Sunday, 15 April 2012

COPY CAT HAIR CARNIVAL

For this month's hair carnival I was given the task of copying a style from the fabulous natural hair blog une autre naturelle written by natural hair mummy Daphané. I didn't know about this blog before I got paired up for this hair carnival but it has become one of my favs and I especially love her facebook page because you can guarantee that you'll get daily natural hair inspirations which I love.
When I first clicked on the blog I was greeted with Ghana plaits and a how to video. I knew this was going to be the style I was going to copy because I have wanted to do these for months and her video made it look so simple and they looked so gorgeous on lil' naturelle.
I was so excited to try it, I did it there and then on gg's dry hair but the end result was not anywhere near as good as lil' naturelles. I thought it was probably because I did it on dry hair and not on wet hair like Daphané did, so I tried again a few days later on gg's hair when wet.

On freshly washed hair :
  • I parted a small section
  • applied moisturiser
  • combed moisturiser through hair
  • cut my thread double the length of gg's hair
  • made a knot at the end of the thread
  • held the knot at the base of the hair together and with my free hand I twisted the hair around the base to anchor the knot in place
  • then I started to wrap the thread around the length of her hair until I reached the end, where I secured it.
They looked really good up until gg's hair started to dry and shrink up and then started to curl. I kept re-doing the same sections over and over twisting the thread tighter and closer together but within a few minutes I was left with the same outcome, and after alot of thinking I worked out the reason was because gg's hair isn't as thick as lil' naturelles so I used 3 big sections instead and the outcome was much better.

But the next morning after sleeping with her satin cap her hair was all over the place and the thread was loose so I had to take them out. gg's hair was stretched at the roots and then had small kinks throughout, the same as you do with a 2 or 3 strand twist out which was nice but I couldn't leave it out because her hair was frizzy and all over the place so I went back on une autre naturelle and looked for more inspiration on a quick style I could do on gg before we went out. I thought I'd go with her banding style as Daphané says she doesn't use banding just for stretching but also as a going out style.
I banded gg's hair in 2 pigtails tying metal-free hairbands all the way down the length of her hair. I chose to do only 2 pigtails because gg's hair is not thick enough to have more then two sections banded without the bands falling off.


gg loved her banded pigtails because her hair was down to her shoulders (",)

Don't forget to click on the links below to see more copycat styles by other bloggers


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

LEARNING GREEK WITH LANGUAGE 180 WEEKS 1-3

"Mummy where are my sunglasses?"
"They are on your kefali  (head in Greek)
"Where??"
"On your Kefali"
"Where mummy where?, What's kefali?.... I dont know kefali"
"Your head agapi mou"
"Oh... I found them!"
"Darling don't you remember kefali, omous, gonata..."
"Daxtila"
"So why didn't you know kefali when I told you?"
"I don't know mummy" shrugging her shoulders

I felt very disappointed, not in gg but in myself. Two years ago I taught her 'Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes' in Greek and she knew all the words and actions fluently, and when any of the words were used in a sentence she knew straight away what you were talking about, but now she didn't have a clue.
I knew it was because I had slacked when it came to teaching her Greek because as her English vocabulary was getting  better and she was putting more words together I focused more on her English and corrected her pronunciation and overlooked her Greek.
Previously we would sing the song over and over everyday, it was gg's favourite song. She loved the English version as a baby and I thought I would translate it into Greek so she would have some more variety and for our own sanity too lol. Even though the translated Greek words have more syllables than their English equivalent I made the effort and tried my best to get the song to flow to the same tune as you do in the English one, to help her recognise and associate the two languages together.
I wanted to restart teaching her Greek in the same fun way as I previously did and started researching on the net on fun ways to teach kids another language and stumbled upon Multilingual Living who were starting up 'Language Challenge 180' which is: (quoted from site)
  1. A step-by-step guide to get you on track with your language(s)
  2. A step-by-step guide on how best to expose your children to your language(s)
  3. Short weekly emails with tips to keep you & your children’s language mastery on track
  4. Support and camaraderie via weekly online conversations and contact
  5. Articles written by language experts to help us along
  6. Language-learning resource suggestions and links for adults and children
  7. And best of all: Prizes, prizes, prizes – yes, we have sponsors who have donated some great prizes!
Why is it called Language Challenge 180? We chose this name because:
  • It will last 180 days (well, 6 months which is about 180 days)
  • We need to turn things around 180-degrees if we are going to get our language-learning under control'
(quoted from site)

So the last few weeks we have been following the activities set out for us as best we can. Here is a break down of our first three weeks:

Week 1:

We filled out our questionnaires together, gg wasn't that interested she just wanted the pen so she could write lol I gave her a blank piece of paper but she wasn't satisfied she wanted the boxes to tick and the lines to write on so I had to print more copies. As I filled in each section in I read it out to gg

"Which areas are most important to strengthen?"
"Which areas ost portant strengthen?"
I heard my echo after each sentence I spoke lol
"Listening Speaking"
"Listening speaking, what listening speaking Mummy?"
"For You, Daddy and I to focus on learning how to speak Greek and understand Greek when other people speak to us."
"Why are you writing it on the paper it's not Greek, it don't say Greek things"
"This is like a reminder for us when we forget to do our fun Greek things if we look at these we can remember and do them."
"Oh OK"
"I know what how about everyday you can be in charge of our Greek reminder papers and you can give them to me and we can see what fun Greek things we can do for the day, what do you say?"
"OK mummy shall I put my Greek papers in my bag so they be safe"
"How about we put them on your board so every morning when you get up you will see them and you won't forget about them?"
"OK Mummy"
gg ran off to her board and pinned the questionnaires/ Greek reminder papers.

I am so glad I sat down with gg and filled the questionnaires in with her and answered her inquisitive questions because now she understands what we are taking part in and striving to learn and also she feels like she has a role to play as she has been given her own task to take part in.

The next day we went to the library and took out some Greek/English books. I was excited to start reading them to gg, up until when I realised they were all in the Greek alphabet.
My problem is I am used to writing to my cousins in Greek with the English alphabet so this now was starting up a challenge for me too.
'what have I gotten myself into I thought'.
You see I can read the Greek alphabet a little, I'm quite good with capitals letters but not so good with lower case letters and yes all the books were in lower case Greek.
I attempted it anyway because at this point I hyped up the whole 'it's going to be fun to read Greek books together' So it was my motherly duty to read them to her, plus gg was sitting down with all four books on her lap with the top book open saying
"Mummy come and sit down,. let's read in Greek"
I attempted to read the first story 'Spot goes to school' by Eric Hill that was kind of OK for me. I was a little slow on a few words but nothing I couldn't blag (",) Then gg was excited for me to read ' Nita Goes to Hospital' by Henriette Barkow and Chris petty. Now this was ridiculous! I took one look at the letters, I say letters because I couldn't register a single word, I might as well have been reading a book in Chinese.
"Lets read another book agapi mou"
"No Mummy I want this one she is gold like me and has plaits like me too."
gg had the biggest grin on her face all her teeth shining through her eyes so small because her cheeks were puffed up squashing them shut, how could I resist?
I opened the book to the first page again and looked at the page for a moment. Now that I had looked at it properly I saw that the story was also written in English below the Greek, I felt a sigh of relief and also a little silly for not noticing that the first time.
"Do you want Mummy to read the story in English?"
"Later Mummy, lets do Greek now"
I tried to sneakily get myself out of it, but my daughter is serious about our Greek papers she is in charge of them after all and when it's time to do 'fun Greek things' it means Greek things and not English or any other kind of thing lol
I looked at the picture, scanned the first English sentence then translated them into Greek, a sentence at a time. As the story was progressing (it's quite a long book especially in a language you are not flowing particularly well), I found myself actually reading the story and only translating a few words here and there.
As I was reading the story I was listening to how I sounded and I burst out laughing.
"Why are you laughing Mummy?"
I had to think quickly. I was going to say you remember last night when daddy..... but I didn't want to lie to her so I said
"Mummy doesn't know what this word is, I need to look in my dictionary to see what it is, does Mummy sound funny?"
"Yeah..." gg said also laughing
"Is Mummy talking funny Greek or normal Greek?
"Normal Greek like ena, deo, tria, tessera bente (12345)"
Now that's either unconditional love or she hasn't grasped the fluidity or proper pronunciation of the Greek language! I like to call it unconditional love because I know she laughed with me so I would not feel left out. Also saying that what I was laughing about was normal and that I am not silly or reading it wrong is a nice comfort to my confidence (",)
I finished the whole book with the odd mistake and made up word lol but gg enjoyed it and sat through the whole story listening intently and didn't have a clue that I didn't know it as well as I made out I did.
That evening gg wanted 'Nita Goes to Hospital' as her bedtime story. My husband and I always read gg a bed time story or 2 every night together, he reads one page and I read the next page and so on. So I read my page in Greek and he read his page in English. My page took 3x as long as my husband's but gg was still taken in to the book and seemed to understand it a little better. When we finished I asked her what it was about and she more or less got the story spot on. I think the half Greek half English translations plus the pictures helped her put the story together.
When we finished reading gg's Daddy wanted a turn to read it in Greek. He has learnt the sounds of the Greek alphabet from reading signs and menus from our numerous holidays in Cyprus and read it quite well. He read the first page slower than me and without understanding what he was reading but he made a great start and made gg and I laugh. This time Daddy couldn't fool gg with his non Greek reading skills as well as Mummy did (",)

I am really impressed with our first week's progress because gg's love for Greek books has grown from 0 to 100 in the space of a week and her passion to do something Greek everyday has been motivational. I took up this challenge to teach gg to speak more Greek because it is my native language one of gg's and I know it quite well, but now I am also improving on my Greek reading at the same time which is a bonus. Plus my husband is also taking an interest in learning which makes learning even more fun doing it as a family (",)

Week 2:

"Ri-ga-ni (ρίγανη) ooooooo... ri-ga-ni we need some riga-NI!"
"What's rigani Mummy?"
"Oregano agapi mou"
I showed gg the empty oregano jar
"Can I smell it Mummy?  mmmm... That smells like when you make pork, Mummy what you making tonight?"
"If you remind me to get some Ri-ga-ni ooooooo... ri-ga-ni when we go to Sainsbury's later I can make some Souvlakia ( σουβλάκιa/Greek kebab)"
"I like your soulakia Mummy, I wont forget Ri-ga-ni ooooooo... ri-ga-ni we need some riga-NI!"
When we got to Sainsbury's and we were in the herb aisle gg started singing
"Ri-ga-ni ooooooo... ri-ga-ni we need some riga-NI Mummy don't forget, you need rigani to make souvlaki I told you I would remember"
gg's Daddy couldn't stop laughing he hadn't heard the song I made up earlier because he was at work but he wasn't surprised we make up silly songs all the time all three of us and it doesn't take long for us all to learn each one. This time was no different my husband started singing it too and all three of us continued our shopping trip singing merrily about how we needed some oregano (",)

Songs are such a great and fun way to learn languages for the young and old, they just seem to have a way of embedding themselves in your head and making you constantly sing it over and over even if you don't like it.
So when I got my email for week 2 and saw songs as one of the activities I was super excited. We have had alot of good outcomes when we have used songs to teach gg things in Greek and English before so I was on a role to get things moving and do some refreshers on some of the previous songs I had taught her in Greek from when she was a new born up until now.
In the last 2 months gg has found a new love for Greek music well a particular song, 'Psintri Vasilitzia' a traditional Greek Cypriot folk song, which is played at weddings when money is pinned on the bride and groom.
Ever since she heard us play it at home to the run up to our wedding I can guarantee you she will sing it at least once a day. I told her
"Mummy and Daddy are going to dance to this song at the wedding like this"
I gave her a tea towel to hold and I held the other end and we both started dancing. We had that song on repeat for over an hour gg didn't want us to turn it off. I don't know if it's the music or the fact that she got to dance with a tea towel (I think it's the tea towel lol) but either way she knows the song fluently, just not the meaning yet. I know from this experience any new songs I make up for her or traditional ones I will add a physical element of fun to go with the singing (",).

Week 3:

Here are some of the everyday sentences gg and I have been using since she was a baby:
  • kalimera (καλημέρα) = good morning (every morning she climbs into our bed and we give each other a big hug and kisses and say kalimera)
  • kalinyxta (καληνύχτα) = good night (every night I give gg a big hug loads of kisses and say kalinyxta)
  • mazi ta dontia (μαζί τα δόντια) = teeth together (so I can brush her teeth)
  • glossa (γλώσσα) ena (ένα ) deo (δύο) tria (τρία) tessera (τέσσερα) bente (πέντε) exsi (έξι) efta (εφτά) octow (οχτώ) ennea (εννέα) deka (δέκα) = tongue 12345678910 (she sticks out her tongue so I can brush it and I count 1-10 in Greek for each brush stroke)
  • poo fous vroma (βρώμα) = poo it stinks (poo fous isn't an actual Greek word it's how my family say poo, a few Greek people I know also use it so it's kinda Greek, plus old habits are hard to change and gg from a baby up until now every time I say poo fous she always bursts out laughing lol)
  • mirizei oraia (μυρίζει ωραία) = smells nice (when gg was a baby I used to always say this to her when I smelt her toes and she would always laugh, now when I say it about anything she knows what I am talking about)
  • ta mallia su einai oraia (τα μαλλιά σύ είναι ωραία) = your hair is nice (every time I style gg's hair I always say it to her and she smiles and says thank you, my mum and dad also say it to her)
  • katse kato (κάτσε κάτω) = sit down (ever since gg could stand I've been using these two words, she knows them well lol.)
A funny thing happened a few weeks back, I told gg to sit down because she was going to fall, she didn't, I asked her why and she replied you didn't say katse kato. I wanted to smile but held it in as what she was doing was dangerous and I calmly and sternly said katse kato and she did with a great big smile on her face. It's good to know she understands what I have been teaching her but to use it as a rebellious stand to get out of doing something or doing it under her own terms is something I've got to try and stop now before she uses it as a way out.
One of the activities of week 3 was to add 10-20 new sentences into your everyday routine. I know we don't use alot of Greek sentences so this is something we had to work on, I just didn't want to use a sentence then have to everyday make that situation come up just so we could say the sentence. Instead I wanted to teach gg sentences that flowed from one to the other like in a conversation and be used in different ways.
I thought and thought then got interrupted with an invitation to gg's restaurant. I attended, my mind still trying to work out a fun way to use Greek sentences regularly in everyday activities

"Mummy do you want a pita with your souvlaki?........................ MUM-MY do you want a pita"
"Yes agapi mou, sorry Mummy was just thinking"
"That's aright"
gg brought over my pita filled with souvlakia and said
"What would you like to drink?, I have Cyprus Mexico Hawaii Drink"
That was it! Cyprus restaurant drink
"Baby you are a genius thelo ena nero please can I have some water please"
Yes my daughter my inspiration solved my predicament by playing make believe. We played for hours in the Greek  restaurant, gg was taking orders in English and I was the Greek customer ordering in Greek and translating each sentence I said in English right after the Greek. gg loved it and started to use some of the Greek words too (",)
Here's a snippet of our time in the Greek Restaurant in Cyprus

"Geia sas kyria gg,  Hello Mrs gg"
"I am not kyriaki Mummy"
"kyria is Mrs sweetie Kyriaki is Sunday"
"Oh I thought you were calling me Kyriaki, Sunday, that's funny Mummy"
"geia sou"

"eimai poli peinasmeni, I am very hungry, exete yia na faow what do you have for me to eat?"
"I got souvla, elies (olives), coconut cake, what would you like?"
"Thelw mia pita souvlakia I want one pita with souvlakia kai ligo coconut cake parakalow and a little bit of coconut cake please"
"Oh OK! (smiling and pretending to write it all down) sit down please"
"Den katalavainow ego mono milow ellinika, I don't understand I only speak Greek"
"can you katse please?"
"OK"
"I'm just going to cook your food"



"einai to fagito etoimo? is the food ready?"
"yes one minute"
"ena lepto? one minute?"
"yeah ena lepto"
pretending to BBQ with homemade felt cookies


"I'm just cutting your cake"
"sas kopis? are you cutting?"
"yes kopis"
"agapi mou if you say yes i am cutting in Greek it's yes kovow"

"food is ready"
"einai etoimo? is it ready?"
"yeah it's ready Mummy"
"etoimo? ready?"
"yeah it's etoimo"
"what does etoimo mean"
"it's ready"
I'm so glad my broken record style is sinking in (",)

"what would you like to drink?"
"fraoula poto parakalow, strawberry drink please"
"I am just going to mix it for you"



"This is a special drink strawberry and chicken me bizeli (with peas)"
"oxi efxaristow, no thank you, mono fraoula parakalow, only strawberry please" 

"here you are try it"
"egw den to thelow, I don't want it" 
"try it, it is nice, it's oraiaaaaa (niceeeeee)"
"OK then........urrggghhhh it's disgusting"

"hehehehehehehehehehehe"

"I have to wash up now"

As you can see gg didn't use alot of Greek words but she is listening and understanding and that is a big leap forward as she has learnt new words in different context's and situations that she will one day be able to use to communicate (",) Slowly but surely we are getting there on this fun Greek road (",)

If you are taking part in language 180 I'd love to hear how your first few weeks have gone and if you have any tips please do share. Follow the blog so you don't miss out on any of our updates on how we are getting on with our language 180 challenge and all the new Greek Ghana things that will be coming soon and also like our facebook page for day by day sneak peak updates(",)

Those of you learning Turkish and in the UK may find this useful.
My old school friend is helping produce a play that will take you on a roller coaster ride through the absurd, grotesque, humorous and dramatic lives of entirely normal people.
If you are in London on either the 11/12/13th April why not come and spend the evening at the Arcola Theatre and watch a Turkish play with English subtitles (",)
www.arcolatheatre.com

www.arcolatheatre.com

Thursday, 15 March 2012

HAIR CARNIVAL & gg CARDS GIVEAWAY

Photobucket

As I said in my post on Monday I was going to be doing a giveaway,and what better way to do it than join in this months Crafting Carnival hosted by Brooke from the fabulous blog UntrainedHair mom. This month a few bloggers have all linked up to post about their crafting talents which you can read about if you press the links at the bottom, but don't leave just yet, keep reading here to learn about my talents and what kinds of unique prize you can hope to receive.
If you have been following me here on my blog or on facebook you will know that I am the designer and owner of Greek Ghana Cards or ggcards, a greeting card company specialising in mixed race greeting cards aswell as greeting cards for many different cultures and nationalities in a style I have developed which I call half real life half cartoon (",) Each card you recieve is printed on fuji photo paper and stuck on with acid free Letra Tac adhesive dots onto 13.5x13.5cm white 300gsm card with  a 14x14cm envelope all sealed in a 15x15cm clear cello bag. All cards are left blank inside for your own personal message. Here are a few of our cards that are avaliable at www.ggcards.co.uk.

 LITTLE MISS MUFFET
Inspired by the famous nursery rhyme 'Little Miss Muffet'. A young mixed race Miss Muffet is eating her rice and peas but isn't frightened by the spider who came and sat down beside her because her food was too tasty to leave. This card is a picture of a nursery rhyme book and looks at first glance like the original Miss Muffet rhyme but changes towards the end making it more relevent to different cultures. Here's the new rhyme:
"Little Miss Muffet 
Sat on her tuffet
Eating her rice and peas
When down came a spider
Who sat down beside her
But the food was too tasty to leave"
A great card for rice and peas and Miss Muffet lovers and for when you just want to put a smile on someone's face.

PLEASE CAN I HAVE SOME MORE...  ...BIRTHDAY CAKE!
Inspired by the award winning film 'Oliver Twist', this card takes the iconic scene of Oliver asking for more food but in a twist the child is actually asking for more birthday cake. The card has been given an old movie effect. A great card for Oliver Twist and cake lovers.

NOT WELL
Inspired by the much loved kid's cartoon character 'Paddington Bear', a child is in bed ill wearing Paddington's iconic blue coat and black hat with a message on his famous suitcase saying 'not well'. A great card for Paddington lovers.


TO AN AFRICAN PRINCESS
3 African girls play the drum and dance together under a traditional acaica tree wearing traditional African clothing.

GOOD FRIENDS ARE HARD TO FIND
A young girl wearing a traditional Greek chiton has been searching in her 'Friends A-Z' from 800 bc until now for her true friend, as a true friend is very hard to find. This is a great card for that one in a million friend.

WHAT IS A GIRL TO DO...
Inspired by the world famous film 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. A young girl has bought so many things and is left confused on what to buy for her last purchase, diamonds or pearls? A great card for those who love to shop or those who love both diamonds and pearls and can not decide which they prefer.

 GET WELL SOON
Inspired by one of Twiggy's most iconic photos, a young girl is ill with a thermometer in her mouth and replicating Twiggy's long lashes and short hair. This card is a great pick me up for a fashionista that isn't feeling too well.

 WELL DONE
Inspired by the '1968 Olympics Black Power Salute' performed by African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos. 3 girls celebrate amongst streamers, balloons and confetti. The 2 bottom girls are wearing a glove on each hand celebrating and the third has both hands in the air jumping for joy. The girls are shoeless wearing only socks as did the athletes to represent Black poverty, the girl on the left has a scarf around her neck like Tommie Smith who wore his to represent pride and the girl on the right has her coat unzipped as did John Carlos to show solidarity. This is a great card for anyone that has achieved something great and you want to show them how proud you are of them.

TO BEST DADDY EVA
A young boy is proudly holding up a picture he has made for his Daddy with his own wording saying 'TO BEST DADDY EVA'. A great card for Father's Day or for any time you want to tell your Father how much he means to you.

TO A GREEK GODDESS
A Greek girl wearing a traditional ancient Greek chiton and headress with a gold Greek key pattern border.

TO AN INDIAN PRINCESS
An Indian girl wearing a traditional Indian sari and twirling around a pink ribbon saying 'TO AN INDIAN PRINCESS' with a rangoli patterned background.

ggcards has been a big hit worldwide and I thought it was time to expand and make it even more personal to my customers by giving them the option to have their greeting cards personalised to their recipient. This means they would send me a picture of the persons or person they would want in the greeting card and I would use my talents and turn the picture into a Dimitra 'half real life half cartoon' creation.
If you want a specific pose then the person/persons have to already be in the pose but I can add most props, accessories, objects etc... to the picture.
Here's an example of a before picture of gg and then an after picture of gg, after I have worked my magic and turned them into 'half real life half cartoon' master pieces (",)


From the pictures above you can see how the coat has had it's colour changed, I have added gg's Paddington suitcase into the pic, I have added a not well note to it and I have changed the bedding to look more cartoon like. This is only a small example of what I can do, there is so much more.


So now let's talk 'GIVEAWAY!' I have decided that one lucky winner will win a custom designed photo in the style 'half real life half cartoon'. They will recieve a set of photos one 5x7 and two 6x4s of their chosen person and design (all the pictures will have the same picture on them). The winner will need to email me a photo of the person (only one person must be in the picture) they would like me to design in half real life half cartoon style.
I can not change the position of the person in the picture so you will have to have them pose in the position you would like to see them in the final picture. Their clothes can not be changed but the colour of the garments can be, and accessories can be added. I will liase with the winner throughout the designing process to create the best possible piece of art for them. The giveaway rules, terms and conditions are listed below, and the best part is................ This giveaway is open to EVERYONE WORLDWIDE (",) So what are you waiting for? Start entering (",)

If you can not wait to see if you win and you really want an original half real life half cartoon work of art of your chosen person or persons contact me via email dimitra179@googlemail.com

Don't forget to checkout the other bloggers and their crafts by cliclking on the links below (",)

GOOD LUCK!







.








Monday, 12 March 2012

I'M BACK


I know I haven't posted for ages but I've had good reason... 'We are MARRIED' woo hoo! (",) Now married life doesn't feel different but our conversations do. There's a lot of  'Husband!' or 'Wife!' in most of our conversations to each other which feels a bit funny saying as it makes us feel old like our parents, but we love it and always laugh whenever we refer to each other as Husband or Wife lol. I'm even smiling as I write this hehe... Now I bet my 'Husband!' hehe... when he reads this, (I always get him to read through my posts to check the grammar and spelling before I publish, because my first language was Greek not English up until I was 3, well that's what I tell him because I want him to read them lol ooppps cover blown) he too will have a smile on his face ♥
I have still kept record of everything Greek Ghana whilst we were planning our wedding, getting married and enjoying married life together, so in the up coming weeks there will be posts on:
  • hair, especially mine and gg's hair when we had our wedding hair trials a few times and how they turned out on the day. You'll have to wait until the photographer sends us our pics but the run up to the final style is a funny one, so watch this space
  • fun tasty recipes and again when I get my pics you will see my wedding cake I made and I promise that you will be impressed because since people have seen it I have been getting orders and ggcakes has now been born (",)
  • fun crafts and activities to do with your kids
  • our regular Saturday school which I have neglected to post but have kept doing with gg
  • our new challenge 'Language Challenge 180', which is a 180 day/6 month challenge to help yourself/child/family learn a language
  • gg is a member of 'The Children's Traffic Club', so we will be sharing fun ways to teach your child/children to be safe, alert and aware when traffic is concerned (award winning road safety programme)
  • plus much more as and when I get inspired (",)
Aaaaannnddd..... make sure you check-in on Thursday where there may be a giveaway (one you will not want to miss because it will be tailor made just for the winner) or so I've heard (",)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

A GREEK GHANA XMAS & NEW YEAR

Warning this is a very long post (",).

Who had fun with family and friends over the Xmas period? We sure did (",) The thing is you don't truly realise how much fun or how much you bond until it finishes and my fiance has to go back to work. So as my fiance is hard at work and gg and I play together we both reminisce about the last 10 days and how much fun we all have had, this is up until gg says "Mummy I want to call Daddy I need to tell him off! Why is he at work? He s'pose to be home with us so we can play". She takes my phone asks me which one is Daddy's number?" I show her and off she is telling him off on the phone for going to work lol. As gg is otherwise occupied disciplining her daddy, (and I'm left with the laptop) I thought I'd share with you our Greek Ghana Xmas and New Yr.

Every Christmas time my fiance gets 10 days off and we have lots of fun together especially last year when we were all sick, now not your normal sick I mean sick with a temperature, shivering, headaches that hurt so much it's like you're wearing a helmet of pain, weak, falling in and out of sleep and thinking people were shouting when they weren't. But even though we were all mash up we spent over a week at home in PJ's watching films snuggled up on the sofa and it was great! I don't know if it had anything to do with my fiance proposing on new years eve or not, but it was fantastic (",)
I wanted to re-create the fun bonding times we had together spending time messing about, chilling and having a good laugh constantly for days non-stop rather than there being a few hours break between the fun when gg's daddy is at work, but this time minus the sickness.
Well I can happily report that we had our fun and we weren't housebound this time by the lergies (I haven't used that word since primary school lol), only by choice (",) Here it is our Greek Ghana Xmas and New Yr.

I had it all planned, get gg a leap frog leap pad the week before Christmas, just so I wouldn't be tempted to give it to her because I knew she would love it and I would get too excited, make gg a quilt, go and see Santa on Xmas eve, decorate our gingerbread house and make stain glassed gingerbread cookies to hang on the tree for Santa on Xmas eve, have family round ours on Xmas day, on boxing day go to my mum and dad's for souvla (Greek BBQ), spend a few days watching films in our PJ's playing and playing on the wii, sort out wedding music, get our wedding rings, book honeymoon have a romantic new yrs eve etc... You catch my drift. Well it didn't quite go to plan.

I went everywhere looking for a leapfrog leap pad, no where had them in stock. I tried on ebay and found one for £14 more than the rrp but I didn't mind because that's what I wanted to get gg. I paid right after I won it but the seller wasn't registered to receive pay pal payments. I told the seller I cancelled the payment and bidded on another leap frog leappad and won it, this time £8 more than the rrp plus guaranteed next day delivery. That evening I got an email from the first seller saying it was in the post, and that we could sort out payment next week.I didn't think anything of it because I thought who would send an £80 item in the post without receiving payment? I thought he was trying to cover himself to not get bad feedback and say it got lost in the post. The next morning the second leapfrog I ordered arrived and to my fiance's and my surprise, so did the first one. We couldn't believe that he sent it without us paying for it. I rang him up and his reasoning was he knew I wanted it and he was going to sort out payment the following week. Well as I'm a good person and because the seller sent it out of the kindness of his heart I sent it back to him and we were left with one leapfrog leappad (",).

I finished sewing gg's quilt on the Thursday before Xmas, and for my first attempt I was quite impressed with myself. The last time I sewed on a sewing machine was in secondary school and I used to think I was going to sew my fingers that's why I didn't pursue sewing, but this time I had no fear at all.


gg and I baked our gingerbread house and gingerbread play-doh the Wednesday before Xmas, glued the walls together on the Thursday stuck the roof on on Friday, so far so good you say. Well the roof fell off and then one side broke into pieces so I was left with a one-sided roofed house. I was still happy because my first attempt last year was rubbish I didn't even get one wall to stand up and on Xmas eve it was all in the bin lol but this year I was organised, followed all the steps and had a house with only part of the roof missing. My reason for this was so you could see the people inside that came to take sweets hehehehehehe. We didn't get to decorate the house with sweets on Xmas eve because we were too busy visiting Father Christmas

but got around to it 3 days later which was fun, but the sweets kept falling down. This is my fault. I followed all the instructions apart from one of the most important; to beat your royal icing before you use it if made in advance to air it and get the correct thick consistency and not a runny one because I was in lazy mode. We did make our gingerbread cookies, cut a hole in the middle, put in some crushed boiled sweets in the hole and used a straw to make a hole at the top to thread some string through to hang on the tree. The problem is that I was too engrossed in Eastenders and forgot about the cookies so they were a little too dark but gg hung them on the tree anyway. Santa didn't seem to mind because on Christmas day there was only one left, and that one somehow started to melt and make part of the tree sticky. Note to self: no need to add sweets in the centre normal cookies are just fine for Santa.

GINGERBREAD PLAY-DOH



Speaking of Christmas day gg only got to open one present when she woke up because we had to go to the emergency dentist because her gum swelled up the night before. But when we got back and she had taken her medicine we all got to opening our presents. Family came round for Xmas dinner and I nearly burnt the house down because the baking paper in the tray touched the flame in the oven and caught fire oops! We had a nearly traditional Xmas dinner but we all had chillies with our food. This came about because my fiance's brother puts chili on everything. Now I used to think he didn't like my food but he does it with EVERYTHING (",). We only had a little chili sauce so I offered him and everyone else chillies and everyone ate them with their food (apart from gg) happily. Some that are not used to eating chillies will think this is a little strange but eating chillies in Ghana and Cyprus is a common accompaniment to food no matter what food you are having. I love them, not the extra hot ones the ones that burn slightly and I eat them everyday for breakfast with olives, rocket spinach, pea shoots salami/ham and wholegrain seeded bread which is a great healthy start to the day, plus its a great kick start to your metabolism too.


My mother in-law to be bought some party poppers, but these weren't your usual poppers. These went bang and caused a spark, a red one, and each popper was smoking, now no joke for about a minute at a time, and wait for it, they had no streamers come out of them LOL. Apart from last two that gg pulled. We also had crackers that gg always pulled with someone and always seemed to win, I think it has something to do with her not being as strong so when the other person pulls they get less, doesn't really make sense but that's the only explanation I can come up with lol. In each cracker there were jokes and I excitedly read them to everyone and got booed for the lame jokes, even though I didn't make them up, so not fair.

We went to my mum and dad's and had souvla, pork and lamb, with grilled pitta bread home made chips, homemade tachin (tahini), garlic beetroot and parsley, diced onions and parsley, tomatoes in olive oil and garlic and white cabbage and coriander salad, mmm... I'm hungry writing it I want some now (",) Gotta wait until the end of the month for more as gg put in her request and asked papou to make her souvla for her birthday. We had loads to take home and ate it the next day watching Smurfs the movie, and gg now thinks smurfs are real but not the cartoon ones lol.

We went to order our wedding rings on new year's eve just because it was our 1 year anniversary when my fiance proposed but when we got there it took me just under 2 hours to decide which ones I wanted and when I finally did the lad said they didn't have my fiance's size in stock and so now we have to go to another jeweller and decide on a different set of matching rings. I was upset because I was trying to build up a tradition here, trying to get jewellery every new years eve, but now I've got to try another way (",)

gg took us to fridge galaxy to see sudinan the pig, whilst holding an Argos brochure open on the fridge page lol

Not even an hour into the new year, I got the cotton from the end of a cotton bud stuck in my ear and my fiance got it out for me with tweezers even though he couldn''t see it and had to guess lol

Here's some off gg's firsts questions of 2012:
"who made me?"
"no who made my bones inside me?"
"who made my colour then?"
"who made your colour then?"
I will post soon how we dealt with these questions in more depth.

I tried curlformers 3 times on gg's hair with not so good results,


but on a good hair note here's a pic of gg's first cornrows of 2012 with only our itchy scalp spray and shea butter mix braided on wet hair with no bands on the end.



Our best Xmas gift was,,,,,

(",)

This was our Greek Ghana Mix Christmas and New Year, this isn't your stereotypical Greek or Ghanaian Xmas or New Year but hey we aren't your stereotypical Greek or Ghanaian family (",)