Melios’ zoo

DSC_0708DSC_0791DSC_0734DSC_0750DSC_0796DSC_0771
DSC_0779DSC_0784DSC_0762DSC_0743DSC_0804Is anyone else enjoying this absolutely fantastic weather? We knew Sunday would be a beautiful sunny day (thanks weather app!) so we made plans to take Georgie out for the day. We piled into the car and headed for a quick lunch before making our way to Melios Zoo just outside of Nicosia. I know its been a popular spot for families for years but for some reason our family had never been. Can I just say how pleasantly surprised we all were? The zoo is packed with thousands of colourful stunning birds that will make you marvel at nature and its ability to create such creatures while the hyenas, buffalos, zebras and kangaroos are definitely worth seeing. The grounds are clean, gorgeous and overflowing with trees, bushes and aromatic shrubs. There’s an impressive playground situated right next to a cafeteria so after our long walk around the zoo, we sat down for a cup of tea while Georgie played. Overall a day well-spent, thoroughly enjoyed by kids and grown-ups.

 

Admission fee: 3 euros for adults/ 2 euros for kids

Open all week except Mondays from 9:00 – 19:00 

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The Parent Hood// 07

DSC_0646It’s been a while since I posted some links. The Parent Hood, I have noticed, is popular here on the blog so I’m hoping to keep it strong this year. Here goes:

One of my favourite bloggers, Joanna Goddard, posted an awesome article about how to get kids to eat vegetables. Here, you’ll find some cool and simple tips to ensure no veggies are left on their plate.

Another link from A Cup Of Jo. This one is called 21 surprising parenting tips. Number 13  made me laugh so hard.

I absolutely loved this post by Handmade Charlotte. Not only does it contain tips on recycling different household materials, there are a number of DIY recycled crafts too.

If you’re based in Cyprus or know of our particular dialect, then you’ll love these t-shirts by my dear friend, Romeo Tees. You can choose from a massive range of designs for you and your little one.

Georgie has a new bedtime routine that includes yoga. Yoga is something I’ve been meaning to introduce Georgie to for quite some time. I discovered Cosmic Kids Yoga on You Tube and hope to include a post on how and why on the blog, very soon. Check it out, if you have 15 minutes to spare with your kids. Guaranteed fun.

My homemade chocolate bar

DSC_0670DSC_0684Three nights ago, papa was away on a business trip, Georgie was fast asleep and I could have killed for a piece of chocolate. But as most parents will know, once the kids are in bed and you are on your own, you’re trapped. You ain’t going nowhere. Not even for chocolate. So I did what any woman in need of chocolate (or addicted to it) would do: I went through every single shelf, cupboard and hiding place in the kitchen. Lo and behold, a paper bag of premium dark Belgian chocolate. My frantic search could have ceased right there but this was cooking chocolate and my mind began churning out ideas. Whatever I would do with this opportunity, it had to be quick (no brownies, which was what the bag of chocolate was intended for in the first place) and as low-cal as possible (no hot chocolate drinks or marshmallows involved).

I reached for a small bag of almonds I have in my handbag and that was that. Almonds covered in dark melted chocolate, spread out on a baking sheet and left in the freezer for an hour. My very own, handmade chocolate bar. Just the way I like it.

You can also spoon out bite-size pieces (obviously, it takes longer) and add anything else you like: raisins, seeds, berries. The list is endless.

A new year food resolution

_DSC1183One of my resolutions for 2013 was to stop throwing out food. Buying too much and ultimately forgetting about it is an awful habit and one that most of us are guilty of. Since moving houses, having a semi-organised kitchen and becoming more involved in cooking, I am aware of what I purchase and use. There is still room for improvement though and that’s why I get excited when I stumble upon food-saving tips. Simple and easy to do, some of these tips will save you money and others will add a natural healthy touch to your dishes.

Bring back the crunch: Cereal, crackers and crisps can be revived in the microwave with a couple of ten-second blasts. The same can be done with hard slices of cake or stale bread. Just make sure you wrap the latter in a damp towel before. I like to transform hard bread into croutons or breadcrumbs too. It is very easy. Just cut up the stale loaf and place in the oven with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and oil for the croutons or toss in a food processor for breadcrumbs.

Scrape your glass jars: You can make a delicious creamy salad dressing by adding olive oil, vinegar and various herbs to the last scrapings of a mayonnaise jar. Try it with pesto too. Nutella or a peanut butter jar can be filled with milk and shaken to create a drink.

Keep those veggies fresh: What I am most guilty of is tossing out veg that’s been forgotten in the fridge. When it comes to salad leaves, you should wash and place in a ziplock bag. But before you do that put a folded paper towel in the bag to absorb excess moisture and keep them fresh for longer. You should also wrap cucumbers in plastic and celery in foil paper to maintain its crunch. Since it is not airtight like cling-film it allows ethylene, the gas that causes fruit and veg to rot, to escape. This is also one of the reasons why you should never store fruit and veg together. The levels of ethylene can prematurely ripen whatever is close by.

Freeze your bananas: Overripe ones can be used to make banana bread, muffins or cookies. Otherwise, chop them up and put them in the freezer for smoothies and/or ice-cream.

Ice cube trays are good to have: If I’m making a soup with veg or chicken, I always spoon some into ice cube trays and place them in the freezer. I use the little blocks as stock in various dishes. However, there’s one excellent way to include fresh herbs too. Just chop them up, mix with olive oil or melted butter and freeze. You can also do this with wine, red or white. When added to stews or sauces, the result is very good. Just remember when doing this: the more veg and flavour, the better.

 

Based on an article published by the Daily Mail. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odd ends

DSC_0205DSC_0917DSC_0044DSC_0024DSC_0160DSC_0100DSC_0011DSC_0552DSC_0521DSC_0026DSC_05711. We spent a majority of our holidays preparing for a very exciting home project we’re involved in. More to come in a few months.

2. A Christmas baptism.

3. I am absolutely loving my new camera lens.

4. Unfortunately not everyone knows how to use it. An out of focus photo of me on Christmas Night.

5. A walk through my parents’ house is always a good idea. Forgotten in a corner, a lava lamp from the 70s.

6. Grandparents.

7. Santa brought Georgie a big-boy bed. ‘It reaches the sky’, he said.

8. White rooftops in the village of Kyperounda.

9. He was watching Elvis: That’s the Way It Is and tuning his little guitar. Am I living in a dream?

10. Posing with aunt Soula and his new red converse sneakers.

11. Troodos mountains.