Monthly Archives: March 2013

In the name of crisis, let us reflect..

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These past couple of weeks have been bleak and dark on my little island. On March 16, we pulled the curtains wide open to see Seňora CRISISuela flaunting at us, decked with austere colors and imposing financial measures, which led to the closure of at least one bank, freezing life savings while spreading panic, grief, fear, frustration and uncertainty.During this time of adversity, I personally experienced all of these emotions, though at times I felt numbness, as if I wanted to stay still in time and go back in motion again like a jubilant ballerina once Cyprus recovered fully. It is during this stillness that I managed to reflect on my life, as well as my country, more than ever…

A little over a decade ago, Cyprus was blossoming as a result of the stock market boom, followed by the property boom along with an escalating foreign investment. Scores of Cypriots enjoyed soaring salaries, which allowed them to build bigger houses and holiday homes, buy luxury cars and enjoy frequent shopping sprees for designer brands and haute couture.

It seems to me that, for years on end, many Cypriots- not all- invested graciously everywhere except their heart and soul. Isn’t that how one loses the true essence of life? That image of perfection, fabricated beautifully with all that money can buy, disappeared when the masks dropped. Corruption, bad management, irresponsibility… and the list goes on- prevailed, until that vibrant bubble burst and Seňora CRISISuela emerged.

In the name of Crisis, let us try to reflect on the true essence of life and re-evaluate our purpose on this life path. And, during this process, let us invest in the real treasures within ourselves and life itself…

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a spring recipe

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Earlier this week, on Kathy Barrett’s ‘Go behind the curtain’ radio show, I spoke about a salmon recipe, whose preparation time is only a few minutes. I would like to share this succulent recipe with you today as it appears in ‘a squirrel in your kitchen’. Enjoy!

SALMON WITH COCONUT MILK

Ingredients

4 salmon fillets (small + thin)

½ cup coconut milk

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp tomato paste

pinch of brown sugar

1-2 bay leafs

3-4 tbsp dry white wine

1 tsp basil

herbal salt (herbamare)

Preparation

Wash the salmon fillets. Sprinkle with sesame oil to take the heavy fish odor away. Place the fillets in a cooking tray, sprinkle them with the wine and add the bay leaves. Mix the coconut milk, tomato paste and a pinch of sugar, and add on top of the fillets. Season with salt and basil. Cook covered in the oven at 180ºC for about 15-20 minutes. Uncover the last 5 minutes. Remove when your fillets have a soft orange color. Salmon should not be left in dry heat for too long as it gets dry fast.

TEDxNicosia- the power of team work

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On the ‘morning after’ for what was for me a truly exhilarating day at TEDxNicosia followed by an incredible after-party, I wanted to share some thoughts and messages from dear friends.The TEDxNicosia experience has been overwhelming. For 3 months, I felt lucky and honored to work with a group of amazing teamsters (all volunteers), who worked tirelessly and passionately towards one single goal- to put up an event which will intrigue, energize and inspire. Each and every team member will tell you just that- that during these challenging times that our island is going through, if we can make a difference by touching people and getting them to Re-Think their lives for a moment or inspire them to Re-Act and Re-Generate, then that is our contribution to society!

This morning I woke up feeling RE-Generated, having read comments on our TEDx FB page as well as personal messages on my phone and email. I wanted to share these with you and wish you a wonderful day.

Mahi herete! A big well done to you and the rest of the TEDx team for this event. I might not have been there, but I had a TEDx moment whilst “guarding my country”, gun in hand and Turkish soldier a few meters away, I was watching the live streaming. The few lecturers I saw, shared interesting stories that made my mind travel along with theirs. Thank you Antoni Stylianou!

Dear TEDxNicosia organizers volunteers, partners, speakers, thank you for a wonderful day. The take away is that you made me leave the event feeling full of energy, of thoughts, of emotions. The real value is not this or that speech, the how well it was executed, the quality of the food… It is what remained with us after we left, and for me it was a heightened level of energy and possibility, the threads of conversations that have emanated and are rippling in our local collective as we move on, the possibilities that that creates. Ultimately, for me is more valuable the intent, and the result. The stuff in the middle, we can always reflect on, as a way for both reward and improvement. Congrats, and… Keep it coming! Thank you Aki Christofides.

Bravo on putting together a great event and inspiring day. You should be very proud and note that this is a great achievement that this place needs so badly. There is nothing else remotely like TED for our community and everyone walked away with something good yesterday even if it was slightly different for everyone. Thank you Julia Papageorgiou.

Healthy hearty bites

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I have been craving artichokes all week, and yesterday I was delighted when my mom turned up with a basket full!
With a little help from my dear Master Chefs, Lilia and Thomas, I prepared a delish and totally easy, healthy recipe for lunch…
For this recipe, cut out the leaves as you will only use the artichoke hearts. Cut the hearts in two and put them in a pan with whatever vegetables you fancy. I  used carrots, but you can use potatoes, zucchinis or whatever other colorful combination you like. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, tarragon, parsley and a touch of paprika and throw in some bay leaves. Add a splash of water and throw in the oven. 30-45 minutes later, you can enjoy this absolutely mouth-watering dish..! Yummy!

a celebration of phenomenal women

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‘The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.
Anne Frank
 
In 2010, Anne Frank was voted “Most Inspiring Woman” in a survey to mark International Women’s Day.
“I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I’ll be able to realize them,” Anne wrote in her diary. Anne’s life and diary continue to act as an inspiration 68 years after her demise and I would like to pay special tribute to this phenomenal human being with such a gracious spirit!
 
In celebration of Women’s Day last year, I asked my friends to share with me their favorite quotes- whether borrowed, or their own. Below is a selection of these quotes with a toast to all wonderful women in my path…. Happy Women’s Day to all of you Phenomenal Ladies!
 
 “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou
 
Life is a one-time shot. You don’t get time to have a rehearsal. This is your time to live it! There are no second chances!’ – Olympia Dukakis
 
The emotional status of a woman is the earthquake of every household.  Peace within…..Peace at home”.  – Tasoula Hadjitofi
 
‘A woman is a miracle for she can create many. May we create miracles in all aspects of life.’ – Christi Karydou
 
 “In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount…” – Haruki Murakami 
 and I add..  “….so that others would want to be part of you, but most importantly, so that you would want to be part of you!” – Myria Karydou
 
‘If someone consciously chooses to walk or run at the park rather than go on a lavish shopping spree, then this person is on the right track!’  – Maria Kyriacou
 
“Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.” –Lilia Larcou
  
Something my grandfather told me was “treat others like you would want them to treat you” and “live every day as if it’s your last- never leave bad feelings/ words with someone you love”. Also very important, and this comes from me: ‘be a good listener. Be a good listener at work with colleagues, with your husband, with your children at home and with your friends. Only then will you be able to truly give advice, avoid a fight, manage to hold words that shouldn’t be said.’ – Laura Koumas