My weekend according to Fhotoroom!

I must admit I was starting to feel a little left out of the instagram loop. Having a windows phone means that the application that is taking over the multimedia world was just out of my reach and this was heartbreaking to me. I´m a little on the obsessive side when it comes to taking photos, and photo technology in general, therefore you can imagine how disappointed I was when instagram was not available to me. Never one to let things get the better of me I decided to do some research and see what photo technology was available to me and my baby, my windows phone!

After sifting through the abundant information there is out there on this topic I settled on the humble application known to the world as Fhotoroom. According to my research Fotoroom is an application that is available to windows phone users, for free, for a limited period of time. According to researchers it is the next best thing to instagram containing many similar features. I have no idea what features are available on instagram, I´ve never used it, but I must say I´m quite impressed with my latest novelty download and decided to make the most of this feature this weekend! I´ll let you be the judge and let me know what you think, is the quality of the photos just as good?

Image thanks to google, click on it to take you to the original page!

Enough technical jargon, time to talk about my weekend! As I had mentioned in my previous post life has been a little on the busy side with work and I was starting to feel a little on the drained side. I was so excited for the weekend to roll around to catch up on my sleep and to spend some much-needed quality time with one of the most important people in my life: me!

Friday started off like a dream, not waking up until well after one o´clock was a welcome change to my now habitual six o´clock mornings. I awoke refreshed and relaxed and decided to make to most of my relaxed mood and stay in for the day and catch up with my reading, both of blogs I enjoy and a book I´ve been trying to read for a while now, perfect day I thought…O how wrong was I?!

I was gradually getting lost in my book and feeling myself unwind for the first time in ages, felt like the day was such a welcome break from my daily routine when disaster stuck! O how do I even break this to you…right time to be brave Giana, you can do this, deep breath…O.K I´m ready. Here I go…brace yourselves this is a biggy..I went into the bathroom, as you do after drinking several litters of water earlier that day, and sat myself down on the toilet, I looked up and there, hanging from the wire of my light fitting, all bold and proud was….wait for it…a mouse! I quickly pulled up my shorts, while screaming my lungs out, and ran from my apartment! Now I realise that mice are small, that mice are harmless, that mice are probably more afraid of humans than we are of them but…quite frankly… this means absolutely nothing to me. Ever since I was little mice and rats have been one of my biggest fears, snakes fine, lizards bring them on but mice: no, no keep them away from me!

I had been saying to my friends and family for ages that I was convinced that there were mice in the hollow space between my bathroom ceiling and the roof of the building as I had been hearing noises at night-time but after a while I convinced myself that I was just being paranoid because of my fear…o how I wish it had only been paranoia! Anyway, to cut a long story short, I rang one of my friends, for this post he shall be called my knight in shining armor, and he came to my rescue! He opened my apartment up checked it throughly and it appears as though my ever so feminine screaming did the trick and scared the mouse enough to send it back to where it came from, well, for now anyway! So after searching the place and then blocking the hole which exists where my light fitting is, to ensure that no more mice would be paying me a visit, my knight in shining armor and I met up with some of his family and had a much-needed beer to relax ourselves!

So much for a relaxing Friday! So as you can imagine, my fear of mice being as big as it is, sleeping with the light on was my only option on Friday night! Something I haven´t done in years, not since my last experience with a mouse in the house in university, I´d forgotten just how hard it is to sleep with the light on but thankfully, due to sheer exhaustion, I eventually drifted off! Touch wood since then there hasn´t been a peep from the ceiling, I think I terrified the nasty creature with the power of my vocal chords haha Nonetheless I´m ringing my landlady first chance I get tomorrow to get someone to come check it out!

Anyway enough about my new furry visitor and on to the good parts of my weekend! I woke up Saturday morning feeling a little more relaxing than the previous evening but flashbacks of the mouse incident prevented me from being able to stay indoors for the day so I ventured out for a spot of breakfast with a friend followed by a lovely trip to the pool with my lovely book! Perfect!

Pool Time
Pool Time

The evening was followed by a little nap, some take away, a quick tidy up of the apartment (I feel after the mouse’s visit the apartment can never be too clean now haha) and some cheesy dvds, such a drama free evening, just how I like them!

Today was equally as relaxing, I woke up late, caught up on some blogs and emails then went on a lazy walk through the streets of Córdoba via work, as I had to do some planning for tomorrow. On my walk home I decided to go through this little park that´s close to where I live, it´s a beautiful park filled with graffiti and lots of personality! So I paused for a moment to soak it in and take some photos to share with you all!

Park Time
Graffiti
Graffiti Time
Graffiti Time

So that´s pretty much it for my weekend. I had planned an uneventful relaxing weekend and, apart from the mouse episode, that´s exactly what I got! Now time to go get my dinner and get ready for work tomorrow! Hope you´ve had a fantastic weekend, wherever you are!

Through the streets

As always, thank you for reading, until the next time

Giana xoxo

 

It´s the simple things in life…

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Image taken by my dear friend Carly!

Life has its ups and downs, there´s no way of avoiding them, but you need to live it to the full and try something new every single day; what good is life if you don´t try everything it has to offer you?

I´m blessed in the fact that Córdoba reminds me of this every day. Whether it´s something simple like walking down an alleyway I have never explored before, trying a new style of teaching, going to a local town to see what it has to offer or something a little more difficult that pushes me past my boundaries; every day Córdoba, through it´s people, culture and aesthetic, allows me to experiment, even if those experiments go awry sometimes!

This summer has been no exception. Work this month is a little hectic to say the least and finding time for my personal interests, like this blog, has been next to impossible. However, I have still  managed to visit a neighbouring town, experience another Fería, make some new friends, try out some new experiences and also let go of some of my fears. Stupid fears, fears like my personality being lost in translation or that there are not enough hours in the day to complete what I need to do or that I don´t have enough time to spend with the people who are important to me, like I said stupid fears but nonetheless fears!

Basically what I´m trying to say, in a very long-winded roundabout way, is that no matter what happens or is happening in your life you need to continue to experiment and push your boundaries, only then will you find happiness, only then will you achieve your dreams.

Hopefully this weekend I will have some time to breath. For the first weekend in a long, long time I have absolutely no plans or commitments and I´ve never looked forward to some me time more in all my life! I think it stems from being an only child, after periods of being very social I relish the time when I can just be on my own, just me with my thoughts…heavenly!

Hopefully, providing that nothing changes, I will be able to write some posts during this time and who knows even explore something completely different while I´m at it! Nothing relaxes me more than wandering aimlessly through the streets and stumbling across some of the hidden treasures that they have to offer. Granted it´s a little harder to enjoy it in 45º + weather but hey who am I to complain?!

Right time to get back to work! Until the next time, have a good day. And remember – never stop experimenting, who knows what will come out of it!

As always, thank you for reading!

Image of me taken by my dear friend Carly!

Giana xoxo

How lovely: What goes around comes around!

The Lovely Blog Award

So as most of you know blogging is relatively new to me. I basically started blogging as a way of recording and sharing my experiences with my family and friends. I wanted to record the happy times in my life and I figured what better way to do it than through a blog. I must admit I love it. It can be difficult, at times, to find the time to create a post but once I start writing one I become filled with joy and excitement, I just love it. However, when I started this blog, I was completely unaware of the blogging community and how supportive and encouraging they are. Obviously I had read blogs before I started writing one myself but I had no idea how great readers can be. I´m truely blessed with the readers that visit my blog and the readers who constantly support me and come back and read my work time and time again, thank you, your support does not go unrecognised. You keep me motivated and inspired.

I would like to mention http://penguinsmachine.wordpress.com in this post as she is a perfect example of just how amazing my readers are, she nominated me for the lovely blogger award and since then I have remained speechless, something that is completely rare for me I must add! Her support means the world to me as I truly admire her blog and aspire to be as talented and as dedicated to my blog as she is! If you haven´t checked her blog out yet I truly recommend it, you won´t be disappointed. Right enough of my rambling, sorry it comes hand in hand with being Irish, and onto the point!

So ill proceed to copy/paste the rules that come with accepting this nomination:

* Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post
* Share 7 things about yourself
* Nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire
* Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know

Let the rambling commence, I hope you enjoy learning some more about me, I´m quiet excited to share!

Number one: I´m overly optimistic. I must say I have my parents to thank for this quality. My parents are the most amazing people I have ever met. I realise everyone says that about their parents but it´s true. My parents are my role models, no matter how hard things get in their life they remain positive, strong and happy. They stick together and fight whatever lies ahead of them with a smile on their face and some laughs along the way. They never give in, never let life beat them, they just carry on fighting and do it with such grace; it´s unbelievable. Thankfully, they have brought me up with the same the glass is half full attitude and through them I have learnt that if you can´t be positive and optimistic then you´ll never find the happiness you deserve! So the only thing I have left to say on this one is; thank you mum and dad.

Number two: I´m a perfectionist. This one is probably a negative quality. I´m a high achiever, everything that I set my hands to has to end up perfect, and as everyone knows nothing can ever be perfect! I have to give 100% of me at all times and, believe me, it´s tiring and emotionally draining! The saying I wear my heart on my sleeve couldn´t me more true when it comes to me but it motivates me and keeps me going. It´s just how I am!

Number three: I´m an only child. People automatically assume that because I´m an only child I´m spoilt and sheltered; I´m not. I´m an adventurous person just like my parents. I´m always curious about people and life and because of this I crave experiences and have never been sheltered or protected from experiencing the world.

Number four: I love to talk. I have my quiet moments, like everyone, but in general I´m a talker, in fact I rarely shut up! If I´m excited about something then I turn into a child, talk a million miles a minute and most likely will jump up and down in the process! Some of my closest friends refer to me as a rambler; I just consider myself Irish! It´s funny when I lived in Ireland I never realised how open we are as people, how much we talk and share with people but, since moving away, I´ve come to discover that Irish people are one of the most talkative nationalities in the world, well at least my friends and I are anyway, and I love that!

Number five: My favourite film; Beauty and the Beast. On the rare occasion that I´m down and find that I need to pick myself back up again the one thing that never fails is Beauty and the Beast. Since I was a child I´ve loved this film, it´s not exactly an intellectual film but it´s definatly an uplifting one! What better message than no matter what your faults are there is someone out there who will accept them and love you regardless…amazing!

Number six: I´m a dork. I love being silly, doing stupid things, being awkward! When I was younger I was embarrassed by my dorkiness but now I´m come to accept it´s part of who I am and I love it! You´ll always find me doing ridiculous things, cartwheels, dance offs, jumping around, basically anything to burn off the energy that´s built up in my body.

Number seven. I´m an obsessive coordinator. Everything I wear has to match, don´t know why! I match my nails with my eye make-up and both of those to my clothes, shoes and handbags! A bit weird I know but hey it makes me who I am!

Now time for my nominations! Each blog I´m going to nominate I truly believe is great and think that you should most definitely check out. They are not done in any particular order and I do not prefer one over any other they all are equally great and worth checking out!

1:http://penguinsmachine.wordpress.com

2: http://walkedthru.com/

3:http://drevets.com/

4:http://21stcenturylovetriangle.wordpress.com/

5: http://miramiandmog.wordpress.com/

6:http://thingsishouldkeeptomyself.wordpress.com/

7: http://katcameronillustration.com/

8:http://littlegreybox.wordpress.com/

9:http://iheartmondegreens.com/

10:http://wanderlustfernweh.wordpress.com

11:http://expatedna.com

12:http://simplisticways.wordpress.com

13: http://thehappilysinglechick.wordpress.com

14:http://hikingphoto.wordpress.com

15:http://thirdeyemom.com/

There are so many more blogs that I think are incredible but sadly this post only asks for 15. Thank you again to all my readers and I hope you´ve managed to stay awake during my post and even manged to enjoy finding out a few things about me!

Hope you´re enjoying your Sunday wherever you are!

Giana xoxo

Relaxing Sundays: Six ingredients to success!

“Que hermoso hacer nada y descansar después” or, in other more familiar wordsHow beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards. – Spanish Proverb

What better way to capture the mentality of a lazy Sunday than through the words of this proverb? Sundays, for me anyway, are days of nothingness. They are about enjoying what life has to offer, appreciating the simple things we sometimes, due to our hectic lives, take for granted – things like warm sunny days, strolls through the park and spending time with our friends and family . Above all, Sundays are about unwinding and disconnecting from the strains of the week. One of the best things about Sundays is that you have nowhere you need to be and nothing you need to do, you are perfectly entitled to revel in the beauty of idleness. Last Sunday was the epitome of pleasure and relaxation for me and luckily I got to share it all with one of my dear friends, who, for the propose of this blog, shall be called Alice. So sit back and relax as I share the six ingredients behind the success of our perfect Sunday with you!I

Ingredient numero uno: Arab Bath time:

We decided, after quite a few late nights in a row, to begin our delightful Sunday morning by treating ourselves to a well deserved lie in so: at twelve o´clock we awoke fresh-faced and ready to embrace our day of relaxation. Once washed and dressed we quickly packed a bag with two swimsuits, shampoo, a hairbrush and some other bits of toiletries and headed out the door with a spring in our step, destination: Hammam Arab Baths.

Hammam Arab Bath
Hammam Arab Baths

Conveniently located just a few minutes from my house, in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, is the Hammam Al Andalusí. The Hammam, which originally was a place in which people gathered together, provides the ideal historical and architectural setting to escape from the day-to-day stresses of life and lose yourself in its peace and tranquility!

Located in the heart of the Jewish quarter

Alice and I, feeling the need to pamper ourselves, decided to go for the bath and double relaxing massage package and  what a treat that was! We followed our circuit of relaxation contentedly moving from the largest pool – the warm pool, to the middle sized pool – the hot pool, to the eucalyptus effused steam room to our final destination which was the smallest pool – the cold pool. We did this circuit twice before giving ourself a nice little “break” in order to have a sip of mint tea and soak up the beautiful surroundings while blissfully listening to quiet Andalusí music in the background. Once our “break” was over it was time for our massage, life can be tough sometimes!

Scented oils

We had a choice of four different scented oils for our massage: rose, lavender, red amber or orange blossom. Having taken the time to familiarise myself with each aroma before my massage I opted for the rose scented oil! As I lay on the table, listening to the faint Andalusí music, I could feel my worries just drift away into thin air! Total and utter bliss and after half and hour of such bliss I  was devastated when it had to come to an end!

The total experience lasted for two hours and I must say I enjoyed every minute of it! I emerged from there relaxed, refreshed and feeling like I could take on the world! The only down side was that it´s forbidden to take photos inside the Hammam; so sadly I can´t share its beautiful architecture with you!

Ingredient numero dos: Time to refuel!:

After such a tough morning of relaxation we felt, seeing as it was a day for pampering ourselves, that it was time to refuel. We walked a few steps down the road to Plaza de Potros where there are a number of good restaurants. We made a bee-line for our restaurant of choice – Mueso –  where we selected a lovely table outside under the Andalusían sun.

Museo de la tapa y el vino

Both famished and parched from our few hours at the Hammam we scanned through the menu and ordered as quickly as we could! I settled for a tapa of Salmerejo, a potion of spinach and chickpea croquettes and a sparkling water while Alice decided to go for a portion of Iberic ham and melon and, like me, a tapa of Salmejero, it´s just too good to pass up in this weather, and a sparkling water!

Spinach Croquettes
Ham and Melon

I have to say I love this little gem of a restaurant. Not only is the service amazing but the food is incredible, it´s easy to see why it has been featured in a French travel guide for the last three years!

Ingredient numero tres: Action cool down:

Once refueled Alice and I headed towards the mosque in search of some horse-drawn carriages. We thought it might be fun to indulge in something extremely touristic and cliché. However, upon finding out the cost of such horse-drawn carriages, we weren´t long changing our minds and decided to settle for a short meander through the old quarter and a quick stop for some frozen yoghurt instead! Yum!

Time for a little cool down!

After a Short sit down and walk through the water features at Plaza Tendillas we decided it was time to head home and relax for the evening! After all – we were after having a hard day!

Ingredient numero cuatro: Something a little fishy:

By the time dinner time rolled round we were consumed with laziness and couldn´t face the task of leaving the apartment to hunt down some food so we decided to do what any other intelligent/ lazy young girls would do – order in! I had been dying to try this new sushi home delivery service that I had heard about and figured there was no better time to try it. We were having a healthy relaxing day after all!

Delicious!

Alice and I, having excitedly read through the menu, settled on the 32 piece menu thinking it would be the perfect size for us! So I made the dreaded call to Sushi color, I still hate having conversations on the phone in spanish, only for the guy on the other end to ask me if the meal was for five people! What an insult! However I soon got over it, the service was amazing, the food was great and the packaging was adorable! Overall, highly satisfactory. I will definitely be ordering from there again!

A meal for five people! 🙂

Ingredient numero cinco: Embrace the beast:

Embracing the inner child in us we settled down with our sushi to watch our favourite movie; Beauty and the Beast! What more could you ask for from the evening? Relaxation, good food and a chance to be a child again. There honestly is no better to escape your worries  – believe me, I´ve tried and tested quiet a few at this stage!

Ingredient numero seis: Sleeping Beauties:

Worn out from pampering ourselves we decided to end our perfect day by going to bed early. In true fairy-tale fashion we became the most satisfied sleeping beauties in the world; completely unwilling to accept that come Monday morning the dream would be over and we would once again be back to the day-to-day stresses of the working world!

I hope you´ve enjoyed reading about our relaxing day and that, whatever you did yesterday, you had a fantastic day!

Also, thank you to Alice, without you the day wouldn´t have been possible. Good luck tomorrow as you embark on a brand new adventure in wonderland!

Thank you for reading, sorry it´s been so long since my last post, life got in the way!

Giana xoxo