Thursday, 29 August 2013

Malta part ii

Welcome to the second post about Malta which will feature very few words and a lot of pictures of good ol' H2O. Really, this is basically not a post about Malta, just sea.

The one thing that I actually wanted to do was to visit Comino, a little island between Malta and Gonzo. Apparently there's basically no people who live on this island, apart from a priest and three more. And Cast Away was filmed there. For some reason that's all I needed to hear. (Because it seemed plausible that the island would be empty but Tom Hanks would still be sitting there with Wilson, waiting for me.)

Steve somehow managed to convince me that we'd be better off taking a boat tour that travel around several lagoons and then stops at Comino for a couple of hours. He's a smart man, that Steve.

Unfortunately the boat was completely full and so the company offered to take us and another twenty people on board a little speedboat. Obviously I counted the number of passengers on the boat and we were most definitely over the limit. But no one else said anything, so I played it cool. I can risk my life just like everyone else.

The lagoons had ridiculously clear, turquoise water. It was made for picture taking.

But the caves were dirty. (This may have been Smuggler's Cave.)

Elephant's head, some random girl's head and the Santa Maria Caves.

A port in Gonzo that I can't remember the name of but it was cute. And I liked the little boats too, it reminded me of Croatia. (I kept getting weird smell-sensations, a mixture between memories from the coast by Croatia and also sometimes Saudi-Arabia. Weird.)

The Blue Lagoon at Comino was, as promised in every brochure, stunning. When I took this picture I actually tried capturing the many fish that swam about but that wasn't possible.

What the brochures didn't tell you was that there was a lot of tourists. Like a lot. So many that there was no space left on the beach or the cliffs to actually sunbathe and instead we just stayed on the boat and went into the water from there. Even the water was cramped a lot of the times. (How can a sea be cramped?!)

It was obviously still pretty to look at. (We couldn't swim out further than the people are in that picture because of boats that were constantly coming in and out of the lagoon.)

After three hours we left Comino and the water was beautiful in the soft late afternoon light.

Crystal Lagoon. I wish we could have stopped here for swimming instead, it was almost empty of people.

The last night before leaving Malta we walked around in Mellieha after dinner and just enjoyed looking at the buildings and the people. I especially liked the church, its courtyard and the funky streetlights that were everywhere. Not to mention that because Mellieha is situated on a hill and the church is at the very top there was an amazing view. Overall I had such a great time in Malta and I'd love to go back some day in the future.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Malta part i

If you know me on Facebook (and you probably do), you will already have seen these photos. But I'm gonna post them again just in case you haven't and/or require more in-depth explanations of each photo. 

We arrived late at night to our hotel which was not the fanciest place ever, but clean and that's really all I require from my sleeping quarters. This was the rural view from our balcony the next morning. I had requested the land view because of the apparent noisy road that plagued the sea view rooms. I am nothing but an avid researcher and reader of other people's reviews before I go on holiday.

We spent nearly every night at the rooftop pool, which had a clear sign that said "no inflatables" and "no balls". They might as well have said "a limited number of children", which is great for us young (hip) couples. Also, on the Sunday when this photo was taken it was quite busy but the remaining days it was a lot more calm.

Apparently there was also some kind of feast going on in the town, Mellieha. I asked one of the receptionists and she said that they were celebrating a saint, which apparently warrants parades like this throughout the town. Plus fireworks. There was also food stalls and local crafts being sold (but nothing that I could ever afford).

We went to the beach one day which was crowded on land but a lot more pleasant in the water. Steve fell asleep with his feet lying in a sunny spot and ended up burning every part of his feet that weren't covered by sandy patches. His feet now look like modern art, splotchy and colourful. (And so painful.)

One night Steve convinced me to go to a Mexican restaurant. (Who goes to a Mexican restaurant in Malta?! Only Steve.) I had started developing an unhealthy obsession with ice tea because it reminded me of drinking ice tea in Saudi Arabia during my childhood (where it, coincidentally, is also very hot). Anyway, the beef burrito that I had was fine but the view was stunning.

I tried Maltese fried rabbit one night at a restaurant. It was tasty and contrary to many others I seem to have no qualms when it comes to eating cute animals. Until I lifted what I'm fairly certain was the rabbit's rib cage and suddenly I felt quite queasy. 

During one of our days we were suddenly surprised by a thunderstorm. Steve wanted to stay by the pool but I did not feel like risking death so we went downstairs and ate the most amazing American-style pancakes while we were waiting.

The thunderstorm was over in a few hours and we went back to the pool. This is the view over the bay from the rooftop pool. The second part of Malta (featuring lagoons. Loads of lagoons) will be posted later this week!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Week 34 - malta

Pictures from my Instagram.

It's been a while since my last Sunday update post, which is weird. I feel like I've been quite vigilant with my Sunday posting the past few months (because I'm a sad person who enjoys going back and reading updates on my life from March) but as it is, this will be my second and last Sunday post of August. Obviously it can be blamed on work and holiday - two quite enjoyable distractions from blogging.

I arrived home from Malta late last night and even though I hadn't eaten at that point for over twelve hours due to flight delays and then everything being closed when we arrived at the airport (where we waited for another 1,5 hours) I still unpacked most of my bag and did some laundry when we arrived home shortly after 1am. It was as if I had been gripped by some kind of holiday-hating demon. Not really, but do you also feel the urge to remove everything that has anything to do with your holiday and get settled back in when you've been away? I do the same with nights out; I've been out, I had a great time but as soon as I come home I throw my clothes in the wash and pretend like nothing ever happened. Today I continued driving out the Holiday and now I feel better than ever. As if I've squeezed out every last drop of summer spirit and now I'm ready for autumn. I bloody love autumn.

Malta was great. It seems ridiculous that I even have to say so because look at those pictures. It was hot but yet there was plenty of shade so that our pale bodies weren't constantly on fire. The food was nice and it was easy to have a decently priced meal each night. I finished all three of my books and I will write my amateur opinions of them at some point in the near future, I promise. There will be more pictures as well over the next week and more talk about Malta. Those posts will be the real "weekly update" - this really is just a post to summarise my current state. (Content, sleepy and in my regular couch-position.)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

10 reasons to smile 16.0

I am currently in Malta and obviously I'm not spending my holiday blogging from my iPhone. I'm not that crazy. Scheduled post, hooray!

Image found here via Pinterest.

one - If all goes as planned I am currently on a holiday that I have been looking forward to since February. I promise to show lots of pictures when I get back.

two - Working again is so good, not just because it's nice to be doing something but because I always seem to get the greatest colleagues.

three - A couple of great things are happening in September. Well, pretty good at least.

four - I bought three new books that I brought with me to holiday and I can't wait to get stuck into them.

five - I have been working out regularly now for several months and I can really feel a huge change, fitness-wise. Especially since I can now do the FitnessBlender workouts even if they're on difficulty level 4 which would never have been possible before I started running. (Don't get me wrong - I'm still exhausted after them.)

six - The past week I have been driving every morning and evening in order to get to the car park and driving doesn't seem nearly as scary anymore.

seven - It's almost autumn and there's nothing I like better than the months leading up to Christmas. I like the anticipation more than actual Christmas. (Are you surprised to hear that I've already started making notes on Christmas gifts for others?)

eight - I've been making an effort to be slightly healthier the past few weeks, mainly by halving the amount of starchy products that I eat and instead adding vegetables. So good.

nine - Back when I still had free time I decided to start reading X-Men comics. Why not?

ten - I'm looking forward to getting into the swing of working full-time again, so that I get used to working as well as actually having fun on my free time. (And also learn how to survive on less than 9 hours of sleep each night.)

Friday, 16 August 2013

Packing frenzy over

It's been a while. I certainly didn't mean for several days to pass without me writing anything whatsoever, but life has been hectic because 1) I've been working and working is seriously exhausting. I'm in awe of everyone who works full-time. (It's also really fun and I love it.) 2) I've been packing because tomorrow we go to Malta! Between that and the regular chores + exercise + the occasional time spent with Steve I've been quite busy. I'm now pretty much done with the packing and today is the first time for almost a week that I've had time to just sit down and enjoy reading blogs and watching Youtube (and during the week I was gone entire Youtube seems to have gotten pregnant. What happened there?)

As you can see the weather is fairly decent in Malta at the moment, according to BBC Weather. The plan is to arrive at our hotel, get ourselves to the pool and then slowly melt away over the next few days. The perfect ending to a summer.

P.S. I'm going to paint another coat of nail polish and then I'm going to write a post because I feel like writing more. BUT, for the sake of being fancy, it'll be posted when I'm away. High-tech.

Thursday, 8 August 2013


First things first: I'll be working tomorrow! And then for a little longer! It's at the same place as I worked last August/September which is nice because that means that hopefully I'll remember most of the stuff from last year. I'm not gonna talk more about work here because... It's the internet. It's all well and good for me to discuss what I eat every minute of the day but some things are best kept private. I don't think I need to explain more.

All images found on my Pinterest.

The best thing about working in an office (apart from the fact that you finally get to pay your bills and afford food etc) is office wear. I know a lot of people dread the words "smart casual", but if I got to decide the entire world would be smart casual. It's the best. At least at my workplace where they definitely lean more towards the casual side of things. Casual smart casual, one might call it (but never ever denim). I cannot wait to pull out all my loose tops and pencil skirts (all of the... one pencil skirt that I own).

Also, crisp white shirts under sweaters as soon as we get into September?! Yes. And I cannot wait to find a pair of more formal printed trousers that are work-appropriate. I'm not entirely sure that other workplaces would allow printed trousers and skirt even when it's a dresscode as vague as smart casual (an older job of mine would be an example) but I saw plenty of prints when I worked at this place last year. Even printed shorts, although I seriously doubt I'm ready to take that step. I can't wait. For less casual "smart casual", I love this and this pin.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Prepping for holiday: An ode to spreadsheets

My previous 'prepping for holiday' post was mainly just a reason for me to discuss the latest things I've purchased. This is not the case for the current blog post. In fact, the reason for this post's existence is because I did not want to buy more things. And also because spreadsheets is the true love of my life.

You see, when I thought about what to wear on holiday I was immediately filled with a sense of horror and I drew the immediate conclusion that I have nothing to wear. This is not true! I may not be wearing outfits bought purely for the intention of being worn on a sunny beach in a foreign country but that's okay. Instead I decided to actually think. What kind of outfits do I have that suit hot weather? How can I mix them up so that I don't have to buy huge amounts of  new clothes?

As you can see, this list is not complete. I still haven't figured out what to wear on top my first Saturday night. (Maybe this is the true sign that I'm allowed to make one clothing related purchase.) I realised that there is no point in looking like I'm ready to attend prom during the day when I'll just be walking between the pool and the hotel room. Better keep it simple. Also that I can wear some clothes both day and night depending on what I pair it with (see crochet dress and lace shorts). This way I make the most of my closet rather than buying loads of silky holiday clothes with giant banana leaf prints that I will never wear again. (The outfit I just described is in fact a jumpsuit from Topshop that I secretly want.)

I also realise that this may seem like a huge amount of clothes to other people and although I love streamlining everything that I pack (and originally I wasn't even planning on bringing hold luggage) I do happen to have plenty of space. Enough to allow myself to wear a lot of different outfits. If I did have to streamline this packing list I would cut out about half of the clothes and just give them a rinse halfway through and then let them dry in the sun. Secondly, this is by far the largest list. I have a separate spreadsheet for my makeup (divided into skincare, makeup, hygiene and hair) and one for the rest (which only contains seven items, three being books).

If I did allow myself to a little bit of holiday shopping, I'd buy a dressy, black playsuit that can be worn when going out (like this one... Aaaah.) and a bag that can be used both as a beach/pool bag as well as hand luggage. Like this one. Maybe a tiny bit smaller... Also, I don't want to be dishonest. I did have make a few clothing purchases, such as the bikini, swimsuit, flipflops and shorts. But they were all totally necessary.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Week thirty-one - food food food

You may notice that I'm starting to struggle with my titles.

Images from my Instagram.

You may remember from last week's update that I had gone out running on the Saturday and a FitnessBlender cardio workout on Sunday. For no reason at all I then continued with my exercising throughout the entire week. On Monday I ran, on Tuesday I did pilates, on Wednesday I did another FitnessBlender cardio workout (a longer one than the Sunday one though), pilates on Thursday and then I ran again on Friday. Safe to say, I was exhausted when the weekend came around (I don't think I have ever exercised every day for a full week, ever). Not only that but I also started eating much more healthily this week as evidenced by my previous food post. 

Obviously it didn't last long. On Thursday I went to a girls' night in and watched Warrior while eating pizza and copious amounts of sweets. On Saturday Steve took me out for dinner and cinema. I wish I could say that at the American-style restaurant I chose a healthy salad... But that would be a lie. A massive lie. I had a giant burger with bacon and cheese, plus chili and garlic fries plus a chocolate milkshake. It was worth it and then I was in so much pain during the cinema that it sort of wasn't worth it anymore. Now the memory of the pain is fading and I'd love another one of those chocolate milkshakes (it was a perfect old school one, with whipped cream on top). Oh and we saw The Wolverine which was fairly entertaining. Today me and Steve decided to do some clearing among our clothes. There is an entire bag full of stuff that's being recycled, another bag put in storage and we haven't even started with the shoes yet. Busy days.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Attempting to eat healthy

I decided to take photos of all of my meals yesterday. For very little reason at all other than that I've started eating healthy and I'm trying to document it. (But not in a way that makes my Instagram followers puke. Not too much anyway.) Yesterday was a pretty good healthy day and I thought I'd share it.

For breakfast I had low fat blueberry yogurt with banana. And a boiled egg which is possibly my favourite thing ever.

For lunch I had leftover chicken and potato curry with a tiny bit of rice. I'm trying to cut down on rice and pasta etc too, and substitute it with vegetables or lean meat. The curry can be found here but I add more vegetables. 

For dinner I had sesame chickpea salad with shrimp. It's based on this recipe but I've obviously made a lot less sauce without cornstarch and olive oil and also I have no broccoli. And I ate it with chickpeas rather than rice. As you can see all pictures include water because I've been trying to force myself to drink more water. Yesterday I had six glasses of water which is some sort of record for me. I also had a couple of Finn crispbreads with tomato and ham, a cereal bar, a diet coke and a cup of coffee in between meals because I would never last with only three meals a day.