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Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Few Things About Italy..

I suppose I should write a sort of intro to who I am, how I met my husband and what this “Italy” thing is all about.  I suppose I should.  Someday.

I have been to some wonderful far away destinations in my life and I can tell you, whole heartedly, that Italy was never on my top list of places to go – this in itself may be a shock to some but I’ve always been more interested in the more rare countries.  Italy is on the doorstep, right? Plenty of time to go there.  When I met my husband I was kind of forced to go and forced to like it.

I remember the first time he took me to Venice and got really really mad because I was like.. “ooh, yeah, its nice”.  I met my husband the week after I had got back from travelling so I had been spoilt on Machu Pichu, Sugar Loaf Mountain and Ankor Wat.  Venice to me was a river after that.  He just didn’t get the anti-climax.

It’s been a journey this whole ‘liking Italy’ thing but I can say that I’m almost there.  I kind of miss it when I haven’t been there for a while. I’m starting to appreciate how tasty fresh vine tomatoes are and I can even tell the difference between a good and a bad olive oil.

There have, however, been a few things that I just find a bit odd about Italy and Italian people in general.  Let me tell you a few things that I have discovered:

They eat hotdogs and chips as a pizza topping

They eat ice cream in the winter

They never ever ever eat an apple with the peel on! No no no…

The eat salad at the end of a meal (this is supposed to aid digestion and they actually believe that!)

When you go for dinner at someone’s house, they serve it on plastic throwaway plates (I’m not sure if this is to save on the washing up given any dinner is made up of at least 10 courses!)

Men do actually wear pastel coloured trousers and socks

Everyone wears sunglasses no matter what the weather

All women use Femiwash, not normal shower gel, it HAS to be PH balanced (bothered?)

They actually use a bidet on a daily basis, for bum washing, not for soaking swimwear

They would rather sweat to death than use the aircon as they are terrified of catching a cold

No wonder Italy is a country known for its relics, they keep everything and don’t replace anything (My mother-in-law tried to pass down my husband’s baby clothes for my daughter..he’s 40, he’s male.. how does that even work?  It does in Italy, waste not want not!)

Everyone dresses the same: same fairy hooded puffa coats, same faux patent leather wedge trainers, same same same…

And last and most weird of all, they are totally obsessed with Hello Kitty!

I’m sure some of these are complete generalisations and may only affect those Italians that I’ve met, seen, known etc.  But seriously, hotdogs and chips on a pizza??! Weird!

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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Italia

 

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Friday Feeling…Booze

The Friday Feeling comes once a week

When Im oh so tired I cant even speak

But my Italian friend is there when I get home

A shot of Limoncello to soothe the soul!

Aaarrhhhhh… that’s better! x

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Italia

 

I’m an Artist’s Model…Kind of…

So you know when you’re looking at someone because they’re looking at you but you don’t want them to know you’re looking at them… still with me?….I caught a glance of him in the corner of my eye, arm shifting erratically across the page.  Either the guy a few rows down from me on the train was drawing me or he was suffering from a really bad episode of the shakes!!

Why would anyone get out a sketch pad, on a train and draw me? I kept watching.  His arm was going for it, swishing across and back again, the pen in full sway as though sketching. Sod it! I had to ask!

Just in case I’d gotten it totally wrong, I put on my ‘sorry to both you’ face, eyes slightly squinting, nose scrunched…”excuse me, can I ask? are you drawing me?”

You’ve never seen someones face light up! He was famous! He’d been recognised for his talents at last!

Erh, well, yeah, kind of.  I’m an artist

Can I see, only I’m getting off at the next stop

He turned over his pad – not even a sketch pad but a proper lined ring binder work pad.  The cheek of it…since when did I have a square jaw like that???! and the feet, he gave me garden spades for feet! The funniest thing is the dress…. I was wearing trousers and he put me in a dress!!!  Oh no, the best is the window in the background… that criss-cross thing you see… that’s a pylon!! hahahahaha

Why me? I always attract nutters!!  I don’t know how I kept a straight face, he looked so impressed with himself. The lady opposite him looked so intrigued but she could tell i was mortified.  I said to him, “aah, that’s great, can I take a picture of it to show my husband, he wont believe it”.  Dead right he wouldn’t believe it!

I cracked up laughing as soon as my spade feet hit the platform! God love him, the world would be a strange place if we were all the same.

Michael Angelo has nothing on this guy!

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in London

 

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Independents Day: Carrieles de Colombia

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that sometimes I daydream about starting my own business.  It’s the ‘what to do’ that holds me back.  I just don’t think I have an eye for niche spotting.  That doesn’t stop me being interested in others that do and most probably, I look to them for inspiration in the hope that one day my daydreaming will pay off and I’ll have a Eureka moment.

So when I discovered that Karen from All About the Boys was holding a new linky I had to get involved.  Independents Day is a once a month shout out to support hard-working independent businesses.  So rather than feeling like a small fish in a big pond, Independents Day is aiming to make a splash and help get these businesses the recognition we think they deserve.

I know a lovely lady who had a Eureka moment.  She’s smart, she’s gutsy, she’s determined.  She also happens to be one of my closest friends.

So without further ado, let me introduce Carrieles de Colombia, the brainchild of Becky, born and bred right here in Blighty, and her Colombian husband Mauricio. Having been to Colombia three times myself, it is with heartfelt joy that I write this post, not only to alert the world about these amazing bags but also about from where they come. Colombia is a total surprise and long gone are its woes of the past. Colombia stands for totally fabulous people, food, dancing and style. It’s on the up but it is such a shame that more people don’t venture there. Forget Milan, forget Rome, Colombia has a style that the world is yet to witness and that is why Becky and Mauricio have done a fantastic job of bringing a little bit of Colombia to the UK!!

Every woman likes handbags, right? Well, let me tell you, every woman will LOVE these!!  I remember clearly the day I saw Becky’s bag.  A few years ago, a bunch of friends met at Embankment to watch the Marathon and there, on Becky’s left hand, sparkling in the sun was a beautiful Colombian emerald and diamond ring.  Mauricio had proposed the night before.  Hanging off her hip was an unusually trendy, cool bag that I had not seen before, “Congrats on the bling but WHERE did you get that bag??!”…

And so it seems I wasn’t the first and I definitely wont be the last to ask.  It is because of this that in 2011, Carrieles de Colombia was born.

The bags find their inspiration from the Colombian Carriel.  Dating back to over 400 years the Carriel is believed to be a version of a European bag that the Spanish colonisers would have taken with them to Colombia.  Best of all (and I love this bit!), in keeping with Colombian folkloric tradition, all of the Carriel bags contain a secret pocket which is used to keep a love letter from a sweetheart.

Becky discovered the bags on a visit to Cartagena and loved them so much that Mauricio bought one for her directly from the producer. Since stepping off the plane back in the UK, she has continuously received comments about the bag. It was this that led the couple to contact the producer in Medellin to discuss importing the bags to the UK. As well as their range of handbags, Carrieles have also honed in on the need for a unnique and original iPhone cover – I for one will be getting myself one of these little darlings!

After a few design tweaks they received the first batch of samples. The producer of the Carriel had never provided such an order as all bags are handmade and extremely intricate in design, some consisting of colourful stitching, animal hide and all are made of the highest quality leather.

The latest fashion statement in Medellín, Cali and Bogota, Becky used her background in PR to drum up some awareness of the bags and the result has been amazing!

To date, Carrieles have had press coverage in magazines such as In Style, Grazia and Elle with more due in Marie Claire.  Lest not forget that no other than Fearne Cotton is the proud owner of a Dona Becky Carriel! This is an outstanding accomplishment given that both Becky and Mauricio still have full-time jobs. They are working hard to push the brand forward and are planning a few pop-up events across London later this year.

They remain undefeated against their challenges (dealing with Colombians who don’t know British markets, shipping, taxes, generating publicity and generally finding the time) and are absolutely committed and dedicated to the belief in their company.  I’m sure it wont be long until they literally, have it in the bag!!

For more information on Carrieles de Colombia you can visit them at:

Web: http://carriel.co.uk/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CarrielesdeColombia

Twitter – @Carrielseuk

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Reviews

 

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An Olive Branch

Now that the W word is well and truly a part of our new routine, weekends are all the more precious. Yesterday, I was just a tiny bit miffed to have wasted spent my morning “having words”!

Apparently my “demanding” character has become a tad “sensitive” so in a bid to “calm me down“, the Italian prepared a lovely picnic and took me and Bambina for a day out.

What was an “uugh” morning turned into a wonderful day especially when walking home we came across an olive tree.

Eerh looka at thisa!! Ia cannota believe ita, an olivea tree in the middlea ofa londona, witha reala olivesa!!!!!”

It’s the happiest I’ve seen the Italian in months! It’s amazing what the sight of an olive can do to a mediterranean persons mood!

As I turned around, he had launched half of his body into the tree! He leaned over the garden wall and began picking. “Don’t! You’ll get caught!!” I scorned at him. “Youa thinka I’m Gona leavea these ‘erea??” he mouthed in a whisper that in another life wouldhave been an almighty excited scream.  As I kept watch, he hurled copious handfuls of black olives into our picnic basket.

“‘Eh, ere..” he said handing me a scrawny twig. “Whats that?!” I replied, half scowling.

“C’maaan baby, it’sa an olivea branch!!”

And with that we skipped home merrily and lived happy ever after.

The’a End’a.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in London

 

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My Week That Was #12

Mummydaddyandmemakesthree always starts this linky on a sunday. That takes me right back to Mothers Day.

As much as I would love to relive it over and over again, I feel I may have exhausted the happenings of my first mothers day. So I will crack on with the rest of the week.

This week has tested our patience Internet wise. After massive ‘lack of Internet’ issues with Tesco Broadband, we decided to jump ship and join Virgin Media. Mistake!

They signed us up, took our money in advance and then postponed our connection by three weeks. This amount of time in the blogging world is like committing writing suicide.

Apparently Virgin Media are experiencing slower than usual signals due to overuse – what’s that you say Hussein Bolt?? Faster than lightning?? I think not!! An Internet speed of 0.3 isn’t even off the starting block! In fact, it’s so slow that if I would have stood in the street with my index finger in the air I’d have gotten a faster signal!!

Our very lovely and kind neighbours allowed us to sign on to their internet as was frothing at the mouth at the thought of not being able to ‘post’ for near on a month! God bless you Flat 1, you’ve spared my husband of a month of ear bashing!

And ear bash I did at Richard Brandon‘s minions. No wonder he’s sat on his island drinking piña coladas because he’s fleecing us normal people of our pennies knowing full well he can’t provide a service!

We’ll have it up and running on February 14th” they said.

Uh oh, slight delay, up and running by February 29th” the promised.

Oh er, technical hitch won’t be fixed until 22nd March, ever so sorry about that” they whined.

You know we said 22nd march.. What we actually meant was 24th May!!”

Are you taking the effing biscuit?? So like any good northerner would, I told them to sod off and we have taken our business elsewhere. Faster than lightening my arse!!

Also this week, on Thursday Bambina had her 7 to 11 month check and all went well . Apparently she has exceptionally long legs and will be really tall. I pray I have a supermodel on my hands, that or the next Olympic long jumper.

On Friday evening, Bambina and her daddy picked me up from the train station after a hard days graft. She had been with him all day and had very cleverly decided that whilst he was out at Tesco, she would show mummy her very first crawl!! Brazen as brass, right across the floor she went, looking back at me to make sure I hadn’t missed it. It was the highlight of my week!!

Also on Friday I became a proud member of the Mumsnet Bloggers and have a new shiny badge on my home page to prove it. I’ve also set myself up with a Google+ account and am actively seeking cyber mates – do add me otherwise I may get a complex.

To this end, on Friday when I saw that Mammasaurus was holding a “Hangout” (cyber chit chat get together) on Google+, I thought I would join in, you know, to show my face.

What I didn’t know was that when you sign up for the hangout, it automatically connects to the camera in your laptop. So I was sitting there in my bra, after just having fed Bambina, wondering why the light was flashing at me. Then I noticed a little not so pretty image of myself in the corner of the screen.

Oooh for the love of God, please tell me I haven’t just been ‘hanging out’ on the Internet in my bra!! Cue panic-stricken attack of the keypad.. Close close close close close… Phew, I hadn’t pressed “join”. My face wasn’t the only thing I’d have been showing to Mammasauras and her buddies!!

Saturday was chore day… Cleaning, Shopping… Yawn. In the afternoon we went to Greenwich park to enjoy the winderful sunshine and discovered a beautiful bed of daffodils.  Not one to miss a perfect picture moment, I immediately plucked Bambina from her pram and dumped her in the middle of the flowers execting to her sit looking pretty.  It would have been a cute photo if she hadn’t started bawling her eyes out and then munching the head off the first flower she grabbed!  Delicate she is, my little flower!

Lastly, Sunday started off a bit miserable but got progressively better. Me and his Lordship had a spat which was basically me throwing my toys out the pram but don’t tell him I said that!  Bambina was sluggish as her teeth are giving her a few issues. She didn’t want to leave my side all day, which of course, is always welcomed.

The week was rounded off nicely with a bit of inner city olive picking, a home-made pizza and a rerun of Britain’s Got Talent.

Such is my rock and roll lifestyle – tune in next week when I might have done something remotely interesting 🙂

Oh yeeeaaahhh… I almost forgot, I’ve signed up to attend the Save the Children UK Blogger and Vlogger conference in Camden!! My first event….watch me burn rubber after that! *wink* x

Oh, double oh yeeaah.. Im still struggling with putting funky pics on my blog – Note to self: do a course!!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in London

 

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Feel Good Friday #Feet

Friday is the longest day for me.  After a long hard week, on a friday evening my feet can’t carry me home quick enough.  I used to stay out until the wee hours, my feet danced to the beat until they throbbed and then froze to numbness on the cold pavement because they couldn’t bear the weight of my shoes any longer.  How Fridays have changed.

I owe a lot to my feet.  My feet took me around the world and back again.  My feet led me to my husband.  My feet lead me home to my daughter.

Bambina’s feet are yet to walk, yet to roam free but one thing I’m sure of is that when they do, they will always, always, walk back to me!

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in London

 
 
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