s Bush underground station, London.. hahaha…

Lauren Aquilina BillBoard Sheperd Bush London

And here is one of Lauren’s songs, because she deserves the promotion:

Of Music Talents & Dreams

Today I came across the coolest of videos. In fact, this was shared with me by a colleague since I am into rock / metal music. He thought, it was something I would appreciate.

Boy, was he right.

The video features a group called ‘Rockin1000’, which is made up of 1,000 rockers and metalheads; 1,000 musicians to be exact. The music video was aimed to 5 specific people: Chris, Nate, Pat, Taylor and Dave.
If you have not guessed already, these 5 people make up the band Foo Fighters. Yes you heard me!!

You are warned… this will bring you to tears…

Watch the video here:


Needless to say, this has been viewed more than 5 times…. In fact on day 4, they are already at 12,000,000 views!! Wow.

Lo and behold, Dave Grohl replied to their video (only 1 day later!)… and not only this, but he spoke in Italian (English captions available) because this is the nationality of Rockin1000! Isn’t he nice, or what?

This inspires me…
1) It is good to dream………
2) Dreams can come true……………
3) Work hard, you can achieve it!

Boy Meets World / Girl Meets World: Have you watched them?

For those of you who have grew up watching Boy Meets World, or who like me watched it recently, I would love to suggest that you consider watching Girl Meets World. And I will tell you why.

Cory and Topanga are the parents of this girl that the series is about. It’s freaking fantastic to have them both on TV again. I loved them then, and I still adore them now. To me, they are one of my favourite couples, and it’s saying a lot, since I watch way too many series ;p

Boy-Meets-World-then-and-now

What is so great about Girl Meets World is that all the main characters from Boy Meets World guest appear in the new show… which makes it really exciting, nostalgic and emotional. It’s so awesome to see them again. The fact that they still manage to kick ass in their old character, is what makes this show so worth my time. Shawn Hunter especially, what a great lad he has grown up into!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, have a look at Boy Meets World trailer (1990s), and afterwards Girl Meets World trailer (2014) below. You can see the same familiar faces in both shows; only more grown up of course!

Revenge Finale Questions and Answers

Upon re-watching the final episode of Revenge again, I have come up with several questions, some of which were answered by the media.

1. Why was the final episode of Revenge just 1 hour long? Usually these are longer, to be able to tie up lose ends… 

The directors of Revenge did not know that the series was going off air. They only found out a week and a half ago. As such this finale was meant to be a cliffhanger for a purpose… because the plan was to have another season… Thankfully, the writers decided to give a happy ending to Amanda and Jack and focus on other character’s revenge going forward.

2. Upon reading that, I wanted to know, what would have happened in Season 5…

They explain the future of some of the characters…. such as Charlotte, being in control of her life and going to NYU to further her studies… Louise plans are to build an estate where Grayson Manor was, and settles down at the Hamptons… and of course Nolan helping in other people’s revenge. Mason Treadwell would have been back with an evil plan…

3. What’s with Amanda’s reoccurring dream?

At first, I struggled to understand this… But now I do. This dream could actually be a reality… It has been left as a open question. Amanda did live on, after Victoria has shot her straight to the heart. Amanda needed a heart transplant after this, and we see Charlotte saying that Amanda should never know who gave her, her new heart. This implies that the heart is Victoria’s…. Bitter-sweet, and if this is truth and not a nightmare, I find comfort that a part of Victoria lived on… Despite all she has done, she had a very troubled upbringing… and all she did was because of the unconditional love she has had towards here children. I would also question the loyalty of Charlotte, she could have done it out love, or just to piss Amanda off. Amanda is rich, she could have gotten herself any heart she wanted…

4. Nolan’s spinoff?

Today, I have managed to come across an interview were they (Showrunner Sunil Nayar) claimed that both the fans and Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) are warming up to the idea…. So, now I am hoping more than ever that this will be in the pipeline. I love Nolan, it would be good to have him and some of the cast move on with their own stories… and who knows, maybe Amanda and Jack would have some guest appearances too.