Wednesday, May 30, 2012

bring on the bunting; the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

this year marks Queen Elizabeth's 60 years of reign as chief monarch of 16 sovereign states (12 of which are British colonies or dominions) since her accession to the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI.
(the Queen in her coronation robes, 2 June 1953, photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
so many holidays and events are happening as we speak throughout the Commonwealth to mark this special occasion
(the United Kingdom's Diamond Jubilee logo)
here in Gibraltar,  a humongous billboard of the Queen is a popular tourist stopover in the Piazza
red and white buntings are up all over the streets in preparation for Prince Edward's (Earl of Wessex, third son and youngest child of the Queen) visit next week
flags are flying high in people's windows to show loyalty to the Crown;  Gib is British and will likely remain so forever despite Spain wanting it back.  and this is the reason why the Queen's Jubilee dinner attended by the Who's Who of Royalty was snubbed by Spain's own royal couple.  
 Union Jacks are in every shop window
some even have the Queen's picture right next to red, white and blue beddings

some even have a cardboard cut-out of the Queen!  check out the red and gold Crown :)  

concerts here and there, charity shows and bars and restaurants have special menus just for the occasion!
 the local supermarket even have customised recyclable bags!
 we will be enjoying a long weekend this week :)  God save the Queen!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

flea market finds: smalls

do you watch American Pickers?  i do!  i am a big fan of Mike and Frank. they not only have THE eye for picking rusty gold and hidden treasures but they are just the most outgoing, friendly and approachable people i have ever seen on tv in a long while.  they value people so much more than the stuff found in their barns and homes.  i like how they make people feel at ease around them.  and most of all, they do this with not an ounce of drama involved!

well, my finds last week were all about what Mike and Frank would call "smalls".

an 8x6in blackboard finds a home in our kitchen (Wolfgang Puck would be proud)
(bought for .20p)
i used to do this when i was in high school so when i found these, it brought back a wave of nostalgia :)  100% cotton with a delicate green edging and a christmas theme perhaps?
(bought for .50p the whole lot)
and this glass ball which i don't know nothing about and which i plan to make/repurpose into a terrarium OR a christmas hanging OR... any other ideas?
(bought for .50p)
i guess this would be a perfect segue to my thrifting finds last week :)

*linking to Thrift Share Monday @Apron Thrift Girl and Flea Market Finds @Her Library Adventures :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

an annual event

first there were pink flowers in the early morning...
then there was cakey!  one huge Maltesers-flavored giant cupcake of a cake and a pink owl with yellow feet!
then the tearing of papers and rustling of bubble wraps revealed... the wisest and brightest of owls with piercing eyes...  she is now called Gertrude :)
but she wasn't a lonely owl... before her there was Mr. Artsy-Fartsy...
 "i'll take you to the beach and we will look for your beloved seaglass...", said the mister.
i squealed with delight!  oh to bury my feet in the warm powdery sand... i am happy!  
we looked under tiny moss-covered islands... look!  a ship! two ships! three ships!
we found some emeralds, some jade, some peridot, some garnet and even some lapis lazuli... but they were shy and elusive, these seaglasses of mine...
we lazed around, we dipped our feet into azure waters, we caught a few zzzzzzz's and then it was time to climb back up the steps...
i could never imagine myself living away from the sea... the smell, the feel, the sounds... 

i am happy to have the privilege of growing a year older and hopefully, a year wiser.

Friday, May 25, 2012

mid-century doors

i  must have passed these doors a million times and a million times i have thought to myself how utterly and wonderfully 50's it is.  its really remarkable that a really well-preserved example of mid-century piece of architecture has survived in tiny Gib.  

this place looks abandoned by the way and i've seen workers in the adjacent building go in and out so i am guessing they are either refurbishing the inside or gearing up to make way for another commercial establishment since this is along Main Street (the main tourist route with a lot of shops dotting the whole area).
so the other day i finally took a photograph of it.  i love the three-pronged wooden door knob.  i wonder who lived there before it became empty.  i wonder if there are still mid-century treasures inside.  i wonder if people still appreciate doors like these. i wonder... 
right next to that well-preserved wooden door is this wrought-iron treasure.  i smile when i see this door.  i don't know why but it makes me think of Miami in the 50's :)  seaside, cocktails and maybe a little bit of Birdcage thrown in :)
 FPV?  hhmmm.... 
twisted brass door knobs!  how cool is that?  i will definitely be on the lookout for more mid-century modern architecture here in Gib :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

going postal

did you know that chocolates are good for the skin?  cacao contains high levels of polyphenol antioxidants that shield your skin from free radicals.  of course, the best of these are the dark chocolates.  
but milk chocolates are nice too! (when eaten in moderation)
sent from Down Under by my lovely cousin, postage cost more than the chocolates themselves!  but it is the thought that counts after all :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

flea market finds: good things come in small packages

that saying has never been more true than today when all of my finds from last week are all cute and diminutive complete with a colorful personality that packs a wallop:)

first up is this cobalt blue alarm clock with a snooze button, huge digital numbers and the softest blue light imaginable.  a little help for the mister especially on monday mornings :)
(bought for £1)
this Matryoshka doll (aka Russian nest-ing/ed doll) is a fine example of Russian folk art that was originally inspired by the Japanese Kokeshi doll.  i love their vibrant colors! 
(bought for .50p)
my next find are two handpainted ceramicware bowls and a mug with a whimsical chicken design from M&S.  i just love the colorful polka dots on the edges :)
(bought for £1 each)
and for my garden, i found this tealight lamp with a blue and turquoise mosaic design.  perfect for barbecues!
(bought for £1)
 following my garden theme,  i found two beautiful handmade butterflies who will never ever leave my garden :)
(bought for .10p)

(bought for .10p)
and lastly,  i conclude this post with a blessing from the Laughing Buddha who is said to be the deity of happiness, contentment, good luck and abundance!  (rub his tummy and we will see!)
(bought for .10p)
about 3 inches in length, he is actually a refrigerator magnet.  the words underneath written in chinese characters mean ... eerr.. let me get back to you on that one!  

thank you God for the giggles!

*linking to ThriftShare Monday @Apron Thrift Girl and Flea Market Finds @Her Library Adventures :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

featured place in Gib: the Gibraltar Museum

the easiest way to learn about a place's culture is by visiting its museums.

thanks to the International Council of Museums, it was International Museum Day last saturday so we got to visit the Gibraltar Museum for free!

call me a "museumer" or a "museumist" but i heart museums!  geek as i am, i love trivia and information and remembrances of things past.  i also love studying us (humans)!  and why we do the things we do :)

passersby and tourists were treated to a street theatre production of the famous story, The Cricket and the Ant.  the kids loved it!  i think the streets are a great venue for learning, don't you think?
in the courtyard of the museum you can find the excavations of ancient Moorish baths.  despite its small size, the museum also houses Neanderthal skulls found in various caves within the rock, a record of all the wars that occurred since the Moors came here, a concise exhibit of rock formations and how the rock came about and even a miniature model of the rock made in the 19th. cent. 
tattered and frayed, an early flag of Gibraltar
a stone ring anchor still with barnacles from a forgotten ship hundreds of years ago: i thought this looked more like an ancient toilet cover tee-hee
thus, a great time was had by all!  the unexpected things in life are the best ones! 

if you want to read more about the goings-on in the Gibraltar Museum (trust me, the hardworking people there are always digging for something!),  you can visit their blog here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

party in the tummy

i had a serious hankering for lumpia this week ever since i was inspired by the lovely Jeannie of Jeannie Marie and Company on her recent post "the Joy of Lumpia".  please do visit her blog for instructions on how to make these scrumptious dish.

i made a huge batch and gave some to my MIL and froze some of it too for when i would need another lumpia fix ;)  i am good for the next month or so haha
lately, i have been mass-harvesting my spring onions in our balcony garden in preparation for my flowers this spring.  so, i used some of them in another favorite of mine, Thai salt and pepper prawns.  these are great with plain or garlic fried rice.
what to do with a handful of spaghetti, extra broccoli, left-over mushroom and 2 strips of vegetarian bacon?  why,  make spaghetti in creamy broccoli and mushroom and top it with the crispy bacon of course!  and that's just what i did one day when i was pressed for time and ran out of recipes!
Gibraltar's national dish is torta de acelga or spinach pie.  my MIL cooks this one with her eyes closed and i love it because it is absolutely delicious (sadly, i have tasted some that are really bland and dry) and best of all it does not go straight to my hips!  very healthy!
i promised myself to try new recipes and new cuisine whenever i can and to experiment more in my cooking.  who wants to be boring and stuck on eating the same food every day of their lives???? baaaahhhh :P

let's par-tay!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

letter K for Kiwi

2 things i love most:  surprises and letters!

received both from a long-lost-but-now-found friend based in New Zealand this charming pair of the most vivid opalescent blue earrings and a delicate necklace made from the finest Paua shells (Maori name for the edible sea snails of the abalone family found only in the coastal waters off Fiordland and Stewart Island in New Zealand).  

my happiness has come full circle because best of all i got reconnected again to a beautiful friend from my childhood :)  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mamma Mia!

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful mothers, soon-to-be moms, wanna-be moms and moms-for-a day out there!  without you, what would we have become?  THANK YOU!

and to my own beautiful, strong, humble, dedicated, faithful mother: you are what i always hope to be... everyday :)  thank you mamma!
(Happy Mothers Day ma!)
"there'll be days like this, my momma said..."

a wonderful spoken poem from the inspirational Sarah Kay dedicated to all the fantastic moms reading my blog :) 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

flea market finds: pitchin' chicken kitchen

aaaand back to our original programming!

kitchen lovin' this week as i found mostly kitchen stuff in my forays.  first up is this brass cat trivet which i found on the floor (seemingly unwanted) of my favorite shop.  poor kitty!
below is my first set of thrift shop measuring cups and probably my fifth set of measuring cups in the house!  (all others were either bought in the grocery store, free stuff from holiday crackers or were our landlords')  i love these because they also have the spoons on the other end and with their corresponding equivalent in mls. 
my favorite find however is this hen-shaped egg wire basket in yellow!  i have been looking for something to store our eggs in and the thrifting gods heard my plea!
a couple of kid's retro robot hand warmers for next winter ;)
also, a couple of soap bars :)  i use these in place of moth balls in our closets.  not only do they keep the moths at bay but also give off a really nice fragrance :)
*linking to Sophie's Flea Market Finds @ Her Library Adventures! :)