{RECIPE} Classic Rum Punch

May 31, 2012
Tonight we're celebrating my boyfriend's birthday with a Caribbean themed dinner {I can't quite express how excited I am for some jerk chicken and plantain!} and I'm bringing along some jugs of homemade rum punch. I'd mentioned this recipe once before but my friend Diana over at 'Jar of Life' posted such a well presented version that I asked to repost: 

"I swear by this rum punch recipe (and my mum swears by it too) because it is simple, easy and foolproof!

The best part of the recipe is that the recipe itself rhymes which makes it easy to remember.


1 part SOUR
2 parts SWEET
3 parts STRONG
4 parts WEAK


First you will need a jug and to do some math 
Now for the math: if you add all the "parts" up you will get 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10 parts in total

In my case: I used an old 1.75 L rum bottle as my jug
I went to a converter online and found out that 1.75 L equals just under 8 cups
8 cups divided by 10 is 0.8 cups (so not quite a cup — is how I will measure each part)

So now for the recipe...
1 part SOUR — I use lime juice (freshly squeezed when I have enough limes and time but mostly just store bought) but you could use lemon juice.

2 parts SWEET — I used Muscovado Barbadian sugar
I made it into a simple syrup by adding it to two parts water (WEAK) putting it all in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir occasionally until dissolved.

3 parts STRONG — I used Old Brigand rum but any rum should work well here (I don't like the idea of white rum though). Add the rum (most crucial element) to your jug.

Once the syrup is finished and cooled, add it to your jug.

Add the remaining 2 parts of WEAK (I use water but some people use fruit juice (I find juice can make it too sweet) or sparkling water).

Then give the jug a stir or in my case (since mine was made in a bottle with a cap) — I gave it a good ole shake.

Pour it into a glass filled with lots of ice and top it with fresh grated nutmeg (very necessary).

A splash of Angostura bitters would also be an amazing touch (alas I did not have any).

Thanks for the recipe Di! 

Hope one of you gives this a try - it's the most amazing summer drink! :)


Back to the Big Smoke

May 30, 2012

I've barely been back in Amsterdam a week and I've somehow convinced myself that it's OK to head back to London for a few days. My excuse is that it's a certain special someone's birthday this weekend and I'll be missing out on the celebrations if I don't go :) 

This all sounds hunky dory but last minute booking + a low student budget = a hellish bus trip {yes, BUS!} from Amsterdam to London, approx. over 8 hours of pure cramped up bliss to look forward to!

Luckily I've updated my playlists and I've got some mad sick tunes to keep me occupied. {Lies, that's my organised alter ego! I'll be doing it old school with a book...} but here are some of my recent addictions:

Wednesday's Window to the World: Barcelona, Spain

View from my window in Barcelona,Spain.
Nikola Simpson, 2011

Manic Monday: How to report the news

May 28, 2012

I was quarrelled with for my sombre video on 'The Boundaries of Life & Death' last week Monday, so this video by Charlie Brooker should make a few of my more skeptical readers giggle. I'm a huge fan of the BBC and the quality of British programming in general but this couldn't be a more accurate take on the way in which news is reported today.


One Young World: Wash, Help, Adopt, Money, Work

May 25, 2012

One Young World - “Fighting the world’s big problems at the same time.”

Wednesday's Window to the World: Athens, Greece

May 23, 2012
This is the view from the top floor of my parents house. We live in the northern suburbs of Athens, on top of a hill. The mountain you see is called Parnitha. It's the highest on the Attica peninsula and it's a national park. The lights you see in the middle of the picture and far right is where the Olympic Village used to be during the 2004 Olympic Games. You may also notice a few lights on top of the mountain..they are from "Mt. Parnes", a hotel/casino.
Zoe Koukakis, 2011.  

10 basic tube rules

May 22, 2012

As much as I love the city of London, there's one aspect of it that I hate more than anything: the underground. Sure, its efficient and expansive but it's also smelly and crowded. Every time I go under I find myself holding my breath and scared to touch anything for fear of coming into contact with a stranger's flavours. The tube drains the soul out of people; they sit there looking gloomy and pissed off. Tourists {which I don't consider myself, of course} are also pretty annoying because they just don't get the unspoken rules of the tube. I was discussing this with someone {everyone has something to say about their daily soul-draining commute} and they pointed out that there aren't any set rules or basic "tube etiquette" outline. Since then I've brought this up with various city rats who all agreed on the following 10 basic tube rules which could make getting from A to B a little more bearable
{commuters & tourists take note, we're all guilty of a few of these!}:

1. Make yourself as small as possible (this goes for carrying bags on your back, sticking legs out into the aisle)

2. No leaning body against the pole (otherwise other people can't hold on to the pole for support)

3. No double page spread newspaper reading 

4. Don't leave gaps/spaces - even distribution of bodies {ie: Don't all crowd by the door or the entrance to the platform - S P R E A D O U T!}

5. No loud music {use noise cancelling earphones}

6. No food {Doesn't matter if it's your Mum's spaghetti - it's smelly}

7. Give way for those getting out of the tube before you step through the door

8. Chivalry people! Give seats and make way for pregnant women, senior citizens and the disabled/injured.

9. No pushing, shoving or trampling {unless absolutely necessary but then just smile and say sorry}

10. No farting or offensive body odours {I guess the same applies here}

I'd personally say that the number one rule in life is to smile and be polite but I think that's pushing it a bit in this case. Let's hope Boris sees this list and prints out a few copies before the Olympics hit London and it gets really crazy up in here.


Manic Monday: The Boundaries of Life & Death

May 21, 2012

 This short contemplation of the Circle of Life is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s quote: "The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and  vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” 
Perhaps this thought process is a little too intense for a Monday morning but I thought this was too beautiful not to share.

The film was created by Saskia Kretzschmann as part of her studies at the Anhalt University of Applied Science, in central Germany. {The music is by Thomas Mayer}


Splendid Sunday Snapshots*

May 20, 2012
My Sunday in snapshots:

1. Chelsea Chaos
Strolling through Chelsea to the tube this morning was a sea of blue and white thanks to the fact that the local team won the Champions League final. We skidaddled out of there and missed the crazy football crowds but got a glimpse of the build up to the celebratory parade.

2. Camden 
Sarah and Lucas are fellow foodies and we sampled jerk chicken, fresh fried calamari, kangaroo burgers and Armenian nibbles at the Camden international food market. As I tried to identify all the sweet smells I couldn't help but wonder why there isn't something like this in Amsterdam {Or have I been missing it all this time?}

3. Lunch with some of my favourite people

For Alfie's birthday we went to the York & Albany townhouse hotel in Camden. Some of the yumminess included dirty martinis & cheeky G&Ts, salmon ceviche {the colourful plate was delicious!}, chorizo & octopus {a surprising & tasty combo}, a homemade burger, deepfried whitebait {a British thing I've never understood} & pretty-damn-amazing deserts {I was too distracted to photograph my pineapple tarte with rum& pistachio ice cream} It was a great afternoon and I'd highly recommend this restaurant to anyone!


Wednesday's Window to the World: Buenos Aires, Argentina

May 16, 2012
View from my window in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argetina.
Laura Mowat, 2011

Aerobics at Twickers

May 15, 2012
Oh what fun we had at Twickers over the weekend! More pics + a mini video to follow soon!


ps: I have no idea who won the rugby.

One Young World: Watch this space

Just over a week ago I got the great news that I was chosen to represent Barbados at the One Young World summit in October! I'll be joining hundreds of young people in Pittsburg to discuss ideas and solutions to some of the problems our countries face; from health issues, the economy and political corruption to sustainability and world peace.  I had heard of One Young World before though friends who had attended the inaugural summit in London in 2010 but never thought I'd have the chance to attend due to the high demand and the hefty price tag attached to it. Thanks to Twitter, I found out about a 'Delegate giveaway'; the aim of the summit this year was to have every single country represented and Barbados was on the list of countries that were not represented as yet. Residents of those countries were being offered a fully sponsored position! I hoping to use this opportunity to discuss the rising prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in Barbados {More on this later!} I can't quite explain how I excited I am, it's going to be such a great place to meet new people and network and I'm so incredibly lucky. 


5 things that rocked my week

May 13, 2012

1. The Udderbelly Festival on Embankment | 2. Arriving to 5 star accommodation by my best friend in London - isn't this adorable? | 3. Seeing my mum on Mother's Day | 4. Yummy dinners outside | 5. Strawberry cider

London's Calling

May 9, 2012

I'm off to the big smoke today to indulge in two weeks of British bliss. Bring on best friends, the boy, family, cider, museums, crazy parties and general London debauchery. On Saturday a big group of us are attending Rugby Sevens at Twickenham - a great excuse to drink, party and dress up in the theme of the match (and maybe catch a bit of rugby). Last year we dressed as sailors in keeping with the 'beach' theme: 

This year it's 80's disco and my group has decided to do '80's aerobics' instead  - complete with neon spandex and big hair...

Anything goes in London and I'm super excited! :)


Wednesday's Window to the World: Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

View from my bedroom window, featuring my dad lounging in a hammock.  These are taken  at my family's cottage on Lake Rousseau, in Muskoka, Ontario.Heather Godard, 2011. 


May 8, 2012
Here I was thinking I'd have all the time in the world once I finished classes and yet I've been on the go non-stop ever since. I've been easing up on the whole blogging thing recently for a few reasons:

Applications - All internship deadlines seem to conveniently be around the same time which leads to last minute spazz attacks and lots of stress on my part (Typical) Filling out these apps is a great experience though - they all ask these in depth questions about yourself and your goals in life - and I'm excited to see where I'll end up after/during summer.

Travel - I shouldn't sound like I'm complaining about this but I'm stressing out a bit trying to plan my next big trip for this year. The greatest luxury I have as a student is time (though not right now it seems) and planning a trip takes up lots of this. Budget also plays a huge part in deciding on where to go of course and seems to be the key factor in helping me decide what 2012 will bring. 

Friends - Some of my closest friends have been over to the Dam to visit me recently; we've been partying our asses of, drinking too much coffee, wandering around the city and indulging in all that Amsterdam has to offer.  It's been so exhausting and wonderful.

Queen's Day ♛ - The Netherlands celebrated the Queen's birthday last week with one of the biggest street parties in the world. We were dressed head-to-toe in bright orange and had one of the best days in a long time! I'm still recovering...more on this later, with pictures and inappropriate videos to boot.

Cinema pass - I treated myself to a cinema subscription; 20 euros a month for unlimited movies at the local Dutch cinema which also shows foreign films. I couldn't quite believe it and I've been lapping it up, watching about 2 films a week with my cousin. Before this I hadn't been to the cinema in over a year and I had a long list of movies to catch up on! Luckily most American films come out later in Amsterdam so I'm able to watch the 'it' films of 2011/2012! My favourite so far is "Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close" - if you haven't already seen, I'd definitely recommend it. It's very touching and beautifully done.

Babies - To earn my travel money I nanny for different expat families in Amsterdam; I love kids and still can't believe I get paid to play with them and have a good time. I've had some horrible little monsters over the last few months as well though and I'm pretty sure I could start a blog on nannying alone with the things I've gone through. These kids come up with some of the most hilarious, gut wrenching and heart warming things I've ever heard. 

HTML/FML - I know I've moaned about this a few times now but I'm still not finished with this blog's new layout. Bits and pieces will be added over the next few weeks as I try to figure out what it is I want exactly. I'm hoping it will somehow all come together. Fingers crossed.

I hope this justifies my lack of blogging but I'm kidding myself to think anyone really cares that much. I hate to do things 'half ass' as Bajans would say - I'm not up for just posting for the sake of it. So for now, I'm keeping it simple and posting whenever I get the chance.

Love hearing from you all and I do read my favourite blogs daily so keep the good stuff coming :)