Wednesday, 31 December 2008
So I haven't forgotten but I do know that from now on it will be a little harder to keep this up to date... so I apologize in advance. But know that I will be here as soon as I can to get all the latest rants up, to chat about any new Disney songs I stumble across, to document some of my runs and of course to update you on the new human that I'm working on right now.
Until then, have a happy 2009 - may all your dreams come true! Catch you on the flipside...
Friday, 12 December 2008
In Epcot, the
To be fair, there are a number of shows and events at the pavilion, the ones I can remember are the ‘living statues’ and the ‘Renaissance players’ (is that what they are called?). I think there once was an Italian musical group performing there too but I’m not sure. In any case, I think that this pavilion could do with a bit more to try and convey the richness of the country…
Confession time: even though I’ve lived in Europe for over 10 years, it took me a long time to actually visit any part of
The clean, orderly and civilized view that we get of
Next summer we are spending a week in
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Okay, another one of these 'games' that I generally ignore but this one was a little different. I'm not tagging anyone so if you fancy playing along, please do!
1. Put your iTunes on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag 10 friends who might enjoy doing the meme as well as the person you got the meme from.
If someone says “is this okay” you say?
Colors of the Wind – from Pocahontas
Not a great start… this just doesn’t make sense!
What would best describe your personality?
Las chicas no tienen pilila – Los Inhumanos
Not much sense here either (this means “girls don’t have…” you know!) but I guess it does describe me at least.
What do you like in a guy/girl?
El 7 de septiembre – Mecano
While I do tend to like guys that have birthdays in September, I can’t make much sense out of this one either.
How do you feel today?
Cruela de Vil – from 101 Dalmatians
Okay this one does make sense! And while I don’t think I’m in such a wicked mood today, this also proves that I have a lot of Disney music on my MP3 player.
What is your life’s purpose?
The flying circus – from The Rocketeer
Hmm… I wouldn’t say my life’s purpose is a flying circus but it does have some sort of sense, in a surreal way… I do like this piece though and is one of my more obscure Disney themes
What is your motto?
Reach – Gloria Estefan
“If I could reach higher, just for one moment touch the sky, for that one moment in my life I’m gonna be stronger. Know that I tried my very best, put my spirit to the test…” not a bad motto!
What do your friends think of you?
Girls on Film – Duran Duran
Literally I am not a ‘girl on film’ but the song always reminds me of the raunchy video and YES my friends probably think of me that way!
What do you think about very often?
Play – J Lo
Do I think about playing very often? I haven’t noticed but this is an interesting answer to the question. Maybe I should!
What is 2+2?
Gastame – Neon
Makes absolutely zero sense but at least the song makes some sort of numerical sense…? (it means ‘spend me’ in case you don’t speak Spanish)
What do you think of your best friend?
Never had a dream come true – S Club 7
This one is spooky – I do indeed think of my best friend every time I hear this song!
What do you think of the person you like?
Fastlove – George Michael
I guess it could fit, if only for the fact that both of us love George and actually love this song.
What is your life story?
(“If you could see how much it hurts to lose your love, with your goodbye you take my heart…”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Lia – from Hoy no me puedo levantar
Another one in Spanish! I love the lyrics of this song and sorry but I won’t translate as they just don’t work as well in English: “Liame a la pata de la cama, no te quedes con las ganas, de saber cuanto amor nos cabe de una sola vez.” Not sure it’s what I want to be when I grow up but it’s a great image!
What do you think when you see the person you like?
Bet on it – HSM2
I wondered if any of my High School Musical songs would turn up! Ironically, it’s my least favourite out of the whole lot but I guess it does sort of answer the question…
What do your parents think of you?
Heaven in your eyes – Loverboy
No they don’t think I’m heaven! Probably quite the opposite…
What will they play at your funeral?
Thriller – Michael Jackson
I do like this song but is it a bit weird for a funeral… or strangely suitable?
What is your hobby/interest?
Singin’ in the Rain – Mint Royale
While I certainly do not like rain and would not sing in it, I happen to love the film and the whole musical genre so maybe it is one of my interests.
What is your biggest secret?
Waiting for that day – George Michael
Another spooky one, because it does fit… and it’s of course a secret so I’m not saying how!
What do you think of your friends?
And literally, that’s what they are – kids at heart that (mainly) live in the American continent. Good one!
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Here and now – Steps
Wow, that’s a bit harsh. I can definitely say that here and now is NOT the worst that could happen.
How will you die?
1973 – James Blunt
Huh? It’s a bit late for that now… !
What is the one thing you regret?
Any other world – Mika
Not making an awful lot of sense here either but I have few regrets anyway.
What makes you laugh?
Shut up and drive – Rihanna
Another one that makes cero sense…
What makes you cry?
Funnily enough, I did cry once when I went on
Will you ever get married?
It’s gotta be you – Backstreet Boys
As I’m married already, I guess this makes as much sense as it can
What scares you the most?
Fabulous – HSM2
Another High School Musical song and another one that I don’t rate highly! But I am certainly not scared of fabulousness.
Does anyone like you?
She’s always a woman – Billy Joel
One of my all time favourite songs and I hope it means that people do like me.
If you could go back in time, what would you change?
Suddenly I see – KT Tunstall
“This is what I want to be, suddenly I see why the hell it means so much to me”. Sort of works right?
What hurts right now?
(You drive me) Crazy – Britney Spears
Doesn’t make much sense but I guess if I was hurting it would be driving me crazy…
What will you post this as?
Hold on – Take ThatIt works as a title I guess and if you’ve read this far then now you know why the title of this posting was so weird!
Friday, 5 December 2008
So I'll keep it short and celebrate Walt's birthday by sharing one of my favorite (and less known) quotes with you:
"All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them."
I hope that at least one of your dreams comes true today!
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
For a while now I have had an idea: why not contrast my experience of the countries in World Showcase with my experience of the real countries? I have visited enough of them to make this relatively interesting… and I even thought that this might make a good scrapbook album but it would make an even more interesting series of blog posts.
So we start today, rather arbitrarily, with
I seriously can’t remember the first time I went to EPCOT but it was fairly early on – it opened in 1981 and I do recall that we went in 1986 (to celebrate my 15th birthday!) and I had already been before so let’s say I probably went through those turnstiles in 1983. I remember being dazzled by the architectural varieties as well as the unique shopping and even some of those movies. It definitely was love at first sight and EPCOT quickly became my favourite park.
Some years later I applied and was accepted as an International Representative and I had the chance to work in WDW from 1995 to 1996. My main role was as an attractions and merchandise hostess in the Mexico pavilion but I did get the chance to pick up some overtime in other pavilions. I also spent a lot of my free time in the parks and I became very familiar with the ins and outs of Epcot. So I guess you could say I know this park intimately and World Showcase in particular as this was ‘my office’ for over a year!
In 1994 I had the opportunity to travel to
During my time as cast member I explored the French pavilion a lot more and discovered all those nooks and crannies – and ate at most of the restaurants! I can honestly say that the Bistro serves the best bread in all of Epcot and that the perfume shop ("Plume et Palette") has the most delicious and decadent perfumes in there. I delighted in knowing that it was just like being in
When the Flower and Garden Festival is on, the pavilion usually has a display of various plants and flowers that are used in the creation of some of the most famous Guerlain perfumes. It is a very interesting display and one that led me to switch to this brand instead of what I was using before (and I remain a Guerlain devotee to this very day, so don’t tell me that experiential marketing doesn’t work!)
As you know I eventually married a Brit and moved to the
So while the French pavilion is very reminiscent of
Friday, 28 November 2008
For example, I have the charmingly named “restless legs syndrome” which basically does exactly that. Every evening, when I’ve finally finished all my chores and jobs and I sit down to watch some TV and relax, my legs (in particular my left leg) have other ideas. It is very difficult to describe but basically I can’t just sit there without moving my legs and every minute or so I have to keep wiggling, moving and shaking my legs. Very, very annoying and nothing I can do about it.
I’ve also got some weird cravings. Last time I was pregnant I didn’t really crave anything (but I did consume masses of cucumbers and banana nut muffins). However, I kinda knew that those cravings were not really for real ones and I chose to act upon them. This time around, things are different. I really crave terracotta clay – to eat. The feeling came over me one day, out of the blue, and ever since I can’t stop thinking about it. There is a name for the condition: geophagia and while it’s nice to know that I am not going crazy, again I am involved in some strange behavior and can do nothing about it.
You may have deduced from these two symptoms that I could have anaemia and you would be right. A recent blood test confirmed that I am slightly anaemic which isn’t completely unexpected as I am vegetarian. But getting the diagnosis wound me up as the solution is obviously iron supplements, but these have rather unpleasant side effects. So I’m trying to manage it with diet and I can only hope that it works.
Of course my growing shape also brings with it a few issues like making me waddle, making me look like some deformed creature and making it very hard to get comfortable when in bed. I already had issues with my looks a few months ago and getting bigger isn’t helping at all – so I’m avoiding mirrors, cameras and anyone that dares to say “wow, you certainly are coming along!” Oh, and anyone that uses the word “bump” when referring to me or any part of my body.
So basically I am now a deformed, angry, restless, tired, hormonal woman that likes to eat clay… nice. I am getting pretty bored with the whole thing by about now and would love very much to go back to my normal body, the one I can control. The only thing that keeps me from going crazy is knowing that, no matter how weird and boring things are right now, they are SO much easier than living with a newborn baby.
It is only then that I will realize how little control I have over my life… I think I’d rather eat clay.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Although I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as they do over in the
I’m grateful that my family and I are healthy and well. It’s so easy to forget that not everyone is so lucky and that we take health for granted most of the time.
I’m grateful for my friends, both near and far, because I think that whenever I need someone to talk to I can usually find someone. I am also grateful for the tools that make it possible for me to easily be in touch with people that are physically very far (or that I’ve never met!) but are close to my heart.
Almost every day I give thanks for my son, who is (most of the time); a very good boy and I know that he will go far. I hope his sister has the same sweet disposition and gentle personality (or at least isn’t a screaming diva, gosh how I’m dreading that!)
I’m thankful because we seem to be doing okay even with all this talk of economic meltdown all over the place. We made some lucky choices a little while ago and that appears to be working out just fine.
I’m very grateful to be able to make my own choices and be free. I’m thankful for a happy life and my two amazing boys. I’m thankful for being happy and to sometimes be able to make others happy.
I’m thankful for peanut butter sandwiches, weekend lie-ins and fresh flowers. I’m thankful for kind words, chocolate brownies and pepperoni pizzas. I’m thankful for being able to express my creativity by making pretty things or writing in this blog. I’m thankful for the chances I get to run outside in the sunshine, which gives me energy and an excuse to buy more running skirts.
I’m grateful to have experienced some amazing places in my life and for the hope that I will get to know some more in the future. I’m thankful for being who I am and for the memories I have made along the years.
In short, I am very thankful for all those things that make up my life.
Monday, 24 November 2008
For a few months now a combination of factors has meant that I have been taking fewer photos than I used to. Probably the main factor is that as I get bigger, I am less and less inclined to be around a camera, in case anyone dares take a photo of me.
A lesser factor is that my camera has taken a few knocks and is slightly limiting so often I am a little disappointed with the eventual results. I have also not had many occasions where I’d want to take photos, but that is a lame excuse as I used to take photos of ANYTHING before. So it’s mainly issues with laziness, perceptions of me and the camera.
The end result boils down to a lot fewer photos than I used to take, which means that I am even more caught up with the scrapbooking stuff. I even made an album before I went away a few weeks ago, so that I would only need to insert the photos in it! I have noticed that my card making time is also increasing as I satisfy that creative streak in me.
So why did I spend a fortune in stash today?
I know that I don’t really need it but I did anyway. Well, I sort of do… you see, I’m starting to plan the new baby album and as I know we’ve got a girl coming, I need to stock up on the pink stuff. But don’t panic, I didn’t go too pink, after much search I settled on the Infuse collection from Basic Grey (there’s another thing, I RARELY buy BG so I really must be losing my mind) and then bought bits and pieces to match so that I can put an album together.
You see, when Samuel was born I had about three projects on at once: a pregnancy journal, a new baby book and a whole album just about him. I knew that if I ever had a second I would never be able to so this much work again but I also wanted to avoid the “second child thing” where there’s hardly any photos of that second child around. I just thought it was so unfair so I’m trying to redress that inevitable misbalance somehow. So a baby girl album seemed a fair thing to do and once that’s completed then we will revert to ONE album for the whole family which is what I do now and I find it works best for me.
When I’m going to find time to do this all is something I yet have to work out but at least I now have the stash to get busy with. And maybe I need to get a new camera…
Thursday, 20 November 2008
This is a beach near Bournemouth (UK) in August:
Note the grey skies (remember, this is August!), it was actually chilly enough that day for me to be sitting on the beach with a sweater on. It was very crowded as this was the last weekend of summer holidays so people were determined to get out regardless of the grim weather. Also notice those brightly colored windbreaker things: such a weird thing! My thoughts are, if you need those things you shouldn’t be sitting outside…
It didn't deter people though - some children were even swimming in the ice-cold seas and of course you can see all these people sitting out in what is pretty ugly weather. This part of Dorset has some of the few beaches in the UK that actually have sand so at least it was soft to sit on, and not on pebbles which is more common. But the beach is pretty small and everyone is crowded on a very tiny space: imagine what it's like on a NICE day!
But anyway, compare this to a photo of
It isn’t very busy because it was a mid-week day in November (and I purposefully took the photo to try and avoid people in it). The weather was gorgeous but still a bit windy for Southern Florida standards, because of Hurricane Paloma that was whirling out in the
If ever there was a better visual way to explain why it is that I find the
Now why did I go and post this today? It’s only made me feel worse… I guess I am a little homesick. It’s going to be a long time before I feel any warmth on my skin that doesn’t come from a radiator and before I get to sit out in the sun and not freeze.
I need to book a holiday soon. Before I burst into tears, ideally.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Today is Mickey Mouse’s 80th birthday. On November 18, 1928 “Steamboat Willie” (incidentally, the first short with synchronous sound) debuted at The Colony Theater in NYC. He’s of course gone on to become one of the most famous (if not THE most famous) animated characters as well as the icon for The Walt Disney Company and appears on countless tons of merchandise all over the world.
On a more personal note, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have some sort of Mickey Mouse item around me. Even my nursery (which of course I didn’t decorate personally!) had Mickey Mouse images and from that moment on I guess this little mouse and I were lifelong friends. Even though I have gone on to know and love many other Disney characters, it is Mickey that has always remained my favorite (and the one always on my watch, my earrings and/or my necklaces!)
Thursday, 13 November 2008
I was sitting on this very beach yesterday, looking out at the sea, enjoying the breeze and feeling the sun on my skin...
I'm back in the UK now and needless to say the view isn't as nice (or warm) as this. I'm very tired, very jetlagged, very depressed by the weather here but cheered up by the memories of a brilliant week in Miami. Even though I always hate to leave when I'm on holiday, it's not because I don't want to come home and this time I really missed my boys so in a way, I'm also happy to be back.
I just wish it was at the very least sunny!
Monday, 3 November 2008
Tomorrow is a big day for the
I personally hope (probably like most of
So if you can – VOTE. It's not every day that you get to choose what the new animatronic figure will look like in a Disney attraction.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
The best bit is the section where you can upload a photo of yourself and then 'devolve' it to see what you would have looked like a few thousand (or million) years ago. This is me as a rather attractive Homo erectus:
Friday, 24 October 2008
Journaling is what takes your place when you can’t be around and tell the story in person.
I’m glad to see that so many manufacturers are bringing out more and more products that should make journaling easier (I particularly like those little labels that you can journal on and then simply stick onto a layout) but sometimes it seems that journaling is taking a further step back in scrapbookers’ minds.
Wherever I look, I find layouts that have absolutely no journaling on them at all. Sure, they look very nice but I am none the wiser as to who is in the photo, why, what they are doing, anything at all! I also think this is more of a British thing as people from this side of the world find it harder to share their feelings… but not ALL journaling is about emotion either. Sometimes it’s just about the main questions: Who, when, where, what, why.
A lot of the journaling in magazines (mainly those from the USA) have journaling that is more about emotions and while that is great, I think it sometimes puts off the more restrained Brits and, because they think that this is what journaling is about, it makes them uncomfortable and just don’t do it at all.
Maybe it’s time we went back to basics: there is nothing wrong with recording the main facts about an event or a photo and recording those! Sometimes even just having the date on a layout would be enough and a lot of people don’t even do that.
Like much else in the world of scrapbooking (and the world in general), people aspire to the glossy images on pages of magazines and then feel inadequate if their layout doesn’t look as perfect as those do, with carefully crafted words worthy of an expensive copywriter and with photos just like the ones the professionals take. So much perfectionism can put people off, which is really sad.
So let’s not forget the basics – and get those journaling pens out!
Thursday, 9 October 2008
I did something this week that I hadn’t done in a very, very long time – I logged on to a scrapbooking website and bought something! Not only have I not purchased anything from a scrapbook shop (online) in a good long time, I hadn’t even gone on to any sites just to browse. I just didn’t feel the need to!
What prompted this purchase was also real need – I am going to a scrapbooking retreat this weekend and I was nearly out of adhesive so I had to order some online. Sure, while I was there I had a little look at the shop but ended up buying some more, practical, things like post extenders (which I also need) and a cardstock pack for a specific project I’ll be working on.
It’s been about two years since I decided to stop buying scrapbooking stuff ‘just because it’s there’ and focused more on using what I have. It was a little hard at first (although I have always struggled to spend hundreds in stash at one time) but now it’s become second nature, so much that I don’t even visit scrapbooking sites anymore. I am also very lucky that at our monthly all-day crop we have a lovely shop so I can always browse there – even though I rarely buy anything.
Once I was in the shop site and found my adhesive, I thought I’d have a little look around to see what was new and pretty, what would catch my eye, what would make a nice, indulgent treat. I found nothing. It’s not the shop’s fault because they have fantastic selection (and shipped my order really, really quickly so I had it in time for the weekend) so it must be me. Lots of things looked very pretty but not my style or too messy or too expensive or too fiddly or just too weird. Who comes up with these things? Are they designed to look pretty in the package so that you buy them, but then unusable?
I’ve said this before – scrapbooking is more about commerce and marketing these days and some of the ranges available are just gorgeous to look at but not really practical or usable or fit in with my personal style. I guess my style is now not fashionable and I must work around with what’s available.
Besides, I don’t actually NEED all that stuff! I shop once a year, stocking up on patterned paper and a few embellishments and then spend the rest of the year trying to use it up. It works for me, for my economy and for my sanity – I would go crazy trying to store all that stuff in the very limited space I have!
I still very, very much enjoy scrapbooking (as long as I’m not in the photos these days, ugh) and am really looking forward to the weekend when I can scrap to my heart’s content, chat with my friends, enjoy some lovely meals and some ME time (including a nice brisk walk in my new running skirt) and hopefully come back with a couple of finished projects. I have enough stuff to more than cover my needs for the weekend so I don’t need to buy anything else!