From lovers to once again strangers (part 2 – revised)

After a magnificent lunch date with your best friend, you realise how lucky you are at that point of time; everything is going perfectly well in your life! You have the most amazing supportive family and friends, a best friend who is more of a sister to you and this life is better than one could ever ask for. Plus you just met this really great guy who has all the potential to be The One.

The weekend is coming to an end. You don’t really mind as you have more things to look forward to. Your mood improves and your positive vibes are contagious among all those around you! You become a better company for everyone. No one or nothing can put you down, well except for maybe your boss!

You are glowing and spreading happiness everywhere you go and you tip your favourite coffee shop with £3 instead of £1. During the week, you constantly keep in contact with each other – either via texts, phone calls, Facebook, WhatsApp and occasionally Skype during an evening or two. You two are now flirting more and more with each other and send random WhatsApp images of coffee, cloudy skies, his frown face on a morning traffic, food you each had that day, your boss grumpy face from afar, you name it.

Then Friday arrives, you are about to end a conversation with a group of your closest friends on Skype. You were talking about the outfit for tonight. They were very helpful and you managed to successfully pick on a casual yet neat outfit to wear for your second date.

He texts you saying that he has just got off work and that he looks forward to seeing you. He also lets you know that he will just take a quick shower and he will be on his way to pick you up. You get excited and by then you are already half way ready. Of course, because women tend to take a bit longer to get ready, just a bit…

He texts you again letting you know he is just leaving the house on his way to yours. What a gentleman! You think to yourself as you wink to your dog. You text back with a short okay and a smiley face alongside an x. One last text from your best friend wishing you a great time with a cheeky message saying “tonight is the night to lock lips. Love youuu! xxx”. You laugh it off and thank her with a ♥.

The butterflies in your stomach are growing stronger, you know he will soon be here. And then, the bell rings… you stop breathing for 2 seconds. Your dog is already at the door before you and barks, acknowledging that it’s him, the potential Mr. Right.

You check yourself for the last time in the mirror just by the entrance door, adjust your black dress to its appropriate place and make your way to open the door with a big smile. He smiles back at you and you greet each other with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. This time with more confidence. He meets your four-paw friend for the first time and they immediately become friends. Voilà, you got your dog’s approval.

You prepared some snacks and wine for both of you before you leave for your night. As you pour him a glass of wine, you ask how was his day even though you already know from the hundreds of text and images exchanged earlier in the day. You chat away for a good 35 minutes and honestly you would have been quite happy to just stay at home and watch a movie or something. Or something, right? But neither of you dare to say anything so you just go along with the initial plan.

Another perfect night only that this time there has been results. The French kiss happens and what’s best of all? He initiates it, just like in the movies you watch with your single girl friends since the break down of your last relationship up until a few weeks ago. Those were the ladies nights when you used to sob and wonder why you were still single and if there was something wrong with you. Almost two years it lasted. It actually felt longer, didn’t it? It feels like you forgot how to kiss, how to embrace a lover or even how to be a woman. At that point of time, you reached the stage of “it’s Winter, I’m single therefore I’m not going to shave my legs and down there”. But not tonight.

Tonight you bam all your looks out! You made sure every single bit of your body was clean and smooth just like a newborn baby’s skin feels like. Nothing feels great as a confident, beautiful woman and that’s who you are tonight.

He approaches for that so long waited encounter of lips, he feels confident to do so because you spent the entire night throwing hints that you are ready and willing. He got a bit confused few times as he was not quite sure if it meant he had the green light for a kiss or you were just playing.

But as he drops you at your front door, he finally gets the message – the long gaze you give him right into his eyes accompanied by a secure smile. That’s his cue, and he goes for it!

As he leans closer towards your way, your eyes lock on each other and both of you then close them for that passionate vavavoom French kiss. While it goes on, you firmly stroke his hair and he affectionately strokes your face. No need to plan or read any books about it, it just comes naturally to you. You were so nervous about kissing someone again that just the thought of it made you shiver. How silly of you! It feels longer than it lasts but then both of you were eager to kfind out each other’s reaction. Normal!

Both of you then gaze at each other and smile. That went well did it not? It went so well that you spend another hour or so in his car “saying goodnight”, if you know what I mean…

But then, as a woman that you are, once in bed, you start to wonder “so are we official now? Are we dating or just seeing each other? What is happening?”, and remember when you said you did not want to rush into things? Of course you don’t remember! Rationality has officially left your mind.

He then texts you saying that he is thinking about you and the kiss and wish the night would still last. How sweet!

You text him back, saying that you cannot wait to see him again and then put some extra x’s at the end. Just in case he forgot how much you are into him. After that, you text straight away to your best friend, with a short message “Yep it happened xxx” in which she would reply back “What happened????? xxx”

Since you were not very specific on your text, you just make her not sleep and wonder what happened. You don’t respond back because you are too busy reminiscing on that kiss for hours and hours and hours.

So, you two become an item, the real deal, boyfriend and girlfriend and you even change the status on Facebook, having many likes and well wishes. He meets your friends and you meet his. His best friend from high school days approves of you. He assures you that he’s only heard good things about you and your beau would not introduce him anyone unless she is a keeper. You smile upon hearing that, because there’s nothing more reassuring that knowing you’ve been talked about by the guy you like to his best friend.

Then it comes the time to meet the family. He only has an older brother, 3 years older to be exact. He too has a girlfriend and you know this because he filled you in on that since the four of you are about to go on a double date. An Italian restaurant is picked by the brothers, for being their favourite since they remember. The night comes, you’re a bit apprehensive in regards to everything happening so fast. You have not had time to catch a breath. Every day there’s something going and every day, a new step is taken forward in your relationship. You ignore the sign and you go ahead anyway.

He comes to pick you up at the usual time. You slip a worrying comment before driving off: “What if they don’t like me?”. He replies back with this inviting smile and reassuring gaze: “They don’t have to..what really matters is what I feel about you!”.

At the restaurant, they have not arrived. Your beau notices you are restless so he calms you down by giving you a quick peck on the lips and his warm hand tenderly caressing your face. They arrived and are pleased to meet you. They have been charmed by you and your down to earth personality. Your relationship with them starts from there…

It’s all good and jolly! Days passes by and you are still at the honeymoon stage. And then the three magic words, eight letters slip out – “I love you”. It doesn’t really matter who says it first, you both feel the same, that’s what’s important!

You start to plan travelling together. And then you actually travel together, mini short breaks here and there and cute gifts for Valentine Day and romantic dates. You both settle a favourite destination – Venice, Italy. And things under the sheets also couldn’t go better. Lots and lots of photos of you two together, selfies, group snaps with friends and on social events.

And when your first anniversary comes by, oh my! Maybe you celebrate it with a romantic trip to Paris or Venice again? Champagne and bonbons with expensive gifts to each other. And of course a sexy surprise at the end of the night in a very fancy hotel room. I mean this marks your first year together after all!

But then more time passes by and you start to allow yourselves to fall into the trap of the comfort zoneBad mistake but common!

(To be continued…)

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Back to the routine

Dear all,

How was your Easter break? Hope it was great!

Mine was fabulosa! Simply because I got to spend it at my home sweet home, in Portugal. :)

So I flew back home for a week for a well deserved break with my dear ones. Cannot believe how time flies over there, especially spending every single day out and about, it felt like I wasn’t gone for long…

But as they say “good things must come to an end” so has my short break. Meh! But oh how I enjoyed it!

Most of my spending money has gone to food. Portuguese food is another level of delicious! Especially on festive seasons such as Christmas or Easter. Due to religious beliefs as being a very Catholic country, Portuguese families go through what we call the Quaresma em Jejum (40 days of Lent Period) when it lasts for the whole 40 days commencing on Wednesday Ash Day and ending on Easter day when Christians remember the death of Jesus Christ.

I’m not going into much details so I’m just going to highlight the basics. During this time, food consumption is reduced to smaller portions or even having their meals cut to once a day (usually for the evening meal) in order to repent and focus on praying and meditating Jesus’ last journey in the desert where he went through the Devil’s temptation up until his death.

There’s a tendency to avoid the consumption of meat and vegetables on Portuguese tables which is considered to be a luxurious treat. Instead, only fish, bread and water are allowed during the Lent period. Reason being that this is the period when Christians live in a more humble lifestyle, in penitence of one’s own faults and sins.

At our home, it is more simple and not as hard since my mum is a strict vegetarian anyway and she often frowns upon seeing either meat or fish in her fridge. We then stick to our vegetarian regime and only I and the auntie and uncle who are staying at ours would eat fish, but only once a day. I (sort of) started my own Lent regime in the UK (with many failed days of eating more than I should) and then carried on when I arrived in Portugal on Good Friday, only that that time I followed my mum’s regime instead.

As the Lent period finished on Easter Day, you can just imagine what I ate from then on… I dived in all the goodies I could find – BitoqueBacalhau no Forno, Peixe Espada Grelhado, Feijoada, Carapau GrelhadoBolo de Arroz, etc etc.

I know, I know, I am now paying for my own greed by being extra careful with what I eat now and going 4 x a week to the gym. Everything was so worthwhile though that I am actually still feeling mellow for being back to the UK.

Lisboa

Sintra

Every time I go to Portugal, I feel like I’m a different person – I’m more relaxed, easy going and errrm slow? Let me explain – life here in the UK it’s a bit rushed, well maybe except for the weekends. But even now, I feel like I always have things to do during weekends. Not in Portugal, where I take my own time to get to places, do my things. Maybe it’s a Portuguese thing?

I feel as if there’s a whole different aura surrounding me, the environment is definitely different from what I am used to here in UK. Even the people, the way they lead their lives, it’s very laid back.

Drivesunset

While being there, I enjoy my “loner time” too - time when I just stop to take everything in and just appreciate being home. Now, whenever I go back I definitely don’t take it for granted! I would spare a few hours when I’d go off on my own with the car and just relax by the beach or places where I grew up in, just reminiscing everything.

Another new thing I got to try was to add different fruits to my morning smoothies. Though I’m not a big fan of any tropical fruits, my mum managed to convince me to add papaya onto my smoothie. It didn’t taste bad but unfortunately I won’t be able to do it as often here in the UK as we seldom have fresh and organic papaya or many other tropical fruits in our supermarkets. Could try in our local markets though, fingers crossed I’ll be able to find something.

As many are aware, avocados are not my favourite fruit either however I’m aware of its nutritional content so I’ve made it as my must have ingredient in my smoothie. Thankfully, we have an avocado tree along with orange and lemon trees in our backyard. This enables me to save some extra money on buying fruits.

Since young, I’ve always loved climbing trees and still do! Modesty aside, I am very good at it. Hihi! So, every morning I’d climb the tree and pick an avocado and an orange for my smoothie. Not that it even needs climbing as it’s not very high anyway, but just for the sake of the old times, I’d do it! ;) In terms of taste, I found a significant difference between the taste of the avocado from the supermarket (where I usually buy here) and freshly picked from the tree.

They definitely taste much better than the ones bought in the supermarkets and you can tell they are naturally produced as well. Our oranges are smaller and more sour than the ones found in the supermarkets where we can often find them bigger, bright in orange colour and very sweet. Might be due to not being completely ripe yet but mum says that tree of ours does not produce sweet oranges anyway. Nonetheless, they are still natural! ;)

Abacate

I then just add other fruits/veggies bought by my mum such as mango, apple, papaya spinach and cucumber.

After that I always spent the day out and about. Whether locally, by the beach or meeting and catching up with friends or just exploring the beautiful Lisbon city and Sintra. I’ve been a few nights out as well in Bairro Alto, Lisbon, a very popular place to go out at night and Marina de Cascais, popular among  the people who live across the coastal line, like myself.

I also made sure I had a bit of time to go shopping too, of course! :) Clothes in Portugal are cheaper than in UK so I bought myself some jeans, shorts, dresses and sandals.

On my last day, I spent it between Carcavelos (my hometown) and Lisbon with friends as mum was busy with her own things. At night my friends and I went to Chiado for an evening meal and then to Terreiro do Paço to watch an amazing 3D video mapping show.

My friends, mum and auntie and uncle from Melbourne, Australia (they have come to Portugal for personal business and holiday and are staying at ours) have contributed for this holiday to be memorable, as always. And for that, I feel blessed and grateful every single day! ^.^

Now that I am back, I’m still finding it a challenge to force my body to get back to the routine. But little by little, I’m sure my body will get used to it again. Good thing is that I am now reunited with my four-paw bff Lance. How I missed him! And apparently he was struggling not having me around, bless…

My house mate has said that he would spend hours in my room waiting for my return. It really broke my heart when I heard this. But I promised him I will spend more time with him during these next few days.

Lancelot

That’s it from me today. Have a lovely rest of the week!

“Happiness will follow…”

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Officially “facebookless”

Dear all,

Such a beautiful day today, isn’t it? Sun shining days always put me in a good mood, even when I come across with many not so happy people. But then, I just take a deep breath and think “I’m not the problem, they are” and I go back smiling. :)

Here’s some positive intro for you guys! Now moving on to the subject today – Facebook.

Funny how my relationship with this social website works: it’s more of a complicated love-hate relationship. I love to hate Facebook at the same time that I hate to love it too!

I am not going to lie, Facebook is somewhat a life-saver for many, me included. As much as I adore Skype and WhatsApp, sometimes you just want to have a place where you can read friends and family’s lives, see what they are up to, how they are doing, etc. Seems like it gets harder by day for friends and family to update you with the happenings in their life either via Skype or WhatsApp. Easy would be for them to just post statuses or photographs for their friends and family to see what they are up to.

And I totally agree – it is convenient in many levels! However, not everything in and with Facebook it’s a bed of roses and there’s one thing, one major thing that worries me the most when using Facebook – my privacy.

I am no celebrity or nothing of that sort, far from that, whenever possible I like to lead my life away from the curious eyes of my neighbours, so to speak. So, privacy it’s a big deal for me! And I must admit, I am guilty to still keep those curious and not much of true and caring friends in my Facebook friends list. Not because I want to have a good number of friends on my Facebook, oh no. Only because whether I like it (them) or not, I still have to keep ‘em as my acquaintances, for many different reasons. (Look what society has done to us? All of us have been confined to keeping up with the appearances…)

And it would just make my life a lot more awkward when running into them and having to be confronted with the fact that I don’t have them on Facebook. It happened to me a couple of times and it was indeed awkward, that type of let-me-dig-a-hole-so-I-can-bury-my-head awkward. I mean, what would your response be for that? It’s not like they’ve done anything that can be considered wrong against me. They simply are nosy about my life and minding it as if what’s their own business. Like I gave them the right to have an opinion about my life and I forgot about it. And of course, making it as a conversation topic with their “neighbours” and so forth. What’s the name again? Gossip? I think so. This doesn’t make them bad people, just makes me want to avoid them… forever!

So, let’s name this whole situation a bureaucracy (overcomplicating it) for now.

You can argue that I could avoid that if I simply don’t post things on Facebook. And I agree,  this would be an option however I still want to update and share the happy moments with my (true) friends and family too! Just like they do with me on Facebook! I mean that’s what Facebook it’s all about, right? I enjoy posting random things, photographs of me and friends partying it up, without being labelled a wild child by some people and this whole thing getting to my mother’s ears (oh yeah I used to hide a few posts from my mother too!).

You could also say that I shouldn’t mind about what other people think or say about me. I don’t really, what bothers me is what I have to deal with after it has been put out there. Let me explain it better – I have many “friends” who are my mother’s friends’ children. We kind of shared a bit of common growing up environment for a while, hence having to be friends with them on Facebook.

They see something, they mention it to their friends whom I also sort of know and to their parents. I see the parents when I’m out with my mum, I greet them and they make me a topic conversation there, on the spot! Something like “Oh my daughter has mentioned that she’s seen you with a handsome guy not long ago” when all the daughter did was to see a photo of me with a male friend all aquafresh smiles on Facebook. But you know, people twist their words and who tells a tale, always adds a tail. So of course, my mum not knowing about this, and mind you she’s very Asian, once I get home she starts questioning me like a true CSI detective.

If you have an Asian mother, you would know that no matter what you say, even if it’s truer than the truth, she still won’t believe you. She will always find it more credible what that friend said and this might be due to the fact that I have limited her access to some of my posts on Facebook.. And yes, it then becomes a hassle for me. Therefore, privacy on Facebook is everything!

Especially now that she feels like she needs to be more involved in my life (more like my love life) and she feels like I am keeping her in the dark about and I quote “the most important aspects in your life, like love”. I do that, yes because my mother is Asian, she goes with the tick box system. And I am not like that at all!

Coming back to the subject, I always had to worry about my Facebook privacy settings. To the point that whenever Facebook goes through its usual changing phases, I always make sure I read the policy and updates to see if anything changed regarding to its privacy.

Last makeover it had? Well, that was a joke! Yeah it completely messed the system up! I don’t know what happened there but I was completely fine with the previous Facebook and quite frankly I saw no major changes on it now compared to the previous version. Only that it has placed some features in the other side of the screen. Oh yeah and completely messed all my privacy settings up!

I don’t know about you guys, but I was not able to select the audience for my individual posts any more, which I have been doing so far, given my situation at that time of being obliged to keep those curious people on my Facebook. Again, the whole thing where I decided to name it as bureaucracy.

And trust me, I spent a lot of time putting my privacy settings right and it just goes back to showing it to everyone! How messed up is that??

So I went That’s it! with Facebook and just deactivated my account. It’s easier right? I now can respond back saying “Oh I deleted my Facebook” to those curious eyes. The only but, of course is that it won’t be as easy to share moments with friends and family as it was before. Or even communicate with few friends since not all use Skype or WhatsApp.

I’m sure I’ll come back to it though, because as much as I hate it, I also love it so once they sort the mess up and put the privacy settings back on again, then I’ll re activate it again.

That’s it from me today!

“Happiness will follow…”

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The road to a healthy lifestyle

Dear all,

Just want to share with you what I’ve been doing lately with my healthy regime, in which for the first time in my life I’ve been taking seriously. Maybe, because for the first time I experienced what healthy living/exercising can do to my life! And it can do miracles, trust me on this one! – says the person who relied too much on her Asian genes/fast metabolism and who never had enough energy for anything…

You must have heard of the 80/20 rule, right? – 80% nutrition and 20% exercising. Well, I just came to learn more in depth about it a few months ago. So here’s the basic concept – without a healthy eating regime, there’s no use in spending hours and hours in a gym, it just won’t be effective that way!

Why does this 80/20 rule make sense? Simply because you need good energy to be used in your daily life and for when you work out. This can only be sourced by good healthy food with plenty of nutritional content to help you feel revitalised not only for when you’re exercising but in your daily life too. This is the ideal lifestyle one should lead.

Like I’ve been told by my boyfriend, Mikey who has been such an angel in helping me with my training, you have to keep a balance of everything and not under or overwork your body. He says something like – “Your work-out plan should follow your diet plan and not the other way round”.

People (a.k.a me before) believe that there’s no harm in eating everything and anything they want just as long as they’ll compensate it with extra time at the gym. Well, that’s just a lie! I’ve come to realise that when eating food full of grease and fat which are harmful to our body, that fat will “glue” themselves to our system and will affect our energy levels by making our body feel heavy and inactive, hence why I was feeling so lazy before and with no motivation/energy to lead a more active life.

True, there’s no harm in treating yourself once in a while –  again remember there has to be a balance of everything. But never overdo it!

And that’s what my weekly meal and training plan consist of. It has been put together by Mike and myself, taking into account my petite body frame, my needs and how much exercising my body can take each day. As I get used to the rhythm of my work-out, Mike will gradually increase my work out exercises/levels so that I can progress that way.

Regarding my diet, I now eat plenty of chicken, fish (at least twice a week), pasta, bread, rice, eggs, fruits, vegetables and spinach, spinach, spinach! My regime is slightly different as I’m not trying to lose weight, but to gain it! While doing that, of course I do also want to look good and toned, hence having this strict training plan to follow too. 

There’s also this juice I have been drinking every single day and it has changed my life. You may not notice the difference right away however give it some time and I can assure you that you’ll feel different about yourself! It is close to being a fluid of life, sincere! ;)

So, for those interested, I’ll leave you with my daily juice recipe. It’s nothing out of this world, and obviously you can add or take any of the ingredients, adapting it to your own personal taste:

2 Pears;

2 Green Smith Apples;

1/2 Pineapple;

1/2 Avocado;

Few cubes of cucumber;

A handful of Spinach leaves;

Few hazelnuts (I sometimes use sunflower seeds instead)

Tiny slices of ginger;

Half cup of natural squeezed orange juice (I squeezed it separately but you may wish to just add oranges to save time).

Note that the juice is best consumed within 15 mins of being “juiced”, so if you leave it for too long it may not serve its purpose well. Due to being exposed too long in the air, it begins to lose its nutritional content.

What I usually do is, I use the amount of ingredients listed above and it gives me 3/4 cups which I then share with my house mates and a friend who comes by every morning. One of them, actually adds celery afterwards – her personal preference. :) You may also consider add/change to ingredients such as: carrots, lime, mango or banana.

Mind you, that I’m not a big fan of avocado, well to be completely honest with you, I really dislike the taste of it! But I’m aware of the benefits that comes with consuming this not so attractive fruit so I just put my personal taste bud aside and go for it.

Also make sure you drink your juice on a empty stomach. I cannot recall why we should do it but I read it somewhere online (don’t worry, it’s from a reliable website source). I should maybe research the reason behind it.

My training plan is pretty simple – I go jogging and go to the gym thrice a week; do 1h yoga every day to relax my body and help it cope with the weekly exercising rhythm as well as to maintain a balance between my mind and body (very important!). As an extra, I also do 1h zumba twice a week only because I enjoy it and it helps tone my body! :)

When at the gym, I always have Mike with me (I played it safe and registered at the same gym as him hehe). Although he practices a lot of sports and is strict with his own training regime, he never overworks his body and only goes to the gym 3/4 times a week. Not to mention his eating habits – beyond healthy!

While there, I mainly do weights training, skipping rope, sit-ups and squats. I never spend more than 1h at the gym as it is not advisable.

So resuming and concluding – looking from an angle, it doesn’t seem that hard but it’s actually hard work. At first, it was hard to get used to and had my body aching for days, but now I can tell everything has been paying off and I’m actually glad I’ve implemented it as part of my lifestyle! :)

Here are some of my meal snaps from this week:

ThaliacookingMonday
24/03/2014
Monday meal
Delicious chicken cooked by our own house chef, Thalia Medina. She’s amazing! :)

ThursdaySwindon28/03/2013
Friday in Swindon

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get ready for a fun evening in Brizzle town with my beautiful friends. :) See you in my next post!

“Happiness will follow…”

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