Friday’s Fave Five.– # 1

Remember Fave Five, the meme I use to do so long ago?  …….

FFF birds on a wire

well it’s time again for me to jump back into this   I thought I’d join a community instead of going it alone.  Actually I bought a diary, a gratitude diary to be specific and I thought I’d write them down instead – pen to paper everyday.


(photo credit – google)

And then on Fridays, I’d share the highlights.  Share those things that not only made my face light up and smile, but also make my heart smile.  I know you know that feeling!!

Anyway, so here’s to my first Fave Five for 2015!!  And in case you don’t remember what Fave Five is, or want to join the community, click here.

So here’s what made my heart feel all warm and fuzzy this week:

1.  calling a friend and hearing that all is going well with her little family and learning that her sister is here to visit.  - there is always a reward for initiating a call, you don’t have to wait for the right moment to call someone.

2.  a good cup of coffee on a cold winter morning.  There’s coffee and then there’s good coffee. 

3.  letting go of my inhibition and just doing something.  I haven’t play netball since my days at high school and I was a little worried to try it again, and at a new place with strangers.  Boy am I glad I just went for it.  It was so awesome to play again and a bonus….I made some new friends.


4.  taking an initiative……and being thanked for stepping out and up!!  With every assignment we have been posted too, I always try to make sure that I explore as much of my host country as I can.  And now that I’m in London, why would you not want too explore  Anyway I asked the parents at the school my kids go to to see if anyone else would like to join me and they said yes.  So now I’ll be working to organise trips for us!  Should be fun.


this is the book I’ll be using to plan our trips (it’s such an awesome book)

5.  watching people do random acts of kindness.  I like to people watch, and there are days when I’ll head out to the high street, buy my coffee and watch people.  And I love it when I see someone do something nice for someone else.  I’ve seen things like ‘a younger person’ volunteering to carry an old ladies groceries, or someone running to stop a mother whose child in a pram has lost their stuffed toy.  Seeing such acts is always good for  my soul.

So there’s my five for this week.

What were yours?  Do share and join the community at Living to Tell the Story where Sussane is our host.

Happy Weekend.


corner view–experience

I found this theme a little challenging.  it could have gone so many ways….but I finally settled on a quote.

when one lives, one experiences.

~~ Yiddish quote

and yes, maybe a photo.

my moment with this lovely dolphin was such a surreal experience…

me and central

for more corner view, start with Francesca.



Last Friday, we finally all met.  We decided to do it and we did!!


It’s sometimes difficult to get together with friends and to actually make the time to meet. We all have different schedules, things going on in our lives, but we did it.  One of us suggested the idea, emailed the others and we all said yes! 

Sounds easy right…..well not always!!  Of course we all have things to do.  3 of us have kids with us, while the other has a daughter back in the US. 

Anyway we met at the fancy Aqua Shard for lunch and it was so good. The view, the food and the company.  It was great to meet and catch up with each other, and hear of what everyone is doing.

Well how do we know each other you may ask……Well we have an assignment location in common.  We all moved from Kazakhstan.


We enjoyed each other’s company so much that we’ve decided to try and at least do it every month. 

Should be fun.

Happy ‘Straylia Day”

strayla Day
(photo credit – google)
I have many fond memories of my days as a boarder, Down Under.
What can I say, I learnt so much, made such wonderful friends and thanks to my boarding friends even had the opportunity to go out to the country and stay on their farms.
I remember rounding up the sheep, picking one baby lamb for dinner, catching yabbies at the creek and playing golf out in the open.  Like I said I have many wonderful memories.
And thanks to facebook, I am able to keep in touch or at least see what is happening in the lives of my dear friends.
As I’ve shared before, I am forever grateful to my friends  and their families for sharing so much of your country with me and teaching all that is wonderful about Australia….like the vegemite!!!

Happy Australia Day!!


corner view–walk of my dreams

pari hanua
this is an aerial view of my village, back in Papua New Guinea.  So my ‘walk of dream’ naturally draws me to water, which always reminds me of home. 
In fact any water space is where I’m most comfortable and find myself at peace.
maldives 3
share your walk of dream and for more corner views start at Fuoriborgo and tinywoolf


weekends are for……

exploring a different part of London.
Today we took the kids to an exhibition – the Art of the Brick Exhibit, which is a Lego exhibit.  We really enjoyed seeing Lego’s used in a different way. 
_MG_0009_MG_0013_MG_0035_MG_0036_MG_0040_MG_0050_MG_0052Everything we saw was made of Legos…..it was amazing and I think my kids were inspired.   Actually I think I was too!
Anyway apart from the Lego exhibit, my kids also noticed the streets full of graffiti. Graffiti on the streets is something we don’t see where we live so my kids really loved it and thought is was really cool.  We even managed to tag along with a group taking a tour of the street art!
I think all around, you could say today was a day of getting back in touch with our creative side and appreciating art, and the different mediums out there.
Fortunately there are no rules in Art….  Nathan Sawaya (the logo artist)
hope you all had a lovely weekend too.


corner view–favorite plate

A dessert of course!!
a dear friend gifted me with this dessert one day.    It’s a Pavlova and it’s delicious! 
There was no specific reason why she brought it over for me and my family, except that she’s Australian and she knows that I love it.  It’s one of those desserts that just brings back memories of my days as a boarder in Australia.  I will always be grateful for those Australian families that took me in and cared for me like their own.  #forevergrateful 
You can find the recipe here, although with recipes there are many variations on the internet.  I’ve shared the one that I use.
For more corner views start at Fuoriborgo and tinywoolf

welcome…..come on in!

In all our years as renters we’ve never had a ‘landlord’ inspection.  And today was the first!!
_MG_0315It’s a good thing that yesterday was my ‘clean the house’ day and so today worked out just fine for them to come and do their inspection. 
It’s also been an positive thing that I’ve joined the community of ‘the January Cure’ over at the apartment therapy blog.
It’s been a good exercise for me.  I think there comes a point in time when one realizes that they have too much ‘stuff’  I think (I’m hoping anyway) that this is my year!!  I’ve accumulated ‘stuff’ with every move and now I have to purge.  it’s time to de-clutter.
Anyway Ravi, the guy who came and did the inspection gave me a thumbs up and said we were good tenants!!  I would hope so ………………..we are living in someone else’s house!!
p.s. check out the blog if you like and it’s never too late to join the January cure!!


no Monday morning blues here….


Today was a busy day.

Monday’s tend to be like that….around here.  But I think it’s the best way to start the week.  Ready to get through that list of things to do, and then to also clean up after a ‘no clean’ weekend!! 

And I like that!! 

Today as I went about crossing off that to do list I couldn’t help but feel thankful, just a joy in my heart….Can’t really say why, but one things is for sure….it’s a good feeling.

And no, not everything is perfect in my house or life, but there is a lot of things that I can be thankful for!!


these are old photos from Kazahkstan.  I miss the pretty white – but not the cold…


I’ve decided to start my list again.  I did this a couple or years ago but was not consistent and this time around I want to be. I think the practice of being thankful will somehow add so much more to my life…..…so here’s to a year of thankfulness.

here’s a few things I’m thankful for….

1.  my mum.  I miss here a lot and there are days that I wish I was closer to her, but to hear that she’s doing well and is well makes me happy.

2.  Free coffee.  Oh bless the girl at Starbucks who made my day and brewed 4L of coffee  for the parents at school.  We were blessed.

3.  meeting new people.  I love meeting new people.

4.  thankful that we don’t have snow, but I miss the beauty that comes with it.  I really do miss that blanket of white.  It’s gorgeous.

5. being able to all have dinner together.  doesn’t happen often and so when it does it’s a good thing.

6.  my children’s teachers and when they tell me good, positive things about my kids.

7.  a little bit of rain.  Yes, when it rains it’s not that cold….

I hope your week has started well.

sending warm hugs…………..


weekends are for……..

Saturday morning soccer, baking, a birthday party and buying flowers on the high street.

I hope yours was a relaxing weekend too.

 photo 2 (8)sat soccerphoto 1 (6)photo 5 (1)photo 1 (7)

warm hugs……………….


story of my life……

Trust me when I say that not all passports are created equal!!

I spend a lot of time at embassies, Consulates and Visa services!!.  There are times when I feel like I’m always gathering information to appease someone who will take a look at my visa applications and supporting documents and then decide whether or not to grant me a visa to enter their country.

Information like medical insurance, hotel accommodations, bank statements to prove that I can support myself during the trip, notarized marriage certificate, and birth certificates (and when your children have been born all over the place, that means a visit to 3 different embassies!!) and then other little stuff ‘depending on who is at the counter!!!

embassy 2Of course I understand the need to do this and the reasons behind it, but sometimes it gets frustrating!!  Frustrating cause I’ve seen the benefit of other passport holders.  Some passports allow you to fly into the country and they’ll grant you your visa on arrival – no checking of hotel accommodation, whether or not they have funds to support their trip, medical insurance and on and on.  All those things they ask from me, none of that gets checked….uggh

Anyway……excuse me for my rambling/ranting……it’s really not that bad,  just frustrating!!

Well we just went through the process and applied for a schengen visa and OMG the amount of information they asked for was kind of ridiculous….  But anyway we obliged and satisfied their every request!!!….and it was granted!! – Hooray!! 

Now we are all set for mid term break. That in itself is a small miracle for me, cause I’m so last minute at organising holidays!

Have a great weekend!!



corner view–twinkle

Wow, I have so many different things I could blog about today cause a lot happened.  From highs and lows to doing something spontaneous!!

But, I’ve been waiting for the return of CV so I can participate.  I know I’ve dropped in and out of this meme and hopefully I’ll be a little more committed, but I’m sure you’re sick of me saying that!!!!

Anyway, Corner View is a weekly gathering - each Wednesday hosted by Francesca and created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme.

This weeks theme is twinkle.

london NYE

London NYE

And with the start of a new year…. everything should be viewed with a little more twinkle and hope. 

And so my dear corner viewers here’s wishing your every days to twinkle and inspire!!


For more twinkling’s around the world start at Fuoriborgo and tinywoolf


Do you do lists?

I don’t but this year I’m most certainly going to. 

No it’s not a resolution, but a solution to make my life easier and or course when I can track my days easily it has a ripple effect!!

So for 2015, here’s to perfecting lists……and ticking them off at the end of the day!! (now that’s the hard part!!)


Well school starts tomorrow for my minions, and I already have a long list of to do/get done stuff.

I have enjoyed the festive season but now it’s time to really bring on the New Year and to seize each day I’m given with gratitude!!



good afternoon….I’m from darkest Peru!!!

hehehe,   No, I,m not from darkest Peru, but my son’s furry friend is.  And his name is Paddington.

photo 1 (4)

using his Christmas money to make one more purchase…

photo 2 (6)

I’m sure you’ve heard of him!!!

Anyway only 2 more days till my minions are back at school.  The holiday season is over and I’m ready (and in all honesty so are my kids),  ready to get back to routines, schedule and lists.

For the past 3 years we’ve always travelled during the Christmas holidays and this year it was different.  We didn’t rack up the miles in the air, we only made a trip to Scotland and then for most of the holidays we stayed in London.  it was different but London is so much more than just Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace and the London Eye….so much more and we’ve only just scratched the surface, actually we haven’t even made a dent.

I plan on exploring this vibrant city more.

I hope your start of the week has a smooth one!!


feeling happy…

Today I went to Refuse and Recycling Center. ( I wish I had taken photo’s!!)

Anyway, it made me H.A.P.P.Y.

OMG,  I can’t believe the way I felt as we were driving out of the place. 

Why so happy you may ask…..well I got rid of stuff!  Stuff that I’ve been holding onto since we unpacked our boxes.  Stuff that I was holding onto but not using or even liking. It was such an awesome feeling to ‘dump’ all that stuff and then turn my back and drive away.

I think I could get high on that feeling……

So here’s ‘feeling happy’ for my first step to clearing clutter and living simply this year!!

No it’s not a resolution, but maybe a solution to ‘happy living’!!

living happy

Hope you have all enjoyed your Sunday and are looking forward to the week!!



Happy Twenty Fifteen!

The calendar has turned and it’s a new year!!

Exciting Right…..


(this is an old photo – can’t say I miss the snow, but it’s still cold)

I love a new year and the many new opportunities it has available to me.  Another chance to refocus.  To start fresh, to turn that page and embrace that gift to “do life better”….

I feel that is really what it is, another opportunity to make better choice, renew relationships, even make new friends, try something new, go somewhere different, step out of our comfort zones!!

Oh ‘m excited, and I hope you are too.  Excited to start the new year in a positive direction.

Happy New Year friends……may everything good come your way and may you seize every good opportunity!