BEDN – How Did It Go? Reflections

This month I took Elizabeth’s challenge. to Blog everyday in November (BEDN). I was reluctant at first as this is a very busy period for me and I wasn’t sure I can blog everyday. In fact I had to skip 2 days, but, as a whole, I would say it went great.

I liked this challenge because I could get inspired by the topics. I didn’t plan to write about Healthy Living: food, exercise and mental health, My unusual Hobbies and Nostalgia. Other topics were on my list, but I kept postponing them, like Walking in high heels and Work from home.

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I loved it so much that I want to do it next year again. I also know that writing on the blog every single day, all year, is not for me. It would add a pressure and it would make me enjoy blogging less. So I’m not going to do that. Another great thing about #BEDN is that I was able to discover new blogs and that is fantastic.

Because a lot of bloggers took on this challenge I want to share 5 of their posts that I loved reading this month.
1. Codie & Perks of being a Grownup
2. Becster & Dog Tales – Jimmy Jones
3. Michelle & BEDN 6 One Wild Night In Devon
4. Beth & #BEDN Day Three: October Reading Month Round-Up
5. Clarissa @ kkmooandmonkey2.com

Blogging at Christmas

The Blog everyday in November challenge is almost over and I think I did pretty good, except for a couple of days when I was too busy to blog. I will write more about it tomorrow, in a roundup.

Today the theme is Christmas and I want to share my blogging schedule for December and Christmas. Of course I will blog about other things too, but I have a few things planned and I want to share them.

Blogging at Christmas. Special series on the blog.

I am in the process of making a series of 3 posts that will be published every Friday until Christmas with different topics and help from other bloggers.

Blogging at Christmas

The first post is Vegetarian Christmas and it will go live on 4th December. I’m going to share only vegetarian recipes that I made and from other bloggers. I will post mainly savoury dishes as the sweet ones are almost all vegetarian anyway.

The second post is The best Christmas gift and it will go live on 11th December. I will talk about the best Christmas gift I received. I will also ask bloggers to share their stories. I think it will be fascinating, can’t wait to start writing it.

The last post in this mini series is Christmas traditions and it will go live on 18th December. I hope I can get involved a few expats so they can share different traditions from different cultures.

If you want to get involved in any post, I would be delighted. Send me an email (the email address is in the about me page), tell me on twitter or leave a comment.

Blogging at Christmas. Instagram challenge.

Also I’m joining a new challenge on Instagram. It’s organized by Angela and it looks fab. I can’t wait to share my pictures, so don’t forget to give me a follow if you want to see them.

Instagram challenge for Christmas. Blogging at Christmas
These are the themes for the pictures. It’s so exciting.

Derby

I like seeing new towns and Derby was on my list for a while now. Hubby and I stopped there on a longer trip and we walked around. The town is beautiful. It has a lot of history and there are lots of things to see, but we were only passing through. Derby has catacombs, industrial museums, an abbey, the canal, the cathedral, an art gallery and it’s home to Rolls Royce.

01 Derby

Market Hall
The entrance to the Market Hall looked very festive. It was late afternoon and not all the shops were open at that time.

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15 things I learned as an expat in UK

Today marks the day I arrived as an expat in UK with a tired hubby from an almost 2,000 mile drive, our tired dog and a fully loaded car. It happened 4 years ago. I had no idea how my life would be like and it was the first time I’ve step foot on British soil.

15 things i learned as an expat in UK

During this years I learned a few things by living as an expat in UK:

1. Even if the rest of the world thinks in UK rains all the time, it doesn’t rain that often. I still had to water the garden.

2. Depending on the topic, 100 or 200 years old is not that old…

3. I like history. I didn’t like it in school, but with Henry and his 6 wives, lots of stately homes and interesting stories regarding aristocracy I changed my mind about it.

4. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or it’s fog or it’s Easter, most likely there is someone on the same path with us, going on a hike.

5. Cheddar is delicious and during the winter holidays there are plenty more flavours to choose from, with apricots and cranberries.

6. It’s never too early to think about Christmas. Christmas pudding, fruit cake and mince pies are delicious.

7. If you arrive at 10.30 am at a National Trust property you have to park in the overflow car park.

8. Mr. Whippy ice cream van is at any event in summer and also in winter. I usually have to queue to get one.

9. An old mine, a tunnel connecting two towns, a couple of hundred years old tunnels and many other similar locations are tourist attractions and they are fascinating (and crowded).

10. “Maybe it’s not the best x I ever had” can mean that is awful. I would thought is more like “is good, but not the best”. Can be a funny misunderstanding.

11. One can start a conversation with a stranger on the street about the weather. It just happens.

12. The 24 hours shops are open for 24 hours only during the weekdays and not in the weekend. It took me an year to get used to that, as in Romania a 24 hours shop is open 7 days also.

13. Women will stop their cars so they can tell me that my rottweiler is gorgeous.

14. There are 7 types of cream: single cream, double cream, whipping cream, soured cream, clotted cream, crème fraîche and extra thick double cream. I was used to only 2 types, the same applies to flour. Now I use them all and I can’t imagine how my life was before with only 2 types.

15. Indian is a common cuisine, there are lots of Indian ingredients in the supermarkets. I wasn’t expecting that.

I know that most of them are related to food… but it’s me, I’m thinking a lot about food.

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Nostalgia

Today I’m going to talk about Nostalgia, as it’s the theme for Blog everyday in November and it’s appropriate considering that tomorrow is my 4th anniversary since I moved to the UK.

Nostalgia is “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past” according to the Oxford dictionary. It’s something I rarely have. It happens when I look in my blog’s archive. Like today, when I was chatting on a forum about snow and I looked back to see how it was in January. I saw a couple of pictures hubby took when we went to see a special exhibition about lessons in posing subjects. I felt nostalgic, it was a lovely moment, I remembered what hubby and I talked about while he took those pictures, it was sweet.

My life was normal. I had a good childhood, I liked my teachers and my colleagues at school, I had a few friends and it was fun. I liked what I learned at Uni and my years as a volunteer working with kids. I am found of the jobs I had and what I learned although I used to change them fast as they didn’t suit me.

I like remembering things from the past, but I’m not nostalgic. I wouldn’t want to go to see the places I lived before, regardless if they were in the city I lived my childhood, where I had my first flat or where I lived for the first time in Liverpool. I don’t feel the need of going back to see those places because I can remember them and I have pictures and I want to spend my time focusing on the present and the future.

I know my definition on “home” is different than for others. For me home is here, where I’m right now, writing cuddled up on the sofa with my feet underneath me, with the dog sleeping next to the sofa. Home is not where I was born or raised or where I got married. If tomorrow hubby and I sell our home and move to another city and another house, for me, from the moment I get there, that place will be home. I don’t even need things from my home, I would take them only if it makes sense.

Being able to let go makes me feel free. Maybe others can’t understand me but each to their own.

Are you nostalgic?

Sherwood forest

On Monday I’ve been to the Sherwood forest, home of Robin Hood and the Major Oak. It was cold, but the walk through the forest was lovely. When we arrived we saw lots of birds near the car park. There are bird feeding stations on almost all the posts of the fence and in the nearby trees. The birds were singing and eating. It was heartwarming. Sadly they didn’t stand still long enough to take some non-blurry pictures.

We’ve started by seeing a very nicely made exhibition at the Visitor Centre. There are information about oaks and about Robin Hood too. Kids will definitely enjoy it and it’s interesting for adults too. They were building the Santa grotto and I can imagine how exciting must be for kids. There is also a Santa Paws for dogs, that is such a cool idea. We got some Whiskey fudge on our way out and eat it on the way to the Major Oak.

01 Sherwood forest

02 Sherwood forest
I saw pictures of the Major Oak, but it’s still impressive to see it. Major Oak is an 1,000 old tree with a lot of history. The Oak was used in cock fights a few hundred years ago. Then was left uncut as it is hollow and it becomes a tourist attraction during the Victorian age.

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Liverpool Christmas market

Liverpool is a great place to live in. For the last 4 years I lived in Liverpool and Wirral. There are so many interesting places and amazing events all year round. I was contacted by Travelodge and asked to talk about a hidden gem in Liverpool. I was delighted to get involved and talk about Liverpool.
Initially I thought of literally hidden gems, but I already blogged about them a few months ago. So I decided to talk about the Liverpool Christmas market as it fits well in the hidden gem category. Travelodge has a few hotels in Liverpool and 4 of them are in walking distance of the Christmas market.

15 Liverpool Christmas market

The market takes place in the city centre, a busy location with plenty of shops and restaurants. I’ve been to the Christmas market for the first time a few years ago and it was fab, There were so many stalls with lovely gifts and food and mulled wine.

01 Liverpool Christmas tree 2015
Between the Christmas market and L1, a big shopping centre, is the tallest Christmas tree in the UK. The tree is 30 metres tall and it has 280 heart lights.

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